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)

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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)

In memory of the men of the Albert Works who fell in the War

The Albert Steam Joinery, run by local firm Elliotts, had sent many of its workers to the war.

A well-attended service was held on May 24th, in memory of the men of the Albert Works who fell in the War, and when the new carved Litany Desk is presented by the Works was dedicated. It is a very handsome piece of work. Mrs Clifford Phillips sang “I know that my Redeemer liveth”, and “The Last Post” and the “Reveille” were sounded by two Buglers from Reading. The choir was present, and Mr Liddle played several appropriate pieces on the organ. We were glad to see a number of the employees of the Works present.

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

All will gather together for the singing of ‘Land of our Birth’

22/05/19

Lessons bearing on the Empire will be given today in connection with the celebration of Empire Day. At the close of school all will gather together for the singing of ‘Land of our Birth’ and the national anthem. As arranged by the education committee tomorrow afternoon will be a holiday.

Log book of Joseph Henry Wilson School, Newbury (N/ES7/1)

RIP

Another Newbury man was reported dead retrospectively.

ROLL OF HONOUR
102. Driver Rupert Ferris, 1st Tanks Co., died of wounds, Maricana, France, March 24th, 1918. RIP.

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

Gratitude for deliverance

The Earley war memorial was on its way.

The War Memorial

The committee met on Friday 17 May.

Present: The Vicar in the chair, Mr. Churchwarden Brown, Messrs H Masters, A H Salman, G C Sturgess, T R Stevens, E Clayton Jones, H Mole, F B East, H knapman, F C Edwards, H A Box, A J H Wright, Mrs Newbury, Miss Driscoll, Miss G Fanstone, Miss Goose, Miss Type, Miss H L Stevens, Miss D Lawrence.

The architect’s design and drawings were on view and the builder’s specification and estimate were read. It was resolved unanimously that the work be carried out as soon as possible.

The Committee decided to keep the subscription list open, and to issue a subscription list with names of contributors on the completion of the work; also, that a monthly statement of sums raised should be published in the Magazine during the summer.

The Committee was of the opinion that only the names of parishioners who had laid down their lives should be inscribed on the panels, but they reserved their final decision upon this point.

The chairman urged that all contributions should be given in a spirit of thanksgiving and that this was not an occasion for an ordinary appeal for subscriptions. He thought many persons giving in such spirit would prefer to give (in whole or part) anonymously, but whether this was so or not, he hoped a sense of gratitude for deliverance would govern all gifts made.

The committee adjourned to Friday June 13.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

“The case was not one in which the distress was due to the war”

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund was still accepting applications for assistance from people whose lives had been disrupted by the war.

17 May 1919

The Chairman read the following report on cases dealt with since the last meeting [on 24 June 1918].

Mrs Coleman

Mrs Coleman was interviewed by the Chairman and Mr Bate as requested by the Committee at their last meeting and it was ultimately decided that Mrs Coleman should take a course of Business Training with Mr Taylor, Station Road, Reading. A sum of £30 was paid to Mrs Coleman in September, to cover the cost of the preliminary training and maintenance during such time, and in October a further sum of £37 was paid over. In January 1919, Mrs Coleman asked that a further £20 might be remitted to her and this was agreed to and paid over by the Government Committee. Mrs Coleman has now completed the training and is finding some difficulty in securing a situation, and on the 26th April asked for a further sum of £30 out of the balance of £163 now remaining. This application has been forwarded to the Government Committee before sanctioning any further payment of the grant.

Mrs Willis

In accordance with the instructions of the Committee at the last meeting, the case of Mrs Willis was referred to the Government Committee with a suggestion that a grant of a capital sum might be made in place of the monthly payment. The Government Committee were of opinion that the monthly grants should continue and Mrs Willis has continued to receive £2.2.0 per month. Whilst this grant continues it is doubtful if Mrs Willis will make any effort to render herself self-supporting.

Mrs Keefe

An application for assistance was received in January, 1919, from Mrs Keefe, 44 London Road, Newbury. Particulars were obtained and it appeared that the applicant was a widow who had had a small General Shop, but owing to heart trouble and difficulties due to the various rationing orders (mainly the former), she had given up the shop and taken lodgers. Subsequently the heart trouble increased and in consequence she was unable to work. These particulars were forwarded to the Government Committee who were of opinion that the case was not one in which the distress was due to the war and therefore not one which could properly be dealt with by this Committee.

Mr E E Bishton

Mr E E Bishton, Florence Cottage, New Road, Ascot, on the recommendation of the Repatriated British Civilian Help Committee, applied to this Committee for a grant towards the purchase of necessary clothing, which he required before he could commence work. Mr Bishton was interviewed by the Chairman and the Secretary, who authorised the supply of clothing to the value of £10.10.6, and also a temporary grant of £4.

In the case of Mrs Coleman it was resolved:

To recommend to the Government Committee that an immediate payment of £30 be made as asked for and that the balance of £133 with interest be retained for the present.

On the suggestion of Mr Slade it was agreed that the allowance to Mrs Willis should be continued for a further period of 3 months to give her the opportunity of finding suitable work.

If at the end of this period it was found that she would require a certain capital sum to enable her to set up in business, the Committee would consider the advisability of recommending the case to the Government Committee for a capital grant.

The action of the Chairman in the case of Mr Bishton was confirmed.

National Relief Fund: Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)

Reorganising the Band after the Crisis of the War

Newbury United Temperance Band was one of many organisations to close down during the war. The meeting on the 29th was inconclusiv, and the band was never re-formed.

1919

A Trustee meeting of the Band was held in the Lwecture Hall on Thursday evening the 15th May at 8 pm….

The meeting was called with a view of reorganising the Band after the Crisis of the War, which had necessitated the breaking up of it for that period. After a good deal of consultation it was … carried that the Band be reformed & that all previous members & musicians who are Total Abstainers be invited to meet the trustees on Thursday evening, May 29th, at 7 pm on the Lecture Hall. This to be done by letter to all previous members & by advertisement in the Newbury Weekly News.

The secretary was instructed to write to Mrs E L Michell a letter of sympathy for her bereavement.

Newbury United Temperance Band Committee minutes (N/D58/1/2)

There is a new spirit amongst our young people

An elderly nonconformist clergyman had hope for the post war world and the new generation.

The Gates of Youth, By Rev. Monro Gibson, M.A., LL.D.

I am now about as far away from the gates of Youth as any one in this world can well be, but the remarkable thing is that the father I go from them, the increasing distance, instead of making them look smaller, makes them seem larger and ever larger – so much so that in my old age I confess to a great and increasing longing to help my young friends to see what a glorious, magnificent life which is opening before them.

The adventure of life begins with the dawn of personal responsibility. In childhood we are in a garden, a Garden of Eden, let us say, sheltered, secluded, happy in its limitations; but sooner or later the gates of Eden open outwards, and the world is all before us with its continents and islands, its seas and oceans, its illimitable possibilities; its fearful risks on the one hand, its great reaches on the other.

Difference between Men and Animals

Herein lies the immense difference between the life of man and that of lower animals. They have each their limits imposed on them by nature. In every case there is growth along certain fixed lines, and up to certain fixed limits; but in no case is there any possibility of a development at all corresponding to that of the boy into a Shakespeare or a Newton, or the girl into a Florence Nightingale or a Catherine Booth; and that altogether irrespective of the infinities and eternities which lie beyond. On the other hand, there is no peril corresponding to that which may transform a noble youth into a Judas or a Kaiser or a sot.

These things being so, there is call for the most earnest thought in passing through these fateful Gates. It will not do simply to yield to the impulse of the moment as if it did not matter much how you set out or what you were aiming at. I do think, however, that there are some warnings which, though very much needed four years ago, are not called for now. For there is a new spirit amongst our young people. There has been a high summons to whole-souled devotion to a great cause, and to that summons there has been a noble response, so that I believe there are very few young men or young women either, who would be willing now to welcome a life of self-indulgence or pleasure-seeking or easy-going mediocracy; and those who would still prefer that kind of thing are too far down to be likely to be reached by any high appeal. The great majority now, I am sure, demand the strenuous life, the life of active service with something in it of adventure or peril, calling for courage, resourcefulness, sacrifice if need be. The cricket pitch and the golf course, the dance and the supper party may still find a corner in life but only a corner. Surely the feeling now is practically universal that to put one’s life into any such things as these is despicable in the last degree. How encouraging it is to find that when there is a call for volunteers to an enterprise which means almost certain death, like the attack ion Zeebrugge or the final Voyage of The Vindictive, every one is not only ready but is disappointed if he cannot be accepted.

A New World

You may say: It is the War that has done this, and we are all very glad that it has come to an end. Yes: but is there any reason why the spirit the War has called forth should come to an end with it? By no means. We are constantly reminded that it is a new world we are entering into, with greater opportunities, nobler prospects and more difficult problems that we have ever known; and there will be a new call for the exercise of all the noblest faculties the War has evoked, and for many others for which even its multiplied demands have not afforded scope and opportunity. Surely it is not without significance that a man who represents so large and in many respects so unpromising a constituency as H. G. Wells has done should even passionately urge the claims of the Kingdom of God upon the service of us all, and especially of our young people who will be the chief agents in the new developments before us. We have all along had before s the call to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” to make that the great ambition of our lives; but so far it has kindled the souls of only a very small minority. May it not now “catch on,” to use the common phrase, and gather itself the patriotism, the enthusiasm, the devotion, courage and self-sacrifice of the generation now coming on the scene.

Moreover, we are now apparently entering on a new era of democracy whose success will depend not on a small number of super-men or heroes of the Nietschean or Carlylean type to subdue the masses to their will; but on the people, each with his share of responsibility, every one with his full share of opportunity, with education that will open up fields of service to every variety of talent, and with institutions that will give full scope for its exercise. Even as things have been in the world, our young people have had much encouragement to put forth every effort in the beginning of life to train their powers for usefulness; but it is more worth while now than ever it was before. In the old Book of Proverbs it is written, “A man’s gift maketh room for him.” True now in a fuller sense than when the wise man wrote it down, it will still be more so in the days that are coming. Therefore I would congratulate our young people especially on the prospect before them, entering on life in times like these which are more full of portent and of promise than even those of which the poet Wordsworth wrote:

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven.”

It is indeed true as it always was, that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life”; but now that there is this new spirit in the land for enduring hardness, for concentration of energy, for ventures of faith and courage, and now that the life which is set before us, which and full as it has always been, promises to be richer and fuller than ever, we may hope that it will no longer be true that “few there be that find it,” but that multitudes of our young people, young men and young women, will press through the gates into the new life.

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

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)