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.

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Victory in the Great European War

Lower Basildon CE School
30th July 1919

School closed this afternoon for the Summer Holiday. The Education Committee have granted an extra week’s holiday, in accordance with the wish expressed by King George, to commemorate the Victory in the Great European War.

Aldermaston School
30th July 1919.

School closed at noon today for summer holidays, His Majesty King George has expressed a wish that in commemoration of the signing of Peace the children should be granted an extra week’s holiday.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School
31st July 1919

Peace Celebration sports were held in playground yesterday afternoon.

Log books of Lower Basildon CE School (C/EL7/2, p. 205); Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 108); and Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School (90/SCH/5/5, p. 251)

Each child wore a red white & blue rosette

Peace festivities were in full swing.

Clewer
July 17th

School was closed all day today. The children assembled at 1.15 and marched to Clewer Park with flags. Each child wore a red white & blue rosette. These had been made previously during the Handwork Lessons by the 1st Class. The day was beautifully warm & fine and a very enjoyable time spent. The children dispersed soon after 8 o’clock.

Aldermaston
17th July 1919.

Five away this afternoon (Hants children) to attend peace celebration.

16 Heath End children were absent this afternoon as Mrs Mc Connell of Heath End House [in Baughurst, Hampshire] had invited them to a tea to celebrate “Peace”.

Reading: George Palmer Boys’ School
17th July 1919

In afternoon adjourned to meadow adjoining Coley Park to run off preliminary heats of Peace Day Sports.

Coley Street Primary School
17/07/1919

The children’s ‘Peace Day’ activities are being fixed for Saturday 19th.

Log books of St Katherine’s School, Clewer (C/EL113/2); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/2-3); George Palmer Boys’ School log book (89/SCH/8/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4)

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)

Released from military duties

Another teacher was back.

10th February 1919.

The head master, having been released from military duties, resumed charge of school today.

Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 101)

Due to the general prevalence of illness throughout the county, people in many districts have been averse to congregating together

Applications for roadside war memorials were starting to come before Berkshire County Council.

Report of the Highways and Bridges Committee, 11 January 1919

WAR MEMORIALS

An application has been received from the Bath Road Club for sanction to erect a war memorial, in the form of a signpost, near Aldermaston lane on the Bath road.

The Committee do not recommend that consent be given.

A similar application from Cookham for permission to erect a memorial in the form of an Iona Cross is under consideration.


Report of Agricultural Instruction Committee to Education Committee, 11 January 1919

…The Committee present the following report of the Agricultural Organiser, received from the Principal and Acting Dean of University College, Reading, viz…

It should be pointed out that [during the quarter ending 31 December 1918] the work has been disorganized by the general prevalence of illness throughout the county. People in many districts have been averse to congregating together, with the result that in some places it was impossible to get audiences, whilst in others it was found necessary to postpone, or cancel, lectures which had been arranged. Moreover most, if not all members engaged on county work, have suffered illness during the quarter.

G S Bedford
Agricultural Organiser…

TRAINING OF DISCHARGED OFFICERS

The Committee have been asked to carry out a scheme for the training in agriculture of discharged officers; and a special Sub-committee has been appointed, consisting of representatives of this Committee, the Agricultural Executive Committee and the War Pensions Committee (in consultation with the Local Director of the Ministry of Labour). Under the scheme selected officers will receive an allowance of £125 per annum for 2 years, and additional allowances will be made to married officers, with children, up to £90. The administration of the scheme, and the amount of award, have been entrusted to this committee….

TRAINING OF MILKERS

Out of 29 applications, fifteen certificates have been awarded to women who (without State assistance) had been milking since the commencement of the war, and previous to 1918. Letters of appreciation have been sent to the applicants whose work was satisfactory, but whose length of service did not entitle them to certificates….

BCC minutes (C/CL/C1/1/22)

Baskets of blackberries

After a delay, the Aldermaston children’s collections were sent off.

Aldermaston
3rd October 1918.

Baskets arrived this morning. 38lbs of blackberries sent away.

Great Coxwell
3rd October 1918

Children went out black-berrying

Hampstead Norreys
3rd Oct.

We closed on Tuesday & Wed. afternoons and this (Thurs) morning for blackberrying. 216 lbs have been weighed & sent off this week totalling 1756 lbs altogether.

Little Coxwell
Oct: 3rd

The older children are going out to pick blackberries, so registers will not be marked.

Log book of Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3); Great Coxwell CE School (C/EL81/2); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Little Coxwell CE School (C/EL80)

Taking charge for the duration of the war

Berkshire children continued to gather fruit for jam, while some teachers were still being redeployed to cover shortages.

Hurst
1st October 1918

The head master was asked by the Education Secretary to the visit the council school at Three Mile Cross near Reading and interview the Head Teacher of that school preparatory to taking charge for the duration of the war.

East Ilsley
1st October 1918

Elder children & those whose parents wished allowed the afternoon to get another day picking black-berries. Probably the last.

Little Coxwell
Oct: 1st

Registers will not be marked in the afternoon as the older children are going blackberrying.

Aldermaston
1st October 1918.

Half day for blackberrying, no baskets arrived and berries not sent off.

Datchet
1 October 1918

Blackberrying this afternoon.

Sparsholt
Oct 1st

The children had half holiday for blackberry picking.


Log books: Datchet School (SCH30/8/3); East Ilsley CE School log book (C/EL39/1, p. 487); Hurst School (D/P73/28/23); Little Coxwell CE School (C/EL80); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3); Sparsholt CE School D/P115/28/47)

Jam for the soldiers

The children were paid for their berrying activities.

Boyne Hill
Sept: 26th

Owing to the necessity of economy in the consumption of fuel and lighting it has been decided to open all schools at 1.30 pm instead of 2 pm from Oct: 1st.

Great Coxwell
26th September 1918

Instead of nature study walk, children went black-berrying this afternoon. The berries (13lbs) to be made into jam for the soldiers.

Aldermaston
26th September 1918.

Half day for blackberrying, 58lbs.

Lower Sandhurst
September 26th 1918

I paid the sum of £30 – 8s – 5d to the children for blackberry picking.


Log books: Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); Great Coxwell CE School (C/EL81/2, p. 81); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL/66/1, p. 449); and Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, p. 94)

Fruit and nuts for gas masks

Wallingford boys were collecting various kinds of fruit.

Wallingford
1918, 18 September

Visited (pm) by Mr J Brown in connection with arrangements for collection of blackberries. We are already collecting nut-shells and plum-stones, for carbon used in gasmasks.

Hurst
18th September 1918

School closed the whole day owing to the Hurst fete at Staines Hill for the providing of funds for the Hurst prisoners of war.

Aldermaston
18th September 1918

Half holiday, 68lbs of blackberries.

Buscot
Sept. 18th

Older children gathered 88 ½ lbs blackberries – sent to Faringdon.

Log books: Wallingford Boys Council School (SCH22/8/3); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, p. 94); Hurst C of E Boys School (D/P73/28/23, p. 37)Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2);

Blackberrying

More blackberrying by Berkshire children.

Aldermaston
17th September 1918

Half holiday to pick blackberries, 89lbs picked and sent off by evening train.

Lower Sandhurst
September 17th 1918

Half holiday this afternoon for blackberrying.

Datchet
17 September 1918

Blackberrying this afternoon.

Buscot
Sept 17th

Older children with 2 teachers went blackberrying; 93 ¼ lbs gathered, weighed and sent to Central Agent.

Log books: Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL/66/1, p. 447); Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3, p. 406); and Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, pp. 93-94); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2)

Our hearty good-will and our deep sense of all that France has and is suffering for the cause of freedom and the Allies

Bastille Day, the French national day, is actually on 14 July, commemorating the fall of the Bastille and start of the French Revolution. Berkshire schools clearly had a rather vague grasp of French history, but cannot be faulted for their admiration for our ally.

Aldworth
July 12th 1918

On Friday afternoon, being France’s National Day, the children were addressed by the Vicar, the French Flag saluted and the Marseillaise sung – the following letter was also sent to the President of the French Republic:

Aldworth Vicarage
Reading
England

July 12th 1918

Dear Mr President,

The inhabitants of Aldworth wish to take the opportunity, which France’s National Day affords, to express to you our hearty good-will and our deep sense of all that France has and is suffering for the cause of freedom and the Allies.

We also take this opportunity to assure you that we are determined that the war shall at length, at whatever cost, be waged to a victorious issue.

Believe us to be, dear Mr President, your most devoted Allies.

(signed) A. L Watson, Vicar of Aldworth, Chairman of the Parish Council

Coleshill
12th July 1918

At noon to-day the children first saluted ‘The French Flag’ and then our ‘Union Jack’ in the playground. After this they sang ‘the Marseillaise’ and our own National Anthem, this being ‘France’s Day’.

Aldermaston
12th July 1918.

Pamphlets have been sent by the local War Aims committee to be given to the children today to commemorate France’s Day July 14th. The Head Teacher will give a short explanation of the subject to the school.

Hinton Waldrist
July 12th 1918

France’s Day. Children assembled in playground at 1.30. An address given by Capt: J. Loder Symonds. The French Flag and Union Jack saluted. The Marseillaise and God Save the King sung.


Log books: Aldworth School (C/EL54/3); Coleshill CE School (D/P40/28/5); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3); Hinton Waldrist C of E Schoolk (C/EL84/2)

Notice to join the Army

Another headmaster was forced to join the army.

7th June 1918.
Alfred Randall 05/1842, who has been in charge of this school since November 29th 1910, ceases to be head teacher after today, he having received notice to join the Army on June 12th.

Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 89)

Orders to attend a medical inspection

More school teachers might be called up if physically up to standard.

Aldermaston
14th May 1918.

The head teacher is absent today having received orders from the Military Authorities to attend a medical Inspection at Reading.

Windsor
May 14th 1918

Mr Wheatley had to appear before the Army Medical Board on Tuesday and hence the wood work course was closed for the day.

Log books of Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, p. 88); St Stephen’s Boys’ School, Windsor (88/SCH/23/7, p. 163)

Awaiting orders for France

Another teacher’s brother was about to head to the Front.

29th April 1918.
Miss Aclee was absent all day, having received permission from the managers to pay a visit to her brother who is awaiting orders for France.

Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 87)