Our hearty good-will and our deep sense of all that France has and is suffering for the cause of freedom and the Allies

Bastille Day, the French national day, is actually on 14 July, commemorating the fall of the Bastille and start of the French Revolution. Berkshire schools clearly had a rather vague grasp of French history, but cannot be faulted for their admiration for our ally.

July 12th 1918

On Friday afternoon, being France’s National Day, the children were addressed by the Vicar, the French Flag saluted and the Marseillaise sung – the following letter was also sent to the President of the French Republic:

Aldworth Vicarage

July 12th 1918

Dear Mr President,

The inhabitants of Aldworth wish to take the opportunity, which France’s National Day affords, to express to you our hearty good-will and our deep sense of all that France has and is suffering for the cause of freedom and the Allies.

We also take this opportunity to assure you that we are determined that the war shall at length, at whatever cost, be waged to a victorious issue.

Believe us to be, dear Mr President, your most devoted Allies.

(signed) A. L Watson, Vicar of Aldworth, Chairman of the Parish Council

12th July 1918

At noon to-day the children first saluted ‘The French Flag’ and then our ‘Union Jack’ in the playground. After this they sang ‘the Marseillaise’ and our own National Anthem, this being ‘France’s Day’.

12th July 1918.

Pamphlets have been sent by the local War Aims committee to be given to the children today to commemorate France’s Day July 14th. The Head Teacher will give a short explanation of the subject to the school.

Hinton Waldrist
July 12th 1918

France’s Day. Children assembled in playground at 1.30. An address given by Capt: J. Loder Symonds. The French Flag and Union Jack saluted. The Marseillaise and God Save the King sung.

Log books: Aldworth School (C/EL54/3); Coleshill CE School (D/P40/28/5); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3); Hinton Waldrist C of E Schoolk (C/EL84/2)


The wounded soldiers of France

1918 July 12th

France’s National Day celebrated. Lady Faringdon & Miss Gillett visited the school and joined in celebrating the occasion. The children sang the “Marseillaise”, “O God, our Help in Ages Past” and our own National Anthem.

Badges were distributed and a collection made amounting to £2 18s 5d for the wounded soldiers of France.

Buscot CE School log book (C/EL73/2)

Three National Anthems

The children sang the National Anthems of our allies at the annual prizegiving day at Crazies Hill School.

Crazies Hill Notes

On Friday, July 30th, the School broke up for the Summer holidays, and the annual prize distribution was held. A large number of parents and others interested in the School were present, and were shewn some very credible examples of children’s work. The School itself presented quite an altered aspect, on the walls were hunt specimens of painting, there peered at one from every angle all sorts of animals and insects, and the place was ablaze with colour. In one part of the room garments made by the girls were exhibited, in another modelling, all of which were really well done and reflected great credit upon the teachers.

After the Vicar had addressed the children, Mrs. Winter very kindly gave away the prizes, it was rather an exciting moment for the children as for the most part they did not know to whom the prizes were to be given. The Vicar proposed three cheers for the Head Teacher, and in turn he and Mrs Winter were warmly acclaimed.

After the singing of the French and Belgian National Anthems by the children, the proceedings terminated with ‘God Save the King’.

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

French Flag Day

On Bastille Day, people across Berkshire celebrated our ally France. Even the poor gave what they could. Children learnt about the country.

Sulhamstead has warmly taken up the cause of our Allies in France who have been rendered destitute and homeless through the North Eastern industrial portion of their land being in the occupation of the Germans. A collection was given to this cause on Sunday July 14th, and although unannounced, amounted to 17s 9 1/2d. Mademoiselle Delphine Payat has taken a list to certain of our parishioners, and has raised a sum of £4. many sent word that they wished to give, or sent their gifts, and it has been very touching to read the number of small sums of 6d that have been given by the working classes, even by the very poor.

A further use of the balance left from the Jumble Sale and the Children’s Concert has been made in preparing bags and tray cloths for the Reading War Hospital. The material for 44 of these was purchased, and the tray cloths and bags made by residents in the parish. It is hoped that the small balance still remaining may be used for sandbags.

14th July 1915
Children have been saving for the French refugees and today we celebrated “French Flag” Day. We marched round playground saluting both English and French flags and singing English and French National Anthems.

Coleshill CE School
On Wednesday (14th) [July] lessons on France and tales of her people were given to the Upper Group. The Marseillaise was sung, the French flag saluted, and each child wore a small one.

French Flag Day Relief Fund.
The Scholars and their Teachers at the National School have not been unmindful of the calls made upon all for help in these distressful times. In answer to an appeal from the Overseas Club as long ago as May last, the children made a collection among themselves and their friends, and succeeded in raising a sum of 9/-. The Overseas Club undertook to add 2/- to each 1/- raised, and to forward it to nine soldiers at the front, with postcards for replies. Then on the French Flag Day – July 14 – the children again made a collection, amounting to 10/- for the French Relief Fund. This was forwarded to the Secretary, Mr. F. H. Dickinson, and suitably acknowledged.

14th July 1915.
Special reference was made to France today; the Marseillaise was sung, and a sum of five shillings was contributed by the scholars towards the fund for helping wounded French soldiers.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, August 1915 (D/EX725/3); Coleshill CE School log book (D/P40/28/4, p. 288); Aldermaston CE School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 40); Wraysbury Infants School log book; Thatcham parish magazine, August 1915 (D/P130/28A/31)