Although their clothes may have been wet, the spirits of both adults and children were apparently in no way dampened

A good time was had by all at the Sulhamstead peace celebrations.

SULHAMSTEAD PEACE CELEBRATIONS

The following full and graphic account of the meetings and celebrations has been received for publication. The whole of it is worth reading and preserving. As it cannot all be printed in this copy, no attempt is made to curtail it, and the remainder will be published later. In addition to the debt which it states the parish owes to certain of its members, there must not be forgotten the admirable executive work conducted by Mr Clay, which enabled the whole to proceed without a single hitch.

A public meeting was held in Sulhamstead Schools on July 8th, when it was decided to hold our Peace Celebrations on the official day, July 19th, and to put a cross on the site of the old Church as a War Memorial. It was very well attended, and we understand it was one of the largest meetings ever held in Sulhamstead.

The following committees were appointed in connection with the Peace Celebrations, with Mr H Clay as Hon. Secretary and Treasurer.

A Catering Committee, under the guidance of Lady Watson, as follows: Mrs Cooper, Nurse Harvie, Miss Hughes, Mrs Price, Mrs Shepherd, Mrs Sheringham, Mrs Steele, Mrs Suhr, Mrs Tyser, Mrs Taylor, Mrs Jos. Wise.

A Sports Committee, under the Chairmanship of Sr W G Watson, bart, as follows: Mr Arlott, Mr A Clarke, Mr Clay, Mr Theo Jones, Mr Leake, Mr Metcalfe, Mr Ralph, Rev. A J P Shepherd, Mr Sheringham, Mr Stokes, Mr Suhr, Mr Norman Watson, Mr Winchcombe.

A Finance Committee, with Sir W G Watson, bart, as Chairman, as follows: Lady Watson, Mrs Sheringham, Miss Hughes, Mr Arlott, Mr Clay, Mr Leake, Rev, A J P Shepherd, Mr Sheringham, Mr Winchcombe.

The various committees appointed carried out their work admirably and amicably, and made the Celebrations on July 19th a great success.

Sir George Watson very kindly threw open his grounds for the occasion.

All the residents of Sulhamstead and Sulhamstead Lower End were invited to the Sports and Tea, and invitation cards were delivered by mebers of the committees to each house. These were collected, and tickets of admittance given out.

Unfortunately the weather was showery, but this did not prevent people being there, and although their clothes may have been wet, the spirits of both adults and children were apparently in no way dampened.

The children’s sports commenced at 2.30 in Sulhamstead Park by a variety of races for those under 14. There were plenty of competitors and the prizes consisted of money given by the committee and special (including two fishing rods, reels, knives, handbag and handkerchiefs) kindly given by Mr and Mrs Sheringham.

[Continued in October issue]

CONTINUATION OF REPORT ON PEACE CELEBRATION

At 4 o’clock tea was provided on the verandah at Sulhamstead House. The Adults’ Tea was served at 5 o’clock, at which meat was provided. The Rev. A J P Shepherd at this stage reminded us of those who had fallen in the war, who had gone from Sulhamstead, and read out the names. During the reading everyone stood in an impressive, solemn silence.

The Sports re-commenced at 6.30 for Adults, in which Pillow-Fighting and Blindfold Boxing caused great amusement. Mr Hayes kindly gave two 10-lb cheeses as special prizes, and money prizes were given by the committee…

The Sports concluded with Tugs of War for Men and Women, which were energetically contested. Each team was cheered by its own supporters. Mr Suhr’s team won the Men’s Tug of War, and Mrs Butler’s tem the Women’s. Mr Leake took charge of the Sports, Mr Norman Watson acting as Starter and Mr Sheringham and Mr Hayward as Judges.

During the afternoon, Bowling for a live pig, which Mr Stokes kindly gave, proved a great attraction. This was won by Mr H G Batts, who succeeded in putting down six skittles with three balls.
We are pleased to say £3.2s.11d. was received from this source as Entrance Fees.

Beer and mineral waters were provided free after 6.30.

Lady Watson presented the prizes to the winners, and vote of thanks was then given to the Catering Committee for their work in providing the tea.

Hearty cheers were given to Sir George and Lady Watson, Mr Norman Watson, and to those who gave the special prizes.

The Celebrations terminated with the National Anthem.

The gathering was a splendid success, and the thanks of everyone are due to the various committees for so ably providing pleasure for all.

Sulhamstead parish magazines, September and October 1919 (D/EX725/4)

Advertisements

A Flag Day for PoWs

Sulhamstead collected funds to help Berkshire PoWs.

THE WAR

BERKSHIRE PRISONERS OF WAR

The Sulhamstead Flag Day was held on Thursday, April 25th. The collectors were:
£ s d
Mrs Brown 1 0 11
The Misses Shepherd 4 6 5
Mrs Winchcombe 0 3 1
The Schools 0 2 2
Mrs Stokes 0 14 0
£6 6 7

Sulhamstead parish magazine, June 1918 (D/EX725/4)

A muffled peal rings in Reading

The parish of Reading St Mary had to mourn a number of losses.

The Vicar’s Notes

We have to mourn two losses lately, which have brought the War sadly home to us at S. Mary’s. William Holloway, Sergeant in the Royal Berks, was our Cross-bearer, a member of our Choir, the first server at our Altar, and Secretary of our Men’s Club. His whole character was marked by the strongest loyalty, loyalty to his country, and to his Church. His influence was wholly and entirely for good. We are thankful that his death was painless and instantaneous. A “Requiem” was said for him on Monday, Oct.22nd, at 7-30, and a wreath placed on the War-shrine by the Servers on Sunday, Oct. 28th.

The other loss is that of Alfred T. Reeves, one of our youngest bell-ringers. He was seldom absent from the belfry on Sundays, and a muffled peal was rung, out of respect for his memory, on Wednesday, Oct. 17th.

May they both rest in peace.

Notice
Men of Engineering or Seafaring experience, also Tradesmen or Labourers, of any age, who are desirous of doing ruminative war-work are advised to apply to the Rev. R. Wickham Legg, of S.Mary’s Vicarage, Reading, who is in a position to help them to this end.

Intercessions

For all our Allies, especially the Italians.

For all our fighting men, and also for those who have lately joined the Army, especially Harry Frewin (one of our Altar Servers).

For the sick, the prisoners and the wounded, especially Walter Towner, one of our Choirmen, severely wounded in the head and thigh; for Fred Eggleton, one o0f the Banner-bearers; for Arthur Stokes (of Cherry Court).

For the fallen, especially for William Holloway, our first Altar server at S. Mary’s; for Alfred T. Reeves, one of our Bell-ringers; for Cecil Coulton (of Lavender Street).
R.I.P.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, November 1917 (D/P98/28A/15)

The greatest of inventions that this war has produced

Percy Spencer was instructed by sister Florence to write to her husband John Maxwell Image about a new kind of weapon – the Stokes mortar, invented by Wilfred Stokes in 1915.

Mar. 13. 1917
My dear John

I’m under orders from WF to write and tell you “all about the Stokes gun”, with a sort of threat that if I don’t I shall forfeit your affection. Do please give her some lessons on the ‘power of command’.

And now to show she needs none, I’ll tell you, not everything, but a few things about our famous little strafer.

I suppose the character of this war was bound to lead to the development of the mortar. For one thing, in a vast number of cases the distance between the opposing trenches is so short that to hit the enemy trench without damaging one’s own demands closer shooting than modern artillery has yet completely achieved. Hence, as I say, the development of the mortar which from its size and easy portability to forward positions was bound to become an important weapon for short range work. But no one who saw the primitive weapons of this kind which we possessed in 1915 had much hope that the “wonderful Stokes gun”, the existence of which was at first a carefully guarded secret from the Huns, would prove the success and surprise to the enemy that was expected by the experts.

Its advance upon old types was at once recognised, but I do not think its unique effectiveness would have been thoroughly appreciated, but for the perseverance and pluck of our men who work the guns.

Of course owing to their weight and difficulties of ammunition supply, all guns, mortars and mechanical contrivances for trench warfare diminish rapidly in value as an attach advances, but for preparing the way for an assault I believe the Stokes gun is one of our most valuable weapons, and perhaps our most valuable trench weapon. I should not be surprised if it were ultimately classed as the greatest of inventions that this war has produced, excepting, of course, the Kaiser’s utterances.

I’m told its rapidity of fire has the most terrorising effect and in one heavy battle last year, when the preliminary preparation had not been thoroughly completed, it was our Stokes strafe (creating I believe, a record for volume of fire) which not only ripened the harvest for our fellows, but actually gathered it in, for the Huns never waited for them, but ran in with their hands up.

Curiously enough, arising out of a discussion in the mess yesterday upon the reward of the great inventor, some said that the joy of personal achievement was his real reward, others that it was determined purely by the extent of his cash profit, and another that his reward was essentially the consciousness of having benefitted humanity, the latter opinion being cited as Mr Stokes’ recompense; and upon its being suggested that the last was rather a matter of point of view, like a true Christian and Britisher, he challenged the suggestion and stood to his statement.

So, altho’ I’m afraid Mr Censor will not pass any remarks as to the principle of the gun, its rate of fire, ranges and kinds, anyway you’ll be satisfied that it’s a bonnie weapon [censored].

A little while ago WF asked me if a report of “our raid” was true. It was indeed a champion affair, never do I remember such a tornado of fire, but as you will have realised, beyond the broad facts that there was a raid, and I believe the most successful one ever made by the British, the newspaper report is sheer nonsense. The gorgeous gentleman who resides in comfort somewhere behind and seems to have the newspaper glory of this Division peculiarly under his care, succeeds only in getting well outside the truth, and making us appear ridiculous in the eyes of those who do know what is and what is not possible.

Recently I have missed 2 opportunities for souvenirs. One, the top of a brass candlestick discharged from a shrapnel shell at us last night – whether Fritz has grown humorous or artistic, I don’t know, but it strikes me as a rather charming idea of conveying “evening hate”. The other was very curious. In clearing the manure refuse etc from a farmyard midden a stone’s throw from here a Uhlan, intact, with lance complete, was discovered standing upright in the mire. Unfortunately he had been completely souvenired before I heard about him, otherwise you should have had a morsel. It would be interesting to know how he met his death.

Well, I think that’s all the news I have to tell you just now. Life is fairly lively, and we still have to do a good deal of shell dodging.

However it’s all towards the end of the war.

With love to you both

Yours ever
Percy

Letter from Percy Spencer (D/EZ177/7/10/11)

“Everyone can help to win the war by lending money to the Government”

The people of Wargrave were impressed by the call to help the war effort by placing their personal savings in a Government scheme.

War Savings Association

The Wargrave War Savings Association was very successfully started at a well attended Public Meeting on Tuesday, January 9th, 1917.

Mr. Henry Bond presided, and was supported by Mr. W. C. F. Anderson, Hon. Secretary for Berks, Mr. G. G. Phillimore, who is Secretary for a local branch, and the Vicar.

The Speakers explained that everyone can help to win the war by lending money to the Government. The Government gives 5 per cent, interest, so everyone can help himself at the same time as he helps the country. The man who saves now is helping our soldiers by going without something himself. The less we consume from over the seas, the more room we leave in the ships to carry necessities and comforts for our soldiers.

A resolution to form a Wargrave War Savings Association was unanimously passed.

Mr. Henry Bond was unanimously elected Chairman and Hon. Treasurer. The Vicar was elected Hon. Secretary.

The following were elected to the Committee of Management, with power to add to their number.

Wargrave: Mrs. Groves, Messrs. H. Butcher, W.H. Easterling, F.W. Headington, and E. Stokes.
Hare Hatch: Mrs. Oliver Young, Messrs. A. E. Chenery and A.E. Huggins.
Crazies Hill: Messrs. J.T. Griffin and T. Moore, the Rev. W.G. Smylie.

The Office of the Association is at the Vicarage. The Certificate if affiliation to the National War Savings Committee, the Rules and Statements of Accounts will be exhibited in the Parish Room.

Office Hours at Vicarage, SATURDAYS 9.30- 10.30 a.m. and 5.30-6.30 p.m.

Wargrave parish magazine, February 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Very fortunate to be able to go to the front

The vicar of Reading St Giles said he envied his fellow Reading clergyman T Guy Rogers, who had signed up as an Army chaplain. Incidentally, you may recognise one of the names on the wounded list – the heroic Fred Potts.

Notes from the Vicar

The following names should be added to those on our Intercession list:

Henry Charles Pyke, A.P.C.; F. Mathews, 5th Worcestershire Regt; France Scott Stokes, “H.M.S. Alastia”; Francis Lancelot Temple Friend, Canadian Contingent; Waller William Horlock, “H.M.S. Chatham”; J.C. Englefield, 21st R. Fusiliers; J. Gooding, 14th Glousters; S.J. Curtis, Inns of Court O.T.C.; F. Turner 6th North Staffords; Private Dwyer, 10th Warwicks

Wounded G. Brown, Sherwood Foresters; Trooper F. Potts and Trooper R. West

Missing – R. Ayers, Berks Yeomanry

TO THE LIST OF THE FALLEN
Percy Hamilton, Rifle Brigade; Norman Eady and Charles Butler, Berks Yeomanry ; Alan McKinley, Australian Field Artillery ; Horace Percival Cadman, R.W. Fusiliers. The Yeomanry and our 1/4th Batt. Royal Berkshire Reg. and the 7th and 8th Batt. are very much in are thoughts and prayers.

I am sure we shall not fail to remember in our prayers the Rev.T. Rogers who is resigning the living of S. John’s and going out within the next 2 weeks as Chaplain to the troops in France. He has realized the call and made the sacrifice. S. John’s will greatly miss him and so will the town of Reading where he has done great and useful work. Personally I will miss him, we have worked together in many ways (e.g. the Convention) and although we differed strongly on some point, yet we remained great friends, and I shall not easily forget very and happy (and very solemn) hours spent together.
He is very fortunate to be able to go to the front. God bless him in his work.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, October 1915 (D/P96/28A/32)

Beautifully made shirts for soldiers

More young men from Earley had joined up, while the women left behind were supporting them as best they could by making them clothes.

Since last month we have received a supplementary list of soldiers and sailors, some of whom by this time are at the front:

Royal Navy

David Clark HMS Emperor of India
Harry Hunt (Telegraphist) HMS Sutley

Army on active service

William Henry Bishop Grenadier Guards
Charles Lucas RAMC
Arthur Stokes Northumberland Fusiliers
David Gerald Kennard Royal Berks Yeomanry
Herbert Edward Long Sherwood Rangers

On home service

H Allaway
Alfred Bishop (India) Royal Hampshire Regiment
Ronald Eric Brown Royal Berks Yeomanry
Noel Chapman Duke of York’s Light Infantry
Thomas Henry Hill R H Artillery
George William Giseltine Royal Berks Regt.
Arthur Henry Long Royal Berks Yeomanry
Albert Edward Lovegrove Army Ordnance Corps
Anthony Lax Maynard Hussars
Leonard Mitchell R Gloucester Regt.
William Stokes R Dorset Regiment
Reginald Wright R G A
Henry James Judges Royal Berks Regt.
Septimus James Hawkes Public School Corps
Arthur Fulcher Royal Berks Regt.
William Povey Pring
(more…)