Medals commemorating ‘peace’ and a portrait of Nurse Cavell

Edith Cavell was a British nurse based in Belgium, who heled a number of British and other soldiers to escape and was shot dead by the German occupying force. She is remembered for her words, “Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.”

Wallingford Boys Council School
1919, 15 September

A portrait of Nurse Cavell, purchased by the boys, hung in the hall today.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School
15th September 1919

The whole of the boys attended the Town Hall this morning to receive medals commemorating ‘peace’.

Log books of Wallingford Boys Council School log book (SCH22/8/3, p. 76); and Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School (C/EL72/3, p. 214)

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It is very important that the list of names of those who died should be accurate

Plans were well advanced for the memorial at St Bartholomew’s Church.

The War Memorial

The committee met on Sept 4 at 7.30pm. There was a good attendance. Present: The Chairman, Mr Churchwarden Brown and Mr FB East (hon. Treasurers), the Rev. H B Mead, Messrs. W Lawrence, A H Salman, H Masters, J A Murray, G C Sturgess, T R Stevens, E Clayton Jones, A J H Wright, E Long; Ladies – Mrs Newbery, Miss Goose, Miss Stevens, Miss Lawrence, Miss Driscoll, Miss Type.

The minutes of the last meeting were confirmed. The chairman read a letter from the architect saying that the drawings for the builder were on the point of completion. It was suggested that the names be cut into the oak panelling to avoid difficulty in adding names sent in late and to avoid expense. It was agreed that the porch be lined with stone and the two shields carved with emblems. Mrs Newbery kindly consented to include the lower part of Cumberland Road in her district. Subscriptions received to date were paid in, with one new promise. The treasurers reported at the close of the proceedings as follows:-

Subscriptions paid or promised, as already announced £455 10s 0d
New subscriptions Sept 4 £21 10s 2d
New promises £5 0s 0d

The date of the next committee meeting was fixed for Thurs Oct 16 at 7.30pm.

Since the above meeting, a letter has been received from Mr Comper suggesting that the shields should bear “the three knives ascribed to S Bartholomew on one and Reading (emblem) on the other.” He is glad that the committee consents to stone lining of the porch, and adds “You must have the names cut on a stone or slate (and not oak) slab which will form part of the stone lining of the walls recessed within a simple shallow moulding. This, I believe, will cost no more, and be durable, and part of the fabric as it ought to be. The slab need not be fixed till the walls are built…. I dare say that you will be content with the surnames and initials …. Prefixed by some inscription.

Upon this we would say that it is very important that the list of names of those who died should be accurate, and any known name, not at present posted up in the church under the flag, should be given to the Vicar without delay.

Mr F N A Garry has presented a stone beautifully carved with old Christian emblems, which Mr Comper desires to be placed 5 feet from the floor within the porch on the west wall south of the entrance. We have also to thank Mr S Newbery for making a copy of the drawing of the porch which is hung on the church door.


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

Reduction in old age pension owing to a pension due to the loss of a son whilst on Active Service

Tuesday, the 2nd day of September, 1919

OLD AGE PENSIONS

A Resolution from the Durham union was … read by which it was proposed that no old age pensioner should suffer any reduction in pension owing to him or her being in receipt of a pension due to the loss of a son whilst on Active Service, where the receipt of the said sum brings the total income above the maximum. It was resolved:

That, whilst in sympathy with the proposal the Board take no action in the matter.

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

Soldiers asked to give those who had been at home these last five years the benefit of their unique experience of men and things

Earley men were warmly welcomed home.

Sailors and Soldiers Entertainment

A very kind and liberal support in money and provisions removed all anxiety as to the expense of the entertainment given on Aug 30. Our only regret was the comparatively few were able to be present. The weather was cold and threatening, and though the sky held clear till half past six we were then driven to take cover in the parish hall when an enjoyable concert filled up the remained of the evening. The committee under Mr george Love’s management had provided a sumptuous tea at 4 o’clock, the hall decorated with flags, and the guests were entertained by Mrs and Miss Lawrence, Mrs Love, Mrs Weait, Mrs and Miss Porter, Mrs Edwards, Mrs Shackleford, Mrs Wilby, Mrs Long, Mrs Box, and Miss West. Games on the lawn with competitions and prizes had been arranged by Mr Love (chairman), and Messrs Sturgess, Wright, Weait, Long, Edwards, West, Porter, Lawrence, Shackleford, Clayton-Jones, Wilby and Cyphus. The evening concert was the contribution of Miss Elsie Ruffel, Messrs. O West, F L Wing, R Wing, A H Earley, HE Wilby, and CE Cyphus (Pianist).

Our guests were as follows William H Pomeroy, HMS Ophir; William B Waters, Royal Berks; G E Gibbons, R.A.S.C., M. T.; F A Charlton, R.E.; Harry F Fulbrook, 2nd Batt. Hants. 29th Div.; Vernon Truss, RAF; Albert H Barlow, 7th Queen’s R.W. Surreys; Chas. Shackleford, R.A.S.C., M. T.; H J White, RAF, E Henwood, 10th Tank Bat.; E J E Capel, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry; C W Green, RAF; O J West, HM Wireless Service; O H Long, 2nd O. Dorset Yeomanry; A W Long, R. A. S. C.; A H Earley, 219th Field Coy. R.E.; A G Earley, RAF; P G Canning, London Regt,; W H Andrews, Royal Berks and Tank Corps.; W G Ayres, R.G.A.; A J Franklin; G Gibbons; J A Earley, 1/4th R. Berks Regt.; C E Cyphus, Tank Corps.

At the close of tea the Vicar expressed the pleasure of the committee in welcoming the home-coming of their guests. He traced the steps which had led to this entertainment of them, and expressed his hope that they would gather together on more than occasion for counsel in the management of parish matters, and give those who had been at home these last five years the benefit of their unique experience of men and things.

The party dispersed soon after 9.30 after a thoroughly enjoyable time. We much regretted the unavoidable absence of Mr T R Stevens.

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

Cards of welcome to all sailors and soldiers who have been demobilised

Earley men were welcomed home.

Short Notes

The men’s association has been active in sending out about 100 cards of welcome to all sailors and soldiers who have been demobilised. This involved a good deal of inquiry and care. Now they are following up this by a proposal to entertain such as are able and willing to come to tea and sports on the vicarage lawn on Aug 30th or the first week of September. To do this, a committee of ladies is being appointed, also for the sports a committee of men themselves. An appeal for the provision of the tea and gifts in kind will be made later, and there is little doubt of a generous response to this. Any immediate promises of help in this way will be welcomed by the Vicar or Mr T R Stevens.

We offer a welcome home to Mr William Long after four years and three months absence in Egypt. Mr Long served in the Army Service Corps, and is now set free. His return to Reading gives us the pleasure of having him back in the choir, where with alto Mr Leslie Grinstead his presence will be much valued.


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

Love for those who have defended us, especially those who have given freely of their lives that we might live

Important – War Memorial Chapel at St Luke’s

At last, after much preliminary work, we are launching this scheme of ours, by which we are trying by beautifying our Church to mark our gratitude to God for his protection and care, and our love for those who have defended us, more especially for those who have given freely of their lives that we might live. Briefly, we hope to build (where the Vestries now stand) a Chapel panelled in oak with the names of the fallen on each panel, in which we may hold quiet services, and where, overshadowed by the sense of the presence of those we love that have passed beyond the veil, we may meditate without bitterness on the wonderful mystery of suffering and sacrifice, as made more clear to our finite minds, by the Cross of the Son of God, in whose House we shall be at prayer.

All our generosity and the help of our friends will be needed, if we are to do this worthily. At a meeting held on August 21st, Miss Apthorp – well-known to us as Commandant of the VAD Hospital – was unanimously elected as Hon, Sec. of the Fund. Reluctantly, as a mere clergyman, I accepted the office of Hon. Treasurer. An account has been opened at the London, County, Westminster and Parr’s Bank in High Street, called the “St Luke’s War Memorial Fund”.

A circular letter, we hope, will shortly be distributed to every house in the Parish, except in Furze Platt, which has its own scheme. If any are left by accident outside the Parish, it will be by mistake. Of course, any friend may obtain one personally by asking for a copy. Then collectors will call. I hope every house will give something. The names of all the fallen from the Parish (whatever their religious views) will have the first claim to a place on a panel, unless anyone’s relatives do not wish them to be remembered there. After that we will place the names of all worshippers at St Luke’s. Any doubtful case will be decided after taking full advice.

The scheme adopted is to try and raise the money in twelve months, beginning this September.

I hope very much that all who can, will give a monthly subscription, even if they cannot give a large donation. Personally, I have given a donation, and I intend to give each month as well. So far, the biggest donation has been £25, but I hope that will soon be surpassed; and a shilling a month, please remember, means 12/- by next year. Some good collectors have already volunteered, but we want many more. Each collector will be given a card with 25 houses on, and will bring the card to Miss Apthorp to be initialled on the Monday after the first Sunday of each month, either between 10 am or 1 pm in the morning, or between 6 pm and 8 pm in the evening, giving her any money they have collected during the previous month. From October 1st Miss Apthorp will be at Stanlow, High Town Road; till then her address is Ray Court. The first paying-I day will be Monday, October 6th. Miss Apthorp will take the money, initial the card, and return it to the collector. If any collector is ill, if Miss Apthorp is notified, she will call for the money. Further volunteers are asked to inform Miss Apthorp at Ray Court or the Vicar at the Vicarage of their readiness to undertake a district.

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

Distinguished service in Greece

A Berkshire woman was recognised for her work in Greece.

Miss Marjory Shepherd has been awarded the Greek Decoration Medal of Military Merit, 4th Class, in recognition of distinguished service during the campaign.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, August 1919 (D/EX725/4)

“Our village is still like a battlefield”

The August issue of a Reading church magazine had news from a family of Belgian refugees who had now returned home.

Our Belgian Guests

Though we have now bidden good-bye to our Belgian family, they are not forgotten, and we gladly avail ourselves of Miss Hammond’s kind permission to print the following letter, (long held over through lack of space) telling of the return home.

Kelfs-Herent,
29TH March, 1919.
Dear Miss Hammond,

We reached home a fortnight ago, on the 15th of March, at half-past four in the afternoon. We found our house quite empty, for the Germans had stolen most of our things, and what they left others took. The doors and windows are broken, the walls both inside and out are damaged, and there is a large hole in the roof. The Germans did their cooking everywhere, leaving the house so dirty that it has taken me ten days to get it even a little clean! We must wait till next year for fresh wall-paper, it is still too dear.

Food is very scarce; there is hardly anything in the shops and everything is much dearer than in England. Meat costs 9-10 francs the Kilo, butter 15 franks, margarine 8.5 franks. A sack of flour costs 110 franks, and one cannot even then always get it. Every day we say that war for existence is now beginning, and happy are the people who live in the promised land of England or France. Our village is still like a battlefield; some of the houses have been re-built but not all. The people living next to us have so aged during these four years that we did not recognise them. We have no cow or horse, and they are so dear that we must wait a while before buying.

I hope that you will give our compliments to all the kind friends at your church, and thank them again for all they did for us during the four years of war.

Please accept the sincere respects of your grateful family.”

M. Van De Venne.
Elise De Kruster.

We are very grieved to hear that, since reaching home, our friends have sustained a very heavy loss in the death of their dear little girl, Elisa, on June 3rd, after an illness of three weeks. We shall all join in sympathetic remembrance of the sorrowing father and mother.

Trinity Congregational Magazine, August 1919 (D/EX1237/1/12 )

No reduction in pension

13th August, 1919
O. A. Pensions

It was proposed by Mr Cutler, and seconded by the Revd A A Bull, and resolved, that this Board support the following Resolution passed by the Guardians of the Durham Union –

“That we seek an Amendment of the Old Age Pension Act to provide that no Old Age Pensioner shall suffer any reduction in Pension owing to he or she being in receipt of a pension due to the loss of a son whilst on Active Service, where the receipt of the said Pension brings the total income above the maximum prescribed for in the Act in determining the present conditional scale of Old Age Pensions.”

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

Only married for nine weeks

The after-effects of being gassed in the trenches could last for years.

A Soldier’s Death

On Sunday, Aug. 10th, there died in the Royal Berks Hospital, Reading, at the age of 30, Lance-Corpl. Frederick Thomas King. For some time he had been suffering from pneumonia, the complaint being aggravated by gas-poisoning contracted whilst serving in France. Deceased had only been married about nine weeks. We take this opportunity of expressing our sympathy with his widow and family.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, September 1919 (D/P120/28A/14)

Relief to be stopped until the army pension is exhausted

A bereaved mother was not allowed public funds to support her as she had her son’s army pension to call on.

5th August 1919

Case of Ann Ford
The Relieving Officer for No. 1 District reported that this woman had lately received £9:5:0 arrears of Army Pension in respect of her son who was killed during the War and also £5 gratuity. As this was a non settled case it was resolved that the Clerk write to the Pontypridd Union recommending that relief be stopped until the money is exhausted.

Newbury Board of Guardians minutes (G/N1/39, p. 184)

Simplicity, with enjoyment for all

Peace celebrations at Remenham were a glorified sports day.

REMENHAM PEACE CELEBRATIONS

Simplicity, with enjoyment for all, was the keynote of the Remenham Peace Celebration which took place, by the kind permission of Captain Eric Noble, at Park Place on Saturday afternoon, August 2. The funds had been provided by subscriptions given by a few ladies and gentlemen and the arrangements were carried out by Captain and Mrs Eric Noble, Captain and Mrs Eveleigh, and Mr Ansell, with Mr W Baker as hon. sec. The Band of the Henley Branch of the Comrades of the Great War was engaged for the occasion and discoursed a pleasing programme of music during the afternoon under the conductorship of Mr S Sheppard. A capital programme of sports had been arranged with Captain Eveleigh as handicapper and starter and Captain Eric Noble, Mr Ansell and Mr Baker as judges. Some valuable prizes were offered and the results were as follows:

50 yards handicap, boys 10 years old and under – 1st, G Gibbons; 2nd W Dixon; 3rd, A Moring.
50 yards handicap, girls 10 years old and under – 1st, Iris Humphrey; 2nd, Irene Ward; 3rd, Madge Langford.
100 yards handicap, boys over 10 years old – 1st, George Andrews; 2nd, Ronald Eustace; 3rd, Tony Christopher.
100 yards handicap, girls over 10 years old – 1st, Edith Rowe; 2nd, Phyllis Bonner; 3rd, Stella Dixon.
100 yards needle and thread race, boys and girls over 10 years – 1st, Elsie Fasenidge and George Smith; 2nd, Stella Dixon and Richard Gibbons; 3rd, Kathleen Ward and Ronald Eustace.
50 yards boot and shoe race, boys over 10 years – 1st, Ronald Eustace; 2nd, Richard Gibbons; 3rd, fred Smith.
Potato race, girls over 10 years – 1st, Olive Green; 2nd, Stella Dixon; 3rd, Ethel Stevens.
Sack race, boys – 1st, Albert Moring; 2nd, George Smith; 3rd, Richard Gibbons.
Egg and spoon race, girls – 1st, Annie Butler; 2nd, Stella Dixon; 3rd, Marjory King.
100 yards handicap, bandsmen’s race – 1st, A Why; 2nd, H Why; 3rd, R Cook.
120 yards handicap, men of the parish – 1st, Mr P Simmons, who gave up his prize to the second man W Eustace; Colonel Burnell took second honours and P Clarke, third.
50 yards egg and spoon race, women of the parish – 1st, Miss Froud; 2nd, Miss Marcham; 3rd, Miss King.

The prizes were kindly distributed by Mrs Eric Noble, who, on the proposition of Colonel Burnell, was accorded hearty cheers.

Tea was provided for the children and adults in the coach house, who greatly enjoyed the appetising meal. Amongst those present, in addition to Captain and Mrs Noble, were Mrs Heatley Noble, Mrs Goodrich, the Rector, Captain and Mrs Eveleigh, Colonel and Mrs Burnell, Captain A R Brakspear, Mr and Mrs Philip Simmons, Mr Stanton and many others. After tea, the school children who had been excellently trained by their head mistress (Miss Gale) rendered a special patriotic song, which gave much pleasure. Each child also received a Peace mug. Mr Baker proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the donors of the tea, and the subscribers, and to Captain and Mrs Noble and Captain and Mrs Eveleigh, for the trouble they had taken in making the arrangements. The proposition met with a most cordial response. Games of various descriptions and dancing were afterwards indulged in, and the happy occasion was brought to a conclusion by the singing of the National Anthem led by the band, cheers for Captain and Mr Noble, Mr and Mrs Heatley Noble, the Band, and all who had helped to promote the success of the occasion.

The Henley Standard.

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

Listless and tired after the Peace Celebrations

There was a bit of a reaction after the excitement was over.

Speenhamland
July 21st

Children appear listless and tired after the Peace Celebrations, but good number present.

Boyne Hill
July 21st

A whole holiday was given today. Peace Day celebrations were held on July 19th.

Newbury
21/07/19

Mrs Petty was absent today – permission being given that she might attend the local Peace festivities.

Log books of SSt Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1)

The procession of July 19th had a unique significance at once more glorious and more tragic than any that has taken place in the long annals of our country

There were celebrations in Windsor.

The month just passed will be noted in the annals of our National History for the public celebrations in thankfulness for the Peace which has now been declared. Saturday, July 19th was appointed as a universal holiday and both in London and in many of the provincial cities pageants were arranged and carried out in a worthy manner. The London pageant was of course the focus of all other celebrations and was carried out with great magnificence. The march of the troops through the main streets, in which all the regiments who had taken part in the war were represented including those of our French Allies, headed by Marshal Foch, must have been a never-to-be-forgotten sight to all who were fortunate enough to see it. Some of us are old enough to remember the Victoria Jubilee processions in 1887 and 1897. Then there was great rejoicing and great magnificence, but the procession of July 19th had a unique significance at once more glorious and more tragic than any that has taken place in the long annals of our country. It represented a triumph which has been won by a whole nation’s sacrifice and heroism. May we be truly thankful for so great a deliverance and more than ever united in the service of God and our country; for thus only can we gather in the Blessings of Peace.

The Windsor celebration consisted of a march of the demobilized soldiers and those of the garrison together numbering about 2,000, together with contingents of lady workers, boy and girl scouts and others who had taken part in home work. Besides this procession there were river fetes, aquatic sports, a torch light procession, a bonfire and illuminations. Notwithstanding the slight rain which set in about mid-day, nothing daunted the enthusiasm of the sightseers, who paraded the streets till the late hours of the night.

Clewer parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P39/28A/9)

Peace day festivities everywhere

Our diarists enjoyed the peace festivities despite poor weather.

Florence Vansittart Neale
19 July 1919

Gloomy looking morning. Rain about 12. Peace day. Festivities all over England. Grand procession of all troops. Navy & Army, [illegible], Air & WAACs & Wrens! through London. Pagets got seats [at] Admiralty. H, Edith & I to Bisham. Dinner in schools – very pretty. E & I lunch vicarage. Games & sports in Warren. Dinner to returned soldiers (49) – tea & sports for whole village. Everyone enjoyed it. Tea in schools & dancing after till 10.30. We went home after giving prizes.

[and at back of book:]

Peace day festivities everywhere. Big procession soldiers & sailors in London. In Bisham dinner for rehomed soldiers. Tea & sports for everyone. Dancing in evening. Had some rain but not bad! Meals & dancing in schools. Pagets got seats Admiralty from Mr Baddeley.

William Hallam
19th July 1919

I suppose I was tired out this week end for I didn’t wake till 10 past 8. Up, and got breakfast: Marjorie had to take her class of school children to the Theatre to the cinema part of their treat…

This afternoon it came on to rain but we all went round the town. It was the best show of decorations I’ve ever seen but the rain spoilt so much of it. A lot of people had decorated their fronts up with Chinese Lanterns to light at night and of course these were spoilt as it turned out a very wet night.

Diaries of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9); and William Hallam of Swindon (D/EX1415/25)