Fry's or de Montfort Island
1157: The island below Reading Bridge was the site of a Trial by Combat.
At the Battle of Coleshill Henry of Essex was standard bearer to King Henry II. When the battle was going badly, thinking the King was dead, Henry of Essex ran away, and nearly caused the battle to be lost. Robert de Montfort later accused him of cowardice and it was decided to hold a trial by combat on this island. Robert de Montfort badly wounded Henry of Essex, who later explained that he had been distracted by an inopportune vision of St Edmund (see picture below) and a certain Gilbert (who had upset him over a matter of priveleges concerning the Abbey of St Edmund - so he had tortured him to death). So clearly, in the opinion of history, (written by the winner), the goody won, which is why this island is "de Montfort Island" (and not "d'Essex Island").
Simon de Montfort defeats Henry of Essex
Notice how dominant Reading Abbey was in the background. See page with imagined picture of Reading Abbey.
1900: The training ship King Alfred which is near what is now a World War 1 memorial stone.
Several unofficial organisations catered for maritime enthusiasms, and this photo shows young cadets posed in front of the brig-rigged King Alfred, an unseaworthy looking vessel that appears to have been constucted on the hull of a Thames lighter -
"T S King Alfred, 1900"