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.

(more…)

Very tired after peace celebrations of last evening

22nd July 1919

Attendance low this morning. Children very tired after peace celebrations of last evening. Most of the parents + children taking part in a fancy dress parade + then going to see the bonfire until nearly midnight.

East Ilsley CE School log book (C/EL39/1, p. 491)

What the Treaty of Versailles meant to the world & what children could do to help in the world’s peace

Some schools incorporated the Treaty of Versailles immediately into lessons.

King Street School, Maidenhead
30th June 1919

The signing of the Peace Treaty was made the subject of the day’s lessons. Mistress explained to the school what it meant to the world & what the children could do to help in the world’s peace. Patriotic marches & national anthems of other countries were used throughout the day & children correlated lessons wherever possible.

Peasemore
June 30th

The Time Table was not kept today. Extra games were played, a Gramaphone [sic] “played” patriotic marches and pieces, and “Peace” was heartily celebrated. Mrs Blea, Miss Weil and Miss Podbury helped to entertain.

Sonning Boys’ School
30th June 1919
Closed this afternoon by order of the Managers. Procession and tea in connection with Peace Rejoicings.

Sonning CE Girls and Infants’ School
30th June 1919

School closed in the afternoon by order of the Managers. The children had a treat to celebrate the signing of the Peace.

East Ilsley
30th June 1919
School closed in afternoon as a recognition of the signing of the peace Saturday.

Log books of King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Peasemore School (C/EL49/2); Sonning Boys School (89/SCH/1/2); Sonning CE Girls and Infants (89/SCH/1/4); East Ilsley CE School (C/EL39/1)

Home on final leave from the army

A headmaster’s son came home – and almost closed down the school.

14th January 1919
My eldest son just home on final leave from the army has developed measles. As he isolated the doctor thinks school may continue.

East Ilsley CE School log book (C/EL39/1, p. 489)

Absent on account of influenza

Only keep if nothing to add

20th November 1918
Eighteen children absent on account of influenza. 47 present in all this morning.

East Ilsley CE School log book (C/EL39/1)

Died during the closure

There was sobering news when a school reopened after being hit by flu.

White Waltham
November 18th 1918

School reopened this morning. During the closure Arthur Butcher died of influenza.

East Ilsley
18th November 1918

Reopened after closure for influenza. Eight absent from epidemic sickness.

Peasemore
Nov. 18th

School closed for a fortnight as recommended by the County Medical Officer of Health, on account of influenza among the children.

Newbury
18/11/18

School re-opened today after 3 weeks closure for influenza.

Clewer
1918 Nov 18

School opened. Numbers low. Still many absences through influenza.

Basildon
18th November 1918

The armistice between Germany and the allies was signed and hostilities ceased on November 11th at 11am.

Log books of White Waltham CE School (D/P 142/28/3/2, p. 282); East Ilsley CE School (C/EL39/1, p. 488);Peasemore School (C/EL49/2); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1); St Stephen’s Girls’ School, Clewer (88/SCH/23/5); Basildon CE School Log Book (SCH39/8/1)

Flag day

Great Coxwell
1st November 1918

‘Flag Day’. Time-table not strictly adhered to.

East Ilsley
1st November 1918

Six children excluded on account of influenza being in the house.

Upton
1, XI. 18
Attendance Poor – influenza

Great Coxwell CE School log book (C/EL81/2, p. 83); East Ilsley CE School log book (C/EL39/1, p. 488; Upton CE School log book (C/EL48/2)
)

A few cases of Spanish influenza

Flu hits more areas.

Newbury
29/10/18

School re-opened this morning after mid-term holiday. Only 29 were present out of 41. Several children are away through ‘influenza’ and another child is excluded through measles in the house. Notice has just been received that the schools will be closed until Nov 11th owing to the outbreak of influenza.

East Ilsley
29th October 1918

Religious instruction deferred to last period + registers closed at 9.5 to let elder children start early for blackberries.

Beedon
October 29th

Blackberry gathering in the afternoon.

Thatcham
Oct. 29th

Attendance very poor this afternoon as … there are … a few cases of Spanish influenza.

Speenhamland
Oct 29th

School closed because of Influenza.

Bradfield
Oct. 29th

Only 31 children were in attendance today owing to colds and fear of the influenza.

Clewer
Oct. 29th

School closed owing to the prevalence of Influenza.

Log books of St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury (N/ES 7/1); East Ilsley CE School (C/EL39/1); Beedon CE School (C/EL55/1); Thatcham CE School (C/EL53/4); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Dr Watney’s School, Bradfield (C/EL10/2); St Katherine’s School, Clewer (C/EL113/2)

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)

Closing early to save coal

Braywick
27th September 1918

On three afternoons this week the registers were not marked, as the girls went blackberry picking.…

Mistress received instructions from the town council to close winter school at 3.30pm in order to save coal.

East Ilsley
27th September 1918

Children picking black berries for the M of food. 50lbs picked and forwarded last time.

Buscot
Sept. 27th

Another blackberrying expedition by older children and 2 teachers; 85 pounds gathered, packed and sent to Faringdon, making a total of 703 ½ pounds.

Hampstead Norreys
27th Sep.

Have closed three half days this week for blackberry picking. We have received & weighed 552 lbs of blackberries this week, making 1540 lbs in 3 weeks.

Log books of Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4, p. 205); East Ilsley CE School (C/EL39/1, p. 487); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

£6.9.9 in payment for blackberries

East Ilsley
23rd September 1918

Black-berry picking

Thatcham
Sep: 23rd

Received £6.9.9 in payment for blackberries picked last week. This was paid out as before.

Little Coxwell
Sept. 23rd

Registers not marked in the afternoon as the children went blackberrying.

Hampstead Norreys
23rd Sep.

We have closed school for the afternoon for blackberrying.

Log books of East Ilsley CE School (C/EL39/1, p. 487); Thatcham CE School (C/EL53/4); Little Coxwell CE School (C/EL80); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)