“The turmoils of War, I hope are over, and the dark War clouds rolled away to give place to a brighter and serene sky of peace and goodwill”

Datchet Working Men’s Club was delighted by the end of the war.

January 1919

The turmoils of War, I hope are over, and the dark War clouds rolled away to give place to a brighter and serene sky of peace and goodwill. Throughout all this indescribable tension, in which the sorrows of our heart have been enlarged beyond the powers of human voice to describe the members remaining who through force of circumstance were not allowed to rally to the colours, but who have helped in various ways to keep on high the flag of liberty and justice, have stuck to the club with laudable courage and have ever striven to welcome to the utmost those returning on the various leaves, or to alleviate in the highest degree the conditions of the wounded – or prisoners of War.

Moreover their desire has been to resuscitate it as Phoenix from its ashes the reviving has been beyond measure the heart is in good working order and there is a good tonic in reserve to keep it regular in its action.

We have lifted our eyes to the hills for help and our optimism has soared to great heights even altho pessimism has striven to keep it down.

This has given us immense courage and endurance.

We look forward to the return of the Boys with jubilation and we shall give them a rousing welcome when they do so.

But alas! For those, who are waiting for yet more glorious day than the signing of the Armistice or of the Peace we shall ever think of them as warriors faithful, true and bold, and laurels of beautiful thought will ever encircled our memory of them, no matter whither fate my lead us.

The permeating influence of our worthy President has at no time been felt more magnetising than during the past years and I am sure we even now rise up as it were and call him blessed his great benevolence to us.

May the time be far distant when his heaven on earth prefess a call!

The Vice Presidents have again guided their thoughts with swords for one defence and have followed one leader’s call to win the “land of promise” from the enemies of true social intercourse and fellowship.

Mr Langton has another year supplied us with the “Daily Graphic” and this kind thought has inspired us to think unselfishly and so help the “Brotherhood” so often preached about but little practised.

Datchet Working Men’s Club annual report (D/EX2481/1/5)

Advertisements

Taking charge for the duration of the war

Berkshire children continued to gather fruit for jam, while some teachers were still being redeployed to cover shortages.

Hurst
1st October 1918

The head master was asked by the Education Secretary to the visit the council school at Three Mile Cross near Reading and interview the Head Teacher of that school preparatory to taking charge for the duration of the war.

East Ilsley
1st October 1918

Elder children & those whose parents wished allowed the afternoon to get another day picking black-berries. Probably the last.

Little Coxwell
Oct: 1st

Registers will not be marked in the afternoon as the older children are going blackberrying.

Aldermaston
1st October 1918.

Half day for blackberrying, no baskets arrived and berries not sent off.

Datchet
1 October 1918

Blackberrying this afternoon.

Sparsholt
Oct 1st

The children had half holiday for blackberry picking.


Log books: Datchet School (SCH30/8/3); East Ilsley CE School log book (C/EL39/1, p. 487); Hurst School (D/P73/28/23); Little Coxwell CE School (C/EL80); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3); Sparsholt CE School D/P115/28/47)

Going out to pick blackberries for the soldiers

Strikes at home caused problems for many people.

Little Coxwell
Sept 25th

The older children are going out to pick blackberries for the soldiers in the afternoon.

Lower Sandhurst
September 25th 1918

The last half-holiday for blackberry picking was given this afternoon. 258 lbs. picked. The School has picked in rather over a fortnight 2465 lbs. of fruit for the Ministry of Food.


Datchet
25 September 1918

Miss Riley absent through Railway strike – came in 10.30 & walked from Staines.

Sparsholt
Sept 25th

The children were granted a half holiday this afternoon to gather blackberries for the Ministry of Food.

Log books: Little Coxwell CE School (C/EL80); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL/66/1); Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3); Sparsholt CE School D/P115/28/47)

No baskets owing to railway strike

Strikers threatened to put paid to the good work of Berkshire children.

Aldermaston
24th September 1918.

Half day for blackberrying, berries unable to be sent off as no baskets arrived owing to railway strike.

Datchet
24 September 1918

Blackberrying this afternoon.

Little Coxwell
Sept 24th

As the weather has been fine today I shall take the older children blackberrying today instead of Thursday.

Hampstead Norreys
24th Sep.

Took secular work from 9.30 to 11.30 to allow children to go blackberrying. Closed for the afternoon for blackberry picking.

Peasemore
Sep. 23 & 24

We took the children for blackberry picking in the afternoons.


Log books of Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3); Little Coxwell CE School (C/EL80); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Peasemore School (C/EL49/2)

Blackberrying

More blackberrying by Berkshire children.

Aldermaston
17th September 1918

Half holiday to pick blackberries, 89lbs picked and sent off by evening train.

Lower Sandhurst
September 17th 1918

Half holiday this afternoon for blackberrying.

Datchet
17 September 1918

Blackberrying this afternoon.

Buscot
Sept 17th

Older children with 2 teachers went blackberrying; 93 ¼ lbs gathered, weighed and sent to Central Agent.

Log books: Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL/66/1, p. 447); Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3, p. 406); and Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, pp. 93-94); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2)

Sent off by the evening train

Children collected wild blackberries for jam to help oombat food shortages.

Thatcham
1918
Sep: 16th

Money earned by children picking blackberries received, £5.11.3. This was divided amongst the children according to the number of pounds each had picked.

Goosey
September 16th 1918

The children of classes I and II will be taken out for the purpose of gathering black berries for M.O.F during the school sessions in not more than three half days per week.

Aldermaston
16th September 1918

The children on three half days each week when fine will go under teachers supervision to pick blackberries for Ministry of Food. Half holiday to pick blackberries, 56lbs picked and sent off by evening train.

Lower Sandhurst
September 16th 1918

The children gathered 215 lbs. of blackberries after school this afternoon.

Datchet
16 September 1918

Blackberrying.

Log books: Thatcham CE School (C/EL53/4); Goosey CE School (C/EL89/1, p. 169); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL/66/1, p. 447); Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3, p. 406); and Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3, pp. 93-94)

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)

Influenza prevalent

The flu epidemic was starting to hit.

Datchet
1 July 1918

Only 190 present. Influenza prevalent.

White Waltham
July 1st 1918

Sergt Major London of Australian Expeditionary Force (Mrs Constable’s brother) visited the school this afternoon and spoke to the Mixed Group from 3.15 to 3.45 on “Children of Australia”. The children greatly enjoyed the talk.

Datchet National Mixed School log book (SCH30/8/3, p. 405); White Waltham CE School log book (D/P 142/28/3/2, p. 272)

Entertainments for the War Supply Depot

Datchet School was used to hold concerts to raise funds for materials used to make bandages and clothing for the wounded.

1 & 2 May 1918
School was closed on account of the Entertainments (3) on behalf of the Datchet War Hospital Supply Depot.

Datchet National Mixed School log book (SCH30/8/3, p. 403)

“Nothing has been farther from our thoughts than for the club to be a shelter for unpatriotic or conchies”

Datchet Working Men’s Club was a little defensive about its contribution to the comfort of noncombatants.

31.1.18

“Life is mostly froth & bubble
Two things stand like stone
Kindness in another’s trouble
Courage in our own”

Worthy President, Vice Presidents and fellow members,

Such words as these came into my mind after the last years meeting, and as I am sure such a feeling as I had must have taken possession of those present, as each one looked upon the Club’s troubles as his own, and was determined to take courage. We screwed that courage to the sticking point and a successful year was the result. Facts are stubborn things and we are proud that our Wisdom knows no more – We have been through the refining fire, and we are all the better because the dross of “not taking heed lest we fall” has disappeared.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria more

We bow our heads in silence, and connect earth to heaven when in contemplation of our fallen heroes (one this year) who have fought the good fight of justice and honour for the love of home and the Motherland.

Our “Beacon Light” the President is still guiding us and may his flame never dim, and so lead us on amidst encircling gloom and over crags and torrents….

We have not kept open for selfish motives for nearly everyone is assisting in his country’s needs in some form or other. We have been criticized rather unfairly but nothing has been farther from our thoughts than for the club to be a shelter for unpatriotic or conchies. Moreover in addition to our other sacrifices we shall find that the club has been a centre of good, for not only has the Village Hall been let free for everything pertaining to the Nation’s welfare, but “Drivers” have been frequent for the benefit of various Institutions that are doing such magnificent work for our wounded sailors and soldiers, whose every pain seems to cry out to us – To be bemoaning all day long renders that murid, sluggish, and there is wanted a tonic of cheerfulness to keep it working normally – much more abnormally – the club has been a rendezvous for our Boys home from the front, and we have welcomed them these and have had together many a shake hand and a conversation, as have done our hearts good and given us pleasant reminiscences for all times.

We had 51 paying members last year for the whole or part of the year, and there were only 2 who were not actually doing Government work in the strict sense of the word. These were over military ages, and their work had been greatly increased by shortage of labour, so it cannot be said that we have not done our bit. Moreover from the preceding year 12 entered the Service, and about 30 the year previous to that. Therefore the “Fiery Cross” has been responded to and may “Toujours Prêt” ever be our motto in responder to the calls from our “Isles of honour and bravery.”

In conclusion, my fervent gratitude is due to my fellow members, who have oiled my whereto of energy increasingly and thus enabled me to move in every way so as to surmount the difficulties encumbrances and friction.

“Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime
And departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of Time.”

E.W. Page
Hon: Sec.

Datchet Working Men’s Club annual report (D/EX2481/1/5)

Arrived from the front

A Pangbourne teacher welcomed a brother home on leave, while the Datchet children’s collections from the hedgerows for the troops diversified.

Pangbourne
9th October, 1917

Miss Drury, at her own request, given a day’s leave of absence to see her brother who has arrived from the front.

Datchet
9 October 1917

I have sent several boys for horse chestnuts while the weather is dry.

The children went a blackberrying.

Datchet National Mixed School log book (SCH30/8/3, p. 401)

Pangbourne Primary School log book (C/EL78/2, p. 62)

“Some returned, & some not”

The Datchet children collected blackberries for the troops very often this autumn.

8 October 1917

It had been arranged for the children to go picking blackberries, but just as they had started there was a storm. Some returned, & some not.

Datchet National Mixed School log book (SCH30/8/3, p. 401)

Blackberries for the war

This was the first of many occasions on which children at a school in Datchet were sent off to pick blackberries. The fruit was made into jam to send to the troops.

17 September 1917
The children went up blackberrying.

Datchet National Mixed School log book (SCH30/8/3, p. 400)

Potatoes for victory

Boys in Datchet were growing potatoes to help feed the country, while children in Cookham and their parents were putting their savings in the care of the government, for use in the war.

Datchet National Mixed School
5 September 1917
The potatoes were set, the weather most favourable & the boys are employed in the half-acre “Victory” Plot until further notice.

Cookham Alwyn Road School
September 5th 1917

The War Savings Association continues to do good work. The takings this week were much above the average, and reached £20-5-5.

Log books of Datchet National Mixed School (SCH30/8/3, p. 400); and Cookham Alwyn Road School (88/SCH/18/1, p. 302)

20 months at the front

A soldier on leave visited his old school in Datchet.

20 June 1917

Trooper A. Sears, 2SG, an old boy, gave an interesting account of the [illegible word] of his regiment during its 20 months’ work at the front.

Mr Mann, F.R.H.S., called this afternoon, & congratulated the boys on their ‘Victory’ Plot (80 sq. poles).

Datchet National Mixed School log book (SCH30/8/3, p. 399)