Hopes of a settlement with strikers

22 March 1919

Johnson to Reading buying trousseau. Leaving us Monday. Married next week! & off to Canada!!…

Strike postponed till Wednesday. Hopes of a settlement.

March past of Guards in London. Old Sir George went up.

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

We stand at a critical time in the history of our nation

Lent, 1919

My dear friends,

We stand at a critical time in the history of our nation, both temporally and spiritually. The unrest which is an almost natural reaction after the strain of the war enters into our spiritual life as much as into our secular life. There is a call from God for movement. He is doubtless asking for a higher condition of spiritual life than we were contented with previously.

South Ascot Parochial magazine, March 1919 (D/P186/28A/19)

All uncertain & unrestful!

There were mixed emotions at Bisham Abbey.

21 March 1919

Miners’ meeting today – all uncertain & unrestful!

Farewell visit of Belgians. Mme Maester, De Witte & Bernard Van de Werve. They go home April 16th… Baby [grandson Berkeley Paget] very sweet to Belgians…

Johnson to be married!

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

The difficult problems – International, Industrial, and Moral, that face our Country

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners

May we all pray for a spirit of self-denial and sympathy, that we may understand the difficult problems – International, Industrial, and Moral, that face our Country, and for strength to play our small part in helping to solve them! I venture to appeal to all, especially to those Confirmed during the War, lads and girls alike, to remember that in partaking reverently and regularly of Holy Communion, they will get just that aid we all need to quit [sic] us like men and be strong. In Lent, there is an opportunity for a fresh start, let us see that we make it.

I remain, Your faithful friends and Vicar,

C E M Fry

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

Britain’s great army in “civies” again after their unforgettable experiences

Maidenhead men were coming home.


Britain’s great army, having gloriously accomplished its tremendous task, is being rapidly broken up, and already something like one-half of our men are demobilised. F.W. Harmer, R. R. Hill, J.H. Bolton, Harold Islip, Heorge Belcher, Cecil Meade, C.S. Vardy, C. Catliff, in addition to those who have been previously named, are in “civies” again, and others are shortly expecting their papers. Percy Lewis has been sent home from France, and is for the present doing duty at an Army Hospital in Camberwell. It is a great pleasure to welcome all these friends home again, after their unforgettable experiences.

Maidenhead Congregational magazine, March 1919 (D/N33/12/1/5)

Now that War Work draws to an end

Ladies’ Working Party

Now that War Work draws to an end, we are starting a Ladies’ Working Party. We hope to hold it during Lent in the Parish Room at the Vicarage, from 2.30 to 4.30 pm, on Wednesdays, beginning on March 19th… Will all ladies connected with St Luke’s willing to work please take this notice as a cordial invitation to attend.

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

Engaged to a Canadian

The war brought romance to many due to the mass movement of young men of marriagable age. One of the longstanding maids at Bisham Abbey found love with one of the Canadian soldiers staioned nearby.

19 March 1919
Quite upset at Johnson’s departure. Engaged to a Canadian who wants her to marry & go out at once.

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

A united Act of thanksgiving for the deliverance from the grave peril which threatened the lives and liberties of Englishmen

The war memorial porch at St Bartholomew’s would be quite expensive.

The [war memorial] committee met on March 19 and in spite of the snow and cold all were present except Rev. H B Mead, Mr R Brown, Mr Walters, Mr Love, Mr Long, Miss Type, and Miss Goose. Mr Box was elected onto the committee. Much useful work was done and the following leaflet for distribution was approved:-

S Bartholomew’s Parish War Memorial

It was resolved at a general meeting of parishioners on March 13, of which public notice was given, to make a united Act of thanksgiving for the deliverance from the grave peril which threatened the lives and liberties of Englishmen, and issued in the Great War. The meeting decided to build a beautiful and commodious North Porch on the London Road side of S Bartholomew’s church, and to inscribe on its walls the names of all the men connected with this parish who had laid down their lives in the War.

It was further determined to invite contributions from all persons living in the parish or worshipping at the church, who are disposed to take part in this common Act of Thanksgiving, as a lasting memorial of their sacrifice.

£500 is asked for.

Donations should be entered in the book of an accredited collector. A balance sheet of all the receipts and expenditure will be issued by the committee.

Signed E J Norris Chairman of Committee

The next meeting of the committee was fixed for April 9 at 7pm in the parish hall.

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

Special lessons in geography and history as the armistice and peace continue

One Berkshire school wanted to imcorporate the changing face of Europe into classes.

18th March 1919

The same schemes of lessons will be used for the year 1919-20 as for 1918-1919 but special lessons will be given in geography and history as the armistice and peace continue.

Warfield CE School log book (C/EL26/3, p. 420)

Peace in a fortnight

The peace negotiations were ongoing. J H Thomas was the MP for Derby.

18 March 1919

Lloyd George begged to stay in Paris for Peace Conference, & have peace in fortnight. Labour member Mr Thomas flew over to consult him!

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

Service in the army since 24th Feb. 1915

Another teacher returned to work.

17th March 1919

Mr Arnold Francis Stevens returns to school duty after service in the army since 24th Feb. 1915.

George Palmer Boys’ School log book (89/SCH/8/1, p. 157)

A Parish War Memorial for Burghfield

The first moves towards a war memorial in Burghfeield were made.

Parish Council

At the Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting, on the 17th March…

The subject of a Parish War Memorial was mentioned at this Parish Meeting, but, no notice having been given, it was agreed that a special general meeting should be held before long to consider the matter.

Burghfield parish magazine, April 1919 (D/EX725/4)

A cordial “welcome home”

Reading soldiers were coming home.

We have been glad to see Lieutenant W. D. Hart, MC, once more in his old place in the choir, and we give him a cordial “welcome home”.

We also give cordial welcome to the other brethren restored to us during the past month by the demobilization. We have been glad to see once more in our midst:

Lieut. Wilfred Beer, Private G. S. Hampton, Sergeant E. C. Dracup, Lance-Corporal A. E. Hawkins, Corporal R. S. Woolley, Corporal A. Butt, Private F. W. Snell, Private E. R. Robertson, Gunner A. G. Walker, Private V. Mace, and Private A. W. Panting.

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

We have passed through dark days, and darker still may be the days to come

The post-war picture was gloomy.

Visit of the Rev. Dr. Selbie.

When, owing to the Railway Strike, Dr. Selbie was unable to be present at the Pastor’s Recognition Service, he promised to come to us in the New Year. Thus it was, that on Sunday, March 16th, we had the great privilege of listening to him.

The sermon in the morning was based upon Haggai ii, 9- “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former.” It was, said the doctor, a sermon on Reconstruction. The Jews had returned from their long captivity to find Jerusalem a ruin, and their land in the hands of aliens. Under the leadership of Nehemiah and others, they set to work and first built the temple and restored the worship of Jehovah. The people had a mind to work and their first work was that of spiritual reconstruction.

We are living in tremendous times, far more so than most of us realised. We have passed through long years of terrible war and terrible loss. The work of reconstruction lay before us. Were we prepared to undertake the work? More important still, was the temple of God to be the first consideration? With 90 per cent of our population non-Christian, how could this be? We have passed through dark days, and darker still may be the days to come. But the Christian is essentially an optimist. God’s will must be done, if not by us then by some other hands. To us, as to the ancient Jews, comes the assurance that “the glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former.

There was a prophetic power in the doctor’s utterances. His picture of the present time was dark, his condemnation of much which passes for Christianity severe, but above all was the assurance of the love of God, and of the ultimate victory of righteousness over evil.

Thatcham Congregational Church section of Newbury and Thatcham Congregational Magazine, May 1919 (D/N32/12/1/1/1)

A Memorial in Warfield to those who have made the supreme sacrifice

At a War Memorial Committee on Saturday, March 15th, it was decided to appeal for a sum of £600 for the three-fold purpose, (1) of a Memorial in the Church to those who have made the supreme sacrifice; (2) a Tablet, with the names of all who have served, to be placed in the grounds of the Brownlow Hall: (3) the purchase of a Recreation Ground, and as far as possible, its equipment.

Warfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, April 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/4)