“Fires wouldn’t burn”

Continuing fuel shortages were exacerbated by exceptionally cold weather the spring after the war.

11/02/19
Temperature 36* at 9.45 am – fires wouldn’t burn – marching, running, dancing etc taken til 10.am

Log book of Leckhampstead School (C/EL 51/2)

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Special lessons on “The Empire” and “Patriotism”

The war continued to inform Empire Day celebrations in Berkshire schools.

Slough
May 23rd 1919

Celebration of Empire Day.

Empire lessons were given throughout the school.

A hollow square was formed in the playground and the flag was hoisted while the National Anthem was being sung.

The Chairman Mr Andrews, the Revd Theo Cousens and Mr Frank Smith addressed the children, the subject being the Empire and its builders.

Patriotic Songs were sung and the school was dismissed for a half holiday.

St Peter’s CE School, Earley
23rd May 1919

This being Empire Day, the ordinary timetable lessons were not taken, but special lessons on “The Empire” and “Patriotism” were given throughout the school, and at 11 a.m. the whole of the children were assembled around the school flagpole, and the vicar raised the Union jack amid great cheering from the scholars & the assembled parents and parishioners. Canon Fowler, Mr R Lea & Miss Weldon made patriotic speeches, & the children sang some appropriate songs.

In the afternoon the usual May Day Festival was held at 3 p.m….

At the close of the proceedings, a collection, amounting to £3.1.5 was made, the money to go towards an “Honour” board for Earley school-boys who have fallen in the war.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School
May 23rd 1919

Empire Day was celebrated at 2.30 p.m. in the presence of many parents and Friends. Sir Neville Chamberlain R.C.B. addressed the Children on the “Meaning of Empire” and “Our Duty Towards It”.

Ascot Heath Girls School
23rd May 1919

The children assembled in the Boys field and were addressed by Sir Neville Chamberlain.

Priestwood
23/05/1919

Special lessons have been given this week to prepare for Empire Day. This morning at 11.30 and this afternoon at 3pm parade, demonstration consisting of appropriate songs renditions took place in the playground.

Reading Christ Church CE Infants School
23rd May 1919

Tomorrow (Saturday) being Empire Day, the National Anthem was sung this morning, and the flag saluted by all the children, who listened to an interesting address by Captain Wing. The lessons during the morning were on Empire Day.

Stoke Road School, Slough: log book (89/SCH/28/1); St Peter’s CE School, Earley: log book (SCH36/8/3); Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4); Ascot Heath Girls School log book (C/EL109/2); Priestwood Council Infant School (C/EL70); Reading Christ Church CE Infants School log book (89/SCH/7/6)

All will gather together for the singing of ‘Land of our Birth’

22/05/19

Lessons bearing on the Empire will be given today in connection with the celebration of Empire Day. At the close of school all will gather together for the singing of ‘Land of our Birth’ and the national anthem. As arranged by the education committee tomorrow afternoon will be a holiday.

Log book of Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Victory Loan Procession

11 July

A number of scholars were absent yesterday [10 July] having gone to Newbury to see the Victory Loan Procession.

Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

Reduced staff

Wartime (and post-war) staff shortages meant a reduced curriculum for some children.

10th May 1919

When, as here, owing to a reduced staff, only the middle group subjects are very wisely attempted by the upper part of the school.

Ashampstead C of E School log book (D/EX1493/1, p. 246)

The children’s 1st contribution to the War Memorial Fund

Maidenhead children started to contribute to a war memorial.

9th May 1919

The sum of 8/3 was forwarded to the Secretary, as the children’s 1st contribution to the War Memorial Fund.

Log book of King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1, pp. 444-445)

A danger board due to the PoW camp

Traffic associated with a PoW camp was a danger for local children.

May 6th 1919

Wrote to the Education Secretary recommending that a danger board be placed on the road above the school as owing to the German Prisoners’ Camp there is a good deal of motor traffic now passing the school.

Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1, p. 469)

Arrangements to be made for the inmates of the Institutions for the celebration of Peace

6th May 1919
Peace Celebrations

The Chairman of the Board, the Chairman and Vice-chairman of this Committee, with the Chairman and Vice-chairman of the Infant Poor Committee, were appointed a sub-committee to consider the arrangements to be made for the inmates of the Institutions for the celebration of Peace.

Report of House Committee, Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/59)

Very cold and uncomfortable

May 2nd 1919

The School has been very cold and uncomfortable to work in through lack of fuel.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4)

Now going to Russia

More soldiers shared their experiences back home.

May 2nd
Visit of Fred Dore and Reg. Claridge, two old boys who have seen service in Flanders, France, Italy, and are now going to Russia.

St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3)