The pangs and sorrows of uncertainty

Some affected civilians were British missionaries who had been working in German controlled areas.

A Long Silence Broken.

Among the many who have been called on to suffer the pangs and sorrows of uncertainty as to the welfare of their nearest and dearest are the wives of the missionaries in enemy countries. Some of these have been without news of their relatives for over a year. The wife of the Rev. T. B. R. Westgate is rejoicing to-day over the letter she has at last received from her husband, who is interned in German East Africa. It is evident that he has written before, but that his letters have never reached their destination. He is not allowed to state where he is, but the message he sends is reassuring and testifies to his good health and that of his fellow prisoners. The rest of his C.M.S. missionaries are, as far as he knows, at a place the name of which has been erased.

The Universities’ Mission to Central Africa has heard several times from their interned missionaries, who are well.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, October 1915 (D/P181/28A/24)

“Pray very earnestly for our people, both white people and black in this part of Africa at this difficult time”

The war was being fought in the British and German colonies in Africa as well as in Europe. The Anglicans of Bracknell had a special interest thanks to their longstanding commitment to Christian missions. German East Africa encompassed present-day Rwanda, Burundi and part of Tanzania


The annual contributions from the Bracknell Sunday School, £8, has been sent to the Treasurer of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa, and the following letter of thanks has been received.-

9, Dartmouth Street,
August 6th, 1915


Thank you very much indeed for the contribution received from Bracknell Sunday School to-day. Please will you thank very warmly for me all those who have helped to collect this sum? We are most grateful to all.

You will be glad to hear that we have heard from our Missionaries in German East Africa. They are all well, although all have been interned. The ladies with two Priests are at Mwapwa, and the rest of the men are at two other separate camps.

We can, however, hear nothing at all of the Africans. We hope of course that the teachers have been allowed to continue their work, but we cannot in the least tell.

We should be very grateful if you will ask all friends of the Mission to pray very earnestly for our people, both white people and black in this part of Africa, that they may be specially strengthened during this difficult time.

With grateful thanks, yours sincerely,


Bracknell section of Winkfield District Magazine, September 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/9)

The people of Longworth and Charney support the war effort

Many young men from Longworth and Charney Bassett had answered the call and joined the armed forces. The Longworth parish magazine reports on these men, and what people at home could do to support them:

A poster calling upon us to remember in prayer our soldiers and sailors at the front, also the wounded, the prisoners and the bereaved, has been placed in the Church porch and elsewhere in the village. We hope it may be possible to ring the church bell at noon each day in order to remind us of this call. We shall be joining our prayers with thousands of others offered at the same time in every part of the country.

The names of men who are serving from this village are given, so far as we have been able to get them, below. They will also be found in the Church porch. Perhaps we could copy the list into our books of prayer, and so remember the men individually.

Soldiers- Henry Timms, John Loder, Ernest J. Godfrey, Lewis Brooks, Oscar Wilcox, Charles Truman, Charles Hammond, John K. L. Fitzwilliams.

Sailors- George Painton (North Sea), John Richings (China).

Recruits- Fred Heath, Ernest Ridge, George Pimm (Shorncliff), John Porter, Percy Butler, Alfred Leach, Harry Clarke, Hedley Luckett, Albert Hobbes, Francis John Rivers (Oxford), Richard Adams, Albert Pimm (Weymouth).

From Charney- George Shorter, George Wheeler, Ernest Franklyn.

In addition to the above, six have volunteered and been rejected as “medically unfit.” All honour to them notwithstanding, for they have done their best, and no man can do more. Will our readers be so kind as to help us to make this list complete.

A service of Intercession on behalf of our soldiers and sailors engaged in the war is held each Wednesday at 7pm. The church bell is tolled a few times each day at noon as a call to private prayer on the same behalf. We should remember in our prayers the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa, whose work is carried on chiefly in German territory. The sum of 7s. 8d. was collected in Church on Sunday, August 16, towards the Prince of Wales’ National Defence Fund.

Lady Hyde has kindly taken some “Quiet Afternoons” with the Charney mothers, and supplied them with material for making clothing for the soldiers and sailors.

Longworth parish magazine, October 1914 (D/P83/28A/9)