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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Peace mugs distributed

Souvenir mugs to celebrate peace were in high demand in Hampstead Norreys.

24th Oct.

Yesterday (Thurs) the Peace Mugs were distributed to all the scholars by Mrs Coper of Eling. A number of parents also attended to receive mugs for those children above or below school age.
The 1st Class children sang two songs before the presentation, and afterwards, on the proposition of the Head master, thanked Mrs Cooper for coming to distribute the mugs.

They were bought with money collected by the Peace Celebrations Committee.

Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

England expects every one to do his duty, now, just as in Nelson’s time

21st Oct.

As today is “Nelson’s Day”, I gave a short address to the children of 1st Class on “Sea-Power”, showing how Britain is & has been for hundreds of years “Mistress of the Seas”, but that she has always used this power justly, allowing the true freedom of the seas to all nations, especially taking under her care the smaller nations, and keeping the seas clear of piracy and slave-trading. I also spoke of the Battle of Trafalgar, and of Nelson’s famous signal, impressing upon the scholars that England expects every one to do his duty, now, just as in Nelson’s time.

Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

More members of the War Savings Association

10th Oct.
Lady Rucker addressed the scholars today on War Savings, in the hope of stimulating the savings movement & of obtaining more members of the War Savings Association.

Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

The victory year

Children must have been pleased by an extra week’s summer holiday as a peace dividend.

Chieveley Primary School
July 31st 1919

School closes today for the Summer Holidays. An extra week has been added to commemorate the victory year following The Great War.

Lower Sandhurst School
July 31st 1919

We broke up at mid-day for the usual summer holiday to be extended to five weeks in commemoration of peace.

Combe School
July 31st 1919

School closes Thursday July 31st for 6 weeks. An extra week has been granted as a Peace Holiday.

Hampstead Norreys CE School
31 July
We closed school today for 6 weeks. The extra week’s holiday has been given in response to the King’s request for an extra week in honour of Peace.

Log books of Chieveley Primary School (88/SCH/11/2); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL66/1); Combe School (C/EL15/2); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

Practicing songs & dances for Peace Celebrations

Hampstead Norreys
11 July

The 1st & 2nd Classes have been practicing songs & dances for Peace Celebrations on 19th July.

Newbury
11th July 1919

A half-holiday was given on Wednesday for Sunday School Treats & on Thursday for Victory Loan Day. For the latter we decorated a car to represent Industry.

Reading
1919, July 11th

Rev. A Nash called on Thursday. “Special Effort” week for Victory Loan; in first two days over £10 was given in by our scholars, bringing up our total amount subscribed to over £650.


Log books of Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School log book (90/SCH/5/3); St John’s School, Reading (D/P172/28A/23)

Victory Loan Procession

11 July

A number of scholars were absent yesterday [10 July] having gone to Newbury to see the Victory Loan Procession.

Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

Cheers for the allies and the old boys fighting

Schools celebrated the end of the war.

Riseley Common
Nov. 11th

Acting on the assumption that peace has been declared (or rather an armistice arranged), as we could hear sirens sounding and church bells ringing, we have sung the National Anthem, “Praise God” etc.

St Stephen’s Boys’ School, Windsor
November 11th 1918

Armistice day.

Stoke Road School, Slough
November 11th 1918

School was re-opened this morning – 63% (194/308). The M.O.H ordered the school to be closed until November 18th.

During the morning I received the news that Germany had accepted the Allies’ terms and signed the Armistice.

The children formed a hollow square in front of the flag-staff, to which a new rope had been attached in readiness. The flag was hoisted by the youngest boy in the school to the singing of the National Anthem. The flag was then saluted and cheers were given for the allies and the old boys fighting. Edw. J Baldwin “shinned” up the pole to attach the rope. John Cross hoisted the Flag.

Sunninghill: St Michael’s CE Mixed School
11th November 1918

Beginning of Armistice. On the occasion of this I addressed the children, & hoisted the Union Jack. The National Anthem was then sung.

Stanford Dingley National School
November 11th 1918

Today, news was received that the Armistice was signed at 11 o’clock AM between Germany and the allies, this concluding the Great European War. After signing several National Songs concluding with the National Anthem. The children dispersed at 3 o’clock this afternoon.

King Street School, Maidenhead
11th November 1918

There were 107 children present this morning. The news of the signing of the armistice made a difference to the attendance this afternoon. 73 children present.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School log book
11th November 1918

News of Germany’s signing of the armistice reached the school at 11.10 am. At midday the whole school assembled and cheered the news after singing “God Save the King”. A half holiday was given by the mayor in honour of the great event.

Abingdon Girls CE School
1918, 11th-15th November

Children were dismissed at 3 o’clock on Armistice Day at the Vicar’s request.

Coleshill CE School
15th November 1918

On Monday (11th) when news of ‘The Armistice’ arrived the children sang ‘The King’ and saluted the ‘flag’ with cheers for our Army and Navy; they were then sent home.

Sonning CE Girls and Infants
11th November 1918

School closed in the afternoon to celebrate the signing of the Armistice.

Littlewick CE School
November 11th 1918

At 11.30 AM we heard bells and hooters going and knew that the Armistice was signed and that the war was over. The children cheered and sang “God Save the King” and Rule Britannia, and put up the Union Jack.

Buscot CE School
Nov. 11th

News that the armistice had been signed reached Buscot in the afternoon. The Flag was hoisted, cheers given, National Anthem sung and the hymn “Now thank we all our God”. The children were dismissed at 3 pm, and a holiday given next day Nov 12th.

Aston Tirrold
11th November 1918

We re-opened this morning after a closure of nearly a fortnight on account of influenza. Only 42 children are present out on 75 on roll. Just before noon the rector brought in the news that the Armistice had been signed. Secular work was suspended, and we humble fell upon our knees and heartedly thanked God for His great mercy vouchsafed unto us. A holiday to commemorate the Victory was given in the afternoon.

Braywick
11th November 1918

School opened again this morning [following closure for influenza] with a very fair amount of scholars and after consulting the doctor it was decided to mark register and proceed with usual work which was done accordingly. Peace however was declared in the morning and great excitement presided, many scholars remaining at home in the afternoon. School was resumed on Tuesday, the national anthem was sung, patriotic songs, flag waving etc and children kept quite excited.

Great Coxwell
11th November 1918

War Ended. Holiday in the afternoon to celebrate the great event.

Milton
Nov 11th

Re-opened again this morning [after closure for influenza] with 28 children, several still being ill. Heard in the dinner hour of the Armistice being signed, & gave the children the half holiday.

Log books of Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3); St Stephen’s Boys’ School, Windsor (88/SCH/23/7, p. 167); Stoke Road School, Slough (89/SCH/28/1); Sunninghill: St Michael’s CE Mixed School (88/SCH/32/3); Stanford Dingley National School (C/EL21); King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School (C/EL72/3); Abingdon Girls CE School (C/EL 2/2); Coleshill CE School (D/P40/28/5); Sonning CE Girls and Infants (89/SCH/1/4);Littlewick C.E. School(85/SCH/5/2, p. 197); Buscot CE School (C/EL73/2); Aston Tirrold CE School log book (C/EL105/1, p. 169); Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4, p. 208); Milton CE School (D/P85/25/25); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)Great Coxwell CE School (C/EL81/2, p. 83); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School (90/SCH/5/3); Purley CE School (C/EL85/2)

One death has been reported

Some schools were unable to celebrate the Armistice as the influenza epidemic was too taxing. It was fatal in many cases.

Boyne Hill
Nov: 11th

School reopened this morning. The attendance is very poor. One death has been reported.

Hampstead Norreys
11th Nov.

The school was closed for the whole of last week as the influenza was no better. This morning the children were assembled, but it was found that about 30 boys were absent and about 30 to 40 of them had colds, and as there were more cases of influenza in the parish than when we closed before, the Managers decided to close the school for another week.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School
11th November 1918

School not opened. Opening postponed until the 18th inst.

Purley CE School
11th November 1918

There are only 18 children in attendance this morning. Miss Ruffell is also away, owing to an attack of influenza.

Charney Bassett
11.11.18

Only 23 present, have wired the Council.

School closed by order of the Medical officer until Nov. 18.

Log books of Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); Bouverie Pusey School, Charney Bassett (C/EL41/2); etc

Many cases in the neighbourhood

Goosey
31st October 1918

School closed by telegram owing to epidemic of influenza.

Hampstead Norreys
31st Oct.

We have closed school this morning & remain closed until next Wednesday, on account of the prevalence of influenza. There are many cases in the neighbourhood.

Log books of Goosey CE School (C/EL89/1); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

Prevalence of Influenza

Reading
23rd October 1918

Owing to prevalence of Influenza, school is closed to Nov 5.

Hampstead Norreys
23rd Oct.

Closed this afternoon for blackberrying.

Beedon
October 23rd

Half holiday for blackberrying.


Reading St Giles Boys School log book (R/ES2/9); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Beedon CE School (C/EL55/1)

The epidemic is very serious

Some schools were working normally, others felled by flu.

Braywick
22nd October 1918

To-day, Tuesday the number were considerably lower. Nurse came over to see mistress and report to Dr Patterson. Shortly after, a messenger came from the Dr requesting mistress to close the school at once until Nov 4, in common with nearly all the borough schools. The epidemic is very serious in this parish, several deaths have occurred from that complaint. Mistress sent notes to the parents explaining the reason for the closure.

Speenhamland
Oct 22

I gave a lecture to upper Standards on the work of the Navy at the request of the Navy League.

Hampstead Norreys
22nd Oct.

Have closed this afternoon for blackberrying.


Braywick CE School log book (C/EL65/4); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

Very successful work

Reading was hit by flu, with over 70 children from one school affected.

Reading
18th October 1918

There is an epidemic of Influenza – number on books 209. Number present this morning 135.

Braywick
18th October 1918

This week three afternoons have been granted for picking berries as the weather became fine and dry. The girls have been very successful at the work.

Hampstead Norreys
18th Oct 1918

The children have picked 168 lbs of blackberries during this week.

Boyne Hill
Oct: 18th

Notice has been received that this school is to be closed [for influenza] from noon today until Nov: 4th.

Log books of Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School log book (89/SCH/7/6); Braywick CE School log book (C/EL65/4); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

An epidemic of influenza

The dreadful flu epidemic hit Berkshire.

Abingdon
1918, 14th-18th October

There is an epidemic of influenza, poor attendance the whole of the week. Sent out notices of absence replies all reported illness. Only 99 girls present on Wednesday morning…

School closed on the 16th owing to the epidemic and reopened November 11th.

Hampstead Norreys
16th Oct.

School closed this morning for blackberrying. Children return to school for the afternoon.

Beedon
16th October.

School closed for blackberrying – 60 lbs gathered.

Boyne Hill
Oct: 16th

Dr Paterson has again been notified of the increasing number of influenza cases.

The PT [pupil teacher] was too ill to remain in school this afternoon.

Log books of Abingdon Girls’ CE School (C/EL2/2, p. 167); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Beedon CE School (C/EL55/1); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

The picking may go on for another week, weather permitting

Braywick
11th October 1918

Only one afternoon was granted for food picking this week, the weather was too wet, and unsuitable. …

Mr Harris visited on Thursday to ask that the picking may go on for another week, weather permitting.

Maidenhead
11th October 1918

Many of the Jewish children are returning to London.

Warfield
11th October 1918

I have received the copy of a telegram from the Food Controller Reading asking us to continue blackberry picking as the fruit is most urgent.

Hampstead Norreys
11th Oct 1918

The children picked 192 lbs of blackberries during the week.

Riseley Common
Oct. 11th

A wet morning – several children are absent and the Head Teacher fears a return of Influenza.

Log books of Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4); King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Warfield CE School (C/EL26/3); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3)