The victory year

Children must have been pleased by an extra week’s summer holiday as a peace dividend.

Chieveley Primary School
July 31st 1919

School closes today for the Summer Holidays. An extra week has been added to commemorate the victory year following The Great War.

Lower Sandhurst School
July 31st 1919

We broke up at mid-day for the usual summer holiday to be extended to five weeks in commemoration of peace.

Combe School
July 31st 1919

School closes Thursday July 31st for 6 weeks. An extra week has been granted as a Peace Holiday.

Hampstead Norreys CE School
31 July
We closed school today for 6 weeks. The extra week’s holiday has been given in response to the King’s request for an extra week in honour of Peace.

Log books of Chieveley Primary School (88/SCH/11/2); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL66/1); Combe School (C/EL15/2); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

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Deferred from the preceding Wednesday in favour of Children’s Peace Celebrations

Tilehurst children enjoyed a rare day out as far away as Streatley.

SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTING

About 200 joined the party which journeyed to Streatley Hill on Wednesday, July 30th, on the occasion of the Tilehurst Congregational Church Sunday School Treat. This number included a most encouraging proportion of grown-up relatives of our scholars.

The outing, deferred from the preceding Wednesday in favour of Children’s Peace Celebrations, was fortunately on a worthier scale than has been possible since the war broke out…

Tilehurst Congregational Church section of Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, September 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

Laundry machinery at the Cliveden Red Cross Hospital

The Maidenhead Board of Guardians decided to check out the laundry machinery previously used to wash soldiers’ sheets. [In the event, it turned out to be unsuitable.]

30th July, 1919
Laundry

Resolved that the Master inspect the laundry machinery at the Cliveden Red Cross Hospital with Mr F Rogers, managing Director of the Maidenhead and District Laundry Company Ltd and that Mr Rogers be asked to inspect the laundry at the Institution and to give a quotation for placing certain necessary machinery therein.

Minutes of Maidenhead Board of Guardians (G/M1/38)

Peace doubled the excitement

Sunday School Treat

Glorious weather gave the Sunday School Treat the best chance for five years; and Peace doubled the excitement by allowing us to revisit West Wycombe. Caves, Church tower, hill top and trees all alike seemed to welcome us back. An excellent tea was provided by Mr Mead, of West Wycombe. Swings, cocoa-nut shies, and ice cream stalls provided an outlet for pocket money; while thanks to the care of Mr Snow, Miss Beare, Miss Chambers, Miss Harvey, and all their willing helpers, the children were safely loaded into and unloaded from the trains. If in the more crowded carriages we did feel hot and sticky, after all, you can have no great event without paying some price, not even so happy a day as July 30th.

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

Victory in the Great European War

Lower Basildon CE School
30th July 1919

School closed this afternoon for the Summer Holiday. The Education Committee have granted an extra week’s holiday, in accordance with the wish expressed by King George, to commemorate the Victory in the Great European War.

Aldermaston School
30th July 1919.

School closed at noon today for summer holidays, His Majesty King George has expressed a wish that in commemoration of the signing of Peace the children should be granted an extra week’s holiday.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School
31st July 1919

Peace Celebration sports were held in playground yesterday afternoon.

Log books of Lower Basildon CE School (C/EL7/2, p. 205); Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 108); and Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School (90/SCH/5/5, p. 251)

A memorial commemorative of those who have served in the war as well as those who have lost their lives in it

The great and good of Berkshire gathered to consider a county war memorial. They decided ordinary soldiers should be involved too.

30 July 1919
Meeting of the War Memorial General Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Reading, on the 30th July 1919.

Present
J H Benyon esquire, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Chairman
Stanley Hayward esquire, Mayor of Reading, Vice Chairman
Mrs L Hayward, Mayoress of Reading
Col T J Bowles
Louis H Beard esquire, Constable of Hungerford
Councillor W E Collier
F J K Cross esquire
W Dockar Drysdale esquire
Ernest Gardner esquire, MP
Rev F J C Gillmor
S H Hodgkin esquire
Councillor W R Howell
Dr J B Blay
Councillor Edward Jackson
A J Mackay esquire
Councillor Frank E Moring
H C Mylne esquire, Mayor of Wokingham
Councillor Thomas Norris
W Howard Palmer esquire
Major M L Porter
Councillor L E Quelch
F A Sargeant esquire, Deputy Mayor of Reading
Councillor Wm Sparks
Edmund Stevens esquire
E M Sturges esquire
G A Watson esquire
Col George S Willes

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council submitted the resolutions adopted at the Public Meeting held on the 22nd July appointing and defining the duties of the Committee.

This being the first meeting of the Committee since their appointment the Committee proceeded to elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman, when J H Benyon esquire, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, was elected to be Chairman and Stanley Hayward esquire, Mayor of Reading, was elected to be Vice Chairman.

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council read apologies for absence from the following:

Lady Wantage
Col F W Foley
Brigadier General J E Wigan
Alderman F A Cox
Lt Col Leslie Wilson MP
P E Crutchley esquire
W Crosland esquire
Col J C Carter
W Carter esquire, Mayor of Windsor
Sir Geo Young, bart
Major C W Darby-Griffith
C Adrian Hawker esquire
Rev W M Rawlinson
F A Simonds esquire
Mrs G S Abram

The Committee then considered the appointment of a secretary and
Resolved: That, if he be willing to act, Mr E W J Arman, late Postmaster of Reading, be appointed Honorary Secretary to the Committee.

The Deputy Clerk of the Berkshire County Council submitted a letter, dated 28th July, which the Town Clerk of Reading had received from Col F W Foley, expressing the opinion that more members of the rank and file of the many battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment should serve on the Committee, and, upon consideration thereof,

It was Resolved: That three nominations of NCOs or men for representation on the Committee be invited from each of the following:

1. The regular battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
2. The Berkshire Territorial Force Association.
3. The Comrades of the Great War.
4. The Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers.


[An Executive Committee was appointed]

It was decided that it be a recommendation to the Executive Committee to frame their scheme and inscription as commemorative of those who have served in the war as well as those who have lost their lives in it.

It was decided that the suggestions received from Lady Wantage, Brigadier General J T Wigan, Alderman Cox, Lt Col Walsh and others as to the form which the memorial should take be referred to the Executive Commmittee for their consideration.

The question of the desirability of limiting the amount of individual subscriptions was considered but no resolution upon the subject was passed.

Berkshire War Memorial Committee minutes (R/D134/3/1)

Shell shock and mania

Shell shock could have lasting effects.

Tuesday, the 3oth day of September, 1919

REPORT OF HOUSE COMMITTEE

The Master reported that a man named West had been admitted to the Workhouse under the following circumstances:

West, a soldier suffering from shell-shock, had been discharged from Ashurst Military Hospital to proceed to his home at Exeter, but, whilst in the train, his conduct brought him under the notice of the Railway Authorities, and he was removed from the train at Cholsey Station and subsequently brought to the Workhouse by the Police, suffering from acute Mania. The Master applied to the authorities at Ashurst Hospital to re-admit him, but they refused to do so. The Master had then applied to No. 1 War Hospital at Reading, and they had received the man and stated that they would return him at once to Ashurst.

Your Committee recommend that a full statement of these facts be laid before the War Office.

Minutes of Wallingford Board of Guardians (G/W1/36)

An Entertainment at the Picture House to celebrate the Peace, and a tree in memory of the dead

Sunninghill
29th July 1919

The children have this afternoon had a tea at 4.15 & an Entertainment at the Picture House to celebrate the Peace.

Hampstead Norreys

A Parents’ Day was held on Tuesday 29th July …

The parents visited the horse chestnut tree planted on Parents’ Day last year in memory of old scholars who gave their lives in the Great War, and found it was growing well.

Leckhampstead
29/07/19

One week extra holiday has been granted to mark the signing of the Peace.

Log books of St Michael’s CE Mixed School, Sunninghill (88/SCH/32/3); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Leckhampstead School (C/EL 51/2)

The happiness which the children were all expecting these first holidays of the Peace to bring

Clewer
Distribution of Prizes and Certificates

On Monday, July 28, the Rector of Clewer (the Rev. A T C Cowie) distributed the certificates and prizes won during the School Year. He then took the simple dismissal service, and gave a short address, in which he showed how the happiness which the children were all expecting these first holidays of the Peace to bring, depended on the spirit of unselfishness in their homes.

Speenhamland
July 28th

Letter from Office to say that an extra week’s holiday would be given this year in commemoration of the signing of Peace. We shall now re-open on Tuesday Sept. 9th.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2); log book of St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3)

“When we look back and see how terrible was the peril through which was passed, it is enough to make our blood freeze”

PEACE!

For the Peace which has been granted to us may the Lord’s holy Name be praised! The deliverance has been wonderful; we should be the most ungrateful people on earth if we failed to offer Him thanks. Our late foes are already threatening vengeance for peace terms which they describe as inhuman. But it is only just that the chief criminal should suffer most. As the Allied note stated, no fewer than seven millions of men lie buried in Europe as a result of Germany’s desire to tyrannise over the world, while twenty million other men carry upon them evidence of wounds and suffering. Something was bound to be done to make a repetition of the frightful crime impossible.

It was by a miracle of God’s mercy that we were saved from disaster. When we look back and see how terrible was the peril through which was passed, it is enough to make our blood freeze. But, defending the right, we were “under the shadow of the Almighty.” How better can we thank Him than by striving anew to get His Will done on earth? There are foes with whom we ought to come to fresh grips. Since we have won to-day, let us fight with more eagerness to-morrow. We can put aside machine-guns and bombing places and gas masks, and take up the old weapons of Faith and Prayer, the spear of Truth, and the sword of the Spirit. And may God bless our native land!

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

“The last time I saw Sturdee was at the Falkland Islands”!

The American Commander in Chief, General John Pershing, British Admiral Doveton Sturdee and General William Birdwood were all granted honorary degrees from Cambridge after the war.

29 Barton Road
27 July ‘19

My very dear Smu

[Visiting Southwold, Suffolk] On Thursday 10th there came, with their crews, 2 armoured cars, which had been serving in Russia: and in the photographs sold in the shops next day, we recognised unmistakeably Mr and Mrs Image.

I see that I’ve only left a few inches to describe the Honorary Degrees on Wednesday 23rd – so I’ll enclose the paper I found on my seat. The figure I was most anxious to see was Admiral Sturdee. He looked like a Dean or an Archdeacon – an ecclesiastic of high degree. Just in front of me was a naval Lieutenant in uniform (with a pretty young wife) – so I appealed to him. He gave me all information quite simply – and as we rose to go, and watched Sturdee leave the Senate House, he said, “the last time I saw Sturdee was at the Falkland Islands”!! I was delighted to see a fellow who had been in that fight.

Pershing looked capable of sternness.

The u.g.s (who were all in their khaki) chaired Birdwood.

Our kindest remembrances to ye both.

Bild

Letter from John Maxwell Image to W F Smith (D/EX801/2)

Signs of deep and earnest feeling do us all good

Ex-servicemen in Burghfield went to church to celebrate the end of the war.

Chapel Parade

On Sunday, July 27th, a considerable number of ex-service men paraded as on the 20th, and marched with the band to the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Burghfield Common, for a Peace Thanksgiving Service. These signs of deep and earnest feeling do us all good, and are welcomed alike by well-feeling Church-folk and Chapel-folk.

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

The children must not be disappointed in this, their first outing after the war

Life was returning to normal for Berkshire’s children.

Sunday School Treat

The teachers are hoping to give the children a special treat this year, the first since 1914. The deacons were approached with reference to a special collection being taken up for this purpose, but it was eventually decided to place envelopes in the pews on the last Sunday in July, thus giving all who would like an opportunity of contributing towards the cost.
It is hoped a good amount will be raised so that the children may not be disappointed in this, their first outing after the war.

The Newbury and Thatcham Congregational Magazine, August 1919 (D/N32/12/1/1)

A large muster

The Comrades of the Great War was one of several organisations for veterans of the war.

At the request of the Comrades of the Great War, a service was held for them conducted by the Vicar, in the Vicarage Garden, on Sunday afternoon, July 27th. There was a large muster. The men assembled at the bottom of Bracknell Street and preceded by the Band marched to the Vicarage Lawn. Admiral Eustace, Commandant of the Wokingham Branch, was in command. Sir Dudley de Chair met the men at the Vicarage. A short form of service was held, and hymns, some accompanied by the Band, formed a special feature of the service. The Vicar gave an address, and expressed his regret that the Rev. Mr Sheffield was prevented by duties at Bulford Camp from taking part in the service. It is hoped that services of a similar character may be held from time to time for the Comrades.

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

The elephant had taken four years to grow its tail

Hare Hatch children had their first party since before the war.

On Saturday, July 26th, we had another example of Mrs. Young’s great kindness to and interest in Hare Hatch. The Sunday School Children, Choir Members and other Guests including Members of the Mothers Meeting were invited to the Lodge. After games in the meadow the children enjoyed a splendid tea. The chief attraction of their tea was the ‘Elephant’s Tail’. As there had been no treat since the early part of the war, one of the scholars aptly remarked that the elephant had taken four years to grow its tail. When tea was finished the adults were able to enjoy a number of very interesting and amusing games organised by the Misses Huggins. The children also had their games, cricket in the meadow for the boys, skipping etc., for the girls, and a few had quieter games on the lawn. Before dispersing, a hearty vote of thanks was unanimously accorded to Mrs. Young for a most enjoyable time.

Hare Hatch section of Wargrave parish magazine, September 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)