We can hardly grudge the stretching out a hand to soldiers’ little ones

The Waifs and Strays Society (now the Children’s Society) was there to help children orphaned by the war.

Waifs and Strays Society

May I commend to the attention of the Parishioners the following letter from this Society. We owe a good deal in this Parish to their work, and they have several children in their charge who belong to this town. May I also ask you to note that Mrs. Chisman (in the absence of Miss Roe, who is Nursing abroad) is Acting Hon. Sec. for St. Luke’s District. She would be very grateful if collecting boxes could be returned to her at Northfield during November.

Dear Vicar, –

We are still “carrying on,” but the demands are always increasing, and so is the difficulty of meeting them. “Munitions” and “more and more munitions” is our cry. Will you help us with the following scheme? We hope to hold, as for the past seven years, a Central Gathering and Sale of Work in London; date, November 21st and 22nd; place, Caxton Hall, Westminster; object, to raise £1,000, the sum which we have for some years come to reckon on as the result of this particular effort. Please help it in one or more of the following ways.

(a) Commend the attention of your Parishioners to this appeal in every direction you can.
(b) Ask them to come on one or both days and join our gathering, even if they have no money to spend.
(c) Tell them we shall be most grateful for any contributions beforehand, in money, or work, or provisions, to be sent to our Bazaar Organising Secretary at this office.

Our work for soldiers’ children is overwhelming; do join us in special effort to carry it through. So many of us have cheerfully though sadly given up our own nearest and dearest, that we can hardly grudge the stretching out a hand to those little ones whose own protectors are powerless to see to their welfare.

Believe me, yours faithfully,


Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, November 1917 (D/P181/28A/26)

“Our work for soldiers’ children is overwhelming”

Charities were struggling to compete with the demands of war-related appeals, even those who were helping families affected by the war.

Church of England Waifs’ and Strays’ Society.

Rev. E. de M. Rudolf, Secretary of the Society writes ‘We are still “carrying on” but the demands are always increasing, and so is the difficulty of meeting them. “Munitions” and “more and more munitions” is our cry. Do help us. Our work for soldiers’ children is overwhelming; do join us in special effort to carry it through. So many of us have cheerfully though sadly given up our nearest and dearest, that we can hardly grudge the stretching out a hand to those little ones whose own protectors are powerless to see to their welfare.

This Society is the one officially authorised by our Church to care for the little ones who are homeless and friendless, and as such is deserving of all the support which we can give it. Our offerings in Church at the Children’s Service on the third Sunday in each month and on Christmas Day are given to it. In addition £1 7s. 6d. has just been received, per Miss M. A. Monk (Aldworth), in subscriptions. Additional subscriptions are earnestly invited, and collecting boxes may be obtained from the Vicar. The value of the work which the Society is doing cannot be overestimated.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, November 1917 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Dismay as buildings are requisitioned

Not every organisation was patriotically delighted to give up their premises to war purposes.

The Waifs and Strays Society received with dismay, as no doubt did many other Church Organisations, the news that the Great Hall of the Church House had been requisitioned for Government purposes, and that its doors were therefore shut against all ‘May Meetings.’ It seemed to the ‘Waifs and Strays’ that a good – perhaps, a better – substitute for their great Annual Meeting would be (in addition to the early Celebration in St. Paul’s Cathedral) an afternoon Service of Thanksgiving and Supplication in a central London church which stood in no danger of being ‘commandeered.’

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, May 1917 (D/P154C/28A/1)

The Kitchener Memorial Home

The Waifs and Strays Society (now the Children’s Society) planned a special home for the orphaned children left behind by soldiers and sailors. It was built in Hornsey, east London, and opened in 1918.

The Waifs’ and Strays’ Society are holding a Sale of Work on November 15th and 16th at the Portman Rooms, Baker St., W. The proceeds are to be given to the “Kitchener Memorial Home” which the society hopes, when a sufficient sum is raised, to establish for the need of sons of soldiers and sailors who have lost their lives. Any contribution on kind or money will be gratefully received by the Bazaar Secretary, Waifs’ and Strays’ Society, Kennington Road, London S.E.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, October 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/10); and Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, October 1916 (D/P154C/28A/1)

“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.


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 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)

We cannot let soldiers’ children suffer

Wokingham churchgoers were reminded that the needs of homeless children were even worse than in peacetime.

Church of England Waifs and Strays Society.

The proceedings in connection with the 35th Anniversary of the Society will commence on the 30th May with a Celebration of Holy Communion in the Crypt Chapel in St. Paul’s Cathedral at 8.45 a.m. in the afternoon an Annual Public Meeting will be held in the Horticultural Hall, Vincent Square, Westminster, at 3 p.m…
It is especially interesting to note the important ‘War Work’ which this Society is doing by taking into its Homes little children, dependents of our Soldiers and Sailors, who have been left homeless or unprotected by reason of the War. We cannot let these children suffer.

A pleasing feature of the Public Meeting at the Horticultural Hall will be the presentation of purses by children to HRH Princess Alexander of Teck. These purses should contain not less than 10/-, and the proceeds will be devoted to the special “War Work” referred to above. There are possibly some parishioners or members of the congregation who might like their children to help the Society in this way. If so, will they kindly write for a purse, which will gladly be supplied on application to the Rev. Prebendary Rudolf, Old Town Hall, Kennington Road, London, SE.

On Service
Edgar Sandford

Alfred Charles Parker

Harry Fisher

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, May 1916 (D/P154C/28A/1)

“The men are thoroughly in earnest”

The villagers of Knowl Hill were contributing to the war effort in various ways.

Knowl Hill

Collections for the Waifs and Strays Society on Christmas Day and the 26th.

Ought we not to try earnestly to make as good a present of ourselves to our Lord in Holy Eucharist at Christmas, and thus shew we greatly value the new Birth for mankind, which was so greatly needed: The Incarnate Son of God – once a Waif and Stray.

The Waifs and Strays Society is doing excellent work for Orphans of Soldiers killed in the war.

Berkshire Volunteer Defence Reg: Maidenhead Battalion, Littlewick and Knowl Hill Section

The drills in connection with the above have been very well attended and the men are thoroughly in earnest in their work. On the 8th and 22nd November paraded with the Battalion at Maidenhead to proceed to Didcot to assist in loading and unloading the railway trucks at the A.O.C. Depot there. A Church Parade was held on the 15th and was well attended. The section is still open for recruits.

Drills. Wednesday, 7 Recruits
7.30 Section
Thursday 8.15 Section

Knowl Hill Church Lads’ Brigade

The usual drills have been held but have not been very well attended.

The Church Parade to Knowl Hill was only poorly attended on account of the weather; the one to Littlewick Church was fairly well attended.

It is hoped that the drills will be more regularly attended even if the nights are dark.

It is thought possible to change the Company into a Cadet Corps still under the government of the C.L.B.

Mr Butterworth will be glad to receive the names of all the men of the Parish serving, wounded, missing, etc., so that a complete list may be drawn up for Roll of Honour.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Who will come forward?

The parish of Ascot was keenly concerned with remembering its men in service, while coping with their lack at home.


We have the following records to make.

Pte. Frederick Waite of the 3rd Batt. Royal Fusiliers has fallen in the Service of his country. Lance Corporal Stanley writes:-

“He was killed in action on the 29th of last month, doing his duty for King and country. I lost the best man in my section, and he was liked by all the platoon. We buried him the same night with his head facing the Germans.”

Our deepest sympathy is given to the family, who reside in Course Road. R.I.P.

Thomas Hudson is missing.

Percy Huxford is a prisoner of war. He writes:

“I am wounded and a prisoner. I am wounded in the fore arm, but not very bad.”

Richard Taylor is prisoner of war. He writes brightly.

The following are wounded:-
Harold Matthews, Archibald Williams Grimmett, Jack Jones, Alfred Baker, Henry Edward Freeman, Arthur Everett, Leslie Henry Walls, George Faithful, Frederick Bettison, William Skelton, Harry Henley, Frederick Wye, E.J. Streater.

The list of our Ascot men at the Front is always read out in full at the service on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. We are extremely anxious that this list should be entirely accurate. A Box for “Communications about the War” is placed on the table at the West end of the Church, in which you are invited to place any additions or corrections that may be necessary from time to time.

* * *

WHO WILL COME FORWARD to fill vacancies that stare us in the face, owing to the demands which the war makes upon the time of many of our former Church workers? We very specially need one or two Lady communicants to undertake an hour or so’s work at the Church on Saturdays mornings. We imagine that the majority of our people have a very dim conception of all that is entailed, week by week, in the preparation of the Altar, Altar Linen, and Altar Flowers for the Sundays. Moreover the Brasses have to be cleaned. On Sunday last (October 23rd) one lady, and only one, had to undertake the entire work. This ought not to be possible.

Then, we sorely need Choirmen. Even if they have not very brilliant voices, they might come and do their best, and that is all that God asks for. It would rejoice the heart of Mr. Tustin, our painstaking but handicapped Choir Master.

Then, three more Alter Servers are asked for.

* * *

This admirable organisation is holding its Annual Sale of Work, on November 10th and 11th, at the Portman Rooms, Baker Street. It has under its charge the many children of Sailors and Soldiers. Lady Jellicoe and Lady French will be present at the sale. Contributions, requests for tickets, &c. should be addressed to the Central Bazaar Secretaries, Old Town Hall, Kennington Road, S.E.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/11)

The right sort

By December 1914 the village of Knowl Hill had given 76 young men to the armed forces. Now it faced the sober reality of the news that several had lost their lives.

Collections for Waifs and Strays Society at Evensong on the 20th, and on Christmas Day at the 7 a.m., 8.30 a.m., and 11 a.m. services. Like others this Society is making a special effort to be helpful at this terrible war time. It hopes to assist some orphan children.

We are much grieved to hear the news about the death of H. Woods, one of our soldiers at the front. We trust there may be some mistake, as there is as yet no official confirmation of the news. He would leave a widow and two little children, for whom we should all feel deep sympathy. We have also heard with deep regret of the death of Mr. Blackman’s soldier son, and of Oliver Reed, an able seaman, drowned when H.M.S “Good Hope” was sunk in the engagement off the Chilian Coast on Nov. 1st. Oliver Reed was a much liked and excellent footballer in this neighbourhood.

We are, alas only able to record this month the names of two new soldiers from our parish, Charles Hopgood and John Light, thus making our list 76; but these two are the right sort. Ought not our number to be at least 100? We hope the excellent letter sent to each household by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee will be thoughtfully read. Putting off decision to do right is very fatal. The Vicar will most gladly lend the letter to any who may wish to read it.

Knowl Hill section of Wargrave parish magazine, December 1914 (D/P145/28A/31)