“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)

Wokingham decides to have a war memorial

Wokingham St Sebastian decided to have a war memorial.

War Memorial.

A meeting for the whole Parish was held in the Parish Room, on Thursday, May 22nd, 1919, to consider the question of a War Memorial. There were about 40 present. It was decided to have a Memorial, and after suggestions had been made, a strong Committee was appointed to go into details, and in due course report to the Meeting.

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

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 case was not one in which the distress was due to the war”

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund was still accepting applications for assistance from people whose lives had been disrupted by the war.

17 May 1919

The Chairman read the following report on cases dealt with since the last meeting [on 24 June 1918].

Mrs Coleman

Mrs Coleman was interviewed by the Chairman and Mr Bate as requested by the Committee at their last meeting and it was ultimately decided that Mrs Coleman should take a course of Business Training with Mr Taylor, Station Road, Reading. A sum of £30 was paid to Mrs Coleman in September, to cover the cost of the preliminary training and maintenance during such time, and in October a further sum of £37 was paid over. In January 1919, Mrs Coleman asked that a further £20 might be remitted to her and this was agreed to and paid over by the Government Committee. Mrs Coleman has now completed the training and is finding some difficulty in securing a situation, and on the 26th April asked for a further sum of £30 out of the balance of £163 now remaining. This application has been forwarded to the Government Committee before sanctioning any further payment of the grant.

Mrs Willis

In accordance with the instructions of the Committee at the last meeting, the case of Mrs Willis was referred to the Government Committee with a suggestion that a grant of a capital sum might be made in place of the monthly payment. The Government Committee were of opinion that the monthly grants should continue and Mrs Willis has continued to receive £2.2.0 per month. Whilst this grant continues it is doubtful if Mrs Willis will make any effort to render herself self-supporting.

Mrs Keefe

An application for assistance was received in January, 1919, from Mrs Keefe, 44 London Road, Newbury. Particulars were obtained and it appeared that the applicant was a widow who had had a small General Shop, but owing to heart trouble and difficulties due to the various rationing orders (mainly the former), she had given up the shop and taken lodgers. Subsequently the heart trouble increased and in consequence she was unable to work. These particulars were forwarded to the Government Committee who were of opinion that the case was not one in which the distress was due to the war and therefore not one which could properly be dealt with by this Committee.

Mr E E Bishton

Mr E E Bishton, Florence Cottage, New Road, Ascot, on the recommendation of the Repatriated British Civilian Help Committee, applied to this Committee for a grant towards the purchase of necessary clothing, which he required before he could commence work. Mr Bishton was interviewed by the Chairman and the Secretary, who authorised the supply of clothing to the value of £10.10.6, and also a temporary grant of £4.

In the case of Mrs Coleman it was resolved:

To recommend to the Government Committee that an immediate payment of £30 be made as asked for and that the balance of £133 with interest be retained for the present.

On the suggestion of Mr Slade it was agreed that the allowance to Mrs Willis should be continued for a further period of 3 months to give her the opportunity of finding suitable work.

If at the end of this period it was found that she would require a certain capital sum to enable her to set up in business, the Committee would consider the advisability of recommending the case to the Government Committee for a capital grant.

The action of the Chairman in the case of Mr Bishton was confirmed.

National Relief Fund: Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)

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)

Envelopes opened

Money was coming in for Cranbourne’s war memorial.

WAR MEMORIAL

A Committee meeting was held on May 14th, and the envelopes already received were opened.

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

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)