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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A kaleidoscope, a transformation scene, a hurly-burly, yet an orderly hurly-burly

The people of Stratfield Mortimer celebrated.

Peace and Victory Day

Two ever-memorable days! On Sunday, July 6th, the special services of praise and joy and thanks and hope, well attended, reverent, hearty, charged with deep feeling. The evening congregation at S. John’s filled the church and the singing was noteworthy.

Then on Saturday, July 19th, the merrymaking. Our special correspondent tried in vain to be in two places at once. Yet even so he could wax eloquent on the proceedings both on the Sports’ Ground and in St. John’s Hall had not the Editor ruthlessly refused to allow adequate space. But no pen could do justice to the loyal, happy fellowship of the many workers, to the spirit of the crowd, to the joy of the children over their (unexpected) medals, to the feasting and the music, to the sports and the cricket and the dancing, to the fireworks and the great big blaze.

The Hall and all who worked there were taxed to their utmost capacity; dinner for near 100 of the demobilised; dinner for the workers; tea for 220 children; tea for 50 older folks; tea for the workers; tea for 25 scouts. A kaleidoscope, a transformation scene, a hurly-burly, yet an orderly hurly-burly. All that was wanted and nothing that was not wanted, and what more could anyone wish than that? Great credit and great thanks to the catering committee.

As for “God’s out-of-doors,” we had no procession and no cenotaph, yet probably not one old or young forgot those whom we could not see with us, yet who were with us none the less. Not one forgot to salute them. Therein lay the deeper message and meaning of all the day’s proceedings. This thought was with us even while we danced or raced, jumped or tugged or sang. All went merrily none the less. And this again is homage to the Sports Committee and to their indefatigable president, Colonel Nash.

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

Demobilization has helped the singing wonderfully

Choristers returned from the front.

The Choir

Demobilization has helped the singing wonderfully at all services. It is delightful to have the men’s choir seats filled full again. A summer party for the choir is also again possible. The men hope to go up the river on July 10th, and the boys something of the same sort when August comes.

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

As if anyone would ever wish to do such a thing as remove the war memorial!

An offer was made to pay for a war memorial in Stratfield Mortimer.

Another War Memorial

Colonel and Mrs. Nash have offered to present to the parish church a large brass tablet on which will be permanently recorded the names of all parishioners who have given their lives for their country during the war – a most welcome gift. This cannot be erected, however, without a “faculty” – a form of legal sanction, the chief value of which is that it prevents anybody from ever removing the memorial, (as if anyone would ever wish to do such a thing!) and a faculty cannot be obtained without the passing of a resolution in its favour by a vestry meeting. A vestry meeting for this purpose will therefore be held on Tuesday, July 8th, at 6-30 p.m., at the parish church vestry.

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

The Germans are still trying to make up their minds

Some feared it was not time to celebrate quite yet.

Peace

At the time of writing peace is not yet signed and the Germans are still trying to make up their minds, but the question of peace celebrations was discussed at a recent meeting of the Parish Council. Several suggestions were made and it was decided to lay proposals before a Parish meeting very shortly, when people will have an opportunity of criticising and amending any scheme brought forward.

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

Careful and repeated consideration of many war memorial designs

There was a U turn over the Mortimer memorial.

War Memorial

The recent public meeting reversed the decision of its predecessor, and unanimously agreed to place the Memorial at the Cross roads at the top of the hill near the Pound. Mr. Maryon’s design was accepted, after the committee’s careful and repeated consideration of many other designs. At least £500 is now asked for. An account has been opened at Lloyds Bank, Reading, and donors are asked to draw cheques to “Mortimer War Memorial or Bearer” and send them direct to Lloyds Bank. Smaller amounts should be sent in cash to the Hon. Sec. at Wisley, Padworth Road.

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

“It is an appalling thought that a nation lately saved by the sacrifice of so many noble lives should be ready to run the risk of civil war”

The vicar of Stratfield Mortimer was disappointed by attitudes after the war.

Easter

At the moment of writing, the whole country is in a state of uncertainty and anxiety as to the future. It is an appalling thought that a nation lately saved by the sacrifice of so many noble lives should be ready to run the risk of civil war. There appears to be a terrible spirit of “grab” abroad, which is a melancholy thing to have to show as a result of the shining examples of self-sacrifice so recently given. The war did not bring us back to God, and it may be there are yet more terrible lessons before us. Will all Christians make a special effort this Holy Week to meditate upon the Divine Sacrifice and pray for something of the same spirit of love in our country?

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

“On view, for public approval, in the window of Mr. Methold’s Garage”

A war memorial design was put out to public consultation.

War Memorial

The design unanimously recommended by the Committee is now on view, for public approval, in the window of Mr. Methold’s Garage.

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

Very fine work has been done

Another war hospital closed its doors. This one had been in the Working Men’s Club in Mortimer.

The V.A.D. Hospital

After four years and six months’ valued service, the Mortimer War Hospital closed its doors on February 28th. Under many difficulties, and in spite of frequent changes in the staff, very fine work has been done, and Miss Wyld. M.B.E., is to be congratulated upon the way in which she has, as Commandant, stuck to her work through thick and thin. Six hundred and thirty-four patients have passed through the hospital. To Dr. Cox and to all the voluntary staff these owe a deep debt of gratitude.

The Commandant writes as follows:-

“I should like to take this opportunity of thanking all the many kind friends who have so constantly sent gifts, often unknown to me, which have been a great boon to our many patients during the past 4 ½ years.

F. M. Wyld, Commandant.”

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

It has been a delightful experience to welcome home some of those who have been far too long absent

PoWs were coming home at last.

Prisoners of War

It has been a delightful experience to welcome home some of those who have been far too long absent.

Mrs. Trevor thanks all those who so kindly subscribed to the Rifle Brigade Prisoners of War Bread Fund. From July 15th, 1916, to October 22nd, 1918, inclusive, £123 14 s. 3d. was sent to the Treasurer of the Fund. The balance £12 4s. 6d. has been sent to Sir A. Pearson for S. Dunstan’s Hostel, where so many of our blind soldiers and sailors are. The accounts have been most kindly audited each half-year by Mr. Sillence, and the balance sheet hung up in the porch of S. John’s Church.

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

A bronze plaque with appropriate figures in relief

Plans were underway for a war memorial in Stratfield Mortimer.

War Memorial

The Committee appointed on November 19th have got to work, and have agreed to recommend to the adjourned public meeting:

(1) that the Memorial take the form of a cross; (2) that the cross should have on one side a bronze plaque with appropriate figures in relief, and an inscription; (3) that names be in bronze in relief on the other three sides; (4) that not less than £500 would be required for a worthy Memorial.

One scale model has already been submitted to the Committee, but they are asking for other designs also before making their report. Over £60 has already been received, and further donations will be welcomed at any time by the Hon. Sec. Miss Phelp, Wisley, Padworth Road.

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

Rejoicing on all lips and in all hearts

Stratfield Mortimer acknowledged the end of the war.

Now Thank We All Our God – From the King’s speech in the Royal Gallery on November 19th to the headlines of the penny newspaper this note has been universally sounded. And for the very fact that the rejoicing in all countries has taken this form we Christians cannot be too thankful. On all lips and in all hearts has been the cry “It is the Lord Who hath done great things for us, whereof we rejoice.” And certainly our own impromptu Service of Commemoration and of Praise on November 11th (Armistice Day) was one which will not pass from the memories of those who joined in it. S. John’s was packed to the doors and beyond. And though the right note of solemnity was not absent, yet the singing was radiant both with human joy and with heart-deep praise of the Lord of Hosts.

War Memorial

A well-attended public meeting on November 19th decided in favour of the erection of a Memorial on the green outside S. John’s Church rather than a cottage hospital or almshouses. A representative Committee was appointed to consider plans in more detail. This body will report to a further public meeting. In the meanwhile, gifts will be gladly received by the collectors or by the Hon. Sec., Miss Phelp, Wisley, Padworth Road.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P120/28A/14)

Hot and fly-plagued

A Berkshire army chaplain had news of the war in Italy.

The Italian Front

Mr. Bowdon arrived on the 29th, very well, and very full of Italian news. He has recently been in charge of a British hospital at Taranto in the extreme south, hot and fly-plagued; but hopes to return to the front on the Piave.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, September 1918 (D/P120/28A/14)

The retreat of the helpless women and children of a whole people across interminable mountains, under inconceivable hardships

A Berkshire audience heard first-hand details of the horrors endured by civilians in the Balkans.

Serbian Relief Fund

In spite of unpropitious weather the meeting at Mortimer Lodge on July 22nd was a great success, a large number of people being present. Miss Parkinson’s able speech was brimful of pathos, as well as thrilling interest. Her account of the retreat of the helpless women and children of a whole people across interminable mountains, under inconceivable hardships, stirred her audience deeply; while her sketch of the conditions of life in Berlin and Vienna, even 18 months ago, made people appreciate how fortunate this country still is. £9 6s. 3d. was given for the Serbian Relief Fund.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, September 1918 (D/P120/28A/14)

“I shall always recollect his energy, his enthusiasm, his fresh, clean cheerfulness and his personal example of bravery”

A Mortimer West End NCO was awarded a medal.

West End

We are very glad to hear that Corporal Francis Penny is recovering from his wounds and offer him out hearty congratulations on winning the Military Medal. His commanding officer writes as follows:-

“I am pleased to be able to intimate that he has been awarded the Military Medal for his gallantry in action during the recent withdrawal and seldom has this medal been more finely won. He has earned it, I know, many times before, and I shall always recollect his energy, his enthusiasm, his fresh, clean cheerfulness and his personal example of bravery, with pleasure and with admiration. The Brigadier-General congratulates him on the honour he has won, and on behalf of the Battery I thank him for the distinction he has brought it.”

This is a letter that the parents may well be proud of and we shall share their pride.

Our fund for the Prisoners of War of the Hants Regt. which was open for a month amounted to £10 3s. 6d.

We deeply regret that Percy Merrick has been officially reported missing since March 21st and at the moment of writing there is no further news of him.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, March 1918 (D/P120/28A/14)