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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16 absent suffering from influenza

Nov. 5th [1918]

School returned after half term holiday. Several children (16) absent suffering from influenza.

Cookham Rise County Primary School log book (C/EL71)

A half holiday for blackberry picking

Sandhurst children had the chice of schoolwork or gathering berries for jam for the soldiers.

Sandhurst
September 11th 1918

A half holiday given to-day for blackberry picking. Those children not joining in the work were kept at school.

A total of 171 lbs. was the result.

Cookham Rise
11/9/18

School closed in the afternoon for blackberry gathering.


Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1, p.447); Cookham Rise County Primary School log book (C/EL71)

The National War Savings Department

War savings investments were still a government priority.

10/9/18

School visited by Miss J A Jones of the National War Savings Dept.

Cookham Rise County Primary School log book (C/EL71)

Blackberrying

Schoolchildren were set to pick wild berries to make jam for the troops.

Datchet
9 September 1918

According to instructions, the children have gone blackberrying this afternoon.

Thatcham
September 9th 1918

The children were taken to gather blackberries on the afternoon of Monday and Wednesday.

Cookham Rise
9/9/18

School closed for the purpose of gathering blackberries.

Log books of Francis Baily Primary School, Thatcham (90/SCH/15/1, p. 48); Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3, p. 406); Cookham Rise County Primary School log book (C/EL71)

Sickness among the children

29/7/18

Change of staff, sickness of the staff & influenza & other sickness among the children have made it impossible to hold a term examination this time.

Cookham Rise County Primary School log book (C/EL71)

War Savings Associations in Cookham schools

Schools in Cookham were keen to embark on war savings schemes with the children and their parents.

Acting under the advice from the Education Authority, at Reading, War-Savings Associations have been formed in connection with the Schools (Mr. H. Edwards, Hon. Sec.; Mr. James Tuck, Hon. Treasurer). Sums from 1d to 15/6 may be paid in once a week. Miss Lomas has kindly undertaken to issue Coupon Cards and to receive payments from residents and children of Cookham Dean, on Tuesdays, at the Schoolroom, from 4 to 4.30pm, commencing Tuesday, April 3rd. Arrangements for receiving payments are also in force at Cookham Rise and at Cookham School.

Cookham Dean parish magazine, April 1917 (D/P43B/28A/11)