Handsome prizes

There was support for the wounded in Warfield.

On February 12th the Brownlow Working Men’s Club organised a Whist Drive in aid of the Warfield Branch of Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild for our wounded Sailors and Soldiers. There was record attendance, the players numbering 186. Mrs Herbert Crailsham very kindly presented the handsome prizes.

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


Good wholesome fun: a soldier reports on life in training

The wonderfully named Dedlock Holmes from Stratfield Mortimer reported on his experiences as a recruit in the Royal Berkshire Regiment in a letter which was printed in the parish magazine:

4th Royal Berks Regt., T.,
Hitcham House Farm,

At the above-named spot, the country seat of Lt.-Col. Hanbury, the newly-formed Battalion are stationed.

The Camp is situated on a hill, overlooking the beautiful Thames valley on the south, and on a clear day Windsor Castle can be easily seen on the south-east. This hill is actually the first rise of the Chiltern Hills.

The Battalion at present numbers about 280 men, and a friendly spirit prevails throughout the whole, and also a spirit of good wholesome fun, as will be gathered from the names they give to their quarters (which consist of cowsheds, pig-styes, etc.). We have “Kitchener’s Villa,” “The Said Villa,” “Iseville,” “Hitchy Koo Villa,” “Ragtime Cott,” and many others.

These various so called villas meet every week in great football contests – and, so far, our “Villa” remains undefeated.
It must not be supposed, however, that we have nothing to think of but football; we never forget why we are here, and so take kindly to the somewhat hard training we get.

Every morning at 6.0 we are aroused by the bugle call, have a cold tub or wash and make ourselves fresh for an hour’s hard drill of Swedish physical exercises, which tend to loosen and strengthen every single muscle in the body, and those of us who have had two or three weeks of it can already find the benefit of it. After this follows breakfast, which, as you can imagine, is heartily enjoyed. The food we get is certainly plain, but good and wholesome. After breakfast comes the serious work of the day, varying of course from day to day.
Some days we are taken out for a route march by Lt.-Col. Hanbury, who is in command of this Battalion, and who, after a good march round the country, halts us at the beautiful Burnham Beeches while he tells us some yarns about the Chiltern Hundred, who used to look after the safety of travellers through this part in the early days.

Other mornings are spent in rifle drill, etc.: dinner is at 1.0 usually, and the afternoons spent in more drills and lectures on military subjects. Sometimes we have the evenings to ourselves while on others we are turned out for night work, outposts, etc.

The Working Men’s Club have kindly thrown open the Reading Room to us, and this is where I am now writing.

Before I close I should like to say one thing: should this catch the eye of any young fellow who is undecided about joining the Colours on account of the rumours about bad treatment, all I can say is, come and join us to-morrow, for there is a real reason why you should do so, and the change of living will do you a world of good.

With kind regards to all old friends.

Yours sincerely,
Dedlock Holmes.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, December 1914 (D/P120/28A/14)