The Great War: “I just think of all the poor mothers”

Anna Jarvis, the 'mother' of Mother's Day saw it successfully introduced in 1914. She died unmarried, without children and penniless.

Anna Jarvis, the ‘mother’ of Mother’s Day saw it successfully introduced in 1914. She died unmarried, without children and penniless.

Mother’s Day: Thinking of Mothers Past.

Although we have posted over 200 biographies of the men of Wokingham on this website, many more names have been investigated and in truth, it has at times been hard going. After looking through thousands of photographs of World War servicemen, I admit I had passed the initial shock and was at times just trying the get ‘the job’ completed. I spoke to Sarah Huxford, my research partner, about this desensitisation, commenting that the story constantly repeats itself “it seems they just stood for weeks in a trench and then over the top and dead”. It became an endless tale, which always came out with the same result; researching memorials means you never find a happy ending. Sarah responded simply, “I just think of the poor mothers”. Yes, we concentrate on the stories of the dead and the injured of the Great War, but there were so many more who were involved in the horror. One of our objectives in building up the stories of the men, was to also find out about their family history and this meant we often ‘knew’ the parents as children themselves; they were mostly born in the 1860’s and 1870’s and therefore in their 40’s and 50’s by the time the First War came around. They were a mix of shopkeepers, servants and labourers and often their surnames had existed in the area for hundreds of years. Looking at the story from the point of view of the parents, as Sarah was doing, did indeed bring about another perspective.

Cards, flowers, lunch; Anna Jarvis, the creator of Mother's Day hated the inevitable commercialism.

Cards, flowers, lunch; Anna Jarvis, the creator of Mother’s Day hated the inevitable commercialism.

On this Mother’s Day of 2014, let us go through how the event came about. It was at the turn of the twentieth Century that a call was made for a recognised day to be put aside to value the contribution the mother makes to the lives of those around her. Although Anna Jarvis of West Virginia, USA started the campaign to create a Mother’s Day in 1908, success only came about in 1914; a date which was to be remembered for other reasons in Europe. Following this success, she became embittered at the commercialisation of the Day and focused her wrath mainly on the printed greeting card; citing such an object as the epitome of laziness. Ironically, for all her efforts to create a special day for mothers, Jarvis herself never married, had no children and died in poverty. The history of Mother’s Day and Mothering Sunday in Britain became fused into one day around Lent and only began to rise in popularity during the 1920’s. What I believe to be significant is that Anna Jarvis insisted on the Day being one of celebrating the individual contribution of each mother, rather than a general thanks to universal motherhood. This meant that each family would pay homage to their own mother. Hence the importance of the apostrophe in Mother’s Day, rather than the plural of Mothers Day.

Returning to the theme of the Great War, as is the main artery through which we tell the ‘Wokingham Remembers’ story, I wondered about the mothers of the men who made their way to war. I quickly began to realise that the mothers’ war time experience was only part of their story; they were coping with more deaths than just those from the war. I never believed my own family story to be particularly different to anyone else’s and my feeling is that we all have an unknown history, which needs to be discovered. I will not go into detail about my family line; there is nothing more boring than hearing about someone else’s uncles and aunts, but I will concentrate on the stories of what the mothers faced; not just in war, but how their individual lives reflect Britain’s general social history of the twentieth century.

Ada, with second husband Charles. Ada's first three sons were half German, not a good time in the context of the Great War.

Ada, with second husband Charles. Ada’s first three sons were half German, not a good time in the context of the Great War.

If you are of the Baby Boomer generation; ie, born in the 20 years following WW2, your Great Grandparents would have been born around 1855 to 1875. This is the generation which gave birth to the boys who went to war; I will call them the Mothers of this story and will remember them on this Mother’s Day of 2014. The Mother on my maternal line married a Heinrich Bender and before dying in his thirties gave her three sons. Germany was not seen as an enemy in the 1880’s and as a country itself, it was not much more than ten years old. Of these three half German boys, only one was to fight in the war for the British; the other two having died early from Tuberculosis. The third boy, Ernest joined the Middlesex Regiment and was killed on July 1st 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The Mother I refer to was named Ada and she had remarried (my Great Grandfather) and had a further three sons. The eldest ran away to join the army underage and the second (my Grandfather) also ran away underage to join the war. Her third son was thankfully too young for war. There is an irony here; this Mother had a reputation for being a real misery, a sour old lady. Ada had lost her three German sons; two with TB and one in the war fighting the Germans. Her next two sons ran away to join the army underage. Had Ada not married an Englishman, with two half German sons, she may have been subjected to the decisions of a paranoid government, which could have seen here even deported to Germany, even though she was a British citizen. I therefore have more than  a little respect for her demeanour in the ensuing years.

Even before the war, Rebecca had already lost three sons. By the end she had lost four and two more left with TB and Gas poisoning from the trenches.

Even before the war, Rebecca had already lost three sons. By the end she had lost four and two more left with TB and Gas poisoning from the trenches.


Another Mother, this time on my paternal side, was a lady called Rebecca (b 1858) and she always prayed for her nine children; except for years I could only find seven. After some time, I discovered Rebecca lost two boys in infancy, Wilfrid and James. Her eldest son joined the Navy and at the age of 18 was buried at sea, having died through blood poisoning in 1907. Antibiotics were not to be discovered until after World War One. By the start of the war, her fourth son was a Customs Officer with three children and in November 1914 was killed during the Bombing of West Hartlepool following a morning attack by the German Navy. Her fifth and sixth sons were to survive the war, but not without damage to their lungs via TB and gas poisoning. Rebecca was known as a warm hearted soul, who cared for the children of her son, even through much hardship. Four sons dead, two seriously ill.

What we see here is not, just loss from the war, but families that had already suffered more than their share of pain even before the war had started. Infant mortality, illness and accidents were already cutting deeply into the families well before 1914.

Robert's mother Sarah gradually watched four sons killed between 1915 and 1918. Robert returned injured from wounds in the shoulder and mouth.  An Old Contemptible from the Royal Berks.

Robert’s mother Sarah gradually watched four sons killed between 1915 and 1918. Robert returned injured from wounds in the shoulder and mouth. An Old Contemptible from the Royal Berks.

I wondered if my experience was particularly different from other families and asked my wife if it would be okay to look into her own. Her uncles were not really very familiar with their history, but were able to tell of their experiences in the Second World War – these stories were harrowing enough. Of their father’s experience in the First World War, their knowledge was understandably sketchy. Understandably, because Robert, their Dad refused to talk about it. I discovered why. He had signed up for the army before the war, as did his four brothers. His mother had been widowed in her thirties and the boys needed to find work as early as they could. He and youngest brother Arthur joined the Royal Berks Regiment and his brothers went into the Royal Artillery, the East Surreys and the Middlesex. Arthur was killed at 2nd Ypres in 1915 and Robert was shot through the shoulder and mouth on the first day of the Somme, July 1st 1916. His brother Charles was killed in 1917 after winning the Military Medal and his third brother John was killed at Passchendaele in 1917. His fourth and last brother Charles was killed during the final push against the German lines at the end of 1918. The Mother, Sarah, a widow now with only a daughter and a single badly wounded son, died not long after the war had ended.

Minnie lost her first husband in WW1 and her second in WW2. Her eight children all became fatherless.

Minnie lost her first husband in WW1 and her second in WW2. Her eight children all became fatherless.

The stories go on and on, but I will stop the detail. Another Mother on my wife’s side lost so many children, she committed suicide. From what I can make out, so far in my family, I am thankful that the older mothers (born 1860’s) had died before the second war and never went through the horror a second time. But the Mothers of the next generation did.  Minnie, who lost her husband (during the Bombardment of West Hartlepool) in the first war, lost her second husband in World War Two. From these two marriages, eight children lost a father to war.

This is just part of the story of my family; there is more to tell; more of the losses in the Second War, but it is probably time to bring this to a halt. I really wanted to tell this tale, because Mother’s Day isn’t just about today’s generation, but also spending a few moments thinking about those Mothers of our past, those we never knew, but nevertheless battled their way through horror and inequity in order to get us to where we are today. So to Ada, Rebecca, Sarah and all the Mothers we never knew, we give you our thanks. Happy Mothers Day.


Laurence was Rebecca's eldest; he died not in the war, but in service for the RN 1907.

Laurence was Rebecca’s eldest; he died not in the war, but in service for the RN 1907.

Rebecca's fourth son was killed during the infamous German Bombardment of West Hartlepool 1914

Rebecca’s fourth son was killed during the infamous German Bombardment of West Hartlepool 1914

Rebecca's fifth son, Henry  contracted TB in 1916. TB was often a killer during the first half of the 20th century.

Rebecca’s fifth son, Henry contracted TB in 1916. TB was often a killer during the first half of the 20th century. He survived.

Rebecca's sixth and last son, Bertie. Served Royal Field Artillery  1915 to 1918. Gassed, but survived.

Rebecca’s sixth and last son, Bertie. Served Royal Field Artillery 1915 to 1918. Gassed, but survived.




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St Sebastian’s Roll of Honour

St Sebastian's Church in Crowthorne

St Sebastian’s Church in Crowthorne

Names on St Sebastian’s Roll of Honour:

Whilst St Sebastian’s does not have a War Memorial in the church, there are a number of CWGC graves in the churchyard and the Rector ensures that the names from the Roll of Honour are read out during their annual Remembrance Service.

Surname A

Frederick AllenArthur Annetts :

Surname B

Dudley Barnard : Sidney BedfordArthur Bendle : Wilfred BinghamCharles Brant : Frederick BrantAlfred Butler :

Surname C

Charles Chamberlain :

Surname G

Joseph GilesWilliam Greenman :

Surname H

Alfred Hurdwell :

Surname L

Frank LangleyHenry Lovick Sidney Luker :

Surname M

Percy MaynardWilliam Munday Sidney Murrell :

Surname P

Alfred C Parker : James PerryFrederick Pither :

Surname R

 John Robertson: Robert Rogers

Surname S

Arthur SharpFrank Sutton

Surname T

Charles TownsendEdwin Tyrrell

Surname U

Humphrey Upson

Surname V

Worthy Vickery

Surname W

Frederick WakefieldWilliam Welsh : William WerrellJoseph Whittaker :

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Great Britain: Changing into the 20th Century (Part Three and conclusion).

Force feeding the Suffragettes in prison. The Edwardian period was a time of tumulutous change even before the outbreak of War.

Force feeding the Suffragettes in prison. Did the Great War delay women’s suffrage?

Joshua Allerton completes his look at changing Britain with the War’s role in women’s suffrage. It is commonly believed that the Great War gave women the vote, but Joshua provides a more complex argument. He completes this three part article with his closing arguments and references for further reading on this fascinating subject.

After the First World War in 1918, the rights of women changed. For the first time in history a selection of women could vote, nominally those over 30 with a minimum amount of property. Their participation in the war proved that they were capable of taking on jobs, serving their country and could act as citizens. In essence, they were proving their equality.

Though it can be argued that without the First World War, the suffrage would still have happened. Before the war, “the movement for votes for women, supported by men and women was already strong… and on several occasions there had been more majorities in parliament in favour of votes for women.” (Marwick, 1991) With the suffrage almost adamant of legalisation, it is fair to say that the war had no effect except delaying the progress. (Marwick, 1991) Pre-war parliament was pushing for complete equality, votes for all women, whilst the war limited that to a select few. As a result, it is fair to claim that the war made women worse off for a small time period.

votes for womenHowever, the limitation can be seen as a carefully worked out tactical move to appease those men, many in the Labour party (who would later be running the country), who feared women becoming a majority in the electorate. (Holton, 1986) It helped win the last few of the opposition over. Whilst the concession was a temporary one, it was a clever move to ensure that by 1928, all women got the vote.

On balance, it cannot be dismissed that without the war, the vote would have gone through. What the war did do though, was to give an opportunity to demonstrate the unity and skill of women to those who were unsure. Without prediction that the Labour party was to come to power, where most of the opposition lay, it was luck that the war came along to convince them and contribute to the suffrage. On that basis, it is fair to say that the First World War changed society by pushing the women’s suffrage movement.

Society was changed in Britain by the First World War in terms of population, power and wealth, and the women’s suffrage. Whilst it forced a drop in numbers, it saved Britain from depopulation by emigration. It forced the gentry to collapse and started the rolling ball of more equal wealth distribution, whilst making way for the industrialists. Finally, it contributed to the continuance of the women’s suffrage movement, enabling a chance to convince the opposition that would soon come to power.

The most significant change that happened was to the population. A country is nothing without its people and thanks to the war, Britain didn’t become a lonely island and instead prompted a baby boom. The second most significant change was the power and wealth. By removing the gentry it gave way to the lower classes to rise and have a taste of wealth and power, which is what democracy is all about. The least significant change caused by the war was the women’s suffrage. Compared to the others, this change was set in place before the war and thus had little contribution to the change.

Works Cited

Holton, S. S., 1986. Feminism and Democracy: Woman’s Suffrage and Reform Politics in Britian, 1900-1918. s.l.:s.n.

Marwick, A., 1991. The Deluge. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Macmillian Press.

Robbins, S., 2004. British Generalship on the Western Front 1914-1918. s.l.:Taylor & Francis.

Stevenson, J., 1984. British Society 1914-45. London: Penguin Books.


Boyer, G. R., 2002. New Estimates of British Unemployment. The Journal of Economic History, Volume 62, p. 667.

Gazeley, I. & Newell, A., 2010. The first world war and working-class food consumption in Britian. Discussion paper series // Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der, Issue No. 5927.

Hancock, W. K. & Gowing, M., 1975. British war economy. s.l.:H.M.S.O.

Holton, S. S., 1986. Feminism and Democracy: Woman’s Suffrage and Reform Politics in Britian, 1900-1918. s.l.:s.n.

Marwick, A., 1991. The Deluge. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Macmillian Press.

Robbins, S., 2004. British Generalship on the Western Front 1914-1918. s.l.:Taylor & Francis.

Stevenson, J., 1984. British Society 1914-45. London: Penguin Books.

Joshua Allerton

Joshua Allerton

Joshua Allerton is a freelance writer who in his spare time expresses his passion for history, whether through the traditional role of a historian or his Viking re-enactment. Constantly researching, he will be attending university in September to further his knowledge in the field.

If you are a publisher and would like to support Joshua’s works, please contact him on: 

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Great Britain: Changing into the 20th Century (Part Two).

Whatever happened to Glebelands House in Wokingham? Click here

Whatever happened to Glebelands House in Wokingham? Click here

One of the lesser known stories of the changes which took place in Britain during the 20th century, was the widespread destruction of the Stately Home. Joshua Allerton in his second article, explains how the reigns of power changed hands and why.

The First World War prompted the change in power and wealth. By the eve of the Second World War, the percentage of all wealth owned by the top one per cent was 55, compared to the 69 per cent in 1913 (Stevenson, 1984). Analysing the shift closely, it is fair to argue that the change wasn’t an impact, as in 1937, the top five per cent “owned 79 per cent of all wealth” in Britain. (Stevenson, 1984) Whilst this is fair, the time for a shift to completely take place must be considered. It is not an overnight job and it would be foolhardy to expect the wealthy to walk amongst the streets throwing money everywhere. What is shown is the start of the rolling ball, as by 1955 – with the influence of the Second World War being another debate – the percent of all wealth owned by the top one per cent was 42.

On the opposite end of the scale, in the working classes, there is evidence to suggest that the shift had affected them. On the eve of the Second World War, over 33 per cent of all adults left some property, which is double the figure in 1901. The bulk of this gain was in “small estates worth up to £500” hinting that the lower classes were starting to see the “growing importance of house-ownership” and savings. (Stevenson, 1984)

Death's in the officer class, meant the family were also subjected to Death Duties.

Deaths in the officer class meant the families were also subjected to Death Duties.

Whilst the wealth was shifting, the way in which wealth was accumulated changed as well. Before the war, the diminishing of the gentry was well under way. With the Third Reform Act, the creation of local elected authorities and the agricultural depression, the gentry were barely breaking even. The final blow was the death duties that came as a result of the war. With at least “64 percent of [them] holding the rank of Major-General and above” (Robbins, 2004), every time an officer died, the tax was payable by all except the spouse of the deceased. This forced many of the gentry’s families to sell up in order to pay the tax. As they lost land, they lost the political power their houses used to give them.

As the gentry fell, smaller merchants and manufacturers rose. After 1918, “estates worth more than £100’000 [which was often where these smaller businesses were] increased at a much faster rate… than in the Edwardian era.” (Stevenson, 1984) Most of the affected businesses were in the food industry. Their success came about because of the lack of food available. Within two years of the war, Britain was left with just six weeks’ supplies of food, forcing them into rationing in 1917. With food becoming scarce due to the amount of farm workers at war and also because of the German’s U-Boat campaign, this made the price to rise. In 1916, the price had risen 61 per cent compared to figures in 1914. With high demand and a low source, price rose, filling the pockets of the industrialists. Just like with the gentry, with money came power.

There is an obvious change between wealth and power and the First World War can be held responsible. The gentry may have been falling beforehand, but without the war, they had a chance to survive. Coming out of the depression meant things could only go up. However, the war caused many deaths within the gentry and tax to be paid. The war also caused the scarce food supply and the price increase that went with it, causing many food industrialists to accumulate wealth. As a result, it is fair to say that the First World War changed society in terms of wealth and power.

Joshua Allerton

Joshua Allerton

Joshua Allerton is a freelance writer who in his spare time expresses his passion for history, whether through the traditional role of a historian or his Viking re-enactment. Constantly researching, he will be attending university in September to further his knowledge in the field.

If you are a publisher and would like to support Joshua’s works, please contact him on: 

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Great Britain: Changing into the 20th Century (Part One)

josh 1st picThe Great War was not just about loss and victory; we understand it to be Britain’s watershed of change during the 20th Century. But how much was the war responsible for the changes which took place in the Britain? Joshua Allerton provides three short articles, which looks at the major areas which were affected during the early stages of the twentieth century, population, wealth and women’s rights.

During the First World War, society in Britain changed. To some feminists, it was the start of the suffrage. To many, it was the murder of a whole generation. To others, it was the death of the gentry. These three short essays will analyse the ways that society in Britain was changed by the First World War; addressing population, wealth and women’s suffrage. It will consider the effects the war had, whilst at the same time, considering the effects had the war never happened.

The First World War changed Britain’s population in terms of its numbers. The first indication is in the reduced birth rate, “falling from 24.1 per thousand births in 1913 to 17.7 in 1918,” (Stevenson, 1984) a common theme during the late 19th Century, but not as harsh. The reasoning behind the intense drop was because of the absence of males within the society, either through serving their country on the battlefields of Europe or death. With no young dashing men for women to marry, or married men home, no sex could take place. No sex meant no babies.

However, whilst the birth rate decreased and people died, it can be argued that the First World War actually saved us from a more intense depopulation. Within the small space of 1901 – 1910, Britain lost 750,000 people to emigration with levels “reaching ever higher… in the years immediately before.” (Stevenson, 1984) Compare the figure to the “610,000 [that] had been suggested for the total number of deaths” (Stevenson, 1984) throughout the Great War, then it is fair to predict that even without considering an emigration inflation, the same amount of population loss would have happened over twice the period of the war and would have continued rising for the years after.

The war gave people a reason to come to Britain, either as “refugees from Europe” (Stevenson, 1984) or for the same reason the majority of Brits left: for work. Despite the industry failing to cope with the surge of people, the unemployment rate rocketing after the war, the 1920′s saw, “emigration [running] at an average rate of about 130,000 a year, less than half the pre-war level.” (Stevenson, 1984). By the 1930′s, Britain’s emigration problem had been solved, leaving them with a surplus of 650,000 immigrants (Stevenson, 1984) as they entered the decade. To add to the surplus, the post-war boom, which possibly happened due to winning the war, also increased the population.

As proven, if the war hadn’t occurred, the emigration rate would have continued to rise, depopulating Britain more intensively in the long run than the war would have done. In addition to that, the birth rate would have followed the trends set in the late 19th Century and contributed to the depopulation. Without the war, people wouldn’t have had a reason to return home or to immigrate to Britain and certainty without the war victory raising the country’s morale, the post-war baby boom wouldn’t have occurred. On these basis’, it is fair to say that the war changed society in terms of population in that present day and the years that followed.


Joshua Allerton is a freelance writer who in his spare time expresses his passion for history, whether through the traditional role of a historian or his Viking re-enactment. Constantly researching, he will be attending university in September to further his knowledge in the field.
If you are a publisher and would like to support Joshua’s works, please contact him on: 

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Wokingham to launch local Poppy Appeal events

Click on the picture to see where the funds go

Where does the money go? Click on the picture above

The Wokingham Centenary Poppy Appeal

The First World War Centenary Year has finally arrived. Throughout 2014, we will witness many events which mark this 100th anniversary whereby the nation’s newspapers, TV, radio and social media, will examine every aspect of the war’s execution. Now, for the first time, we can read about our local contribution to the war and witness how our people coped with the news from the Front in all its increasing horror.

For the past two years, Wokingham Remembers has researched the lives of local men and the circumstances which led to their deaths in the First World War. With the help of a group of people from around the world, much of the basic research has now been completed and posted on In addition, we have included more general local information, in order to provide a broader picture of Wokingham life during the turn of the 20th century. The time now is to measure by how much Wokingham as a community, wishes to mark the passing of this Centenary Year and determine how we should go about this task.

 Why should Wokingham commemorate the First World War ?

During 2014 we will witness a debate about the purpose of the war, but at a community level, our local story provides a feeling of great pride in the place we call home. Irrespective of whether we believe it was a great victory or an event of senseless mass slaughter, it is a humbling experience to read how time after time, our local men left behind their ordinary lives and literally after months of training become men of war. The Centenary is also a time to reflect on the quality of our lives today and compare it to that of another time. Have we at last created a land fit for heroes as Lloyd George dreamed of, or do we still have a long way to go on our journey? In a quiet way, the Centenary gives us a chance to take stock and pause for thought.

Could the Centenary help raise funds for today’s servicemen and their families ?

The Centenary also provides an opportunity to demonstrate our support for today’s servicemen. Every campaign needs a mission and Wokingham’s Great War Centenary is no different. Whilst the Centenary can demonstrate the strength of our history and culture, there is a danger of becoming overwhelmed by the sequence of depressing events of the war. It is true we can no longer do anything to help those families of a hundred years ago, but we can present the Centenary in such a way as to show our appreciation of today’s servicemen who constantly put their lives at risk and for their families who, day by day, await their safe return.

David Dunham of the British Royal Legion will be launching the ‘Wokingham Centenary Poppy Appeal’ on the 28th July 2014 and the appeal will run from that date until the end of the year. Although the main thrust of the Legion’s poppy appeal takes place around November, its fundraising activities continue all year round. David’s commitment and enthusiasm has always made the Poppy appeal a success and he has received superb support from the town’s top fundraisers. The research from Wokingham Remembers will help David turn the symbols of remembrance into real names and faces of people who had real lives, living in streets which are very familiar to us today.

Supporting the ‘Wokingham Centenary Poppy Appeal’

There are a number of events which are already in the pipeline, which could be used to raise money for David’s appeal. The Town Council is committing Wokingham’s Heritage Day to the Centenary, whereby a number of events have already been penciled in. David has signed up for a Bikeathon for the Appeal, which again requires publicity and support. There are bound to be many other fund raising opportunities, which can be given a First World War feel. Are you or the organization you belong to able to help deliver a Centenary Year of which Wokingham can be proud ? The result we hope will be a successful appeal for an outstanding cause which will also provide our community with a knowledge and understanding of its proud culture and history.

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It’s 1860 and Wokingham’s new Town Hall opens for business

In Lord Baybrooke's speech: "the picturesque former Town Hall" of Wokingham.

In Lord Baybrooke’s speech: “the picturesque former Town Hall” of Wokingham.

Wokingham’s Town Hall was completed in 1860; the scale of its structure dominates the surrounding shops and offices. The history books tell us it was opened by Richard Cornwallis Neville, the 4th Lord Baybrooke. It all sounds rather dry, but Lord Baybrooke and others bring the event to life with a lesson in speech making. He was only 40 when he opened the Town Hall and died just a year later in 1861. This article is from the Berkshire Chronicle.

The opening of the new Town Hall - 6th June 1860.

The Berkshire Chronicle (reported 9th June 1860) ‘Wednesday was quite a gala day at Wokingham, the handsome and ornamental new Town-Hall, which is quite an important feature in the town, being formally opened on that day by the High Steward of the town, Richard Cornwallis Neville, 4th Lord Braybrooke.
The old building had become so dilapidated that it was felt indispensable to erect a new hall, in which to conduct the public business of Wokingham. The idea was taken up with much spirit by the leading inhabitants of the town, and the gentry of the neighbourhood gave a liberal support to the undertaking. Combined with the building is the station for the Wokingham division of the County Constabulary, and in consideration of the advantages to be derived from this connection the fund also received material aid from the county. Before recording the events of the opening ceremony we will state briefly the general features of the building.

The 'new' Town Hall dominates the centre of Wokingham. (Photo by Reading Tom on Flickr).

The ‘new’ Town Hall dominates the centre of Wokingham. (Photo by Reading Tom on Flickr).

The walls are built of black, red and white brick, harmoniously arranged, and with considerable effect; the patterns of black bricks in the cornices and arches are of an elegant design. A degree of prominence is given to the Town Hall by an increased decoration in the windows and archways. The roofs are covered by green slates. Considerable variety in the outline is caused by the ornamental towers over the entrances at each end of the hall, and the clock turret rising from the centre of the hall roof. The most striking feature of the of the external part of the building is the admirable workmanship of the brickwork, and the taste displayed in the arrangement of the various ornamental details, which reflects the highest credit on the contractors, who have so successfully carried out the intentions of the architects.

Interior of Wokingham Town Council's Great Hall.

Interior of Wokingham Town Council’s Great Hall. Photo from Wokingham Town Council (Have a virtual wander)

The chief feature of interest internally is the hall—a room 45 feet in length, and 25 feet broad. The council chamber at the south end can be opened to the hall by sliding doors, under a pointed archway. The framework of the roof is visible inside the hall, and is ornamental, 8 with spandrels and curved timbers, stained and varnished. Considerable effect is given to the ceiling (which is arranged in panels) by coloured fretwork. Pendant gasaliers from the roof light the hall by night. The interesting and valuable portraits from the old hall are suspended against the walls, and the Recorder has presented the corporation with a handsome looking-glass, which has been placed over one of the chimney pieces. The furniture of the council chamber has been designed by the architects and admirably executed by Mr. Parsons of Wokingham.
The buildings comprise the Town Hall, with the usual offices: savings bank, mechanics institution, large covered market under the hall, a county police station, with prisoners’ cells, and accommodation for the superintendent and constables and fire engine station.
The cost of the works has been between £3,000 and £4,000. Messrs Poulton and Woodman, of Reading, were the architects, and Messrs Wheeler (masons), and Mr. Woodroffe (carpenter), the contractors. The pictures have been admirably restored, and framed by Mr. Butler, of Reading.

Firemen burst from the Town Hall to attend another fire, circa 1900.  They were relocated in 1969

Firemen burst from the Town Hall to attend another fire, circa 1900. They were relocated in 1969

As we have previously stated, Wednesday last (6th) was fixed for the opening of the new building, and the town presented a very gay and lively appearance. The High Steward, attired in military uniform, arrived by rail at about a quarter to one o’clock, and was received by the Alderman, J. L. Roberts, Esq., the members of the Corporation, and a large number of the inhabitants of the town, the band playing the National Anthem, and the bells of the old church ringing out a merry peal.
A carriage was in waiting to receive his lordship, and accompanied by the Recorder, F. A. Carrington, Esq., he proceeded therein to the Alderman’s residence, followed by the band, which played a number of popular airs. Then came the emblem of civic authority—the mace—which was borne before the members of the Corporation, and a large number of the principal inhabitants of the town formed the rear of the procession. The streets were thronged with spectators, and extending from the hall down Broad Street, a row of school children was formed on either side. The union-jack floated from the roof of the hall, and the windows of the neighbouring houses were filled with spectators.
After a short stay at the Alderman’s house, Lord Braybrooke re-entered the carriage which proceeded to the Town Hall followed by the procession in the same order as on coming from the station. Having alighted, his lordship entered the building and proceeded upstairs to the hall. This had been enlarged for the occasion by throwing back the doors and so giving the additional room to be occupied by the corporation as a Council Chamber. At the end a raised dais had been erected, and after cordially recognising some of the ladies present, his Lordship took his seat in the centre chair, with the recorder on his right, and the Alderman on the left.
The hall was crowded with a very fashionable audience, there being a great many ladies present, who appeared to take considerable interest in the proceedings. The platform was filled and surrounded by a large number of the most influential country residents, the members of the corporation, and other inhabitants of the town. Among those present we observed the High Sheriff of the county (Sir C. S. P. Hunter, Bart.), Sir E. Conroy, Bart., Sir E. Hulse, Bart., the Rev. Sir J. W. Hayes, Bart., Archdeacon Randall, The Rev. T. Morres (Corporation Chaplain), Captain L. Gower, R. Gibson, Esq., T.C. Garth, Esq., J. Walter, Esq., M.P. Charlton Esq., G. Barker, Esq., R. Palmer, Esq., E. Kinnersley, Esq., Major Court, W. C. King, Esq., J. Simonds, Esq., (Sindlesham), the Rev. A. A. Cameron, R. Garrard, Esq., Colonel Fraser, Rev. H. Roberts, Rev. E. W Benson, Rev. E. Parker (Waltham St. Lawrence) &c., &c.
The proceedings were opened by the reading of an appropriate prayer, by the Rev. T. Morres, invoking the Divine blessing on the building, on the magistracy who would have to dispense justice within its walls, and that it might be made a means for the moral and intellectual improvement of the inhabitants, while for all the greater gift of the knowledge of Christ was implored.

A well known British archaeologist, Richard Cornwallis Neville, the 4th Lord Baybrooke was only 40 when opening the Town Hall and died just a year later in 1861.

A well known British archaeologist, Richard Cornwallis Neville, the 4th Lord Baybrooke was only 40 when opening the Town Hall and died just a year later in 1861.

The High Steward Richard Cornwallis Neville, 4th Lord Braybrooke (ed: who owned the nearby Billingbear estate) then rose and said, “Ladies and gentlemen: it gives me very great pleasure to be able attend myself personally to discharge one of the duties of my hereditary office as High Steward of this ancient municipal corporation. I congratulate you on the day being finer than I could have hoped for at first, for it threatened on every side to have been a pouring wet day. I feel very much flattered by the welcome reception of so many ladies coming out to shed good omen on the opening of this hall. There are so many faces whom I ought to know from the associations of my earliest youth, when passed at Billingbear, in the days of my respected grandfather, that I feel quite at a loss to be able to put proper names to everybody’s faces. But I recollect a great many of them, and I feel very highly honoured by their presence here—gentlemen as well as ladies (applause).
The office I hold is, as you are aware, an hereditary one, and it has been so since the days of King James the First. I have inherited it from many of my ancestors, who dwelt in this part of the country; and whatever unwillingness or modesty I may have in comparing myself with any of the good qualities of my ancestors, yet there is one quality in which I will I will not admit my inferiority, and that is in memory, which is equally hereditary with property and this office.
My memory carries me back to many days of my earliest youth, in which I remember many events which took place in my grandfather’s time. Mr. Roberts was telling me the other day that he could recollect when in my grandfather’s time, as long ago as 1798, there was a review on the terrace at Billingbear in the presence of George III., of some militia regiment. I cannot go back quite so far, but I remember that at the end of October 1824, I was on the terrace, and saw a review there of quite a different kind, although the troops were there, and in red coats. It was in the days of that respected baronet, Sir John Cope, then the gallant master of the hunt—(applause)—when I saw seven foxes paraded from the Warren copse to the other copse in my grandfather’s presence (loud laughter).
If I were to mention all that I could recollect of the days of my earliest youth I should detain you a very long time, but I must now come to the point, which is to say that today this hall is opened (applause). It is a very great improvement on the ancient hall, for however picturesque the former Town Hall may have been this one is, I suppose, well adapted for the purpose, and comprises many different departments within its walls. I think it cannot fail to be opened under favourable auspices, with such a goodly company present, with the bright sun shining upon the scene; and besides these—all the Berkshire roses have come out too (applause). I may only add that I myself have two very young buds with a maternal blossom (laughter and applause). I regret they are not present themselves. They have never been in Berkshire, but still, as being my wife and children, they are connected with Berkshire, and I have no doubt you would welcome them equally if they came, as I hope some day they will, to pay a visit to this town—(loud applause). I feel much obliged to all of you for all you have done for me in honouring me with your presence this day (loud applause).”
Recorder Mr F. A. Carrington said it was with pleasure and pride that he appeared in this hall for the first time as Recorder, and that he should be the first Recorder to appear in it. His connection with the town did not go back to the time of the old hall, although he knew that building, and certainly it was a very useful building to the Corporation and town for a good while. But like many good things it had worn out, and the steps that led up and down to the council chamber were so worn that he thought the first time he went down them, he should have went down head, foremost but luckily he was caught in time, and the accident did not happen (laughter).
The town of Wokingham had been an inhabited place for a great many centuries. The first mention he knew of the town was in the charter of Offa, King of the Mercians in 726, wherein he granted to his prefect—whether that was the alderman of Wokingham in those days he could not ascertain, because it was a Latin term, but probably it was the same—some rights appertaining to the church situate in the territory of the Wokings, which appeared to be a district inhabited by a Saxon tribe extending from Woking on the one side to Wokingham on the other.
The place seemed to have taken the same name, because as late as Queen Elizabeth’s charter, the town was called Wokingham, and as Wokingham was not a town, most probably this was the place mentioned previously. So far they traced the history of the town very far back, and in that state it seemed to have continued until the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and then there was an alderman under that name. Queen Elizabeth confirmed various privileges to the town which had existed from time immemorial—one of which was that her steward of the manor of Sonning was to administer the affairs of the town conjointly with the alderman. So things remained until the reign of James the First, when the town took a start very much in the right direction.
Through the influence at the court of James of an ancestor of their present High Steward—the then Lord Braybrooke, the present government charter was obtained. Then they had the Corporation exactly as they are now, with certainly as good as staff for the administration of the affairs of a town as could well be obtained. There was the Lord High Steward, and his duties were not defined by the charter, but it was easy to ascertain what they were. He was the medium of communication between the court at Windsor castle, the government and the town. These were duties not easily defined by charter but very well understood by persons acquainted with politics, either of that period or the present.
The next officer King James gave them was the Recorder, who he hoped was and had been of great use in the administration of justice, both civil and criminal, because he held sessions for the transaction of criminal business and also a local court for the adjudication in civil causes, not exceeding £50, so that if they required it, they could obtain a settlement of such cases there, and with the sessions they had not got many prisoners for trial at the assizes or elsewhere.
In addition Sir H. Neville gave them a local magistracy, which rendered it unnecessary for them to go to other places, and also granted the privilege of holding a market and three fairs in the course of the year—which at one time were great marts for the transaction of business, but now in consequence of railway facilities they were not so much used. For these they were indebted to Sir H. Neville, and his influence with King James.
He found also that the corporation of Wokingham were jolly people—(laughter)—for within the last twelve month a list of healths to be drank at the corporation dinner had been found, written on a piece of parchment, and they were much the same as are given at corporation dinners now, but there is one very peculiar feature in them. There are eight toasts in succession, and the ninth and tenth, or the two bottom ones, are the Royal Family and the Prince of Wales, and above them is put the Recorder. Now although he has heard and read that a living dog was better than a dead lion, yet they found here that a present “nobody and snob” was considered much better than absent royalty (laughter). But this did not turn out exactly to be so, because it would be seen, on reference to the list, that the royal toasts were put at a considerable distance from the others, as a supplementary addition or addendum and the humble suggestion he would give of the meaning was that, supposing the alderman was going to be very liberal with his wine, then he was to take these two toasts, and put them in their proper place, but if he was “scaly” or sparing of it, then they were to be omitted. But assuming as he did that a great deal of strong beer was drank at corporation dinners, if every gentlemen had ten glasses of wine in addition put under his belt, the chances are that he would feel very comfortable (laughter). That was a specimen of the corporation of those days. They had not degenerated since (laughter), for he was happy to say from experience that the corporation dinners now were very good, and the hospitality excellent (laughter and applause).
Leaving James’ reign, he would observe with reference to the old hall, that he had been enabled to discover the date of the building within twelve years. In 1612, James the First gave the corporation the liberty and authority to build a hall, and in 1625, the corporation made a code of bye-laws, in which it was directed that all the corporation meetings were to be held in the Town Hall, and that every member of the corporation who did not attend in his black gown was to be fined 3s. 4d. for neglect. That was a fine he thought was never levied, for he believed they all came in their gowns, and looked very well, as he knew from experience (laughter and applause).

One on the paintings which can be seen in Wokingham Town Hall. View more here.

One on the paintings which can be seen in Wokingham Town Hall. View more here.

Later still they had a benefactor in the shape of a donor of pictures and there were some very beautiful paintings around the hall. There was some difficulty in ascertaining what many of them were, and greater difficulty to know by whom they were given. He should have ascribed them to Prince George of Denmark, the husband of Queen Anne, because he had taken the title of baron from their town; but the greatest evidence against this supposition was, that there was no portrait in the hall of Prince George. There were portraits of two of the Georges—George the First and George the Second—and that would lead them to suppose that some monarch gave the pictures, and if it were so, it would most probably be George the Second. But from all the information he was able to obtain, he could not discover who was the actual donor. Here, however, the pictures were in excellent condition and a great ornament to the Town Hall (applause). He believed he had now stated the most prominent features in the history of the town except one—viz., that they formerly had a mint or coinage there.
In the reign of Charles the Second a great many tradesmen in town used tokens. He had one which had been given him by Mr. Prince, grocer, of Reading, and bearing the name of William Anderson. This he had shown to many persons in the town acquainted with its former history, but no one knew such a person as William Anderson, and thought it must have been coined somewhere else. However, from the researches of the clergyman in the parish register, it was found that William Anderson died in 1691, he being a person of great consideration, and from the inscription on the token it was also seen that he was an eminent grocer—so that beyond the other incidents he had enumerated, he had also given them credit for having a mint (applause).
The old hall stood well for 250 years. He hoped the career of the present building would not be so brief, because he had been in many halls of double the antiquity, and in quite good condition as when first erected. He thanked them for the attention they had given him, and congratulated them on having so handsome a building not only for municipal, but all other purposes (loud applause).
Alderman J. L. Roberts, said as the suggestion of rebuilding their town hall originated with himself, as he had taken great interest in the progress of the work, they would allow him to offer them a few words of congratulation on its final completion (hear hear and applause).
It was not to be supposed that they could have parted with their picturesque old building, which as the recorder had told them, was worn out, without a sigh (hear hear). But when they found out it was so worn out, and that it was impossible to make it adequate to the growing wants and interests of the town, then he thought that they should feel themselves highly benefited by the change effected (cheers). Some persons had raised an objection as to their having united with the county in the erection of this building; but when they considered that in the first place it afforded material aid to the funds—in the second place that it ensured the concentration of all the public business in the centre of the town (hear hear), and lastly, that it gave them the protection of the police—and as a magistrate of the town he might here observe that he could vouch for their most efficient and judicious care (hear hear)—then looking at these considerations it must be seen that the benefits accruing to them far outweigh the objection raised to that respect (hear hear); and looking at the advantages they had gained, they might dispense with all regret and objection (applause).
But there was one other objection to their proceeding with this building, and that was their funds, both public and private, being limited to a very narrow compass, they were therefore obliged to ask their neighbours to assist them in the undertaking. And it gave him very great pleasure to see present, not only his lordship, but so many other of the neighbouring gentlemen to had so kindly responded to their call, and he begged to express to them on the part of himself and the members of the corporation the deep sense they entertained of their kindness and liberality (loud applause).
He could only hope that they, as well as the magistrates of the town would find that hall adequate in all respects for the administration of justice; and he would also hope that the neighbouring gentry would continue to aid them in their endeavours to make that building conducive not only to the material prosperity of the town, but also to the moral and intellectual advancement of its inhabitants (loud and continued applause).
The High Sheriff, (Sir C. S. P Hunter, Bart.), then declared that the opening ceremony was concluded, and accompanied by the Recorder and Alderman and other gentlemen, proceeded to inspect the hall and other compartments of the building.
A large party then adjourned to the Alderman’s house, where an elegant luncheon was provided; while the Grand Jury and others also sat down to luncheon at the Rose.
Although the morning was gloomy and threatening, yet the sun shone out brightly, and the weather was all that could be desired during the ceremony’.

Thanks as ever to Jim Bell for transcribing the article from the Berkshire Chronicle. The link on the story of the Town Hall’s paintings was written by Trevor Ottlewski for the BBC.

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Wokingham 1914

Henry Charles Mylne was re-elected as Wokingham's Mayor in 1914.  His colleagues believed his early death was due to the uncesaing effirts he made throughout the period.

Henry Charles Mylne was re-elected as Wokingham’s Mayor in 1914. His colleagues believed his early death was due to the relentless efforts he made throughout the period.

Wokingham news  throughout 1914 

 Jim Bell transcribes the Wokingham news section from the Reading Mercury throughout the whole of 1914. It is a remarkable insight to a small town assisting the war effort, reporting on its awful consequences, but at the same time attempting to carry on with its day to day life. Tombola’s, rallies, fundraising speeches and emotional appeals to help the Belgians appear on a weekly basis, but as in previous years, also not forgetting the unceasing support for its local fire service. 


   The annual meeting of the Choral Society was held in the Church House on Monday evening. The Rev. B. Long presided, and the balance sheet, presented by the hon. secretary and treasurer (Mr. T. May) showed a balance in hand of £9 12s. 1d. The following were elected officers of the society:- President, Mr. W. Howard Palmer; conductor, Mr. H.R. Eady, F.R.C.O.; hon. secretary and treasurer, Mr. T. May; committee, Mrs. Johnson, Misses Brass, Mercer, Perkins and Voss, Dr. Nash, Messrs. Dowdrey, D. Herring, H. Harvey, and H. Breach. It was decided to practice at the Church House on Monday evenings at 8.15 p.m., the work being Haydn’s “Creation.” Votes of thanks to the chairman and to the hon. secretary and treasurer terminated an enthusiastic evening.


The first practice of the season was held at St. Paul’s Parish Room on Monday evening, when “St. Paul,” the work chosen for the Easter concert, was commenced.


Miss Barry entertained the candidates if the Girls’ Friendly Society (All Saints Parish) at the Church House on Saturday to a tea, followed by a Christmas-tree and games. Miss Ellison, on Wednesday, gave a similar entertainment At St. Paul’s Parish Room to the candidates from St. Paul’s Parish.


 A concert, organized by the local Good Templars, was given in the Old British School-room in Milton-road on Saturday evening. The programme was a good one, and was capitally sustained by local and other friends of the movement. These included Miss M. Sansome, A.L.C.M., Miss Miller, Miss J. Manley, Mr. F.S.N. Lovell, and Mrs. Roberts.


The children of the Palmer Sunday School were entertained at their annual tea and prize-giving on Thursday in the Drill Hall. A sumptuous tea was provided for all who had attained a certain percentage of marks during the year, the children present numbering some 300, and included members of Miss Cottam’s Sunday Bible class of girls, blue ribbon, whit ribbon, and ordinary prizes distinguished the various degrees of merit. Miss Cooper distributed the prizes, which numbered close upon a hundred. The Rector, the Rev. B. Long presided, and there were also present the Rev. J.W. Blencowe and the teachers, as well as parents, were admitted to the prize-giving. Miss Cooper superintended the arrangements for the tea. A conjuring and ventriloquial entertainment was appreciated.


The Baptist Sunday School treat took place on Wednesday in the School-room in Milton-road. A generous tea was provided for the children, who were waited upon by their teachers. After tea, an entertainment was carried out by some of the teachers and Bible class scholars, comprising a fairy play entitled “Nursery Rhymes.” The Rev. E.E. Smith presided, and Mr. P. Sale contributed a reading.

Sat 17th Jan

Fire Brigade Wedding-At St. Paul’s Church on Monday, Mr Weston B Martin, son of Mr & Mrs H Martin of Denmark Street was wedded to Miss Margaret Emily Smallbone of St. Leonard’s, Wokingham, only daughter of Mr S Smallbone. The bride was attended by Master Joey Dearlove who acted as page dressed in fireman’s uniform.

The bridegroom was driven to the church in a fire engine accompanied by the brigade including the Marquis of Downshire who acted as driver and Lord Hillsborough. Mr Martin has been a member of the brigade for 23 years and that body presented him with a clock. A reception was afterwards held at Fernleigh, home of the bridegroom’s brother.

Sat 24th January


The Committee of the Women’s Suffrage Society were “At Home” in the Drill Hall, on Wednesday afternoon, when a large number of people assembled to hear the result of the prize competition organised by the Society. Mrs. Robie Uniacke, chairman of the Society, presided, and the prizes for the best essays on Mrs. Fawcett’s “History of Women’s Suffrage” were presented by Miss Oakley Walker. The prize winners were Miss R.A. Cole and Mrs. M. Cruttwell. In the evening the “Friends of Women’s Suffrage” had their annual gathering, and were entertained with a grammaphone and speeches by members of the Society.


   The scholars of the Embrook Sunday School, some 50 in number, were entertained on Wednesday in the Schoolroom to their usual winter treat. They were well looked after by their superintendent, Miss Wescott and the teachers, including the Misses Philbrick, Barry, E. knapp, H. Knapp, D. Deane, L. Deane, Marshall, and Mrs. Crawshay. After tea, a magic lantern entertainment, attended also by parents, was provided. The Rev. H.M. Walter spoke a few kindly words. Mrs. Crawshay distributed the prizes.


   The monthly public meeting of the Branch took the form of an entertainment given by members of the Band of Hope in the Church house on Tuesday. The young performers, organised by Miss Beaumont and several other lady helpers, acquitted themselves admirably. The programme included the fairy play, “Sleeping Beauty,” which was much appreciated.


   In an advertisement on the 5th page will be found a list of subscriptions to January 23, aggregating £440 which have been given towards the £700 required to purchase a new motor fire engine for the use of the Wokingham Fire Brigade, of which the Marquis of Downshire is the popular captain. As will be seen from the announcement the Brigade covers a very wide area, and there should be no difficulty in raising the £250 which is still required.

Sat 31st Jan

   The Hon. Mrs. Mary Isabella Joynes, widow of Mr. Robert Joynes, of the Royal Artillery, and daughter of the fourth Lord Braybrooke, left estate of which the net personalty has been sworn at £32, 853.


   Mrs. Long entertained the members of the Mothers’ Union at the Church House on Thursday, when Mrs. Murdoch gave an address.


   The annual meeting of the London-road C.C. was held at the “Three Frogs,” Wokingham on Thursday, Mr. J. Sargeant being in the chair. The balance sheet showed a balance in hand of £1 3s. 2½d., after placing £1 as reserve to a ground account. The hon. secretary (Mr. V. Fulcher) stated in his report that the club had had a very successful season, having played twelve matches, won eleven, and lost one, and having 1,400 runs for and 729 against, thus winning the championship of the Second Division of the league, after having been the runners-up for four seasons in succession. The following were elected: Captain, Mt. T. May; vice-captain, Mr. G. Clements; hon. secretary, Mr. V. Fulcher; committee, Messrs. J. Sargeant, J. Jewell, P. White, S. Gater, H. Butler, L. Bunce, A. Whittingham, W. Barker, S. Riddell, F.W. Hawkins, and F. Donnington; auditor, Mr. W. Loader.


   The H Company annual ball, held in the Drill Hall on Wednesday, was a success, some eighty guests being present. Sergeant Morrish and Corporal J. Lane were M.C.’s. An enjoyable time was spent.


   On Wednesday a social evening was held in connection with the Wesley Guil in the Wesleyan Schoolroom, Rose-street, Mr. Burland being the chairman. An excellent programme was carried out by Mr. F. Swain, Mr. Jefferies, Mr. Welch, Mr. Trowell, Master N. Blake, and Master J Baverstock, and the “Prize Band.” An advertisement competition was won by Mr. Nichols.

Sat 14th Feb

Alderman Heron’s wife died Thursday last week at 22 Market Place.

Sat 28th Feb

   Mrs. Arthur Walter, who has left England for a tour in South America, expects to be away for several months.


   The Point-to-Point Races of the Royal Artillery (Aldershot Command) are advertised to be held at Bill Hill on Tuesday, March 24. There will be a farmers’ race. Entries close on March 16 to Lieut. M.H. Dendy, R.H.A., R.A. Mess, Aldershot.


   On Tuesday evening in the Church House, Mr. F. Grubb, secretary of the Anglo-Indian Association, gave a lantern lecture entitled “A Tour in India.


   The Town Hall was full on Monday evening when the Town Band gave a concert in which Messrs. Barber, Rothen, Dobb, Mrs. Hall and Miss D. Wescott took part.


   The PPs dramatic Company gave “Eliza Comes to Stay,” preceded by “In and Out of a Punt,” in the Drill Hall, Wokingham, on Tuesday. Those taking part were Mr. R.G. Attride, Mr. A.G. Lester-Garland, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Attride, Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Stratford, Mr. A.V. Turner, Miss M.E. Rose, Mr. C.L. Pike, assisted by Mr. W.J. Breach, provided the incidental music.


   At a successful social held in St. Paul’s Parish Room, on Tuesday evening, by invitation of the staff of St. Paul’s Schools, there was a games tournament, prizes being awarded to Mrs. Ivory, Mrs. Teakle, Miss White, Miss Wakefield, and Messrs. Ivory, Knapp, Mitchell, and Exton.


The “Wokingham Phoenix” Tent of the Independent Order of Rechabites held their social evening on Wednesday in the Wesleyan Schoolroom by permission of the Wesley Guild. Bro. W.P. Tucker, C.R., was in the chair, and introduced the deputation, Bro. Cave, who gave an address on the work of the Order. An excellent programme of music was rendered by the Misses D. Lammas, G. Brown, E. Miller, Mr. and Mrs. Trowell, Miss Lester and Mr. Welch, Miss M. Webb being the accompanist.


  At the Wokingham Borough Police-court yesterday (Friday), Lilian Cowdery, aged 25, a domestic servant, was charged with attempted suicide. The girl was seen by a policeman to jump into a pond. She was rescued, and afterwards told her sister that a tramp tried to murder her by throwing her into a pond. The accused was remanded until today (Saturday).

Sat 2nd May


   At the annual meeting of the local Habitation of the Primrose League Lieutenant-Colonel J.B. Walker (ruling Councillor) presided. The chairman announced that the Habitation consisted of 17 knights, 33 dames, and 320 associates. The numbers appeared to be smaller than last year, but Swallowfield had started a league of their own. The following officers were elected: Ruling Councillor, Lieutenant-Colonel J.B. Walker; Dame President, Mrs. Murdoch; Hon. Secretary, Miss Annesley; Treasurer, Mr. E. Robinson. General and Mrs. Fasken’s names were added to the Committee. An address was given by Mr. Thornton, and during the evening Miss Bennett sang “The Union Jack.” Mr. Albert Lock gave a conjuring and ventriloquial performance. Messrs. Collis, Davidson and Painter acted as Stewards.


   On Wednesday evening a recruiting concert, under the title of a Bohemian Concert, was held in the Drill Hall under the auspices of the “H” (Wokingham) Company. 4th Battalion Royal Berks Regiment. Colonel O. Pearce Serocold, Commanding Officer of the Battalion presided. The Hall was filled and a large number of ladies were present. The arrangements, staging etc. were capitally managed by a Committee consisting of Sergeants Morrish, Hughes, Lance-Sergeant Knapp, Corpoals Lane, Barrett, White, Barker, Ford and Potter, also Privates Hurdwell and Webb. The officers present were Captain and Adjutant Shape, Captain H.U.H. Thorne, Lieutenants Attride and Holcroft, and 2nd Lieutenant Faley.

   Catering for the large assembly was ably carried out by Mr. Allnatt, who has recently taken over the Wokingham Brewery premises in Broad Street. During the evening the chairman explained the terms of Territorial enlistment, and said that the Company was in reality over strength, but they required recruits to keep up their position. He presented to Private F. Poulter the efficiency and long service medal. Private Poulter had, for twelve years, attended camp, and had passed as efficient every year. A capital programme was carried through successfully. Miss L. Callingham acting as accompanist. Songs were sung by Misses K. Woodley and E. Bright, and Messrs. O’Callaghan, S.L. Mills, E. Sims, and W. Hyde; the Wokingham Old Boys’ Brigade gave hand-bell selections, while Lieutenants Holcroft and Attride gave an amusing sketch, ” A sister to assist her.” Admission was free, by ticket, and many were unable to obtain admission, those having sons or relatives in the Company being most successful in gaining entrance.


   Messrs. Trollope announce that they have sold by private treaty the freehold residential property “Manor House,” Barkham, extending to 61 acres.


   The large dining-room was crowded on Tuesday with a representative company on the occasion of the sale by auction by Mr. Arthur Ayres, auctioneer, of Reading, of the properties and shares belonging to the estate of the late Mr. George and Mrs. Mary Ann Grace, the former of whom carried on for many years past successfully the business of a wool stapler and fellmonger at Loddon Bridge House. Wokingham. There was keen competition for the whole of the lots which were sold, as the following prices will show:-

   Loddon Bridge House, with fellmonger’s factory and grounds of 7½ acres; started at £650, and eventually knocked down at £1,200.

 The meadow adjoining Lot 2, and comprising an area of 5¼ acres, commenced at £200, and eventually sold for £360.

   The pair of villa residences, Lot 3, let and producing £31 4s. per annum; started at £400, and sold for £550.

   Lot 4, the allotments and cottage at Hurst, with an area of half and acre: started at £80 and changed hands at £100.

   The parcel of freehold pasture land, forming Lot 5, situate at Hurst, close to Sindlesham Halt, with an area of over half an acre, eventually made £45 ater bidding had commenced at £25.

   Lot 6, a similar plot, with an area of over three quarters of an acre: bidding started at £40, and was sold at £65.

   Lot 7, a similar plot, with an area of over an acre, started at £65, and changed hands at £85.

   Lot 8, a similar plot: bidding started at £60, and eventually the property was sold for £110.

   Lot 9, Nos. 34, 36 and 38, Rose-street, Wokingham, 3 freehold dwelling-houses, let and producing £44 10s. per annum: bidding started at £300 and they were sold at £450.

   For the 50 shares in Colebrook and Co., Ltd. the most spirited bidding of the day was experienced, after an initial bid of £1 1s. these changed hands at 35s. per share.

   The 59 shares in the Reading Cemetery Co. changed hands at £5 per share.

   The freehold dwelling house, No. 92 Peach-street, Wokingham was bought in at £145, but we understand that this will be sold very shortly.

Sat 9th May


The Marchioness of Downshire, in the presence of a large company of residents of the town and district on Wednesday afternoon formally opened a grand bazaar in the Drill Hall, Wokingham in aid of a new motor fire engine, which it is proposed to purchase for the borough. The Wokingham Fire Brigade, which has been in existence nearly 40 years, has done valuable and efficient work in the past with their horse manual but it was felt that it should become more up to date and secure a motor fire engine, which will enable the brigade to cope more thoroughly with any outbreak which may occur in the town and ever increasing populous district of Wokingham Without.

   The Marquis of Downshire, who is High Steward of the Borough and also Chief Officer of the Fire Brigade, started a subscription list with £100, and of the £725 required upwards of £644 had been raised by private subscription before Wednesday’s final effort to secure another £100.

   So excellent was the response to the appeal made by a committee of the Brigade, that a Dennis patent turbine motor fire engine was ordered from the makers at Guildford, and this will soon be delivered. The engine is from 40 to 45 horsepower, has a current of from 200 to 250, with 1,200 feet of hose and a 60 feet jet, and is capable of travelling 30 miles an hour. As stated the price is £725.

   On Wednesday a new sister engine belonging to the Farnborough Fire Brigade was brought over by Chief Officer Collins, and it was on view in the Drill Hall yard. Previous to the opening of the bazaar members of the Wokingham Brigade were taken round the town on it in charge of the Captain (Lord Downshire).

   The following are the members of the Wokingham Fire Brigade all of whom were present in their brass helmets and smart uniforms:—

Chief Officer, The Marquis of Downshire; Deputy Chief Officer, F. Caiger; Lieutenant, A. Goswell; hon. Surgeon, Dr. T.B. Bokenham; engineers, F.G. Martin, W.B. Martin, and F. Knight; firemen, W.R. Brant, F. Dearlove, G.A. Brown, H.J. Painter, R. Herring, E. Hawkins, and the Earl of Hillsborough; hon. Secretary, Fireman Harold Watts, 7 Broad Street, Wokingham.

   The opening ceremony took place at two o’clock, and among those present were: The Marquis and Marchioness of Downshire, the hon. Mrs and Miss Peel, Major W.K. Bunting (chief officer of the Camberley Fire Brigade), Lieut. Colonel Fox (chief officer of London Salvage Corps), Miss Gregorie, Mr. P. Sale, C.C., the Rev. H.M. Walter, the Rev. J. Stratton, Mr. E. Watts, Fireman Harold Watts (hon. secretary), Chief Officer Collins (Farnborough Fire Brigade), Dr. T.B. Bokenham, Mr. A.J.S. Kennett (Reading, etc.

   The members of the Wokingham and Farnborough Fire Brigades were lined up on each side of the gaily-decorated platform.

   Fireman Harold Watts announced apologies, with wishes of success to the bazaar, from the Mayor and Mayoress of Wokingham (Mr. And Mrs. H. Mylne), Lord Londesborough (President of the National Fire Brigades Union), Mr. Sydney A. Hankey, Mr. And Mrs. Howard Palmer, Lady Bective, Mr. John Walter, Mr. S. B. Joel, Captain Godsal, Colonel Seabrook (Chairman of the Council of the National Fire Brigades Union), Chief Officer Halls (Windsor Fire Brigade), Mr. And Mrs. E.M. Sturges, and the Deputy-Mayoress (Mrs. W.T. Martin). Mr. Watts announced that £644 of the £725 required had been subscribed, and they were hoping that as a result of that bazaar the remaining sum of £100 or more would be realised. (Applause.)

   The Marquis of Downshire said he was there in two capacities—as High Steward of the Borough of Wokingham and as Captain of the Fire Brigade,—and he was very proud to hold both those positions, and he hoped he would always be able to serve the true interests of the inhabitants. Applause.) He wished to most cordially thank all the organisers, including the stallholders and helpers, and all those who had subscribed to the stalls for that bazaar: the residents of Wokingham, Wokingham Without, and those in the surrounding villages for their subscriptions and help to the motor fire engine fund; to those in charge of the refreshment stall, particularly Miss Cooper and Miss Rose; to Mr. Medcalf and his committee for organising the side shows; to Mr. Maidment and the teachers of the Palmer Schools for arranging the morris dances; to Mrs. H.B. Hall and party and Mr. F Ayers and party for arranging the concerts; to Mrs. S. Butler (conductor) and the members of the Wokingham Red Cross Prize Band; and to all those who had assisted in any way. He could only hope that they would be able to get sufficient money to pay for their new motor fire engine, and then the members of the Brigade would endeavour to make themselves proficient with the gift that had been kindly provided. He wished to thank Colonel Fox for kindly volunteering to come there that day in his smart Brigade uniform. He should also like to thank the Captain of the Farnborough Fire Brigade for kindly coming over with his men and showing the Wokingham people the kind of engine the local Brigade shortly hoped to have. (Applause). He took that opportunity on behalf of the Brigade, of thanking for all the great kindness and help they had rendered them. (Applause.)

   Mr. P. Sale said that as County Councillor for that borough, and also as a member of the Wokingham Town Council, it gave him great pleasure to be present that afternoon. He had known the Brigade since its formation, now nearly 40 years ago and he was very pleased to see what a great step forward it had made. (Applause.) When they came to think of it, it was rather out of date when they received a call from some five miles or so in the country to have to hunt about in order to find horses. He was sure they were all pleased to know that a good portion of the sum had already been provided, which would enable the motor engine to be purchased, and so enable the Brigade to become more and more efficient when called to a fire. The men certainly ought to be efficient under such an excellent Chief Officer, and he was sure the town had reason to be proud of the Brigade. (Applause).

   He remembered that when the Brigade was first formed under their old friend, Mr. John Briginshaw, who he was glad to know was still alive, they went to Chiswick and created surprise by carrying off the chief honours at the competition there. The inhabitants of Wokingham most cordially sympathised with the Brigade in the efforts they were making to secure the new motor engine, and he should like to acknowledge the debt which the townspeople owed to the members who gave up their business and pleasure at the call of duty. (Applause.). They set them all an excellent example, and he wished the Brigade every success. (Applause.)

   Deputy Chief Officer F. Caiger and Lieutenant A. Goswell, on behalf of the members of the Brigade, tendered their grateful thanks to Lord Downshire for all the kindness he had shown them in the past, and for the great assistance he had rendered in raising a fund for their new motor engine. The latter remarked that Lord Downshire’s household had contributed £160 to the fund. They knew that when their Captain took the matter up it was bound to be a success. (Applause.)

   Little Miss and Master Bokenham having presented to the Marchioness of Downshire a choice bouquet of orchids, supplied by Messrs. E.H. Davidson and Co., of Twyford.

   The Marchioness said she felt it a great honour to have been asked to open that bazaar. She hoped it would be a great success, because she knew how earnestly and thoroughly they had all worked to try and make it so, and what a splendid cause it was for. She had great pleasure in declaring the bazaar open. (Applause.)

   Colonel Fox, Chief Officer of the London Salvage Corps, in thanking Lady Downshire for opening the bazaar, said he thought Wokingham was a very lucky town. They possessed a smart Brigade and were very fortunate to have such charming ladies, headed by the Marchioness of Downshire, to assist at a bazaar of that kind on behalf of funds for a new motor engine. Of course it was for the good of the townspeople generally to have as efficient Brigade, and they were extremely fortunate in having as the Chief Officer the Marquis of Downshire, who not only knew his work, but did it well. (Applause.)

   He was recognised in the National Fire Brigade Union as an officer who took a very great interest in the work. (Hear, hear.) Colonel Fox also paid a tribute to the efficiency of the Brigade and thanked Fireman Harold Watts (the hon. Secretary) for all he had done.

   The sale then commenced. Concerts took place during the afternoon and evening and the total takings of the whole event amounted to £124 1s 3½d.

Sat 6th June

Mr W Chambers, Sergeant-at-Mace died in Australia. (Sydney Daily Telegraph 28th April) Taralga. William Chambers who arrived recently from England died suddenly at the Goodbron Hospital today. The late Mr W Chambers was well-known as a caterer at Wokingham and Wellington College. He served in the Volunteers and retired with the rank of sergeant. He was, for about 20 years a Sergeant at Mace and Sidesman at St. Paul’s Church. He had advised his friends of his intention of returning home.


Bovril, Limited, are continuing the payment of full wages to the relatives and dependents of all men in their employment, married or single, who are called up as Reservists or Territorials.

Captain Godsal, of Haines Hill, has given all his horses to the Government, and has also offered the use of his stables.

 The whole of the 4th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment (Territorials) on Wednesday morning volunteered en masse for service abroad.


No appeal has ever touched “the hearts of the British people”—to use the Prince of Wales’ words—with such ready success as that made on behalf of the National Relief Fund. The first day brought in a quarter of a million sterling—a striking tribute to the generous sympathy which is being manifested on behalf of those distressed by the havoc of war. But, although the response has been so gratifying, much more money will be needed.

   The fund is in every sense a national fund, principally because it is a great advantage to have one central organisation to deal with distress throughout the whole country. Experience shows that when such funds are raised and administered locally, it sometimes happens that the wealthiest, and therefore the least necessitous districts, obtain disproportionate relief, and the poorer parts of the country suffer by comparison Besides, no overlapping is possible when all the money is sent to , and administered by, one fund for the entire kingdom.

   For this reason, arrangements have been made for the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association and the Royal Patriotic Fund to co-operate with the National Relief Fund. All monies sent, therefore, will be used in the best possible way, in relief of distress arising from the war, both among the families of our soldiers and sailors and among industrial workers. To avoid waste, the help given by the National Relief Fund is closely co-ordinated with the work of the Cabinet Committee that deals with all forms of effort to relieve distress.


   Ordinary telegrams for places abroad, and radiograms, however addressed, can only be accepted at sender’s risk and if written in plain English or French. In the case of telegrams for Switzerland and Turkey, French only is allowed. All telegrams will be subject to censorship, and must bear the sender’s name at the end of the text, otherwise they are liable to be stopped until the name is notified by paid telegram. Any words subsequently added by paid inland telegram must, as a matter of course, also be paid for at the relative Foreign or Colonial rate.

   Registered abbreviated addresses will not be accepted either as the addresses of telegrams or as the names of senders. Ordinary telegrams in code and cipher or without text are prohibited.

Sat. 22nd Aug


   On Thursday night a meeting was held in the Town Hall, Wokingham, when Colonel Colebrooke Carter explained the object of Lord Kitchener’s scheme. The Mayor of Wokingham was in the chair, supported by Lord Haversham, Colonel Jones, Major Adam,  Mr. E.M. Sturges, and Mr. S.A. Hankey.

   The Mayor said the meeting was to enable Colonel Carter To give some information as to the calling up of the extra men.

    Colonel Carter said they were engaged in a great conflict and Lord Kitchener had asked for more men. It was the duty of every man and woman to do all that was possible to enable him to have a force at his disposal. It was of vital importance to get a second Army together, drilled and ready to fight. It was arranged that a recruiting committee should be formed to assist the Recruiting Officer. In Wokingham a sub-committee would be focussed. It was proposed to have a house-to-house call, and so find out all those men who were eligible for service. All who were physically fit were eligible. Men must be between the ages of 19 and 30. Separation allowance would be made for wives. Lord Kitchener had made up his mind to get a second army together strong to protect us in all difficulties. It was a way of life and death, and under these circumstances the nation could not refuse to respond to this appleal. (Applause.)

   Lord Haversham said that, thanks to our splendid Navy, the expeditionary force had been successfully landed to assist our allies. The Territorials and Yeomanry had been of great assistance to our Regular troops. The Territorial ranks were full, so those who wished to join Kitchener’s force must be quick about it. Mr. de Vitré had come forward to take names of recruits at the Drill Hall,

   Admiral Eustace referred to Oliver Cromwell’s well-trained body of men, and said Lord Kitchener wanted to get a body of men together like that. It was the duty of all to come forward.

   Colonel Jones said they were fighting an aristocratic clique of bullies who bullied their men. The present was a just war.

   Councillor Sale, in proposing a vote of thanks to the speakers, said they lived in a land of liberty. They were undertaking a gigantic task in the interest of peace. The Germans were not a liberty people. They were excellent people, and those he had met did not want to be at war with England but they were not at liberty. The Government were acting in defence of liberty. He regarded the call to arms as a most sacred call, and all had, he considered, a certain obligation to obey. He hoped the County of Berkshire would answer the call.


   In view of the present war crisis, a short account of this local fund should prove interesting to many, especially to those who subscribed. The latter have a right to know how the three trustees have carried out their trust during the past thirteen years, and as I am the only trustee left in the town it is obviously my duty to enlighten both subscribers and the public on the subject.

   The fund was started in October, 1899, by the late Captain Arthur Hill M.P., and a Committee consisting of the Mayor (Alderman W. White), Rev. R. de Muller Nixon, Messrs. G.A. Belcher, E. Garrard, E. Ifould, F. Martin, G.T. Phillips, H.G. Powell, with Messrs A.T. Heelas and F.P. Hatt as Hon. Secretaries.

   The first step taken was to start a fund to assist local widows and orphans of our soldiers and sailors who lost their lives in the Transvaal War. Feeling in the town at the time was strongly against so much money being collected and sent away to the large national funds, so this local fund was started to give immediate assistance to those living amongst us who did not appear to be satisfactorily covered by the other funds. The idea proved a popular one, especially among the poorer classes, as was proved by the generous way in which they supported it through the medium of collection boxes, etc. On November 14th, 1899, a grand patriotic concert was given in the Drill Hall in aid of the fund. H.R.H. Prince Christian, who was also a subscriber, supported by all the gentry of the neighbourhood, was present, and the concert proved a great success financially. Private subscriptions were raised to defray the expenses of the concert in order that the whole of the profits might be given to the fund. In addition, about fifty collection boxes and a few subscription lists were distributed, and when the fund was closed in 1901 there was a balance in the bank of £201 8s. 4d., all the accounts being duly audited by Mr. J.J. Evans in October 22nd of that year.

   It so happened that our married local soldiers and sailors came through the war well, and there was not a single claim on the fund. Then arose the question as to its disposal. Seeing the money was collected conditionally for the distribution to local widows and orphans, the Committee did not feel justified in handing it over to any outside fund, as it would have been lost to the town, and at the same time would not have fulfilled the conditions given at the time of collection.

   It was then decided to appoint three trustees: Messrs Ifould, G.T. Phillips and A.T. Heelas, to manage the fund, with Mr. James may as honorary legal advisor. The money was promptly withdrawn from the bank and invested with the result that we now have a fund starting at £334 0s. 0d., which I trust will be utilised for relieving the families of our brave soldiers and sailors who are gallantly fighting for their King and Country. A meeting will be shortly held to elect a new trustee in the place of Mr. E. Ifould, who has resigned, and to make arrangements for the distribution of the fund.

                                                                        (Signed) Arthur T. Heelas. Aug. 12th 1914.

Sat 29th Aug


   At a meeting held in Friday of last week, the Mayor presiding, the movement of enrolling “loyal citizens and inhabitants” so as to guard life and property was carried a stage further. Members had given in their names as being willing to act as a special police reserve. The Mayor was supported by Admiral Eustace and General Fasken. He pointed out the need of home defence in the matter of spies and spoke of the value of drill. He had asked General Fasken to take command. General Fasken who said he had served for forty years and had again volunteered-(Applause)-accepted the position. He said the special police reserve were not sworn in until they were wanted. Mr. Garry enquired if the men were to drill and prepare as a kind of irregular force. Admiral Eustace said their duty would be to assist the police. It was decided to hold the first drill on Langborough Recreation Ground on Wednesday afternoon.


   On Monday the bread tickets under Bromley’s Charity were distributed by the trustees. The usual St. Bartholomew’s Day sermon was preached at All Saint’s Church in connection with this charity.


   The fete fixed for Wednesday last week has been postponed. The new motor fire engine is expected to arrive at one o’clock on Monday.


   It is advertised that the annual show of the Wokingham and District Agricultural Association, which was to take place at Hines Hill on the 7th October, is for this year abandoned.

Sat 5th Sept


   The Bishop has licensed the Rev. Ernest George Drummond, M.A., to the curacy of St. Paul, Wokingham.


   Wheat is the crop of the year here, and spring oats, where sown early, are good, but on heavy land, and where late sown, a failure. Barley a fair crop and yield very good but very indifferent sample. Roots are a good plant, and, if rain should come, will be a good crop. Most farms have finished harvest, having bad seed weather. The hay crop is light but of good quality.


   Through the kindness of Mr. Cusack, Shute End House, has been lent for Belgian refugees. Furniture has been lent by a number of the residents of Wokingham, and the house has been thoroughly cleaned by a band of willing woman helpers. The carting of the furniture also has been kindly undertaken by Messrs. Osgood, Laird, Herring, Bullock and Ayers. The following ladies are serving on the Committees:-Miss Hankey, Miss Sturges, Lady Haversham, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Eustace, Mrs. Durbridge, Mrs. Ardizzon?? With Misses Handy and Barry as joint secretaries. Mdlle. Luitzen is managing the household.


   The Miniature Range is crowded on Monday and Thursday evenings with men who are learning to shoot while the Terrace Room is used for drill, which is being enthusiastically taken up. On Monday night 700 rounds of ammunition were used.

Sat 12th Sept


   There was a large gathering in the Drill Hall on Saturday evening, to stimulate recruiting for Lord Kitchener’s new army. The Mayor presided, and was supported by Lord Haversham. Mr. E. Gardner, M.P., Mr. Boyd Carpenter, Mr. Philip Sale, Mr. W.T. Martin, Mr. Vincent Craig, Colonel White, General Fasken, Captain Dalgleish, Admiral Eustace, Mr. Edgcumbe, etc. A stirring and eloquent speech was made by Mr. Boyd Carpenter, who quickly gained the ear of the large assembly and was constantly applauded. The Member for East Berks also spoke, as did Mr. P. Sale. Lord Haversham proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers.


   The annual sale of work in aid of the C.M.S. was held in St. Paul’s Parish Room on Thursday afternoon. A large variety of women’s and children’s garments made by the St. Paul’s Girls’ Sewing Class, as well as shirts for men and articles suitable for sending to the Red Cross Society, were on sale, and a brisk trade was done.

 Sat 26th Sept

Lady Eustace died.

Lt. Frederick de Vere Allfrey, 9th Lancers, only son of Frederick Vere Allfrey and grandson of Mrs Bruce of Arborfield Court, was killed aged 22. He was shot by a wounded German after he had dismounted to extract a lance from a wounded comrade’s leg.

Sat 17th Oct


   The Drill Hall was crowded on Wednesday evening, when an excellent concert was given in aid of the local patriotic fund. Throughout the greatest interest was maintained by the crowded audience and appreciation for the excellent numbers presented was shown by loud applause.

 The programme was as follows:-

March, Selection, The Wokingham Orchestra: Song and Chorus, “England’s Battle Hymn” (F. Sydney Smith); Dr. Nash: Song, “Queen of Nations,”; Miss Olive Crowe: Piano Solo, “Chanson Triste” (Tchaikovsky); Major Adam: Songs, (a) “The Two Grenadiers” (in French) and (b) “I’ll Sing Thee Songs of Araby” (Fred Clay); Mr.Sydney Barraclough: Recitation, “Lasca” (Frank Desprez); Miss Nora Butler: Songs (a) “See, Love, I Bring Thee Flowers” (Frank Lambert), and (b) “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal” (Roger Quinter); Mr. E. Croft: Song “Mother Machree”; Madame Ellen Heron: Violin Solo, “Mazurka” (Mlynarski); Miss Marjorie Bower: Song “Up From Somerset” (Sanderson); Mr. C. Powell Eastbury: Song “Awake Spring” (Montague Phillips); Miss Dorothy Wescott: Song “Tis Jolly to Hunt” (Sterndale Bennett); Dr. Nash: Monologue; Mr. C. Powell Eastbury: “Your King and Country Need You” (Paul Rubens);

   Madame Ellen Heron: An amusing one-act farce “Blatherwick’s Diplomacy” by J.B. Trenwith, was produced under the direction of Mr. Sydney Barraclough. The characters were:-

Adolphus Blatherwick, an aspiring but impecunious dramatist         Major Adam

Mrs. Eliza Blatherwick, his wife                                                         Mrs H.B. Hall

Gertrude, their daughter, a suffragette                                               Miss Crowe

Arthur Chetwynd, her suitor                                                              Mr. McEwan

Gwendoline Mary, the cook                                                               Miss OliveCrowe

John Henry Stubbs, a broker’s man                                                    Mr. Ernest Targett

Aunt Matilda (a little deaf)                                                                 Miss Dorothy Sale

Edmund Fitzclarence, manager of the Thespian Theatre                    Mr. E. Croft

   The scene: A morning room in Blatherwick’s house.

            “God Save the King” was sung by Madame Ellen heron, the well-known local favourite. Mr. Staniland gratuiteously printed the programmes and advertised the concert and Mr. P. Sale very kindly sent plants for decoration.


   On Monday evening a meeting of special constables was held in the county Police Station. Supt. Goddard explained that it was proposed to swear in special constables for the county this year, and not for the Borough of Wokingham alone. Admiral Eustace said that the county had responded with a large number of special police reserves. An Act had now been passed which enabled them to swear in special constables, and the County Council had decided to swear in 2,000 to act anywhere. They had heard from the War Office that Wokingham was one of the proclaimed areas, which, although it did not mean it was under Martial Law, it was getting on that way. Bridge guarding was most important. They did not want soldiers to do what they could do themselves. There were 50 or 60 Germans in Wokingham and district, and they must be ready.


   On Sunday afternoon the Fire Brigade received a call from Everseley and within 14 minutes were at the scene of the fire. A store in the occupation of Mr. Dearlove was burnt down, but the efforts of the brigade prevented other damage.

Sat 24th Oct


   A matinee was given at the above theatre on Tuesday in aid of the Belgian refugees. The well-known bass, Mr. Berry, sang “The Battle Hymn,” assisted by a chorus, and later the “Bugle Call”. The directors have much pleasure in handing over £5 to the fund.


   The East Berks Women’s Liberal Association have made and sent to the Belgian Relief Fund 125 under-garments, and a large bale of warm clothing. The Hon. secretary, Miss L. Kemp, has received the following message from M. Navaux, secretary of the fund: “Please convey my sincere and heartfelt thanks to all the members of your Association who have contributed towards this gift. My countrymen, I am sure, will always feel the deepest gratitude for all that has been done for them in this time of trouble, by the British public.


   A social evening and whist drive was held in the Drill Hall on Wednesday evening in aid of the Tobacco fund for the 1st and 2nd Battn. Royal Berks Regiment at the front. There was a good attendance. Eighteen tables were occupied and the prize-winners were: Ladies: Miss Taylor, Miss Smith and Miss Belcher; Gentlemen: Messrs Stacey, Spencer and Hebbes. The prizes and refreshments were supplied by a committee of ladies.

Sat 14th Nov


   The result of the collection by the Mayoress (Mrs. Mylne) of Wokingham for the Queen’s “Work for Women” Fund was as follows: By sale of flowers, £20 11s. 9d.; by collection in places of worship, £19 7s. 10d.; by card collection, £56 0s. 5d.; total, £96. The Mayoress wishes to thank all those who so kindly helped to produce this very gratifying result.

An auction sale will be held today (Saturday) at the Small Town Hall, Reading, by Messrs. Nicholas, the whole gross proceeds of which they will hand over to the Prince of Wales’s fund. The Mayor will open the sale at 12 o’clock.


   Ald. H.C. Mylne has been chosen as Mayor and Chief Magistrate at Wokingham for the ensuing year, this being the sixth occasion on which that gentleman has been elected to fulfil the duties which fall to the holder of these important positions.

Sat 21st Nov


   On Wednesday evening the Wokingham branch of the Young Helpers’ League Union and Wesley Guild held a lantern lecture in the Schoolroom, Rose-street. Mr. Kidd presided, and Miss Moxey, of the National Children’s Home gave an address, illustrated by lantern slides.


   The East Berks Women’s Liberal Association has this week despatched 20 comforts for the soldiers, together with a large box of bandages, and old linen to Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild. They have also made 89 garments and collected a large bale of warm clothing for the Belgian Relief Fund to be sent to refugees in Holland.


   An advertisement states that an exhibition of water-colours of the battlefields of Belgium before the war, by Miss E. Fellowes, will be held in aid of the above fund at The Studio, Gipsyside, Wokingham, on the 26th, 27th and 28th inst.

C. E. T.S. (Temperance Society)

Mr. H. Ferris Pike, Diocesan Secretary of the C.E.T.S., gave an interesting lantern lecture and explained the nature of the “emergency pledge” of total abstinence during the war, in the Church House on Tuesday evening. The President (the Rev. B. Long) presided over a good attendance. Miss Voss was at the piano and Mr. E. Paice worked the lantern.


   On Friday last week some 45 special constables were sworn in before Mr. H.C. Mylne and Mr. L.R. Erskine. Superintendent Goddard stated that each would be given a warrant card, which he must always carry, and they would also be served out with a staff, whistle and badge, which were the property of the county. Although they had sworn in for the county, he did not think they would be called up outside the borough. Mr. Mylne said he had to thank them in previous years for holding themselves in readiness, but this year it was different. He had to thank them for drilling so ardently for the past three months, and also for the excellent patrol duty they had done, which was very valuable work. One could say how much mischief had been averted. They had, unfortunately, a large number of the enemy in their midst, who would undoubtedly strike sooner or later. He was afraid they had a great deal of work before them, but he was sure they would do their duty in no niggardly manner. Mr. Erskine said he was glad to see such a large number present. It did one good to see so many come forward in such a patriotic spirit. He had been s magistrate in two other counties, but he had not seen a better force of police.

   The following were sworn in: Messrs. A. Wardlaw, A.T. Heelas, H.T. Wallis, V. Craig, C.W. Rawlings, T.B. Pither, A.E. Moreland, E.P.W.A. Adlam, W. Liddiard, L.F. Morres, A. Price, B. Reading, H.T. Blake, E. Garnett, J. Butler, T. Butcher, W. Knight, C. Townsend, E. Milton, S. Barraclough, W.A. Wilson, F. Staniland, G. Smale, G. Hall, V. Fulcher, S.V. Maris, J.W. Talbot, D. Herring, G.E. Loader, J.A. Alderidge, W. Eggleton, A. Jennings, M.F. Mitchell, W. Teakle, F.A. Palmer, W.H. Barry, J.H. Boney, T. Herring, E.R. Thatcher, C.F. Mason, F.G. Fisher, F.N.A. Garry, A. Rasey, W.A. Fifield.



Combined operations were undertaken by sea and land against the German troops and fortified places on the Belgian coast, on Tuesday. Two allied squadrons were engaged. One bombarded Zeebrugge, doing severe damage to the harbour-works and locks and setting fire to many buildings. The other squadron co-operated with a land force which attacked the German positions near Nieuport. Two German batteries were silenced. The allied squadron finally withdrew, having one torpedo-boat seriously damaged. German submarines attacked the squadron which bombarded Zeebrugge.



Extract from the letter of an officer at the front, written on November 14, 1914

We probably have a couple of days’ rest in billets, which is delightful after a rather hard three weeks in the trenches. When there, it is impossible to wash more than one’s hands and face occasionally, and of course it is impossible to get one’s things dry. It is really horrid, but we get used to it so quickly that we hardly notice it.

   But what has happened to recruiting in England? It must not stop. Men are wanted, and will be wanted for months, as it is certain that as time goes on they will want to be relieved in the fighting-line. We all hope for a change in this line soon. If only they could come out here for a bit they would recruit at once I feel sure; at least all who consider themselves men. Perhaps they think they will not be wanted. That is wrong entirely. It really nearly makes one sick when you see men out here in the trenches and on the alert for hours together in the most awful weather, then to pick up the “Daily Mail” and see that 20,000 men have watched a football match somewhere. It is disheartening to the men. And to give such people peace and prosperity others far more worthy are laying down their lives willingly. Something will have to be done to stir them up if they cannot do it themselves.


   The coming of winter, if it has lessened the active pressure of the enemy upon the Allies’ front in Flanders, has also made the lot of our men more difficult. The condition of the trenches, says the “eye-witness,” became after the first fall of snow “wretched beyond description.” The men have to stand in half-frozen slush. “The problem of how to enable them to keep their feet warm and dry is now engaging serious attention.”

   The artillery of the Allies has established a well-defined superiority at certain points on the battlefront

   Ypres is, and has been since the battle-front was drawn before it, in the hands of the allies. No German has succeeded, except perhaps by subterfuge, in entering the town or even in getting near it. “The Allies’ position there is stronger than it has ever been.”


   Along the battle-front in Belgium and France the enemy’s guns were violently active on Sunday. Their fire was especially directed upon the unhappy cities that have already suffered so heavily. Ypres, Reims and Soissons. Ypres was in flames—its belfry, its Cathedral, its markets, and many of its houses. It paid the price that Germany exacts for successful resistance.

   Paris reported “a very warm day” in the Argonne, where the enemy made “a number of very hot attacks” without success.

Sat 28th Nov.


   On Wednesday a successful sale of work was held in the Baptist Sunday Schoolroom in aid of the funds. The sale was opened by Mrs. R. Jackson of Reading, who was welcomed by the Rev. E.E. Smith. A bouquet was presented to Mrs. Jackson by two little sons of Mr. G.A. Pigg. Mr. J. Watts proposed a vote of thanks to Mrs. Jackson, and Mr. M. Blake seconded. The stalls were tastefully arranged and held many useful articles, and were presided over by Mesdames Moorcock, Kirkby, Blake, C. Brant, Medcalf, Butler, Player, and Griffith. Misses. Cordery, Smith (2), and Blake. During the evening various amusements were provided. The concerts were arranged by Miss Lilian Butler and the living pictures by Miss C. Sale. The following assisted in the musical programme, viz., Mrs. G. Hall, Miss M. Kirkby, Miss N. Butler, Mr. H.B. Hall, Mr. P. Sale, Miss Marshall, Mr. Croft. Miss G. Loader, Master C. Brown, Master O. Reynolds, Miss Golding, Miss E. Pither, and Mr. C. Grigg. A dart-board with the Kaiser’s head for a bull’s-eye was largely patronised. Gramophone selections were given by Mr. F. Staniland.


   On Wednesday a successful whist drive and social took place in the Drill Hall, organised by Mesdames W. Martin (Drill Hall), White and Brant. Mr. D. Herring acted as M.C. The object of the effort was to raise a fund to supply the local (H) Company Royal Berks Territorials, now on active service at home, with tobacco and cigarettes. Prizes were given by Mr. T.E. Ellison, Mr. W.T. Martin, Messrs Heelas, Sons, and Co. (Wokingham), Mr. W. Bodle, Mr. Snell, Mr. Herring, and Mrs. E. Brant. Refreshments were the gifts of the following: Mrs. W. White, Mrs. W. White jun., Mrs. Lovelock, Mrs. Barrow, Mrs. A. Brant, Mrs. D. Herring, Mrs. Searle, Mrs. Beckenham, Mrs. Harrison, and Mr. E. Painter. Five pounds was the amount raised by the effort.


   At St. Paul’s Church on Sunday evening at 5.45 a memorial service was held in memory of those in the parish who had fallen in the war. The Rector (Rev. H.M. Walter) conducted the service, assisted by the Rev. E.G. Drummond


   Red Lodge, London Road, has been furnished for Belgians, and a party of five ladies and four gentlemen from Brussels, Louvain and Antwerp are now residing there. A committee of ladies, with Miss Vera Robinson as hon. secretary, have been responsible for the arrangements.

Sat 26th Dec


   On Monday evening a concert was given in the Embrook Sunday School, as an entertainment to the members of the “D” Company, Leicestershire, now stationed in this neighbourhood. Mr. England-Croft, assisted by the Rev. E.G. Drummond, had arranged a capital programme, which was augmented by a number of items, contributed by the soldiers. The room was crowded and the concert was musch appreciated. The civilians taking part were Messrs. S. Barraclough, England-Croft, E.T. Lunn, McEwan, E. Targett, W.B. Webster Binfield), Webster (of Reading), W. White, S. Adams and the Rev. E. G. Drummond. The Major of the Leicestershires, who was present, expressed his thanks in suitable terms. The accompanists during the evening were Mr. England-Croft and one of the military visitors.


   Distribution of “Bull” beef and bread was made on Monday, St. Thomas’s Day, from the Rose Hotel. The trustees and helpers afterwards dined at “The Rose.”


   The children of St. Paul’s Sunday School were entertained to tea in the Parish Room on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. This was followed by a distribution of prizes and an entertainment.


   The children of St. Paul’s Day Schools were entertained on Wednesday, the infants at 3, and the older children at 5 p.m. Each child received a present as well as a bun and an orange.

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All Saints Church Memorial and news from 1860

The Great War Memorial outside All Saints church

The Great War Memorial outside All Saints church

All Saints Church built a war memorial for their parishioners in 1921; a monument situated outside in the grounds and a tablet inside the church itself.

On this page there is also a transcription of the Reading Chronicle’s references to the All Saints Church starting way back in the 1860′s. It is a magical mix of small local stories and All Saints’ involvement in some of the greatest events of the time.  Our thanks to Jim Bell for the enormous effort made in bringing these stories together

Firstly though here are the stories of the servicemen who are named on the All Saints Memorial; many of which you are likely to find upsetting:

Surname A

Frederick Alexander of Royal Berks : F. de V. Bruce Allfrey of 9th Lancers :

Surname B

Charles A Ballard of Canadian Mounted Rifles : Albert Edward Barker of Royal Berks : William Barker of Royal Berks : David Southon Beasley of Scots Guards : Ernest George Bennett of Royal Berks : John Bird of Royal Berks : Frederick James Bourton of RN HMS Shark : James William Bowyer of Devonshire Regiment : Charles Brackley of Royal Berks : William Brant of Royal Berks : William Walter Brant of Kings Own Royal Lancs : Charles Henry Brown of Machine Gun Corps: Sydney Bryant of RN HMS Queen Mary:  Frank Buckle of RMLI HMS Lowestoft: Walter George Buckle of RN HMS Shannon: Arthur Cranston Buckner of Queens Royal West Surreys: Henry Butler  of Royal Garrison Artillery

Surname C

Gerald Raymond Carey of Royal Fusiliers: Leslie Joseph Chaston of Somerset Regiment :

The All Saints Memorial is situated upstairs in the church.

The All Saints Memorial is situated upstairs in the church.

Harry Chivers of Royal Berks : Alfred A Clarke of Middlesex Regiment: Walter Clayton of London Regiment: Charles H Clements of Royal Berks : John Ernest Collins of Royal Navy HMS Bulwark: Charles Dan Collyer of Royal Army Service Corps: Norman W Cooper of Royal Berks : Samuel Henry Cooper of Somerset Regiment: Hector Corbyn of Royal Navy HMS Cressy: John Edward Cotterell : Machine Gun Corps : John Croome of Hampshire Regiment:

Surname D

John Robert Dance of Royal Berks: William Dance of Royal Berks : George S Dandridge of Queen’s Royal West Surreys : Robert C Davidson of Rifle Brigade: Sidney Arthur Davis of Royal Scots Fusiliers : Horace William Day of Grenadier Guards : Frederick C Dray of Royal Berks:

Surname E

Charles Eales of Royal Berks : George Anthony Eales of Royal Berks: Charles Edward Evans of Royal Marine Light Infantry, HMS Goliath:

Surname F

George Fage of Royal Berks : Joseph Fielder of Berks Imperial Yeomanry: William Fisher of Royal Berks : Arthur G Franklin of Dorset Regiment:

Surname G

Arthur Gibbs of Royal Berks: Frank Goddard of Royal Sussex : William Goodchild of Royal Berks : William C Goswell of Royal Berks:

Surname H

Frederick Hall Royal Berks: Albert W Hallworth Welsh Guards: William C E Hewett Royal Berks: Harry A Hiscock Royal Berks : Sidney Hogburn Royal Berks : William H Holloway Royal Berks:

Surname J

William Janes Dorset Regiment : Alfred T Jeffcock Rifle Brigade: John Alfred Johnson of Royal Berks : William Henry Jones of London Regiment:

Surname K

 Alfred Thomas Key of Royal Navy HMS Rowan: William J Killick of Queen’s Royal West Surreys:

Surname L

Isaac Lamb of Royal Berks: William James Lamb of Royal Berks: Albert Victor Lammas of East Kent Regiment: Albert Edward Langley of Royal Berks: Albert E Langley of Royal Berks : William A Langley of Royal Fusiliers: William S Lawrence of London Regiment: Ernest W Lewer of Royal Navy HMS Tiger: John Life of Oxford & Buckinghamshire Reg: Albert Victor Loader of London Regiment: Samuel Holt Lomax of Cameron Highlanders: Albert Lovejoy of Royal Navy Division: George Lush of Royal Berks :

Surname M

Thomas H Mead of Royal Field Artillery: John Merritt of Royal Berks : Charles Miles of Northamptonshire Regiment: Francis A Miles of Royal Berks: Jesse Reuben Mitchell of Royal Berks: Arthur F W Myatt of London Regiment:

Surname N

William L Newman of Canadian Force : B Hills Nicholson of Royal Fusiliers: E Hills Nicholson of Royal Fusiliers: V Hills Nicholson of Royal Navy HMS Recruit : Charles Norris of Devonshire Regiment:

Surname P

Frank Palmer of Royal Berkshire: Harry Thomas Pink of Royal Marine Light Infantry: James M Plant of Royal Berks : Walter Philip Price Labour Corps : James Thomas Prior Grenadier Guards:

Surname R

William Tom Rance of Queens Royal West Surreys : Frederick J Ricketts of Royal Berks: Charles Henry Rideout of Royal Berks : Arthur Robins of Royal Army Service Corps: Ernest Edward Russ of Royal Berks: William Henry Russ of Royal Marine Light Infantry:

Surname S

James W Sadler of Royal Irish Rifles: Frederick A Sargeant of Royal Berks: Norman H Smith of London Regiment: Richard Smith of Royal Berks: Francis A Stanley of Royal Warwickshire Regiment : Harold S Street of Royal Berks : William Sturgess of Berks Imperial Yeomanry : Edward J Swadling of Royal Warwickshire Regiment : Frederick J Swain of Royal Air Force:

Surname T

William J Thurtell of Machine Gun Corps : Frank Treacher of Royal Field Artillery : Charence H Trill of Royal Navy HMS Ettrick: Alfred Trulock of Royal Engineers : Arthur Turner of Royal Berks : Charles Turner of Worcestershire Regiment:

Surname V

Herbert J Vickers of Royal Garrison Artillery

Surname W

Robert Hugh Walker of Seaforth Highlanders: Alfred W Warwick of Royal Berks :  Edwin Spencer Webb of Liverpool Regiment: William Welsh of Royal Berks: Arthur R White of Queens Royal West Surreys : Roger W White of Royal Field Artillery : William S White of Cornwall Regiment : Harvey L Williams Royal Marine Light Infantry: Sidney W Woolford of Royal Army Medical Corps.

All Saints Church News 1864 to 1920

Sat 16th April 1864

Opening of All Saints Parish Church on Friday 15th April after renovations.

Sat 28th March 1868


   On Friday, the 20th inst. The meet of the Queen’s staghounds was fixed for Wokingham and in the morning it was rumoured that we were to be honoured by the presence of the Prince of Wales, and this rumour was soon confirmed by the arrival of the Prince’s horses. The hounds arrived in the Market Place shortly before the appointed time and were met by an immense field of horsemen estimated at upwards of three hundred besides many ladies and carriages.

   Exactly at twelve o’clock the Prince, accompanied by his Equerry, Captain Ellis, arrived in a carriage and pair, and having alighted at the “Rose” Hotel, he mounted his favourite chestnut hunter and proceeded through the streets amidst the hearty but respectful greetings of the assemblage to a meadow below All Saints’ Church, where the deer, the celebrated “Doctor,” specially reserved for this occasion was uncarted.

  The Prince looked remarkably well and repeatedly acknowledged the cheers of the assemblage. The “Doctor,” directly he was at liberty, bounded off in the direction of Bracknell, but being headed he turned into the grounds at Buckhurst and from thence went on through Billingbear to Shottesbrook park at a great pace; at the last named place he got into a pond and a check ensued which was most welcome to such of the field as were still in the hunt.

   The “Doctor” was safely taken near Taplow, after a good run. Three gentlemen only were up at the finish. The casualties were numerous, and the Prince had several falls- one soon after starting, his horse, owing to the giving-way of a rotten bank, falling with him. He was, however, immediately up and mounted again, with no worse result than a mark of Berkshire mud on his scarlet coat.

Sat 26th Sept 1874


   The ceremony of laying the memorial stone of All Saints’ Church Schools, Wokingham, took place on Thursday. The new buildings are being erected by Mr. Maynard, builder, from plans by Mr. Joseph [Merrle?], architect, Reading. The schools will be capable of accommodating 400 boys, girls, and infants. The total cost, including a teacher’s residence, is estimated at £2,000. Of this, £1,300 must be raised by voluntary contributions, and the rest will be obtained under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, by the sale of property belonging to a local endowment for educational purposes, known as “Martha Palmer’s Charity.” Contributions amounting to about £830 have already been promised. The site of the new schools is on land situated between All Saints’ Church and the new parsonage house. On Thursday afternoon a large number of people assembled to witness the ceremony of laying the stone. Amongst others we noticed the Rector (the Rev. E. Sturges), John Walter, Esq., Mrs. Walter, Miss Walter, Capt. Morres, R.N., Rev. A.P. Purey-Cust, Rural Dean, Rev. Sir John Hayes, Bart., Rev J.T. Brown, Rev. E. Morres, Rev. H. S.N. Lenny, Rev. H. Parsons, Rev. E.C. Cope, Rev. A. Roberts, Rev. A. Bonney, Miss Morres, Mrs. Redmond Morres, Rev. G. de Vitré, Mrs. Tucker, Rev. H.G. Bird, J.L. Leveson-Gower, Esq., Alderman Goodchild, Mr. H. Lane, Mr. H. May, &c. The children of the school walked in procession to the building, and the clergy and surpliced choir occupied a platform near to where the stone was laid. The ceremony commenced by the children alone singing the hymn “Gracious Saviour, gentle Shepherd.”

   The prayers appointed for the service were then read by the Rector.

   At the conclusion of the prayers the stone was lowered, and Mrs. Walter, after spreading the mortar, and gently hammering the stone with a mallet said,–In the faith of Jesus Christ we place this foundation stone, in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

   A hymn was then sung followed by speeches.

Sat 20th Oct 1888


   The available burial space in the churchyard attached to the ParishChurch (All Saints’) has become exceedingly small, and it is supposed to again enlarge it. The “Parish Magazine” for October says that the Rector and Churchwardens have been most kindly met by General Crutchley, the owner of the adjoining property, and that there is every probability of the requisite land being obtained.

 Sat 17th Dec 1892


   We regret to record the death of the Rev. G.E.D. De Vitré of Keephatch, Wokingham, which occurred on Saturday afternoon. The reverend gentleman was well-known for his neighbourliness, his geniality and generosity

   The funeral took place at All saints’ ParishChurch on Wednesday afternoon.

 Sat 3rd March 1900


    The news of the Relief of Ladysmith was received with great enthusiasm on Thursday morning and in a very short time the town was decorated with flags and banners. A peal was rung on the bells of All Saints Church and a salute of twenty-one fog signals was fired at the Railway Station. At night there was a torchlight procession in which the town band, the Volunteer Band, the Fire Brigade and Boys’ Brigade took part.

 20th July 1901


   On Thursday Afternoon, the 11th inst., in most perfect weather, Mrs. W. Howard Palmer laid the foundation stone of the new Church House for All Saints Parish, Wokingham. The ceremony was a brilliant one and among those present were the Rev. Canon Sturges and family, The Rev. E.G. Norris (St. Bartholomew’s, Reading), the Rev. R. de M Nixon and A.P. Carn, the Rev. the Hon. A.G. Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. Melville, Colonel Walker and family, Major Barker and family, Mr. and Mrs. H.B. Blandy, Lady Katharine Eustace, Colonel and Mrs. Ford, Mr. and Mrs. S.A. Hankey, the Mayor and Mayoress of Wokingham, Surgeon-General E.E. Lloyd and family, Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Rose, Mr. W. Howard Palmer, Mrs. Nixon, Mr. Mylne, Mr. and Mrs. E. Ward, Miss Fuller, Miss F. Simmons, Miss Shorter, the Misses Pearman, Mr. and Mrs. Chandler, Mr. and Mrs. Ducroq etc.

   A special form of service had been prepared. After an introductory address the Rector handed the trowel to Mrs Palmer, who laid the stone. Special prayers were then said

   After which the Rector invited Mrs. Palmer’s acceptance of the trowel. The contractor (Mr. Hughes) presenting in addition a mallet and spirit level.

   Mr. Melville, one of the churchwardens, thanked the contributors, and Mr. W.B. Mower also a churchwarden, expressed the desire of the meeting for the successful completion of the undertaking.

   At the conclusion of the ceremony, the large party, at the invitation of Canon Sturges, adjourned to the Rectory garden, where an “at home” was held by Canon and Mrs. Sturges.

   We learn from an official circular that the buildings proposed to be erected are from the designs of Messrs. Morris and Sons, architects of Reading and will include a main hall 45 feet by 30 feet, to seat 300, a committee room 24 feet by 16 feet, a store-room, tea-kitchen, cloak room and offices. The hall will be available for mission services, Sunday-schools etc. and the various meetings connected with the parish and diocese, while the smaller room will accommodate committees, clubs etc. The store-room will receive the various parish property now kept at the Rectory and elsewhere. The cost will amount to £1,600 of which all but £500 is now promised. The Rector has very generously guaranteed the amount needed.

   The “raison d’etre” for the scheme will be evident when it is stated that the increase in the population of All Saints’ Parish for the past ten years is 618, and that 141 houses were built in that period, most of them in actual proximity to the new rooms. It is hoped that the scheme and the building may alike be completed in time, in the words of the circular, “to secure to the parish as a Christmas gift for 1901 a Church House complete, in full use, and free from debt.”

   The treasurers of the scheme, who form the executive committee, are the Rector and churchwardens, the bankers Messrs J. and C. Simonds and Co., and Mr. H. Benstead the hon. Secretary. The general committee includes the whole of the church and parish officers, also the following:- Mr. and Mrs. Arnold, the Rev. the Hon. A.G. Campbell, Lady K. Eustace, Col. And Mrs. Ford, Mr. T.C. Garth, Mr. W.T. Hosler, Mrs. Hughes, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd, Mrs. Melville, Mrs. Mylne, Mrs. Murdoch, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson, Mrs. Nixon, Mr. and Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Ward, Mr. T.M. Wescott, Mr and Mrs. Weston.

   The brilliant weather on Thursday contributed in no small degree to the pronounced success of the gathering.

 Sat 7th Feb 1903


   The following are the inscriptions found on the six old bells of All Saints’ Church, Wokingham:-

   Treble: T. Mears, London; fecit 1814. 2nd: S.K., 1704. 3rd: S.K., 1703 (tracings of oak leaves and acorn). 4th: T. Mears, London: fecit 1814. 5th:S.K., John Hawes, Robert Hunt, C.W., 1704 (figure of a man). Tenor: Samuel Knight made this, pele; John Hawes, Robert Hunt, C.W., 1703. This bell also bears tracings of oak leaves and acorns.

   It has been decided to re-cast No. 2 and 3 bells, which are out of tune, to quarter turn the other four, and to add two new trebles. The whole peal will be re-hung on a wrought iron frame on steel girders with a new floor between the bells. The work has been entrusted to Messrs. Webb and Bennett, and the cost is £328 17s. The contractors assure the completion of the work by next Easter-day.

 Sat 28th July 1906 Reading Observer


   The annual church parade will take place on Sunday next, at All Saints Church. Fall In at the Drill Hall at 10.30 a.m. Dress—Tunic, blue trousers, helmets, and side arms.—By order, D.F. Denis de Vitre, Capt.

 April 1910


   Mr. William Barnard Mower who some 35 years ago was a well-known corn merchant, &c., in Rose Street, died last week at his residence 63, Peach-street, after a long illness. He was much respected, and formerly held a prominent position in public affairs. He was one of the first Town Councillors on the granting of the charter in 1885, and served continuously till 1903, when, owing to ill-health, he retired. He was Mayor in 1893-4. As Secretary of the Starr-Bowkett Societies of Wokingham and Bracknell, he was still more widely known. For many years in succession, he was chosen Rector’s Warden of All Saints’, which position he relinquished at Easter, 1909, on account of illness. He was twice married. He leaves a widow, a son (Mr. Frank Mower), and two daughters Mrs. J.H. Byard (Wokingham), and Mrs. Slade (Caversham), for whom general sympathy has been expressed. The funeral took place at All Saints’ Church on Monday, the Rector (the Rev. B. Long) officiating. The Mayor (Alderman D.N. Heron), with members and officials of the Corporation, attended.

 Sat 14th May 1910


   The sad news of the King’s death cast a gloom over the whole borough and neighbourhood. Flags floated at half-mast over the Municipal Buildings on Saturday morning and throughout the week, and a short muffled peal was rung on the bells of All Saints’ Church on Saturday evening. On Sunday muffled peals were rung at both churches and sympathetic references were made in the sermons to the Nation’s loss.

   The National Anthem was sung at both churches and the Dead March was played on the organ.

   In reply to a telegram sent by the Mayor (Mr. D.N. Heron) the following reply was received:- “BuckinghamPalace, The King sincerely thanks you and the inhabitants of  the Borough of Wokingham for kind sympathy and loyal message.—Equerry.”

 Sat 25th March 1911


   Wednesday saw flags flying at the Church of All Saints’, the MunicipalBuildings and private homes. Special lessons were given in the elementary schools while the National Anthem and patriotic songs were sung. A parade of all the lads’ organisations was held as usual in the cricket field in the Wellington-road.

 Sat 24th June 1911



   Very full and elaborate preparation had been made at Wokingham for the loyal and enthusiastic celebration of Coronation Day, and with the principal traders closing their shops on Thursday and Friday the inhabitants generally gave themselves up to merry-making. The proceedings in connection with the festivities commenced at 7.30 a.m. and continued without intermission until 12 p.m. The weather was showery, but nevertheless large crowds assembled at the various functions. The arrangements which proved most successful, were made and carried out under the direction of various committees. Mr. Arthur T. Heelas was the principal organising hon. secretary doing the lion’s share of the work.

   The town was lavishly decorated for the event and several of the houses and shops of the principal residents and tradesmen were most effective. The Decoration Committee, in order to induce the inhabitants to decorate their houses and thereby add to the general gaiety, offered special prizes for the best decorated and illuminated house or premises and for the best decorated and luminous cottage.

   Flags and streamers and 60 fir trees placed in tubs, draped with the Coronation colours-red, white and blue-formed the scheme of decoration arranged by the Committee for the Market-place. In the hands of members of the Fire Brigade was placed the control of the decorations of the Fire Station and the concert stage erected near. Mr. A.W. Poppy provided the fir trees.

   At 7.30 the morning was heralded by merry peals from the bells of All Saints’ and St. Paul’s Churches, and at 10.15 there were special services at both churches, the Rectors (the Rev. Bertram Long and the Rev. H.M. Walter) respectively officiating. The Mayor (Mr. H.C. Mylne) with members of the Corporation and the various Corporation Committees attended All Saints’ Church. The service, according to the form issued by the Archbishop corresponded as closely as possible, but in a shortened form, to that used in Westminster Abbey, and included a shortened Litany, the recital of the solemnities of the Coronation, the Common Service and the “Te Deum,” the whole lasting about an hour and a quarter. The collection taken at All Saints’ Church will be given to the King Edward Memorial Ward at the RoyalBerkshireHospital.

    At 10.30 to 12.30 p.m. selections of music were played by the Wokingham Town Band, under Mr. W. Farr, in the Market-place.


   The Coronation festivities were started at 10.30 o’clock on the eve of the Coronation Day by Miss Mylne, daughter of the Mayor, in the absence of the Marquis of Downshire, of EasthampsteadPark, lighting the specially-prepared in the Market-place to roast the large ox, weighing 90 stone, which had been given by the Marquis of Downshire. The ox, on the spit, preceded by the Town Band arrived about eight o’clock via Easthampstead-road, and was paraded through the town before it was put down to the fire. The roasting was continued throughout the night under the superintendence of the Fire Brigade and a strong committee of experienced helpers. On such a great and important occasion of rejoicing as the Coronation of a Monarch the roasting of an ox whole appeals forcibly to the British ideas of celebrating the event, as in the olden time

 Sat 7th Aug 1915


   Wednesday last being the Anniversary of the Declaration of War, special services were held at All Saints Church. The eight o’clock evening service was well attended. The Mayor and members of the Corporation and officials were present.


   After the services on the last two Sundays a Belgian Red Cross nurse has, by kind permission of the Rector stationed herself at the door of All Saints Church with a box, collecting for the Belgian Babies Fund. She has collected the satisfactory sum of £10 11s.

Sat 1st Jan 1916


   One thousand one hundred and sixty-four new-laid eggs in addition to the weekly collection were sent on December 21st from the Wokingham District Depot as a Christmas gift and gratitude to our wounded soldiers.

Sat 6th May 1916


   From Wokingham and District Depot 102 dozen eggs have been sent this Easter to the above. The following churches have contributed: St. Paul’s, Wokingham 83; Barkham 107; and 2s. 6d. (spent on eggs); All Saints’, Binfield, 140; St. Marks, Binfield, 19; Hurst Church and Hurst collection180. The weekly collection is well supported. Eggs are sent every Tuesday morning, and are gratefully received any time on Monday by Mrs. Dunne, controller, Toutley Hall, Wokingham.

 Sat 18th Aug 1917


   News was received on the 11th inst. that Sub-Lieut. Victor Hill Nicholson, youngest son of the late Mr. A.J. Nicholson and of Mrs. Nicholson of Chetwood, Wokingham, was killed in action at sea on August 9. He was 20 years of age. Educated at Wixenford School, Wokingham, he then proceeded to the Royal Naval College Osborne, and Dartmouth. Since the commencement of hostilities he had been continuously at sea, and was present at the Battle of Jutland, May 31-June 1, 1916. Mr. Nicholson and family are well known among the leading families in the neighbourhood and much sympathy is felt for them in their bereavement. The three brothers of the deceased lieutenant are serving as officers in HM Forces. A memorial service is to be held at All Saints’ Church on Tuesday.

Sat 24th Nov 1917


   Miss Julian Roberts, a well-known inhabitant of Wokingham, died suddenly on Wednesday at 5, The Terrace, Wokingham, where she had resided for some time past. She was 80 years of age, and the eldest daughter of Mr. John Roberts, of Wokingham.  Her brother was for some years Town Clerk of Wokingham, and her father was alderman of the old Wokingham Local Board. The deceased was for some time hon. secretary of the Wokingham Habitation of the Primrose League. She was buried at All Saints on the following Saturday. Two of the mourners were Mrs Basnett and Miss Helen Roberts, sisters.

Sat 26th July 1919

Armistice Celebrations

   On Saturday, Wokingham duly celebrated the peace. The proceedings commenced at 7 a.m., when peals were rung on the church bells. At 10 a.m. the town band commenced to play in the Market Place. The officers and men who had been invited to send in their names and had received a card of invitation from the Mayor, assembled in Rectory Road and at 11.30 commenced a triumphal march through the principal streets of the town under command of Admiral J.B. Eustace, assisted by Colour-Sergeant H. Harvey, 4th Royal Berks. Retired, the only man who wore the old red volunteer uniform, and acted as chief marshall. Headed by the Wokingham Military Band the procession proceeded through Broad Street, which had been extensively decorated, the trees and lamp posts being bedecked with national colours, evergreens etc. A large wreath in the centre of the street, “Our bold and brave heroes, 1914-18,” was saluted by the column.

   A triumphal arch had been erected by the corporation from the London and County Bank to Mr. T.M. Welch’s premises, bearing the words “We thank you.” Rose Street was also very gaily hung with flags and streamers, with the motto “Welcome Home” suspended across the street. As the procession emerged from Rose Street against All Saints’ Church the bells rung a peal of welcome. Marching up Peach Street, the procession entered the Market Place through an arch similar to that in Broad Street, but bearing the words “Well done boys.” The Church Lads’ Brigade bugle band were in the centre of the procession and took turns with the military band in providing music.

   The wounded and disabled who were accommodated in two wagons immediately behind the leading band everywhere most heartily greeted.

   Upon a draped and coloured dais in the Market Place, facing Denmark Street stood the Mayor in his robes attended by the Town Clerk, the mace bearer (Sergeant Sparkes), the town crier (Mr. J. Taylor) and the four honorary constables. There were also upon the platform the Mayoress, the Rev. B. Long, the Rev. H. M. Walter, the Rev. A.P. Carr and Rev. J. Conolly, Aldermen Hughes and Sale. Councillors Hammond, Martin, Blake, Whaley, Priest, Brant, Bodle and Headington. Mr. C.W. Marks (surveyor), Colonel Walker, Mayor Hanbury O.B.E., Mrs. Murdoch, Mr and Mrs. W. Howard Palmer, Mrs. H. Walter, Mrs. Eustace, Mrs. Hanbury, Miss Hanbury, Mrs. T.W. Heelas, Miss Sturges, Miss Gregorie, Mr. A Rasey and Mr. William Palmer.

   The cadet band KRR sounded the Royal salute. The Mayor (Alderman Mylne) announced that he had received from H.M. the King, a message to all magistrates and lord lieutenants of counties. The National Anthem was then sung, led by the band, Mr. Yould conducting.

   The Mayor then said, ”Officers and men from the Navy, Army and the Air Force, it is my privilege as Mayor and speaking for all the people of Wokingham to bid you all welcome here today and to render to you our unstinted thanks for all you have done, all you have suffered and all you have gone through in these last few years. We rejoice that it is at last possible for us to meet so many of you after all the hardships you have gone through, since that day in which each one of you took his part in the magnificent response which you made to your country’s call in its hour of need.

   Some of you have been in the navy or army since the beginning of the war. Some of you were in that first army that went to Belgium—an army which I have heard has been called ‘a contemptible little army’: small it certainly was, but there is not a man in the world today, least of all in Germany, who would venture to call it contemptible.

   Others of you who took part, leaving all in that mighty rush of men which changed the British Army from being reckoned in thousands to being reckoned in by millions. You, who have been through it, know what the sacrifices have been. You know even how thin a line, once and again, there was that there was all there was left to withstand the German onrush. You know, too, how indispensable it was that H M Navy should keep a ceaseless and sleepless watch throughout all the time.

   What would our position have been today if that thin line had given way or that ceaseless watch failed for one hour? What sort of peace should we have had today? What would have been our condition? Some of you have been in France and Belgium and you know and can answer that question. But that ceaseless watch was maintained till the last hour and that this line never broke, and when today we are celebrating peace, it is that great and glorious victory, brought about in the providence of God through the valour of the sailors, soldiers and airmen of the British Empire. But in the midst of our rejoicings let us not forget the sacrifices that have been made. Let us not forget that there are some hearts in the Empire today because of those, who, to gain that victory and to win this peace laid down their lives and their names live for ever more. And when we have celebrated this peace today, which we hope will soon spread the world over, let us all stand united as we have done in those dreadful days of war in the last five years, and each in his own part, do whatsoever in him lies, to promote the common good and to bring back with peace prosperity to our native land build up a greater, more honourable and a more powerful Britain than the world had ever known before so that the victories of peace will be no less worthy of celebration than the victories of war. And now we ask you to accept our hospitality and entertainment and we hope that for you and to all of us it may be a happy and a memorable day.” (applause).

   “Land of Hope and Glory” was then sung, the sole being taken in unison by some 20 choirboys, the assembly led by the band joining in the chorus. Miss Edna Martin presented a lovely bouquet to the Mayoress. The Rev. B Long called for “three cheers for the boys,” which were heartily given also  “three more for their wives.”


   Headed by the town band the procession then marched via Denmark Street and Langborough Road, both well decorated, to Langborough Recreation Ground, near the entrance to which was a festoon of flags with the words “We thank you all who have saved our land.” A line of 16 tables had been prepared on the promenade under the trees across the ground and were very prettily decorated with flowers, etc. The Mayor’s table stood next the entrance, presided over by the Mayoress, assisted by Mrs. Hammond and Miss Powell. The remaining tables were in the charge of: Mesdames Martin and Bolton (plus many other names) and a large staff of helpers. The Wokingham Fire Brigade with their engine cooked the vegetables. The meal comprised cold meat, meat pies, salad, pickles, fruit tarts, jam tarts, jellies, cheese, etc. with beer and lemonade in abundance. Mr A T Heelas made the round of the tables with the usual military formula “any complaints,” and was received with cheers. Grace was said by the Rev. H M Walter. By the kindness of the Guardians and Mr and Mrs Cooper, the committee were relieved of the responsibility of cooking the whole of the meat provided at the luncheon. The fire brigade boiled the water , etc. in their engine.


   A fine list of events for the sports programme took up the afternoon. The events and prize winners were as follows:

Tent pegging on cycles

Greasy pole

Black and white tournament

Wheelbarrow race

Half-mile flat race for service or ex-service men.

Slow bicycle race (ladies)

Slow bicycle race (men)

Bun and treacle race

Threading the needle

Three-legged race


   About a thousand wives of service and ex-servicemen, and the widows of the fallen, who numbered in Wokingham about 200, were entertained to tea at the luncheon table in a marquee. Both the sports and tea were very successful despite the rain which fell during the afternoon.

   The invitation card bore the white ensign and Union Jack, with laurel leaves in colours, and the word Victory in gold letters.


The evening carnival was a great success

The Food Control, the organisation of War Savings Associations and the establishment of War Relief Funds.

(Address to the Mayor) The organisation of these many schemes was due mainly to your initiation, superintendence and encouragement without which they would not have attained that success which we gladly recognise was achieved.

   The organisation of these many schemes was due mainly to your initiation, superintendence and encouragement without which they would not have attained that success which we gladly recognise was achieved.

   When it is borne in mind that these multifarious demands on your time and personal engagements have been superimposed on the arduous duties of the mayorality and your responsibilities as Justice of the Peace, we feel that it is only your due that some public recognition, some cordial and formal acknowledgement of your valuable and self-sacrificing services, should form a part of our rejoicing at this auspicious time, and in fulfilment of that obligation we beg to tender to you, on behalf of the inhabitants of the borough and parish of Wokingham, our thanks, in gratitude for all that you have done for the benefit and honour of the town and to offer for your acceptance this silver tray as a token of our esteem.

   We also take this opportunity of asking the Mayoress to accept this silver cake basket as some recognition of our appreciation of her untiring efforts on behalf of the community.”

   The Mayor, who it could be seen, was deeply affected said the presentation came to him as a complete surprise. He felt he could say very little in return for all their kindness but for himself and the Mayoress he thanked them very much. The gifts are the outcome of a proposal which emanated from the council, to which residents were invited to subscribe and the secret has religiously been kept from the Mayor and Mayoress. The subscribers numbered about 200.

   The prizes were then distributed to the successful competitors a capital open-air concert, arranged by Mr. Yould following, this being kept up till midnight on an illuminated stage in the Market Place, and consisting of songs, dances, recitations, glees by the united choirs, etc. At the same time a very spirited company had assembled for the carnival ball in the Drill Hall. For such an occasion, however, even this commodious building was found far too small, and an overflow dance was quickly arranged in the Town Hall. A considerable number of houses were illuminated and midnight brought to a close a memorable day “never to be forgotten.”

   The carnival prizes were then distributed for the following competitions:

                Most effective motor car.

                Trade car

                Novelty on wheels

                Decorated cycle

                Men’s fancy costume

                Ladies’ fancy costume

                Grotesque costume

                Decorated pram

                Tableau car

Sat 2nd July 1921


 The war memorial erected to commemorate the services of the men of All Saints’Parish, Wokingham, who fell in the Great War, was unveiled and dedicated on Monday evening with impressive ceremony and in the presence of a very large concourse of the townspeople. The service was noteworthy from its being representative of practically every section of the townspeople and the assembly of all the public bodies and religious denominations. The weather favoured the function and in the triangle of the junction of London Road and Peach Street a very large crowd assembled and witnessed the unveiling by Major-General Sir Reginald Stephens, K.C.B., C.M.G., the Commandant of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, and the dedication by the Bishop of Oxford.

   The service on Monday evening was in two portions—inside the church and at the cross. The church was completely filled. A procession was formed at the Town Hall, headed by the Wokingham Town Band, and consisting of police and Special Constables, under Supt. Goddard, and the Wokingham Fire Brigade, under Captain Caiger. The Voluntary Aid Detachment also paraded, and marched to the church under Lady Cayley and Miss C.F. Johnson R.R.C. (sister-in-charge of the Church House Hospital during the war). The service was also attended by his Worship the Mayor of Wokingham (Alderman P. Sale, J.P., C.C.). preceded by the four honorary constables and the mace-bearer (Sergt. Sparkes) and other members of the Corpration and dignitaries

A description of the service is given followed by the list of names on the memorial.

 11th November 1936


The Mayor and Mayoress attended the Remembrance service at All Saints’, Wokingham, on Armistice Day, and among the congregation was the children of the PalmerSchool. The rector, who conducted the service, was assisted by the Rev. A.G.G. Thurlow. The rector placed a wreath on the Roll of Honour in memory of the fallen of the parish. There was also a service at the war memorial. The Rev. R.W. Tuesday (curate) conducted a service in St. Paul’s Church. The sum of £165 10s. was realised from the sale of poppies in Wokingham and Bear Wood on Armistice Day. The collection was organised by Mr. A. Andrews, hon. secretary of the local branch of the British Legion. The collectors numbered 74, and included the Mayoress. Mrs. Eustace, at the Town Hall, was assisted by General P. Molloy and others. The counting was carried out by Gen. Molloy, Messrs. A. Andrews, J.W. Potter, F.W. Martin, W.G. Fidler, and Miss Hessay. There was an increase of £10 over last year.

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St Paul’s Church Memorial

Close up view of the names listed on St Paul's Church Memorial

Close up view of the names listed on St Paul’s Church Memorial

Names on St Paul’s Church Memorial:
St Paul’s Church was built by John Walter, entirely at his own expense, during the period 1862-1864. It was consecrated by Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, on 23rd July 1864. For various reasons the original church building was not entirely satisfactory and within ten years it was found necessary to enlarge the church by the addition of the North and South Aisles.

Surname A

George Alexander : William AlexanderRobert C H Appleby : Sidney C Ayers

Surname B

John Barker : Thomas F Barker :Thomas BosherHorace A BoydHenry BrantOwen Brown :

Surname C

Ernest Challis : William Challis : Frederick T ChambersAlbert Chandler: James R ChandlerWilliam A Cockrell : William Collyer : Henry CooperPhilip Victor Cornish

Surname D

Maurice Deane :

Surname E

Laurence EarlAlbert Ellis : Harry Eamer

Surname F

George ForgeFrederick Fullbrook :

Surname G

Owen Goswell :

Surname H

William Hagger : Alfred HallRobert Hambleton : Thomas HillEdward Hurst

Surname K

Harry Kennedy : William J Killick 

Surname L

William A Langley :

Surname M

Frederick Mitchell :

Surname P

Arthur W PayneFrank Potter :  George Potter : Tom Potter : Henry Pursey : Thomas W Pursey

Surname R

Oliver Reynolds  :Charles Henry Rideout :

Surname S

James Sadler : Henry SadlerRobert Sargeant : Victor Sargeant : Ernest Shuttle : Alfred G SmithFrank C Stokes : George Street :  H V Surman :

Surname T

William ThomasTrevor Tuffrey : James Turner :

Surname W

C Skeffington West : Frederick Westlake : Thomas WestonReginald Whiting :

Surname Y

Leonard Yalden

St Paul's Church, Wokingham

St Paul’s Church, Wokingham

St Paul’s Church Wokingham in the Reading Chronicle (extract from Jim Bell’s ‘Wokingham in the News’.

Sat 11th April 1868


 (Before John L. Gower, Esq.)

   James Donnelly of Westminster, London, slipper maker, was brought up in the custody of Supt. Millard charged with feloniously stealing thirteen pieces of copper wire netting from the stained glass windows of St. Paul’s Church, Wokingham, on the night of the 1st February last, the property of the churchwardens. The prisoner and his brother have been, for a number of years, engaged in robbing the wire guard work from the exterior of illuminated windows and the prisoner was sentenced to four years penal servitude for this offence in January 1864. It will be remembered that on the morning of the 7th, two constables of the Reading Borough Police stopped two men near the Great Western Railway Station with a quantity of copper wire in their possession when one of them made his escape. The prisoner was apprehended by the superintendent of police at Wolverhampton in Staffordshire on the 3rd instant, and has been identified as the same man who then escaped. Supt. Millard applied for a remand until Wednesday, which was granted.

Sat 19th April 1873

   On Wednesday, in the Easter week, the Alderman and Corporation attended service at All Saints’ Church, when an appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev.-Bird, the curate. They afterwards met at the Council Chamber and transacted the ordinary business, viz., the election of an Alderman and Chief Magistrate for the ensuing year. The unanimous choice of the Council fell on Mr. John Heelas, jun., who was thereupon sworn into office. A cordial vote of thanks was carried to the retiring Alderman, Mr. J.L. Roberts, for the efficient performance of his duties during the past year.

   On Easter Monday, the usual election of Church Wardens took place, when Messrs William Goodchild, Thomas May, and Elliott Morres were re-elected for All Saints’ Parish, and Messrs. T. Cooke and J. Skerritt for St. Paul’s. The annual parochial dinner afterwards took place at the Bush Hotel, when about thirty sat down to an excellent repast, and spent a very agreeable afternoon. The new Rector of All Saints’ was present, and was heartily welcomed. The day was kept as a holiday in the town, and, being beautifully fine, the numerous pleasure-seekers thoroughly enjoyed their Bank Holiday.

Sat 7th June 1873


   On Whit Sunday the new south aisle of St. Paul’s Church was opened. The Church was consecrated in 1864, having been built, as is well known, at the sole expense of Mr. Walter MP. Towards this new aisle the parishioners have contributed £250, and the rest of the expense, which has been large, has been borne by the patron, with his accustomed liberality. By this enlargement further accommodation for 98 adults, and about 40 children have been provided. It is a token of the good feeling which prevails in this parish that the appropriated sittings in front of the pulpit were given up in order that all that part of the church might be free. The holders of those sittings accepted others allotted to them in the new aisle. We understand that Mr. Walter does not consider the church yet finished. The aisle on the north side is at once to be commenced, and it is hoped that the close of the year will see the Church completed and inferior to none in the neighbourhood in beauty and accommodation. The work has been carried out under the superintendence of Mr. Deacon, from plans prepared by Mr. Woodyer.

Sat 23rd March 1878


   On Thursday last the Wokingham Voluntary Fire Brigade met in the grounds of St. Paul’s Rectory (by permission of the Rev. J.T. Brown) to test their new manual fire engine recently ordered of Messrs. Merryweather. The engine was purchased at a cost of £170 including some hose, ladders &c. It is a very powerful one being capable of  throwing 136 gallons of water a minute to a height of 130 feet. It is fitted with a pair of 7-inch pumps, worked by thirty men and it will carry effectually through a thousand feet of hose if required. The experiments that were witnessed by a large number of persons were highly satisfactory.

   The Wokingham Voluntary Rifles kept the ground and the band of the corps played a selection of music at intervals.

Sat 20th December 1884


    During the last few months the South Eastern Railway Station, which for a long time past had been in a most dilapidated condition, has been undergoing thorough renovation, and is now, as far as cleanliness and decency are concerned, in an efficient state. Most of the old defects of accommodation have, however, unfortunately been retained, especially noticeable being the compulsory crossing of the metals by all passengers from one platform to the other, and the exceedingly dangerous level crossing over the Barkham-road.

    That no fatal accident has ere this happened on this spot seems (remarks a correspondent) a direct interposition of Providence, as on any day from 30 to 40 children and others may be seen waiting to continue their road over the line to or from school. It is often remarked by strangers who notice the danger, that the inhabitants are to blame for allowing the continuance of such a state of affairs. The dwarf wall, surmounted by a low palisade, lately erected by Mr. Walter, M.P., and stretching from the station to St. Paul’s Rectory, will, when the road has been widened, for which provision is made, be an immense improvement to the entrance to the town.

Sat 16th April 1887 Berkshire Chronicle



   It is believed that Mr. Towers Brown, the eldest son of the Rev. J.T. Brown, St. Paul’s Rectory, with his wife, to whom he was only recently married, were on board the steamship Victoria, which was wrecked near Cape D’Ailly on Wednesday last. No tidings have been received at Wokingham of or from them. The Rev. J.T. Brown proceeded to London on Thursday afternoon to prosecute enquiries, and subsequently crossed the channel in furtherance of the same object. Up till now (Friday afternoon) no information has been obtained.

Sat 30th April 1887 Berkshire Chronicle


   Nothing further has been heard of those unfortunate young people. On Sunday the services at St. Paul’s Church, of which the Rev. J.T. Brown is rector, were made appropriate to the occasion, and very large congregations assembled both morning and evening. Most eloquent services were preached by the Rev. A Peile from the Isle of Wight, a relative of Mr. Brown’s family. A muffled peal was rung out in the evening.

Sat 28th May 1887


   It will be remembered that in the wreck of the steamer Victoria, on April 13th, the life of Mrs. Towers Brown was lost through the accident to the first boat, and her husband, with noble self-devotion, flung himself into the sea with a view to save her and also died. No traces of the bodies were found, although a vigilant watch was kept along the coast, till Friday evening in last week, when that of Mrs. Brown was recovered at Verangeville, and a few hours later on her husband’s was found at Quiverville, both places being near Dieppe. There was no doubt of their identity, from the watches and rings and other effects which were on their persons. The Rev. H.F. Wolley, the vicar of Shortlands, Kent, a great friend of the family, instantly started to superintend the removal of their remains. The greatest care was shown by Mons. Marcellet, the resident superintendent at Dieppe of the London and Brighton Railway; with his own hands he tended the bodies, and gave the utmost attendance to the arrangements for their transport to England; indeed too much praise and gratitude cannot be given to the French officials at the above-mentioned places, and to the proprietors and secretary and servants of the Hotel Royal, Dieppe, and to all employed under the Railway Company.

   It was a very effecting sight, and one which will be long remembered by all who were present, when the remains of the husband and wife were deposited in the same grave in St. Paul’s Churchyard, Wokingham, on Wednesday afternoon, the two plain coffins of foreign shape telling the tale of their death in the waters on the French coast. The coffins bore the inscriptions (added after their arrival):–

“WILLIAM TOWERS BROWN, died April 13th, 1887, aged 28,”


“GUNHILDA MARY BROWN, died April 13th, 1887, aged 22.”

   The church and churchyard were filled with persons who were desirous to show their sympathy with the two families of the deceased; and we may add the veneration and love in which the Rev. J.T. Brown is held by all classes; indeed, it is not too much to say that seldom has a funeral which was not a public one been attended by large numbers, or with greater interest. The opening sentences at the gate were said by the Rev. J. Franklin Llewellyn, curate of the parish. The Lesson was read by the Rector of Wokingham, and the committal to the grave was taken by the Rev. H.F. Wolley.  A service followed.

Sat 2nd June


   In the churchyard of St. Paul’s, Wokingham, a cross has been erected over the grave of the late William Towers Brown and Gunhilda Mary, his wife. It was designed by Mr. S.S. Stallwood, of Reading, and executed by Messrs. Wheeler. It has a hexagonal base consisting of three well-proportioned solid steps and a moulded pedestal from which springs the cross, which runs to a height of over eight feet. The material is Sicilian marble, and the design (the details of which accord with English work of the late 15th century) is marked by a simplicity of treatment which serves to bring the good proportions into pleasing prominence. The inscriptions are as follows:-

   On the panel in front:-“In loving memory of WILLIAM TOWERS BROWN, aged 28, and of GUNHILDA MARY, his wife, aged 22. Married Jan. 20th, 1887. Lost in the wreck of the S.S. Victoria off Dieppe, early in the morning of April 13, 1887.”

   On the left panel:-“ In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came unto them.”

   On the right panel:-“In thy presence is fullness of joy.”

   On the panel at the back:-“The sea gave them up within a few hours of each other on the evening of May 20, and the morning of the next day, and they were laid to rest here May 25, 1887.”

Sat 14th June 1890


   Owing to the kindness of Mr. Walter, the public have again the privilege of inspecting the beautiful gardens at Bearwood, and many persons have taken advantage of the opportunity afforded of seeing some of the best-kept grounds in this part of the country. The recent rains have added materially to the appearance of the place, which is now in the pink of perfection. Bearwood at any time of the year is a source of attraction, but never perhaps has Mr. Walter’s beautiful demesne looked more charming than at the present time. Immense clumps of rhododendrons, of various colours, are in full bloom, while other flowers too numerous to mention are looking lovely, the rare and stately trees being most attractive. The kalmias (following on the rhododendrons), the chief feature of the pleasure grounds, will be at their best next week. As usual the realistic fernery, with its waterfall, &c., is very beautiful, and has been greatly admired by numerous visitors. The condition of the lawns, grounds, and gardens reflects the highest credit upon Mr. Tegg, the head gardener.

   On Saturday evening the grounds of St. Paul’s Rectory were by kind permission of the Re. J.T. Brown thrown open to the public. The Wokingham Town Band, under Mr. W.J. Allen, was in attendance.

Sat 1st July 1893


   The annual festival of the rural-deanery branch was held in St. Paul’s Church on Wednesday afternoon. The sermon was preached by the Rev. T. G. Davy, curate-in-charge of St. Alban’s, Sunninghill. The offerings (£2 8s. 10d.) were divided between the Wokingham branch and St. Mary’s (Battersea) affiliated branch. On the kind invitation of Mrs. Nicholson the members visited Matthew’s Green.


The High-Steward of the Borough (Mr. John Walter of Bearwood) with his usual generosity has had a magnificent illuminated clock erected in a tower attached to St. Paul’s Schools, where he is making extensive enlargements and which will shortly be opened. The clock, which is the work of Messrs Gillett and Johnston, of Croydon, has two faces, the opal dials of which measure 4f. 6 ins. And are lighted by an automatic gas arrangement, nine burners being attached to each dial. The hours are struck on a fine toned bell weighing 7 hundredweights. The whole works are made of fine gun metal, and solid steel cut pinions. The clock was started on Saturday, June 24th. The work has successfully been carried out by Mr. Ratehelder, representing Messrs Gillett and Johnston.

Sat 20th June 1896


   During last week the Church of St. Paul was entered through the Vestry window. The two padlocks on the almsbox were broken and the iron safe in the Vestry was much damaged. At present no arrests have been made.

Sat April 15th1899


   A very handsomely designed Oak Font Cover has been placed in St. Paul’s Church by the family of the late Canon J. T. Brown in memory of the late Canon and Mrs. Brown. It is the work of Mr. Nutt, architect of Windsor and is in keeping with the other beautiful work in the church.

Inside St Pauls Church. Photograph by Mark Dunne

Inside St Pauls Church. Photograph by Mark Dunne

Sat 2nd Feb. 1901


   It was decided to make the Proclamation on the following Monday. Long before the time appointed for the reading of the Proclamation and in spite of the inclement weather, a large crowd of people filled the Market-place. A platform had been erected outside the Town Hall and from here the Mayor, Councillor E.C. Hughes, in his robes and wearing his chain of office, read the Proclamation.

   The High Steward (Mr. Walter of Bear Wood) was present as well as the Aldermen, Councillors, Honorary Constables, borough officials, Rector of St. Paul’s (Rev. H.M. Walter). The Wokingham Company of Volunteers under the command of Lieuts. Cave and Simonds as well as the 1st Wokingham Company of Boys’ Brigade under the command of their Captain (Rev. R. Nixon).

   The children of the elementary schools stood close to the platform and at the conclusion of the reading of the Proclamation, sang the National Anthem accompanied by the Town Band.

   At the conclusion of the ceremony the Mayor entertained the Corporation, the officials, the volunteers and the Boys’ Brigade in the Town Hall where the health of the King was loyally drunk. The members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade acted as escort to the Mayor.

Sat 3rd Oct 1903


   A handsome marble cross has been erected in St. Paul’s Churchyard to the memory of Mrs. Eades as a tribute to her faithful service as caretaker and attendant for many years.

Henrietta Walter wife of Arthur Frazer Walter (Town hall portrait).

Henrietta Walter wife of Arthur Frazer Walter (Town hall portrait).

Sat 26th Feb. 1910


   With very sincere regret we have to announce that Berkshire has this week lost yet another of its well-known and representative men, who was also one of the largest land-owners. After but a few days’ illness, Mr. Arthur Fraser Walter expired on the evening of Tuesday last at his stately residence, Bear Wood, near Wokingham. The tidings of his death has called forth a deep feeling of sorrow as well as sympathy with his widow and family; and a keen sense of loss is felt throughout the county, especially in his own neighbourhood. Less than three weeks ago Mr. Walter was taken ill with an attack of influenza but he apparently did not realise the gravity of the attack, and when feeling and looking far from well he was out shooting with friends. Whether he then took a chill, or thereby aggravated the attack, is not known; however from some cause pneumonia supervened, followed by complications, and notwithstanding the best of nursing and the most careful medical treatment his condition became very serious and he fell into a comatose state in which condition he remained for several days, until he passed peacefully away shortly after nine o’clock on Tuesday evening at the age of 64.

   Though Mr. Walter did not take any very prominent part in county affairs, beyond those which generally fall to the lot of a country gentleman and an owner of a large estate, yet the Walter family have for so many years been honourably and prominently connected with Berkshire that it was only natural that a keen sense of sorrow should be felt at the tidings of his unexpected death.

   Mr. Arthur Fraser Walter was a County Magistrate for Berkshire, also a Deputy lieutenant of the County. High Steward of the town of Wokingham and a member of the Berks County Council. He was also formerly Lieut.-Colonel and Hon. Colonel Commandant of the 1st. Volunteer Battalion Royal berks Regiment in which he served for several years. He was also a member of the Berkshire Territorial force Association from its commencement. In his younger days he took very great interest in the Volunteer Movement, and for many years regularly attended the Annual Camp of its battalion. The town of Wokingham is indebted to him for the splendid Drill Hall and Armoury, which he erected there when he commanded the Wokingham Company, with which his name will ever be associated. He also did all in his power to encourage a high standard of rifle shooting amongst his men by attending their practices and shooting with them.

   Mr. Arthur Fraser Walter was the second and eldest surviving son of Mr. John Walter, of Bear Wood, for several years M.P. for Berkshire. He was born at waterloo House, near Wokingham on September 12th 1846. He was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1870 and M.A. in 1875. He took a first class in Classical Moderations, but was only placed in the Third Class in the Final Classical School, partly because he had no great inclination for the studies and subjects which gain distinction in that school and possibly also because he was devoted to cricket.

   Mr. Walter played for Eton against Harrow in 1865. He also got his Blue for cricket at Oxford and in the 1869 match bowled affectively.

   Mr. Walter married in 1872 Henrietta Maria eldest daughter of the Rev. T.A. Anson, of Langford Rectory, Derbyshire. His widow and four children—two sons and two daughters—survive him. He is succeeded by his elder son John, who was born in 1873, and married in 1903 Charlotte Hilda, daughter of Colonel C. E. Foster, of Buckley Hall.

   The Walter family have always been closely connected with The Times newspaper, which was founded by the first John Walter in 1785 as the Daily Universal Register and renamed The Times at the beginning of 1788. Mr. Arthur Walter on the death of his father in 1894, became manager and chief proprietor of The Times. About two years ago a limited company was formed and at the time of his death Mr. Walter was Chairman of The Times Publishing Company (Limited).

   As the second son it was understood that Arthur Walter would adopt a definite profession. But the idea was abandoned when his elder brother, John Balston Walter, was drowned in the lake at Bear Wood on Christmas-eve, 1870, while attempting to rescue one of his brothers and a cousin, who had fallen through the ice By the untimely death of his brother, young Arthur Walter became, while he was still an undergraduate at Oxford, the destined successor of his father in the management and chief proprietorship of The Times—a position that had always been held by the head of the family.

Sat 5th March 1910


   Muffled peals were rung on Sunday, as a token of regard and esteem for the late Mr. Walter (Arthur Fraser), from the towers of the Parish Church and of St. Paul’s, Wokingham. The preacher at St. Paul’s on Sunday morning was the Rev. C.A. Whittock, a former rector of Bear Wood, and now Vicar of St. Mary’s, Oxford. In the course of his sermon he made feeling reference to the lamented death of Mr. Walter and to the conscientious manner in which he carried out the various duties devolving upon him as the owner of a large estate and in the position of a very great responsibility. He said Mr. Walter combined with a singular independence of judgment a remarkable intensity of purpose; and yet in all his tastes he was a perfectly simple and true-hearted man. At the close of the service the organist played the “Dead March” in Saul, the congregation standing.

Sat 24th June 1911



   Very full and elaborate preparation had been made at Wokingham for the loyal and enthusiastic celebration of Coronation Day, and with the principal traders closing their shops on Thursday and Friday the inhabitants generally gave themselves up to merry-making. The proceedings in connection with the festivities commenced at 7.30 a.m. and continued without intermission until 12 p.m. The weather was showery, but nevertheless large crowds assembled at the various functions. The arrangements which proved most successful, were made and carried out under the direction of various committees. Mr. Arthur T. Heelas was the principal organising hon. secretary doing the lion’s share of the work.

   The town was lavishly decorated for the event and several of the houses and shops of the principal residents and tradesmen were most effective. The Decoration Committee, in order to induce the inhabitants to decorate their houses and thereby add to the general gaiety, offered special prizes for the best decorated and illuminated house or premises and for the best decorated and luminous cottage.

   Flags and streamers and 60 fir trees placed in tubs, draped with the Coronation colours-red, white and blue-formed the scheme of decoration arranged by the Committee for the Market-place. In the hands of members of the Fire Brigade was placed the control of the decorations of the Fire Station and the concert stage erected near. Mr. A.W. Poppy provided the fir trees.

   At 7.30 the morning was heralded by merry peals from the bells of All Saints’ and St. Paul’s Churches, and at 10.15 there were special services at both churches, the Rectors (the Rev. Bertram Long and the Rev. H.M. Walter) respectively officiating. The Mayor (Mr. H.C. Mylne) with members of the Corporation and the various Corporation Committees attended All Saints’ Church. The service, according to the form issued by the Archbishop corresponded as closely as possible, but in a shortened form, to that used in Westminster Abbey, and included a shortened Litany, the recital of the solemnities of the Coronation, the Common Service and the “Te Deum,” the whole lasting about an hour and a quarter. The collection taken at All Saints’ Church will be given to the King Edward Memorial Ward at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

    At 10.30 to 12.30 p.m. selections of music were played by the Wokingham Town Band, under Mr. W. Farr, in the Market-place.


   The Coronation festivities were started at 10.30 o’clock on the eve of the Coronation Day by Miss Mylne, daughter of the Mayor, in the absence of the Marquis of Downshire, of Easthampstead Park, lighting the specially-prepared in the Market-place to roast the large ox, weighing 90 stone, which had been given by the Marquis of Downshire. The ox, on the spit, preceded by the Town Band arrived about eight o’clock via Easthampstead-road, and was paraded through the town before it was put down to the fire. The roasting was continued throughout the night under the superintendence of the Fire Brigade and a strong committee of experienced helpers. On such a great and important occasion of rejoicing as the Coronation of a Monarch the roasting of an ox whole appeals forcibly to the British ideas of celebrating the event, as in the olden time

Sat 17th Jan 1914

Fire Brigade Wedding-At St. Paul’s Church on Monday, Mr Weston B Martin, son of Mr & Mrs H Martin of Denmark Street was wedded to Miss Margaret Emily Smallbone of St. Leonard’s, Wokingham, only daughter of Mr S Smallbone. The bride was attended by Master Joey Dearlove who acted as page dressed in fireman’s uniform.

   The bridegroom was driven to the church in a fire engine accompanied by the brigade including the Marquis of Downshire who acted as driver and Lord Hillsborough. Mr Martin has been a member of the brigade for 23 years and that body presented him with a clock. A reception was afterwards held at Fernleigh, home of the bridegroom’s brother.

January 1915


   We have to record with regret the death at the age of 80 of Mr Gotelee the well-known stationer and bookseller of the Market-place which occurred on Wednesday morning. The deceased who was blind had been in failing health for the last three years. He was a good chess player and was noted for his kindness and generosity and will be greatly missed. The funeral is arranged for today (Saturday) at St. Paul’s Church.

Sat 25th Sept 1915


Very widespread regret was experienced in Wokingham and district when it became known that Mr. Thomas Edward Ellison, I.C.S., of “The Elms,” Wokingham had passed away. The deceased gentleman, who was 72 years of age, was the eldest son of the late Mr. George Thomas Ellison, a well-known solicitor, of Seymour Street, London, W. Educated at Bradfield College, and afterwards prepared for his distinguished career by private tuition, Mr. Ellison took a very high place in his first attempt to enter the Indian Civil Service, from which he retired as a judge, many years ago. He came to live at Wokingham, where he was always most highly respected and esteemed. He became one of the foundation managers of St. Paul’s parochial schools, of which for several years past he had acted as corresponding manager. He some years back generously purchased the whole of the St. Paul’s school building and playground, together with the parish rooms and premises adjoining, and vested them in the Rector and trustees in March, 1911—a tablet on the clock-tower of the school commemorating this.

N.B. In May 1911 the parishioners presented Mr. Ellison with a solid silver casket, now known as the Ellison Casket. The casket, approximately 12 inches long, 5 inches wide and 2 inches deep was presented to Mr. Ellison by subscription of parishioners of St. Paul’s in gratitude and appreciation for presenting the Parish Rooms and School together with the land. There are small enamel or porcelain miniatures of St. Paul’s Church on one side and the Parish Room on the other. Some of the ornate decoration seems to be the oak leaves of Wokingham. It contains an illuminated scroll listing the names of the subscribers, and their sincere appreciation. The casket is now kept in the town hall and is displayed with items of the town silver on special occasions.

   A whole-hearted son of the church, Mr. Ellison did much else for the parish he so loved, being a generous subscriber to the various church funds and institutions, and making handsome contributions towards the restoration of the roof and other improvements, and giving largely to the parochial institutions and to the Nurses’ Fund, etc. He was the parish warden for many years.

   He was a member of the Wokingham Town Council from 1902-1910, giving his services as Mayor’s auditor and rendering valuable help in the management of the affairs of the town, his expert knowledge of administration and finance being highly appreciated by his colleagues. He, more than once, declined to accept the chief magistracy. He held the position of lieutenant in the Boys Brigade, in which he was most interested, and he did good work indeed when he acquired the old St. Paul’s Parish Room on The Terrace (where the art classes used to be held) and in the long garden at the rear fitted up a miniature rifle range, which has proved of so much service to the members of the Rifle Club.

   The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, the internment being in a new brick grave, which was very beautifully lined with bright-coloured flowers by the gardener. Muffled peals were rung both before and after the service.

Sat 6th May 1916


   From Wokingham and District Depot 102 dozen eggs have been sent this Easter to the above. The following churches have contributed: St. Paul’s, Wokingham 83; Barkham 107; and 2s. 6d. (spent on eggs); All Saints’, Binfield, 140; St. Marks, Binfield, 19; Hurst Church and Hurst collection180. The weekly collection is well supported. Eggs are sent every Tuesday morning, and are gratefully received any time on Monday by Mrs. Dunne, controller, Toutley Hall, Wokingham.

Sat 21st Oct 1916


   The adopted war prisoner, Corporal A.C. Langley, having been transferred to Switzerland, parcels are now sent to another war prisoner viz. J.P. Griffiths, Stendal-Sachen, Germany. Parcels of food and tobacco have been sent out.

March 1917


   The friends of Corporal Reginald Potter (Royal Berks) who was injured accidentally at the front, will be grieved to hear that it has been found necessary to amputate the injured leg. He was a chorister at St. Paul’s. Deep sympathy is felt for him and the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Potter who live at Embrook. Another son, Petty Officer George Potter, of H.M.S. Liverpool, has recently died of enteric, and one was lost in H.M.S. Hampshire. Percy Potter, another son, who was badly wounded, is still in hospital.

November 1917


   Lieut. William Archer Cockrell, adjutant at the No. 4 Remount Depot, Arborfield, died suddenly on Saturday night, at his residence, [illegible], Park Road, Wokingham. He apparently retired in his usual health, but during the night passed away from an attack of heart trouble. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs. Cockrell, it being only a month ago that their only daughter, aged 13, passed away after but a very short illness.

   The funeral, a military one, took place on Wednesday, at St. Paul’s Church, Wokingham, where deceased had been in the habit of worshipping during his residence in Wokingham.

   A gun-carriage, drawn by six splendid black horses, with a mounted sergeant in charge, conveying the remains on their last journey. A firing party was supplied by the Middlesex Regiment, and some 100 non-commissioned officers and men were present from the No. 1 Remount Depot The coffin was draped wit the Union Jack, and eight sergeants acted as bearers.

   At the close of the graveside service three volleys rang out. The soldiers acted as escort and lined the pathway.

   The solemn ceremony was witnessed by large crowds of people. Police and specials, under Supt. Goddard, kept the ground.



   We regret to record the death of Ex-Alderman Daniel Norton Heron, who passed peacefully away at his residence, 22, Market Place, Wokingham, early on Sunday morning, at the ripe age of 82 years. He leaves five daughters to mourn his loss. He was a native of Uxbridge, and purchased a wine and spirit business in Wokingham about 50 years ago, carrying it on until the last. By his death the town loses a resident whose interest in the welfare of the place of his adoption was most conspicuous; this has been amply proved by his long devotion to public work, dating back to the days before the town was granted a charter in 1885. In 1890 he was elected he was elected an alderman which position he held till 1915, and advancing years compelled him to retire from public life, but his interest remained till the end. Ex-Alderman Heron occupied the Mayor Chair with dignity and success in 1891, 1898, 1909, 1910 and his ripe experience has always been readily at the disposal of his successor.

   In early days his fame as a vocalist always proved a draw at local concerts, at which the late Mrs. Heron played her husband’s accompaniments. In later years he was occasionally prevailed upon to sing at private functions such delightful old ballads such as “Where are the friends of my youth,” and “My Pretty Jane,” the memories of which will be long associated with his name. He was a prominent Freemason, being W.M. of the Greyfriars Lodge, which he joined in 1888, in successive years, 1900 and 1901. He was a founder and P.M of the Downshire Lodge, a founder of the Leopold Mark Lodge, a member of the Berkshire Masters’ Lodge, and P.P.S.G.W. for the Provence of Berks.

    The deceased was a staunch Conservative and a member of the Wellington Club, Reading.

   In him St. Paul’s parish loses a good friend and active worker. He was a manager of the schools, and sidesman at the church, and for a long period had audited the accounts. On Sunday morning the Rector, the Rev. H.M. Walter, spoke from the pulpit of the loss the church had sustained and paid a tribute to his sterling qualities and expressed sympathy to the bereaved relatives.

   He was buried on Wednesday afternoon in St. Paul’s Churchyard.

November 1918


   The prolonged blast of the hooter at the Saw Mills intimated to the neighbourhood that the armistice had been signed. Flags appeared at windows immediately and soon the town was ablaze with bunting and streamers were hung across the streets. The trains as they passed kept up a ceaseless whistling, while from Reading and all round hooters and whistles could be heard. People crowded the streets, children and parents bearing flags and wearing the national colours.

   The Mayor a little later announced the fact from the balcony of the Town Hall and the news was posted on the doors. The National Anthem was sung. Thanksgiving services were held in all the churches. Albeit a dull day with drizzling rain, the crowds filled the streets.

   A body of Canadian convalescent soldiers with drums and bugles and flags marched to St. Paul’s Church and joined in the thanksgiving services held there at four o’clock. Proceeding later into the town they were greeted with much enthusiasm, and the Mayor addressed them from the balcony of the Town Hall. He expressed appreciation of their bravery and assisting in winning the war, and satisfaction at its happy conclusion. Significant of the changed conditions was the fact that on Tuesday the Borough workmen were replacing the shaded street lanterns with the ordinary kind of clear glass.

   French and Belgian residents were especially delighted, and throughout the day at the Convent, Easthampstead Road the “Marseillaise” was sung and cheering indulged in.


Sat 28th Jan


   The streets of Wokingham on Tuesday resounded to the unusual strains of “The Red Flag,” while a red banner, followed by a drum and bugle band, was borne aloft. The occasion was a visit of the Reading unemployed to give the local men a lead in the parade to the Board Room of the Guardians and District Council, to whom the local men wished to send a deputation. The visitors marched from Reading. An escort of local police received the column at the boundary, and escorted it thither again in the afternoon. The Board of Guardians received a deputation, as reported elsewhere.

St Pauls Church Memorial 1922.

St Pauls Church Memorial 1922.

January 1922


   The unveiling and dedication of the war memorial tablet at St. Paul’s Church, in honour of the men of that parish who fell in the Great War, was impressively carried out on Sunday afternoon. There was a very large congregation, among whom were the Mayor of Wokingham (Alderman M. Blake) and many relatives of the men commemorated. The Rector (the Rev. H.M. Walter) officiated, assisted by the Rev. C. Nightingale. The service commenced with the hymn “O God our help in ages past.” Mr. A. H. Lusty, A.R.C.O., was at the organ. Psalm xxiii was chanted, and the lesson St. John v. 21-25, was read. The Archdeacon of Berks, with the clergy and choir then proceeded to the memorial tablet at the west-end of the church. The unveiling was performed by Lieut.-Colonel C.H. Villiers, L.D. (H.M. Bodyguard, late Royal Horse Guards), who released the Union Jack with which the tablet had been draped.

   Colonel Villiers said he felt it a very great honour to be asked to unveil that memorial. He did so with great sympathy for the relatives of the men who were commemorated. He should never forget when in 1914 he received orders to march with his regiment the first night out of London, they slept in a field at Bear Wood, within sight of the church wherein they were now assembled; a regiment of young Englishmen drawn from every station in life, full of hope and eagerness to see service for their country. Many of them became officers, many of them laid down their lives for their country. None remained behind, and they were all of the same type as those Wokingham lads whose memory they and their children would honour for all time. The task undertaken by these young men could never be ended as long as the British Empire endured. It was for them and their children to maintain the greatness of their dear country, with its love of justice, freedom and law. There could be no doubt that if the necessity again rose, and the call was made upon the manhood of the country, the young men of St. Paul’s Parish would again come forward.

   The Ven. Archdeacon of Berkshire then dedicated the memorial, and prayers were said.

   Mrs. Potter, who of six sons in the war, lost three then laid a laurel wreath beneath the tablet. Another wreath was placed by Miss Finer in memory of “Six lads of my Bible Class,” and Mrs. Stokes placed a sheaf of lilies in memory of her son.

   The Archdeacon then delivered a thoughtful, sympathetic and earnest address from the words, “Their name liveth for evermore” and “They rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.”

   The hymn “Jesus Lives” was followed by the Benediction and a verse of the National Anthem. “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” was sung as a recessional, after which Mr. Lusty played, “King of Glory”(Barnby)

   The memorial is an alabaster tablet, framed in green marble, 4ft. 6 in. by 2ft. 8 in. In gilt letters on a surmounting are rising from the top edge are the words “To the Glory of God,” and a white cross is enclosed. Sixty-one names are inscribed on the tablet, and underneath the two columns of names are the words “In mahus tuas Domine???”

   Public subscriptions of parishioners and friends raised £160. A thank offering taken at the door on leaving was placed to the credit of the organ restoration fund, which still required some £40.

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