“War is dreadful, but Peace is terrible”

An army doctor was a leader in the temperance movement.

An Open-Air Meeting in connection with the St Luke’s Branch of the CETS was held in the Vicarage Garden, on Tuesday evening, June 10th, under the Presidency of the Rev. T H Thurland, the Vicar being away on holiday. The Chief Speaker was Dr Harford, General Secretary of the CETS, who first distributed the certificates, etc, won by the Band of Hope members, the handsome Challenge Banner for the Maidenhead Band of Hope competition having been won by North Town.

Dr Harford, in his address, spoke chiefly to interest the large number of juveniles present. He told them of his service for nearly four years as an eye specialist in France, and related many incidents and told of the scenes of destruction and military activities. He next quoted the remark of M. Clemenceau, French Prime Minister, that “War is dreadful, but Peace is terrible”. This meant that when at war we had got but one thing to do – to see we got it through; but in Peace everybody began to fight everybody else we had first to make a good Peace, not only in Paris, but also at home. He urged the young people to do all they could to fight against the evils caused by drink, one of the greatest curses of our land. The Doctor related an interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury relative to the coming big campaign of the CETS, the “Merrie England” Movement, in which the Society would send cinemas and lecturers around the country to give an impetus to better housing and or enlightened action as to food, health and thrift. The Society was anxious that everybody should have happy homes – not only good, decent houses, but real happy homes. As to cooking, the Doctor had a severe shock when, on asking a little boy if he liked nice puddings, and taking for granted the inevitable “Yes”, the little boy frankly replied “No, sir!” The Doctor’s point was that if the wives would only give their husbands plenty of sweet puddings, the men would not care for so much beer, in which they found the sugary element. In the new homes of Merrie England the children must be taught to play games.

Dr Harford later told some experiences as a missionary for many years in West Africa, where he was nearly eaten by cannibals. An effort was being made to suppress the use of gin out there, this spirit being the buying and selling “coinage” of the country. – (Laughter). As part of the “Merrie England” Movement, every parish was being asked to arrange a little pageant play already published as part of the local Peace celebrations; and he hoped the Maidenhead CETS would carry this out.

Reprinted from The Maidenhead Advertiser.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

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Released after over four years’ service in the Army

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners

As regards coming events, … above all the Welcome to Returned Sailors and Soldiers, and their wives (both in the same place), organised by the CEMS, will, I hope, be favoured by good weather and large musters…

Lastly, I hope to be away for two or three weeks in June. I should have gone later, but my brother, who is released after over four years’ service in the Army, specially wants me to go with him to Scotland. This makes, I feel, a special occasion where family claims must be considered.

If I have to miss important meetings, this is my excuse.

In any case, with Mr King Gill and Mr Thurland in charge, I know that everything will go on splendidly…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar,

C E M Fry

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

The first claim upon our offerings before even War Memorials

Parochial Church Councils, still the central meeting for all Anglican churches, were a post-war innovation.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners…

On Easter Tuesday [22 April] at 8 pm the Easter Vestry will be held in the Parish Room at the Vicarage; it will be followed immediately by the Easter Meeting of Parochial Church Electors. I hope for a very good muster at the Meeting, as if enough support is given, we hope to start a Parochial Church Council for this Parish. The Councillors would have to be Communicants, the Electors have to be confirmed and eligible for Holy Communion. If we decide, now our Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen are many of them home again, to form such a Council, the Election would probably be held at a later date, probably early in May. The Council, like the Sub-Council or Church Committee at St Paul’s, would probably consist of men and women in equal numbers, but the Clergy and Churchwardens would sit ex-officio. It has been suggested that it might be a good thing if the various Church organisations were asked to nominate Candidates. For example, the Choir, Sidesmen, CEMS, Mothers’ Union, Sunday School Teachers, etc, might propose names. In this way we should get a Council that, while we hope it would still be ornamental, would also be useful. Please think this plan over.

Lastly, may I press on you the urgent need of supporting the Free-Will Offering Fund for the maintenance of the Assistant Clergy. We have (may I say what they cannot say?) most earnest and capable shepherds and priests in Mr King-Gill and Mr Thurland; but quite apart from any question of personal excellences, the first claim upon our offerings before even War Memorials or Parish Organisations is the proper support of the Ministry. I try to do what I can personally, sometimes I have to do rather more than I can afford. May I, therefore, with clean hands, urge upon every Communicant and regular worshipper the need, not so much of a large as a regular contribution to the Free-Will Offering Funds…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar,

C E M Fry

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)