We must not forget our brothers who have made the supreme sacrifice

Peace did not mean putting the past behind us.

The signing of the Peace Treaty is an appropriate moment for reminding our readers of the proposed War Memorial in S. Mary’s Church. We must not forget our brothers who have made the supreme sacrifice, and there must be many people who will only be too anxious to take their share in providing a permanent memorial. All donations should be sent direct to Colonel Justice, at Speen Court.

Speenhamland parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P116B/28A/2)

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Many months of anxiety and trouble for the alleviation of the sufferings of others

The hard work of women from Newbury and Speen during the war is reviewed.

RED CROSS WORKING PARTY

The Parish Red Cross Working Party, under the superintendence of Mrs L Majendie, was started by her at the Rectory, Newbury, on May 1st, 1915.

The first meeting was hastily summoned for the purpose of making respirators, but as it was found these were not required, being provided by the War Office, work for hospitals and other objects was substituted.

Mrs Majendie carried on the meetings at more or less regular intervals from a fortnight to three weeks, with suspension of these generally during Lent.

She was assisted, first by Miss Boldero (who also held a number of supplementary meetings for mending for Newbury District Hospital), and later by Mrs and Miss Majendie, Speen.

The number of names on the books was between 50 and 60, and of these over 30 attended regularly from the first meeting, May 1st, 1915, to the last, February 18th, 1919. Thanks are due to all the members, but more especially to these last, also to the various hostesses who provided tea, and lent their houses for meetings (many more would have been glad to do this, if lack of space had not forbidden it).

The hostesses were Mrs L Majendie, Miss Boldero, Mrs A Majendie and Miss D Majendie, Miss Godding, Mrs Gould, Mrs Hawker, Mrs Porter, Mrs Camp, Mrs O’Farrell, Mrs Colbourne, amd Miss Bellinger. Some entertained at their own houses, some at the Conservative Club, and a large number of meetings were held at the Parish Room.

Some members have left Newbury, including several Belgian ladies, who worked regularly for a time.

The objects worked for were very numerous, 24 in all, and included the following:

1. Reading War Hospital, twice.
2. Newbury District Hospital, 9 times.
3. Newbury War Depot, 6 times.
4. Miss Power’s Hospital, once.
5. General Hospital No. 18, France (to Miss Hayne), once.
6. The Minesweeper Newbury, 7 times.
7. HMS Conquest (to Lieut. Burgess), once.
8. Submarine F3 (to Lieut. Burgess, once).
9. The Navy League, 3 times.
10. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Malta, once.
11. Malta and Near East Special Red Cross Appeal, once.
12. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Rouen, twice.
13. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Stationary, No. 3, France, 12 times. Extra parcels were often sent to Dr Heywood’s Hospital at other times.
14. Ripon Camp Hospital (Dr Mackay), twice.
15. French Red Cross, twice.
16. French War Emergency Fund, 11 times.
17. National Committee for Relief in Belgium and Northern France, twice.
18. Belgian Red Cross, once.
19. Italian White Cross, twice.
20. Russian Prisoners of War, once.
21. Serbian Relief Fund, 7 times.
22. Syria and Palestine Relief Fund, 5 times.
23. Air Raid victims in London, once.
24. Soldiers’ Children Aid Committee, twice.

Making 73 meetings in all.

The many grateful letters received are too numerous to quote, but each one showed clearly how much the recipients appreciated the parcels of well made clothing despatched from Newbury. Not only were new clothes sent, but many gifts of garments slightly worn, but in good condition were also sent to various Societies. These were received with special thankfulness for the many refugees in France, Belgium, and Serbia, and as the work of repatriation in some of these terribly devastated regions will have to be carried on for months to come, parcels might still be forwarded from time to time if members cared to collect for them.

Thanks are specially due to those members who were kind enough to continually lend their sewing machines for ten meetings, and to several who undertook from time to time cutting-out at home.
The sum of £92 7s 8d was collected in donations and subscriptions, and was expended in flannel, flannelette, linen, twill, sheeting, muslin, gauze, lint, and cotton wool, which were all worked up into about 2,653 different articles, comprising, roughly speaking, the following:

735 treasure bags, 386 bandages, 376 miscellaneous things (such as washers, dusters, hot water bottle covers, table napkins, etc), 253 children’s garments, 210 men’s shirts, 177 knitted articles (socks, helmets, mufflers, operation stockings, etc), 128 collars and ties for hospital wear, 108 men’s vests and other underclothing, 106 women’s underclothing and blouses, 86 towels, 68 pillow cases and sheets, 20 pair steering gloves (leather palms): total 2,653.

The pleasant fellowship in which the members worked so untiringly through many months of anxiety and trouble for the alleviation of the sufferings of others, may well have strengthened not only parochial and personal ties, but also many wider ones with those they were privileged to help.

Newbury parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

Girls need lodgings in towns while doing war work

Young women who had joined the workforce under war conditions needed somewhere safe to live.

In these days when girls need lodgings in towns while doing war work of various kinds it is well to bring before them the advantages offered by the “Girls’ Friendly Society” Lodges in the Diocese.
With the Lady Superintendents always at hand in case of little ailments or worries and other girls for company, a “Lodge” is more cheerful than solitary lodgings. Food too, can be better and more varied with a large number to cater for.

The Diocesan Lodges have charming gardens.

Those who do not belong to the Society need a reference and a charged a little more than members of the G.F.S.

The necessity for special training in various trades and professions, is well understood: it is now becoming recognised that this is also needed for domestic service. Girls can obtain this training at the Lodges.

Terms can be had by sending a stamped envelope to the Lady Superintendents :- G.F.S. Lodge, 63, St. Giles, Oxford; Berks G.F.S. Lodge, 62, London Street, Reading; Alma Cottage, Speen, Newbury.

Winkfield District Magazine, August 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/8)

Lodgings for girls doing war work

Young women were increasingly engaged in war work, as nurses or on munitions factories. Many of them ended up a long way from home, and the Girls’ Friendly Society, an existing charity aimed at helping working class girls, was the ideal organisation to help.

G.F.S.

In these days when girls need lodgings in Towns while doing War work of various kinds, it is well to bring before them the advantages offered by the “Girls’ Friendly Society” Lodges in the Diocese.

With the Lady Superintendent always at hand, in case of little ailments and worries, and other girls for company, a “Lodge” is more cheerful than solitary lodgings. Food, too, can be better and more varied with a larger number to cater for.

The Diocesan Lodges have charming gardens. Those who do not belong to the Society need a reference, and are charged a little more than Members of the G.F.S.

The necessity for special training, in various trades and professions, is well understood: It is now becoming recognised that this is also needed for domestic service. Girls can obtain this training at the Lodges.

Terms can be had by sending a stamped envelope to the Lady Superintendents-

G.F.S. Lodge, Berks. G.F.S. Lodge,
63, St Giles’ 62, London Street,
Oxford. Reading.
Alma Cottage,
Speen,
Newbury.

Wargrave parish magazine, May 1916 (D/P145/28A/31); and Earley parish magazine, June (D/P191/28A/31/6)

Crushed in the trenches

Sulhamstead was one of the parishes which were seeing increasing numbers of their young men killed or wounded. The parish magazine tells us about two individuals associated with the parish:

We regret to hear that Henry Tuttle has been brought to England wounded. He was seriously crushed by the falling in of the trenches as the result of gunshot. He is being tended at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital London.


Deaths
We regret to record … [the death] of Lieut. Commander Robert E Thoyts, R. N, son of the Rev. and Mrs Frank Thoyts.
He had been put in command of a ship at the beginning of the war, but owing probably to the severe weather in the North Sea returned home seriously ill. No hope was given of his recovery, but he lingered until March 7th…
On the 7th inst at Woodspeen Grange, Newbury, from heart failure after pneumonia, Lieutenant-Commander Robert Elmhirst Thoyts, RN, son of Frank and Rosa Thoyts, and dearly-loved husband of Kathleen Thoyts, aged thirty-four.

BURIALS
Mar. 11th at St Mary’s Church. Robert Elmhurst Thoyts, Lieutenant Commander, RN.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, April 1914 (D/EX725/3)