Only married for nine weeks

The after-effects of being gassed in the trenches could last for years.

A Soldier’s Death

On Sunday, Aug. 10th, there died in the Royal Berks Hospital, Reading, at the age of 30, Lance-Corpl. Frederick Thomas King. For some time he had been suffering from pneumonia, the complaint being aggravated by gas-poisoning contracted whilst serving in France. Deceased had only been married about nine weeks. We take this opportunity of expressing our sympathy with his widow and family.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, September 1919 (D/P120/28A/14)

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Welcome Home to Returned Heroes

The men of Maidenhead were welcomed back home.

June
Welcome to Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen by CEMS

On Saturday, June 14th, 5.30 to 9.30 pm, at St Luke’s, Vicarage Lawn. The Band of the Comrades of the Great War will play. if any returned Parishioner does not get an invitation, will he please communicate with Mr E Hazeldine, Hon. Sec., 5, College Rise.

July
CEMS Welcome Home to Returned Heroes

It was a happy inspiration of the St Luke’s Branch of the CEMS – which, of course, includes St Peter’s – to give a Welcome Home to the men of St Luke’s Parish, who as Sailors, Soldiers or Airmen have fought for their country in the Great War, together with their wives and sweethearts.

By the kindness of the Vicar, whose absence from home on such a memorable occasion was much regretted – not the least by the Vicar himself – the gathering took place on the Vicarage Lawn on Saturday, June 14th, and, favoured with brilliant weather, proved a great success.

When we say that 800 men and wives accepted the Society’s invitation to tea, it will be realised what a vast amount of work was entailed. But with the organisation in the capable hands of Mr Hazeldine (Hon. Sec.), and Mr Habbin (Chairman of the CEMS), and the willing help of many ladies of St Luke’s and St Peter’s congregations as waitresses, the large party was admirably served.
After tea, there were Concerts, a good programme of music by the Band of the Comrades of the Great War, and performances on the piano and violin by two wounded artistes, all of which was much appreciated. Between the various items were opportunities for conversation with, and congratulations to, the returned warriors – by no means the least enjoyable part of the proceedings – together with a further supply of refreshments. The heartiest thanks of the CEMS are offered to all the kind friends who gave them such valuable assistance in carrying through the “Welcome”, as also to those who generously contributed towards the cost.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, June-July 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

A sale of effects at the Military Hospital

War hospitals were closing.

Tuesday, the 10th day of June, 1919

HOUSE COMMITTEE

SALE AT BASINGSTOKE MILITARY HOSPITAL

The Master reported that there would shortly be a sale of effects at the Military Hospital at Basingstoke, and on the proposition of the Rev. A H Caldicott, seconded by the Rev. Sir J Key it was resolved:

That the Master and Matron be authorised to attend the sale and purchase any articles which they might deem expedient.

JUNIOR ASSISTANT NURSE

The Master reported that he had received a personal application for the post of Junior Assistant Nurse from Gertrude Roff of Sandford, Oxon. The Master explained that Mrs Roff desired a post in this district, so as to be near her husband, who was a patient in the Ashurst Military Hospital, and on the proposition of the Rev. A H Caldicott, seconded by Mr Hunt it was resolved:

That it be a recommendation to the Board:

That Mrs G Roff be appointed Junior Assistant Nurse at a salary of £20 per annum, plus an allowance of £4 per annum for uniform, with War Bonus at current rates, and that the appointment be for one month on probation.

REPORT OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE

On the proposition of the Rev. A H Caldicott, seconded by Mr A D Wells it was resolved:

That the appointment of Gertrude Roff to the post of Junior Assistant Nurse for one month on probation be confirmed.

Minutes of Wallingford Board of Guardians (G/W1/36)

Separation allowance for a wife in the asylum

A soldier had difficulties paying for the keep of his mentally ill wife.

10th June 1919

Charles Hicks of Appleton is interviewed by the board with reference by him of the sum of £43.13.10 due to the Guardians for the maintenance of his wife in the Asylum whilst he was away from home on active service, as during a part of the time was being so maintained no Separation Allowance was paid by the Army Authorities, and he asked to have the amount incurred during this period £17.3.2 remitted. And it was resolved that the payment of the £17.3.2 be suspended pending an application to be made by him to the Army Paymaster for payment of the amount and the Clerk is instructed to give him any help he may require in making the application and Mr. Hicks agreed to pay the sum of £26.10.7 the cost of his wife’s maintenance in the Asylum for the period during which Separation Allowance was paid.

The following letters were read and ordered to be filed for future reference namely:-

1. From the Local Government Board…(b) enclosing amended scale of war bonuses recently authorised by the Treasury for permanent Civil Servants

Minutes of Abingdon Board of Guardians (G/A1/33)

Released after over four years’ service in the Army

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners

As regards coming events, … above all the Welcome to Returned Sailors and Soldiers, and their wives (both in the same place), organised by the CEMS, will, I hope, be favoured by good weather and large musters…

Lastly, I hope to be away for two or three weeks in June. I should have gone later, but my brother, who is released after over four years’ service in the Army, specially wants me to go with him to Scotland. This makes, I feel, a special occasion where family claims must be considered.

If I have to miss important meetings, this is my excuse.

In any case, with Mr King Gill and Mr Thurland in charge, I know that everything will go on splendidly…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar,

C E M Fry

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Returned to Belgium

A refugee family returned home, abandoning the foster child they were caring for.

15th May 1919

Children Act 1908

The Inspector, under the Children Act, reported that … One child had been removed from a house where he had been placed out to nurse with a Belgian family, and upon visiting the house on the 29th April last, it was found to be empty, but it been ascertained that the nurse child had been given over to the care of the father, and that the family had returned to Belgium. Upon further enquiries, the Inspector had communicated with the child’s father, but up to the present time had received no answer…

Recommending that the Henley Guardians, to whose district the father of the Belgian child mentioned had removed, be notified.

Matron’s Report

The Matron reported as follows:

Nurses’ Home

That, after advertising widely, she had been able to secure the services of Mrs Hustler, a soldier’s widow, aged 43, who would take up her duties on the 10th instant at a salary of £45 per annum, with indoor uniform and all washing, board and lodging.

Minutes of Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/59)

Furlough from duty in Italy

5th May 1919

Mrs Hewitt is absent, leave for some days being applied for during her husband’s furlough from duty in Italy.

George Palmer Boys’ School log book (89/SCH/8/1, p. 158)

Pleasure in seeing the men safe home again and good wishes to them on their return to civilian life

Hundreds of Reading men received a warm welcome home.

April

WELCOME HOME TO SOLDIERS AND SAILORS

A list of between 300 and 400 demobilised men resident in the parish or attached to the congregations has now been compiled. To each of these men a letter of welcome from the vicar is being delivered, and also an invitation to a social gathering of welcome for themselves and their wives, which is being held in St John’s Institute on April 9th. Refreshments will be provided and an attractive programme of music and recitations, and the vicar will express in a short speech his own pleasure and that of the parish in seeing the men safe home again and all our good wishes to them on their return to civilian life. Later, a service of thanksgiving for safe return will be held in St John’s Church: the date will be announced at the social meeting. There are still a great many men who have not yet returned to their homes. We shall always be glad to receive notifications of their arrival, and shall hope later on to arrange a second welcome home meant for the men who come later, and for any who may have been left out inadvertently from the present invitation.


May

WELCOME MEETING TO SOLDIERS AND SAILORS.

The first welcome home to Service men held on April 9th, was voted by all concerned a very great success. A good crowd of men accepted the Vicar’s invitation and duly turned up at the Institute accompanied by their wives, or mothers, or future wives, and there was a full house. The catering, looked after by Miss Simmons, was excellently carried out and full justice was done to the good things provided. After the tea and coffee and sandwiches had been disposed of, cigarettes and tobacco were passed round, and also sweets for the ladies, and the guests settled down to enjoy a programme remarkable for the variety and the excellence of its items. Perhaps the most popular number was that contributed by the infants from S. Stephen’s School. The little people presented ‘Nursery Rhymes’ in costume and with appropriate music. They received a tremendous ovation.

Now the welcome is over we are hearing of several men who were overlooked in the invitations. We can only say that we did our level best to compile a complete list of all returned men, and that no one was left out except by the veriest accident. We shall hope to have another welcome gathering soon for men coming home later; and shall be glad if friends would send in to the Vicarage the names of all men who were overlooked on the last occasion and also of all who have returned since.


Reading St. John parish magazine, April and May 1919 (D/P172/28A/24)

On leave from France

Would this soldier have to return now?

4/04/19

Mrs Smith has been absent from school – her husband on leave from France.

Log book of Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1)

Still several ill with Influenza

A teacher took some time off to be with her soldier husband. She returned on 21 March, but resigned on 2 May to follow her husband to Aldershot.

Earley
14th March 1919

Mrs Plumer has been away the past two days, as her husband is returning to his military duties next week.

Speenhamland
Mar 14th

This week the attendance has much improved, reaching 92.8%. There are still several ill with Influenza.

Log books of St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3)

The return to Windsor, from the war, of the Coldstream Guards

Aston Tirrold
28th February 1919

There is much sickness (colds and influenza) in the school and for the week our percentage of attendance is only 60.

Windsor
1919
Feb: 28th

The Mayor visited on Thursday morning and gave the girls a holiday in the afternoon, because of the return to Windsor, from the war, of the Coldstream Guards.

East Hagbourne
Feby 28th

Mrs Marshall (S), whose husband is home on leave from France, is still absent.

Newbury
28/2/19

Student teacher Whitehorn has been absent from school this week owing to influenza

Earley
28 February 1919

Mrs Plumer, whose husband has just returned from India, & who is now in a Military Hospital in London, has been absent from her duties all this week.

Log books of Aston Tirrold CE School (C/EL105/1); Holy Trinity Infants School, Windsor (C/EL58/2); East Hagbourne School (C/EL35/2); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1);
St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3)

Safe home again

Some men returned home safe at last; others did not.

We are glad to see Pte. Doel and A. Jones safe home again. Both of them have been prisoners in Germany.

Much sympathy has been expressed from Mrs. Yeo, who has received the sad news of her husband’s death from wounds.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, February 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/2)

A Lecture at the Picture Palace on the Navy

em>You may remember that Mrs Thornton had been absent since the 12th, due to the return home of her soldier husband. This was causing difficulties for her colleagues.

Sunninghill
18th February 1919

Mrs Thornton is still absent, & as a consequence 4 teachers are managing 5 rooms, & each teacher has charge of 2 classes – an instance of overwork of which we have had much undesirable experience of this school.

Speenhamland
Feb 18th

About 120 children of the Upper Standard attend a Lecture at the Picture Palace on the Navy; they will be required to write an Essay on what they see and hear and prizes will be given for the best.

Receipt for £1.1.0 received from the Organiser of the King’s Fund for the Disabled.

Ascot
February 18th 1919

Through lack of coal great difficulty is being experienced in keeping the rooms warm enough for the boys to work in any degree of comfort.


Log books of St Michael’s CE Mixed School, Sunninghill (88/SCH/32/3); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Ascot Heath Boys’ School (C/EL110/4

“The news of his death was only received after the signing of the Armistice”

There was a particular poignancy when news of a death came after the war had ended.

Roll of Honour.

Frederick Pither.

The news of his death was only received after the signing of the Armistice and the blow, therefore, come with added force to his wife and children.

We would desire to convey to her the very real and special sympathy of all.

Military Cross.

Lieut. R. Palmer – to whom heartiest congratuilations.

Blinded Soldiers’ Fund.

The total sum received is £32; made up as follows:-

Carol Singing £22 10s., Christmas Dinner Table envelopes £9 10s. This latter sum is for the children of Blinded Soldiers.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Interesting curios from the battlefields

Exciting incidents could distract children from their school work.

Sparsholt
1919
Jan 16th

This afternoon Major Pocock [an old boy] gave the children a short address, & exhibited various interesting curios from the battlefields in France.

Boxford
Jan 16th 1919

An aeroplane came down in the village this dinner time, many boys are absent this afternoon owing to the same.

Emmer Green
16th January 1919

Mrs Bartlett was absent from duty this morning on business connected with her husband’s return from ‘Active Service’.

Log books of Sparsholt CE School D/P115/28/47); Boxford CE School log book (C/EL115/2);Emmer Green CE School log book (R/ES8/3