The first War-Time Vegetable Show is a big success

The shortages resulting from restricted imports and the lack of agricultural labour led to efforts to encourage civilians to grow their own vegetables.

June 1917
The War-time Vegetable Show

Schedules, giving all particulars of the War-time Vegetable Show, which will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd, are now ready and can be obtained from members of the Committee, or from MR. H. Coleby, Hon. Secretary, at the Schools. It is hoped that intending exhibitors will read the rules carefully, noting especially numbers 2 and 4, respecting the dates of entries. Certificates of Entries will be found at the end of the Schedules.

November 1917
The Gardeners’ Association

The first War-Time Vegetable Show was held on Wednesday afternoon, October 3rd, and proved a big success. The Committee worked hard and splendid examples of what can be done in Vegetable Growing when men put their backs into it, were exhibited; more potatoes might have been shown with advantage, and the competition would have been much keener. The Judges were loud in their praises of the work that had been accompanied by the Gardeners’ Association in conjunction with the Wargrave Food Production Committee and hoped to find a much more ambitious show next year. The local newspapers contain a complete prize list so it is unnecessary to give it again in the Magazine.

Wargrave parish magazine, June and November 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

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A splendid address on Duty and Patriotism that even the tiniest could understand

Empire Day was the focus for patriotic expressions in schools across the county.

Piggott Schools, Wargrave
Empire Day

The children of the Piggott Schools celebrated Empire Day (May 24th) in right loyal fashion. They assembled at the School, and with flags flying, marched down to Church where a short service was held. The Vicar gave an appropriate address. Re-assembling on the Church Green they proceeded to the Schools and took their places round the flag pole from which the Union Jack was flying. A good number of parents and friends of the children with many of the soldiers from the hospital were waiting their return. As the boys passed the soldiers they gave them a salute in recognition of what they had done for their country.

The National Anthem was sung, and the flag saluted, and Miss. E. Sinclair gave a splendid address on Duty and Patriotism in such a way that even the tiniest could understand it. Capt. Bird proposed a vote of thanks to Miss Sinclair and hearty cheers were given in which the soldiers joined. Three Patriotic and Empire Songs were sung by the children, the Vicar called for cheers for the Teachers, and Mr. Coleby announced that Mrs. Cain had most kindly provided buns and sweets for all as they left the grounds. Hearty cheers were given her for her thoughtfulness. Cheers for the King concluded the proceedings.

Alwyn Road School, Cookham
May 24th 1917

Empire Day was celebrated today. The Headmaster addressed the children assembled in the Hall, and the National Anthem was sung. The children then went to their classrooms and ordinary lessons proceeded till 11 o’clock. Each class teacher then gave a lesson on “Empire” and kindred subjects till 11.30. This was followed by a Writing Lesson when some of the important facts were taken down.

The school assembled in the Hall again at 11.55 and after a few more remarks by the Headmaster the national Anthem was again sung and the children dismissed.

Opportunity was taken of this morning’s addresses to instil into the children’s minds the necessity of economising in the use of all food stuffs, and more especially of bread and flour.

A holiday was granted in the afternoon. (more…)

Splendid prizes for war-time vegetables

Amateur gardeners in Wargrave were being encouraged to grow vegetables.

The Gardener’s Association

On April 11th the concluding meeting of the spring session was held…

Autumn Show of War-time Vegetables

The Wargrave Food Production Committee in conjunction with the Gardeners’ Association have arranged for a Show of War-time Vegetables in October next. Splendid prizes for the best Cropped Allotments and Gardens, Potatoes, Parsnips, Carrots, Onions, Beet &c., &c. are offered, and it is hoped there will be keen competition in the various divisions. Mr. Coleby is acting as Secretary, from whom the Schedules may be obtained giving all information.’

Wargrave parish magazine, May 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Wartime gardening

Gardeners were encouraged to take up allotments and grow vegetables to help alleviate the food shortages.

The Gardener’s Association

A second lecture on War-time Gardening was given in the Iron Building on March 28th, by Mr. C. Moore, Gardener to Mr. W. E. Cain, Wargrave Manor, on “Cropping the Allotment.” This was not so well attended as the former one, many of the Allotment Holders being busy on their plots that evening. A plan of a 20 pole allotment was shown on a blackboard, marked in the way he would advise planting, and a good and varied list of vegetables were selected for cropping it. Inter-cropping and the principles of rotation were explained and concluded an interesting lecture.

Mr. Coleby suggested the formation of an Allotment Holder’s Society for the mutual benefits of all concerned, but the idea did not seem to attract much attention.

Wargrave parish magazine, May 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

Songs of a patriotic and martial character

Wargrave children both entertained wounded soldiers and raised money for them.

The Children’s Concerts

The Concerts annually given by the Scholars of the Piggott Schools, took place on Friday, May 5th. There were large audiences, both in the afternoon and evening. At the afternoon performance, the Soldiers from the Hospital who were well enough to attend, were present. The spectacle of the united choruses, numbering about 75 children, who were massed on the platform when the curtain was raised, was a very pleasing one. The opening chorus “Welcome good people” was well received, and for two hours the young performers ably sustained their various parts: One item following another in quick succession. The recitations were very amusing and given with clear enunciation, the songs were lively and of a patriotic and martial character, while the dances were cleverly done by nine couples of the smaller children and sixteen of the elder girls, Mr. Healey very kindly officiated as accompanist.

After defraying expenses, the sum of seven guineas was sent to the Hospital for Wounded Soldiers, and a letter of thanks to the children was received from Mrs. Victor Rhodes, the Commandant.

Votes of thanks were proposed in the afternoon by the Vicar and in the evening by Mr. H. F. Nicholl, to Mr. Coleby and the Staff for the admirable work done in coaching the children. It was a delightful entertainment and must have entailed much devoted work from all concerned.

Wargrave parish magazine, June 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

A prize for manliness

One unexpected legacy of the war was a prize for the best pupil in a Wargrave school.

R.E. Challenge Cup

This Cup has been awarded for the first time. It was presented by the Officers and Men of the 83rd and 84th Companies of the Royal Engineers, Feb 13th, 1915, when billeted in Wargrave. To be held yearly for one year only by the best boy in the Schools in regard to 1st Conduct: 2nd Knowledge: 3rd Manliness: 4th Sports: Half marks to be given by the Headmaster and half marks by the Vote of the Boys themselves.

The Cup has been awarded to Harry Willows by the almost unanimous votes of his schoolfellows, and Mr. Coleby reports that they could not have chosen a more suitable boy.

The Cup is kept in the School, but the Managers have given the boy a little medal, and Quarter-Master Sergeant Burnett has most kindly given him a miniature replica of the cup.

Wargrave parish magazine, May 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

How the Church of England Men’s Society can help those at the Front

The Church of England Men’s Society was a national church organisation whose many local branches provided a social and fellowship meeting for men. Founded in 1899, it existed up until 1985.

C.E.M.S

The 5th Annual Conference of the Oxford Diocesan Union of the Church of England Men’s Society was held at Slough on Saturday, June 19th. The Wargrave Branch elected Messrs. Chenery and Coleby as delegates and they attended each of the Sessions. The Bishop of Oxford presided and was supported by members of the Council. After a cordial welcome from the Chairman of the Slough District Council, the Bishop referred to matters that were to be discussed during the day…

In the afternoon the late Secretary (Rev. Ernest F. Smith) brought forward several ways in which the C.E.M.S can help with soldiers who are serving at the Front and this led to a good discussion…

The Slough Federation most kindly provided tea for the Delegates. A Service of Intercession took place in St Paul’s Church and was attended by a large number of members of the Conference.

Wargrave parish magazine, July 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

The greatness of an Empire depends on the moral greatness of its people

Empire Day was an opportunity for schoolchildren across the county to be instructed in patriotic matters.

Wargave: Empire Day at the Piggott Schools

Empire Day was celebrated at the Piggott Schools, on Friday, May 21st. Although rain fell heavily during the early part of the morning, it fortunately cleared off in time for the children, who numbered over 200, with flags flying, to start for Church where a short service was conducted by the Vicar. He delivered an inspiring address founded on the words “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,” Eccles. ix, 10, pointing out that God’s help is wanted if our daily life is to be successful and prosperous. On returning to the school play-ground the flag was saluted; the National Anthem and several patriotic songs were sung. In the unavoidable absence of Mr. H. C. Bond who had promised to speak to the children, the Vicar kindly addressed them on “Patriotism and the Empire,” Mr. Coleby proposed a vote of thanks to the Vicar and explained why this year’s celebrations was so much different from that of other years. In the first place the War naturally caused a difference, and, secondly by the vote of the children themselves, the proceeds of their concerts last month were given to the Reading War Hospital Care and Comforts Committee.

The following letter had been received from the Secretary:-

“My dear Children,

I write on behalf of my Committee to thank you very much for the lovely gift which I have received from your Headmaster, and which I understand is really your Empire Day “Tea.” I am quite sure that when Empire Day comes, without the Tea, that you will be even more happy than on other Empire Days; because you will remember that by your action, some of our soldiers who have been wounded while fighting for us, are made more cheerful and comfortable. It is fine to be allowed to do one’s bit, isn’t it?

Gifts of this kind are so great an encouragement to those who are working to obtain comfort for our soldiers.

With best wishes for a happy Empire Day.
I remain,
Yours faithfully,
Stanley H. Hodgkin,
Hon. Secretary.”

Cheers for the King concluded the proceedings.

A bag containing a bun and an orange was given to each child as he left the Schools. (more…)