A nasty accident

A soldier on leave caused a nasty accident for a Remenham woman.

It was with regret we heard that Miss Ames, our indefatigable helper in the Parish, met last month with a nasty accident at Weymouth, where she was staying for a holiday. A Colonial soldier ran into her with his bicycle, and she was thrown violently to the ground and much bruised, and mercifully escaped the loss of sight in one eye. We learn with relief and joy that Miss Ames is now progressing quite favourably towards recovery.

Remenham parish magazine, September 1919 (D/P99/28A/5)

Japanese attaches to visit the Somme

Japan had been allied with Great Britain since 1902, and during World War I they fought the Germans in the latter’s imperial possessions in the Far East. Captain, later Admiral, John Donald Kelly (1871-1936)

27 September 1916

We motored to [the] James – found her & Nina in. He goes to the Somme with Japanese attache’s…

Splendid victories Anglo-French….

Captain K[elly] gone to Scapa in new boat “Weymouth”.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)

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.

CHARNEY
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)

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
China
(more…)

Weeping on the quays: news from the Channel Islands

A member of Maidenhead Congregational (now United Reformed) Church shared his dramatic first-person account of how the outbreak of war hit the Channel Islands, where he had gone on holiday, in the church’s magazine.

I have just arrived from Guernsey after a riotous holiday among the Channel Islands, lasting in all some four days…

On the quay whence I returned at mid-day, I found that part of the pier opposite a fair-sized passenger boat next to ours, roped in and guarded by the police, only the French reservists, for whom the boat was provided, being allowed to pass. There were many piteous scenes on the quay. I saw a young fellow of some twenty-five or so pretending that he was a brave man, with a little old woman weeping on his heart. He needn’t have been ashamed of the tears glistening in his eyes though he controlled himself so well for his mother’s sake. Poor little mother – he was her last one.

I saw a man of thirty or more with a wife and six children. She was crying softly in the midst of the scared little ones wondering, poor soul, if Heaven really would provide – he was too drunk to understand. I sighed my relief when he went on his way and left no mark of remembrance on her face. There was the soldier’s wife and mother who stood upright with a proud smile on her face and a cheery kiss and pressure. It was a fine sight and a brave one, but I wondered what it would cost her that night.

Jersey is a tactically valuable island and well guarded. I was assured that they can put 35,000 men fully armed in the field to-morrow and most of them expert shots. The whole force is mobilised and one passes the forts with the consciousness of a dozen eyes watching. Guernsey is much the same and at present very short of labour: loading cargo was difficult from sheer lack of loaders. Our stoker had gone and been replaced by passengers, but the remainder of the actual ship staff escaped. Most of the jetty workmen had gone; many of the tradesmen had downed tools and answered the call of their honour. A prosperous barber with two shops at Guernsey and one at Jersey had obeyed with the rest, and in the one remaining shop left open customers were shaving themselves and paying well for the privilege. Yet, in the midst of it all Candie Gardens were full of a laughing, flirting crowd, the picture theatres were packed and life went on as before with all the more noise perhaps, to drown the weeping of the poor abandoned women.

We left in the morning: I have a vague recollection of being wakened about 2.30 a.m. to the tune of some violent abuse because some rope had fouled the steering gear; but my day had been packed too tightly for anything to compete with Morpheus and this may have been a dream. Eight o’clock found us listening to the rhythmic clatter of the broken flints falling from the machines on the quay-side at St. Sampson’s. The hours passed but no loading commenced and it was not till the Tuesday evening that the captain was notified not to sail without further orders from London.

I caught the Weymouth mail at St. Peter’s about twelve the next day; the same scenes were evident here and the Southampton boat was crowded with reservists called to the colours: enthusiasm, bombast, genuine indignation, anxiety for the dependants, all were there; but faith in the Old Country and certainty of success glowed in the faces of all. I felt proud of them all and proud of the accident of my birth.

The passage was a good one and we took it calmly. Nothing happened till we were quite out of sight of land; then appeared six great torpedo boats, of French design, standing like sentinals between us and the English shore. One of them detached itself and came racing towards us at fifteen knots or more, rounding our stern with a graceful sweep that brought a cheer from us all.

At the entrance of Weymouth harbour we met a pilot boat which questioned our captain, exchanged code passwords and finally gave us the clearance signal to protect us from the guns on shore. So we passed to the train and home.

It was good to be in England, good to feel the protection of those grey monsters in the harbour- cruisers, gunboats, torpedo boats, that stood between us and the enemy; above all, good to know the quiet strength, the steady purpose and watchful care. We were very quiet in our packed carriage for a time, the influence of our experience lay heavy upon us, and our own thoughts were our best companions. Then we talked of what we ourselves could do, and the darkness fell on a thousand earnest resolutions.

J.R.H

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, September 1914 (D/N33/12/1/4)