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.

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.

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)

“Thinking so much of my own grief and never having courage to speak of it to anyone”

One of Sydney’s old friends shares his sorrow.


Oct 5th

My dearest Florence

How selfish I have been these last three days, thinking so much of my own grief and never having courage to speak of it to anyone. But, dear, I have been thinking constantly of you and wishing so much that I could send you just a message of love & sympathy.

I know only too well what you must be feeling in the loss of the dearest of brothers, and you, more than anyone, will understand how I am missing and ever shall miss the dearest of friends.

We had been so looking forward to having him with us again soon – that cannot be, but thank God the fondest & happiest memories of him will always stay with us.

With my dear love to you and Mr Image and every kind thought.

Always yours affectionately
Bertie M Lamb

Letter of sympathy to Florence Image on the death of Sydney (D/EX801/81)

A bitter & lasting blow

Sydney Spencer had tounched many lives, and his sister Florence Image was to receive many letters of sympathy paying tribute to him. A family friend, aletred by Florence, went over to Cookham to comfort his elderly parents.

Oct 2nd

My dear Mrs Image

Your telegram gave us the greatest sorrow. We were all so very fond of our dear “Peter”, and the thought that we shall never again hear his cheery voice grieves us more than I can tell.

For some reason your message did not get to Littlewick until nearly three o’clock.

Directly I could get the pony put in, I drove over, and found that the War Office telegram had arrived only ten minutes earlier. Your father came to me first, quite broken hearted, poor old man, then I saw Nan [the eldest sister, Annie] who appeared indifferent, strange creature – and after a while the little “Mother”, who was bearing up splendidly and talked over Sydney’s youthful days and all the other boys in a way truly wonderful.

I hardly think she realised it all, that will come with the quiet of the night. She was resting in bed after a bad night of coughing. I shall go over again in a few days and will tell you how she bears up. To you, what can I say by way of comfort except that you have our deepest sympathy. We know how dear a brother he was, and that to lose him must be a bitter & lasting blow. So keenly did he feel it his duty to go with his men, that nothing less would have satisfied him, so let us honour his dear memory together as one who loved as a fine example of a good life.

With many loving wishes
Believe me ever
Affectionately yours

Florence Lamb

Letter of sympathy to Florence Image on the death of Sydney (D/EX801/81)

An aeroplane came down

Children at an east Berkshire school were far too excited to be expected to do any school work.

March 13th 1918

The last two lessons this afternoon were omitted as an aeroplane came down in a field near the school. All the children with the exception of the Infants went to see it and stayed until it went up again.

Littlewick C.E. School log book (85/SCH/5/2, p. 195)

“The men are thoroughly in earnest”

The villagers of Knowl Hill were contributing to the war effort in various ways.

Knowl Hill

Collections for the Waifs and Strays Society on Christmas Day and the 26th.

Ought we not to try earnestly to make as good a present of ourselves to our Lord in Holy Eucharist at Christmas, and thus shew we greatly value the new Birth for mankind, which was so greatly needed: The Incarnate Son of God – once a Waif and Stray.

The Waifs and Strays Society is doing excellent work for Orphans of Soldiers killed in the war.

Berkshire Volunteer Defence Reg: Maidenhead Battalion, Littlewick and Knowl Hill Section

The drills in connection with the above have been very well attended and the men are thoroughly in earnest in their work. On the 8th and 22nd November paraded with the Battalion at Maidenhead to proceed to Didcot to assist in loading and unloading the railway trucks at the A.O.C. Depot there. A Church Parade was held on the 15th and was well attended. The section is still open for recruits.

Drills. Wednesday, 7 Recruits
7.30 Section
Thursday 8.15 Section

Knowl Hill Church Lads’ Brigade

The usual drills have been held but have not been very well attended.

The Church Parade to Knowl Hill was only poorly attended on account of the weather; the one to Littlewick Church was fairly well attended.

It is hoped that the drills will be more regularly attended even if the nights are dark.

It is thought possible to change the Company into a Cadet Corps still under the government of the C.L.B.

Mr Butterworth will be glad to receive the names of all the men of the Parish serving, wounded, missing, etc., so that a complete list may be drawn up for Roll of Honour.

Wargrave parish magazine, December 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

A sham fight in Maidenhead

Men in Littlewick and Knowl Hill were enjoying themselves playing at soldiers, but the Church Lads’ Brigade for boys had had etbacks, and perhaps a diminution of enthusiasm.

Berkshire Volunteer Defence Regiment: Maidenhead Battalion: Littlewick and Knowl Hill Section

The Section has made good progress and the attendance has been very praiseworthy.

On October 7th the Members marched to Maidenhead to the Town Hall, for a concert got up by friends for the Battalion.

On October 9th the Section, together with some of the Members of the C.L.B., took up a position to defend The Green against an attack made by the Maidenhead Cadets. It proved to be a very interesting and instructive afternoon and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The Members expect to receive their uniforms within the course of a few days.

The Section is still open to receive recruits – Age 17 and upwards.

Wednesday, 7 Recruits
7.30 Section
Thursday, 8.15 Section.

Knowl Hill Church Lads’ Brigade

The work of the Company has once more been interrupted. The sickness has caused a temporary set back, but now matters are on the mend again. Once more we hope to be in full working order. The School has re-opened and out Sunday Class has commenced once more

On Saturday, October 9, some of the boys joined with the Volunteer Defence Corps against the Maidenhead Cadets in a sham fight.

The Buglers and Drummer are now receiving proper training for their work at Maidenhead.

We have lost six Members and therefore is room for six recruits.

Wargrave parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Recruits wanted for musketry and drill with the Volunteer Defence Regiment

An enthusiastic band of volunteers for home defence had been formed in Littlewick and Knowl Hill.

Berkshire Volunteer Defence Reg: Littlewick and Knowl Hill Corps

The drills in connection with the above have commenced. Musketry instruction forms the most important part of the work at present.

We are still in want of several recruits.

Drills: Wednesdays 7.0 and Thursdays 8.0.

It is hoped that those who intend to join will do so at once as it is necessary to become efficient as early as possible. All over 17 years are invited to join.

Wargrave parish magazine, October 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Eggs, chocolate and cigarettes

The Wargrave churches celebrated Harvest by collecting chocolate and cigarettes to send to local men serving in the armed forces, and eggs for the wounded in Reading.

Hare Hatch Notes
October 1915

We shall begin our Thanksgiving Services with the Holy Communion at 7 a.m., the Vicar will celebrate Children’s Service in the afternoon at 3 p.m., we invite them to bring new laid eggs for the sick and wounded soldiers in the Reading Hospital, this will be an acceptable gift.

November 1915
The Harvest Festival

The little iron Church looked very pretty when the sanctuary was decorated and nearly every seat was filled both in the morning and the evening. We had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Acworth, the Vicar of Twyford, as the preacher in the morning and Mr Wrenford, the Vicar of Littlewick in the evening.

Instead of bringing fruit and flowers people made offerings of chocolates, tobacco and some eight thousand cigarettes for the Sailors and Soldiers. These have been done up into small parcels, one for every man on the sea and across the sea. Relatives are asked to out the little present into the next parcel they send out. Three pounds weight will go for a shilling, so one can often find room for a little packet.

If any parishioners who have relations who have left England in the service of the country and have not yet received a parcel, they are requested to call at the Vicarage for one.

Wargrave parish magazines, October and November 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

An offering in which all can join

Wargrave Church decided to replace the usual Harvest Festival displays of produce with cigarettes to send to the troops.

The Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival at the Parish Church will be held on Sunday, October 10th. The Collections will be as usual divided between the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Association and the Royal Berkshire Hospital at Reading.

It would seem that in place of the offerings of fruit and flowers, for which there is no space in the iron Church, there can be a better plan than that adopted last year. Tobacco and Cigarettes for our Soldiers will be an offering in which all can join, and will be received at the Church door throughout the day.

The preacher at Mattins will be the Rev. R. W. H. Acworth, Vicar of Twyford and at Evensong the Rev. T. H. Wrenford, Vicar of Littlewick.

The decorations will be of simple character, as on other Festivals in the temporary Church. We shall be grateful if the ladies will give their kind help as usual, both in sending flowers and by coming early on Saturday morning to do all that is possible to add beauty to the Sanctuary.

Wargrave parish magaizine, October 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

The Berkshire Volunteer Corps

Fears of invasion led men in the Wargrave area to start up a local body of volunteers to defend the area if necessary.

On August 11 a Meeting was held in the School in connection with the Berkshire Volunteer Corps, which is being raised in the District. All men of 17 and upwards are invited to join and be trained for Home Defence. The Headquarters will be Gilchrist Institute, Littlewick. The Committee have kindly offered the Institute for the use of the Corps. Any information with regard to the Corps, may be obtained from Mr. Butterworth.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Doing battle till our foes become God’s footstool

The Church Lads’ Brigade continued to exercise teenage boys in Knowl Hill.

Knowl Hill

On June 27th there was a large muster of our Church Lads’ Brigade for the Morning Service at St Peter’s Church. We are very glad to see the young men there, and hope they will learn it is a right thing for them to join in the Public Worship of God; on whom we depend for all we are and have and in whose name it is our duty to do battle, till all His foes become His footstall.

The Vicar has been honoured with a Commission, dated from March 18, 1915, to cat as Chaplain in the Brigade. He hopes to be able to perform some of the duties of Chaplain, although he has felt it wise to ask the Vicar of Littlewick to take most of the active part of the work.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Bugle needed for the Church Lads’ Brigade

The semi-military boys’ group, the Church Lads’ Brigade, was flourishing in Wargrave.

St Peter’s Church Lad’s Brigade Company: No. 3184, 4th Battalion Oxford Regiment

The Parades have been well attended during the month (with exception of Whit-Monday, when several were absent without leave, and some were at work).

The Company turned out for Chuch Parade at Knowl Hill on Whit Sunday. On Whit Monday the Company went for a Route March and had a most enjoyable day, the weather being very fine.

The first halt was made at Marlow where a short time was spent. After this they made for Quarry Woods [in Bisham], where, under the shade of trees and overlooking the Thames, they devoured the contents of their haversacks. After this a free and easy march was made for Cookham and from thence to Maidenhead in full order. Here the Company stayed for tea and a look round. After falling in once more Littlewick was reached where the boys were dismissed.

There was a good turn up for Church Parade at Littlewick on June 20th, 1915. After the service the Company were inspected by the Chaplain, The Rev. T. Wrenford.

It is hoped that the boys will distinctly understand that it is against the rules for a member to be absent without leave.

A Parishioner has kindly offered to supply one of two needed bugles, if another will give the second.

Wargrave parish magazine, July 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

The Church Lads join the Cadets

The new Wargrave branch of the quasi-military Church Lads’ Brigade were settling into their existence.

On May 2nd and Whitsunday the Church Lads Brigade attended Morning Service at our Church. We are glad to publish the following report.

St Peter’s Church Lad’s Company
No. 3184

The Lads are making steady progress in their drill and other work. The Sunday Class and Church Parades have been well attended. They have now received their full equipment and look quite smart.
On Monday evening, April 5th, the Company were invited to join the Cadets, in camp at Bartletts, by Capt. Marrow (Commanding Officer).

On reaching the ground the Company were inspected by Capt. Marrow, who complimented them on their smart appearance, and in course of a short address appealed to them to aim at becoming efficient by prompt attention to all the duties they were called upon to perform.

After being dismissed the Lads joined the Cadets and a pleasant evening was spent in games, songs, etc. At the close Capt. Marrow thanked all present for their share in welcoming the Cadets at Littlewick. He said they had been shewn every kindness by everyone and they had done their utmost to make their stay pleasant. Especially he wished to thank Mr. Bates for their ideal camping ground.

We have to thank several Littlewick friends for the sum of £3 6s. 0d. towards our funds; and there are other promised gifts yet to be received.

It is hoped to give a full list of Subscribers and a statement of accounts, as soon as the Pass Book is received form Headquarters.
We have to record that Corporal A. Arnold has joined Kitchener’s Army.

T. Butterworth, Capt.
F. C. Barham, Incumbent.

The Vicar has been asked and has consented to act as Parish Representative of the “Inns of Court Officers Training Corps.” He has papers on the subject to show to any who would like to see them. There is an urgent need for well-trained Officers.

Wargrave parish magazine, June 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)

Bugles and drums needed for Wargrave Church Lads

The semi-military boys’ club at Wargrave was doing well, as the following report attests.

St Peters Church Lads’ Company

Since the last report the members of the Company, have made steady progress.

They are somewhat disappointed at the non-arrival of the Belts, but still they look quite smart in their Caps, Haversacks and Putties. The first Church Parade was on Easter Sunday, when the lads turned up well and the Vicar welcomed them.

On Easter Monday [5 April] a Route March was arranged. Leaving Headquarters they marched through Wargrave to Henley. Here the contents of their haversacks were eagerly attacked.

Tracks were then made for Shiplake in a round about way and thence across the ferry to Wargrave. Once more the march was continued and Headquarters were reached about 5 after an enjoyable day’s outing, the lads seeming none the worse for their long trudge.

The Bible Class on Sunday mornings is well attended.

On Sunday, April 18th, the Company paraded and went to Littlewick Church. After the Service the Vicar spoke to the boys. We are glad to say that the Rev. T. Wrenford has consented to act as Chaplain to the Company and has contributed a sovereign towards the funds.

We are still in need of Bugles and Drums but considering the times we have done very well and hope that some kind donor will yet come forward to our assistance when the present state of affairs improve.

T. Butterworth, Captain
F. C. Barham, Incumbent

It is with pleasure that we can say that there are over 50 serving with the Colours who have attended the Knowl Hill Schools. We are very proud to say that many more from the village are also serving.

Wargrave parish magazine, May 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)