Our sympathy goes out to the relatives and friends of these brave men

Many Reading families were affected by the war.

Notes from the Vicar
Intercessions list

Sick and Wounded: Lieut. Kibbly, Private Ernest James Wise.

Departed: Sergt. B Stevens, George Dix, Lieut, John Maurice, Lieut. Frederick Leslie Hedgcock, Private Horace William Tull. R.I.P.

Prisoner of War: Pte. R. Blake.

Our sympathy goes out to the relatives and friends of these brave men.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P96/28A/35)

Reading St Giles intercessions list

Parishioners at Reading St Giles were asked to pray for their servicemen.

Notes from the Vicar

Intercessions List: Eric R.W. Gillmor (O.C.B.), R. Stanley Rudman.

Sick and Wounded: E.R. Righton, James Lambert, Victor Honor, Vincent Cherril, Alfred Honor, Edwin Richie, E.R. Righton, Fred Seymour.

Prisoners: Rifleman A. Pickford, Harry Kirby, Alfred H. Douglas, Harold Nicholson, Private Pavey.

Missing: Lieut Francis R.B. Hill, H.W. Tull, E.W. Kent.

Departed: Corpl. Percy E.H. Sales, Private Leonard Cozens, Private Jack Stevens, Robert Alfred Fryer, Frederick Gill, Sydney Alfred Smith, William Smith, John Oakley Holt. R.I.P.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, July 1918 (D/P96/28A/35)

Do not think of him as dead

The life and service of Ronald Poulton Palmer received a worthy tribute at St Stephen’s Church in Reading, where he had run a club for boys before the war. he was buried in France, close to where he fell, but this memorial service was well attended locally.


A Service in honour of the life and death of Lieut. Ronald W. Poulton Palmer, 4th Royal Berks Regiment, killed while on duty in France, May 5th 1915, was held in S. Stephen’s Church on Sunday night, May 16th. All the old members of the Albert Road Lads’ Club- which he ran so successfully – except the 21 serving with the Colours, were present, as were his father, brother and sister, and very many friends from the Factory [Huntley & Palmer’s biscuit factory, to which he was one of the heirs] and elsewhere. At the desire of all who knew and loved him, the note of triumph and victory were predominant; and this determined the choice of the hymns, the singing of which was so marked a feature of the service. The address was based on the thought of further service in a greater sphere. Some of us will never forget him, for it was indeed upon the winning background of a true humility and a noble character that his great gifts were set.

The following is a verbatim report of the close of the vicar’s sermon at St Stephen’s, kindly furnished by Mr E. M. Tull:

“When I say we are here to honour his memory, I may leave a wrong impression, and as I close I want to correct it. When we speak of honouring his memory, we do not think of him as if he was now unconscious or as if it was all over with him. What did that bullet do that released him from this life? It threw him further into the arms of God; it meant to him his promotion; it opened up for him a wider field of service. It would be blasphemy to think that God looked after people who came safely through a battle and forgot those who were killed. A bullet has no power to take a man out of communion with God, to rob him of life. In the truest and deepest sense it can only project him nearer God and further into that eternal life which has already begun for those who are in communion with Christ. So do not think of him as dead tonight, but think of him in Paradise. ‘His servants shall serve Him and they shall see His face.’ Someone has said

‘It is not well that men should know too soon
The lovely secrets kept for them that die.’
But this is no secret, for it is revealed to us.

‘His servants shall serve Him and they shall see His face’. The message of Ascensiontide comes home to us with power tonight…. We know that our friend, Ronald Palmer, has received at His hands the crown of life.”

Reading St John and St Stephen parish magazine, June 1915 (D/P172/28A/24)

We are nothing better than worms – but mustn’t grumble!

Sunday 4 April 1915 was Easter Day. The parishioners of Reading St John (now the Polish Catholic Church) had sent Easter greetings to their young men at the Front. It resulted in a number of letters from the recipients describing their experiences.

Letters from the Front: replies to our Easter letters and cards.

Cards similar to those recently seen on the Church notice boards were sent with covering letters for Easter to some fifty men at the front at the request of their relatives. The following are extracts from some of the replies received by the Vicar:-

A Terrible War.
Here is a much-needed reminder of the seriousness of our task:
‘Two of my men I laid to rest yesterday, just put their heads too far over the parapet; of course killed instantly. It is a terrible business and we are nothing better than worms, dug in and stop there, but hope that happier times are in store and very soon. We all hope and pray for it every day. I don’t think the people at home quite realise what a gigantic task we have; but we mustn’t grumble, but do it.’- GILES AYRES.

Valued Cards.
‘I wish to thank you very much for the good thoughts and wishes of yourself and everyone who remembered us on Easter Day. Thank you very much for the card. I am sending it home to-day so that I shall not lose it.’- A. L. BLAKE.

‘The card you sent me I have hung on to the wall and it shall go where I go. I shall always remember Good Friday, the day I received it.’- D. CAMPBELL.

Neuve Chapelle.
Speaking of the welcome letter just received, the writer adds: ‘Just lately we have been engaged in a big battle at Neuve Chapelle, and it was something awful and also a terrible loss on the German side.’- L.H. CROOK. (more…)

Soldiers and sailors from Earley

The roll of honour of Earley parish was quite an impressive one even this early in the war.

The following are the names of the sailors and soldiers on the roll of this parish. A note of interrogation signifies that the name of the regiment or ship has not been furnished us.

On Active Service

Albert Ernest Allnutt HMS Iron Duke
Arthur Sidney Allnutt
James Allen Royal Berks. Regiment
Ernest Brown Ryl Oxfordshire Regt.
Edward Brown HMS Weymouth
George Bond Royal Berks. Regiment
Cecil Caulfield Royal Scottish Rifles
Herbert Collier Ryl Oxfordshire Regt.
Alfred Eyres Royal Berks. Regiment
Edward Fisher Grenadier Guards
Thomas Fullbrook HMS Blake
Stephen Gibbons ?
Alfred Gibbings Royal Navy
Sydney George Gough HMS Glasgow
Charles Samuel Gough HMS Larne
William Golding Royal Field Artillery
William Grace Life Guards
Edgar Robert Gunningham HMS Amphitrite
Ernest Holton (Surgeon) HMS Goliath
James Hussey Royal Berks. Regiment
Percy Walter Hewett HMS Fearless
Ernest Albert King Rifle Brigade
William James Kinchin Royal Berks. Regiment
Leonard Love Royal Horse Artillery
William Walter Love HMS Venerable
Thomas Pilkington Norris Royal Engineers
Edward Parvin HMS Tiger
William Henry Pomeroy HMS Magnificent
William Poffley Grenadier Guards
Ralph Pusey Grenadier Guards
Albert Povey Royal Berks. Regiment
Edward Price Royal Berks. Regiment
George William Rixon HMS Euryalus
Francis Harry Stevens HMS Euryalus
William Davis Stevens Ryl. Warwickshire Regt.
Lieut. Robert Sturgess HMS Exmouth
Lieut. Austin Charlewood Turner Connaught Rangers (P.O.W)
Joseph Tull Rifle Brigade
Harry Wise Argyll and Sutherland
Highlanders (wounded)
Charles Henry White Royal Berks. Regiment
Frederick Charles Edwards HMS Bramble on service in