Anarchy at the peace conference

Emile (not Joseph!) Cottin attacked the French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, who was chairing the Versailles Peace Conference.

20 February 1919

Brown got “flu”…

Clemenceau shot at by anarchist Joseph Cottin. He nearly lynched.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

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A social hour for demobilised men

Wesley Methodist Church in Reading welcomed soldiers home.

20 February 1919

Demobilized Men

It was resolved that a Social Hour be held after the Popular Monthly Service in March, when a special [effort] be made to rally the men who had been demobilized, and that Mesdames Beard & Sparks be asked to arrange for light refreshments.

Signing of Peace

The meeting desired that a special thanksgiving meeting be held when Peace was signed, the arrangements to be left in the hands of the Rev T N Phillipson, the Society Stewards and Mr Everitt.

Wesley Methodist Church, Reading: leaders’ meeting minutes (D/MS60/2A/1)

The work of the Navy in the Great War

Newbury children attended a lecture on the Navy.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School
19th February 1919

A party of boys was taken, at the suggestion of the Education Committee, to a lecture at the Picture Palace on ‘The work of the Navy in the Great War’.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School
28th February 1919

On the afternoon of Feb. 19th the upper classes attended an illustrated lecture on ‘The Navy’, at the Picture Palace.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School log book (90/SCH/5/3, p. 48); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School log look(90/SCH/5/5, p. 244)

The war memorial should be one for the whole parish

It was felt that war memorials should be for the whole community, not just churchgoers.

Church Council

An important meeting was held on February 19 to consider the question of a parish war memorial. Eighteen councillors were present. It was decided, on a motion by Mr Wright, seconded by Mr Stevens, “That the war memorial be one for the whole parish, and that steps be taken to call a meeting of parishioners to consider what form it shall take.” A public meeting is convened for March 13 at 8pm in the parish hall, and all worshippers in S Bartholomew’s are urged to be present, as most probably the memorial will take the form of some addition to the fabric of the church, and an expression of their wishes is very desirable.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, March 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

Reviving old organisations and starting new ones

Broad Street Chapel was getting back to normal.

From the various announcements that appear on this and other pages, our friends will see that we are busy reviving old organisations and starting new ones. In addition to those mentioned we are anxious to revive the Young People’s Union and the Boy Scouts, and we hope that before long both may be in full swing again.

Demobilization is now proceeding apace, and our men are beginning to return. We have been glad recently to see once more in our midst, and to welcome “home” Mr T. A. Green, Mr F. W. Warman, Mr J. H. Pitts, Mr Emmett and Mr J. P. Anger. Others are shortly expected, and we hope before long to have them all back.

For some time the operations of the Ladies’ Sewing Meeting have been suspended, but it has now been decided to make a fresh start. The inaugural meeting of a new session will be held in the Institute Room on Tuesday February 18th.

BROTHERHOOD

The Roll of Honour is being brought up to date, and later on we are going to have a permanent one to the memory of our brothers who have fallen in the Great War.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, February 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

A Lecture at the Picture Palace on the Navy

em>You may remember that Mrs Thornton had been absent since the 12th, due to the return home of her soldier husband. This was causing difficulties for her colleagues.

Sunninghill
18th February 1919

Mrs Thornton is still absent, & as a consequence 4 teachers are managing 5 rooms, & each teacher has charge of 2 classes – an instance of overwork of which we have had much undesirable experience of this school.

Speenhamland
Feb 18th

About 120 children of the Upper Standard attend a Lecture at the Picture Palace on the Navy; they will be required to write an Essay on what they see and hear and prizes will be given for the best.

Receipt for £1.1.0 received from the Organiser of the King’s Fund for the Disabled.

Ascot
February 18th 1919

Through lack of coal great difficulty is being experienced in keeping the rooms warm enough for the boys to work in any degree of comfort.


Log books of St Michael’s CE Mixed School, Sunninghill (88/SCH/32/3); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Ascot Heath Boys’ School (C/EL110/4

Many months of anxiety and trouble for the alleviation of the sufferings of others

The hard work of women from Newbury and Speen during the war is reviewed.

RED CROSS WORKING PARTY

The Parish Red Cross Working Party, under the superintendence of Mrs L Majendie, was started by her at the Rectory, Newbury, on May 1st, 1915.

The first meeting was hastily summoned for the purpose of making respirators, but as it was found these were not required, being provided by the War Office, work for hospitals and other objects was substituted.

Mrs Majendie carried on the meetings at more or less regular intervals from a fortnight to three weeks, with suspension of these generally during Lent.

She was assisted, first by Miss Boldero (who also held a number of supplementary meetings for mending for Newbury District Hospital), and later by Mrs and Miss Majendie, Speen.

The number of names on the books was between 50 and 60, and of these over 30 attended regularly from the first meeting, May 1st, 1915, to the last, February 18th, 1919. Thanks are due to all the members, but more especially to these last, also to the various hostesses who provided tea, and lent their houses for meetings (many more would have been glad to do this, if lack of space had not forbidden it).

The hostesses were Mrs L Majendie, Miss Boldero, Mrs A Majendie and Miss D Majendie, Miss Godding, Mrs Gould, Mrs Hawker, Mrs Porter, Mrs Camp, Mrs O’Farrell, Mrs Colbourne, amd Miss Bellinger. Some entertained at their own houses, some at the Conservative Club, and a large number of meetings were held at the Parish Room.

Some members have left Newbury, including several Belgian ladies, who worked regularly for a time.

The objects worked for were very numerous, 24 in all, and included the following:

1. Reading War Hospital, twice.
2. Newbury District Hospital, 9 times.
3. Newbury War Depot, 6 times.
4. Miss Power’s Hospital, once.
5. General Hospital No. 18, France (to Miss Hayne), once.
6. The Minesweeper Newbury, 7 times.
7. HMS Conquest (to Lieut. Burgess), once.
8. Submarine F3 (to Lieut. Burgess, once).
9. The Navy League, 3 times.
10. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Malta, once.
11. Malta and Near East Special Red Cross Appeal, once.
12. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Rouen, twice.
13. Dr Heywood’s Hospital, Stationary, No. 3, France, 12 times. Extra parcels were often sent to Dr Heywood’s Hospital at other times.
14. Ripon Camp Hospital (Dr Mackay), twice.
15. French Red Cross, twice.
16. French War Emergency Fund, 11 times.
17. National Committee for Relief in Belgium and Northern France, twice.
18. Belgian Red Cross, once.
19. Italian White Cross, twice.
20. Russian Prisoners of War, once.
21. Serbian Relief Fund, 7 times.
22. Syria and Palestine Relief Fund, 5 times.
23. Air Raid victims in London, once.
24. Soldiers’ Children Aid Committee, twice.

Making 73 meetings in all.

The many grateful letters received are too numerous to quote, but each one showed clearly how much the recipients appreciated the parcels of well made clothing despatched from Newbury. Not only were new clothes sent, but many gifts of garments slightly worn, but in good condition were also sent to various Societies. These were received with special thankfulness for the many refugees in France, Belgium, and Serbia, and as the work of repatriation in some of these terribly devastated regions will have to be carried on for months to come, parcels might still be forwarded from time to time if members cared to collect for them.

Thanks are specially due to those members who were kind enough to continually lend their sewing machines for ten meetings, and to several who undertook from time to time cutting-out at home.
The sum of £92 7s 8d was collected in donations and subscriptions, and was expended in flannel, flannelette, linen, twill, sheeting, muslin, gauze, lint, and cotton wool, which were all worked up into about 2,653 different articles, comprising, roughly speaking, the following:

735 treasure bags, 386 bandages, 376 miscellaneous things (such as washers, dusters, hot water bottle covers, table napkins, etc), 253 children’s garments, 210 men’s shirts, 177 knitted articles (socks, helmets, mufflers, operation stockings, etc), 128 collars and ties for hospital wear, 108 men’s vests and other underclothing, 106 women’s underclothing and blouses, 86 towels, 68 pillow cases and sheets, 20 pair steering gloves (leather palms): total 2,653.

The pleasant fellowship in which the members worked so untiringly through many months of anxiety and trouble for the alleviation of the sufferings of others, may well have strengthened not only parochial and personal ties, but also many wider ones with those they were privileged to help.

Newbury parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

Money will no longer be needed for carrying on the war, but it is needed as much as ever for winding it up

The war might be over, but it still had to be paid for.

“War Savings”

Although we may hope that money will no longer be needed for carrying on the war, we are assured that it is needed as much as ever for winding it up. And the “Guns Week” will take place just the same, under the happier name of “Thanksgiving Week”. A gun has been promised to be lent for the week 17th to 24th February, during which time it will visit the principal centres in the District of their Local Committee, so that country folk may see a specimen of the weapon that has helped to give us victory. Meanwhile, we are also promised the loan of some excellent lantern slides, illustrating various features of the war, with explanatory lectures. Notices will be given in the usual way.

Burghfield parish magazine, December 1918 (D/EX725/4)

Workhouse food

Workhouses were going back to normal now that the food supply was better.

17th February 1919

The following letters were read and ordered to be filed for future reference viz:-

1. From the Local Government Board (1) with reference to the rationing scheme and stating that it had been decided that Poor Law Authorities might now revert to the issue of the dietary tables in force before the introduction of rationing…


Minutes of Abingdon Board of Guardians (G/A1/33)

We do want to commemorate the gallant dead

St Luke’s War Memorial Meeting, Monday, February 17th

May I summon all parishioners who can come to a meeting at 8 pm on Monday, February 17th, in the National School, East Street? I feel sure as citizens we shall all back up whatever the Mayor and his Committee decides on for the Borough, but as Churchmen in our Parish Church or elsewhere, we do want to commemorate the gallant dead, and show our thankfulness to God for the great Victory he has vouchsafed to our cause. Please attend in good numbers, both of men and women!

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

“The news of his death was only received after the signing of the Armistice”

There was a particular poignancy when news of a death came after the war had ended.

Roll of Honour.

Frederick Pither.

The news of his death was only received after the signing of the Armistice and the blow, therefore, come with added force to his wife and children.

We would desire to convey to her the very real and special sympathy of all.

Military Cross.

Lieut. R. Palmer – to whom heartiest congratuilations.

Blinded Soldiers’ Fund.

The total sum received is £32; made up as follows:-

Carol Singing £22 10s., Christmas Dinner Table envelopes £9 10s. This latter sum is for the children of Blinded Soldiers.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P154C/28A/1)

“We hope shortly to turn our attention to the needs of French and Belgian Refugees”

One sewing group continued to help refugees even after the war was over.

Crazies Hill Notes

The Women’s Working Party maintains a good attendance on Wednesdays at 2.30. A final consignment of Hospital work has been received from Lady Munro’s Committee, and we hope shortly to turn our attention to the needs of French and Belgian Refugees.

Wargrave parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

11 weeks illness

Phyllis Vansittart Neale, who had had a severe attack of influenza, was well enough to come home.

15 February 1919

Phyllis came home from Hospital. 11 weeks illness!

Foggy morning, so felt anxious for Phyllis but Shaw brought her back all right with Newton & Sister Simpson about 4 o’clock. Bore journey very well. Looks pale & thin. Had tea & bed early.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

A War Memorial and sports field in the Parish of Warfield

Warfield considered a parish recreation ground as part of its memorial.


February

A very important Public Meeting to consider the erection of a War Memorial in the Parish of Warfield will be held in the Brownlow Hall, on Saturday, Feb 15th, at 6 p.m.

March

WAR MEMORIAL.

At the meeting on Saturday, February 15th, Mr. Shard in the chair, a large committee was formed to consider the erection of a memorial to the fallen, and also of a list of all who have served; in the parish church; together with the purchase and equipment of a field to be vested with trustees, for the purpose of cricket, football and other games.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, February and March 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/2)

Rules in abeyance owing to the War should now be observed

Wartime conditions had ed to some cutting of corners.

14th February 1919

The Board of Governors of the Maidenhead Cottage Hospital feeling that the rule with regard to the opinion of the consulting Surgeon being sought in serious surgical cases, has been somewhat in abeyance owing to the War, now wish to call the attention of the Medical Staff to its observance.

Maidenhead.
14th February 1919.

Maidenhead Cottage Hospital governors’ minutes (D/H1/1/2, p. 370)