A united Act of thanksgiving for the deliverance from the grave peril which threatened the lives and liberties of Englishmen

The war memorial porch at St Bartholomew’s would be quite expensive.

The [war memorial] committee met on March 19 and in spite of the snow and cold all were present except Rev. H B Mead, Mr R Brown, Mr Walters, Mr Love, Mr Long, Miss Type, and Miss Goose. Mr Box was elected onto the committee. Much useful work was done and the following leaflet for distribution was approved:-

S Bartholomew’s Parish War Memorial

It was resolved at a general meeting of parishioners on March 13, of which public notice was given, to make a united Act of thanksgiving for the deliverance from the grave peril which threatened the lives and liberties of Englishmen, and issued in the Great War. The meeting decided to build a beautiful and commodious North Porch on the London Road side of S Bartholomew’s church, and to inscribe on its walls the names of all the men connected with this parish who had laid down their lives in the War.

It was further determined to invite contributions from all persons living in the parish or worshipping at the church, who are disposed to take part in this common Act of Thanksgiving, as a lasting memorial of their sacrifice.

£500 is asked for.

Donations should be entered in the book of an accredited collector. A balance sheet of all the receipts and expenditure will be issued by the committee.

Signed E J Norris Chairman of Committee

The next meeting of the committee was fixed for April 9 at 7pm in the parish hall.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

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Marvellous recuperative powers

A young man from Earley was badly injured.

We greatly regret to say that Pte Walters, our cross-bearer, has been much more severely wounded than we at first supposed. After his Christmas leave he returned to France on Jan 7th and rejoined his regiment. On the 22nd he was struck by an exploding shell, and his leg was so shattered that it had to be removed above the knee.

His recuperative powers were so marvellous that he astonished both doctors and nurses and was able to reach London within three weeks of the operation. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to him and Mrs Walters under this blow.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, March 1918 (D/P192/28A/15)

A Bible for a church’s ‘old boys’ at the Front

St John’s Church in Reading was anxious to provide spiritual sustenance for the young men it had sent off to war:

The War

We publish a further list of boys or ‘old boys’ connected with our congregations who are now in training or actually engaged in active service on behalf of the Empire. We are always glad to hear news of our boys and they are constantly remembered by us in prayer. George Townsend, Cyril Keatly, Alfred Richard Allum, Horace Arthur Church, Albert Stevens, William Ernest Charles Egan, Arthur John Robert Egan, Albert Fanstone, Ralph Shepherd, Sidney J Luker, Viney Flint, Percy Froude, William Grantham, Arthur Walters, J J Cooper, A Beckett, Walter Crane, Basil Sutton, Edmund Terry, John Edwin Hopcraft, Durward Sydney Hopcraft, James Lyons, William Lyons, – Allaway, A Blake, T J Blake, O L Stagg, W Phipps, A Phipps, Lionel Dymore-Brown, Hugh Dymore-Brown, Arthur Robotham, Arthur Richard Penson, E W Hunt, Victor Fowler, J H Cane.

The Clergy will be very glad to write to any of our lads and to enclose an attractive little copy of S. John’s gospel, which contains also hymns with their tunes and pictures, and Lord Roberts’ letter to the troops, if they are asked to do so. Will parents and friends please communicate with whichever of the clergy knew the young man, giving the full address on paper. In cases where the young man is unknown to the present staff the Vicar will be glad to write.”

Reading St John parish magazine, November 1914 (D/P172/28A/23, p. 4)