St Catherine’s Church, Bearwood.

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Every now again we come across seemingly small pieces of information, which suddenly provides insights into the changing attitude to the war. At first it was about glory, fighting for one’s country, beating the Bosch and still be back in time for Christmas lunch. As the war churned on, it cast a shadow upon every town in the country and the early optimism descended into the dread of the postman’s knock.

A descendant of the Potter family, Anna Matthews, very kindly drew up the list of servicemen named on St Catherine’s Roll of Honour. The list created in 1914, recognises those who left for war at the time and includes those who eventually returned.

Bearwood, St Catherines Church

“I found this memorial, which is hung on the wall of the porch in the church, particularly moving. The date that war was declared has been written on the shield on the left, but the shield on the right, for the war’s end date, is empty”.

“I know from my research that Frank Potter, my grandfather’s uncle, was killed in 1916 – and two more of his brothers were to follow. It is poignant that the Roll of Honour must have been started with much gusto and as the war dragged on, perhaps it became too painful to keep it up-to-date. By the end of the war, maybe it no longer felt worth it to inscribe the date that peace was declared”.

“The priest of the church did not appear to know about this memorial – I asked him about it and then found it myself as he could not help. I can imagine that at the start of the war, the families hung the Roll with pride and then, perhaps, as reality was too real, it was forgotten about. Perhaps it was forgotten about until I found it in 2012”.

The Roll of Honour was updated as the names of the wounded and killed came to the attention of the parish clergy. The final entry was for George Addington Hawkins, killed 27th September 1915, during the Battle of Loos, the first large scale loss of life the British had to contend with. It might be as Anna says, that the clergy didn’t have the heart to place the deaths up on the Roll, also knowing that it would challenge the morale of the parishioners.

Alfred Henry Allen – Royal Field Artillery
Alfred Arnatt – 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
William Leslie Allnatt – RFA Motor Machine Gun Section
Ralph Ayres – Royal Engineers
George Baker
William Barnes – Army Veterinary Corps
William Norman Black – HMS Safeguard
Job Broadhurst – Army Service Corps
Alfred Bye – Army Service Corps
George Challis – Army Service Corps
Edward Challis – Army Service Corps
William James Clements – 8th Bucks & Oxfordshire
Gilbert Cook
Harry Cook
Thomas Cook [wounded]
Walter Cox
Maurice Deane – 1/4 Royal Berks
Ernest Harold Deane – Royal Army Medical Corps (brother of Maurice)
Thomas Denton – Army Veterinary Corps
Victor Denton – Army Veterinary Corps
Jack Denton – 4th Royal Berks
Charles Eamer – 2nd Royal Berks (brother)
Henry Eamer – 2nd Royal Berks
William Eamer – 4th Rifle Brigade (brother)
Thomas Wheeler Evans – 3rd Royal Berks
Enos George Farr – HMS Queen Mary
Hubert Walter Farr – 1st Royal Berks [wounded]
James Gardiner – 1st Royal Berks [killed in action]
Hugh Godsal – Royal Field Artillery
Alan Godsal – 7th Rifle Brigade [killed in action at Hooge July 30. 15]
James Goodyer – 4th Royal Berks
Percy Frederick Gregory – Royal Engineers
William Henry Grainger – Army Service Corps
Charles William Hooper – Army Service Corps
George Addington Hawkins – 12th Northumberland Fusiliers Machine Gun Section [killed in action at Loos, Sept 26.7.15]
Joseph Edward Hunt – Royal Engineers
Albert Victor Hunt – Royal Engineers
James Hunt – Army Service Corps
Alfred Hyde – Royal Army Medical Corps
Ernest Edward Ives
David Arthur Johnson – 4th Hampshire
Percy Kelsey Kaye – 6th Royal Berks, Machine Gun Section
Henry Kennedy – 3rd Royal Berks [killed in action, Dec. 1. 14]
Thomas Andrew Laney – HMS Impregnable
George Stephen Langford – 3rd Royal Berks
Hugh Philip Leach – Royal Field Artillery
Edward Robert Leach – Army Service Corps
Sidney Lovejoy – Royal Marine Light Infantry
Thomas Lunn – 3rd Royal Berks
Frederick George Lyddiatt – 4th Gloucestershire
William May – Scottish Canadian Gordon Highlanders
Guy Deacon Meadowcroft – 11th Royal West Kent
Samuel Meadowcroft
William George Middleton – Army Service Corps
Reginald Victor Millson – HMS Superb
Arthur William Godley Oates – Army Service Corps
Arthur Willam Paley – 3rd Royal Berks
George Neville Payne – Royal Engineers
Frederick Parker – HMS Illustrious
Edwin Charles Phillips – Royal Army Medical Corps [wounded]
Frank Phillips – 1st London Rifle Brigade
George Phillips – 4th Royal Berks
William Phillips – 4th Royal Berks
John Potter – HMS Jupiter
George Potter – HMS Liverpool
Thomas Potter – 7th Royal Berks
Reginald Potter – 4th Royal Berks
Percy Stephen Potter – King’s Royal Rifles
Frank Potter – HMS Powerful
John Pursey – 5th East Surrey
Joseph Pursey – 5th East Surrey
George Edward Rabbitts
George Rogers – 3rd Royal Berks
Thomas Rogers – Royal Horse Artillery
Charles Rogers – 10th Hussars
Joseph Rogers – Royal Field Artillery
Joseph Sadler – Royal Horse Artillery
Charles Sarjeant – 6th Royal Berks
William Shadbolt – 7th Queen’s West Surrey
Alfred Reginald Silver – 8th Royal Berks [wounded]
William Silver – 1st Grenadier Guards [wounded]
William Simpson – 4th Royal Berks
Daniel John Smith – 9th Leicestershire
Frederick William Smith – 2nd Royal Berks [wounded]
William Taylor – Army Service Corps
Cecil William Taylor – 3rd Royal Berks [wounded & prisoner]
Albert Henry Turner – Army Service Corps
Stephen Walter – Royal Naval Air Service
Harry Watts – York & Lancs.
Alfred Watts – Royal Marine Artillery
Joseph Watts – 7th Hussars
William Watts – 3/4 Royal Berks
George Wingfield – Royal Flying Corps
John Wingfield – Royal Flying Corps
Charles Wise – Royal Marine Light Infantry
David Yardley – 5th Royal Berks

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