Children’s peace festival

Newbury
16/9/19

12 boys and 13 girls will attend Palmer Park this morning at 10 to take part in sports in preparation for the Peace Festival Sports in Wednesday (Sept 24th).

Emmer Green
16th September 1919

Three boys and six girls were taken to Palmer Park today to take part in the preliminary contests for the Children’s Peace Festival Sports.

Log books of Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); Emmer Green CE School (R/ES8/3)

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Not a few of our brave lads have made the great sacrifice which helped to bring Peace to the Nations

Those who had not returned from the war were remembered in the midst of rejoicing.


The Sunday School

The Peace-time Picnic was greatly enjoyed at Beacon Hill, on Wednesday, 13th August. The day was very fine – the sun’s rays being tempered with a delightful breeze, and the sylvan beauties of the park with the glorious views from the downs were never before seen in such perfection by the majority of those present.

The last School Picnic at Highclere was held in July 1914 – almost on the eve of the great world tragedy of August 4th of that year – and not a few of our brave lads have made the great sacrifice which helped to bring Peace to the Nations. We bow our heads in reverent remembrance of them, and thank God for those who have been spared and have been enabled to take up their work again.

The work on this occasion was indeed joyous, as load after load of happy people of all ages, but mostly young, were discharged on the soft turf from the motor lorries provided by Messrs. Pass & Co. Three journeys were made each way, the first company starting at 1 o’clock and the last at 3.45 from the Lecture Hall and the return journeys were made, the first at 6.30 and the last at 9.15, thus giving all a fair average of time at the Hill.

The all important function of tea was celebrated on the slopes near the Lodge at 4.30. Mrs. F.C. Hopson and a willing band of helpers catered for the hungry throng, 300 strong, while Mr Henry Marshall eclipsed all his past efforts by the splendid brew he produced. All were unanimous in saying that the tea was an unqualified success. After the tea, sports and games, under the direction of Mr. H. Allen and Mr. Spalding, held in the field, and the first hoot of the lorry’s siren sounded all too soon.

The whole of the arrangements worked perfectly under the direction of the Superintendents of the School, and the result was a day of pure and unalloyed enjoyment. Mention must be made of the kind assistance rendered by Mr. Harris, who in the absence of our newly elected Minister, officiated at the tea, also of the numerous friends in the congregation who contributed so liberally towards the expenses, and are hereby tendered the grateful thanks of the Officers and Teachers.

It may be interesting to shew by way of contrast the cost of a pre-war picnic at Beacon Hill with that of a post-war expenditure for practically the same number.

1914
£ S d
Total expenditure 16 15 1

Less Tea and Rail Fares 3 4 6
Paid for by 43 friends at
1s 6d each
Net Cost £13 11s 7d

1919
£ S d
Total expenditure 17 17 8 ½

RECEIPTS

Balance previous treats 17 0
Contributions 11 3 9 ½
Provisions sold 1 9 2 ½ 13 10 0

Balance Due to Treas. £4 7s 8 ½ d

The cost of transit was the most expensive item this year owing to 50% increase of railway fares and the unsuitable times of the trains an expenditure of £9 had to be incurred for motor lorries. Leaving this item out of the account the other expenses work out to even less than the pre-war picnic.

The cost of tea, including the boiling of water and hire of crockery, was about 5⅓d. per head, inclusive of teachers and helpers – a wonderful result, which, in these days of high prices, reflects great credit on Mrs. F. C. Hopson and those helping her.

The Newbury and Thatcham Congregational Magazine, September 1919 (D/N32/12/1/1/1)

Any selfishness of any class must stand in the way of real peace and happiness at home

The vicar of Newbury urged a generous spirit in rebuilding national life, and thought servicemen should have first call on all jobs.

The long hoped for signing of the Peace Treaty has taken place, and the Nation has joined together in humble and hearty thanksgiving to Almighty God for His great and undeserved mercies. It is impossible to imagine from what horrors we have been saved by His goodness, and through the willing sacrifice of so many of our splendid men, and the courage and energy of millions, both men and women. If the terms imposed by the Allies on Germany seem hard they would have been nothing to the terms they would have imposed on us if they had won, and for generations our Country would not have recovered, if ever it did recover. Thanks be to God for His mercy to us.

And now we have to reconstruct our National Life. That is no easy task, and it calls for the spirit of willing co-operation and sacrifice from all classes. Any selfishness of any class must stand in the way of real peace and happiness at home. It is the duty surely of employers to give returned soldiers and sailors the first chance of employment, even if it means displacing someone else, and those who have fought and endured should have no just cause for grievances. The Government will have to put down profiteering with a strong hand, and should also severely punish the professional agitator and “him that stirreth up strife among brethren”. While all of us should do our best to spread the spirit of love and service. God has been gracious to us and now it is for us to prove ourselves worthy of His favour.

Sunday, July 6th, was observed as a day of Thanksgiving for Peace, and the services were well attended. The Municipal and National rejoicings took place on July 19th. There was unfortunately a lot of rain, and the children’s tea had to take place in different buildings instead of all together on the Cricket Field. The Procession in London must have been a magnificent sight.

The War Memorial Committee have had two meetings lately, the first with Mr C O Skilbeck to advise them, and the second with Mr Cogswell for the same purpose. They hope soon to have a design from the latter to put before the congregation and parishioners.

Newbury parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

Victory in the Great European War

Lower Basildon CE School
30th July 1919

School closed this afternoon for the Summer Holiday. The Education Committee have granted an extra week’s holiday, in accordance with the wish expressed by King George, to commemorate the Victory in the Great European War.

Aldermaston School
30th July 1919.

School closed at noon today for summer holidays, His Majesty King George has expressed a wish that in commemoration of the signing of Peace the children should be granted an extra week’s holiday.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School
31st July 1919

Peace Celebration sports were held in playground yesterday afternoon.

Log books of Lower Basildon CE School (C/EL7/2, p. 205); Aldermaston School log book (88/SCH/3/3, p. 108); and Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School (90/SCH/5/5, p. 251)

The children must not be disappointed in this, their first outing after the war

Life was returning to normal for Berkshire’s children.

Sunday School Treat

The teachers are hoping to give the children a special treat this year, the first since 1914. The deacons were approached with reference to a special collection being taken up for this purpose, but it was eventually decided to place envelopes in the pews on the last Sunday in July, thus giving all who would like an opportunity of contributing towards the cost.
It is hoped a good amount will be raised so that the children may not be disappointed in this, their first outing after the war.

The Newbury and Thatcham Congregational Magazine, August 1919 (D/N32/12/1/1)

Children’s grand parade to celebrate peace

Many of the schools in Berkshire celebrated the peace today.

Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School
24th July 1919

School closes today (Thursday) for summer holidays-six weeks – one week extra being given at King George’s command – to celebrate the signing of Peace.

Grey Friars Infants’ School, Reading
July 24th 1919

School closed today on account of Peace Celebration Treat for the Infants. Treat took place 2.30 to 5pm on Vicarage Lawn.

Central Continuation School, Reading (89/SCH/8/9)
24th July 1919

Schools closed this afternoon on the occasion of the children’s peace procession.

Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School
24th July 1919

School was closed today for the Children’s Treat in commemoration of the Peace.

George Palmer Boys’ School, Reading
24th July 1919

Closed (pm) to permit of (Peace) Children’s Parade.

Coley Street Primary School, Reading
24/07/1919

The competitors in the ‘fancy costume parade’ of the Peace Day celebrations (Sat 19th) are forming a grand parade through a portion of the town this afternoon.

Boyne Hill
July 24th

In accordance with a desire expressed by His Majesty the King, the Education Committee have decided to extend the summer holidays by one week.

Newbury
24/07/19

Children left at 3:15 today for the purpose of finishing their Peace Day sports.

Log books of Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School C/EL4/2); Grey Friars Infants’ School, Reading (R/ES4/2); Central Continuation School, Reading (89/SCH/8/9); Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School log book (89/SCH/7/6); George Palmer Boys’ School, Reading (89/SCH/8/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1))

Peace Treat

Children continued to celebrate peace.

Reading: All Saints Infant School
23rd July 1919

The school closes this morning (Wed) till Friday; on account of the swimming gala this afternoon; and the children’s Peace Treat tomorrow.

Wallingford Boys Council School
1919, 23 July

Visited, at about 12.10, by the Chairman of Managers, when it was decided that an extra week’s holiday should be given in response to the wish of HM the King (Peace Celebration).

Newbury
23/07/19

There will be a half holiday this afternoon by order of the Ed: Com: as the swimming sports are taking place.

Log books of All Saints Infant School, Reading (89/SCH/19/2); and Wallingford Boys Council School (SCH22/8/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1)

Listless and tired after the Peace Celebrations

There was a bit of a reaction after the excitement was over.

Speenhamland
July 21st

Children appear listless and tired after the Peace Celebrations, but good number present.

Boyne Hill
July 21st

A whole holiday was given today. Peace Day celebrations were held on July 19th.

Newbury
21/07/19

Mrs Petty was absent today – permission being given that she might attend the local Peace festivities.

Log books of SSt Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1)

Preparations for the Peace Celebrations

Berkshire’s children prepared for a day to celebrate the final peace treaty.

Hampstead Norreys
18 July

In singing lessons have been practicing patriotic songs & a song & dance fpr Peace Celebrations tomorrow (19th)…
We closed school at mid-day, owing to preparations in the school for the teas tomorrow. The school will remain closed until Tuesday morning to allow the room to be put ready for school work again.

Abingdon Girls’ CE School
14th-18th July 1919

Holiday on Friday for Peace Festivities.

Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School
18th July 1919

School closed today on account of children’s Peace Commemoration Treat.

Cookham Alwyn Road School
July 18th 1919

This school has been invited to join in the Peace Celebration of the Borough of Maidenhead.

Newbury St Nicolas CE Girls’School
18th July 1919

This afternoon we prepared for the Peace Celebration to take place tomorrow.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School
18th July 1919

After play in the afternoon, the rest of the session was devoted to preparations for the Peace Celebrations on the 19th.

King Street School, Maidenhead
18th July 1919

The children devoted the afternoon to decorating their rooms for Peace Day.

Bradfield CE School
July 18th 1919

School closed this afternoon. Peace Day tomorrow.

Redlands Boys’ School, Reading
July 18th 1919

The preliminary races for the day of Peace Celebrations were run in Wheelers Meadow during the week and on account of these the lessons on the time table were not adhered to.

St John’s School. Caversham
July 18th 1919

The children left school about 2:15pm in charge of the teachers, marched to the Reading recreation ground and ran the preliminary heats of the races, the finals of which were to take place on peace day the 19th in the Palmer Park. Registers were not taken.

Battle Infants School, Reading
18th July 1919

The Head Teacher was out of school on Thursday for an hour making arrangements for the Peace Celebrations, which are taking place next week.

Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury
The usual lessons were suspended in the girl’s section of the school at 3.30 today. This was to enable some of the girls to practice for some items in the children’s peace celebrations festival tomorrow.

St John’s School, Reading
July 18th, 1919

The Chairman of Managers looked in on Thursday ^& Friday & arranged for a Thanksgiving Service for “Signing of Peace” next Tuesday.

Log books of Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2); Abingdon Girls’ CE School log book (C/EL 2/2); Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School (C/EL4/2); Cookham Alwyn Road School log book (88/SCH/18/1); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School log book (90/SCH/5/3); Newbury St Nicolas CE (Girls) School log look(90/SCH/5/5); King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Bradfield CE School (D/P22/28/2); Redlands Boys’ School, Reading (86/SCH/3/30); St John’s School. Caversham (89/SCH/14/1); Reading: Battle Infants School (SCH20/8/2); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); St John’s School, Reading (D/P172/28A/23)

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

10th July 1919

School closed for afternoon on account of the Victory Loan Procession.

Newbury St Nicolas CE (Boys) School log book (90/SCH/5/3, p. 57)

Half holiday

9/07/19
There will be a half holiday this afternoon and also tomorrow afternoon by order of the Education Committee for Sunday Treats and Victory loan processions respectively.

Log book of St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1)

Home to clock golf and bowls

Another soldier was home.

The members of the Parish Church Branch of the CEMS were invited to the Rectory garden for a social evening on June 18th, and indulged in clock golf and bowls on the lawn. Among those present was Mr Harry Canning, returned from his service in the forces in Egypt.

Newbury parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

“It was decided to place a Memorial on the wall”

There was progress towards a Newbury war memorial.

The War Memorial Committee came to the Church on June 18th at 2.30, to meet Mr C O Skilbeck, who came down from London to advise them, on behalf of the Oxford Diocesan Advisory Committee. It was decided to place a Memorial on the wall just near the Lady Chapel, and Mr Skilbeck gave the Committee the name of an architect who would draw up a design. As soon as this is settled upon, an appeal for funds will be made. To provide this Memorial, and to put the Westminster Chimes upon the Bells, may involve an expenditure of £200 or £250.

Newbury parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

“The influenza epidemic put a great strain on the hospital”

A Newbury hospital reflected on the challenges of the last year of the war.

Annual General Meeting held at The Newbury District Hospital on Wednesday May 24th 1919

The Committee’s Report

The Managing Committee reported that the year had been an interesting and difficult one, there having been many changes in the staff. The influenza epidemic put a great strain on the hospital, as a large number of pneumonia cases were received, and the staff were laid up. Notwithstanding these difficulties, an unusually large number of patients were treated during the year. As compared with 1917 civilian patients increased by 104 and soldier patients by 38. It would have been impossible for the small staff to have coped with this work without the help of the Newbury Voluntary Aid Detachment and some other ladies, all of whom rendered most valuable assistance. The committee acknowledged the general interest in the hospital evidenced by the gifts of vegetables, supplies and other useful articles throughout the years.

Newbury District Hospital minute book (D/H4/3/2)