Sewing and saving

Burghfield parishioners continued to sew and save for the troops.

Red Cross Working Party
An urgent appeal for contributions to buy materials for the above is made by Mrs George. Between 20 and 30 workers meet at the Rectory every week and much good work is done. The Depot in Reading has given a liberal supply of material, but now more funds are needed.

War Savings Movement
The Burghfield Association has now bought 238 Certificates of which 206 have been sold to members. And new Associations have been formed in Sulhamstead and Theale.

Burghfield parish magazine, December 1917 (D/EX725/4)

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“He went out to hold service on the battlefield, and found all the wounded killed”

The striking figure of an army chaplain who had studied with the rector of Sulhamstead prior to taking Holy Orders is remembered.

There must still be many in the parish who remember Mr Eli Cobham, a pupil at the Rectory. They will recall his great height, 6 feet 2 inches, and his capabilities in the cricket and football field. It was with great sorrow that we heard of his death last year, in German East Africa. Many incidents of a short but adventurous life were given in the “Greater Britain Messenger”, from which we take some of the following facts.

After much hesitation concerning his own unworthiness, he was ordained to a curacy at All saints, Fishponds. In this post he accepted no stipend. Canon Welchman says that there were few who knew his liberality [generosity]. The lectern was his anonymous gift, and the inscription he chose was “His dominion shall be from sea to sea”. He was afterwards vicar of All Saints, Fishponds.

From here he went to America, and worked his way back as a trimmer in the stoke-hold of a steamer, so as to get experience of what the men had to do and endure. Strong as he was, he found the labour almost beyond his powers.

In 1913 he resigned his living to work in East Africa, where he had 16 centres for service, in some of which he could only hold a service once or twice a year. He enlisted directly the war broke out, and used what time he had from soldiering to act as a Chaplain. He relates how he went out to hold service on the battlefield, and found all the wounded killed. Details of his death are not known, but the bare announcement states that on September 19th, 1917, the Rev. Elijah Cobham died from “wounds received while carrying in the wounded, somewhere in German East Africa”. He was a man of deep spirituality, and when discussing even trifling details, his invariable remark was “Let’s pray about it first”.

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

The whole gamut of human emotion

The emotional toll of supporting loved ones at the front was beginning to tell in Maidenhead. One imagines the tears in church – but every now and then there was joy amidst the sorrow.

OUR ROLL OF HONOUR

The Minister has not for some time past read from the pulpit the list of our soldiers, because the strain upon the feelings of the more closely related friends was too great. This month there is space to spare in our columns, and we therefore print the list.

Five of our lads have fallen:

Harold Fisher …Royal Berks.
Duncan Wilson …A.S.C.
Robert Harris …8th Royal Berks.
Stephen Harris …3rd Royal Berks.
John Boyd …2nd Royal Berks.

Two have been discharged:

James Partlo …4th Royal Berks.
E.S. Mynett …Recruiting Sergeant

Forty-nine are still in the Army:

Cyril Hews …Royal Engineers
F.W. Harmer …Royal Berks.
W. Percy Pigg …A.S.C.
Cyril Laker …K.O. Scottish Borderers.
Reginald Hill …2nd Royal Berks.
Robert Anderson …4th Royal Berks.
John Bolton …23rd London.
Thomas Mulford …Royal Engineers.
J.O. Wright …8th Royal Berks.
George E. Dovey …9th Royal Berks.
Percy Lewis …R.A.M.C.
Arthur Rolfe …R.F.A.
Ernest Bristow …R.A.M.C.
Harold Islip …R.E.
Edward Howard …A.S.C.
George Belcher …R.E.
Horace Gibbons …11th Aus. Light Horse.
J. Quincey …A.S.C.
Donovan Wilson …A.S.C.
Aubrey Cole …A.S.C.
W.H. Clark …A.S.C.
Cecil Meade …A.S.C.
Benjamin Gibbons …6th Royal Berks.
David Dalgliesh …R.F.C.
Hugh Lewis …R.E.
H. Partlo …A.S.C.
Herbert Brand …8th Royal Berks.
George Phillips …A.S.C.
J Herbert Plum …R.E.
Wilfred Collins …Canadian Dragoons.
Alex. Edwards …R.F.A.
William Norcutt …A.S.C.
George Norcutt …R.E.
Victor Anderson …R.A.M.C.
Herbert G. Wood …R.E.
C.A.S. Vardy …R.E.
A. Lane …R.E.
Frank Pigg …R.F.C.
Leonard Beel …R.E.
P.S. Eastman …R.N.A.S.
A. John Fraser …A.S.C.
Charles Catliff …R.E.
Ernest A. Mead …7th Devonshires.
Robert Bolton …R.M.L.I
Frank Tomlinson …R.E.
George Ayres …L.E.E.
Thomas Russell …A.S.C.
G.C. Frampton …A.S.C.
W.J. Baldwin …Royal Navy.

In addition there are many who have passed through our Sunday School and Institute, but have not recently been in close connection with us. These also we bear upon our hearts, and bring in prayer before the Throne of Grace.

OUR SOLDIERS.

We are glad to be able to say that Reginald Hill is still going forward, and that he is able to walk a little with the aid of sticks. He has now been at the Sheffield Hospital between five and six months. His parents are spending their holiday at Sheffield.

Robert Bolton has gone over with his Company to France.

Wilfred Collins is in Hospital at Sulhamstead, still suffering from heart trouble.

Sidney Eastman is at Mudros, doing clerical work.

David Dalgliesh has been home on leave, in the best of health and spirits.

GOOD NEWS!

In our last number we spoke of the fact that the son of Mr. Jones, of Marlow, was “missing,” and that all hope that he was still living had been relinquished. But the unexpected has happened, and news has been received that Second-Lieutenant Edgar Jones is an unwounded prisoner in the hands of the Germans. His parents have surely run through the whole gamut of human emotion during these weeks.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, September 1917 (D/N33/12/1/5)

Mothers, wives and widows take on their men’s allotments

Women were picking up the slack at home when it came to tending soldiers’ allotments.

Burghfield and Sulhamstead Horticultural Society’s Annual Show

On Wednesday 29th August, it was a gratifying sight to the promoters of this Show to see so goodly a supply of produce from the cottage gardens and plots; especially when it is remembered that a large number of the gardens and allotments are being cultivated by the wives and mothers of the men who are away serving their country; and by the widows of those who have fallen in the war. The greatest credit is due to them.

Burghfield parish magazine, October 1917 (D/EX725/4)

A shock of personal grief

A Sulhamstead man’s death saddened his church as well as his family.

With deep regret we record the death of Henry Cooper, who was killed in action on February 17th. The sad news came to all of us who knew him as a shock of personal grief, and it seems almost impossible to realise that we shall not see him again in our little sanctuary at Sulhampstead, for he was really one of our Sulhampstead men, having grown up with us in our Sunday School, afterwards becoming a member of our choir, and a regular worshipper at our services. We as members cannot but grieve that we have lost him, and our hearts go out in united sympathy to his sorrowing widow and little girl, his mother, brother and sisters in their sad bereavement.

On Sunday evening, March 11th, Mr. Cole conducted the memorial service. Special hymns were sung, and a very helpful and comforting address was given based upon the text: “There shall be no night there” (Rev. xxi, 25). The beautiful thoughts given to us upon these words should prove a strength and consolation to all.

Sulhamstead section of Trinity Congregational Magazine, April 1917 (D/EX1237/1/12)

Rightly proud of medals

Two Sulhamstead men had been awarded medals. Friends and family were proud of them.

THE WAR

The parish is rightly proud of the honour gained by Mr. Steele’s son at the Front, and we heartily congratulated both Mr Steele and his son George, on the D.C.M recently conferred upon him. We believe also that he has been more than once mentioned in despatches. He is also a Sergeant.

Mr A Ford, now Farrier-Staff Sergeant A Ford, who formerly lived and worked at the Lower End, has very many friends in Sulhamstead. They will be glad to read the following reprinted from the Mercury in connection with the Meritorious Service Medal awarded to him. It begins with the official telegram:

“The GOC congratulates you on your being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.”

He has also received letters of congratulations – one from his commander’s wife:

“Dear Sergeant Ford, –

I was very glad indeed to hear that you had been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, and send you my best congratulations. Am sure you deserve it. I always hear how well the Divisional Train is doing, and my husband is very proud of his command. He has a very fine lot of men, and I know that you are one of the originals when they were forming at Pangbourne.”

Sulhamstead parish magazine, December 1916 (D/EX725/3)

A canteen at the station

Every little helped, as the Sulhamstead postmistress collected money for a canteen for troops passing through Reading. The South Eastern Railway Station site is now part of the main Reading station, but was originally completely separate. It was the terminus for the line through Guildford to Redhill (and which now goes on to Gatwick Airport).

THE WAR
SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ FREE CANTEEN
Mrs Fremantle has a box at the Post Office to collect for the canteen at the South Eastern Railway Station, Reading. The box has just been opened and contained 3s. 2d.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, November 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Sad news of a teenage Scout

A Sulhamstead teenager fell in action.

ROLL OF HONOUR
We all remember Percy Kimbrey – our school boy – and our scout. Amongst the sad news that the papers bring us daily, is the statement that he was killed in action. No particulars are given. He was only 18 years of age.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, October 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Changed lives

The parish of Sulhamstead prepared for the National Mission.

THE WAR

The solemn self-searching period which has been the call to the nations of the world is approaching its climax in this country in the movement which we call the National Mission.

Our sailors and soldiers have not only shown themselves devoted to their country and to the defence of our shores and ourselves, but are not afraid, we are told, to speak of changed lives and a drawing near to God.

We at home must seek from God the power to rise to new heights so that we may be worthy of their sacrifice and provide for them on their return home that will sustain their spirit of devotion to duty and service to God.

By the time this has reached the majority in this parish, our special services will have begun by a sermon on the morning of October 1st, by the Rev. Canon Hurt, Rector of Bradfield. Full particulars have been printed and circulated.

Our Diocesan Bishop has written a very striking and stirring letter, which has been sent to all incumbents and has been printed in the Diocesan Magazine. The newspaper press has commented upon it, and quoted it. It has now been reprinted for public circulation and it is trusted that all in the parish who have received a copy will thoughtfully, carefully and prayerfully read it.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, October 1916 (D/EX725/3)

“The horizon of men’s thought has been suddenly and immensely expanded” by the war

The people of Sulhamstead supported the war effort in various ways. Now they were asked if anyone could foster children orphaned by the war.

THE WAR

One of the special features of the Flower Show was the large number of splints and other appliances for the wounded made by the boys attending the Technical School. They attracted a great deal of attention.

THE NATIONAL MISSION

The times require such an effort; the horizon of men’s thought has been suddenly and immensely expanded; we are conscious, as most of us were not two years ago, of our membership in the nation, and of the responsibility of our nation in the world.

Our sons and brothers at the Front are serving their nation and helping it to meet its responsibility, at the risk of their lives; many of them in doing so are finding a new realisation of God.

Cottage Homes for the Children of the Waifs and Strays

The Secretary for the Waifs and Strays Society has asked the clergy in this and other rural deaneries, to find out if the occupiers of any suitable cottages are willing to take a child – mostly of soldiers killed in the War – and to board, lodge, and treat them etc, as their own children. The rector will be able to give particulars, and to name the amount paid weekly by the Society.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, September 1916 (D/EX725/3)

The work that prayer has to do in winning this terrible and horrible War

The rector of Sulhamstead encouraged parishioners to pray for the armed forces. The Revd F M Green was to take services in the village while he was on holiday in part of August and September.

THE WAR

Our two churches are open daily, all day long, for persons to drop in and humbly put up a prayer to God for victory, peace and the preservation of those who are fighting for us. Some in the parish have promised to go there, if possible, once a week. Will you, who pass the daily stop for a few minutes and quietly ask God help? You would probably never enter a town church in France, and only a few remote village churches, without finding one person at least kneeling in prayer.

Remember 11 o’clock noon [sic], each day, wherever you are, for silent prayer.

It is with the deepest regret that we heard of the death of Major George Tyser, youngest son of Mr and Mrs W S Tyser of Oakfield. He was seen in the act of encouraging his men across to the enemy trenches in one of the brilliant assaults that the British and French have been making. Then he fell and his death was instantaneous. Our full and deepest sympathy goes out to Mr and Mrs Tyser and to his widow.

My Friends

There is an awakening amongst us to the work that prayer has to do in winning this terrible and horrible War. It took many months before we found out the part than munitions, and more munitions, and always more munitions, had to do in winning the war. It took us until well into this year to find out that we shall want the last man before we win the war.

Now we are finding out that it will want prayer and daily prayer and incessant prayer to win the war.

There are three methods of prayer:

1. The quiet kneeling alone in the morning and evening when we can name our dear ones singly before God and our own great cause.

2. The prayer of the household. Family prayer. If there are only two – then those two together. If there are more, then father and mother and children. If it has begun to drop as a custom among us, then now is the time to begin. The father perhaps has “gone to the War”. Then the mother and children can kneel together, morning and evening, praying together for father. Perhaps the son, or all the sons, have gone. Them father, mother, girls, children, can meet and pray for the sons and brothers.

If there are any who would like little forms of private or family prayer, the Rector or in his absence the Rev. F Green, can supply them.

3. United national worship. It means by petitions, such as those monster petitions we have signed in past years, all put up together – every one in his Church or Chapel, filling them to overflowing. God tells us He is “waiting to be gracious”. Could we have swept the German Fleet off the sea in the great battle of Jutland, if the light had held in our favour? Have we, as a nation, asked God’s help? Why are we waiting?

Let us begin our preparation for the National Mission of Repentance and Hope with fervent prayer.

Your friend
Alfred J P Shepherd

Sulhamstead parish magazine, August 1916 (D/EX725/3)

Vegetables and savings

People in Sulhamstead were urged to support the war by sending home grown produce to feed wounded soldiers, and by transferring investments to special government bonds.

THE WAR

ASSISTANCE TO THE WOUNDED
Now that the period of the year, when the supply of vegetables in our gardens is lowest, has passed, it may be possible that the hamper which was purchased for the purpose of sending vegetables weekly to the Hospital may be again filled. So long as the School is open, the Scouts will take charge of any vegetables and see that they are despatched on Tuesdays to the Care and Comforts Depot in Reading.

WAR SAVINGS
The government is appealing urgently to the people, whether rich or poor, to invest their savings in the War Saving Certificates. In the Post Office Savings Bank the interest is £2 10s per cent each year, or 6d in every £1. In the War Savings Certificate Scheme the interest, if left for five years, is £5 4s 7d, or a little more than 1s a year per £1. The money can be withdrawn at any time. If left for fifteen months the interest is £2 11s 5d per cent, and increases the longer the money is left; 15s 6d is the smallest sum that can be lent to the Government. War Savings Stamp Books can be obtained from the Post Office, in which stamps can be placed until 15s 6d is reached, when it can be exchanged for a certificate.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, July 1916 (D/EX725/3)

The war may be won or lost by gardening and keeping pigs

The April issue of the Sulhamstead parish magazine had suggestions for parishioenrs to support the war effort at home. The Senussi were a tribe and religious sect based in what is now Libya and Sudan. They fought against Western colonisers, which meant they took the side of Germany and Turkey against Italy, France and Britain during the First World War, although they were to fight for the Allies against Italy in the Second World War.

THE WAR
Information has been published in the press that the shipwrecked men from the “Tera”, captured and held prisoners by the Senussi, have been recaptured in the gallant victory of our troops and are now safe. Amongst the names of those rescued is 2nd Lieut. Albert Marsh, RNR, for whom the Church has been praying.

FOOD SUPPLIES
The Government have sent circulars to all the Rectors and Vicars in the country, asking them to bring before their parishioners the great need of economy in every way, and of equal importance, the pressing necessity of so working their gardens as to produce the largest amount of produce and fruit. They further urge all who can keep a pig or poultry. They go so far as to suggest that the War may be won or lost by the care we exercise in these matters. In connection with gardens, pigs and poultry, special prizes are being offered by the Burghfield and Sulhamstead Horticultural Society, of which brief particulars are given in this magazine.

Books and magazines for the troops
A circular has been received from the Postmaster at Reading, begging that magazines, not more than a year old, and readable books, may be left at the Post Office, Sulhamstead. 50,000 a week are being received at the Post offices, and they want to double that amount. The Postmistress will forward them free of charge for the use of the troops.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, April 1916 (D/EX725/3)

A single cabbage helps the war

Sulhamstead people were supporting the war effort in their vegetable gardens, while rejoicing in good news of local soldiers.

THE WAR
Lieutenant H. A. Grimshaw has been mentioned in Sir John French’s despatches. This makes the second time that he has been so honoured. He has also been awarded the additional honour of the Military Cross.

It is with great thankfulness that the news has been received that Lieutenant Albert Marsh, RNR, of the “Tera”, sunk in the Mediterranean Sea, is safe, although held a prisoner.

ROLL OF HONOUR
George Derring, second footman at Folley [sic] Farm when the war broke out, was killed by the bursting of a shell at the Front in France.

VEGETABLES FOR THE SOLDIERS’ HOSPITALS
It is a bad time of the year for vegetables, but the Boy Scouts are trying to send a hamper to Reading every week. If any have got vegetables they would like to give to the hospitals, and would send them to the School on Mondays, or leave word at the School in the previous week, a Scout would fetch them. The hamper goes on Tuesdays. A single cabbage, half a dozen potatoes, etc, soon swell the contents.

THE LIGHTING ORDER
This order will not affect our Lower End Service as the room is furnished with dark green curtains, but it will prevent services being held on week days in Lent in the Church or School, and accordingly special meetings will be held in the large room at the Rectory on Thursdays at 7 pm.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, March 1916 (D/EX725/3)

All the single men have volunteered

Recruiting was going well in one Berkshire parish.

THE WAR
The recruiting in Sulhamstead has proceeded well. It is believed that all the single men of right age have offered themselves for His Majesty’s forces.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, February 1916 (D/EX725/3)