War memorial plans look beautiful

Future Events
Monday June 30th

I hope to hold a Meeting of the newly-elected Parochial Church Council and the War Memorial Committee at the Vicarage at 8 pm, to consider plans of the new Memorial Chapel. They look beautiful to me. Any change of date will be announced in Church.

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

What the Treaty of Versailles meant to the world & what children could do to help in the world’s peace

Some schools incorporated the Treaty of Versailles immediately into lessons.

King Street School, Maidenhead
30th June 1919

The signing of the Peace Treaty was made the subject of the day’s lessons. Mistress explained to the school what it meant to the world & what the children could do to help in the world’s peace. Patriotic marches & national anthems of other countries were used throughout the day & children correlated lessons wherever possible.

Peasemore
June 30th

The Time Table was not kept today. Extra games were played, a Gramaphone [sic] “played” patriotic marches and pieces, and “Peace” was heartily celebrated. Mrs Blea, Miss Weil and Miss Podbury helped to entertain.

Sonning Boys’ School
30th June 1919
Closed this afternoon by order of the Managers. Procession and tea in connection with Peace Rejoicings.

Sonning CE Girls and Infants’ School
30th June 1919

School closed in the afternoon by order of the Managers. The children had a treat to celebrate the signing of the Peace.

East Ilsley
30th June 1919
School closed in afternoon as a recognition of the signing of the peace Saturday.

Log books of King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Peasemore School (C/EL49/2); Sonning Boys School (89/SCH/1/2); Sonning CE Girls and Infants (89/SCH/1/4); East Ilsley CE School (C/EL39/1)

Sermon for Peace

29 June 1919

Special service & sermon for Peace. Quite nice.

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

Victory Week

The war was definitely over now.

Eastbury CE School
28th June 1919

The Peace Treaty signed today.

Cookham
June 23rd-28th 1919

A “Victory Week” in connection with “Victory Bonds” was held this week and resulted in £59 being taken.

Log books of Eastbury CE Primary School, Lambourn (D/P79B/28/2, p. 360); and Cookham Alwyn Road School log book (88/SCH/18/1, p. 338)

Peace is signed

The war was now officially over.

28 June 1919

Peace is signed. Just heard from Captain Kelly!

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

The final downfall of German militarism: the most epoch-making moment of the year nineteen hundred and nineteen

A woman who grew up in Windsor was present at the celebrations after the signing of the treaty which brought a formal end to the war.

The Peace of Versailles

Probably the most epoch-making moment of the year nineteen hundred and nineteen was that marked by Hermann Muller signing the Treaty of Peace in the name of the German Republic. We did not see that signature affixed. We reached the palace of Versailles as the first gun fired its signal to the waiting crowds. In fact, we were late, for motor cars had been sorely taxed, and we had come with a relay. But the rush in this car from the Arc-de-Triomphe in Paris to Versailles was full of vivid impressions.

Our route lay through the woods of Boulogne-sur-Seine and St Cloud, then in the full flush of their summer glory and lit by a warm sun. The road all the way was kept by French soldiers posted every hundred yards, and at every bend, and as our car dashed furiously along the clear road, people looked at us so curiously, that we felt we must be taken for late arrivals, who hoped at least to defer and perhaps to annul the Treaty.

At last we swung into the long straight avenue leading up to the Palace gates. On either side, dense lines of cavalry – chestnut mounts, azure blue uniforms and helmets overtopped with gleaming lances and red and white pennons, al in perfect alignment. As our late car approached, the whole formation, till then “at ease”, sprang to attention, and we felt we were very fraudulent, and quite undeserving of such salutes. We got out quickly, and as we reached the terrace beyond the Palace, the first gun told us that peace had been signed. The followed a great scene in a great setting: the long park front of the Bourbon’s home, the wide formal gardens of the terrace, the great fountains which play so seldom, and all of these were bathed in sunshine. The Republican Guard were much in evidence, the infantry in dark blue, with befeathered kepis, while the sun was reflected from the dazzling rows of the cuirassiers.

Whilst the German delegates were departing there was silence, but when the “Big Four” appeared, the assembled company on the terrace could restrain itself no longer, and their reception was immense, while the leading representatives of France and England, on making their way to the far edge of the terrace, were well-night carried off their feet by the crowd. The view which these leaders of the Congress had when they eventually reached their goal was unique – in the foreground, the steep slope of the formal gardens, then the high boundary rail, behind it and with the superb avenue and lake for background, the Parisian in his thousands, and with his wife and family all densely packed and cheering.

This was the picture which we left by a side entrance, to seek contrast in the solitude of the great park of Versailles, and there, buried in silent glades, or roaming amidst the artificial rusticity of the “hamlet” it was easy to see again as in a Watteau picture, the senseless but harmless frolics of the Court of Louis XV. Here we were free to muse upon the epochs of history which have had their opening and closing scenes in these surroundings. The revolutionary oath taken in the Tennis Court beyond the palace spelt doom to the regime of artificial shepherds and shepherdesses and all that they implied; from this a span of eighty-two years saw, in the Palais de Glace, the triumph of German militarism, and this day June 28th, 1919, after a further lapse of forty-eight years, had seen its downfall.

An Old Girl.


Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1920 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

A devoted band of workers who came month after month so regularly to work for the wounded

Earley women’s work during the war was successful.

War Work

Mrs Norris wishes to thank all her devoted band of workers who came month after month so regularly to work for the wounded. Altogether 1,182 garments were sent in – everything well made, and appreciated at the Depot. We are thankful to have been able to help in this way.

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

By no means an easy job

Those who had died of wounds in Wokingham, and men from Wokingham who had served, were remembered.

Soldiers’ Graves.
The Vicar would be glad to have a few names of those who would like to look after a grave.

It is proposed to add to the Parish Records a complete list, with full particulars, of all those from this Parish who have served in the War. For this purpose forms have been circulated and all are invited to help all they can to get these forms promptly and carefully filled in. When completed, if not called for, they may be sent to Miss G. Palmer, (The Briars, Ellis Road) who has very kindly undertaken this by no means easy job.

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

A house-to-house collection should be made at once

There was some progress with Winkfield’s war memorial plans.

THE WAR MEMORIAL

Another Public Meeting was held on June 26th, when the attendance was very poor. The Secretary reported that it had been found impossible to find a suitable site on which to move and add to the present Men’s Club Room as the only suitable land was not for sale; also the Y.M.C.A. could be of no help.

After some discussion, it was resolved that enquiries should be made as to the possibility of buying the land on which the present club room stands, with a view to enlarging this, and that there ought to be no longer delay in appealing funds. It was therefore decided that a house-to-house collection should be made at once to raise funds for putting up a Memorial Brass in the Church, and also to buy if possible the site of the Men’s Club Room in Winkfield Row, and the Caretaker’s cottage, with a view to enlarging the Club Room into a Parish Institute.

The estimated cost is about £600, and if the funds raised should not suffice, the question of the disposal of any surplus after the Brass has been erected, will be put before a meeting of the subscribers.

Since the meeting, it has been ascertained that the property required can be bought for £300.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, August 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/8)

“It is, indeed, a great inspiration and joy to have a big proportion of our soldier and sailor “boys” home for good”

Men were flocking back to their old lives.

DEMOBILISATION

This long word, which stands for so much to so many, is standing for a great deal in our church these days. It is, indeed, a great inspiration and joy to have a big proportion of our soldier and sailor “boys” home for good, and to see that their enthusiasm for their old church and [Sunday] school is undiminished. Their presence is giving a splendid fillip to some branches of our church work, notably the Young People’s Union. The strength of the men’s section of that youthful branch is now so strong that the other sections of that Union were recently entertained entirely by the men-folk, even to the preparation of a “supper”.

Tilehurst section of Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, June1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

New War Loan

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

24th June, 1919.

A circular letter was read from the Local Government Board calling attention to the new War Loan just issued.

Minutes of Wantage Board of Guardians (G/WT1/23, p. 400)

Careful and repeated consideration of many war memorial designs

There was a U turn over the Mortimer memorial.

War Memorial

The recent public meeting reversed the decision of its predecessor, and unanimously agreed to place the Memorial at the Cross roads at the top of the hill near the Pound. Mr. Maryon’s design was accepted, after the committee’s careful and repeated consideration of many other designs. At least £500 is now asked for. An account has been opened at Lloyds Bank, Reading, and donors are asked to draw cheques to “Mortimer War Memorial or Bearer” and send them direct to Lloyds Bank. Smaller amounts should be sent in cash to the Hon. Sec. at Wisley, Padworth Road.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P120/28A/14)

“They will have the consciousness that they have had a part in a most magnificent and wonderful piece of service”

Life back home was difficult for some.

OUR SOLDIERS.

The majority of our soldiers have now been demobilized , a few only remaining in the Service, in Germany and elsewhere. It is a great joy to see the men home again. Some of them do not find it very easy to discover exactly the post in civil life which will give them the start they want, but we hope that in a very short time they will all be in a right place, and be full steam ahead for a prosperous and useful life. They will have the consciousness that they have had a part in a most magnificent and wonderful piece of service, for which may God forgive us if we ever cease to be grateful.

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

“Various brothers gave some of their experiences during the time they were on active service”

More men were welcomed home.

BROTHERHOOD NOTES

On Saturday, June 21st, we held the “Welcome Home Tea” to our Brothers who have been on active service, and are now demobilised. They numbered about 30, and a most pleasant evening was spent.

A meat tea was generously given by our President (C Steward Smith, Esq., JP) and afterwards various brothers gave some of their experiences during the time they were on active service. Musical items were rendered, and during the latter part of the evening coffee and sandwiches were served. It was really one of the best and most enjoyable evenings held in connection with the Brotherhood for many a day.

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

“Everyone seems to be doing war work but myself”

Old Girls and teachers of St Stephen’s High School in Clewer had done war work of various kinds.

News of Old Girls

E. Truman is abroad, Army nursing.

St Stephen’s High School Building Fund

For some time the need of new premises for the High School has been urgent, and now that the war is over it is proposed to carry out the plans…

It is felt that the Old Girls and former members of staff would like to contribute a substantial sum towards the Building Fund in commemoration of the Declaration of Peace, and we, the undersigned, urge upon all the necessity of making a special effort to support it as liberally as possible.

Extract from letter from Mrs Salmon

Miss Gedge has stopped writing. Do you know anything of her? She was doing war work when last I heard. Everyone seems to be doing that but myself. I had the chance of doing a little last year in Zemba, and was glad of it. I was elected Chairwoman of “Our Day” Fund, and in six months we collected over £3,700, which we were quite proud of, as, apart from the troops, there are under 600 whites in Nyasaland! We got up dances, concerts, a play, etc, and ended with a Fancy fair, at which latter we made £1,200. It was a great success. We held it in the Zemba Gardens, and the stalls were so pretty-arranged among the trees, and tea tables dotted about in the shade. The Governor performed the opening ceremony, and then liberally patronised each stall. Patricia, as a Red Cross Nurse, collected £12 as a 1/- dip.

We left a few days later as Hugh has retired from the service, and we are now waiting for an opportunity to get over to Australia.

Mollie Salmon.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)