Two sons killed within three months

The war was taking a heavy toll.

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING.

With much regret we have to record this month the death in action of yet two more Winkfield men. Pte. George Holloway and Pte. Tom Simmonds.

Mr. and Mrs. Holloway have now lost two sons within three months, and deep sympathy is felt for them in these heavy bereavements. Pte. Tom Simmonds was for many years one of our bell-ringers, and we tender his parents and family heartfelt sympathy.

Pte. W. J. Johnson is also reported killed in action. His mother has lately been living in Winkfield and will have the sympathy of many friends here.

Pte. Albert Carter, who has been out at the Front ever since the outbreak of war, is wounded; he is in hospital in England and we are glad to learn that he is doing well. His brother, Pte. John Carter is dangerously ill in hospital. As we write we hear that he has had a turn for the better and so hope that he is now on the road to recovery.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, June 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/6)

Greater love hath no man than this

Caversham men’s service was honoured.

ANOTHER DISTINCTION FOR CAVERSHAM.

Hearty congratulations to 2nd Lieut. A.F.C. Hill, upon receiving the Military Cross for gallant conduct with the Salonika Expeditions. This is the fourth Military Cross awarded to Caversham men, the other recipients being the Rev. C.W.O. Jenkyn, Army Chaplain; 2nd Lieut. D.T. Cowan, A. and S. Highlanders; and Sergt.-Major Wilfred Lee, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.

Lieut. E.J. Churchill, R.E., has been “mentioned in dispatches.”

Sergt. E. Canning, of 1/4TH Royal Berks, is one of the two non-commissioned officers selected out of his battalion for the honour of a Commission.

Caversham roll of honour.

“Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friend”

Name, Ship or Regiment and address, Date of death
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“Are we down-hearted”?

A PoW writes home after two years in the hands of the enemy.

Prisoners of War.

We think it would interest our readers to see extracts from letters from one of our Prisoners of War, Private W. Simmonds, of Dedworth. Every month we send in from Clewer a small collection for the Prisoners of War Fund. This month 16/- was sent. The Boys of St. Augustine’s Home contribute largely towards it. Mrs. Buttress and Mrs. Cowie very gladly receive contributions, however small, as they all mount up. They are sent in the beginning of each month, and after reading the letter you will see how very grateful the recipients are. The parcels used to be packed weekly at the Town Hall, Windsor, but now they are sent straight from the London Depot, 4, Thurloe Place, London, S.W.

Letter from Private Simmonds, Kriegsgefangenenlager, Prisoner of War, Langensalza, Germany, Jan., 1917.

Dear Mrs. Cowie,

So pleased to have the pleasure of writing to you, to let you know that I am still in splendid health, thanks to the parcels you send me weekly, for these I think go a long way to keep our spirits up in this very trying time, but I suppose we shall have to stick to our well-known motto – “Are we down-hearted”? At present there is still the same answer amongst us, that is, “No.” But we shall be pleased when it is all finished and we can return to those who are dear to us again.

Madam, I should be very pleased if you can give any instructions as to the acknowledging of the parcels, as no name of the donor is received from the Central Prisoners of War Committee, London. It was a splendid parcel, and of course I should like for yourself to continue packing the parcel, but there we are in war time, and orders are orders, so we must abide by them for the present, but not much longer, I hope.

You say in your letter, Madam, that we must have patience, but I am afraid mine won’t last out; being here two years has tried my patience to its utmost, but still with the help of those fine parcels I have managed to pull through with flying colours. I shall certainly have to visit that War Shrine in Dedworth when I return.

And now will you kindly convey best wishes and thanks to His Worship the Mayor of Windsor, yourself, and all helpers of the Committee and all in the dear old Royal Borough and vicinity for their-never-to-be-forgotten kindness towards myself and all other unfortunate comrades of the Borough. I am sure, Madam, if you and the Mayor heard how good we all speak of you, you would be prouder than the V.C. winner. Again thanking you and all members of the Committee for their kindness,

I remain yours thankfully,

W. SIMMONDS (Private).

Clewer St Andrew parish magazine, March 1917 (D/P39/28A/9)

“I am quite happy and enjoy life immensely, wouldn’t have missed it for anything”

Several men from Reading St Giles had fallen in the war. The vicar pays a personal tribute to their heroism:

NOTE FROM THE VICAR

Hearty congratulations to Sergt. S.W. White, 1/4th R. Berks, on winning the D.M.C. I believe he is the first of the old C.L.B. boys to obtain honours in the war.

To the list of the fallen in the war is a long one this month, and it contains some names closely connected with the work of the church (Reginald Golder, Herbert Day, Harry Walker, Leonard Smith), they all played their part bravely and have died gloriously, and I am sure we shall not forget them nor their good work here. All four were splendid types of the real patriot who thought no sacrifice too great for England: all four loved the church they worshipped in and, as I know well, did not forget the lessons they were taught in it.

Reginald Golder was a very special friend of mine, he rarely missed coming to see me each ‘leave’ and his devotion to his Grandfather in the days gone by was something to admire. His final words in his last letter to me, written a few days before the final action in which he was taken prisoner:

“I am quite happy and enjoy life immensely, wouldn’t have missed it for anything.”

It was a letter showing his deep interest in the things and persons connected with S. Giles’. To the parents and relatives of all these brave men we give our heartfelt sympathy. For them we give our prayers and our affection: they have won a great reward.

To be added to the intercessions list: Private E.F. Mundy, 11th Labour Batt, Royal Berks Regt,; Lieut Frank Moore, 22nd Batt King’s Royal Rifles; Cpl. C.V. Pyke, R.F.C. ; George Biles, 3rd Batt,. Royal Berks Regt.; Geoffrey Church ; Lieut. Boston; Private A.T. Henton, 9th Royal Berks Regt,; Private W. Clare, A.S.C. ; Private S. Watson, Grenadier Guards; Private J. Gibbons, 6th Batt. R.I.F.; Private T.B. Mills, London Scottish.

Sick and Wounded: Private S.J. Tugwell, D.C.L.I.; L, Cpl. Mark Seymour, R.E.; Private W Hart; Private G.F. Stroud, A.S.C.; C.S.M.L. Goodenough 1/4 Royal Berks Regt.; Private E. Wilson, 24th London R.; Gunner H.G. West,R.F.A; L. Cpl. A Harris, Royal Berks Regiment.; Private Redstone, Private G.W. Holloway, 3rd Gloucester Regt.

Prisoners: Private H. Guttridge, Private James Smith. ¼ Royal Berks Regt.

Missing: Private Albert Langford, ¼ Royal Berks Regt.; L.Cpl. Jack Foulger, West Kents; Private Frederick Long, 6th Batt. Royal Berks Regt.; L. Cpl. H. Goldstone, R.W. Surry Regt.

Departed: Private Davey, L. Cpl Herbert Dray, Sergt. Reginald Golder, 2/4 Royal Berks Regt.; Private R. Morris, Private S. Land, Private H.V. Walker, ¼ Royal Berks Regiment,; Private A. Josey. 2nd Hants; Private J. Miles, Oxford and Bucks Lt. Infantry; Private Arthur T. Knott, Private T. Seymour, Royal Berks Regt.; Private Edward Rogers, 8th Batt. Royal Berks Regt.; Private John Simmonds, 6thBatt. Royal Berks Regt.; Private H. Leonard West, Canadian Cont.; Driver Rodney Lock, A.S.C.; Sergt Clement Perrin, 1/4 Royal Berks Regt.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, October 1916 (D/P96/28A/34)

“Rendered unconscious for 48 hours by the bursting of a trench mortar within a yard of him, and suffering from nervous shock”

Winkfield men continued to suffer.

PARISH NOTES

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING.-

We deeply regret to have to record that to our list of those who have laid down their lives for their country must now be added Gunner Joseph Church, who was killed in action at the end of July. Our hearts go in sympathy to his bereaved parents and relatives, and a Memorial Service was held for him on the evening of Sunday, August 27th.

Yet more of our men have been wounded, but we are thankful to know that the wounds are comparatively slight and all are well.

Pte. Ernest Faithful has been wounded in the knee.

Pte. George Benstead has a shell wound in the knee, and is in hospital in France.

Pte. Walter Reed was rendered unconscious for 48 hours by the bursting of a trench mortar within a yard of him, and is suffering from nervous shock, but he is now out of hospital on short leave home, and we trust that time and rest will soon set him up again.

Pte. Albert Fletcher has joined 9th Royal Berks Regt., and Pte. Frank Simmonds the Durham Light Infantry.

Our prayers are asked for Pte. Charles Edward Burt, who left his wife and children in Canada to come over and do his bit for the old country, and is now at the front, and also for his brother William Burt, who went out to France last month and is now in the trenches.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, September 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/9)

“Gratitude for the share which the Sailors and Soldiers from the Parish are taking in the defence of our Country and our homes”

Winkfield Church was carefully keeping in touch with its men on active service.

C.E.M.S.

Final arrangements were made for the sending to all our men on Service an Easter Card and Booklet with the following words of greeting:

Winkfield, April 16th.

“Dear Brother,

In sending you the enclosed booklet and Easter card of greeting the Church of England Men’s Society in Winkfield wish to express their feeling of gratitude for the share which the Sailors and Soldiers from the Parish are taking in the defence of our Country and our homes. Once again the eyes of all Christians are turned, at this season, to view the two sublime events on which the salvation of the world depends, the Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; and we cannot send you a better greeting than to wish for you and for ourselves that we may accept the former as the one thing of real importance to us, and may see in the latter the guarantee of a new and better life after death if we accept His service and trust His promise.”

Yours very truly,

H.M. Maynard, President
F.L. Wilder, Secretary

OUR MEN WHO ARE SERVING.

The following have lately joined His Majesty’s Forces: William Burt, Royal Berks. Regt.; Wilfred Church, Army Service Corps; Fred Fancourt, Grenadier Guards; Tom Simmonds, Royal Berks Regiment.

Pte. George Faithful was wounded rather badly in the head and face and has been some time in hospital but is now nearly convalescent and is expected home shortly.

Pts. George Thurmer had an accident whilst at the Front, but we are glad to learn that he is doing well.

Sergeant James Thurmer is reported as still seriously ill; his wounds were very severe and much anxiety is felt by his relatives who have our sincere sympathy.

We were glad to welcome Signaller Fred Holmes back on leave for a few days, and it was delightful to see him again in his place in the choir on the Sunday before Easter.

Welcome to 2nd Lieut. R. Hayes-Sadler whose wound is now nearly healed and who is having a few weeks convalescent at home.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District magazine, May 1916 (D/P151/28A/5)

More men go from Earley

More young men from Earley had joined up.

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:
Albert Parsons, Herbert Parsons, Richard Parsons, George Parsons, Harold Giles, Stanley Ewins, Charles Simmonds, William Worsfold, Ernest Cane.

In addition to those already mentioned, we especially commend the following to your prayers:

Killed – Claud Bowra
Wounded – Alfred Poffley
Died – George Fulford.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, January 1916 (D/P191/28A/23/1)

Asking after the Bisham boys

As the wife of an old-fashioned benevolent landlord and employer, Florence Vansittart Neale visited tenants to ask about their sons at the Front. She was also aware of the case of George Watson Smyth, heir to Wadhurst Castle in Sussex, being nursed at Highclere. He was to have his leg amputated.

1 October 1915

Called on Horner, Howard, Paine, Steptoe, Brooks & Simmonds – enquire after boys. Rumour Bob Paine killed. William Randall died – overworked.

Girls & I took Moll home – round by Wargrave to leave French flags….

George Watson Smyth at Highclere Hospital. Foot shattered.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

Why should the young do all the fighting and the dying and offer the great sacrifice by themselves?

The people of Winkfield were urged to support the young men who were heading to the Front.

VICAR’S LETTER

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

When you receive this Magazine we shall be nearing the completion of a year of War, and this fact cannot fail to solemnize in our minds and make us seriously consider whether we are one and all doing our duty in this supreme crisis of our Nation’s history.

The call to service and sacrifice has been answered by numbers of our young men – a list of whom is printed in this month’s Magazine – but have we who are unable to offer ourselves for active service contributed all we can and ought to the common cause? As the Bishop of London says, why should the young do all the fighting and the dying and offer the great sacrifice by themselves? The sacrifice that is for all should be offered by all, and all are bound to make the resolution “I will pray, I will repent, I will serve, I will save.”

And yet we must sorrowfully confess that the army of intercessors to offer prayer as sacrificial as the self-oblation of the millions of men who have offered themselves for war, has not been forthcoming; unlike France or Russia, out Churches have not been filled with men and women to pray for the men whose peril and blood is their shield, and I must confess to much heart sickness and disappointment that even our intercessory services in the second Sunday evenings and the last Sunday mornings in the month have not been better attended.

What is the explanation? It cannot be that we are indifferent to our country’s need or without love to our brothers at the Front; nor is it that England does not believe in God; there is enough love of our country and enough belief in God to crowd our Churches with earnest suppliants. What then is lacking? Is it not the belief in prayer and especially the belief in united supplication in God’s house? Is not the lack of this the reason why the men and women who ought to be in the praying line have not proved so steadfast as the men in the fighting line, who so greatly need our prayers, and surely have a right to expect them.

I sincerely hope therefore that large numbers will make a real and special effort to attend the special Intercession Services on Wednesday, August 4th and on Sunday, August 8th, of which notice is given in another column. The result of this war will depend very largely on the atmosphere of prayer which has been created, for prayer is the strongest force in the world, and as has been truly said, through prayer we bring our nation and our Allies into contact with Christ, and set the life of the whole Society as well as individuals in the stream of that purpose of redemptive love which can overrule even war for God.

Your sincere Friend and Vicar,
H. M. MAYNARD.

PARISH NOTES

Lieut. Godfrey Loyd and Private Henry Hoptroff have just gone to the Front, and Privates Edwin Gray, Ernest Gray, Edward Holloway and Lance-Corporal Reginald Nickless are under orders to be in readiness to go immediately. We trust that they and their naturally anxious relatives will have a place in our prayers.

Much sympathy is felt for the family of Private John Williams (Royal Field Artillery) who died in hospital after a very long and distressing illness. He was buried with full military honours at Cosham Cemetery on July 1st, and special memorial prayers were said for him on Sunday, July 4th.

NOTICE

On Wednesday, 4th August, the anniversary of the declaration of war, a great service in St. Paul’s Cathedral has been arranged, when the King and all the leaders of the nation will attend to inaugurate the second year of the war be asking God’s help. In Winkfield Church, there will be Celebration of the Holy Communion at 8 a.m., and Litany and Intercession at 11 a.m. Also Evensong and Intercession at S. Mary the Less at 7.30 p.m.

On Sunday, August 8th, both morning and evening, there will be special services with Intercessions and Thanksgivings for the way in which the country has been preserved from many dangers.

The following is list of Winkfield men serving in His Majesty’s Forces at Home and Abroad.
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Berkshire children and Field Marshal Roberts’ funeral

Ascot said goodbye to one of its most famous residents, Field Marshal Lord Roberts. Frederick Roberts (1832-1914) was a veteran of earlier wars, in Afghanistan and the Boer War in South Africa, and even the Indian Mutiny of 1857, when an act of gallantry won him the Victoria Cross. His title, awarded in 1901, is one of the very few British Earldoms to be heritable in the female line (another being that of Mountbatten), a special gift to Roberts, who had only daughters living. His only son had been killed in the Boer War, in which he won the Victoria Cross. As he approached retirement in 1903, he moved to Englemere House in Ascot. Over 80 when the First World War broke out, he had anticipated that a great European war would result from German aggression, and had urged conscription for years. Much of his military career had been in the Empire, and he died of pneumonia while inspecting Indian contingents in France. He got the rare honour of a state funeral, and is buried at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The bellringers on All Souls Day rang a muffled peal in commemoration of those who have fallen in the War. It was a Quarter Peal of Grandsire Doubles, 1260 changes, rung by F. Blunden, Treble; E. Simmonds (2); J. Simmonds (3); W. Eatwell (4); J. Brant (Conductor); S. W. Hughes (Tenor); and on Thursday evening, Nov 19th, the day of Lord Roberts’ funeral, another quarter peal in the same method with F. Blay ringing the treble and A. Head, tenor.

The funeral of Lord Roberts also affected the children from two south-east Berkshire schools.  At Ascot Heath Girls’ School, it was reported on 19 November 1914 that:

A holiday was given on Thursday morning on account of the funeral of Field Marshal Lord Roberts.

The following day, St Michael’s CE School noted the involvement of some of their pupils:

Several boys – Scouts – formed the Guard of Honour at Englemere on the occasion of the funeral of the Field Marshal.

Florence Vansittart Neale also mentioned the funeral, along with her concern for young friends in the armed forces.

19 November 1914
I to call on Maud Mackenzie. She in bed. Long talk. Kenneth may go in 3 weeks. Alick better but boot still in his wound….

Had nice letter from Charlie. Going into trenches.

Lord Roberts military funeral at St Paul’s.

Ascot portion of Winkfield District magazine, December 1914 (D/P151/28A/6/12); Ascot Heath Girls School Log Book (C/EL109/2, p. 230); Sunninghill: St Michael’s CE Mixed (88/SCH/32/3, p. 173); diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

A right minded boy does his duty and dies gloriously

Bracknell had lost its first man to the war – a young career soldier remembered locally for his football skills, with many others joining up.

The following is a list of those who belong to the Parish of Bracknell, and who are in the habit of attending Bracknell Church, who are now serving in H.M. Forces.

NAVY.
R.-Admiral Dudley de Chair, Cecil Bowler, E. Cordery, G. Freeman, G. Jenkins, A. Mott, C. Pleass, H. Roe, R. Watson, E. Wild.

MARINES
E. J. Brailey, R. H. Hester, E. S. Simmonds, C. H. Johnson, W. G. Johnson, J. H. Johnson, F. Gray, Charles Gambriel, G. Jenkins, S. Plummer, A. Prouten.

Many of these are in the North Sea.

ARMY
On Active Service.
Lieut. W. Foster, Lieut. W. Mackenzie, Captain W. K. George, H. Baker, Henry Barlow, Reginald Bowler, George Bowles, John Brant, G. H. Butcher, F. Butler, Alfred Case, Daniel Chaplin, L. Claridge, G. Clarke, N. Clarke, H. Currey, H. Downham, F. Dolby, M. Fox, W. Grimes, F. Harvey, H. Hollingsworth, A. Isaacs, B. Linnegar, A. Mason, H. Matthews, G. Morton, A. Newton, H. Norman, F. Offield, F. Rathband, R. Sadler, B. Sone, A. Winfield, C. Young, A. Penwell (India), S. Norman (Malta), W. Notley, A. E. Reed.

In England
Col. Sir W. Foster, Bart., Lieut. J. C. L. Barnett, Lieut. B. Foster, H. Alder, James Bowyer, John Bowyer, G. Brant, H. Bristow, C. Burt, C. Cave, C. Church, W. Clark, F. L. Dean, C. Dyer, W. Dyer, C. W. Ellis, F. Fitzhugh, J. K. George, E. Godfrey, F. Goddard, H. Gray, J. Gray, Ernest Gambriel, H. Gregory, S. Grimes, A. Holloway, H. Hoptroff, C. Hoptroff, G. Hoptroff, T. H. James, A. Jenkins, G. Kent, S. Kidley, R. Larcombe, J. Lawrence, L. Linnegar, E. Mason, G. Mason, H. Marshall, W. Norris, E. Noyes, H. Perrin, A. Pither, J. Pither, W. Pither, A. J. Prouten, S. Rixon, A. Readings, W. Sargeant, R. Sargeant, D. Sargeant, A. E. Searle, S. Sone, W. Spencer, H. Thompson, P. Treble, W. Turner, B. Turner, H. Webb, F. Webb, A. Winter, G. Winter, H. Winter, J. Wooff, R. Wright, A. Youens, E. Willman.

Two young men belonging to Bracknell have come over with the Canadian Contingent and will shortly be at the Front, – William Searle, and C. Berry.

Drummer Eric W. Roe of the Grenadier Guards is the first of our Bracknell men whose name is placed on the “Roll of Honour.” (more…)

Every young man should know his duty

The Winkfield parish magazine was proud that many of its young men had joined up (and one female nurse), but urged others to follow them. They also shared a poem more notable for its keen patriotism than its literary merits.

Our Choir has been denuded of about half its senior members, five of them having volunteered for Foreign Services in answer to their country’s call.

We may perhaps feel rather proud of the number of men from this parish who are now serving their Country in this great National crisis, but it may well be that there are still some holding back who ought to come forward in response to the stirring appeal “Your King and Country need you.” As the Bishop of Chelmsford has truly said, “In this war or right against wrong every young man should seek to know his duty, and when he knows it face it even unto death.”

Besides a large number who have enrolled themselves as Special Constables, 45 young men of the parish are now either serving at the Front or undergoing training to take their part in this great war. We print a copy of the list posted on the Church door, and hope that more names will soon be added to this list of honour which perhaps at the end of the war may take more permanent form of a board or tablet so as to hand down to future generations the names of those who fought in the brave days of old.

NOW AT THE FRONT

Blunden, Horace Frank Ottaway, Ernest (Navy)
Brant, George Ottaway, Harry
Carter, Albert Reed, Charles
Harris, Herbert Rixon, Fred
Hayes-Sadler, Cecil Simmonds, John S. (Navy)
Lunn, Charles Streamer, Charles
Mitchell, George (Navy) Taylor, William (Navy)
Mitchell, Henry Thurmer, Ernest
Ottaway, Albert Woodage, Walter

Sister Constance Druce.

UNDERGOING TRAINING

Banstead, George Hoptroff, Henry
Berney, Thomas Reedham Jenden, Cecil
Chaney, George Kimble, Archibald
Chaney, John Maynard, Forster H.M.
Diaper, Arthur Nickless, Reginald
Fisher, William Nickless, Wallace
Gray, Edwin Parrott, William
Greatham, Charles Reed, Walter
Harris, Ernest Rixon, Henry
Hayes-Sadler, Ralph Spears, William
Hipple, George Thurmer, William
Holloway, William Thurmer, Robert
Holmes, Arthur Webb, Albert
Holmes, Fred

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