The great silence: the sacrifice of those who fell must not be in vain

The first Remembrance Day was observed in churches across the county.

Wargrave

Armistice Day

The first anniversary was well observed in the parish. There was a celebration of Holy Communion at 8 a.m. A muffled peal was rung from 10.30 to 10.45 a.m. A service in church was held at 10.45 and ended with the two minutes of silence when 11 o’clock was struck on the tenor bell. A full peal of bells, with firing, was rung in the evening. The services were well attended and ringing was exceptionally good.

Crazies Hill Notes

On November 11th an Intercessory Service was held in memory of those who laid down their lives during the War, and, at the hour of eleven, a silent tribute was paid to the fallen. Those moments of meditation were for many of us, accompanied by grief; but there were also hope and pride and high resolve in the thoughts of all who took part in that Service. Perhaps the uppermost thought was that the sacrifice of those who fell must not be in vain.

Burghfield

Armistice Day

Rural circumstances do not lend themselves to such striking manifestations as were to be seen in towns and cities during the “great silence”. But there can have been few in the parish who did not act upon the King’s suggestion and desire. Many of us would like this mute solemn commemoration to be repeated annually.


Ascot

On the Anniversary of the Armistice there was a special Celebration of the Holy Communion at 10.40 at which all our parishioners, who gave their lives in the War, were remembered by name.
The service was so timed that, at the moment of silence throughout the Empire, the large congregation was in the act of pleading the Sacrifice of Christ for the Living and the Dead.

In the evening there was a special Service of Thanksgiving , when we prayed for God’s Blessing upon the Ex-Service Men’s Club, the first portion of the Ascot War Memorial, which was declared open by Lady Roberts, and handed over to the Men’s Committee immediately afterwards. During the first week over 150 men joined the club.

Cranbourne

On Armistice Day a large number of our Parishioners came to Church at a few minutes before eleven o’clock and spent the time in silent prayer. After the bell had struck eleven strokes and the two minutes had elapsed, a Celebration of the Holy Communion took place. Instead of a sermon the Vicar read Mr. Arkwright’s no well-known hymn “O Valiant hearts” and before the Church Militant Prayer the names of all our fallen were read at the altar and specially commended to God’s keeping.


Newbury

On Armistice Day, November 11th, we kept the King’s command by holding a Special Service at 10.55, including the two minutes silence at 11 o’clock. There was a large congregation. The sights in the streets of our great cities, when all traffic stopped and men stood with bared heads, must have been most striking. Truly does the whole Empire honour the men who gave their lives in God’s Cause of Righteousness.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1919 (D/P145/28A/31); Ascot and Cranbourne in Winkfield District Magazine, December 1919 (D/P 151/ 28A/11/12); Burghfield parish magazine, December 1919 (D/EX725/4); Newbury parish magazine, December1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

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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A memorial with a two fold form

Ascot decided to pay tribute to both the dead and survivors.

At a General Meeting held in the New Stand on July 23rd, it was decided that the Memorial should take a two fold form. A Monument to be erected to the memory of the men who laid down their lives in the defence of their Country, and a Club for the use of those who have been spared to return to their homes.

By the kindness of the Trustees of the Race-Course, and the Office of Woods and Forests, a suitable site is available both for the Monument and the Club on the ground adjoining the Windsor-Ascot-Bracknell roads.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, September 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11)

“We have seen the women’s movement culminate in the claim for priesthood”

It would be a long time before the Church of England agreed to admit women to the priesthood, but here we see the changes of WWI first brought the movement to life.

My dear friends.

One of the immediate Ecclesiastical outcomes of the war is a demand on the part of the chaplains for reunion on practically any terms. That reunion is the crying need of Christendom is apparent to most people, but it must be only on a sure and lasting basis. It is understood that proposals will be laid before the Bishops in Convocation asking them to consent (1) to the interchange of pulpits with non-conformist preachers (2) to admit women to a larger share of teaching work within consecrated buildings. The first of these proposals would be to disguise the evil of division without removing it…

On the question of women preachers the Church Universal must speak before any part of the Church dare introduce new practices. We have seen the women’s movement culminate in the claim for priesthood. This shocks most people and should warn our Bishops how carefully they should walk. I earnestly hope that our communicants will not be apathetic about writing their protest.

South Ascot Parochial magazine, July 1919 (D/P186/28A/19)

A chastened gratitude because of the ever-present thought of the price paid for Peace

Ascot and Warfield were thankful for the peace treaty.

Ascot
The services on July 6th, the day of Thanksgiving for the signing of the Peace Treaty, were well-attended. Ours was a chastened gratitude because of the ever-present thought of the price paid for Peace; but it was sincere.

Warfield
Sunday, July 6th, the Day appointed for Thanksgiving to Almighty God on the occasion of the Signing of the Treaty of Peace, was well observed in the Parish.

Winkfield District Magazine, August 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/8)

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)

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)

“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)

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)

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)

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)

A cross on the highest point

Suggestions were made for an Ascot war memorial.

WAR MEMORIAL

My dear rector, various suggestions have been made with regard to a War Memorial for Ascot, and it appears desirable that a Public Meering should be arranged for some evening in May when the whole question could be discussed, and a Committee formed.

I know you have been waiting for older residents to take the lead, feeling that it is a local, and not an Ecclesiastical matter; and I now write not as Churchwarden, but as the originator of the Ascot Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Committee.

Amongst the suggestions are:-

1. A Village Cross, with the names of those who have fallen inscribed on the base, to be erected on some suitable site such as (a) the triangular piece of waste at the four cross roads opposite the Royal Hotel; (b) on the highest point of the heath.

2. A Mortuary Chapel in the Ascot Burial Ground in the Priory Road, such a Chapel being urgently required.

3. A tablet in the Church bearing the names of all who have fallen in the war. This might be put up, either by itself, or in connection with the Mortuary Chapel, or as may be desired.

It is hoped that there may be a large gathering at the Meeting, and that especially those who have lost relations in the war, and Sailors and Soldiers who have served will attend, as the question should be widely discussed, so that all may take a share in the project as finally arranged.

Yours Sincerely

W. H. Tottie.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, May 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/5)

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)

Death has now been officially presumed

We regret to learn that the parents of Arthur Longhurst, reported missing many months ago, have been informed that his death has now been officially presumed.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, March 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/4)

A brass recording the Names, Rank and Regiment of men in the Parish who had fallen in the war

The Winkfield war memorial might take two parts.

PARISH WAR MEMORIAL

A second public Meeting was held in the Parish Room, on April 7th, at 7 p.m., to hear the report of the Committee, and there was a good attendance.

It was unanimously agreed that a brass be put up in the Church recording the Names, Rank and Regiment of men in the Parish who had fallen in the war, and a design submitted by Messrs. Maile & Son, at an estimated cost of £60, was approved.

Plans and estimates for the improvement of the Parish Room were discussed but it was proposed and carried that these should be abandoned.

Discussion then took place on the following suggestions:-

1. The erection of a Village Memorial Cross.
2. Providing and equipping a Recreation Ground.
3. Endowing or naming a bed at the Ascot Nursing Home.

No decision was come to, but Messrs. Berry, Bailey, W. Church and D Thurmer, were elected additional members of the Committee, and it was decided that the Committee should go into the points raised and submit their conclusions to another Public Meeting, to be called later. The proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to the Vicar for presiding.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, May 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/5)