One of the chief peace victories is to be gained by thrift

War Savings Association

Victory Week was a momentous one in the Association as the sum of £21 12s 4d subscribed brought the total subscriptions since November, 1916, to £1,009 19s 5d. This almost doubles the total quoted last December and is a sign that some at least realise that one of the chief peace victories is to be gained by thrift. Miss Johnston has kindly undertaken to carry on the work of secretary as the Association merges into the peace scheme for national savings.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

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The final downfall of German militarism: the most epoch-making moment of the year nineteen hundred and nineteen

A woman who grew up in Windsor was present at the celebrations after the signing of the treaty which brought a formal end to the war.

The Peace of Versailles

Probably the most epoch-making moment of the year nineteen hundred and nineteen was that marked by Hermann Muller signing the Treaty of Peace in the name of the German Republic. We did not see that signature affixed. We reached the palace of Versailles as the first gun fired its signal to the waiting crowds. In fact, we were late, for motor cars had been sorely taxed, and we had come with a relay. But the rush in this car from the Arc-de-Triomphe in Paris to Versailles was full of vivid impressions.

Our route lay through the woods of Boulogne-sur-Seine and St Cloud, then in the full flush of their summer glory and lit by a warm sun. The road all the way was kept by French soldiers posted every hundred yards, and at every bend, and as our car dashed furiously along the clear road, people looked at us so curiously, that we felt we must be taken for late arrivals, who hoped at least to defer and perhaps to annul the Treaty.

At last we swung into the long straight avenue leading up to the Palace gates. On either side, dense lines of cavalry – chestnut mounts, azure blue uniforms and helmets overtopped with gleaming lances and red and white pennons, al in perfect alignment. As our late car approached, the whole formation, till then “at ease”, sprang to attention, and we felt we were very fraudulent, and quite undeserving of such salutes. We got out quickly, and as we reached the terrace beyond the Palace, the first gun told us that peace had been signed. The followed a great scene in a great setting: the long park front of the Bourbon’s home, the wide formal gardens of the terrace, the great fountains which play so seldom, and all of these were bathed in sunshine. The Republican Guard were much in evidence, the infantry in dark blue, with befeathered kepis, while the sun was reflected from the dazzling rows of the cuirassiers.

Whilst the German delegates were departing there was silence, but when the “Big Four” appeared, the assembled company on the terrace could restrain itself no longer, and their reception was immense, while the leading representatives of France and England, on making their way to the far edge of the terrace, were well-night carried off their feet by the crowd. The view which these leaders of the Congress had when they eventually reached their goal was unique – in the foreground, the steep slope of the formal gardens, then the high boundary rail, behind it and with the superb avenue and lake for background, the Parisian in his thousands, and with his wife and family all densely packed and cheering.

This was the picture which we left by a side entrance, to seek contrast in the solitude of the great park of Versailles, and there, buried in silent glades, or roaming amidst the artificial rusticity of the “hamlet” it was easy to see again as in a Watteau picture, the senseless but harmless frolics of the Court of Louis XV. Here we were free to muse upon the epochs of history which have had their opening and closing scenes in these surroundings. The revolutionary oath taken in the Tennis Court beyond the palace spelt doom to the regime of artificial shepherds and shepherdesses and all that they implied; from this a span of eighty-two years saw, in the Palais de Glace, the triumph of German militarism, and this day June 28th, 1919, after a further lapse of forty-eight years, had seen its downfall.

An Old Girl.


Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1920 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

“Everyone seems to be doing war work but myself”

Old Girls and teachers of St Stephen’s High School in Clewer had done war work of various kinds.

News of Old Girls

E. Truman is abroad, Army nursing.

St Stephen’s High School Building Fund

For some time the need of new premises for the High School has been urgent, and now that the war is over it is proposed to carry out the plans…

It is felt that the Old Girls and former members of staff would like to contribute a substantial sum towards the Building Fund in commemoration of the Declaration of Peace, and we, the undersigned, urge upon all the necessity of making a special effort to support it as liberally as possible.

Extract from letter from Mrs Salmon

Miss Gedge has stopped writing. Do you know anything of her? She was doing war work when last I heard. Everyone seems to be doing that but myself. I had the chance of doing a little last year in Zemba, and was glad of it. I was elected Chairwoman of “Our Day” Fund, and in six months we collected over £3,700, which we were quite proud of, as, apart from the troops, there are under 600 whites in Nyasaland! We got up dances, concerts, a play, etc, and ended with a Fancy fair, at which latter we made £1,200. It was a great success. We held it in the Zemba Gardens, and the stalls were so pretty-arranged among the trees, and tea tables dotted about in the shade. The Governor performed the opening ceremony, and then liberally patronised each stall. Patricia, as a Red Cross Nurse, collected £12 as a 1/- dip.

We left a few days later as Hugh has retired from the service, and we are now waiting for an opportunity to get over to Australia.

Mollie Salmon.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

Wireless messages concerning the armistice coming from an agitated operator at the Eiffel Tower, before many in authority knew what was being said

St Augustine’s was the only children’s home for boys run by the Community of St John Baptist. Many of its inmates went on to serve in the Armed Forces, and they shared their experiences with the Sisters.

June, 1919
Dear Friends of St Augustine’s Home

The health of the boys has been excellent this winter, for which we are most thankful. We had a bad epidemic of influenza a year ago, and when the disease made its re-appearance in Windsor in the beginning of winter, we trembled, but schools were closed, and we resorted to gargling and house-spraying, and had not more than half a dozen cases at most.

Our always kind doctor and dentist have returned home from war work, and again look after our boys…

We ended our financial year with bills amounting to more than £200 unpaid. We are printing not merely our last balance sheet, but a pre-war one, by way of an interesting and instructive comparison. One thing that may strike you is that not merely are our expenses heavier, but our subscriptions are considerably less. There have been so many claims on everyone, but we hope that as these lessen, the claims of a Home like ours, which has sent many sons to the front and is helping to train others to take the place of those who have fallen, may appeal not merely to former subscribers but to those who will become new friends…

Our household linen cupboard, and our clothes cupboard, were almost empty this spring… Then … came a large package of garments, cutlery and other things from a war hospital… during the last two weeks of March.

A number of kind friends at Eton and other places made a special Lent effort and sent us a nice contribution of stockings… If other friends would follow this example (perhaps some of those who have knitted so assiduously for soldiers) and ask their friends to do the same, the stocking basket would wear a more cheerful aspect…

August will soon be here, and we hope to see some of our old boys down for the holidays, though Peace celebrations may very naturally take them elsewhere. They have come and gone from time to time as leave allowed, and many thrilling things some of them have to tell – though told always in the simplest, most matter-of-fact way. Some have been in ships torpedoed, one received and transmitted wireless messages concerning the armistice coming from an agitated operator at the Eiffel Tower, before many in authority knew what was being said. And some of our boys will of course never return, but have won the “great promotion” of which the Home is so proud.

Yours very gratefully
The Sister-in-Charge

Letter to Friends of St Augustine’s Home, Clewer (D/EX1675/23/4/6)

A memorial to which it is thought that all, whatever their religious opinions, would be glad to subscribe

Clewer planned on two war memorials – one in the church, and one for everyone.

Clewer War Memorials

As our readers are aware there are to be two Memorials to commemorate those of our fellow parishioners who gave their lives for their King and Country in the Great War which by the Blessing of God has been crowned with victory after more than four years of stupendous effort and heroic endurance on the part of the Allies. To commemorate this glorious consummation and the debt we owe to those in this Parish who made the supreme sacrifice in order to achieve it and as a thank offering to Almighty God it was decided more than a year ago in a Vestry Meeting, to restore the Side Chapel in the Parish Church, commonly known as the Brocas Chantry, by placing an altar there and using it for the purpose of the Daily Eucharist. This has long since been accomplished, but as yet it has not been decided what form the Special Memorial shall take. The best way of recording the names of the fallen, which is an essential part of the scheme is not so easy a matter to decide as some may think, especially in an old church like ours. Brass tablets for the inscription of the names, of which we have too many specimens already, are out of keeping with the architecture of the church, and we are strongly urged by the Diocesan authorities to avoid them as a distinct disfigurement to an ancient church. They advise as an alternative that the names be inscribed on a parchment scroll, or in a book which could be kept in the church as a permanent record of our local heroes. For this purpose a beautifully bound book has been presented by the Hon. A. P. Henderson, as previously announced. As soon as the lists are completed and arranged in alphabetical order they will be transcribed, and the book will record in one portion the names of the fallen and in the other the names of the survivors. The architect whom we are employing, Mr. Howard of Oxford, has suggested some further improvements for the renovation of the Chapel which may in time be carried out when sufficient funds have been obtained. At present we have about £70 in hand. So far with regard to the Religious Memorial.

In addition to this a secular and more public memorial has been suggested, which is to take the form of a public Recreation Ground, and to which it is thought that all, whatever their religious opinions, would be glad to subscribe. Towards this purpose some £450 has already been contributed and negotiations are being carried on for the purchase of a suitable piece of ground. Certainly a recreation ground would be a valuable asset to the parish, and would tend to the physical and moral well-being of our young people, who often get into mischief from not having sufficient scope for the legitimate exercise of their physical energies. We commend both the memorials and especially the former to the favourable considerations of our readers.

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

The pleasant mudscape

Perhaps a brother’s experiences informed this schoolgirl’s creative writing.

Dialogue Between Two German Owls, or An Elegy written in Flanders

The shrapnel shrieks the knell of parting day;
In Flanders, mud above his gouty knee,
A sapper backwards ploughs his watery way,
To mend the telephone, and have some tea.

Now sinks the pleasant mudscape from the sight,
For, from the air, a sleety drizzle drenches,
Save where a lorrie [sic], with its floundering might,
Takes touzzly [sic] Tommies back towards the trenches.

Save that, on yonder splintered stump,
A German owl doth of her lord enquire,
“What bird is that, who buzzing round our dump,
Usurps our birth-right in this black quagmire?”

“Oft did our faint hearts to those bomb-shells yield,
In burrows hiding, while the crockery broke,
For England drives her aeroplanes afield,
Often to perish, ‘neath our strafing stroke.

Let them not mock what German soil,
And lager beer, and morning hates upbore,
Soon we shall hear, with a disdainful smile
Some long and glorious lies about that corps.

The boast of daring and the pomp of power
All that the British War Office e’er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour,
A reckless start-off to a German grave.”

Thus spake the German, heedless of the waste
For female ears this eloquence to raise,
And, as with long-drawn screams the shrapnel raced
Around her, she could see no cause for praise.

“Can leaking urn, or animated bust
Back to its mansion drive that floating flock?
Make those propellers churn the silent dust,
Or flatten out upon a cold dull rock?”

The applause of listening generals to command,
And angry threats of martial courts to raise,
To scatter pamphlets o’er a smiling land,
Or works like these their hapless nation pays.”

Haply some hairy headed swine may say,
“Oft have we heard him at the peep of dawn
Blowing with hasty bombs our food away
To beat the Hun upon the upland lawn.”

Then sank her head upon the lap of earth,
An owl, to fortune and to fame unknown;
A sniper frowned not on her humble birth,
And, very hungry, marked her for his own.

H. MOSS, Va.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

A Memorial for Peace

Old Girls of a private school in Clewer wanted to remember the war.

St Stephen’s High School Guild

The Annual Meeting of SSFHG took place at the High School on Tuesday, 22nd April, 1919.

It was the largest gathering of the Guild for some years, and only showed how very many of the members had been prevented by war work from attending previous meetings.

V Truman … announced the suggestion discussed at the General Meeting, “That the Guild should find some means of helping the funds for the new School building.” She explained the ideas which had been put forward by members, but added that it had been suggested that the Old Girls’ effort might take the form of a Memorial for Peace. She thought that a written appeal might be sent to all who had been in any way connected with the High School, and the Old Girls should endeavour to raise the sum of £100. This was agreed to, and Mrs Ogilvie kindly undertook to draw up an Appeal, and to send it to all whose addresses were known.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

The need for collecting eggs for the Wounded Soldiers in the hospitals in England and France has come to an end

Clewer had contributed thousands of eggs to help feed wounded soldiers.

Clewer

The following remarkable Egg Report has been sent for insertion by Miss Durant:-

Now that the need for collecting eggs for the Wounded Soldiers in the hospitals in England and France has come to an end, I should like to express my thanks to all those in Clewer who have so kindly assisted in the good work by giving eggs and money.

Since I commenced collecting in March, 1915, Clewer has contributed 7,890 eggs and £56 11s. 0d. in cash, and I especially wish to thank the children of Clewer Green Schools, who have collected 462 eggs and £49 1s. 9d. towards the result.

M. DOROTHY DURANT,

Collector for Clewer.

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

Shelter for the weary

Clewer considered a shelter as its war memorial.

It is proposed to erect a Public Memorial to those who have fallen in the War. The Form suggested is that of a picturesque Shelter at the corner of the Rectory Allotments immediately facing the ‘Duke of Edinburgh,’ where there has been from time immemorial a wooden seat for the weary to rest on. Two designs have been procured, one by Major Henderson, and the other by Mr. Selkirk. It is proposed shortly to call a Public Meeting to consider the matter. Further notice will be given when the date of the meeting has been settled. In the meanwhile any suggestions will be welcomed by the Rector who will communicate them to those who have the matter in hand.

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

A doctor returns from France

A doctor returned home after serving at the front.

6 February 1919
Sister Bertha Margaret went away from Clewer being no longer needed as doctor, Dr Attlee having returned from France.

Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

The baneful influence of Bolshevism

Post-war Europe was threatened by the spread of revolution.

The Peace Conference now sitting and deliberating in Paris is the supreme object of our interest and our Prayers. The present disturbed state of Europe makes it imperative that the Conference should agree as soon as possible in its resolutions and in the action to be taken by the Allied Countries for the suppression of Bolshevism, and the liberation of Russia and Poland from its baneful influence. A multitude of difficult problems has to be solved by the Conference. We must pray that its Unity may not be impaired by any purely selfish ambitions on the part of any of various nations taking part in it, but that Peace based upon Justice to all, may continue to be its high ideal. Let us pray that man’s wisdom may be over ruled by that wisdom from on high which is “first pure, and then peaceable.”

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

Treatment for gas poisoning contracted in the trenches

One of the many institutions run by the Community of St John Baptist was a Convalescent Home in Folkestone, Kent – the ideal place for one of the clergymen who assisted the Sisters to go to rcover from his war experiences.

27 January 1919
The Sub-Warden went to St Andrew’s Home in order to have treatment for gas poisoning contracted in the trenches.

Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

A Peace which we have every reason to believe will shape the destiny of the world for many generations to come

Clewer Church looked forward with optimism.

Our first duty and privilege is to wish all our Readers a Happy New Year – and we do so with more confidence in the future than we have felt for some years past. This year will be known as ‘The Peace Year’, for in it is to be laid the foundation of a Peace which we have every reason to believe will, with the Blessing of God, shape the destiny of the world for many generations to come. How earnestly we ought to pray for the guidance of those who are now taking part in the Peace conference at Paris, that by their endeavours, ‘Peace and Happiness, Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety,’ may be established amongst the Nations of the World for all generations – The great Victory which Almighty God vouchsafed to us in 1918, has opened out to us such glorious prospects of better things to come, if only we prove ourselves worthy of them, that we realize that the present year is the most critical period in the history of mankind.

On the first Sunday in the New Year Special Prayer and Thanksgiving will be offered in all Churches that we may dedicate ourselves to afresh to Him who alone is “the Giver of Victory and the Author of Peace.”

Our alms on Sunday, Jan. 5th, will be for the Red Cross Society as in the years during the War.

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

Worthy of the wonderful lives that had been laid down

Schoolgirls at Clewer were asked to think about the post-war world and their place in it.

Sale of Work for the Building Fund

The great event of the end of the Christmas term [1918] was the Sale for which we had been working so long…

The epidemic of influenza in the neighbourhood threatened us with long postponement, but having so much to see for Christmas we determined to carry on if possible…

The Hon. Mrs Alington, the wife of the Headmaster of Eton, had kindly promised to open the Sale… It was impossible to meet together just then without looking forward a little. They had to ask over and over again how they were going to prove themselves worthy of the great sacrifices that had been made and ask themselves again and again were they really worthy of the wonderful lives that had been laid down. In promoting the cause of education and building up for the future they were carrying on the great work that had been done during the past four years. She would just like to remind them of two poems, one of which had been frequently quoted during the last few years, but which brought strongly before them what they thought:

“What have I done for thee, England my England,
What is there I would not do, England my own.”

They had got to ask themselves how they were going to be worthy of this country which had been saved for them. The second quotation the speaker read was as hereunder:

“I will not cease from mental strife,
Nor see the sword sleep in my hand
Till I have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.”

The sword had been held up for them to do their utmost to build Jerusalem in our green and pleasant land…

The grand total … came to over £140. The expenses were small, and over £130 was paid into the War Savings Association in which the School “Improvement Fund” now holds more than 420 certificates.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

Election booths put up

The groundbreaking General Election of 1918 would be the first in which women, and all men over 21, could vote.

Reading
Dec. 12

School closed on Friday, wanted as a “Polling Station” for the Parliamentary Election. Booths put up on Friday, election on Saturday 14th Dec.

Newbury
12/12/18

School will be closed tomorrow in order that the rooms may be made ready for use as a polling station for the parliamentary election.

Clewer
Dec. 12th

School closed to allow the room to be prepared for the General Election tomorrow.

Log books of St John’s School, Reading (D/P172/28A/23); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); St Katherine’s School, Clewer (C/EL113/2)