“We all long for peace, but it must be peace after victory, and the enemy must be thoroughly beaten first”

Even as more men were reported killed, some were determined that no easy quarter should be given to the enemy.

“Sir Albert Stanley, President of the Board of Trade, has sent a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Bourne, the Chief Rabbi, the Salvation Army, and the heads of Churches of all other Denominations in England and Scotland and Wales, calling attention to the serous scarcity of coal, and suggesting that Church Services should be held in daylight.”

The Times, October 17th.

If this should be enforced, we hope our congregation will loyally fall in with such an arrangement.

THE WAR

Our brave troops, along with those of our Allies, have been winning victory after victory for the last three months, and the enemy has made proposals for an armistice to the President of the United States. We all long for peace, but it must be peace after victory, and the enemy must be thoroughly beaten first. We can safely trust to our Rulers, and to our Admirals and Generals, with those of our Allies, to see that no premature peace is entered upon. Now they need all our prayers, that they may be guided to right decisions. We are deeply thankful for God’s recent mercies to us, and we pray that we may be worthy of them. What a glorious day it will be when the war really ends, and our men return home again!

Mrs Doggett has lost her husband, Sidney Newman Doggett, from illness in France, and we offer her our sincere sympathy in her trouble. Like so many others, he has nobly given his life for his country.

ROLL OF HONOUR

91 Albert Edward Marshall, 2nd Batt. Wilts Regt, died of wounds at Haesnes April 12th, 1918. RIP.
92 John William Charles Gough, 5th Batt. West Riding Regt, killed in action July 20th, 1918. RIP.
93 L-Corp. Frederick John Lake, 1st Dorset Regt, killed in action July 20th, 1918. RIP.
94 Pte Jesse A Buxey, 1st Royal Warwicks, killed in action in France August 30th, 1918. RIP.
95 Pte Sidney Newman Doggett, Roayl Warwickshire Regt, died in France September 28th, 1918. RIP.
96 Gunner Philip John Webb, RGA, died of wounds August 15th, 1918. RIP.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)

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“These things cannot be done in five minutes – but do you not think that nearly 4 months is rather a long delay?”

Sydney Spencer was increasingly frustrated that he was still on the home front.

Copy of a letter I sent to Brigadier General Pratt [sic?] commanding 208th Inf. Brigade at Doncaster on Easter Sunday March 31st 1918.

From The Brigade Gas Officer
208th Inf. Brigade

To the Commander
208th Inf. Brigade

Sir:

I have the honour to lay the following request before you hoping that it will meet with the great consideration which you have shewn at all times towards me in my rather unhappy position. May I be forgiven if for the moment I break through that necessary reserve which rightly exists between a junior subaltern & his General Officer Commanding, & write rather more openly than official language will allow, even being you, for the time being, as one who has seen more of life & service than I have lived years, & one who has shewn great sympathy & willingness to aid me towards the one great end to which I unceasingly look, rather than as my superior officer to whom I have no right to address the following in such terms as I am about to use.

Sir: both you & General Fortescue before you have done your best to get me overseas, & have rightly understood the unenviable position I am now in, & yet nothing has happened. My first definite application through the Brigade to the Division must have reached the division at about Christmas time. Since then other applications have gone in. Nothing has come of it. Lord Stanley, when he was with the Brigade, told me to be patient & that these things cannot be done in five minutes. I realize that, but do you not think that nearly 4 months is rather a long delay? Hence I feel driven to ask the following favour. May I be allowed an interview with the General Officer commanding the Division so that I may know what are his real feelings about my position.

General Fortescue, Colonel Harris told me in Sheffield last week, definitely stated that the taking up of my post as Brigade Gas Officer would in no way interfere with my going out as a SS officer should the opportunity arise. In five days time I shall have held my appointment 5 months. Six months is the full term of this office according to ACI Instructions. Frankly, Sir, if I have given satisfaction in my work, & if I have put enthusiasm into the Battalion Gas officers under me, & they have given me every support, as this last week has shewn, it is on my part, an enthusiasm born of an unceasing desire to keep from becoming despondent, & lose after nearly 3 years home service as a General Service Officer. May I hope that the length of this letter, & the language in which it is couched, has in no way given offence.

I have the honour, Sir,
To be
Your obedient servant

Sydney Spencer Lieut
Doncaster

31.3.13

Diary of Sydney Spencer of Cookham (D/EX801/12)

“Before the sun sets, the man whom you wish to help may have passed away from earth and from the reach of your help”

The Church of England Men’s Society helped support soldiers by their work (alongside similar organisations) providing places of rest and recreation behind the lines.

C.E.M.S.
S. Giles Branch

A Meeting of the branch will be held in the parish room, on Tuesday, December 12th at 8.30 p.m., to consider the report of the Annual Conference. Any member wishing to read the report before that meeting, I would be pleased to send a copy.

The Archbishop of York appeals for subscriptions for more huts for our troops. Lieut. Stanley, the agent in charge of the C.E.M.S. on the western front, speaking at the Manchester Conference, said,

“You as a society have provided a most noble work in providing huts at the front, a long chain of huts from Ypres in the north to the banks of the Somme in the south. You were asked to provide a sum of £12,000. Up to date, September 27th, you have provided £16,180. I am going to ask you to double those figures. We have been asked to supply 80 huts at once. The huts are essential. Do not delay. Before the sun sets, the man whom you wish to help may have passed away from earth and from the reach of your help.”

The President of the Reading federation, the Rev.F.J.C. Gillmor, will be pleased to receive subscriptions for the above, or may be sent to the hon. Secretary of the branch,

H.J. HILDERLEY, 65 Pell Street.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P96/28A/33)

“When oh! when? Not a glimmer of an ending yet!”

Violet, Countess of Mar and Kellie (1868-1938) wrote to Ralph Glyn with news of a royal romance. Nada (short for Nadejda) de Torby (1896-1963) was a cousin of the Czar of Russia and through her mother a descendant of the mixed-race Russian poet Pushkin. Prince George of Battenberg (1892-1938) (later the Marquess of Milford Haven) was the uncle of Prince Philip and brother of Earl Mountbatten, and is buried in Bray. The happy couple would get married in November 1916. But Violet was also worried about her own sons, aged 17 and 20, when the war seemed unending.

May 13, 1916
Alloa House
Alloa, NB

Dearest Ralph

Jock [her son John Erskine] was up here for his 21st birthday on Ap. 26th & he had a good many boys & girls here to give him a cheery week, but Portia & Cynthia Cadogan have spent the last three weeks just missing Pneumonia following Flu, and the 1st is up & creeping about the house, & Cynthia will not get out of bed! So I have had a busy time in addition to all my committees & war work.

Nada Torby & Prince George of Battenberg got engaged up here on Ap. 10th. Then New Zealand & Australia in a fog rammed, so he got leave (New Z. his ship), much to Nada’s joy. They are radiantly happy, & are both very lucky I consider. Beatty has a fine command up here, 2 new flotillas – & the “wobbly eight” departed lower down…. Rumours of 5th Bat. S coming to this part. Q. Eliz. & co. Hope you understand all these hieroglyphics.

Edward Stanley’s thigh wound not serious I hear, but fear Harry Ashley very severe in spine. He may not recover, & if he does may be always paralysed – too sad. Only just 22, & his mother’s only child & adoration. She is gone over to France to be with him.

That Irish business too awful. I heard of 16,000 casualties but can hardly believe that. Dillon’s speech even more disloyal than reported in yesterday’s papers (12th) & has had a bad effect in Ireland! Much better leave Maxwell in entire command there for a bit. Asquith, Birrell & Co should all mount the scaffold!
Expect you saw a bit of the P.O.W. He is back here, & I suppose will go to France again soon. Do you ever see Scatters Wilson? He is coming home on leave about June 10th. Neil Primrose I shall not see, as he cannot get south before middle of next month for a fortnight or so. Jock’s Medical Board may pass him for active service next month, but I doubt his inside letting him stay out for long. He cannot walk 4 miles!

Tommy [possibly her younger son Francis, born in January 1899] joins the Special Reserve of Scots Guards in Sept. till end year. When oh! when? Not a glimmer of an ending yet! He will be 17 ½. I can hardly believe it!…

Yours ever
Violet M.

Letter from Violet, Countess of Mar and Kellie (1868-1938) to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C21)

Who will come forward?

The parish of Ascot was keenly concerned with remembering its men in service, while coping with their lack at home.

THE WAR.

We have the following records to make.

Pte. Frederick Waite of the 3rd Batt. Royal Fusiliers has fallen in the Service of his country. Lance Corporal Stanley writes:-

“He was killed in action on the 29th of last month, doing his duty for King and country. I lost the best man in my section, and he was liked by all the platoon. We buried him the same night with his head facing the Germans.”

Our deepest sympathy is given to the family, who reside in Course Road. R.I.P.

Thomas Hudson is missing.

Percy Huxford is a prisoner of war. He writes:

“I am wounded and a prisoner. I am wounded in the fore arm, but not very bad.”

Richard Taylor is prisoner of war. He writes brightly.

The following are wounded:-
Harold Matthews, Archibald Williams Grimmett, Jack Jones, Alfred Baker, Henry Edward Freeman, Arthur Everett, Leslie Henry Walls, George Faithful, Frederick Bettison, William Skelton, Harry Henley, Frederick Wye, E.J. Streater.

The list of our Ascot men at the Front is always read out in full at the service on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. We are extremely anxious that this list should be entirely accurate. A Box for “Communications about the War” is placed on the table at the West end of the Church, in which you are invited to place any additions or corrections that may be necessary from time to time.

* * *

WHO WILL COME FORWARD to fill vacancies that stare us in the face, owing to the demands which the war makes upon the time of many of our former Church workers? We very specially need one or two Lady communicants to undertake an hour or so’s work at the Church on Saturdays mornings. We imagine that the majority of our people have a very dim conception of all that is entailed, week by week, in the preparation of the Altar, Altar Linen, and Altar Flowers for the Sundays. Moreover the Brasses have to be cleaned. On Sunday last (October 23rd) one lady, and only one, had to undertake the entire work. This ought not to be possible.

Then, we sorely need Choirmen. Even if they have not very brilliant voices, they might come and do their best, and that is all that God asks for. It would rejoice the heart of Mr. Tustin, our painstaking but handicapped Choir Master.

Then, three more Alter Servers are asked for.

* * *

WAIFS AND STRAYS SOCIETY.
This admirable organisation is holding its Annual Sale of Work, on November 10th and 11th, at the Portman Rooms, Baker Street. It has under its charge the many children of Sailors and Soldiers. Lady Jellicoe and Lady French will be present at the sale. Contributions, requests for tickets, &c. should be addressed to the Central Bazaar Secretaries, Old Town Hall, Kennington Road, S.E.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/11)