National War Loan (Leaflet No 7)

In June 1915 the government launched its second National War Loan Scheme. The August 1915 edition of St Saviour’s Parish Magazine re-printed Leaflet No. 7, which outlined the scheme’s operation in the form of a series of questions and answers.

NATIONAL WAR LOAN

INFORMATION HOW TO INVEST SMALL SUMS

Question. – People are saying that everyone who can should take up some of this new War Loan. Why do they say this?

Answer. – Because this is one of the ways of helping our country in the War, and every little counts.

Q. – I have not much saved up, but I am earning good wages and could save a few shillings a week. Could I invest that money in the Loan?

A. – Yes. Everybody who can save can and should invest in the Loan.

Q. – What must I do?

A. – With every 5s. you have you can buy a Scrip Voucher at the Post Office for that amount. You can also buy Scrip Vouchers for 10s. or £1. Buying Scrip Vouchers is as easy as buying postage stamps.

Q. – What must I do with my Scrip Vouchers?

A. – Keep them carefully until the 1st of December, and after that date you can exchange them at the Post Office for War Loan. For every twenty Scrip Vouchers for 5s. or ten Scrip Vouchers for 10s. or five Scrip Vouchers for £1 you will receive £5 of stock.

Q. – But if I want money I shall not have to wait till sometime between 1925 and 1945 to get it?

A. – No you can go to the Post Office and sell your stock at any time.

Q. – Could it be sold quickly?

A. Yes, you would only have to wait, at most a few days for your money.

Q. – Would it cost me anything to sell out?

A. – The Post Office will make a small charge; for any amount up to £25 the fee is 9d. only.

(Leaflet No. 7).

Source:

St Saviour’s Guildford, Parish Magazine, August 1915, SHC Ref: 1946 Box 10.

The Bishop of Winchester looks to the future

The Right Reverend Edward Talbot (1844-1934), Bishop of Winchester, sent a letter from his seat at Farnham Castle to all the churches of his diocese in January 1919, reflecting on the armistice and the challenges ahead:  ‘God has brought us through the war, and given us a fresh lease of power – for what?’  The Bishop had himself experienced the tragedy of the war: his younger son Gilbert Talbot (1891-1915), a lieutenant in the 7th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, had been killed in the Ypres Salient on 30 Jul 1915; Gilbert’s brother Neville, an army chaplain, had retrieved the body.  Talbot House, the famous rest house for soldiers in Poperinghe, west of Ypres, nicknamed Toc-H, was named after Gilbert.  A letter from Gilbert, written to Susan Lushington from Bordon Camp in March 1915, is held by Surrey History Centre (SHC ref 7854/4/32/3/1a-b).

In the letter, the Bishop gives thanks again for the end of hostilities and hopes that now a ‘just and lasting peace’ can be achieved.  He warns against any temptation to self-righteousness even though it is proper to look ‘sternly and severely at the awful fault and crimes of Germany’ and warns Britain not to fall into Germany’s sins of ‘national self-worship, and the worship of force, of gold and of the machine’.  He believes that the final peace settlement should not aim at any expansion of Britain’s empire but should seek to ‘draw all nations into a League of Peace, to act as trustee and defender of the weaker races, to conduct ourselves so that slowly but surely hatreds may die down, and slowly but surely the ideals which are good for all the nations may come to be pursued by all’.

At home it should be the aim of all to create a fairer society but this should be done with ‘general goodwill, disinteredness, and unselfishness’, so it does not degenerate into a struggle between rich and poor.  He recognises that ‘those who have sometimes a wrong and unchristian monopoly of the great word ‘respectable’ will have to reconcile themselves (let me put myself among them) to great losses and disagreeable changes, and to welcome a state of society in which they count for less’ but urges people to heed the lesson of the Russian Revolution ‘that revolution can be as ruthless as autocracy or Junkerism’ and urges Labour not to ‘organise hatred against all who are not in its ranks’.

Above all, he asks his flock to pray that ‘the nations all, and our own, may feel their way forward’ and that God will ‘give life’s bread and portion more and more truly and fairly to all’.

A copy of the letter is included in the volume of Witley parish magazines at Surrey History Centre (SHC ref WIT16/37).

Private Hubert William Selby

Private Hubert William Selby was first listed as serving in the February 1915 edition of the parish magazine. In December of the same year, the magazine recorded that:

H W Selby was killed in action on the 13th October, while serving with the 8th Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment. He was only married a short while before the war broke out, and was employed in Oxshott as a gardener. He was popular with all. We mourn his loss and shall remember him as a good man. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his sorrowing widow. RIP.

In addition, it was reported that ‘Mrs Selby desires to return thanks for all the kind letters of sympathy which have been a source of great comfort to her’.

Sources:

St Andrew’s, Oxshott, Parish Magazines, December 1915, SHC Ref. 8909/8/1/4.

Private William Scarff

In March 1915 the St Andrew’s parish magazine recorded that:

News has come from India that Private William Scarfe (sic.), of the East Surrey Regiment, was drowned while bathing last month. William Scarfe (sic.) was a resident of Effingham, and was employed at Warren Mount, Oxshott, when called up for service at the general mobilization.

Sources:

St Andrew’s, Oxshott, Parish Magazines, March 1915, SHC Ref. 8909/8/1/4.

St Saviour’s Church, Stoke-Next-Guildford – 1914

St Saviour’s Church, Stoke-Next-Guildford

The St Saviour’s Guildford Parish Magazine cost 1d. and was distributed through a network of district visitors and magazine distributors. As well as details of services, parochial fixtures, Bible Classes, Sunday School, and Collections and Communicants, it contained reports on various church affiliated local societies and organisations.

Reverend Peters’ monthly letter, in which he reflected upon events in the parish, the nation, and the wider world, took up a large proportion of each magazine and offer an interesting insight into one clergyman’s view on the events taking place at the time. Reverend Peters had arrived in Stoke as a curate in 1891 , and took responsibility for the new parish of St Saviour’s on its creation in 1893, where he remained until his death in 1926.

In relation to the Great War, surviving copies of the magazine date from August 1914 to December 1916. The sudden nature of the onset of hostilities was highlighted in the August 1914 issue, which opened with Reverend Peters outlining his plans to take a holiday in both sides of the Rhone Valley, starting in Lucerne at the end of July. In the following month, September 1914, the vicar recorded the events that subsequently took place, offering an interesting first hand account of the experience of being a British tourist on the continent at the moment that war is declared, of their attempts to get home, as well as some of the concern that was felt during this period by their friends at home.

The parish of Stoke-Next-Guildford was quick to mobilise. Intercession Services, ‘on behalf of His Majesty’s Naval and Military Forces’ were to be held every Wednesday, at 11am and 8pm, and every Friday, at noon and 8pm. By the following month the service at noon on Friday had been dropped, and replaced by a service to be held in the Parish Room on Mondays at 8.15am. A Ladies Working Party was also initiated for any women willing to work at home or in the Parish Room, and the first meeting was arranged for 3pm on Wednesday August 26th.

In October 1914 the Reverend Peters wrote of the anxiety already felt, as well as the ‘many weeks of like anxiety [which] await us’. He was heartened, however, to find that, in releasing ‘several white papers containing the correspondence of the different Ambassadors on the Continent, the government had been able ‘to make it clear to all that Great Britain has entered upon this war from a simple righteous motive’ and ‘that up to the eleventh hour we tried to keep out of it altogether’. Recognising that ‘there is little we can do for our dear men in the front’, he called upon parishioners to pray for them and for more ‘mothers, wives, sisters, and sweethearts’ to come to prayer services to do so.  In addition, he asserted, ‘we must practice the strictest economy in all matters concerning self… In dress many were living up to and beyond their income, and in eating and drinking there was a lamentable display of excess and ostentation… at such a time as this. A clean heart, a pure mind and a well-disciplined body are national assets’. Lastly, Reverend Peters recorded that, because ‘a very large number of men from the congregation have heard their country’s call… it is quite impossible at the moment to keep in touch with all or to collect their names in a register’ but ‘perhaps some means may be devised later on of doing this correctly’.

Parishioners were advised that a War Distress Committee had been formed, under the leadership of the Mayor of Guildford, with the aim of ensuring that no hardship should exist arising from the war. Applications were to be made via the Town Clerk or Reverend Peters and, to ensure that there was no ‘overlapping or indiscriminate giving of alms’, private individuals and employers who made allowances or gave relief were also asked to ensure that the Town Clerk was notified.

The Working Party had been busy since its inception the previous month, with attendances of between 40 and 50 at each weekly meeting. It was recorded that ‘a parcel containing 126 garments was sent off for the Belgian Refugees on September 14th… 72 of these garments were made by members of the Working Party and 54 received from friends’. It was hoped that work would continue ‘during the winter or as long as the need is felt’. In addition, it was recorded that Mrs Peters had received £7 16s. 7d., of which £5 0s. 7d. had so far been spent, as well as a number of parcels of materials.

Interestingly, parishioners were directed to Robert Blatchford’s Germany and England, ‘for a simple clear understanding of the cause of this present war’. Blatchford, a prominent atheist, was a campaigner and the founder of the Socialist newspaper, The Clarion. In 1909 he had written 10 articles for the Daily Mail warning of the threat that Germany represented. These were subsequently published as a pamphlet and it was this that readers of the magazine were encouraged to get and read, on the basis that ‘you will see things much more clearly’. Parishioners were also advised to ‘remember it was written and published five years ago. Some men can look ahead – but alas! the warning was unheeded’.

In November 1914 Reverend Peters reflected at great length upon the appeals for, and necessity of, temperance, calling for all to ‘exercise voluntary self-restraint and become abstainers during the continuance of the war’. Such was the importance of this issue to the Reverend, that he printed in full Lord Kitchener’s appeal of October 24th:

The men who have recently joined the colours are doing their utmost to prepare themselves for active service with the least possible delay. This result can only be achieved if, by hard work and strict sobriety, they keep themselves thoroughly fit and healthy.

Lord Kitchener appeals to the public, both men and women, to help soldiers in their task. He begs everyone to avoid treating the men to drink, and to give them every assistance in resisting the temptations which are often placed before them.

Lord Kitchener suggests that in the neighbourhood where soldiers are stationed committees should be formed to educate public opinion on this subject, and bring home its importance to those who prevent our soldiers from being able to do their duty to their country in a thoroughly efficient manner.

The Reverend followed this with an extract from the Press, detailing the measures that had been taken by the Courts in Surrey to ensure self-restraint, a resolution, the necessity of which, he felt ‘ashamed’:

The Court of Quarter Sessions for the county of Surrey passed a resolution on Tuesday calling attention to the evils of intemperance in war time. This was moved by General Sir Edward Chapman as follows:-

In time of war drunkenness is an offence against and an injury to the State, whether the offender be a man or a woman. It is necessary at this crises, to obtain the co-operation of the public in effective measures to prevent it. The following are essential:-

(1)          The shortening of the hours during which the bars of public-houses may be kept open or the sale of spirits, beer, and wine be permitted in the clubs or hotels.

(2)          An appeal to every member of the community to abandon the practice of inviting friends or others to drink.

Sir Edward said he brought the resolution forward simply as a war measure. Temperance was vital to efficiency in the war – temperance not only among the troops, but among the civil population fo the country.

Another magistrate said: ‘The system of ‘treating’ carried out by the well meaning but mis-guided public was an absolute curse to the soldiers.’

Lastly, Reverend Peters drew his parishioners attention to the example of the Russian government who had prohibited the sale of alcohol when mobilisation began, at a cost to its annual revenue of £93,000,000 per annum; the Russian people, who on seeing the effects had petitioned for the change to be made permanent; and the Russian soldiers, whose ‘success and bearing… is a source of pride and admiration of the Allies’.

By November the working party had sent a second bale of 144 garments to the Belgian refugees, and a further ‘five flannel shirts, three vests, one pair pants, and one helmet’ to the ‘Queens’ Depot. Attendance continued to be good and £1 10s. had been made from teas and cakes and a further £2 by Miss Wheeler selling ‘jam, pickles, flowers, etc.’. They had started knitting socks, body belts, mittens and scarves, and Mrs Peters had also started a knitting party for girls over 16, making mufflers for soldiers and sailors from 7.30 to 9.30 on Thursday evenings. In addition, Mrs Peters had received 38 garments made by the girls of Sandfield School, forwarded by the Headmistress, Miss Beard, which had also been sent on to the Belgian Refugee Fund. The following month it was recorded that a further ‘20 body belts, 19 socks, 12 mittens, 7 mufflers, 1 pair cuffs, and 1 helmet’ had been sent to the ‘Queens’ Regiment, and a number of warm garments made for the Belgian refugees who were present in Guildford. However, for reasons that are unclear, it was reported that the working party had had to be discontinued.

The last magazine of the first year of conflict, in December 1914, opened with a return to the subject of temperance, particularly in anticipation of the 4 – 5,000 soldiers who were expected to be billeted in the town. The Reverend recorded that Lord Kitchener’s sister had written to the London Papers ‘revealing the widespread mischief that is going on’ as people ‘treat’ the troops, with the result that, when stated in the House of Commons that ‘between thirty and forty percent of our new soldiers are rendered inefficient through drink and its attendant evils’, the Prime Minister had admitted to ‘ten to fifteen per cent’.  However, although detailed arrangements had been made to accommodate their arrival, the expected troops were ordered elsewhere, resulting in, what Reverend Peters believed to be, the disappointment of hundreds of parishioners.

In addition, Reverend Peters reminded readers that, while ‘war may sometimes be legitimate… Our Lord must be sad indeed’, and, as such, there was a need ‘of earnest prayer to God for our dear men on the high seas, on the Continent, and in our dependences across the seas’.

Source:

St Saviour’s Church, Stoke-Next-Guildford, Parish Magazines, August to December 1914, SHC Ref: 1946 Box 10.

‘Robert Blatchford’, accessed 2 March 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Blatchford.

‘The History of St Saviour’s Guildford’, St Saviour’s Guildford, accessed 2 March 2017, http://st-saviours.org.uk/Groups/218989/St_Saviours_Guildford/About_Us/Our_Story/The_History_of/The_History_of.aspx.

Private Edgar William Parker

The St Andrew’s parish magazine first recorded that Private Edgar Parker was serving his country in July 1915. In June 1918 readers were advised that he was in the Northamptonshire Regiment and was at Chatham, having been in hospital for fourteen months. Two months later, in August 1918, the magazine recorded that Edgar had been home on leave and, a month later, that he had now returned to France.

Sadly, in November 1918, the magazine reported that, after spending the best part of a year and a half recovering:

We are now sorry to report that on September 18th [Private Edgar Parker] was killed. He wrote to his wife on the 17th, saying that he was going to the trenches the next day.

Sources:

St Andrew’s, Oxshott, Parish Magazines, July 1915, June 1918, August 1918, September 1918, and November 1918, SHC Ref. 8909/8/1/4.

Lieutenant Ernest Graham Johnston Humbert

Mr Graham Humbert was first listed as serving his country in the October 1914 edition of the St Andrew’s parish magazine, and the following January, 1915, the authors offered him their congratulations on being given a commission as Second Lieutenant.

However, only six months later, it was recorded that:

[Lieutenant] Ernest Graham Johnston Humbert, 9th Royal Berkshire Regiment, who is reported from Alexandria to have died from wounds received at the Dardanelles, was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Ernest Humbert of Langleys, Oxshott. He was educated at Charterhouse and Oriel College, Oxford, and was admitted as a solicitor in 1912. On the outbreak of war he joined the Officers’ Training Corps, and in November last was gazetted to a commission in the 9th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. He was afterwards raised to the rank of Lieutenant. He was aged 27.

Sources:

St Andrew’s, Stoke D’Abernon, Parish Magazines, July 1915, SHC Ref. 8909/8/1/4.

 

Private Albert Harris

In May 1916 the St Andrew’s, Oxshott, parish magazine recorded that:

Albert Harris was one of the ‘Derby Recruits’ and was called up for training in his group. Never of robust health he was unable to endure the heavy work put upon him. He caught a chill, and after a very short illness was called away for higher service among the great majority of Christ’s soldiers in Paradise. The funeral took place at Chatham. RIP.

Sources:

St Andrew’s, Stoke D’Abernon, Parish Magazines, May 1916, SHC Ref. 8909/8/1/4.

Private Leland John George Finch

Private Leland John George Finch was first listed as serving in March 1916, and the following December his death was recorded as follows:

Leland John George Finch. 12th East Surrey Regiment. We have heard with much sorrow that Leland Finch was killed in action last September. He was always popular with his companions, and both at school and at his work was always considered from his studious nature and brightness to be sure of doing well. He was educated at Cobham School, and gained distinction there, amongst other things winning the Overseas Prize. On leaving school he was employed first at the Motor Works of Messrs. Dennis Bros., of Guildford and afterwards at the Abingdon Motor Works. He joined the Army last January, proceeding to France with his regiment in May. He was first reported missing in September, and news of his death has only just reached his anxious parents, to whom we express our deepest sympathy. RIP.

Although not mentioned in the parish magazine, Leland’s older brother, Royal Air Force Corporal Fenimore Victor Finch, had also died in service, a little over three months prior to Leland.

Sources:

St Andrew’s, Stoke D’Abernon, Parish Magazines, March 1916 and December 1916, SHC Ref. 8909/8/1/4.

Private Frederick Coombs [Coombes]

Private Frederick Coombs was listed as serving, in the St Andrew’s parish magazine, in November 1915. By the following month, December 1915, he was reported as convalescent. Nothing more was noted about Private Coombs until June 1918, when it was recorded that he had been missing for two years. By December 1918 Private Frederick Coombs was listed as one of a number who had ‘given their lives for our country’.  His death was officially recorded as having taken place on 18th March 1916.

Sources:

St Andrew’s, Stoke D’Abernon, Parish Magazines, November 1914, November 1915, December 1915, June 1918, and December 1918, SHC Ref. 8909/8/1/4.