Burbage During the Great War
Burbage During the Great War

Burbage Parish Magazine

Front Page of the Burbage Parish Magazine - January 1917

Excerpts from the Parish Magazine


Notes for the Month by the Vicar


January 1917 (Abridged)


MOTTO TEXT FOR THE NEW YEAR:  ‘The Lord Reigneth’ Psalm xcvi 10.  How often is this truth declared in the Bible!  ‘The Lord is King,’ – “Thy God Reigneth.’  This is the faith that should uphold the nation, and inspire everyone with hope and courage.  The war has lately had its ups and downs, disappointments in Roumania, success in the West, a change in our government, German boasts of victory and delusive peace proposals, but with all our Allies a resolve to stand fast to the principles of justice, security and freedom for which we are fighting.  Peace will be in sight only when Germany is prepared to make adequate reparation for the wrongs committed.  Meanwhile everyone is called upon to help our country’s cause in every possible way, - chiefly now by self-denial and saving. 


THE NATIONAL MISSION of repentance and hope is over………….


THE CONCERT on December 6th was a great success, both as regards the quality of the programme and the ‘artistes,’  Mr & Mrs Nicholls and their party from Marlborough, and also the proceeds, which with donations collected in the village, amounted to £24 : 10 : 0, for providing presents to be sent to Burbage men at the front.  A full report was given in the ‘Marlborough Times’ on December 15th.  Mr Mainstone & Mr Webb and the committee are very much to be congratulated on such excellent results.


DIOCESAN CHURCH FUND. – The sum of £5 9s 6d has been sent to the Treasurer, made up as follows – Church collection Oct 29th, £1 11s 1d; proportion from joint boxes, 11/5; Donations – Mrs Bain 2/6, Mrs Blanchard 5/-, Dr Clark Jones 10/-, Miss Drew 2/6, Mr Gent 5/-, Mr Green 5/-, Miss Hibberd 4/-, Mr Mann 5/-, Mrs Maurice 2/6, Mrs Plaire 10/-, Rev H Sands 10/6, Mrs W Vines 2/6, and Mr Webb 2/6.  The statement has been posted on the Church Notice board.


BURBAGE CHURCHYARD FUND. – I desire to acknowledge with thanks some further donations – Mrs Blanchard 5/-, Mrs Gent 5/-, Miss Hibberd 1/-, Mr H. H. A. Sands 2/6, Mrs Norris 5/-, the Vicar 10/6, Mr Webb 2/6.


THE JOINT BOXES. – The following sums are acknowledged for 1916 – Mrs Bain 12/2, Mrs Green 2/10½, Miss Hibberd 6/8½, Mrs Mainstone 4/5½, Mrs Noyes 1/0¼, Mrs O Ruddle 5/-, Mrs Sands 10/-, Mrs Vines  17/3.  Total £2 19s 5¾ .  Allotted thus – Foreign Missions (S.P.G.) £1 8S 6D, Home Missions (A.C.S.) 11/-, Salisbury Diocesan Church Fund 11/5, Church Expenses (by request) 8/7.


I also desire to acknowledge 5/- from Mrs Noyes for the Choir Fund. 


SUNDAY SCHOOL PRIZES. – A Childrens Carol Service was held on Christmas Eve, Sunday December 24th, at 2.30 and the annual Prize Distribution followed, reward books being given to the scholars who had distinguished themselves by regular attendance and good conduct and attention.


THE CHOIR BOYS in regular attendance on Sundays and at Choir practice will receive similar rewards at an early date.


THE CHURCH BELL RINGERS have lately been ringing peals on Sunday mornings and afternoons, instead of on week nights, now that it is forbidden to ring the bells after dark, owing to the danger of Zeppelin raids.


THE DAY SCHOOLS. – The Diocesan Inspector, the Rev G F Tanner R.D. inspected both schools on December 1st, and has sent a very satisfactory report.


WAR SAVINGS’ COMMITTEE. – As a result of a meeting held in the C.E.M.S. Institute on November 29th, When Messrs Crosby, Pontefract and Vaughan were the speakers, a committee has been formed with the Vicar as Chairman and Hon. Treasurer, and Mr E.S. Webb as Hon. Secretary, to carry out the plan of a War Savings Association for Burbage.  For information apply to the Hon. Secretary, who will attend in the Large School on Monday, January 1st at 4pm, to enrol members and receive the first payments.


BURBAGE PLACE NAMES. – Kinwardstone.  The most probable derivation of this name is Kenward’s stone.  Kenward being a Saxon chieftain.  The place must hve ben of importance in early times, as it gives its name to the ‘hundred’, or division of a shire, larger than a parish, which in former days was called upon to supply a hundred men in time of war.  The ‘stone’ would probably mark the place where the court-leet was held, but no trace of it is left.  Another, but less probable, derivation is Kinward’s – that is ‘cowkeeper’s’ – stone.


‘Bowden’.  The first syllable of this name is the same as ‘Bowood’ and is identical with ‘Beau’ – meaning beautiful.  The second syllable, den or dene, means, I believe, a level place or plateau.


‘Harepath.’  This is a corruption of ‘Herapath,’ meaning the path of an army.  Situated as it is at the end of the Vale of Pewsey, which in ancient times must have been the scene of much fighting, the name of the place, - army path – is very suitable.


February 1917 (Abridged)


THE WAR. – There is not very much to chronicle since Christmas, except that the new Prime Minister, Mr Lloyd George and the government are losing no time in dealing with the problems which lie before them.  The Germans appear to have received a check in Rumania, but their submarines are as active as ever and still do much damage to our shipping.  The weather has been severe, and continues to be so, with intervals of thaw and mud, which no doubt hinders the operations of our armies.  Meanwhile, Greece has accepted the Allies demands in their entirety, after a good deal of evasion.


A RED CROSS working party has been arranged to be held at the Vicarage from now till Easter on Mondays at 2pm till 4.30.  the garments made will be sent to the central depot in London for use in Red Cross Hospitals.  Parishioners are invited to attend and help.  Names should be sent to the Vicarage.  Those who cannot do actual work are asked to send a contribution towards the produce of materials.  The smallest sums will be accepted.


A WHIST DRIVE was held in the Class Room on January 3rd with Mr Webb as Hon. Secretary, and the helpers at the recent canvass for the Burbage Soldiers’ fund as the Committee.  It was quite a success, and the proceeds have been voted to the St Dunstan’s Hostel for blinded soldiers and sailors.  A similar party is being arranged for Wednesday, February 7th, in the Infants’ School.


ASH WEDNESDAY falls on February 21st………….


THE BISHOP has announced that he will hold a Confirmation at Burbage Parish Church on Thursday afternoon, June 7th.


TGE WHOLE VILLAGE will sympathize with Mr and Mrs Scammell in the death of their third son Maurice Scammell, through an accident at Weymouth.  He was formerly a server in the choir, and a fine and promising youth.  Though under 16, he was Corporal in the 3rd Wilts.  May he by the mercy of God rest in peace.


Another former Choir boy, George Davis, groom in the service of Col. Campbell, has also lately met his death by accident.  Our sympathy is with his parents in their sorrow, and our prayer the same.


THE MEMBERS of the Burbage and Easton Royal Friendly Society, who contributed to a presentation to Trustees in recognition of their services in winding up the Club, will like to know that the presentation has now been made.  The Trustees desire to thank the members for their gift.


THE HIGHETT CHARITY. – The list of recipients this season had to be reduced in consequence of the high price of coal.  It was hardly possible to send less than a hundredweight to each recipient.


A service for women will be held in the Church on Thursday, Feb 1st at 3pm.


BURBAGE PLACE NAMES. – iii. Eastcourt and Westcourt appear in the older registers as Eastcot and Westcot.  Fir Green sometimes appears as ‘Fair Green’.  I wonder whether it is really a corruption of Furze Green.  Leigh Hill is generally written in the old registers, Lye Hill.  Ram Alley is as old as 1621 at least, and seems to be connected with the old sheep washing place by the lane.  Goldenlands is a very pretty name, but I have not been able to trace its origin.  Is it from the yellow clay, or the golden corn grown there?  Wolfhall must be l;eft till another month.


March 1917 (abridged)


THE WAR. – I regret to have to record the death of one of the gallant young men from our village, Pte H.C. Bailey, of the Wilts regt. – “Ben,”  as he was usually called, who died on January 13th from wounds received in action in Mesopotamia.  He joined the army in June 1915, and about 6 months later was sent out to the East, and was wounded in the Kut relief force last April.  He recovered sufficiently to rejoin his unit at the end of last year, and was seriously wounded again in the fighting, January 9th-10th, - and died a few days later.  May his soul rest in peace!  He was one of our servers at the altar, and was loved and respected by all who knew him.  Deep sympathy is felt for his parents and brothers and sisters. 


THE FOOD CONTROLLER has issued instructions about the absolute necessity for the utmost economy in the use of staple articles of food, namely bread, meat and sugar.  The amount is fixed at 4lbs of bread per head per week, 2½lbs of meat and ¾lb of sugar per week.  Where less meat is consumed, a rather more liberal use of bread is permitted.


These regulations should be loyally followed, otherwise it is probable that compulsory measures will be taken.  Already the brewing of beer is very much restricted, and it is understood that practically no spirits for consumption are now being distilled.  Strict abstinence all round is therefore the order of the day, a national and moral duty.  How true it is of many that reduction of the the drink consumed by at least one half would conduce to health of mind and body as well as help to win the war!


The new war loan appears to be a tremendous success.


WAR SAVINGS ASSOCIATION. – Mr Webb reports that there are now 22 members, and that 59 certificates have been bought.


THE WHIST DRIVE proceeds for January 3rd amounted to £1 : 0 : 5½, and for February 7th, £2 : 3 : 2½ , for the St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers and Sailors.


THE CONCERT and collection for the Burbage Men’s Christmas presents yielded £24 : 5 : 6.  After paying for the parcels, there is a balance of £2 : 5 : 2, which Mr Wasey, Hon. Treasurer, is holding until the Committee have decided as to its disposal.


LENTEN SERVICES. – A short service with address and Intercessions will be held on Wednesday evenings at 7 o’clock……


A SERVICE FOR MEN will be held on Sunday afternoon, March 18th, at 2.15.


A SERVICE FOR WOMEN will be held at Stibb Chapel-of-ease on Thursday, March 22nd, at 3pm………………


THE RED CROSS Working Party at the Vicarage is in full swing, and already a full parcel of garments has been sent to the Stores Department in London.  The Committee (Mrs Sands, Mrs Clark-Jones, Mrs Maurice and Mrs W Vines), will be glad to receive more subscriptions for the purchase of materials.  A few collecting cards have been issued.


APRIL 1917 (Abridged)


HOLY WEEK – Palm Sunday April 1st………


THE CONFIRMATION, June 7th – I ask the parents of all boys and girls of 12 years old and upwards to encourage their children to prepare earnestly for Confirmation……….


THE WAR – The past month has been a month of great events.  First there was the victory in Mesopotamia, and the capture of Baghdad,  Then followed the retreat of the Germans on the Somme and Ancre, and the occupation of Bapaume and Peronne by our troops.  And a revolution in Russia has brought to an end – as we hope- the vacillation and Germanophil intrigues which have been hindering the vigorous carrying on of the war.


The winter has been the longest and severest experienced for many years.  It is of the utmost importance now, in view of the submarine dangers, that every lug of land should be cultivated, and the home produce increased to its greatest capacity, if we are to be spared the hardships of scarcity and famine.  And economy in food must be everywhere practised.  Also could not the number of those who purchase war savings certificates in the village be multiplied?  Mr Webb, who is Hon Secretary, will be glad to hear of new subscribers.


I regret to record the death of Mr Cecil Hunter, for many years Steward of the Savernake Estate, who died on January 24th, and of Dr Mercer, for several years medical practitioner in Burbage, who recently died in Torquay.


May 1917 (Abridged)


THE WAR. – The combined British and French offensive on the line from Lens to Rheims has been the chief feature during April.  The Allies have won important victories and taken over 30,000 prisoners and 324 field guns, and much other war material.  The United States of America have joined the Allies and declared war against Germany.


I have to record the death from wounds received in action in Mesopotamia on March 30th of Pte. F W Spanswick, of the Wilts Regiment, aged 19.  He was a gallant young soldier, who joined the army as soon as he possible could.  Much sympathy is felt for his parents.


It is now definitely announced the Pte Church, of the Canadian contingent, was killed in action last July, and also that Pte W G Flippence, of the Wilts Regiment, who was reported missing in April 1916 was killed.  Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Church on the loss of her son, who joined in Canada, and for Mrs Flippence on the death of her husband, who was formerly in the Coldstream Guards.


Mrs Mercer desires to thank those friends on the village who kindly joined with Mrs Blanchard in sending a wreath for Dr Mercer’s funeral.


THE EASTER DECORATIONS were decidedly pretty, but not abundant as last year.  It is an indication of the kind of weather we have been having when snowdrops were almost the only flowers obtainable.  On Easter eve and Easter day the weather was indeed fine and pleasant, but during the rest of Holy week and Easter week we had repeated falls of snow and some frost.


A WIRE DOOR has been provided for the Church, which, it is hoped , will secure the interior from the rather troublesome visits of the swallows during the summer.


THE CONFIRMATION CLASSES were started on Sunday, April 15th at 3pm.


THE C.E.M.S. Institute has been closed for the season.


A WORKING PARTY for the Red Cross at the Vicarage is now discontinued for a few months.  The money received from subscriptions, £7:3:6; from collecting cards £3:15:7; total, £10:19:1.  The following garments have been sent to the Red Cross Stores Department in London – 1 doz. flannel shirts, 1 doz cotton shirts, 6 pyjama suits , 4 enteric shirts, 20 pairs of socks, 9 caps, 1½ doz caps, and 9 dusters.  A complete balance sheet will be put on the notice board in the Church porch.  The parcel also includes 4 pairs of mittens and 2 caps made by the G.F.S.. candidates.  Besides the Committee (Mrs Sands, Mrs Clarke-Jones, Mrs Maurice and Mrs W Vines), the following have kindly helped – Mrs Procter, Mrs G New, Mrs Vivian, Mrs R Spanswick, Miss F Spanswick, Mrs J Hope, Mrs Lampard, Miss D Green, Mrs and the Misses Gent, Mrs E J Mann, Mrs F Smith, Miss V Braime, Mrs Gale, Mrs Hoare, and the Misses Nutley.


June 1917 (Abridged)


THE CALL to economy and care in consumption of bread, and indeed the use of all sorts of grain, is now pressing.  The following proclamation by the King has been repeatedly read in all churches and chapels during May.


“George R.I.


“We, being persuaded that the abstention from all unnecessary consumption of grain will furnish the surest and most effectual means of defeating the devices of our enemies and thereby of bringing the war to a speedy and successful termination, and out of our resolve to leave nothing undone, which can contribute to these ends or to the welfare of our people in these times of grave stress and anxiety, have thought fit, by and with the advice of our Privy Council to issue this our Royal Proclamation, most earnestly exhorting and charging all those of our loving subjects, the men and women of our realm, who have the means of procuring articles of food other than wheat corn, as they tender their own immediate interests, and feel for the wants of others, especially to practise the greatest economy and frugality in the use of every species of grain:  and we do for this purpose more particularly exhort and charge all heads of households to reduce the consumption of bread in their respective families by at least one0-fourth of the quantity consumed in ordinary times; to abstain from the use of flour in pastry, and moreover, carefully to restrict or wherever possible to abandon the use thereof in all other articles than bread.”  The remainder of the proclamation restricts the feeding of horses with oats or other grain, and enjoins the reading of the proclamation on the Lord’s Day for four successive weeks..  It remains for everyone loyally to obey the orders given.


THE WEATHER has been for the most part ideal May weather.  Rogation Sunday, May 13th, being especially beautiful, and prayers have been everywhere offered for a favourable season.  In some parishes Rogationtide processions have taken place.


THE WAR. – Steady progress has been made on the Western Front, and our Italian allies have begun an offensive on the Trentino, and won important victories.  The situation in Russia is becoming daily more satisfactory and settled.


I HAVE TO RECORD two deaths in connection with the war , and express the sympathy of all with the friends and relatives of  the brave departed.  Pte Walter Hillier, of the Wilts Regiment, was killed in action in Mesopotamia on April 12th, one of the first to volunteer at the beginning of the war, a young man of whom my eldest son, while in the Wilts Regt held a high opinion.  Lt James Clark R.N.V.R, was killed in action on April 20th, during the naval raid on Dover.  He had left the village for several years before the war, but was well known and much respected.


THE CONFIRMATION as already announced will be held by the Bishop in Burbage Church  on Thursday, June 7th, at 5 pm.  So far I do not know of any other candidates likely to come except our own, who are about 20 in number.  My temporary illness interfered with the holding of the classes on Sundays, but I have been able to see all the candidates singly several times , and have since held classes on week-days.  I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my thanks to neighbouring clergy for help on Sundays, especially the Rev.  E.A. Stafford Young and Rev A Collins.


THE CHURCHWARDENS AND SIDESMEN. – As it seems difficult to get a short meeting of the Churchwardens and Sidesmen in the vestry after evening service to arrange for the discharge of certain duties, I take this opportunity of suggesting that some simple plan of rotation be adopted at least during the summer months when there are soldiers and other visitors often at Church, to see that they are suitably seated, and if necessary, provided with books.


THE JOINT BOXES. – I am calling in, for the half-yearly opening the joint boxes.  I merely mention this in case anyone should think they are forgotten, as circumstances have caused a little delay.


THE CHURCHYARD. – Mr Oliver Nutley of Eastcourt, has consented to act as Sexton at funerals.  Notices of burials should be given to him.  Fee for digging a 6foot grave and attending at funeral, 6/-; 1/- per foot extra for a deeper grave.  Fee of 1/- for ‘putting up’ the Church Bell on notice of death.


October 1917


THE HARVEST THANKSGIVING services are fixed for Sunday, September 30th.  Holy Eucharist at 7 and 8, Mattins and Sermon at 11, Children’s service at 3pm, Evensong and Sermon 6pm.  Collections at all services for Savernake Hospital.  Notwithstanding the heavy rains during August and part of September, the corn crops seem to have been got in in most cases without serious damage.  The potato crops are abundant, and this is true of the apples and pears and stone fruit. For all these blessings we should indeed be thankful, especially in these times of stress and trouble.  And surely we have cause to be thankful for the measure of success which has been granted us and our Allies on the Western Front, before the autumn sets in with another winter of war before us!  Gifts of flowers and decorations and of vegetables and fruit for the Hospital will be most acceptable, and should be sent to the Church on Saturday morning, September 29th, by ten o’clock.


THE PROPOSED WAR MEMORIAL. – A meeting will be held to explain the proposal and decide upon the best course to adopt for inviting and obtaining subscriptions, on Friday October 5th, at 6.30pm in the Infants’ School.  It is hoped that all who are interested will attend, so that the meeting may be as representative as possible.  I have received several donations and more promises of support, but have not had time so far to do more than mention the proposals to some of the parishioners.  The idea seems to be generally approved.


THE RED CROSS SOCIETY. – ‘Our Day’, Thursday, October 18th.  No doubt there will be a hearty response all over the country to the appeal for help, and a campaign is being planned for Burbage.  Mrs Blanchard is kindly making the arrangements and acting as Hon. Treasurer, as on the last occasion a year ago.


THE DAY SCHOOLS. – Miss Shipp has sent in her resignation, I regret to say, and will be shortly leaving after 3 years at the School.  Home duties make it necessary for her to live at Swindon.  We shall miss her very much, both in the School and with the G.F.S candidates.


Dr Clark-Jones was appointed a school manager on July 27th.


C.E.M.S. Institute is undergoing some necessary cleaning, and will be ready for use in early October.  It will probably open for the youths of the village on the same terms as last winter.  Something ought to be done for the soldiers in camp near the station.  Enquiries are being made, but at present it is uncertain whether they will be with us for long, so it is hardly possible to make any arrangements until this point is settled.





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© Burbage 1914