Some other inhabitants
George Johnson was a foreman gardener and was a batchelor living in the Bothy in 1891. He was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex in 1867. He was a regular at the Club and a member of the committee. He often sang songs of a military nature at the smoking concerts. At a dance in November 1899 he entertained the company with a rendition of “Tommy Atkins” after which a collection was made for the widows and orphans of the soldiers and sailors then “doing Tommy’s duty in South Africa” as the Rector put it. Within a few months George Johnson was himself doing that duty. As he was then holding the rank of Sergeant he must have had previous Army service. He sent regular letters back to the Rector, who published some in the Parish News. On his return from South Africa a smoking concert was held in the Club on 13 August 1901 to welcome him home. In 1902 he married Elizabeth Boshier, then keeping house for her widowed father at Preston Candover where he was a farm bailiff, but who had been a servant at Englefield House in the 1890s. By 1911 George and Elizabeth Johnson had moved to Durley near Bishops Waltham in Hampshire where George was still a gardener and her father, now retired, lived with them.
George Henry Pusey also saw service in South Africa. He was born in Englefield on 20 December 1867 to Emily Pusey who was a daughter of John and Sophia Pusey who lived in Workhouse Lane, Bradfield (now Union Road) and sister to Fanny who later married William George Horne. No father is named on his birth certificate and in 1871 he lived with his grandparents John and Sophia, now at Common Hill Cottages (since demolished). Emily Pusey stated age 32 but believed to have been 36, married George Skinner (21), an agricultural labourer, in the parish church at Caterham on 10 January 1880 and the 1881 census has George Henry Pusey aged 13 living at Caterham with George and Emily Skinner as George’s nephew. George Pusey is not found in the census of 1891 but he married Ellen Elizabeth Elliot in St Mark’s on 17 April 1897 when his father’s name is given as George Pusey and his occupation as labourer. They went to live in North Street where the 1901 census records Ellen as “wife of a soldier in South Africa”. As his record of service in the Second Boer War shows him as a reservist from 5th Lancers attached to the 12th Royal Lancers he was probably in the Regular Army for some years after 1881. He was also a guest at the welcome home concert at the Club and after his return worked as a house painter, still living in North Street. He died in 1929.
William Milne was born in Orpington, Kent where his father (also William) was a gardener. The younger William became a groom and in 1901 was at Oakfield Park near Mortimer in the employ of George Tyser, a shipowner. On 27 September 1910, by that time having embraced the modern era and become Mr Tyser's chauffeur, he married Clara Annie Claydon, daughter of James and Clara Claydon who kept the Club and Post Office. Annie was cook to the Rector, Granville Gore Skipwith, whose wife was George Tyser's daughter. Neither William nor George Tyser can be found in the 1911 census and Annie was recorded still at Englefield Club with her parents so it is possible that George was away with his employer, perhaps out of the country. William served in World War One with the Army Service Corps as a mechanical transport driver - not surprising given his civilian occupation. In March 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal, a decoration for “acts of gallantry and devotion to duty in the field”, and in October 1918 he was awarded a bar to the MM. He and his wife lived in Englefield after the War and in 1938 when William died they were at Rectory Cottage. William was buried in St Mark’s churchyard and Annie lived on until 1962. At the start of World War 2 in September 1939 she was an upholsteress living at Pingewood but ended her days in Fairmile Mental Hospital at Cholsey.
Seymour Joyce was another who volunteered for service in World War 1, having already been a Regular soldier for 21 years. He was born in Fritwell near Bicester in 1864 and when he joined the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment at the stated age of 17 on 19 November 1881 was living in Steventon with an uncle as an out of work agricultural labourer. His medical examination record at the time gives an apparent age of 16 and describes him as being 5ft 5ins tall with a chest measurement of 32 inches, brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. He later bought himself out of the Militia and joined the Regular Army in the Royal Berkshire Regiment on 26 May 1887, when his height is given as 5ft 7ins, chest measurement 34ins, eyes hazel and place of birth as Steventon. He served in Ireland, Malta, Bermuda, Halifax (Nova Scotia) and St Lucia. He married Constance Callas at the parish church in Steventon on 16 March 1901 and Alice Constance was born on 31 October 1904 and George Frederick on 5 November 1906. He was discharged from the Army with exemplary character on 25 May 1908. His height was then given as 5ft 8ins and his chest as 38ins. He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and a pension of 2s 7½d a day. The family came to live at 32 North Street and a third child, Alfred, was born there in 1912. Seymour was a sawyer at the Timber Yard. He re-enlisted in the 4th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment on 12 October 1914 at the age of 48 and was appointed Lance Corporal on 7 November. He appears not to have gone overseas with the battalion, no doubt because of his age, and was probably transferred to the Supernumerary Company in April 1916 and to the 14th Battalion Royal Defence Corps on 11 August 1917 on its formation. He was discharged as physically unfit with a double hernia and lumbago attributed to war service on 18 January 1919 and awarded the Silver War Badge, a gratuity of £52 10s and a weekly allowance of 4s 9d for the 3 children. He later worked as a storeman at the RAF maintenance depot at Abingdon and died at Steventon on 19 March 1952 from peritonitis, at which time he and Constance lived with their son Alfred.
Alfred Lamperd was born in 1875 at Burghfield where his father Edward was a brick-maker. They moved to Goff’s Farm Cottages on the Beenham Road, Common Hill in 1880 and when they were demolished in 1892 to the new cottages at Wimbleton’s. Alfred attended the village school and became a painter and decorator for the Estate. He married Minnie Nixon, daughter of a Reading shopkeeper in 1908, and the couple lived in Theale at first because of a shortage of houses in Englefield, but moved to 33 North Street in 1915. He was a bell-ringer and sang in the choir at St Mark’s and was involved with both the football and cricket clubs. He also served as a member of the VAD at the Englefield hospital until his call-up for the First World War. Alf Lamperd was not eligible to enlist until after the Military Service Act of 1916 introduced conscription, raised the maximum age to 41 and included married men. He served first with the Royal Engineers and then with the Durham Light Infantry. He was wounded in 1918 but survived the War and in 1939 was living at 52 Parker’s Corner. He died in 1957.
© 2021 Richard J Smith