Children’s grand parade to celebrate peace

Many of the schools in Berkshire celebrated the peace today.

Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School
24th July 1919

School closes today (Thursday) for summer holidays-six weeks – one week extra being given at King George’s command – to celebrate the signing of Peace.

Grey Friars Infants’ School, Reading
July 24th 1919

School closed today on account of Peace Celebration Treat for the Infants. Treat took place 2.30 to 5pm on Vicarage Lawn.

Central Continuation School, Reading (89/SCH/8/9)
24th July 1919

Schools closed this afternoon on the occasion of the children’s peace procession.

Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School
24th July 1919

School was closed today for the Children’s Treat in commemoration of the Peace.

George Palmer Boys’ School, Reading
24th July 1919

Closed (pm) to permit of (Peace) Children’s Parade.

Coley Street Primary School, Reading

The competitors in the ‘fancy costume parade’ of the Peace Day celebrations (Sat 19th) are forming a grand parade through a portion of the town this afternoon.

Boyne Hill
July 24th

In accordance with a desire expressed by His Majesty the King, the Education Committee have decided to extend the summer holidays by one week.


Children left at 3:15 today for the purpose of finishing their Peace Day sports.

Log books of Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School C/EL4/2); Grey Friars Infants’ School, Reading (R/ES4/2); Central Continuation School, Reading (89/SCH/8/9); Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School log book (89/SCH/7/6); George Palmer Boys’ School, Reading (89/SCH/8/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1))

Listless and tired after the Peace Celebrations

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

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.


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)

Takings for Victory Loan Week

Children were still collecting money for war related purposes.


A half-holiday given this afternoon by chairman of the managers in recognition of the children’s effort at a special war savings collection. (£23.50)

Boyne Hill
July 8th

Total takings for Victory Loan Week amount to £21.17.7.

Log books of Priestwood Council Infant School (C/EL70); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

Soldiers throwing stones

Some people got a bit over-excited by the official end of the war.

Lower Sandhurst
July 4th 1919

Six or seven windows were broken by persons throwing stones on either Saturday or Sunday night. I am informed that soldiers belonging to the camp are the delinquents. Have written to the C.O. of the guard, and to the police.

Lower Basildon
4th July 1919

School closed on Friday afternoon, for a half holiday, on the occasion of the Signing of the Peace Treaty.

Boyne Hill
July 4th

On account of the Proclamation of Peace this morning, this afternoon is to be observed as a general holiday.

Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1); Lower Basildon CE School log book (C/EL7/2); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

War savings to date

Dec: 17th

Total War Savings to date amount to £659.4.6.

Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

Many still far from well

Christchurch School had been in the throes of an influenza outbreak for over a month already. The Earley teacher mentioned here did not return to work until 6 December.


Attendance this week has fallen from 27 out of 28 present on Monday to 17 present this morning – all absentees due to influenza colds. Secretary notified this morning – school closed.

Boyne Hill
Nov: 22nd

The percentage of attendance this week has been 76.5. Many of the children are still far from well, & in consequence the standard of work is very poor.

Christchurch, Reading
22nd November 1918

By order of the Medical Authority, school will be closed until November 25th.

22nd Nov 1918

Mrs Radbourne, whose husband is home on leave from France, has been absent all the week.

Log books of Leckhampstead School (C/EL 51/2); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School (89/SCH/7/6); St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3)

A school treat to commemorate the end of the war

Wargrave children had an extra day off after a messy party, while it was more sober news in Boyne Hill.

November 19th 1918

The school was closed yesterday (18th) to enable the cleaner to clear the rooms after a school treat, which was held on Saturday to commemorate the end of the war.

Boyne Hill
Nov: 19th

War Loan takings today are £4.1.9.

Another death has been reported this afternoon.


The school closes this afternoon until Monday Nov 25th by order of the education committee as the epidemic is still very bad.

Log books of Wargrave School (88/SCH/36/1); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1)

‘Peace’ after four weary years

12th November 1918

At 4pm the Mayor sent round requesting that all schools in the borough be closed for the rest of the week. Celebrations were held in the town and village, and the children were able to attend. ‘Peace’ after four weary years. ‘God save the King’.

Boyne Hill
Nov: 12th

It has been decided to close the schools at 3.45 pm this afternoon for the remainder of the week. The percentage of attendance is 73.3. War Loan £8.10.6.

Log books of Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

One death has been reported

Some schools were unable to celebrate the Armistice as the influenza epidemic was too taxing. It was fatal in many cases.

Boyne Hill
Nov: 11th

School reopened this morning. The attendance is very poor. One death has been reported.

Hampstead Norreys
11th Nov.

The school was closed for the whole of last week as the influenza was no better. This morning the children were assembled, but it was found that about 30 boys were absent and about 30 to 40 of them had colds, and as there were more cases of influenza in the parish than when we closed before, the Managers decided to close the school for another week.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School
11th November 1918

School not opened. Opening postponed until the 18th inst.

Purley CE School
11th November 1918

There are only 18 children in attendance this morning. Miss Ruffell is also away, owing to an attack of influenza.

Charney Bassett

Only 23 present, have wired the Council.

School closed by order of the Medical officer until Nov. 18.

Log books of Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); Bouverie Pusey School, Charney Bassett (C/EL41/2); etc

Numbers so low, and sickness so rife

Influenza was taking its toll, and many schools would miss out on celebrating the armistice as a result.

4th November 1918

On Monday 4th November only 22 boys presented themselves at school. I informed the Correspondent (Rev G.S Crawford) and he communicated with the B.E.C. The Secretary of the B.E.C acting on the advice of the school Medical Officer advised the closing of the school until Nov 18th.

4th November 1918

School re-assembled as usual this morning but as the numbers were so low, and sickness so rife Dr Patterson ordered the school to close for a week longer.

4. XI.18

Henry Roberts and Francis Webb had their marks cancelled during the morning as they appeared to be suffering from influenza.

Nov 4th

I, Alice Andrews, take up my duties here as Head Mistress.
Owing to Influenza only 30 children assembled – sent for the Rector who advised me to wire to Reading – dismissed children to await instructions.

Boyne Hill
Nov: 4th

School reopened at 9 am with 172 present out of 201. The MOH has been notified.
The building has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Children have again been dismissed until Nov: 11th.

Log books of Sonning Boys school (89/SCH/1/2); Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4); Upton CE School (C/EL48/2); Milton CE School (D/P85/25/25); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3);

Very successful work

Reading was hit by flu, with over 70 children from one school affected.

18th October 1918

There is an epidemic of Influenza – number on books 209. Number present this morning 135.

18th October 1918

This week three afternoons have been granted for picking berries as the weather became fine and dry. The girls have been very successful at the work.

Hampstead Norreys
18th Oct 1918

The children have picked 168 lbs of blackberries during this week.

Boyne Hill
Oct: 18th

Notice has been received that this school is to be closed [for influenza] from noon today until Nov: 4th.

Log books of Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School log book (89/SCH/7/6); Braywick CE School log book (C/EL65/4); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

An epidemic of influenza

The dreadful flu epidemic hit Berkshire.

1918, 14th-18th October

There is an epidemic of influenza, poor attendance the whole of the week. Sent out notices of absence replies all reported illness. Only 99 girls present on Wednesday morning…

School closed on the 16th owing to the epidemic and reopened November 11th.

Hampstead Norreys
16th Oct.

School closed this morning for blackberrying. Children return to school for the afternoon.

16th October.

School closed for blackberrying – 60 lbs gathered.

Boyne Hill
Oct: 16th

Dr Paterson has again been notified of the increasing number of influenza cases.

The PT [pupil teacher] was too ill to remain in school this afternoon.

Log books of Abingdon Girls’ CE School (C/EL2/2, p. 167); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Beedon CE School (C/EL55/1); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

Influenza has claimed several victims

Riseley Common
Oct 14th

Influenza has claimed several victims among the scholars. Nineteen children are absent…

Pm It was evident this morning that children were suffering from incipient stages of illness & four more are absent.

Boyne Hill
Oct: 14th

Several fresh cases of influenza, bringing the total to 42.

Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

Several cases of influenza

Influenza continued to ravage the country.

Oct: 10th

Several cases of influenza have been reported this week. Have notifed MOH.

Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

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.

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)