“It is hoped that those who have been ‘On Service’ will turn up in force”

A pre-war type of church party was revived in Wokingham.

Parish Social Gathering.

In 1913 and 1914, Parish ‘Socials’ were held, which it was hoped would become annual affairs. The events of the past four years have, however caused their postponement, but it is now proposed to continue the sequence and a garden party will take place at the Vicarage on Saturday, August 30th, 3 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. It will be open to all members of the Parish without further invitation- (children will be admitted if accompanied by their parents) – and it is hoped that Parishioners will take advantage of this opportunity of foregathering in a friendly way, and above all, that those who have been ‘On Service’ will turn up in force. A Flower Show is being arranged for Exhibits from the Parish, and there will also be Concerts, Competitions, &c. £12 ought to cover the expenses, and will no doubt be forthcoming(it only means about an average of 3d. per head of the population). Contributions to this sum and also promises of cakes or other food are invited and may be sent to the Vicar, as soon as possible. Anyone willing to give a helping hand either beforehand or on the day itself is asked to give in his or her name. Programmes will be sent round in due course.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Advertisements

Released from internment

Children of interned aliens were generally cared for in the workhouses if their mothers were not alive. Once the war was over, they hoped to return home.

26th August, 1919

A letter was read from Mr John Geiger, of 15, Brighton Road, Reading, of the 17th instant, stating he had been released from Internment, and should be thankful to know what steps to take on behalf of his three sons now under the care of the Guardians.

The Chairman stated that the man was written to, to attend before the House Committee at 10.30 that morning, but he had only just arrived, and he suggested that the man should come before the Board.

Geiger appeared before the Board and explained his position as regarded the providing of a home so that he might take his three sons out, and asked that they might be allowed to remain in the Institution until he could provide a home.

After some discussion, on the suggestion of the Chairman, it was resolved that the Children should remain in the Institution for three weeks and that Geiger should pay 10/- weekly in respect of each child, and at the end of that period it was hoped the man would be able to remove the children.

Wokingham Board of Guardians minutes (G/WO1/26)

A memorial commemorative of those who have served in the war as well as those who have lost their lives in it

The great and good of Berkshire gathered to consider a county war memorial. They decided ordinary soldiers should be involved too.

30 July 1919
Meeting of the War Memorial General Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Reading, on the 30th July 1919.

Present
J H Benyon esquire, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Chairman
Stanley Hayward esquire, Mayor of Reading, Vice Chairman
Mrs L Hayward, Mayoress of Reading
Col T J Bowles
Louis H Beard esquire, Constable of Hungerford
Councillor W E Collier
F J K Cross esquire
W Dockar Drysdale esquire
Ernest Gardner esquire, MP
Rev F J C Gillmor
S H Hodgkin esquire
Councillor W R Howell
Dr J B Blay
Councillor Edward Jackson
A J Mackay esquire
Councillor Frank E Moring
H C Mylne esquire, Mayor of Wokingham
Councillor Thomas Norris
W Howard Palmer esquire
Major M L Porter
Councillor L E Quelch
F A Sargeant esquire, Deputy Mayor of Reading
Councillor Wm Sparks
Edmund Stevens esquire
E M Sturges esquire
G A Watson esquire
Col George S Willes

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council submitted the resolutions adopted at the Public Meeting held on the 22nd July appointing and defining the duties of the Committee.

This being the first meeting of the Committee since their appointment the Committee proceeded to elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman, when J H Benyon esquire, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, was elected to be Chairman and Stanley Hayward esquire, Mayor of Reading, was elected to be Vice Chairman.

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council read apologies for absence from the following:

Lady Wantage
Col F W Foley
Brigadier General J E Wigan
Alderman F A Cox
Lt Col Leslie Wilson MP
P E Crutchley esquire
W Crosland esquire
Col J C Carter
W Carter esquire, Mayor of Windsor
Sir Geo Young, bart
Major C W Darby-Griffith
C Adrian Hawker esquire
Rev W M Rawlinson
F A Simonds esquire
Mrs G S Abram

The Committee then considered the appointment of a secretary and
Resolved: That, if he be willing to act, Mr E W J Arman, late Postmaster of Reading, be appointed Honorary Secretary to the Committee.

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council submitted a letter, dated 28th July, which the Town Clerk of Reading had received from Col F W Foley, expressing the opinion that more members of the rank and file of the many battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment should serve on the Committee, and, upon consideration thereof,

It was Resolved: That three nominations of NCOs or men for representation on the Committee be invited from each of the following:

1. The regular battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
2. The Berkshire Territorial Force Association.
3. The Comrades of the Great War.
4. The Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers.


[An Executive Committee was appointed]

It was decided that it be a recommendation to the Executive Committee to frame their scheme and inscription as commemorative of those who have served in the war as well as those who have lost their lives in it.

It was decided that the suggestions received from Lady Wantage, Brigadier General J T Wigan, Alderman Cox, Lt Col Walsh and others as to the form which the memorial should take be referred to the Executive Commmittee for their consideration.

The question of the desirability of limiting the amount of individual subscriptions was considered but no resolution upon the subject was passed.

Berkshire War Memorial Committee minutes (R/D134/3/1)

A large muster

The Comrades of the Great War was one of several organisations for veterans of the war.

At the request of the Comrades of the Great War, a service was held for them conducted by the Vicar, in the Vicarage Garden, on Sunday afternoon, July 27th. There was a large muster. The men assembled at the bottom of Bracknell Street and preceded by the Band marched to the Vicarage Lawn. Admiral Eustace, Commandant of the Wokingham Branch, was in command. Sir Dudley de Chair met the men at the Vicarage. A short form of service was held, and hymns, some accompanied by the Band, formed a special feature of the service. The Vicar gave an address, and expressed his regret that the Rev. Mr Sheffield was prevented by duties at Bulford Camp from taking part in the service. It is hoped that services of a similar character may be held from time to time for the Comrades.

Bracknell section of Winkfield District Magazine, September 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11)

Such a happy day

Inmates at Wokingham Workhouse got to join in the peace celebrations.

29th July, 1919

The Chairman, on behalf of the House Committee, reported …

That the Master reported on the Peace celebrations held at the Institution on the 22nd instant, as follows:

The Peace Festivities were carried out in accordance with the programme arranged by the House Committee. On Saturday, July 19th, those who were able went out and participated in the Town Festivities and those who were unable to walk and cared to go were taken in motor cars.

On Tuesday, July 22nd, the date fixed for the Festivities at the Institution, the proceedings commenced with dinner, which was served at 1 pm, and in the regrettable absence of the Chairman through illness, the Vice-Chairman presided, the following Guardians also being present: Miss Sturges, Miss Gregorie, Capt. Coston, Messrs Bennett, Aldridge, Rasey and Allnatt, also the Chaplain, Mr Sargeant, and other ladies and gentlemen. After dinner the Town Band played on the lawn, a Roundabout, Races, etc, of all descriptions, and Dancing, were indulged in. A very fine exhibition of dancing was given by the Misses Lauman, Bisher, and Claude, the children from Bear Wood School gave a most excellent display of Plaiting the Maypole and Old English Dances, also singing some charming songs. Tea was served and afterwards the sports and dancing were resumed and continued until dark.

A most enjoyable day was spent, the inmates were most grateful to the Guardians for providing all the good things, and to the ladies and gentlemen who assisted in making such a happy day.

That the Committee had considered the question of a holiday for the Officials in connection with the Peace Celebrations and suggested that each Official should be given a day’s holiday and £1 for expenses.

On the motion of Mr Rasey, seconded by Mr Bennett, a vote of thanks was passed to the Master, Matron and Staff, for the able manner in which they had carried out the Peace Celebrations.

Wokingham Board of Guardians minutes (G/WO1/26)

“This is not very encouraging to anyone who has undertaken a voluntary public work which interests and benefits everybody”

Perhaps some people just wanted to forget the war.

Most of the Forms sent out, to be filled in with the details of those who have served in the War, have now been received. There are however still some to come in. In some cases the collector has called five or six times without result. This is not very encouraging to anyone who has undertaken a voluntary public work which interests and benefits everybody. We feel sure that this, no doubt unintentional, lack of consideration only needs mentioning to be remedied, and that all outstanding forms will be returned at once to Miss G. Palmer, (The Briars, Ellis Road). As was pointed out last month these full and correct details are asked for in order that a complete list of all who have served may be made and preserved, and, in the case of the fallen, that their names may be placed on a Memorial, whatever form the Parish decides that such a Memorial shall take.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Stand up as a token of respect to those who have fallen in the great struggle

1st July, 1919

The Chairman, referring to the signing of Peace, desired the members of the Board to stand up as a token of respect to those who have fallen in the great struggle, he also wished and proposed to place on the minutes the high appreciation of the members of the Board for the courage shewn by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and others comprised in His Majesty’s Forces, including the many thousands who came from the Dominions…

The Vice-Chairman and the members of the Board heartily associated themselves with the Chairman in his remarks, and unanimously passed the resolution, which was seconded by Mr Rasey.

Wokingham Board of Guardians minutes (G/WO1/26)

By no means an easy job

Those who had died of wounds in Wokingham, and men from Wokingham who had served, were remembered.

Soldiers’ Graves.
The Vicar would be glad to have a few names of those who would like to look after a grave.

It is proposed to add to the Parish Records a complete list, with full particulars, of all those from this Parish who have served in the War. For this purpose forms have been circulated and all are invited to help all they can to get these forms promptly and carefully filled in. When completed, if not called for, they may be sent to Miss G. Palmer, (The Briars, Ellis Road) who has very kindly undertaken this by no means easy job.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Wokingham decides to have a war memorial

Wokingham St Sebastian decided to have a war memorial.

War Memorial.

A meeting for the whole Parish was held in the Parish Room, on Thursday, May 22nd, 1919, to consider the question of a War Memorial. There were about 40 present. It was decided to have a Memorial, and after suggestions had been made, a strong Committee was appointed to go into details, and in due course report to the Meeting.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Children whose father was an interned alien

25th Feb., 1919

The Chairman, on behalf of the House Committee, reported …

That they had considered the case of the children named Geiger whose father was an interned alien, and recommended that the Clerk write [sic] the Local Government Board with a view to the children being removed on their father being released from internment.

Wokingham Board of Guardians minutes (G/WO1/26)

“The news of his death was only received after the signing of the Armistice”

There was a particular poignancy when news of a death came after the war had ended.

Roll of Honour.

Frederick Pither.

The news of his death was only received after the signing of the Armistice and the blow, therefore, come with added force to his wife and children.

We would desire to convey to her the very real and special sympathy of all.

Military Cross.

Lieut. R. Palmer – to whom heartiest congratuilations.

Blinded Soldiers’ Fund.

The total sum received is £32; made up as follows:-

Carol Singing £22 10s., Christmas Dinner Table envelopes £9 10s. This latter sum is for the children of Blinded Soldiers.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

The case of the three German children

Wokingham Poor Law Union wanted to hand over responsibility for three children whose father had no doubt been interned.

28th Jan., 1919

The Chairman, on behalf of the House Committee, reported …

That the Committee had considered the case of the three German children at the Cottage Home, and recommend that steps should now be taken for their removal to their place of settlement.

Wokingham Board of Guardians minutes (G/WO1/26)

Carols for blinded soldiers

Wokingham carol singers collected money for soliders blinded in the war, and their children.

Blinded Soldiers.

The outcome of the Carol Singing has been very satisfactory, and the Choir hope to hand over £20 or so as the fruit of their efforts. Such a result has of course entailed the expenditure of considerable time and trouble, which however has been given most ungrudgingly by all the members. We congratulate them on their success. Needless to say, the generous contributions and kindly welcome everywhere received have greatly added to the pleasure of their good work.

For the children of Blinded Soldiers, nearly £10 has been contributed by means of Xmas Dinner Table envelopes.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

The standard of bell ringing had been on the whole well maintained, due in no small measure to the ladies

11 January 1919

The annual general meeting of the branch was held at Wokingham on Sat January 11th, 1919..

At St Paul’s Church [Wokingham] … the secretary reported … that despite the call of more of their members to the Colours, the standard of Ringing had been on the whole well maintained, due in no small measure to the Ladies….

Two Ringing Members, A Hawkes & S Stacey of Arborfield, had laid down their lives, while G Collins & F Emblem were missing… 67 members were on active service.

Minutes of Sonning Deanery Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (for bellringers of the parish churches of Arborfield, Easthampstead, Finchampstead, Hurst, Sandhurst, Sonning, Wargrave, Wokingham All Saints and Wokingham St Paul) (D/EX2436/2)

A just and lasting peace

Church people prayed for a just peace to be negotiated.

Special Services

The Archbishops, feeling that there is a widespread desire that the year of victory should not pass without some united, reverent and thankful commemoration of those who have laid down their lives in the service of their country, recommend that this commemoration should be made in all churches on Sunday, December 29th. They hope further, that similarly on Sunday, January 5th, along with thanksgivings for the great victory given to our arms, prayer will be offered for the Statesmen of the world assembled at the Peace Conference, that by their efforts a just and lasting peace may be secured, and that the foundation of a new life may be laid on the basis of justice, order and righteousness.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P154C/28A/1)