‘I planted an apple tree to celebrate the armistice’

The fruits of peace.

30th November 1918
After dinner I cut up a week’s firewood and planted an apple tree to celebrate the armistice.

Diary of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25)

German submarines fine ships but so badly kept, and crews like dirty pirates

29 November 1918

German submarines fine ships but so badly kept. Crews like dirty pirates.

Heard from Bubs. No flu at present….

Hear Belgian women most kind to all Allied prisoners. Taken risks to help them.

Heard Francis de Greef killed Oct. 14th. Modeste & Emil & Jean de Block back with their people.

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

Knitting for the Soldiers’ Parcels at Christmas

The war might be over, but Abingdon children still wanted to send the soldiers Christmas gifts.

Abingdon
1918, 25th-29th November

The Upper girls have knitted 8 pairs of mittens this week for the Soldiers’ Parcels at Xmas.

Pangbourne
29th November, 1918.

Miss N. Drury has not been at School since June 21st nearly 6 months ago, and Mr Frank Spokes has been on war service since Oct 20th 1914.

Speenhamland
Nov 29th

The attendance is poor. There is much illness, but many children are absent unnecessarily. A long list of absentees has been sent to the Office every morning.

Ashampstead
29th November 1918

Influenza still prevalent.

Newbury
29.11/18

Many children still away owing to influenza. Percentage of 80.


Log books of Abingdon Girls CE School (C/EL 2/2, p. 168); Pangbourne Primary School(C/EL78/2, p. 178); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Ashampstead C of E School (D/EX1493/1, p. 242); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1, p. 296)

Members of Parliament stripped naked?

Even the Irish internees were being allowed short periods out on parole. The Governor of Reading Prison, not exactly a sympathiser, still refised to have them strip-searched on their return.

29 Nov 1918

F M Reynolds, Irish interned prisoner, was released on parole on 17 Nov 1918 and returned today.

No – these men on parole are not searched and the same procedure was [observed?] in [illegible] except a “special search” was made [illegible] was stripped. It would be of no use, and if this course was adopted there would be [illegible] of Members of Parliament stripped naked & c &c. Besides, these men can carry any mental messages they wish.

If the Commissioners wish it, of course I will specially search the men, but as they are on parole, I do not recommend it. At the same time, I have no doubt that many [do pass] messages & apparently written ones go [illegible].

C M Morgan
Gov
[to] The Commissioners

29th Nov 1918
Frank Reynolds

This Irish prisoner, who was released on parole on the 17th instant, returned to my custody today.

[C M Morgan]
Governor

[to] The Commissioners

29 Nov 1918
J. MacDonagh

Prisoner applied to me this morning for a petition to be released on parole on account of the illness of his brother.

He was given permission and I told him I would mark it “urgent” if the petition was sent in & he wished it.

He thanked me & left.

About 10 minutes afterwards he sent in a slip of paper requesting me to telephone to the Secretary of State and ask for him to be released on parole. I told the Warder I could not telephone to the Secretary of State, but would mark his petition urgent, and besides I had no knowledge of the case.

As no petition came from him this evening, I sent over to inquire. The reply was that as I had refused to telephone he would do nothing. I told him he could telegraph himself, but he refused.
I attach the telegram he has sent in.

C M Morgan
Gov

[to] The Commissioners

Reading Prison [Place of Internment] letter book (P/RP1/8/2/1)

A very brave young soldier

Three young Wargrave men, all of whom had joined up as teeneagers, were reported killed.

Roll of Honour
R.I.P.

Almighty and everlasting God, unto whom no prayer is ever made without hope of they compassion: We remember before thee our brethen who have laid down their lives in the cause wherein their King and country sent them. Grant that they, who have readily obeyed the call of those to whom thou hast given authority on earth, may be accounted worthy of a place among thy faithful servants in the kingdom of heaven; and give both to them and to us forgiveness for all our sins and an ever increasing understanding of thy will; for his sake who loved us and gave himself for us, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The following names must be added to the Roll of those who have laid down their lives for their Country in the great war:-

Haycock, Burton. Private 1st Somerset Light Infantry, killed in action at Broadrunde Ridge, October 4th, 1917, aged 19. The eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Haycock of Cockpole Green, Crazies Hill. Reported missing November,1917. In August, 1918, a report was received that he was killed on October 4th, 1917. He joined up in February, 1917 and after 7 months training was sent to France, shortly after his 19th birthday. He had been in France only five weeks when he was killed. His Captain wrote “Your son was a very brave young soldier.”

Herbert, Charles. Rifleman 2/9 County of London Queen Victoria Rifles, killed in action September 26th, 1917, aged 21. He was reported missing until September 29th, 1918, when the news of his death was officially confirmed. He was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. John Herbert of Wargrave. He was educated at the Piggott School. At the outbreak of war he was a footman in service in London, where he found a very kind home and was much appreciated. He volunteered on May 28th, 1915, and was sent to France in February, 1917.

Williams, Jack. Private 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, killed in action September 27th, 1918 aged 18. He was educated at the Piggott School and was called up in November, 1917. He was sent to France in June, 1918. He was killed instantly. His Captain wrote:- “His death was a great loss as he was a fine soldier”.

Wargrave parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

“Although we always anticipated the ultimate success of the Allies, we hardly dared to hope for the great and glorious result which has been achieved”

Reading Board of Guardians reflected on the war and its impact.

28th November 1918

Report by the Chairman

As this is the first meeting of the Board since the Armistice was signed, I should like to say a word or two on the triumphant termination of the terrible war which has raged for over four years and has ended in the complete downfall of German domination. Although we always anticipated the ultimate success of the Allies, we hardly dared to hope for the great and glorious result which has been achieved.

Our thanks for victory, however, are tinged with regret by the losses which have been sustained. The War has been brought home to nearly every household in the land, and there is hardly a family in which some beloved relative or friend has not fallen or been disabled. The members of this Board have had to mourn the loss of many dear ones. I am sure that we should all like to express our sympathy with Mr Guardian Waters whose stepson was killed on the very last day of the War.

It has been my privilege to preside over the Board during the whole period of the Warm, and I am very glad to be the “Peace” Chairman as well as the “War” Chairman. We have had many serious difficulties to contend with, but with the able guidance of Mr Oliver we have been able to surmount them all. Our Institution was one of the first to be taken over as a Military Hospital & it has been found to be so splendidly adapted for the purpose that I expect it will be one of the last to be given up. The Master, Matron, Superintendent Nurse, Nursing Staff, & Officers generally have shown splendid devotion to duty under the most trying and arduous conditions, and we thank them one and all for the self denying services they have rendered. Many of the members of the Board have been engaged in War Work in various capacities, those taking part being: Mr W G Cook, Mr F E Moring, Mr A E Deadman, Col Kensington, Mr Hall-Mansey.

Staff:
Office: J R Beresford, K L Jones, G H Turnbull, A Dawson, K Garrett, K Ayling, K Hawkes
Relief: Mr F H Herrington, Mr G M Munday
Institutional: H Challis, A Sanders, G Smith, W Bibby

Out of this number Challis has been killed & Dawson has lost a leg.

Mr Guardian Waters
Mr Waters thanked the Guardians for their expression of sympathy in the sad bereavement he and his wife had sustained.

Election of Mayor

As the Guardians and Officers had not received the usual invitation to attend the election of Mayor, to accompany him at the Thanksgiving Service held at St Mary’s Church on the 13th November last, strong criticism was adversely expressed ad the Press asked to make a note thereof.

Minutes of Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/58)

Make it, more than ever, the National Church

There was a call for the Church of England to be at the heart of post-war reconstruction.

Central Church Fund

You cannot be unaware that the Church of England will do less than its duty if it allows National Reconstruction to go on without playing its part, if the million new houses required for the re-settlement of population after the war are not supplied with Churches, if Church schools lag behind other schools, if the thousands of clergy lost to the Church by the war are not replaced, and if the social work which it ought to undertake is neglected.

You can help to save it from such danger by subscribing liberally [last word in italics] to the Central Church Fund – the first Fund for which the Church, as such, has ever appealed. You can help to make it really efficient. You can help to make it, more than ever, the National Church. Relying upon its members it has begun the task, and must not fail.

No words are needed to emphasise their enormous importance to the Nation as well as to the Church. We appeal most earnestly for your support.

Yours very faithfully

[The Bishop of] Salisbury
[Lord] Jellicoe
W R Robertson, General

Sanctuary House, 33 Tothill Street, Westminster, SW1
November, 1918

Printed in Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

A reminder for generations of the blood-stained record of the early twentieth century

St Nicolas Church in Newbury planned a stained glass window as a war memorial.

THE EAST WINDOW AS A MEMORIAL OF THE TIME AND THE FALLEN

The artist, amid the strain of war upon his personal time and attention, has now furnished a sketch for the reorganisation and perfection of the East Window of our Church, so as to make it perfectly worthy of its position. He has eminently succeeded, and it now remains for the parishioners to translate it into effect. The estimate for the work is approximately £225. As a town and parish we should now, all, according to our means, help to see it through. The Scriptural Subjects of the Great Sacrifice and The Ascension are ideal, and go to the hearts of all in the crucial times we are all passing through.

Hardly a home in our borough and parish which has not felt its keen anxiety and sorrow. Our own laurel wreathed shrine tells us that nearly 100 of our parishioners – the majority in the blossom of their life – have paid the great debt on the battlefield or the sea wave. What better General Memorial could there be than in the accomplishment of this appropriate task in the Parish Church of our town. Let every parishioner do his or her quota, and so connect it in their memories with their personal experiences of the past four years of the world’s unparalleled history and personal sacrifices.

There can be only one opinion, that over the High Altar of our loved and ancient fane [sic?] is the position for any such Memorial, where it may stand for generations, delineating the great subjects of Divine Love and Triumph for personal devotion, as well as acting as a reminder of the blood-stained record of the early twentieth century.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)

War bonus declined

26th November 1918

Nursing Staff

An application from Nurse Brown, a trained nurse who came on the 23rd September and who was expected to remain over the New Year, for a War Bonus was declined.

Minutes of Queen Victoria Institute for District Nursing, Reading (D/QX23/1/2)

Working to be repatriated as quickly as possible

The question of hiow to repatriate internees was beginning to be considered.

HM Prison
Reading
Nov. 26. 18

From the MO to the Governor
Concerning the state of body & mind of Ion Perrocino [?].

He has maintained his weight on a special diet that I have allowed him. No doubt he feels the cold weather.

He is depressed about his internment and gets very excited when he insists upon discussing his return to Brazil.

He is evidently working to be repatriated as quickly as possible. I do not believe he will take his life or go mad.

His behaviour to myself has always been correct.

W T Freeman

Reading Prison
26 Nov 1918

Sir

Owing to the absence of Clerk & Schoolmaster Mr Stevens, through influenza, I was working alone for a fortnight, during which the error in W Horlock’s account occurred. I greatly regret the submission of this error, but I was working under considerable pressure and difficulty, and did my best to keep the office work going and to carry out what checking I could.

I am
Sir
Your obedient servant
M N Loarn
Steward

[to] The Governor

[The error related to a purchase of liberty clothing for the internees.]

HM “Place of Internment”
Reading

26th November 1918

Sir

I have the honour to acknowledge your letter … dated 21st November 1918 on the subject of the interned Alien Albert Hemmerle.

The prisoner states that the Duchy of Lichtenstein is at present in a state of revolution, but that he will write to his parents and request them to obtain from whatever form of Government there may be, the required guarantee that he will remain in Lichtenstein if deported there.

I have the honour to be
Sir
Your obedient servant

F G C M Morgan
Governor

[to] The Under Secretary of State
Home Office
London SW1

Reading Prison [Place of Internment] letter book (P/RP1/8/2/1)

So many officers down with flu

Florence Vansittart Neale’s daughters saw the German submarines being surrendered.

25 November 1918

Heard from Phyllis. They watched the submarines all Friday afternoon. Boy had to go to Felixstowe. So many officers down with flue….

Feel on a holiday. No soldiers, no officers! Captain Carswell left this morning.

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

Seriously, if not dangerously, ill

Influenza affected schools across the county.

Riseley Common
Nov. 25th

At 9.10 am there were 25 children present, so the Head Teacher sought the advice of the Correspondent, which was that school should close on his authority, until further notice.
Some of the children have been, and are, seriously, if not dangerously, ill.

Christ Church, Reading
25th November 1918

Owing to the severity of the Influenza epidemic, by order of the Sanitary Authority, the re-opening of the school was postponed until this morning when all the staff were present.

Alfred Sutton Primary School
25th November 1918

School re-opened after closure for epidemic (Influenza).

Purley CE School – C/EL85/2
25th November 1918

School re-opened, only five in attendance, parents evidently did not know that the children were to return today.

South Moreton Board School
1918, November 25

The school has been closed for four weeks for influenza by the order of the School Medical Officer, and re-opened this morning.

Yattendon CE School log book
1918
Nov: 25

The school is closed owing to the children being ill with influenza.

Beedon
Nov 25th

School attendance very poor. Several children away with influenza and other illnesses.

Newbury: St Joseph’s
25/11/18

School re-opened this morning. The attendance is better – 29 being present this morning and 33 this afternoon.

Newbury: Wilson
25/11/18

School reopened this morning owing to the constrained prevalence of the epidemic of influenza the schools have been closed until this morning.

Coley Street Primary School Reading
25/11/1918

Miss Dean has been absent suffering with influenza

Log books of Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3); Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School (89/SCH/7/6); Reading: Alfred Sutton Primary School log book (89/SCH/37/1); Purley CE School (C/EL85/2); South Moreton Board School (C/EL104/2); Yattendon CE School (SCH37/8/3); Beedon CE School (C/EL55/1); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4)

An attack of influenza

Influenza continued to affect life at home.

It is hoped that the Girls Club will be reopened on Wednesdays, but there has been unavoidable delay owing to the illness of the President with an attack of influenza.

Wargrave parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)

German soldiers returning from the front marching across the Rhine

German soldiers were retreating en masse. Will Spencer heard the Germans’ side of the story via his wife’s family.

24 November 1918

Johanna read to me letters of Nov 20th & 21st which she had received from Agnes. In her letter of Nov. 17th she had spoken of soldiers returning from the front marching through the town & across the Rhine, & now – on Nov. 21st – they had six soldiers in the house for one night, & expecting six more the next night.

Diary of Will Spencer in Switzerland (D/EX801/28)

Welcome home after long and weary months

The first man to come home to Remenham was welcomed by the church bells.

On Saturday, November 23, our Church bells rang a “Welcome, home”, and we had the joy of seeing once again our Sidesman, Lieut. C Percival Holloway, after his long and weary months first of imprisonment, and, afterwards, of internment.

Remenham parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P99/28A/4)