Local History Society

 The 'Mercury' and the Home Front in WW1



Wedding of May Bushell and Alfred Duffield

From the ‘Reading Mercury’, 16 June 1917:



The wedding was solemnised at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Arborfield, on Tuesday of Trooper Alfred Duffield, of the Fort Garry Horse, Canadians, the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Duffield, Stoke Heath Common, Coventry, Staffs., and Miss May Sarah Bushell, the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bushell, The Bull Hotel, Arborfield Cross. The service was fully choral, and hymn 286 – "Thine for ever," was sung. Mrs. F. W. Seymour, T.C.I., presided at the organ.

The article called this the 'Bull Hotel'; it is at the five-way cross-roads, around 1910




(The 'Bull' was normally referred-to as an 'Inn' rather than as an 'Hotel'.

This postcard is from the Collier Collection)




The officiating clergyman was the Rev. J. A. Anderson, Rector of the parish. The bride, who was given away by her father, was charmingly attired in a dress of cream crêpe de chine, trimmed with shadow lace and embroidered with maple leaves; the train, falling from the shoulders with a large bow of tulle and orange blossom and myrtle, was carried by little Miss Gladys Painting, who was dressed in pure white, and Master Ronnie Lousely (both second cousins of the bride), who wore a pansy velvet suit. Both had ivory-bound Prayer Books, given by the bridegroom.

The bride had a veil of tulle, and orange blossom and myrtle, and carried a sheaf of white roses and sweet peas, the gift of the bridegroom. She was attended by one bridesmaid, Miss Bushell (sister), who was prettily dressed in white embroidered voile, lined with Jap silk, and a large cream picture hat, trimmed with white tulle and pink roses, and carried a sheaf of pink carnations. The bridesmaid also wore a set of gold and amethyst ear-rings, the gift of the bridegroom. Corporal Edward Bull, 11th Reserve, Canadians, acted as best man.

The reception was held at the bride’s home, and was attended by a large number of relatives and friends. Unfortunately, the brothers of the bride could not attend, the younger being a prisoner of war in Germany, and the elder "doing his bit" in France. Both parties being very popular in the district, the ceremony was of more than usual interest.

After the reception, the bride and bridegroom and guests adjourned to a large marquee erected for the occasion in Mr. Garrett’s meadow, which was kindly lent, where light refreshments were provided. Corporal Bull proposed the health of the bride and bridegroom, and Trooper Duffield replied. The happy couple left for their honeymoon (which is to be spent at Reading and various other places), receiving an old-fashioned and hearty send-off. The bride’s travelling costume was of navy blue serge, with a large Panama hat.


Bride to Bridegroom, pocket wallet.
Bridegroom to Bride, pearls and amethyst pendant and dressing case.
Bride’s Mother, household linen, etc.
Bride’s Sister, cut-glass salad bowl and servers.
Bride’s Brother Fred, statues.
Bride’s Brother in France, table centre-piece.
Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Bushell, silver salt-cellar, spoons, and afternoon teacloth.
Mr. and Mrs. George Bushell, silver pickle forks.
Miss Priest, cheque.
Mr. and Mrs. Rivers, silver cake-knife.
Mr. and Mrs. Archie Lousely, cut-glass pickle-jars.
Mrs. Hargreaves (Arborfield Hall), clock.
Miss Irene and Miss Nora Posley, pencil in case.
Dr. and Mrs. Maberly, table centre-piece.
Mr. and Mrs. J. Painting, plant bowl.
Miss Jones, crumb brush and tray and glass dishes.
Mr. and Mrs. F. Morrison, milk jug and sugar basin in silver stand.
Mrs. Jones, cut-glass fruit dishes.
Mrs. Currington, copper rose-bowl.
Miss Currington, brass hall tray.
Corporal E. Bull, silver muffin dish.
Sergt. and Mrs. Butler, pair of vases and plant.
Mr. and Mrs. F. Bryant, silver and china cake plate.
Mr. and Mrs. C. Priest, silver cake basket.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin, cheese dish.
Friends, silver-backed brush and comb in case.
Mr. and Mrs. D. Gould, butter knife, jam spoon, and bread fork.
Miss F. Bushell (Hampstead Norris), tray.
Mr. and Mrs. C. Lucas, table centre-piece.
Mr. and Mrs. Peek (Farley Hill), glass jug, wine glasses, and decanters.
Mr. and Mrs. Vere Allfrey, notes.
Rev. J. A. Anderson, text book.
Mrs. H. Bishop and Daughters, picture.
Driver C. Bishop, silver teaspoons.
Mr. and Mrs. Seymour, jam dish and spoon.
Miss MacRae, pickle fork with ivory handle and silver band.
Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, glass table-centre.
Masters Phil and Vivian Lucas, cake d’oyleys.
Five N.C.O.’s, Bearwood Convalescent Hospital, set of carvers.
Corporal Sturges, present.
Miss Ivy Goodyer, sugar tongs.
Sergeant Lavender, china image.
Miss Ivy Nash, jam pot.
Miss F. L. Bradfield, cake plate and handkerchiefs.
Mrs. Middleton, pincushion.

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