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.
St Paul’s Church Wokingham in the Reading Chronicle (extract from Jim Bell’s ‘Wokingham in the News’.
Sat 11th April 1868
COUNTY BENCH 6TH APRIL
(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
ST. PAUL’S PARISH CHURCH
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
VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE
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
SOUTH EASTERN RAILWAY STATION
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
THE WRECK OF THE VICTORIA
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
THE LATE MR. & MRS. W. TOWERS BROWN.
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
FUNERAL OF MR. & MRS. WILLIAM TOWERS BROWN, AT WOKINGHAM
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
GRAVE OF WILLIAM AND GUNHILDA BROWN
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
THE GARDENS AT BEARWOOD
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
GIRLS’ FRIENDLY SOCIETY
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.
MUNIFICENT GIFT BY MR. WALTER
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
SACRILEGE AT ST. PAUL’S CHURCH
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
ST. PAUL’S CHURCH
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.
Sat 2nd Feb. 1901
PROCLAMATION OF KING EDWARD VII
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
ST. PAUL’S PARISH CHURCH
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.
Sat 26th Feb. 1910
DEATH OF MR. WALTER OF BEAR WOOD
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
THE LATE MR. WALTER OF BEAR WOOD
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
CORONATION FESTIVITIES AT WOKINGHAM
ROASTING AN OX IN THE MARKET PLACE
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 ROASTING OF THE OX
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.
DEATH OF MR. GOTELEE
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
DEATH AND FUNERAL OF MR. T.E. ELLISON I.C.S.
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
THE NATIONAL EGG COLLECTION
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
ST. PAUL’S CHURCH
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.
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.
DEATH OF LIEUT COCKRELL
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.
DEATH AND FUNERAL OF MR. D.N. HERON
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.
WOKINGHAM AND THE ARMISTICE
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 PAUL’S WAR MEMORIAL
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.