Taken from Surrey Herald, 22 January 1915
This fascinating report on a Oatlands wedding between Alfred Edward Western and Margaret Dorothy Butler is a wonderful insight into wartime social history in Surrey. The minute details about the wedding, from the choir singing, how the bride was attired, the Boy Scouts providing a guard of honour, to a Belgian refugee decorating the porch of the bride’s home. It is the list of wedding presents that makes for an entertaining read: copies of Turner’s water colours; Genoese lace; books and Indian embroidery.
‘A wedding of considerable local interest was solemnised at the Parish Church on Saturday, the contracting parties being Miss Margaret Dorothy Butler, daughter of the late Professor A. J. Butler and Mrs Butler. “Wood End”, Oatlands, and Mr Alfred Edward Western, son of Mr and Mrs E. G. Western, of Pembridge Square W. The officiating clergy were Canon V. H. Stanton. D.D., and the Vicar (the Rev. J. H. Townsend). The choir attended the service, which was fully choral. Mr Cary Bliss presiding at the organ, and the hymns “The King of Love my Shepherd is” and “Praise my soul the King of Heaven” were sung. The bride, who was attired in white satin, trimmed with old Italian lace (the gift of Mrs Lewis Knight) was given away by [Lieutenant] W. M. Butler, [Royal Engineers] (her brother). Sergeant Oswald Western, [Honourable Artillery Company], acted as best man, and a guard of honour was formed at the church porch by members of the local troop of Boy Scouts. The porch of Wood End was tastefully decorated by M. Hemelsoet, a Belgian refugee staying at “Woodcote”. After the wedding a reception, composed of almost entirely of the two families, was held, after which Mr and Mrs Western left for Cornwall and Devon, where the honeymoon is being spent. The bride’s travelling costume was of blue brocade silk, her mole grey hat being trimmed with blue ostrich feathers. The presents were:-
Bride to bridegroom, field glasses
Bridegroom to bride, pendant
[Author’s note: see images for full list of presents]