Burbage During the Great War
Burbage During the Great War

Burbage Parish Magazine

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Front Page of the Parish Magazine - January 1915


Notes for the Month by the Vicar


January 1915 (abridged)


Motto text for the New Year:  “Love the truth and peace”

                                                                                    Zachariah viii 19.


S. Paul in writing to the Ephesians gives the exhortation, ‘speak every man truth with his neighbour,’ and he seems to be quoting from the prophet Zachariah.  What need there is for truth, honesty, and honour in word and deed in daily life.  When this is so between man and man, nation and nation, then there is sure hope of lasting peace.


On Sunday, January 3rd there will be a special service of Intercession in all our Churches, and indeed in every place of worship, throughout the Empire, being the day appointed for Intercessions on behalf of the Nation and Empire in this time of War.  Forms of prayer will be placed in the pews, and everyone should make a point of attending and joining in this solemn act of supplication.  The offertory will be for the National Fund for the care of the sick and wounded, administered by the Red Cross Society and St John’s Society.


The War – Dr Martin Hallam has left the village to serve in the Army Medical Corps, and has introduced in his place Dr Clark Jones.


I omitted the name of Frank Wort, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in the list of those on service.  I am asked to add the names of Herbert Stone, and Frank Mundy, both of the Coldstream Guards, and I’m sorry to say both wounded.  Also Earnest Stone of the Wilts, and William Mundy of the Coldstreams, and Frederick Mundy in the Navy.


I take this opportunity of recording that Miss Hibberd and Miss Hughes have lately received the Diocesan certificate for over 20 years service as Sunday School teachers,  I should also like to mention that the Diocesan Inspector reports very favourably of the scripture work in the Infants’ School.


Day School (Mixed) – Sixty applications have been received for the post of Headmaster and these are now being carefully considered.  Until one is appointed and ready to come and take up the work, Mr Griffin will continue to act as Head Teacher.


February 1915 (abridged)


APPOINTMENT OF SCHOOLMASTER – Mr Ernest Stanley Webb has been appointed by the managers as Headmaster for the Mixed School, subject to the approval of the Wilts Education Committee, and hopes to enter upon his duties on February 15th.  Mr Webb has been senior certificated assistant at Christ Church School, Bradford-on-Avon, for about 10 years, and has high qualifications and excellent testimonials  I feel sure that he and his wife shall receive a hearty welcome from both children and parents in the village, and at the same time we do not forget our indebitedness to Mr Griffin, who has been acting as Headmaster during the interval.


The CEMS Annual Meeting was held in the Institute on January 19th .  The Vicar, as President took the chair.  Mr C A Baker read the minutes……….The accounts showed a balance of 8s to the credit of the Branch.  Mr J T Mainstone was unanimously re-elected as Hon Treasurer, Mr C A New was unanimously re-elected as Hon Secretary.  The following were elected on the Committees for 1915: - for the Special Committee – Messrs CA Baker, RG Green,  and HS Spreadbury.  On the ordinary Committee, Messrs P Chandler, H Cox, RH Davis, A Gale, H Pye, E Benstead, L Gale, S Hillier, W Kingston and T Stevens.


A CONCERT – Patriotic and Parochial – will be given in the large schoolroom on Friday 12th February in aid of the Belgian Relief Fund and our Churchyard Improvement Fund, under the kind auspices of Miss Salisbury.  The necessary arrangements are being made by a small committee of ladies.  Tickets 2s, 1s and admission 6d.


THE CEMS CONCERT held on December 30th was a decided success.  The proceeds after paying all expenses amounted to £4 10s 4d divided equally between the CEMS Institute and the fund for sending presents of tobacco to the Burbage men serving in the forces.  Thirty seven packets have been distributed through Mr Baker, Mr Mainstone and Mr Spreadbury assisted by members of the Committee and will no doubt be accepted as a token of remembrance and appreciation by our Burbage soldiers and sailors, whom we all wish well in the coming months.


THE COLLECTION for the National Fund for the sick and wounded on Sunday 3rd January amounted to £3 9s 6d.  The weather was wintry and unfavourable to large congregations.


A MEETING of qualified parishioners will be held in the Schoolroom on Wednesday February 10th at 8pm to elect a representative to act on the Ruro-decanal Conference in place of Mr GE Brading, who has resigned, having left Burbage and is at present serving in the Navy………..


THE SUNDAY SCHOOL prizes were awarded on December 27th and the Choir boys prizes on January 17th.  The Choir boys had tea and games in the large schoolroom on New Year’s Eve.


THE DRILL and Dancing Class for Girls held by Miss Olive Sands has been a decided success, and will shortly be brought to a conclusion for the season.


I PROPOSE to publish in this magazine from time to time a few notes on Burbage and its history.  The Rev WA Heygate, Vicar of Burbage from 1890 to 1900 has kindly supplied me with some particulars, and I shall also use any other source of information available.  It is well to keep some record of what is known of the parish in the past, and the Parish Magazine seems to be the best means of informing the parishioners.


THE BISHOP has announced that he will hold a Confirmation at Burbage on December 2nd this year, so preparation classes will not be held till the autumn.


March 1915 (abridged)


THE ARCHDEACON OF WILTS (the Ven E. Bodington), Vicar of Calne will visit the parish on Sunday, March 7th and will kindly conduct the services and preach at 11.0 and 6pm.


MEN’S SERVICE – There will be a service for the men the same afternoon, March 7th, at 2.15.  Address by Archdeacon Bodington.


A SERVICE FOR WOMEN will be held in the Church on Thursday, March 4th at 3pm.  Address by the Vicar on ‘Prayer’.


Also one for the elder girls who have been confirmed in recent years, on Tuesday, March 23rd at 6pm.


THE PATRIOTIC CONCERT on February 12th was very successful.  The room was full and the programme. Arranged by Miss Salisbury, was of a highly interesting character, and included part songs by choristers from St Peter’s, and solos by Miss Mary Smith, Miss Yates and Mr Leake.  Miss Salisbury accompanied, and also contributed 2 violin solos.  Mr G O Wheeler gave a musical monologue, entitled ‘What is a gentleman.’ and several humorous songs.  An amazing sketch called ‘Contrasts’ was performed by Miss Olive Sands and Miss Frances Parkes.  A full report of the entertainment was given in the ‘Marlborough Times’ on February 20th.  The proceeds amounting to £6 14s 3d., have been sent to the Belgian Relief Fund, as the Ladies Committee decided that the whole should be given to it, it being felt that subscriptions would be freely given later to the Churchyard Improvement Fund.  A full statement is posted in the Church porch. Our sincere thanks are given to Miss Salisbury and all who took part; also to Mr Mainstone for the loan of the piano and to the ladies who contributed to the refreshments – Mrs Bain, Mrs Blanchard, Mrs Green, Mrs Gale, Mrs Mainstone and Mrs Sands; and to Mrs Gale and Mrs New for their assistance.


THE DRILL AND DANCING CLASS under Miss Olive Sands’ superintendence gave a display to invited friends on Saturday Feb 13th.  A very enjoyable evening was spent.


NEW RECRUITS – The following have joined the Army from the village during the past few weeks – Ernest Belben, RFA., William George Flippance, 3rd Wilts, Herbert George Grant, 3rd Wilts, and John Wernham, 7th Wilts.


AMONG RECENT DEATHS in the village special mention may be made of Mr William Kimber of Wolfhall, a member of the CEMS, a resident of longstanding, much esteemed and greatly missed, also of widow Bushnell, who was nearly 96, and the oldest inhabitant in the parish.  


It is forty years this month since the death of Archdeacon Stanton, for 23 years Vicar of the Parish.  The side chapel was built in Canon Kingsbury’s time as a memorial of him but there is nothing to record this.  Ought there not be a small tablet in the chapel for this purpose?  I believe it would not cost much more than £2 2s 0d.


VARIOUS – Mr Townsend has been elected a Representative on the Ruridecanal Conference in place of Mr G E Brading.


Miss Tootell is leaving Burbage for a similar post as certified assistant teacher in Thatcham.


NOTES ON BURBAGE – i.  I believe the earliest record of Burbage as a parish is in a document of the date 961, in the reign of King Edgar.  There is some uncertainty as to the origin of the name.  It seems likely to be Anglo-Saxon and to mean ‘the village of the beech’ but it has been suggested that ‘herbagium’ was the Romano-British name, pointing to the fertility of the soil, and that in Anglo-Saxon times a similar sounding name was adopted in the Anglo-Saxon tongue.  Theer I leave the question for the present.


April 1915 (Abridged)


HOLY WEEK. - Palm Sunday, March 28.


The Easter Offerings will be, according to custom, given to the Vicar, as the Bishop of the Diocese desires.


THE EASTER VERSTRY will be held in the Schoolroom on Easter Monday, April 5th at 10am to receive a statement of Church Accounts and to appoint Churchwardens and Sidesmen for the coming year.


THE C.E.M.S.  Members and Associates who have not yet paid their subscription for the current year are desired to do so by May 1st, after which the list will be closed, and it is intended shortly to print in this magazine a full list of the Members and Associates.  The Institute will close for the season on March 27th.


NEW RECRUITS. - The following names are added to the list of men who have joined the forces: Second Lieutenant HHA, Sands Royal Warwickshire Regt., Thomas Charles Walker, RFA., Norman Scammell, RFA., and Fred Noyes, ASC.


PROMOTIONS. - Major Maurice, RAMC has been promoted to the rank of Lieut Colonel, Lieut CWC Wasey to be Captain and Second Lieut LK Sands to be Lieutenant.


THE BELGIAN RELIEF FUND. - In addition to the £6:14:3, the proceeds of the Concert, the following donations have been sent to the fund from the Village: 10/6 each from Mr and Mrs Blanchard, Mr Braime, Mr A Dew, Mr JJ May and Mr W Vines.  £3:3:0 in all.


A PATRIOTIC CONCERT in aid of the Marlborough Red Cross Hospital will be held in the Burbage Schoolroom on Wednesday April 7th, at 7.30pm.  Mr JD Crossfield will act as Chairman, Mr Wasey as Hon. Treasurer, and Mr Baker and Mr Mainstone are Hon. Secretaries.  A large amount of support has been promised, and there is every prospect of a great success.  Tickets at 2/-, 1/- and admission 6d.


THE WAR. - Is the whole nation fully awake to the meaning of the war, and the issues at stake?  This is the question that has been asked a good deal lately, in view of the strikes, idling and drinking.  It is a time for everyone to do his or her best to meet the needs of the Empire.  There is a call for more recruits, and women are needed to take the place of men in town and country.  Who will respond?


THE BURBAGE AND EASTON ROYAL FRIENDLY SOCIETY. - An important meeting of the members was held in the Infants' School on Friday March 19th, at 7.30pm, when nearly 100 members were present.  Mr JJ May took the Chair and made a full and clear statement of the position of the Society and the steps already taken for the dissolution and division of the funds.  Letters were read from the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies and other officials, and a petition was signed by the requisite number of members (more than half those present) asking the Chief Registrar to undertake the appointment of the funds payable to each member.  Mr WJ Chandler was appointed Secretary, and Mr JJ May and the Vicar Trustees.  It is hope that the matter will be carried through before mid-summer.


LENDING LIBRARY will be closed for the season on March 30th.  Hearty thanks are due to the ladies who have so kindly taken charge of it.


NOTES ON BURBAGE. - I made a mistake in the date given last month.  It should have been 969.  There appears to be evidence of a Church at Burbage at the time of the Conquest, 1066, and the name of the parish priest if preserved.  It was Vitalis.  Later documents, belonging to the reign of Henry I, and Stephen, refer to Burbage and its ecclesiastical affairs.  The list of vicars for several hundred years seem to have been lost with other documents pertaining to the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury.  The Prebendary of Hurstbourne and Burbage in Salisbury Cathedral was during this time, and until 1852, the patron of the living.  Since that date the Patron has been the Bishop of Salisbury.


May 1915 (Abridged)


THE EASTER SERVICES. - I desire to thank all who sent flowers or helped in the Easter decorations.  The services were bright and hearty, but there was a slight decrease in the number of communicants, due mainly to absences caused by the war, and to the fact that there has not been a Confirmation during lent.


THE EASTER VESTRY was held on Easter Monday at 10am.  The Vicar reported that some repairs to the Chancel had been undertaken...........


Mr R G Green, Churchwarden, read a statement of Church Accounts showing that Church Collections for all purposes during the year amounted to £63:15:2........  Thesubscriptions in lieu of seat rents were not all paid, but subject tocompletion and audit the accounts were unanimously accepted, and Messrs. C A baker and W Vines were appointed auditors.....


The Vicar nominated Mr R G Green as Warden, and the Vestry unanimously elected Mr E J Mann.......


Mr E S Webb has kindly consented to help Mr Townsend, our esteemed organist with the Church Choir, and has been appointed Honorary Choirmaster.  I feel sure that the congregation will welcome this announcement.


THE RED CROSS CONCERT given in the Schoolroom on April 7th was an eminent success, both financially and from a musical point of view.  The 'Marlborough Times' contained a full report including Lieut col Maurice's interesting and graphic account of the scenes at the front in Flanders. The nett proceeds with donations for the Red Cross Hospital at Marlborough amounted to £18:4:1.


C.E.M.S. - Members and Associates who have not yet paid their subscriptions for the present year are asked to do so by May 15th.  The full list will be printed as usual in the June number of the Magazine.


A SERVICE FOR THE MEN will be held on Sunday, May 9th at 2.15pm.


THE DAYS SCHOOLS. - in order to lengthen the summer holidays so as to enable the elder children to help with the hay harvest, there will be no Whitsuntide holidays this year, Whit Monday excepted.  Further particulars will be announced as soon as possible.


NEW RECRUITS. - Frederick William Fribbence, 3rd Wilts Reserve; Philip Scammell, RFA, William Thomas Shewring, 7th Wilts.  it has been brought to my notice that another name ought to have been added several months ago, Oliver Cox, City of London Royal Fusiliers.


THE WOMEN'S UNION. - The Festival for the Rural Deanery was held at Pewsey Parish Churchon Friday afternoon, March 26th and was largely attended by members from most of the surrounding villages.  Tea was provided in the Bouverie Hall before the service.  The preacher was Archdeacon Bodington.  Seven members went from Burbage.


June 1915 (Abridged)


THE WAR. - Lord Kitchener has asked the nation for 300,000 more recruits.  The King has been visiting the works on the Clyde and the Tyne.  It is to be hoped that men and munitions will soon be available. It cannot be too often repeated that the only way to shorten the war and save the waste of life is to present the strongest possible offensive to the enemy.  We are fighting not only for the belgians and our other Allies, but for the British Empire, our country and our homes.  The Germans will crush England, if they can.  our new armies are about to take to the field.  May God bless and prosper them in their conflict for liberty and right!


A recruiting meeting was held on our Church Green on May 16th after evening service, when an eloquent appeal was made by Lance Corporal Miller of the Wilts regiment, who paid a visit to the village at the request of Lieut-Colonel Steward, CO at the Depot, Devizes.  I do not know what the result has been.  So far as I am aware the only name to be added to our list this month is that of William Thomas Wheeler Davis, who joined the Wilts Regiment.


C.E.M.S. - Mr C A New, Hon Secretary, has sent me the following list of members and associates for this season, who have paid their subscriptions:


A meeting is to be held in Marlborough on June 9th when Mr Monks, Western Secretary of the C.E.M.S. will address members of local communities.  It is hoped that the Burbage Branch will send representatives


THE DAY SCHOOLS. - We have had visits from Mr Purdie H.M Inspector, and Mr Pullinger, Director of Education for the County, who have both expressed their satisfaction at the improved conditions in the Mixed School.  The date of the holidays is not yet fixed.


THE BURBAGE AND EASTON FRIENDLY SOCIETY. - The arrangements for the dissolution of the Society and the division of the funds amongst the members are well in hand, but the process is necessarily rather slow, owing to the difficulty in getting all the information required by the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies.  Moreover, certain legal notices have to be given; but i believe everything is proceeding satisfactorily, and the Bank of England will pay interest on the invested funds up to the time of division.  The Assistant Registrar and the Actuary who have the matter in hand, have both, I understand, gone to the front but another Actuary has been appointed and is now thoroughly investigating the affairs of the Society.  So Mr May reports.


THE CHOIR. - Owing to some of our adult members being called upon to do work on Sundays at the camps and elsewhere, and the absence of one on active service, we are at a disadvantage as regards practices and Sundays.  Meanwhile, Mr Webb is training some of the younger boys, who will in due course become choristers.  For the present, however, it is thought better not to attempt a Choral Eucharist until the Choir is restored to full strength.


Hubert Sands, Vicar.

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© Burbage 1914