Reading School’s contribution to the war

A complete listing of Reading School’s alumni who had served in the war.

OLD BOYS SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES.

This list has been compiled from information received up to December 14th, 1918; corrections and additions will be welcomed and should be addressed to: – R. Newport, Esq., Reading School, Reading.

Allnatt, Rifleman N.R. — London Rifle Brigade.
(killed in Action).
Ambrose, 2nd Lieut. L.C. — S.L.I.
Anderson, Pte. L.G. — Can. Exp. Force
Appelbee, 2nd Lieut. T. — 13TH West Yorks.
(Killed in Action).
Atkinson, Lieut. E.G. — Indian Army
Atkinson, Capt. G.P. — 6TH Royal North Lancs.
Atkinson, 2nd Lieut. J.C. — R.A.F.
Aust, 2nd Lieut. H.E. — Yorkshire Regt.
(Twice Wounded).
(Killed in Action).
Aveline, Lieut. A.P. — Royal Berks Regt,
(Wounded).
(Military Cross).
Baker, 2nd Lieut. A.C.S. — R.G.A.
Baker, Rifleman A.E. — London Irish Rifles.
(Wounded).
Baker, Rifleman R.S. — London Irish Rifles.
(Wounded).
Baker, Lieut. T.H. — 8TH Royal Berks Regt.
(Wounded)
Balding, Capt. C.D. — Indian Army.
Banks, Pte. W.R. — Public School Corps.
(Killed in Action).
Bardsley, Capt. R.C — Manchester Regt.
(Wounded).
Barnard, F.P. —
Barroby, Trooper. F. — Strathcona Horse.
Barry, Capt. L.E. — R.A.F.
Baseden, Lieut. E. — Royal Berks Regt.
(Killed in Action).
Baseden, 2nd Lieut. M.W. — R.A.F.
Batchelor, Lieut. A.S. — Duke of Cornwall’s L.I.
Bateman, Capt. W.V. — Royal Munster Fusiliers.
Bayley, 2nd Lieut. F. — Chinese Labour Battalion.
Beckingsale, Pte. R.S. — Canadian Contingent.
Beckingsale, Capt. R.T. — Tank Corps (Military Cross).
(Wounded).

Belsten, E.K. — R.A.F.
Biddulph, 2nd Lieut. R.H.H. — Royal Berks Regt.
(Died of Wounds).
Bidmead, Pte. — Wilts regt.
Black, Pte. F. — Public School Corps.
(Killed in Action).
Blazey, A.E.H. — R.A.F.
Blazey, 2nd Lieut. J.W. — Royal Berks Regt
(killed in Action).
Bleck, Lieut. W.E. — R.F.A.
Bliss, 2nd Lieut. A.J. — Leinster Regt.
(Killed in Action).
Bliss, Pte. W. — 2ND Batt.Hon.Art.Coy. (more…)

A nice consignment

Possibly a bit late to be of use, but Remenham continued to support the war right up to the end.

RECTOR’S LETTER

In response to the appeal sent by the National Salvage Council to Mrs Barber, Culham Court, for fruit-stones and nut-shells, we were able to send a nice consignment to the Depot at Southend on Sea, and received a kind acknowledgment. Those who sent collections of stones and nut-shells to the Rectory were Mrs Ames, Mrs Barber, Miss Bradford, Miss “Peggy” Simpson, and Messrs Ward, Wallis, Woods and Gibbons.

Remenham parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P99/28A/4)

Lavender Day

Ascot parishioners were asked to contribute lavender from their gardens in a novel fundaising idea.

The Parade Service of the R.A.F. now takes place in the Church at 9, instead of in the Cinema.

‘There will be a “Lavender Day” on July 20th in aid of the Five “Ascot” beds with the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in France, Corsica and Salonika, and the Berkshire War Prisoners’ Fund. Gifts of Lavender, fresh or dried, will be gratefully received by Miss Hanbury at Holmwood least a few Lavender bushes, and the smallest quantity will be welcome if sent promptly.

The Ascot Sailors and Soldiers Committee have been distributing the printed Cards, mentioned in our last issue, for relatives to post to men serving abroad. If any have not yet received a card in a stamped envelope ready to be addressed and sent along with an ordinary letter, they should apply at once to the member of the Committee in charge of their district as follows:

High Street – A.F. Bullock
H. Woods
London Road – H. Goswell
Fernbank Road – H.Tustin
Seinley and Priory Road – J. Skelton
New Road – H. Charman
A. Morton
Kennel Ride – A.Woods

Ascot section of Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, July 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/6)

“We pray that their relatives may before long hear news of them”

Sad news kept coming.

We offer our deep sympathy to the family of Archie Taylor, the news of whose death from wounds received early in the Somme offensive has been notified to his parents.

The following are reported wounded, and we are glad to hear that they are progressing favourably: — R Oldham, T. Barker, H. Henley, E. Law, A. May, J. Williams, W. Ewart.

We very much regret to hear that both Reginald Turner and William Watson are reported missing and we pray that their relatives may before long hear news of them.

Letters of thanks for Christmas parcels are still being received from men in the East: — P. Matthews, S. C. Woods, A. Birch, F.C. Havell.

Ascot section of Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, May 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/5)

Subjects closely connected with the War

Food shortages had led to a soup kitchen for children in Ascot.

The Lantern Services in the Parish Room on Fridays at 7 p.m. are being taken by the Rector and deal with subjects closely connected with the War. There was a very fair attendance at the first service, and it is hoped that it will increase as the services become more generally known.

By the effort of the Teachers a Soup Kitchen is being started as the Schools for the benefit of the children, and we are sure many parents will be most grateful for this help in this difficult days. The Managers have made a small grant towards utensils, and gifts of vegetables, or offers of personal help will be welcomed by the Teachers ….

At a War Savings Conference held at the Reading Rooms, Sunninghill, on Wednesday, February 20th, it was resolve to form a local War Savings Committee for the district to be known as “The Sunningdale and Ascot District War Savings Committee”, its chief object being to establish as many new Associations as possible in the neighbourhood, the ladies and gentlemaen elected being Mr. Percy Crutchley (Chairman), Messrs. H. J. Whitehead and A.J. Merton (Hon. Secretaries), Col. Blackburn, (Hon. Treasurer), Mrs. Ninian Elliott, the Hon. Miss Gordon, Mr. E. Wolseley, Heresy Marchioness of Linthgow, Mr. G. J. Francis, Mr. F. J. Patton, Mr. C.W. Searle, Mr. J.W. Abbott, Mrs. Trotter, Mr T.A. Woods. The Committee was given power to add to its number, and it was intimated that if Sunningdale cared to join up with this Committee, the inclusion of this parish would be cordially welcomed.

The Ascot War Savings Association has just completed one year’s working. The total number of certificates sold during that time being nearly 1000.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, March 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/3)

Hoping to establish as many new War Savings Associations as possible in the neighbourhood

Ascot and local aristocrats contributed financially.

At a War Savings Conference held at the Reading Rooms, Sunninghill, on Wednesday, February 20th, it was resolved to form a local War Savings Committee for the district to be known as “The Sunningdale and Ascot District War Savings Committee”, its chief object being to establish as many new Associations as possible in the neighbourhood, the ladies and gentlemen elected being Mr. Percy Crutchley (Chairman), Messrs. H. J. Whitehead and A.J. Merton (Hon. Secretaries), Col. Blackburn, (Hon. Treasurer), Mrs. Ninian Elliott, the Hon. Miss Gordon, Mr. E. Wolseley, Hersey Marchioness of Linlithgow, Mr. G. J. Francis, Mr. F. J. Patton, Mr. C.W. Searle, Mr. J.W. Abbott, Mrs. Trotter, Mr T.A. Woods. The Committee was given power to add to its number, and it was intimated that if Sunningdale cared to join up with this Committee the inclusion of this parish would be cordially welcomed.

The Ascot War Savings Association has just completed one year’s working. The total number of certificates sold during that time being nearly 1000.

Ascot section of Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, March 1918 (D/P 151/28A/10/3)

Show that we appreciate what they are doing for us

Ascot parish worked hard to keep in touch with its men serving overseas.

ASCOT SAILORS’ AND SOLDIERS’ COMMITTEE.

This Committee, which was formed over two years ago, endeavours to keep in touch with all Ascot men serving in the Navy and Army abroad, and to show that we appreciate what they are doing for us. In order to keep the records up to date it is important that all information and changes of address relating to the men be at once communicated to any of the following members of the Committee.
High Street: A.F. Bullock, H. Woods. London Road: H. Goswell. Fern Park Road: A. Tustin. Swinley and Priory Road: J. Skelton. New Road: H. Charman, A. Morton. Kennel Ride: A. Woods.

We deeply regret the loss of Charles Sharpe and Victor Wye, killed in action, and our sympathy goes out to their relatives.

Mrs. Paxford and family wish to thank their kind neighbours and friends for their gift and sympathy in the great bereavement.

The following are reported wounded: E.H. Beasley, C. Everett, R. Strut.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, November 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/11)

“It is right to relieve the tradesmen and cottagers from the further burden of supporting the Refugees”

The generous people of Ascot were to cut down on their support of Belgian refugees.

OUR BELGIAN REFUGEES.

For the last 15 months the tradesmen and cottagers have most generously supported a Belgian Refugee Family at Easton Villa, Kennel Ride. The numbers have varied from two to ten, and in all we have had twelve members of one family. Some have now returned to their own country, and some have gone to work in London or elsewhere – so that at present there are one man and his wife and their small nephew to claim our hospitality.

The large sum of nearly £100 has been raised by weekly subscriptions, varying from one penny to one shilling: and it is thought that as prices are rising, and the Government is asking for all our savings, it is right to relieve the tradesmen and cottagers from the further burden of supporting the Refugees. All District Visitors are therefore asked not to collect in their Districts: but small contributions will still be gratefully accepted.

Signed,- E.M.Elliot, A. Andrews, L. Hullcoop, W.J. Bishop, A. Lissman, H. Woods.

Receipts.
November, 1914, to December, 1915 … £98 6 1

Expenditure.
November, 1914, to December, 1915-
Rent … … … … £21 0 0
Coals… … … … 6 6 0
Money given … … … 61 0 0
_____________
£98 6 0
_____________

Ascot section of the Winkfield District Magazine, February 1916 D/P151/28A/8/2

Entertainments to be discontinued

Men at St Peter’s Church, Earley, had given a series of concerts to locally billeted members of the Army Service Corps.

REPORT OF THE C.E.M.S. SOLDIERS ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE

The series of Entertainments given to the 178th Co. MT-ASC has been continued for the benefit of the 263rd Co. , who have been stationed in the parish since June.

Twelve concerts were given, the cost of the refreshments and other expenses being contributed as follows:

The Boy Scouts (one), who very kindly gave the money which in normal times would have been devoted to their week in camp; Captain Taylor, commanding the 263rd Co. (one); Mrs Woods of the Manor House (one); the remainder by the Committee with the aid of funds kindly contributed by the following:

Mrs Barkshire, Mrs Francis, Mrs Montizambert, Mrs Iltid Witherington, The Misses Beauchamp, Croome, Davis, George, Goodwin, Hannaford, Jordan, Maurice, Miller, Major Hall, Messrs Bastow Junr, Culham, Edwards, Heelas, Hissey, Howlett, Innel, Keep, King, Lee, Lewington, Newberry, Robb, Rushbrooke, Sargeant, Tomlin, Webb and White.

The Balance Sheet is as follows:
Receipts
Balance in hand 8s.6d
38 subscriptions £15.1.8
Expenditure
Refreshments & Tobacco £12.5.1 ½
Hire of Hall and Cleaning £2.9.0
Sundries 1s.10d
Contribution towards renovating Piano 10s.6
Balance in hand 4s. 1 ½ d

The funds being practically exhausted, the Committee feel that, with so many other urgent appeals, they cannot trespass further on the generosity of the subscribers, who have already contributed over £49. They have, therefore, decided to discontinue the Entertainments. They also wish to express their gratitude to the subscribers, and those ladies and gentlemen who have contributed to the programme.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, January 1916 (D/P191/28A/23/1)

“The man we could least spare”

Harry Fisher, a Reading soldier, wrote to the vicar of St John’s Church with the bad news of the loss of a prominent young parishioner, Ronald Poulton-Palmer (1889-1915), who was isher’s commanding officer. Ronald was a rugby international for England. He was the grandson of George Palmer, a former MP for Reading and director of Huntley & Palmers’ biscuit factory. He was also very active in church life, and we will be hearing again about his loss. Sergeant Fisher also talks more generally about life at the front.

Belgium, 5.5.15.

My Dear Vicar,

At last I find an opportunity to write to you.

I regret that my first note to you should bear such sad tidings. Last night at 12.20 a.m. Lieut. Poulton-Palmer was killed while doing duty in the trenches. At the time he was superintending the work of improving the trenches and was standing on the parapet. The bullet entered his right side and passed through his body killing him instantly. He was, for some reason, taking the turn of another officer. His death has cast a gloom over the whole battalion. He was, I think, the most popular officer we had, loved by officers and men alike. The man we could least spare. He lived a clean life and died a noble death. The greatest tribute I can pay him is to say that in every sense of the word HE WAS A MAN. His was the third fatal casualty we have had besides six or seven wounded.

I really have very little news to tell you. We are not allowed to say anything about the military situation. We are all as happy as possible under the circumstances. We spend our time doing duty in the trenches for four days at a time and then come back into billets for four days. Our billet at the present time is a very large piggery. The pigs, of course, are removed, most of them having been stolen by the Germans when they were here. Last week we were billeted in huts in a wood and were sorry to leave them. The wood had just got on its first spring garment and was profuse with violets, cowslips and the like.

One of the most touching sights here are the tiny cemeteries dotted about. They are a testimony to the loving care with which our British Tommy lays to rest his fallen comrades. Each grave has its wooden cross and is well turfed and kept up. Where there are a number of graves together the ground has been fenced in and in some instances a gateway with a rustic arch has been built. The other day I passed two big graves each equally well-kept and bearing the inscription ‘To the memory of — men of the 108th Saxon Regiment. Killed in action. R.IP.’

On Monday the Bishop of Pretoria paid us a visit and spoke some very encouraging words to us.

I have had three opportunities of taking Communion since being here and have taken advantage of each. On each occasion the table was a biscuit box. Twice the Service was held in a barn to the accompaniment of cackling hens and the lowing of cattle, &c. The other was held in the wood to Nature’s own accompaniment. But on each occasion it was the same beautiful Service, making one feel how thoroughly unworthy one is to partake of the blessings it offers.

It is good to know that we have your prayers; we greatly need them. The temptations are very great and the means of grace seem so few out here.

One thing is very noticeable here, and that is the number of churches that have been shattered. I paid a visit to one recently and was astonished to find that, although the church was very badly battered, the altar and all the figures in the various shrines were intact. The same thing is noticeable about the shrines built by the roadside. The houses may be badly battered, but the crucifixes remain intact.

Most of us have had narrow escapes from flying bullets. My nearest one was one day when standing in a ruined cottage close by the trenches. I was in the doorway when a bullet came right through the opposite wall and shattered pieces of brick all round me. The bullet probably went on through the doorway in which I was standing.

I hope all my old friends at S. Stephen’s and S. John’s are well. Please give my kindest regards to them all.

The hardest thing to bear is the thought of those dear ones at home waiting anxiously for news of us. If it were not for that one could be quite cheerful even in the face of the greatest danger.

I must conclude now with very best wishes from
Yours very sincerely,
H.W. FISHER.

P.S.- My address is
No.17 C., Q.M. Sergt. H.W. Fisher,
‘A’ Company,
1/4 Royal Berks Regiment,
British Expeditionary Force.

Reading St John parish magazine, June 1915 (D/P172/28A/24)

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)