Two minutes of perfect silence and stillness

Schools remembered the Armistice one year earlier on the first Remembrance Day.

Bracknell
11th November 1919

Today is the first anniversary of the armistice. All the children and staff assembled around the flagstaff. Just before 11 a.m the Headmaster read the King’s proclamation – the flag was lowered to half mast and two minutes of perfect silence and stillness was observed as a simple service of silence and remembrance. Children sang ‘God save the King’ and special lessons on ‘The League of Nations’ were given in the upper classes.

White Waltham
November 11th 1919

Today Nov 11th is the first anniversary of the Armistice which stayed the world wide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of Right and freedom. The King has sent the following message to the people with a request that his message should be read to the pupils in all schools.

Kings Message:

I believe my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that Great Deliverance and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.

To afford an opportunity for the universal expression of this feeling it is my desire and hope that at the hour when the armistice came into force, the eleventh our of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, there may be for one brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all normal activities. During that time, except in rare cases where this may be impractical, all work, all sound, and all locomotion should cease, as that in perfect stillness the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the Glorious Dead.

No elaborate organisation appears to be necessary. At a given signal, which can easily be arranged the suit the circumstances of each locality. I believe that we shall, all gladly interrupt our business and pleasure, whatever it may be and unite in this simple service of Silence and Remeberance.

George R.I.

Programme:

10.50 All Children assembled in Large Room
10.55 Brief explanation of reason of assembly and the Reading of the King’s Message.
11-11.2 Reverent Remembrance of the Glorious Dead in Silence
11.3 Singing of Hymn “On the Resurrection Morning” to end a most impressive service
11.10 Resumption of work.

Eastbury
11th November 1919

The League of Nations Day Nov. 11th. At eleven o’ clock a pause was made in the ordinary work. The bell tolled thirteen times as that was the number of men at Eastbury who have made the great sacrifice. During that time the names of the dead heroes were written on the blackboard, while all the children stood silent, seeming to realise the act of honour the silence was giving to the glorious dead.

Prayers for the departed were read and the prayer for peace and a hymn was sung. The children seemed much impressed by the lessons that were given. The King’s letter was read. The national anthem concluded the service.

King Street School, Maidenhead
11th November 1919

The Anniversary of Armistice Day was kept in school by a complete change of timetable commencing with a simple musical service of praise & worship & an address to the children on “Give to the world the best you have” as a basis for a League of Nations.

The Silence Time (which is a daily occurrence here) was devoted to the sending of love & affection to the fathers of our children killed in the war & yet still near them. The lessons throughout the day were in relation to this, & bigger children were allowed to take home what they had written about the Great Day.

A widowed mother called in the afternoon & told of the cheer she had received from her little boy’s expression of what has been told him in school today.

Hampstead Norreys
11 Nov.

As it is “Armistice Day” we observed the two minutes’ silence from 11.0 to 11.2 on hearing the ringing of the Church bell. The children bowed their heads after hearing the King’s message read by the Head master, and remained silent for two minutes in their desks. On raising their heads all sang the National Anthem. Special lessons were also taken upon the “:League of Nations”. Hymn 376, “O God Of Love” was sung & lessons from Isaiah and Revelations were taken. For the last lesson in the morning, the Head Master spoke to the First Class upon the “League of Nations, explaining & illustrating its meaning. In the afternoon, for the last half hour, the main room was cleared, and the children had dancing to celebrate the day.

Bracknell Church of England Mixed Primary School
11th November 1919

Today is the first anniversary of the armistice. All the children and staff assembled around the flagstaff. Just before 11 a.m the Headmaster read the King’s proclamation – the flag was lowered to half mast and two minutes of perfect silence and stillness was observed as a simple service of silence and remembrance. Children sang ‘God save the King’ and special lessons on ‘The League of Nations’ were given in the upper classes.

Chieveley
November 11th 1919

The King’s wishes were carried out in this school.

At 10.30 the Head Teacher assembled the older children (SI. II. VII) and spoke of the serious time and immense sacrifice caused by the Great War that was brought to an end twelve months ago and now on the first anniversary we all wished to give thanks to God for the Glorious Victory, and at the same time we remember with great reassurance those that had laid down their lives that we might live.

On the stroke of 11 the children stood with bowed heads until 11.2 and then sung “Now thank us all our God” and the National Anthem. Then dismissed for play.

After play the Teachers heard from the Press and leaflets’ references to the “Great Silence” and to the “League of Nations”.

The whole school service was most impressive and quite taken up in reverent spirit of the children.

Coleshill
14th November 1919

On Tuesday (the Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in 1918) the Managers gave the children a half holiday. At 9.5am the children marched down to the church to a service of thanksgiving, and the vicar gave a short address upon ‘The League of Nations’ – all returned to the school at 9.45 and the Registers were closed. Silence was observed throughout the school for 2 min at 110/0.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School
11th November 1919

At10.55 a.m the whole of the Boys were assembled in the large room & Rev. H. Badham – after referring to the King’s Proclamation – gave a short address to the boys in which he briefly outlined the history of the occasion & reminded the children that it was their solemn duty to make themselves worthy of the sacrifice of our glorious dead. This was followed 11 a.m. by 2 min. silence & the national anthem concluded the ceremony.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School
14th November 1919

On Tuesday, according to the King’s request, two minutes silence was observed from 11a.m. Previously the Vicar of S. Julius’ held a service & afterwards a lesson was given to the whole school on the League of Nations.

Wallingford
1919, 11 November

At 11 o’clock this morning, being the first anniversary of the Armistice, all classes stood in silence for two minutes in memory of those who had made the “supreme sacrifice” to shield their motherland from tyranny.

Sunninghill
11th November 1919

The ‘Great Silence’ was observed today with due solemnity under the Union Jack.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School
11th November 1919

Today being the first anniversary of armistice day the ordinary time table has been suspended and special lessons on ‘The League of Nations’ and ‘The Memory of our Glorious Dead’ are taken. The whole school assembled in the larger rooms at 10.45 and after a short talk on the League of Nation’s work, the King’s Command was read.

Hymn 437 ‘For all the saints who from their labours rest’ was sung, and the Roll of Honour saluted. At 11 o’ clock two minutes were devoted to silent thought of the Glorious Dead. The singing of ‘God Save the King’ brought the little service to a close.

Sonning Boys School
11th November 1919

First anniversary of the Armistice. The following programme was carried out in this school:

10.35
Hymn 445
Prayers led by Bishop Morley
The King’s letter read by the Headmaster
Address by Bishop Morley

11am
Silent prayer and quiet for two minutes
National Anthem
Praise God from whom all blessings flow

On behalf of the scholars and staff, the Headmaster thanks Bishop Morley for his excellent words of encouragement and advice.

Aldermaston School
11th November 1919

Armistice Day was celebrated today, the children marched to the Green, where a short address was given by the Head Master, the names of those old boys from the school who had given their lives were read out, and the 2 minutes silence, in remembrance of the glorious dead was observed in obedience to the wish of the King. Patriotic songs were sung and the children returned to school, when Stds III and VII were addressed by the head teacher on the League of Nations. The Rev F.R. Horwood wished the children to have a half holiday so there will be no afternoon school.

Francis Baily Primary School, Thatcham
November 11th 1919

Read the King’s letters to the assembled children at 11 o’clock and observed the instructions afterwards, gave an address on Peace and War and the League of Nations to the 1st and 2nd Classes.

Thatcham CE School
1919 Nov 11th

The “Two Minutes Silence” was observed at eleven o’clock this morning. Recreation taken from 10.30 to 10.45 so that children were settled down when eleven o’clock came. The purpose of the “silence” was explained to the children and they responded exceedingly well.

Cookham Rise
11/11/19

The following little ceremony was observed & carried out on Armistice Day.
1. Stopped work at 10.45
2. Master gave an address & read King’s letter
3. Silence for 2 minutes
4. Head girl decorated Roll of Honour with laurel leaves & read out the names of the Dead, the children standing to attention.
5. National Anthem sung.
6. Hoisted flag in the playground & gave 3 cheers.

Buscot
Nov. 11th

Armistice Day was celebrated in accordance with the King’s wish. A short address was given by the Head teacher, 2 minutes silence observed at 11 am, and the song “Land of Hope and Glory” was sung. The National Anthem was sung before dismissal.

East Ilsley
11th November 1919

Short address given + hymn sung “O God our Help” just before 11am + the two minutes silence observed all standing + with eyes closed.

Hinton Waldrist C of E School
November 11th 1919

Armistice Day. The Children were taken to Church for two minutes silence. They returned in the afternoon at 11:15.

Goosey
11th November 1919

Armistice Day – scholars had a lesson about the day + silence was observed at 11 o’clock.

Sunningdale Mixed School
November 11th 1919

‘Opening Hymn “Who are these like grass”. Assembly in main room 10.55. Address by headteacher. Reading his Majesty’s letter – “To all my people”. Lowering the Union Jack and Two Minutes Silence. Two Short Prayers. Raising the Union Jack. 1st Verse of National Anthem.

Emmer Green CE School
11th November 1919

We had a special lesson for ‘Armistice Day’ this morning and kept the 2 minute silence at 11 a.m. in accordance with the King’s wishes. The King’s Letter was explained and read to the children before the silence.

Reading St Giles Boys School
11th November 1919

Today was observed the two minute silence requested by HM the King trying to think of the Heroic Dead: it being the anniversary of the Armistice. In the afternoon from 3.15 onwards we had special lessons on the League of Nations from 3.15 to 3.50.

Grey Friars Infants’ School, Reading
November 11th 1919

Armistice Day kept in school. All children assembled in main room for appointed time of silence in commemoration.

Battle Infants School, Reading
14th November 1919

The work of the school was suspended for a short time on Tuesday morning by request of his Majesty, the King, for a short service of “silence and remembrance” on the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice after the Great War 1914-1918.

Cookham Dean CE School

Armistice Day, November 11th, was observed by a very short Service of Silence, Thanksgiving and Prayer in Church at 11 a.m., followed by the distribution of the long-promised Peace Celebration Cups by the kind donor herself (Mrs. Gordon Young) at the School. Every child over three years old, who was present at the Peace Celebration Fête on July 19th, has received a cup. The Vicar having on behalf of the children thanked Mrs. Young for her kindness, the little ceremony was brought to a conclusion by the singing of the first verse of the National Anthem.

Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School

This morning read King’s message about Armistice Day. School assembled in large room to await signal – all stood to attention with heads bent, for period of silence.

Ascot Heath Girls School
11th November 1919

Armistice day. The king’s letter was read to the girls and for two minutes after 11o’clock a silent commemoration of those who suffered and died in the Great War was held.

South Moreton School
1919, November 11

The timetable has been slightly altered today, in order to carry out his Majesty’s wishes regarding the commemoration of the Armistice. The children re-assembled at 10.50, when the King’s letter was read, and a short appropriate address given. Silence was observed for two minutes, and a thanksgiving hymn sung. The school was dismissed for twenty minutes extra play.

Redlands Boys’ School, Reading
November 11th 1919

By request of H.M. The King the School remained silent and at strict attention for 2 minutes (11 am-11.2 am) Armistice Day.

Maidenhead Gordon Road Boys School
November 11th 1919

Kept as League of Nations day.

Warfield CE School
11th November 1919

Armistice Day Anniversary. At 11 pm silence for 2 minutes whilst the children pray – Let the words of my mouth – The Lords Prayer – The prayer for St. Michael – which will take just 2 minutes. Afterwards we will sing hymn 376, and instead of a history lesson we will talk about the King’s message and the League of Nations.

Slough and Chalvey British Infants’ School
November 11th 1919

Armistice day was celebrated by special lessons on the Great War and the Peace and by a simple service of remembrance with saluting of the flag at 11am.

Lower Whitley School
11th November 1919

The lessons are not being taken as T.T. today – a period of silence, and special lessons taken during the morning.

Bradfield CE School
November 11th 1919

Armistice day. 30 minutes extra play allowed.

Purley CE School
11th November 1919

The “two minutes silence” was observed.

Milton
1919
Nov 11th

I read the King’s letter to the children, and at 11 o clock kept them at attention. The Rector called and spoke a few words to the children.

Aldermaston School
1919 11th November

Armistice Day. School closed for the afternoon.

Aston Tirrold
11th November 1919

First anniversary of Armistice Day. A little commemoration service was held in the school from 10.50 to 11.5

Sparsholt
Nov 11th

Armistice Day. I read the king’s letter to the children, & we observed the two minutes’ silence.

Speenhamland
Nov 11th

I spoke to Sts III and upwards about the League of Nations in obedience to the King’s letter.

Riseley Green
Nov. 11th

We kept the Silent Tribute of Remembrance this morning & sang the National Anthem.

Charney Bassett
Nov 11

Armistice Day. The two minutes silence was observed in the school.

Wilson School, Newbury
14/11/19

Tuesday last, Nov 11th Armistice Day was observed. His Majesty’s letter to his people was read to the assembled school. The Hymn “Our God, our help” was sung and at 11 o’clock the service of “silence remembrance.” This was followed in all classes by special lessons dealing with the aims and objectives of the League of Nations.

Coley Street Primary School Reading
11/11/1919

Armistice Day has been observed in the following manner –

1) The King’s letter read and explained to the classes during conversational lesson.

2) Children’s silent tribute played in the boys playground.

3) Lessons to all classes on the importance of the day, the league of nations being specially emphasised.

Log books of Bracknell Church of England Mixed Primary School (C/EL45/3); White Waltham CE School (D/P 142/28/3/2, pp. 307-308); Eastbury CE Primary School, Lambourn (D/P79B/28/2, p. 362); King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1, p. 459); Bracknell Church of England Mixed Primary School (C/EL45/3, p. 441); Chieveley Primary School (88/SCH/11/2, pp. 285-286); Coleshill CE School (D/P40/28/5, pp. 59-60); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School (90/SCH/5/3, pp. 63-64); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School log look(90/SCH/5/5, pp. 253-354); Wallingford Boys Council School log book (SCH22/8/3, p. 78); St Michael’s CE Mixed School, Sunninghill (88/SCH/32/3, p. 249); Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School (C/EL72/3, p. 217); Sonning Boys school (89/SCH/1/2, p. 89); Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 111); Francis Baily Primary School, Thatcham (90/SCH/15/1); Thatcham CE School log book (C/EL53/4); Cookham Rise County Primary School (C/EL71); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2); Hinton Waldrist C of E School (C/EL84/2, p. 172); Goosey CE School log book (C/EL89/1); East Ilsley CE School log book (C/EL39/1, p. 493); Sunningdale Mixed School (88/SCH/30/4, p. 397); Emmer Green CE School (R/ES8/3, p. 165); Grey Friars Infants’ School, Reading (R/ES4/2, p. 366); Reading St Giles Boys School (R/ES2/9, p. 282); Reading: Battle Infants School (SCH20/8/2, p. 342); Cookham Dean parish magazine, December 1919 (D/P43B/28A/11); Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School (C/EL4/2, pp. 195-196); Ascot Heath Girls School log book (C/EL109/2, pp. 317-318); South Moreton Board School log book (C/EL104/2); Redlands Boys’ School, Reading (86/SCH/3/30, p. 362); Maidenhead Gordon Road Boys School (C/EL/107/1, p. 121); Warfield CE School (C/EL26/3); Slough and Chalvey British Infants’ School log book (C/EL123, p. 384); Lower Whitley School Log Book (R/ES5/3); Bradfield CE School (D/P22/28/2, p, 230); Purley CE School (C/EL85/2, p. 122); Milton CE School (D/P85/25/25); Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/2, p. 334); Aston Tirrold CE School (C/EL105/1, p. 194); Sparsholt CE School D/P115/28/47); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3); Bouverie Pusey School, Charney Bassett (C/EL41/2); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4)

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