Election booths put up

The groundbreaking General Election of 1918 would be the first in which women, and all men over 21, could vote.

Reading
Dec. 12

School closed on Friday, wanted as a “Polling Station” for the Parliamentary Election. Booths put up on Friday, election on Saturday 14th Dec.

Newbury
12/12/18

School will be closed tomorrow in order that the rooms may be made ready for use as a polling station for the parliamentary election.

Clewer
Dec. 12th

School closed to allow the room to be prepared for the General Election tomorrow.

Log books of St John’s School, Reading (D/P172/28A/23); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); St Katherine’s School, Clewer (C/EL113/2)

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A memorial worthy of the men and lads fallen in the War, and the cause for which they have laid down their lives

Influenza was making inroads at home, while the town of Newbury started to think about a war memorial.

The influenza epidemic, if it is the influenza, has been and still is causing a great deal of illness in the parish, both among adults and among children. The Day Schools and Sunday Schools have both had to be closed, and there have been several deaths. We would offer our sympathy to those who are in sorrow at this time, especially to Mrs Philip Webb, Mrs Berry, Mrs Jones, Mrs Hosier; also to Mr and Mrs Barber, whose son Pte William Barber, one of our old choir boys, has died on service in Norfolk; to Mrs Frederick Newport and Mrs Lipscombe, whose husbands have died on service; to Mr and Mrs Buckingham, whose eldest son Lieut Edward Buckingham, RAF, has been killed by accident in France…

We ought to be thinking what form the Memorial to our men and lads fallen in the War is to take. We wish to do something worthy of them and the cause for which they have laid down their lives, and it is probable that there will be several suggestions as to what the Memorial should be. When Christmas is over we must have a meeting of parishioners to consider the matter, and get to work upon it.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)

Knitting for the Soldiers’ Parcels at Christmas

The war might be over, but Abingdon children still wanted to send the soldiers Christmas gifts.

Abingdon
1918, 25th-29th November

The Upper girls have knitted 8 pairs of mittens this week for the Soldiers’ Parcels at Xmas.

Pangbourne
29th November, 1918.

Miss N. Drury has not been at School since June 21st nearly 6 months ago, and Mr Frank Spokes has been on war service since Oct 20th 1914.

Speenhamland
Nov 29th

The attendance is poor. There is much illness, but many children are absent unnecessarily. A long list of absentees has been sent to the Office every morning.

Ashampstead
29th November 1918

Influenza still prevalent.

Newbury
29.11/18

Many children still away owing to influenza. Percentage of 80.


Log books of Abingdon Girls CE School (C/EL 2/2, p. 168); Pangbourne Primary School(C/EL78/2, p. 178); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Ashampstead C of E School (D/EX1493/1, p. 242); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1, p. 296)

A reminder for generations of the blood-stained record of the early twentieth century

St Nicolas Church in Newbury planned a stained glass window as a war memorial.

THE EAST WINDOW AS A MEMORIAL OF THE TIME AND THE FALLEN

The artist, amid the strain of war upon his personal time and attention, has now furnished a sketch for the reorganisation and perfection of the East Window of our Church, so as to make it perfectly worthy of its position. He has eminently succeeded, and it now remains for the parishioners to translate it into effect. The estimate for the work is approximately £225. As a town and parish we should now, all, according to our means, help to see it through. The Scriptural Subjects of the Great Sacrifice and The Ascension are ideal, and go to the hearts of all in the crucial times we are all passing through.

Hardly a home in our borough and parish which has not felt its keen anxiety and sorrow. Our own laurel wreathed shrine tells us that nearly 100 of our parishioners – the majority in the blossom of their life – have paid the great debt on the battlefield or the sea wave. What better General Memorial could there be than in the accomplishment of this appropriate task in the Parish Church of our town. Let every parishioner do his or her quota, and so connect it in their memories with their personal experiences of the past four years of the world’s unparalleled history and personal sacrifices.

There can be only one opinion, that over the High Altar of our loved and ancient fane [sic?] is the position for any such Memorial, where it may stand for generations, delineating the great subjects of Divine Love and Triumph for personal devotion, as well as acting as a reminder of the blood-stained record of the early twentieth century.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)

Seriously, if not dangerously, ill

Influenza affected schools across the county.

Riseley Common
Nov. 25th

At 9.10 am there were 25 children present, so the Head Teacher sought the advice of the Correspondent, which was that school should close on his authority, until further notice.
Some of the children have been, and are, seriously, if not dangerously, ill.

Christ Church, Reading
25th November 1918

Owing to the severity of the Influenza epidemic, by order of the Sanitary Authority, the re-opening of the school was postponed until this morning when all the staff were present.

Alfred Sutton Primary School
25th November 1918

School re-opened after closure for epidemic (Influenza).

Purley CE School – C/EL85/2
25th November 1918

School re-opened, only five in attendance, parents evidently did not know that the children were to return today.

South Moreton Board School
1918, November 25

The school has been closed for four weeks for influenza by the order of the School Medical Officer, and re-opened this morning.

Yattendon CE School log book
1918
Nov: 25

The school is closed owing to the children being ill with influenza.

Beedon
Nov 25th

School attendance very poor. Several children away with influenza and other illnesses.

Newbury: St Joseph’s
25/11/18

School re-opened this morning. The attendance is better – 29 being present this morning and 33 this afternoon.

Newbury: Wilson
25/11/18

School reopened this morning owing to the constrained prevalence of the epidemic of influenza the schools have been closed until this morning.

Coley Street Primary School Reading
25/11/1918

Miss Dean has been absent suffering with influenza

Log books of Riseley Common CE School, Swallowfield (C/EL99/3); Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School (89/SCH/7/6); Reading: Alfred Sutton Primary School log book (89/SCH/37/1); Purley CE School (C/EL85/2); South Moreton Board School (C/EL104/2); Yattendon CE School (SCH37/8/3); Beedon CE School (C/EL55/1); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1); Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4)

A school treat to commemorate the end of the war

Wargrave children had an extra day off after a messy party, while it was more sober news in Boyne Hill.

Wargrave
November 19th 1918

The school was closed yesterday (18th) to enable the cleaner to clear the rooms after a school treat, which was held on Saturday to commemorate the end of the war.

Boyne Hill
Nov: 19th

War Loan takings today are £4.1.9.

Another death has been reported this afternoon.

Newbury
19/11/18

The school closes this afternoon until Monday Nov 25th by order of the education committee as the epidemic is still very bad.

Log books of Wargrave School (88/SCH/36/1); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1)

At last this terrible War, which has oppressed us for over four years, was over

The Armistice was greeted with joy in Newbury.

It was with feelings of profound thankfulness that we heard the Armistice had been signed. Our feelings were deeply stirred at the thought that at last this terrible War, which has oppressed us for over four years, was over, and that there were good prospects of a peace being signed, which we trust will be a righteous and lasting one. Our rejoicings took various shapes during the week, and culminated in our services in Church. We were glad to see many at the Celebrations and at other services; and it was a happy thought to hold a joint service in the Corn Exchange, which was crowded with a devout and reverent congregation. We shall long remember the sight of that vast audience.

Speenhamland parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P116B/28A/2)

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)

God’s wonderful deliverance of our own nation and the world from the tyranny of lawless force

The first Sunday after the Armistice was the occasion for services of thanksgiving across Berkshire.

Newbury

Monday, November 11th, St Martin’s Day, will for ever be remembered in the history of our country as the day on which the greatest of all wars came to an end, and the strongest and most ferocious of military nations confessed itself beaten. It has been a tremendous triumph for right and justice, and we have endeavoured to express our thankfulness to Almighty God, who has so signally vindicated His mighty power and has so wonderfully blessed our arms and those of our Allies. May we now as a nation and Empire prove ourselves more worthy of His goodness to us, and endeavour to work together to make the world a better, and therefore happier, world.

Thanksgiving Services were held at the Parish Church: on Tuesday morning [12 November], a celebration of the Holy Communion, when there were 88 communicants; on Wednesday afternoon [13 November], when the church was full; and the following Sunday [17 November]. There was also a United Thanksgiving Service in the Corn Exchange, under the presidency of the Mayor, on Sunday afternoon, when there must have been 2,000 people present, and when several hundred failed to gain admittance. Mr Liddle had got together a splendid orchestra for the occasion. May this spirit of thanksgiving remain with us, and may we not forget the spiritual lessons of the war.

The streets presented a very gay appearance, and there were processions (authorised and unauthorised) much to the delight of the young. All the fireworks possible to be obtained were let off in the streets, and one unexploded bomb was found inside the Churchyard gates, and handed over to the police. It appeared afterwards that another member of the Police Force had put it there for safety. We were very glad to see the excellent and sober spirit of the merry-makers. It was indeed an occasion for rejoicing with great joy.


Speenhamland

It was with feelings of profound thankfulness that we heard the Armistice had been signed. Our feelings were deeply stirred at the thought that at last this terrible War, which has oppressed us for over four years, was over, and that there were good prospects of a peace being signed, which we trust will be a righteous and lasting one. Our rejoicings took various shapes during the week, and culminated in our services in Church. We were glad to see many at the Celebrations and at other services; and it was a happy thought to hold a joint service in the Corn Exchange, which was crowded with a devout and reverent congregation. We shall long remember the sight of that vast audience.

Earley

Sunday, November 17, being the first Sunday after the declaration of peace, naturally was observed as a day of thanksgiving. The families of those on our roll of honour responded quickly to the invitation to send flowers, which were massed on the window shelf and corner where the roll hangs. The black oak was relieved by a magnificent display of colour, by flags hanging from the rood loft on the west side.

Reading

Such tremendous things have happened since the last issue of the Magazine that it is almost impossible adequately to express all we should like to say. On S. Martin’s Day, November 11th, about 11.15, came the great news of the signing of the Armistice, and the cessation of hostilities. At 12 o’clock at S. Marys a short impromptu Service of Thanksgiving was held which was attended by quite a number of the faithful. None of us will ever forget the crowded Civic Service held at S. Mary’s, on Wednesday November 13th, when the Mayor and corporation came in state to render solemn thanks to Almighty God for His wonderful deliverance of our own nation and the world from the tyranny of lawless force. Sunday, November 17th was observed as the special Day of Thanksgiving. At the Eucharist at 11 and at evensong at 6.30 the Church was fuller than it has ever been of late years. This is an encouraging sign that our people in in times of joy, as well as in times of trouble and distress, turn instinctively to God.

At 3.30 on the same Sunday the Church Lads’ Brigade came in full strength to S. Mary’s for their parade service; several Officers and Lads were admitted, and the address was given by the Rev. Edgar Rogers, Chaplain at C.L.B. Headquarters in London, who also preached at Evensong. It should be mentioned among the special features of the service of this great Sunday that a large and handsome silk Union Jack was carried in the Procession and also two laurel wreaths to which were tied bows of patriotic colours.

“Deo gratias.”


Broad Street Brotherhood

The Brotherhood held a great mass meeting on Sunday, November 17th, to celebrate, and give thanks for, the Armistice recently concluded with Germany.

Principal Childs of the Reading College [later Reading University] delivered a most impressive address on “The Responsibilities of Victory”, which gave us much food for thought, and left with the members present a clear conception of the trying and serious times with which our country is faced. It was truly a great meeting, and our best thanks are due to the President for arranging it.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P89/28A/13); Speenhamland parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P116B/28A/2); Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P192/28A/15); Reading St Mary parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P98/28A/13); Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, December 1918 (D/N11/12/1/14)

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

“We all long for peace, but it must be peace after victory, and the enemy must be thoroughly beaten first”

Even as more men were reported killed, some were determined that no easy quarter should be given to the enemy.

“Sir Albert Stanley, President of the Board of Trade, has sent a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Bourne, the Chief Rabbi, the Salvation Army, and the heads of Churches of all other Denominations in England and Scotland and Wales, calling attention to the serous scarcity of coal, and suggesting that Church Services should be held in daylight.”

The Times, October 17th.

If this should be enforced, we hope our congregation will loyally fall in with such an arrangement.

THE WAR

Our brave troops, along with those of our Allies, have been winning victory after victory for the last three months, and the enemy has made proposals for an armistice to the President of the United States. We all long for peace, but it must be peace after victory, and the enemy must be thoroughly beaten first. We can safely trust to our Rulers, and to our Admirals and Generals, with those of our Allies, to see that no premature peace is entered upon. Now they need all our prayers, that they may be guided to right decisions. We are deeply thankful for God’s recent mercies to us, and we pray that we may be worthy of them. What a glorious day it will be when the war really ends, and our men return home again!

Mrs Doggett has lost her husband, Sidney Newman Doggett, from illness in France, and we offer her our sincere sympathy in her trouble. Like so many others, he has nobly given his life for his country.

ROLL OF HONOUR

91 Albert Edward Marshall, 2nd Batt. Wilts Regt, died of wounds at Haesnes April 12th, 1918. RIP.
92 John William Charles Gough, 5th Batt. West Riding Regt, killed in action July 20th, 1918. RIP.
93 L-Corp. Frederick John Lake, 1st Dorset Regt, killed in action July 20th, 1918. RIP.
94 Pte Jesse A Buxey, 1st Royal Warwicks, killed in action in France August 30th, 1918. RIP.
95 Pte Sidney Newman Doggett, Roayl Warwickshire Regt, died in France September 28th, 1918. RIP.
96 Gunner Philip John Webb, RGA, died of wounds August 15th, 1918. RIP.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)

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)

The great debt which the British Empire owed to the Navy and the dominant part which the Navy had played in the present war

Newbury schools focussed on the role of the Navy on the day set aside to commemorate Trafalgar hero Admiral Nelson.
“Nelson” Day, 1918

A letter was received from the Navy League stating that October 21st next should be made the occasion of directing the attention of the school children to the great debt which the British Empire owed to the Navy and to the dominant part which the Navy had played in the present war. The Sub-committee recommend that the suggestion be adopted and that the Head Teachers be asked to make the necessary arrangements for the staffs to give the special lesson on the date named.

Finance, School Management and General Purposes Sub-committee of the Education Committee of Newbury Borough Council: minutes, 27 September 1918 (N/AC1/2/9)

More names for Newbury Roll of Honour

Four more Newbury men were reported to have been killed.

ROLL OF HONOUR

87 Gunner R P Styles, RFA, killed in action in France, August 22nd, 1918. RIP.
88 Ernest Henry Deacon, Gunner, RFA, died of injuries in Scotland, December 2nd, 1917. RIP.
89 Pioneer Henry Winter, killed in France, 7th August, 1918.
90 Signaller Frederick Beckley, 29th Battery RFA, killed in action Sept. 12th, 1918, aged 20.

Newbury parish magazine, October 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)