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.

(more…)

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)

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)

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)

Too cold to expect children to sit in School and work

March 25th/26th 1919

No School – Fuel supply has given out and it is too cold to expect children to sit in School and work.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, p. 102)

No coal – no fires

Fuel shortages continued to make life hard. 40 degree Fahrenheit is between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius, so it was rather cold to manage without any heating.

March 13th 1919

No coal – no fires. Temperature 40.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, p. 102)

A Lecture at the Picture Palace on the Navy

em>You may remember that Mrs Thornton had been absent since the 12th, due to the return home of her soldier husband. This was causing difficulties for her colleagues.

Sunninghill
18th February 1919

Mrs Thornton is still absent, & as a consequence 4 teachers are managing 5 rooms, & each teacher has charge of 2 classes – an instance of overwork of which we have had much undesirable experience of this school.

Speenhamland
Feb 18th

About 120 children of the Upper Standard attend a Lecture at the Picture Palace on the Navy; they will be required to write an Essay on what they see and hear and prizes will be given for the best.

Receipt for £1.1.0 received from the Organiser of the King’s Fund for the Disabled.

Ascot
February 18th 1919

Through lack of coal great difficulty is being experienced in keeping the rooms warm enough for the boys to work in any degree of comfort.


Log books of St Michael’s CE Mixed School, Sunninghill (88/SCH/32/3); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Ascot Heath Boys’ School (C/EL110/4

A red letter day

Aston Tirrold
20th December 1918

In commemoration of the signing of the armistice, a lady in the village, Mrs Moon, gave the school children a tea followed by a conjuring entertainment. Needless to say it was a red-letter day in our little community. Later on in the evening (7.30) under the auspices of the local War Savings associations, a Lantern lecture was given by Dr Smith.

Speenhamland
Dec 20

Visit of Edward Tuck of the Royal Navy.

Ascot Heath
December 20th 1918

School closed (a.m.) for the Xmas Holidays. An Entertainment was given to the Children this afternoon by the Managers to mark in some way the end of actual Hostilities.

Log books of Aston Tirrold CE School (C/EL105/1); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Ascot Heath Boys’ School (C/EL110/4)

Collecting war loans

Ascot children saved for the war effort.

May 1st 1918

A War Loan Association has been formed in connection with the School; formerly the School was a Collecting Centre for the Ascot Association.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, p. 94)

The absolute necessity for food production

Children contributed to the food supply.

Hinton Waldrist
April 26th 1918

Received letters signed Beresford thanking boys for their work in sending vegetables to the sailors.

Ascot Heath
April 26th 1918

Occasional extra time in the Garden will be taken, in view of the absolute necessity for food production.

Sandhurst
April 26th 1918

The recently formed War Savings Association has made an excellent start with about 60 members.

Hinton Waldrist C of E School log book (C/EL84/2, p. 165); Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, p. 94); Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1, p. 436)

Sick and wounded horses

Berkshire children supported efforts to help war horses.

Ascot Heath Girls School
23rd April 1918

The girls contributed to the St George’s Day effort to raise money for the RSPCA for the benefit of sick and wounded horses. A guinea was sent from this school.

Bradfield CE School
April 23rd 1918

St George’s Day – collection on behalf of sick and wounded horses realised 15/-, which was duly forwarded to the Hon. Secretary RSPCA.

Log books of Ascot Heath Girls School (C/EL109/2, p. 288); and Bradfield CE School (D/P22/28/2, p. 200)

Soup kitchens and food tickets

Food shortages meant the schools spearheaded efforts to feed Britain’s children.

Ascot Heath
February 26th 1918

A soup kitchen has been opened in connection with the Schools, and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will be open to all children.

White Waltham
February 26th 1918

Special lesson given from 1.35 to 2.5 p.m. on how to fill up an application form for a food ticket.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, p. 93); White Waltham CE School log book (D/P 142/28/3/2, p. 256)

A friend home on leave

A teacher spent time with a soldier friend (boyfriend?).

13th, 14th, 15th February 1918

Miss E. E. Radway was granted 3 days leave of absence by the managers because a friend was home on leave from France.

Ascot Heath Girls School log book (C/EL109/2, p. 284)

There must be no risk of infecting the Royal Flying Corps with measles

Infectious disease was a serious concern in the days before vaccination, and the thought of precious pilots being incapitated or killed was a serious consideration.

January 17th 1918

Three boys – Harry Austin and the two Harts whose fathers are in the R.F.C. stationed in Ascot have been forbidden to attend School by the O.C. the Corps. The reason given is that as measles are prevalent in the neighbourhood – not in Ascot – there must be no risk of infecting the Corps.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, pp. 91-92)

Working at the RAF

A teenager’s first job was working at the Royal Aircraft Factory in Hampshire.

December 7th 1917

Joseph Scott has left – being 14 – and obtained work in R.A.F. at Fanbaro.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4, p. 90)