Returned from military service

26th November 1919
I am informed that Mr Edwards has returned from military service and has resumed his appointment as school attendance officer.

Aston Tirrold CE School log book (C/EL105/1, p. 196)

Always cheery even under the most adverse circumstances

Percy Spencer, who would be discharged on 19 December 1919, received an excellent reference to take to civilian employers.

This is to certify that Lt P J Spencer, 15th London Regiment, served with me & under my command from Aug 1914-Nov 1918. He is an extraordinary efficient officer especially in office work (adjutant). He is hard working – self-reliant – reliable – accurate, tactful & always cheery even under the most adverse circumstances. I can thoroughly recommend him & feel sure he will make a success of any job he takes up. He can be relied on for any office of trust & discretion. He is sober – popular with everybody. I cannot speak too well of him & wish him every success.

Gen. Kennedy
20.4.19


(D/EZ177/7/12/41)

An absence (in the Army) of more than three years

Another man returned to civilian life.

1919, 17 November
Mr Edwards, resumed work as Attendance Officer after an absence (in the Army) of more than three years.

Wallingford Boys Council School log book (SCH22/8/3, p. 78)

“Plenty of beer – more than I’ve had since the War started”

Shortages were a thing of the past.

14th November 1919

Wages 2£.16S.9d. which D- got for me to save me going down at dinner time. I went to bed as soon as I had had my breakfast; got up at 6 and then to the Drill Hall from 7 to 10 serving out beer to the returned soldiers and sailors again. Plenty of beer there, in fact one barrel was not tapped. I had more than I’ve had since the War started. To work at 10.


Diary of William Hallam of Swindon (D/EX1415/26)

Serving beer to the Entertained Soldiers and Sailors

Time again to party.

13th November 1919

I had to be up earlier this day – 6 oclock – and after I had my tea I went down to the Baths to help serve out the beer to the Entertained Soldiers and Sailors till 5 to 10 when I went on in to work.

Diary of William Hallam of Swindon (D/EX1415/26)

The great silence: the sacrifice of those who fell must not be in vain

The first Remembrance Day was observed in churches across the county.

Wargrave

Armistice Day

The first anniversary was well observed in the parish. There was a celebration of Holy Communion at 8 a.m. A muffled peal was rung from 10.30 to 10.45 a.m. A service in church was held at 10.45 and ended with the two minutes of silence when 11 o’clock was struck on the tenor bell. A full peal of bells, with firing, was rung in the evening. The services were well attended and ringing was exceptionally good.

Crazies Hill Notes

On November 11th an Intercessory Service was held in memory of those who laid down their lives during the War, and, at the hour of eleven, a silent tribute was paid to the fallen. Those moments of meditation were for many of us, accompanied by grief; but there were also hope and pride and high resolve in the thoughts of all who took part in that Service. Perhaps the uppermost thought was that the sacrifice of those who fell must not be in vain.

Burghfield

Armistice Day

Rural circumstances do not lend themselves to such striking manifestations as were to be seen in towns and cities during the “great silence”. But there can have been few in the parish who did not act upon the King’s suggestion and desire. Many of us would like this mute solemn commemoration to be repeated annually.


Ascot

On the Anniversary of the Armistice there was a special Celebration of the Holy Communion at 10.40 at which all our parishioners, who gave their lives in the War, were remembered by name.
The service was so timed that, at the moment of silence throughout the Empire, the large congregation was in the act of pleading the Sacrifice of Christ for the Living and the Dead.

In the evening there was a special Service of Thanksgiving , when we prayed for God’s Blessing upon the Ex-Service Men’s Club, the first portion of the Ascot War Memorial, which was declared open by Lady Roberts, and handed over to the Men’s Committee immediately afterwards. During the first week over 150 men joined the club.

Cranbourne

On Armistice Day a large number of our Parishioners came to Church at a few minutes before eleven o’clock and spent the time in silent prayer. After the bell had struck eleven strokes and the two minutes had elapsed, a Celebration of the Holy Communion took place. Instead of a sermon the Vicar read Mr. Arkwright’s no well-known hymn “O Valiant hearts” and before the Church Militant Prayer the names of all our fallen were read at the altar and specially commended to God’s keeping.


Newbury

On Armistice Day, November 11th, we kept the King’s command by holding a Special Service at 10.55, including the two minutes silence at 11 o’clock. There was a large congregation. The sights in the streets of our great cities, when all traffic stopped and men stood with bared heads, must have been most striking. Truly does the whole Empire honour the men who gave their lives in God’s Cause of Righteousness.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1919 (D/P145/28A/31); Ascot and Cranbourne in Winkfield District Magazine, December 1919 (D/P 151/ 28A/11/12); Burghfield parish magazine, December 1919 (D/EX725/4); Newbury parish magazine, December1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

A curate for Christmas

The demobilised soldier planning to be the next curate at Newbury was in training.

Mr C T Lord has now been demobilised and has returned to Lichfield Training College. He hopes to be ordained in Sunday, December 21st, probably by the Bishop of Oxford, and will be able to come to this parish as a Deacon for Christmas…

Newbury parish magazine, November 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

Very few of our men remain undischarged

MOst of the men from Maidenhead Congregational Church were back home.

OUR SOLDIERS.

Very few of our men remain undischarged. Frank Tomlinson, who has not been home for about three years, is expected in these parts very shortly now. George Ayres received the heartiest of welcomes on his return a week or two ago. He has been in Germany for nearly a year. We congratulate Wallace Mattingley on his second “pip.”

Maidenhead Congregational magazine, November 1919 (D/N33/12/1/5)

“The War Office had not even the common courtesy to say thank you”

The Superintendent at Broadmoor felt unappreciated for his organisation’s contribution to the care of insane PoWs. This complaint elicited a hasty letter of gratitude on 16 November.

3rd November 1919

Dear Major Wells

With regard to the enclosed I don’t know exactly what manner of report may be required, but I have neither the time nor inclination to go further in the matter.

In 1916 I undertook to relieve Netley Hospital of the care & treatment of their German Insane Patients, a job that was not at all congenial & which apparently nobody else would look at.

Later on the War Office, without consulting me on the subject, by telegram gave orders that I should undertake the duty & responsibility of repatriating the German Insane via Boston, not only from this Hospital but from others, the patients being sent on here for review and dispersal. I made no demur but carried on all this extra gratuitous work in addition to my own heavy civil duties which had to be performed with all my very able-bodied staff on active service.

Result, I am gazetted out of the army without remark & the War Office had not even the common courtesy to say thank you.

Under the circumstances I feel I am under no obligation whatever to render further gratuitous service to the War Office, altho’ the material might be forthcoming.

These remarks refer entirely to the War Office; the DMS Staff at Aldershot were always kindly, helpful & courteous, & Major General Browne was complimentary in acknowledgement of the work performed.

Yours faithfully

[Dr Baker
file copy not signed.]

Broadmoor correspondence file (D/H14/A6/2/51)

“Willing to come here as curate as soon as he can leave the Army and be ordained Deacon”

A soldier wanted to become a Church of England clergyman.

It was given out in Church that Mr C T Lord is willing to come here as curate as soon as he can leave the Army and be ordained Deacon, if the congregation are willing to have another curate. That means, I suppose, are the congregation ready to guarantee his stipend? As a member of the congregation I should like to say that I think if the Rector will trust us and engage Mr Lord that we will not fall short in doing our part to support him. We badly need another curate.

From a Parishioner.

Newbury parish magazine, October 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

A heavy loss from an experiment of the Government

The County Council’s Finance Committee feared the purchase of land for smallholdings for demobilised soldiers would be a burden for years to come.

Finance Committee, 25 October 1919

It is known that there will be a heavy loss on the working of these schemes, which for the time being is estimated at about £800 per annum, but it is uncertain whether, as time goes on, these losses will tend to increase or diminish. The purchases are being made to carry out an experiment of the Government – intended primarily for the benefit of ex-Service men on the footing of the loss for the first seven years being borne by the State, i.e. the Taxpayers, instead of the Ratepayers, bearing the burden for this period. The question is who will bear it afterwards? The land is at present being bought at high prices, but with the prior approval and consent of the Board of Agriculture.

In 1926 there is to be a Valuation of all the lands held by the County for Small Holdings purposes, including those bought at the commencement of the movement when prices were much lower. If the balance of the loans raised to provide the total purchase price should then exceed the Valuation the Government will assume responsibility for the excess and provide the annual Sinking Fund charges in respect of it. If, however, the land should be valued at more than the outstanding loans the County would get nothing; and in either event, after 1926, the County would be left with the land on their hands and with the obligation of clearing off the remainder of the loans as well as with the prospect of bearing any annual losses on the working that there then might be….

The Council, in considering whether or not to increase their commitments in regard to Small Holdings on the above lines, may wish to bear in mind that the projects now being pushed by a Government Department are not entirely for the benefit of ex-Service men, but are open to civilians as well. The extent to which the County should embark on unprofitable schemes, which may ultimately result in a subsidy out of the rates to civilian Small Holders as well as to ex-Service men is for the Council to consider and determine.

Berkshire County Council minutes (C/CL/C1/1/22)

An experiment of the Government – intended primarily for the benefit of ex-Service men

The Government was strongly encouraging local authorities to provide land for ex-servicemen to take up farming. Berkshire County Council was sceptical.

25 October 1919

[Referring to the purchase of land for smallholdings] It is known that there will be a heavy loss on the working of these schemes, which for the time being is estimated at about £800 per annum, but it is uncertain whether, as time goes on, these losses will tend to increase or diminish. The purchases are being made to carry out an experiment of the Government – intended primarily for the benefit of ex-Service men on the footing of the loss for the first seven years being borne by the State, i.e. the Taxpayers, instead of the Ratepayers, bearing the burden for this period. The question is who will bear it afterwards?

The land is at present being bought at high prices, but with the prior approval and consent of the Board of Agriculture.

In 1926 there is to be a Valuation of all the lands held by the County for Small Holdings purposes, including those bought at the commencement of the movement when prices were much lower. If the balance of the loans raised to provide the total purchase price should then exceed the Valuation, the Government will assume responsibility for the excess and provide the annual Sinking Fund charges in respect of it. If, however, the land should be valued at more than the outstanding loans the County would get nothing; and in either event, after 1926, the County would be left with the land on their hands and with the obligation of clearing off the remainder of the loans as well as with the prospect of bearing any annual losses on the working that there then might be….

The Council, in considering whether or not to increase their commitments in regard to Small Holdings on the above lines, may wish to bear in mind that the projects now being pushed by a Government Department are not entirely for the benefit of ex-Service men, but are open to civilians as well. The extent to which the County should embark on unprofitable schemes, which may ultimately result in a subsidy out of the rates to civilian Small Holders as well as to ex-Service men is for the Council to consider and determine.

Berkshire County Council Finance Committee minutes (C/CL/C1/1/22)

War experiences

The Hallams heard about a friend’s war experiences.

23rd October 1919

Edgar Upperton came in to-night and read out to us his war experiences as far as he has written them up in full from notes in the diary he kept out there.

Diary of William Hallam of Swindon (D/EX1415/26)

To make our country, our county, our village, supreme monuments to our Glorious Dead

There was still bitterness towards those who had chosen not to fight.

Discharged Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Federation

On Wednesday, 22nd October, the Mortimer and District Branch met at the Jubilee Room, under the chairmanship of Mr R W Sharp, the prospective representative of the branch on the Local War Pensions Committee. Mr H C Eggleton, the Branch Chairman, explained clearly the objects of the Federation, viz (briefly), “To safeguard the interests of every ex-Service man and the dependants of our fallen comrades, and to make our country, our county, our village, supreme monuments to our Glorious Dead”.

It is hoped that every man who has worn the Blue or Khaki (excepting only conscientious objectors) will join the Federation. Will every man whos is suffering through delayed gratuity, etc, kindly communicate with Mr J Anderson, Secretary, Nightingale Lane, Mortimer, who will give every possible assistance; also all widows, mothers, or other dependants of those who have made the supreme sacrifice. It is hoped to have a Burghfield sub-branch, if enough new members join.

Note: The Editor willingly inserts this, and assures the Branch that the Reading Rural WP sub-committee will hope to work in harmony with a friendly ally.

Burghfield parish magazine, November 1919 (D/EX725/4)

“Our Government’s policy renders it absolutely necessary to come in every morning to the food shops, your cycle bearing a basket, which you bring home crammed!”

Several years’ worth of university intakes were crammed into one as demobilised young men flocked to Oxford and Cambridge.

29 Barton Road
19 Oct. 19

My very dear old man

Cambridge overflows just like Oxford. Miss Allen speaks of 5000 u.g.s at the latter, I have heard of 7000 here, and it’s possible that 7000 applied – but this is a small town, and though artisans’ cottages are turned into lodging houses, and at incredible distance from St Mary’s, we certainly cannot overtop the Oxford entry.

You should see the streets at midday, when lectures are over and even the sidewalks become mob. Every u.g. seems to own a motorcycle, and not know how to ride it with safety…

You will understand that our Government’s policy renders it absolutely necessary to come in every morning to the food shops, your cycle bearing a basket, which you bring home crammed!

Ever affectionately yours
Bild

Letter from John Maxwell Image to W F Smith (D/EX801/2)