Special lessons on “The Empire” and “Patriotism”

The war continued to inform Empire Day celebrations in Berkshire schools.

Slough
May 23rd 1919

Celebration of Empire Day.

Empire lessons were given throughout the school.

A hollow square was formed in the playground and the flag was hoisted while the National Anthem was being sung.

The Chairman Mr Andrews, the Revd Theo Cousens and Mr Frank Smith addressed the children, the subject being the Empire and its builders.

Patriotic Songs were sung and the school was dismissed for a half holiday.

St Peter’s CE School, Earley
23rd May 1919

This being Empire Day, the ordinary timetable lessons were not taken, but special lessons on “The Empire” and “Patriotism” were given throughout the school, and at 11 a.m. the whole of the children were assembled around the school flagpole, and the vicar raised the Union jack amid great cheering from the scholars & the assembled parents and parishioners. Canon Fowler, Mr R Lea & Miss Weldon made patriotic speeches, & the children sang some appropriate songs.

In the afternoon the usual May Day Festival was held at 3 p.m….

At the close of the proceedings, a collection, amounting to £3.1.5 was made, the money to go towards an “Honour” board for Earley school-boys who have fallen in the war.

Ascot Heath Boys’ School
May 23rd 1919

Empire Day was celebrated at 2.30 p.m. in the presence of many parents and Friends. Sir Neville Chamberlain R.C.B. addressed the Children on the “Meaning of Empire” and “Our Duty Towards It”.

Ascot Heath Girls School
23rd May 1919

The children assembled in the Boys field and were addressed by Sir Neville Chamberlain.

Priestwood
23/05/1919

Special lessons have been given this week to prepare for Empire Day. This morning at 11.30 and this afternoon at 3pm parade, demonstration consisting of appropriate songs renditions took place in the playground.

Reading Christ Church CE Infants School
23rd May 1919

Tomorrow (Saturday) being Empire Day, the National Anthem was sung this morning, and the flag saluted by all the children, who listened to an interesting address by Captain Wing. The lessons during the morning were on Empire Day.

Stoke Road School, Slough: log book (89/SCH/28/1); St Peter’s CE School, Earley: log book (SCH36/8/3); Ascot Heath Boys’ School log book (C/EL110/4); Ascot Heath Girls School log book (C/EL109/2); Priestwood Council Infant School (C/EL70); Reading Christ Church CE Infants School log book (89/SCH/7/6)

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Gratitude for deliverance

The Earley war memorial was on its way.

The War Memorial

The committee met on Friday 17 May.

Present: The Vicar in the chair, Mr. Churchwarden Brown, Messrs H Masters, A H Salman, G C Sturgess, T R Stevens, E Clayton Jones, H Mole, F B East, H knapman, F C Edwards, H A Box, A J H Wright, Mrs Newbury, Miss Driscoll, Miss G Fanstone, Miss Goose, Miss Type, Miss H L Stevens, Miss D Lawrence.

The architect’s design and drawings were on view and the builder’s specification and estimate were read. It was resolved unanimously that the work be carried out as soon as possible.

The Committee decided to keep the subscription list open, and to issue a subscription list with names of contributors on the completion of the work; also, that a monthly statement of sums raised should be published in the Magazine during the summer.

The Committee was of the opinion that only the names of parishioners who had laid down their lives should be inscribed on the panels, but they reserved their final decision upon this point.

The chairman urged that all contributions should be given in a spirit of thanksgiving and that this was not an occasion for an ordinary appeal for subscriptions. He thought many persons giving in such spirit would prefer to give (in whole or part) anonymously, but whether this was so or not, he hoped a sense of gratitude for deliverance would govern all gifts made.

The committee adjourned to Friday June 13.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

Join with us in raising this memorial

Plans for a memorial porch were afoot at an Earley church.

The Porch

The committee appointed to raise funds for the memorial porch will be meeting almost immediately to see the plans the architect is preparing. What we hope to have is a porch with a chamber above it, in which some of our most precious possessions may be kept. It is hardly considered that we have at present no room for many of our treasures; the vestry is quite overcrowded, and so too is the rood loft. It may be that in the new arrangement of the chairs at the west end, and when the principal entrance to the church is by way of the north porch, room may be found where at present the old choir seats are placed. If so, this space curtained off, and the chamber over the porch will provide all that the church can ever require. We much hope the architect’s plans will give satisfaction and that the people will contribute as liberally as they can. The parish is divided up into districts with accredited collectors as follows (list of streets and names follows). There remain a few streets without a collector, but this will be put right. It is possible that some of our friends at a distance may, after reading our appeal, like to join with us in raising this memorial. We shall be very glad if they do.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, May 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

A united Act of thanksgiving for the deliverance from the grave peril which threatened the lives and liberties of Englishmen

The war memorial porch at St Bartholomew’s would be quite expensive.

The [war memorial] committee met on March 19 and in spite of the snow and cold all were present except Rev. H B Mead, Mr R Brown, Mr Walters, Mr Love, Mr Long, Miss Type, and Miss Goose. Mr Box was elected onto the committee. Much useful work was done and the following leaflet for distribution was approved:-

S Bartholomew’s Parish War Memorial

It was resolved at a general meeting of parishioners on March 13, of which public notice was given, to make a united Act of thanksgiving for the deliverance from the grave peril which threatened the lives and liberties of Englishmen, and issued in the Great War. The meeting decided to build a beautiful and commodious North Porch on the London Road side of S Bartholomew’s church, and to inscribe on its walls the names of all the men connected with this parish who had laid down their lives in the War.

It was further determined to invite contributions from all persons living in the parish or worshipping at the church, who are disposed to take part in this common Act of Thanksgiving, as a lasting memorial of their sacrifice.

£500 is asked for.

Donations should be entered in the book of an accredited collector. A balance sheet of all the receipts and expenditure will be issued by the committee.

Signed E J Norris Chairman of Committee

The next meeting of the committee was fixed for April 9 at 7pm in the parish hall.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

Still several ill with Influenza

A teacher took some time off to be with her soldier husband. She returned on 21 March, but resigned on 2 May to follow her husband to Aldershot.

Earley
14th March 1919

Mrs Plumer has been away the past two days, as her husband is returning to his military duties next week.

Speenhamland
Mar 14th

This week the attendance has much improved, reaching 92.8%. There are still several ill with Influenza.

Log books of St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3)

A thankoffering for deliverance from the great menace and peril, and a memorial in honour of those who had by their deaths saved England

There was an animated debate in Earley regarding the war memorial at St Bartholomew’s.

War Memorial Meeting

A well attended meeting of parishioners and worshippers at our church was held on March 13. The Vicar was voted into the chair, and set out the steps which had led to that gathering. He said he thought he might take it for granted that the desire of all of them was, first to make a thankoffering for deliverance from the great menace and peril, secondly to embody with this act of thanksgiving some memorial in honour of those who had by their deaths saved England. They had no wish merely to commemorate the event in history of the great European War of 1914-1918. Any memorial raised would have a religious character, and therefore might well be associated with the parish church. He said that the Parochial Church council, at whose instance this general meeting had been called, put forward two well considered suggestions as to the form the memorial should take; these were (1) the building of a large and useful north porch, with a record on the walls of the names of those who had given their lives; and (2) the panelling of the Lady Chapel and, if possible, the painting of some glass in that chapel. These were two suggestions only, and he invited more from the meeting.

On resuming his seat, Mr Crapp rose and advocated the painting of one or more of the windows in the church; Mr Box seconded this. Mr T Hayward proposed the decoration and completion of S. John’s chapel. Miss Matthews suggested the endowment of a memorial bed at the hospital and a mural tablet at the church; Miss E L Norris seconded this. Mr R Brown advanced the claims of the north porch and of the Lady chapel; Mr Whatley supported him.

In the discussion the following took part:- Mr Wright, Mrs Norris, Mr Lawrence, Mr Mole and others, and on a vote being taken 36 were given for the church porch, the Lady chapel scheme receiving 12 and second place. Questions were asked respecting the cost of building, and the chairman expressed some little doubt of their ability to raise a sufficient sum. However, his hesitation was not shared by Mr Frank East, whose comment evoked applause from the meeting. A committee was appointed to carry out the scheme. (List of names supplied).


Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

A cordial welcome home to our demobilised soldiers,

Vicar’s Letter

We all offer a cordial welcome home to our demobilised soldiers, notably Mr Albert Rider, Mr Fred Rider, Mr Ernest Jupe, Mr Ernest Bryant (who, to our great joy, is returning to the choir of which he was once a leading voice), Mr Reginald Sturgess, Mr O West and Mr Goodson (already in their old place in the choir), Mr Aubrey Grinsted, Mr Stanley Hayward, Mr Frank Ellis, Mr Augustus Love, Mr Leslie Grinsted, Mr George Turnbull and others. We are very glad to see them again.

Short Notes

The Vicar is trying to compile a list of all the demobilised soldiers and sailors who have returned to our parish. He will be very glad of the names and address of any such, if anyone will kindly give him information.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, March 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

The return to Windsor, from the war, of the Coldstream Guards

Aston Tirrold
28th February 1919

There is much sickness (colds and influenza) in the school and for the week our percentage of attendance is only 60.

Windsor
1919
Feb: 28th

The Mayor visited on Thursday morning and gave the girls a holiday in the afternoon, because of the return to Windsor, from the war, of the Coldstream Guards.

East Hagbourne
Feby 28th

Mrs Marshall (S), whose husband is home on leave from France, is still absent.

Newbury
28/2/19

Student teacher Whitehorn has been absent from school this week owing to influenza

Earley
28 February 1919

Mrs Plumer, whose husband has just returned from India, & who is now in a Military Hospital in London, has been absent from her duties all this week.

Log books of Aston Tirrold CE School (C/EL105/1); Holy Trinity Infants School, Windsor (C/EL58/2); East Hagbourne School (C/EL35/2); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1);
St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3)

The war memorial should be one for the whole parish

It was felt that war memorials should be for the whole community, not just churchgoers.

Church Council

An important meeting was held on February 19 to consider the question of a parish war memorial. Eighteen councillors were present. It was decided, on a motion by Mr Wright, seconded by Mr Stevens, “That the war memorial be one for the whole parish, and that steps be taken to call a meeting of parishioners to consider what form it shall take.” A public meeting is convened for March 13 at 8pm in the parish hall, and all worshippers in S Bartholomew’s are urged to be present, as most probably the memorial will take the form of some addition to the fabric of the church, and an expression of their wishes is very desirable.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, March 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

Proud to be able to give pleasure to those to whom so much is owing

Earley girls entertained wounded soldiers.

Girls’ Club

About 30 members of the club, accompanied by Miss Bowden, went up to Struan House V.A.D Hospital on Saturday Jan 11th and gace a concert and entertainment – consisting of singing and country dancing – to the wounded soldiers there. Miss Bowden contributed some popular songs with choruses to the programme, which gave great pleasure. The performers were most enthusiastically received, and all enjoyed themselves very much and felt proud to be able to give pleasure to those to whom so much is owing.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

Home from France

10th January 1919
Mrs Webb, assistant in the Infants’ Department, has been absent from school this week, her husband being home from France.

St Peter’s CE School, Earley: log book (SCH36/8/3)

We may elect to have a memorial of thanks giving and peace and deliverance from our enemies

An Earley church had various suggestions as to how it should remember the war.

Vicar’s letter

My dear people

The time has come when we may begin to consider whether we will shall have some parish memorial of the great war, and if so, what form it would take. Two courses are open to us. We may elect to have a memorial of thanks giving and peace and deliverance from our enemies; or we may prefer a memorial to the holy dead who have laid down their lives for their country. The latter would almost necessarily take effect within the walls of the church; the former would not be so restricted. It is possible to combine the two ideas.

Some suggestions as to the form which a memorial might take have already been made. They are set down here that their merits may be weighed and considered before a meeting is summoned to deal with the whole matter. The first proposal is to enlarge the parish hall “to pull down the west wall, and in its place support the roof on light iron pillars, between which there are should be shutters that would roll up so as to make the room large or small as required”. The writer adds “If a tablet is to be placed in the church with the names of those from the parish who have fallen in the war, perhaps some inscription could be added to the effect that the hall had been enlarged.”

A second suggestion is to panel the walls of the Lady Chapel with oak, with a list of those fallen in the war inscribed on the panels.

The advantage of the latter scheme over the former would be in the matter of expense. A comparatively small amount would suffice, and any surplus could well be spent with advantage on furniture for the chapel.

A third suggestion is the painting and decoration of the roof of the aisles and nave. This, again, need not be very costly, and if carried out in harmony with the chancel roof would add very much to the beauty of the interior of the church, besides greatly increasing its lighting powers.

A fourth suggestion is the erection of a north porch, which, if of sufficient size would be of great convenience and would form the principle entrance, setting free the west end of the nave for sitting accommodation as it ought to be.

It is proposed that in the first instance, these and other suggestions should go before the Church Council, and that subsequently, they should call a general meeting.

You will allow me to conclude with my heartfelt wish for a happier New Year to you all than was possible when I last wrote my New Year’s greetings. Upon our parish as on all parishes the war has left its mark of sorrow. The remembrance of it will stimulate us to a truer devotion and more unselfish life of service.

I am affectionately yours

E J Norris

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

We may find peace more dangerous than war, but we have great faith in the newly granted votes for women

Earley women were encouraged to consider their vote.

The Vicar’s Letter

My Dear Friends

Our first feeling this month is surely one of deep thankfulness to Almighty God for our deliverance from the dark cloud of war that has so long brooded over us; we can hardly yet realise the greatness of our victory; as a nation, we have taken it calmly and seriously, and in our thanksgiving services, we have shown that we definitely ascribe it to the giver of all good. It is well that we should have been so, for we have a great deal before us; in the first place let us pray earnestly for a just and righteous, an an abiding peace; and in the next place let us all remember the great responsibilities that are opening upon us, or we may find peace more dangerous than war.

After all great wars there has always been more or less of an upheaval, and many people are looking forward with dread to the next two or three years, but we feel sure that the common sense of our country will prevail, and that the spirit in which we have carried on through the war will carry us on through the early and troublesome times of peace, if we are only true to ourselves and the principles on which we have met the long struggle for right and justice.

Not least among the factors which will make for this result is the coming General Election; if everyone will give his or her vote for what he or she thinks really best for the welfare of the nation. We shall have gone far to solve many of the problems that will soon press upon us: and in this connection we have great faith in the newly granted votes for women; it is surely a great historic occasion when the “Mother of Parliaments” for the first time admits women to vote for her formation, and we hope that there will be no slackness in recording the vote, but that every woman will weigh for herself the position of affairs and fully discharge her responsibility.

Owing to the very large increase in the cost of printing and paper the Magazine, if continued, will have under present arrangements, to face a deficit of £40 or £50 for the coming year; moreover, it is impossible to obtain nearly a sufficient number of the “Dawn of Day” to go round, as the publishers cannot supply more than about 400 copies, and we want nearly 600; it is therefore, possible, that the magazine may have to be discontinued for a year; if this is the case we hope to issue a bi-monthly or quarterly sheet containing the chief Parish news at the price of a halfpenny a copy, as is done in other parishes. In any case we hope to continue the Magazine on its old basis, as soon as conditions improve.

In case, therefore, that the Magazine does not appear in January, I take this opportunity of wishing everyone a Happy New Year as well as a Happy Christmas; we have much, very much, to be thankful for, and we should try and show our thankfulness by sympathizing withal those whose Christmas will be darkened, though we may hope not without happiness, by helping others, and above all by consecrating our lives by coming to the Holy Communion on Christmas Day, and resolving come more regularly in the future.

Your friend and Vicar.

W.W. FOWLER.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P191/28A/25)

No government has ever had to face a greater task than that which will now come to power

The suffragan Bishop of Buckingham warned there was still a great deal of work to do.

The Bishop’s Message

The war is over and we cannot find words to express our feelings: only in our thanksgiving to Almighty God can we give utterance to the thoughts of our hearts.

The war is over, but the stupendous task remains of repairing the breaches, building up the waste places, and restoring the paths to dwell in. This can be done only if the same spirit is maintained-the unity of effort, the subordination of selfish interests, the wise leadership, the loyal co-operation, the self-sacrifice, the organization, the discipline which has brought us to victory – if this is preserved in peace. The spiritual forces of the whole world must be moved in action. The League of Nations is not a fancy of visionaries; it is a practical possibility which can be realized if Christians unite to bring it about. It is not enough to wish for it, or even to pray for it, we must work for it. Surely here the Church must make its influence felt and not be daunted by difficulties in the way.


The Marriage Laws

We have reason to be devoutly thankful that the Divorce Bill was defeated in the House of Lords, but there are strong forces at work and we must be watchful. It is indeed distressing that at such a time as this there should be such persistent efforts to lower the moral standard – for that must be the effect in spite of the specious arguments. We owe a debt to Lord Parmoor for his vigorous leading.

The General Election

No government has ever had to face a greater task than that which will now come to power. The election will be a great test of the nation’s purpose. Can we put aside all petty issues and party bitterness and selfish aims and unitedly undertake the great work of reconstruction in a manner worthy of a people that has proved itself so great? The prayers which have been such a power in the war can be no less effective in gaining the victories of peace. Here are some questions on which we hope the church may speak with a united voice, for example, the immediate need of dealing with the housing of the people, the improved standard of Wages, the Education question, and the retention of control of the liquor trade. We render humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God fo0r the great and glorious victory, and for the fidelity, courage and devotion of the allied forces.

We pray

For the great Council of the nations which shall determine the conditions of peace.

For the ministry of the crown and those upon whom rests the duty of leadership in restoring conditions of peace in all countries.

For all those who profess and call themselves Christians, that they may act accordingly to their profession.

For the Church, that it may, by wise action, have due influence in the counsels of the nation.

For our troops, that they may be strong to resist the special temptations to which they are exposed.

For the soldiers who are prepared to take Holy Orders.

For the General Election.

For the Central Board of Finance, and for success in the promotion of the Central Fund of the Church of England.

For the revival of Missionary work which has been hindered by the war.

For the Diocesan Board of Missions.

For the C.E.T.S.

For the Diocesan Inspectors.

E.D. BUCKINGHAM.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P191/28A/25)

Many still far from well

Christchurch School had been in the throes of an influenza outbreak for over a month already. The Earley teacher mentioned here did not return to work until 6 December.

Leckhampstead
22/11/18

Attendance this week has fallen from 27 out of 28 present on Monday to 17 present this morning – all absentees due to influenza colds. Secretary notified this morning – school closed.

Boyne Hill
Nov: 22nd

The percentage of attendance this week has been 76.5. Many of the children are still far from well, & in consequence the standard of work is very poor.

Christchurch, Reading
22nd November 1918

By order of the Medical Authority, school will be closed until November 25th.

Earley
22nd Nov 1918

Mrs Radbourne, whose husband is home on leave from France, has been absent all the week.

Log books of Leckhampstead School (C/EL 51/2); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School (89/SCH/7/6); St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3)