A Club-room fully furnished as for the RAF

A boys’ club in Ascot got a peace dividend in the form of new premises.

The CLB Company has gained for itself keen and generous friends in Miss Baird and Major Hay. It has had opened for its use the RAF Club-room, near the station, where a Club will be run… Not only does the Company step into a Club, but a Club-room fully furnished as for the RAF. And to crown it all, Mr Marment has placed in Major Hay’s hands a cheque for £21 as a legacy from the RAF funds.

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

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Abnormal conditions

Wallingford Board of Guardians was reluctant to go along with pay rises for all.

Tuesday, the 20th May 1919

WAR BONUSES

Your Committee went very carefully into the question of War Bonuses which ought to be allotted to the Officials of this Board.

A letter from the Local Government Board was read stating that in accordance with an award of the Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Government Employees dated the 31st day of March, 1919, the Treasury have recently authorised for permanent Civil Servants a new scale of War Bonus, and Dr Addison suggests that Local Authorities might think it well to take this new permanent scale for guidance for fixing or amending War Bonuses for their Employees. It was pointed out in the letter that the Award does not extend to Officers receiving rations, but that in the case of rationed Officers of Local Authorities payments might be made at a lower rate to meet the special circumstances of the case. This letter pointed out that in the case of any difference arising between the Local Authorities and their Officers, the matter in dispute should be submitted to the Chief Independent Commissioners Dept, Ministry of Labour.

A further letter was read from the Conciliation Council for Poor Law Services, which was signed by Mr Herbert Davey, secretary of the Poor Law Unions Association, and Mr John Simons, Secretary, Poor Law Officers Association, which embodied the following resolution. – This Council recommends all Boards of Guardians who have not already done so, to obtain a scale of War Bonuses authorised by the Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Civil Servants, in full for non-resident whole time Officers, and 50 per cent of such scale for resident Officers.
The scales in question, as far as they relate to this Board, are 24/- per week for non-resident permanent Officers plus the equivalent of 10 per cent of their ordinary remuneration, and for resident and rationed Officers, men 12/- per week plus 20 per cent of their ordinary remuneration, and £20 a year for women plus 10 per cent of their ordinary remuneration…

Your Committee very carefully considered in all its bearings the question of increases, and having regard to the observations contained in the Local Government Board circular letter and … it seems there is no course open to this Board but to accept these Awards, and they therefore advise their acceptance, but the Committee wish the Board clearly to understand that the scales in question have been fixed for them and they adopt them with considerable reluctance.

The Committee also wish to draw attention to the last paragraph of the letter of the LGB which states that the increases hereby awarded are to be regarded as temporary increases intended to assist in meeting the increased cost of living owing to the War and to be recognised as due to and dependent on the existence of the abnormal conditions now prevailing.

Report of the General Purposes Committee, in minutes of Wallingford Board of Guardians (G/W1/36)

Demobilised & returning to-morrow to the West Indies

1919
May 26

M L Simpson granted leave of absence for the morning, to spend it with her fiancé, who has been demobilised & is returning to-morrow to the West Indies.

Log book of St Stephen’s Girls’ School, Clewer (88/SCH/23/5)

A special word to say to the men whom we are all so glad to see back

Reading servicemen were welcomed back to church.

SERVICE of thanksgiving for safe return from war

All Service men and their friends are invited to a service of thanksgiving for safe return, which will be held in St John’s Church on Sunday evening, May 18th, at 6.30. Notices of the service will be sent out throughout the parish, but it will be a great help if readers of the magazine will also make it known… The service will be of a simple hearty character. Special hymns will be sung and special prayers and thanksgivings offered, and the vicar will have a special word to say to the men whom we are all so glad to see back.

Reading St. John parish magazine, May 1919 (D/P172/28A/24)

Gratitude for deliverance

The Earley war memorial was on its way.

The War Memorial

The committee met on Friday 17 May.

Present: The Vicar in the chair, Mr. Churchwarden Brown, Messrs H Masters, A H Salman, G C Sturgess, T R Stevens, E Clayton Jones, H Mole, F B East, H knapman, F C Edwards, H A Box, A J H Wright, Mrs Newbury, Miss Driscoll, Miss G Fanstone, Miss Goose, Miss Type, Miss H L Stevens, Miss D Lawrence.

The architect’s design and drawings were on view and the builder’s specification and estimate were read. It was resolved unanimously that the work be carried out as soon as possible.

The Committee decided to keep the subscription list open, and to issue a subscription list with names of contributors on the completion of the work; also, that a monthly statement of sums raised should be published in the Magazine during the summer.

The Committee was of the opinion that only the names of parishioners who had laid down their lives should be inscribed on the panels, but they reserved their final decision upon this point.

The chairman urged that all contributions should be given in a spirit of thanksgiving and that this was not an occasion for an ordinary appeal for subscriptions. He thought many persons giving in such spirit would prefer to give (in whole or part) anonymously, but whether this was so or not, he hoped a sense of gratitude for deliverance would govern all gifts made.

The committee adjourned to Friday June 13.

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

The pleasant mudscape

Perhaps a brother’s experiences informed this schoolgirl’s creative writing.

Dialogue Between Two German Owls, or An Elegy written in Flanders

The shrapnel shrieks the knell of parting day;
In Flanders, mud above his gouty knee,
A sapper backwards ploughs his watery way,
To mend the telephone, and have some tea.

Now sinks the pleasant mudscape from the sight,
For, from the air, a sleety drizzle drenches,
Save where a lorrie [sic], with its floundering might,
Takes touzzly [sic] Tommies back towards the trenches.

Save that, on yonder splintered stump,
A German owl doth of her lord enquire,
“What bird is that, who buzzing round our dump,
Usurps our birth-right in this black quagmire?”

“Oft did our faint hearts to those bomb-shells yield,
In burrows hiding, while the crockery broke,
For England drives her aeroplanes afield,
Often to perish, ‘neath our strafing stroke.

Let them not mock what German soil,
And lager beer, and morning hates upbore,
Soon we shall hear, with a disdainful smile
Some long and glorious lies about that corps.

The boast of daring and the pomp of power
All that the British War Office e’er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour,
A reckless start-off to a German grave.”

Thus spake the German, heedless of the waste
For female ears this eloquence to raise,
And, as with long-drawn screams the shrapnel raced
Around her, she could see no cause for praise.

“Can leaking urn, or animated bust
Back to its mansion drive that floating flock?
Make those propellers churn the silent dust,
Or flatten out upon a cold dull rock?”

The applause of listening generals to command,
And angry threats of martial courts to raise,
To scatter pamphlets o’er a smiling land,
Or works like these their hapless nation pays.”

Haply some hairy headed swine may say,
“Oft have we heard him at the peep of dawn
Blowing with hasty bombs our food away
To beat the Hun upon the upland lawn.”

Then sank her head upon the lap of earth,
An owl, to fortune and to fame unknown;
A sniper frowned not on her humble birth,
And, very hungry, marked her for his own.

H. MOSS, Va.

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

Reorganising the Band after the Crisis of the War

Newbury United Temperance Band was one of many organisations to close down during the war. The meeting on the 29th was inconclusiv, and the band was never re-formed.

1919

A Trustee meeting of the Band was held in the Lwecture Hall on Thursday evening the 15th May at 8 pm….

The meeting was called with a view of reorganising the Band after the Crisis of the War, which had necessitated the breaking up of it for that period. After a good deal of consultation it was … carried that the Band be reformed & that all previous members & musicians who are Total Abstainers be invited to meet the trustees on Thursday evening, May 29th, at 7 pm on the Lecture Hall. This to be done by letter to all previous members & by advertisement in the Newbury Weekly News.

The secretary was instructed to write to Mrs E L Michell a letter of sympathy for her bereavement.

Newbury United Temperance Band Committee minutes (N/D58/1/2)

Lack of power to raise the requisite funds

Winkfield considered the options for a memorial.

The War Memorial Committee met on May 15th at the Working Men’s Club, and the various matters referred to the Committee at the last Public Meeting were discussed.

It was felt that lack of power to raise the requisite funds would preclude any idea of providing and equipping a Recreation Ground, but that it might be possible, provided a suitable site could be found and purchased, to raise funds enough to move and add to the present Men’s Club Room and make it, with perhaps the help of the Y.M.C.A. or the Church Army, a Village Institute and Social Club.

Pending enquiries as to this, it was resolved to leave open for the time being the alternative questions of the erection of a Memorial Cross, or the naming of a bed at the Ascot Nursing Home.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, June 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/6)

Returned to Belgium

A refugee family returned home, abandoning the foster child they were caring for.

15th May 1919

Children Act 1908

The Inspector, under the Children Act, reported that … One child had been removed from a house where he had been placed out to nurse with a Belgian family, and upon visiting the house on the 29th April last, it was found to be empty, but it been ascertained that the nurse child had been given over to the care of the father, and that the family had returned to Belgium. Upon further enquiries, the Inspector had communicated with the child’s father, but up to the present time had received no answer…

Recommending that the Henley Guardians, to whose district the father of the Belgian child mentioned had removed, be notified.

Matron’s Report

The Matron reported as follows:

Nurses’ Home

That, after advertising widely, she had been able to secure the services of Mrs Hustler, a soldier’s widow, aged 43, who would take up her duties on the 10th instant at a salary of £45 per annum, with indoor uniform and all washing, board and lodging.

Minutes of Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/59)

The unveiling of a memorial window

May 14th 1919

School was closed in the afternoon to enable Teachers and Scholars to attend the unveiling of a memorial window in Church.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, pp. 104-105)

Full of hope and triumph

A pair of fallen brothers were remembered in Ascot.

May

The Dedication and Unveiling of the Window and Tablet in memory of Liuetenant O.W. Tottie, R.N., and 2nd Lieutenant E.H. Tottie, Northumberland Fusiliers, will take place in the Church, on Wednesday, the 14th May, at 3 o’clock.

The Rec. W.T. La Trobe Bateman, assisted by the Rector, will conduct the Service, and it is expected that representatives of the Navy and Army will be present.

All are cordially invited, and it is hoped that Sailors and Soldiers who have served in the war will come.

June

On May 14th, the Rev. W. La Trobe Bateman dedicated and unveiled the beautiful new window over the Altar in the Chapel, representing St. George, and the alabaster tablet on the wall beside it. The inscription on the latter is as follows:-

“The adjoining window is dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of two brothers who gave their lives for England, the one at sea, the other on land, September 22nd 1914.

“Oscar William Tottie, R.N., Lieutenant, H.M.S. Aboukir, sunk by enemy action in the North Sea. Aged 23. Eric Harold Tottie, 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, died of wounds received in action at the Battle of the Aisne. Aged 19.

“They being made perfect, in a short time fulfilled in a long time.”

The service, full of hope and triumph, was attended by a large congregation, including representatives of the Navy and Army. Buglers of the Northumberland Fusiliers sounded “The Last Post” at the West door, and were answered by the “Reveille” sounded by the buglers of the Royal Navy stationed at the East end, reminding us of the “sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to Eternal Life.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, May-June 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/5-6)

A cross on the highest point

Suggestions were made for an Ascot war memorial.

WAR MEMORIAL

My dear rector, various suggestions have been made with regard to a War Memorial for Ascot, and it appears desirable that a Public Meering should be arranged for some evening in May when the whole question could be discussed, and a Committee formed.

I know you have been waiting for older residents to take the lead, feeling that it is a local, and not an Ecclesiastical matter; and I now write not as Churchwarden, but as the originator of the Ascot Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Committee.

Amongst the suggestions are:-

1. A Village Cross, with the names of those who have fallen inscribed on the base, to be erected on some suitable site such as (a) the triangular piece of waste at the four cross roads opposite the Royal Hotel; (b) on the highest point of the heath.

2. A Mortuary Chapel in the Ascot Burial Ground in the Priory Road, such a Chapel being urgently required.

3. A tablet in the Church bearing the names of all who have fallen in the war. This might be put up, either by itself, or in connection with the Mortuary Chapel, or as may be desired.

It is hoped that there may be a large gathering at the Meeting, and that especially those who have lost relations in the war, and Sailors and Soldiers who have served will attend, as the question should be widely discussed, so that all may take a share in the project as finally arranged.

Yours Sincerely

W. H. Tottie.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, May 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/5)

A brave soldier, with pluck and grit

The war might be over, but fighting continued in Russia, riven by civil war.

Sergeant Cecil Bailey, 1/1 Oxford and Bucks L.I., sailed May 12 for Russia to join the North Russian Relief Force, and our good wishes go with him; he is a brave soldier, with pluck and grit, and, above all things, a clean-living, good fellow.

Remenham parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P99/28A/5)

Roll of Honour names to be verified

The final design of the war memorials at London Street Primitive Methodist Church were decided.

12 May 1919
Resolved

1. That the Wesleyan Book Room design for Roll of Honour be accepted.

2. That the work of entering the names on the scroll be given to Mr Morley.

3. That the design of text be left in Mr Morley’s hands entirely.

4. That Mr Pierce & Mr Smith take the lists & verify all the names before particulars are given to Mr Morley.

5. That the names on the roll be alphabetically arranged.

6. That the design and revised estimate of £12.12.0 for Brass memorial Tablet be accepted.

7. That failing completion of the Rolls of Honour before Mr Alderson leaves the Circuit, it be understood that he be invited to attend the Ceremony.

London Street Primitive Methodist Church trustees’ minutes (D/MS59/1A/2)

There is a new spirit amongst our young people

An elderly nonconformist clergyman had hope for the post war world and the new generation.

The Gates of Youth, By Rev. Monro Gibson, M.A., LL.D.

I am now about as far away from the gates of Youth as any one in this world can well be, but the remarkable thing is that the father I go from them, the increasing distance, instead of making them look smaller, makes them seem larger and ever larger – so much so that in my old age I confess to a great and increasing longing to help my young friends to see what a glorious, magnificent life which is opening before them.

The adventure of life begins with the dawn of personal responsibility. In childhood we are in a garden, a Garden of Eden, let us say, sheltered, secluded, happy in its limitations; but sooner or later the gates of Eden open outwards, and the world is all before us with its continents and islands, its seas and oceans, its illimitable possibilities; its fearful risks on the one hand, its great reaches on the other.

Difference between Men and Animals

Herein lies the immense difference between the life of man and that of lower animals. They have each their limits imposed on them by nature. In every case there is growth along certain fixed lines, and up to certain fixed limits; but in no case is there any possibility of a development at all corresponding to that of the boy into a Shakespeare or a Newton, or the girl into a Florence Nightingale or a Catherine Booth; and that altogether irrespective of the infinities and eternities which lie beyond. On the other hand, there is no peril corresponding to that which may transform a noble youth into a Judas or a Kaiser or a sot.

These things being so, there is call for the most earnest thought in passing through these fateful Gates. It will not do simply to yield to the impulse of the moment as if it did not matter much how you set out or what you were aiming at. I do think, however, that there are some warnings which, though very much needed four years ago, are not called for now. For there is a new spirit amongst our young people. There has been a high summons to whole-souled devotion to a great cause, and to that summons there has been a noble response, so that I believe there are very few young men or young women either, who would be willing now to welcome a life of self-indulgence or pleasure-seeking or easy-going mediocracy; and those who would still prefer that kind of thing are too far down to be likely to be reached by any high appeal. The great majority now, I am sure, demand the strenuous life, the life of active service with something in it of adventure or peril, calling for courage, resourcefulness, sacrifice if need be. The cricket pitch and the golf course, the dance and the supper party may still find a corner in life but only a corner. Surely the feeling now is practically universal that to put one’s life into any such things as these is despicable in the last degree. How encouraging it is to find that when there is a call for volunteers to an enterprise which means almost certain death, like the attack ion Zeebrugge or the final Voyage of The Vindictive, every one is not only ready but is disappointed if he cannot be accepted.

A New World

You may say: It is the War that has done this, and we are all very glad that it has come to an end. Yes: but is there any reason why the spirit the War has called forth should come to an end with it? By no means. We are constantly reminded that it is a new world we are entering into, with greater opportunities, nobler prospects and more difficult problems that we have ever known; and there will be a new call for the exercise of all the noblest faculties the War has evoked, and for many others for which even its multiplied demands have not afforded scope and opportunity. Surely it is not without significance that a man who represents so large and in many respects so unpromising a constituency as H. G. Wells has done should even passionately urge the claims of the Kingdom of God upon the service of us all, and especially of our young people who will be the chief agents in the new developments before us. We have all along had before s the call to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” to make that the great ambition of our lives; but so far it has kindled the souls of only a very small minority. May it not now “catch on,” to use the common phrase, and gather itself the patriotism, the enthusiasm, the devotion, courage and self-sacrifice of the generation now coming on the scene.

Moreover, we are now apparently entering on a new era of democracy whose success will depend not on a small number of super-men or heroes of the Nietschean or Carlylean type to subdue the masses to their will; but on the people, each with his share of responsibility, every one with his full share of opportunity, with education that will open up fields of service to every variety of talent, and with institutions that will give full scope for its exercise. Even as things have been in the world, our young people have had much encouragement to put forth every effort in the beginning of life to train their powers for usefulness; but it is more worth while now than ever it was before. In the old Book of Proverbs it is written, “A man’s gift maketh room for him.” True now in a fuller sense than when the wise man wrote it down, it will still be more so in the days that are coming. Therefore I would congratulate our young people especially on the prospect before them, entering on life in times like these which are more full of portent and of promise than even those of which the poet Wordsworth wrote:

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven.”

It is indeed true as it always was, that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life”; but now that there is this new spirit in the land for enduring hardness, for concentration of energy, for ventures of faith and courage, and now that the life which is set before us, which and full as it has always been, promises to be richer and fuller than ever, we may hope that it will no longer be true that “few there be that find it,” but that multitudes of our young people, young men and young women, will press through the gates into the new life.

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