Medals commemorating ‘peace’ and a portrait of Nurse Cavell

Edith Cavell was a British nurse based in Belgium, who heled a number of British and other soldiers to escape and was shot dead by the German occupying force. She is remembered for her words, “Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.”

Wallingford Boys Council School
1919, 15 September

A portrait of Nurse Cavell, purchased by the boys, hung in the hall today.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School
15th September 1919

The whole of the boys attended the Town Hall this morning to receive medals commemorating ‘peace’.

Log books of Wallingford Boys Council School log book (SCH22/8/3, p. 76); and Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School (C/EL72/3, p. 214)

Advertisements

The King’s ‘Peace’ holiday

8th September 1919

Re-opened after the Summer Holiday which was extended to 5 weeks instead of the usual 4, the last week being the King’s ‘Peace’ holiday.

St Michael’s CE Mixed School, Sunninghill: log book (88/SCH/32/3, p. 246)

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)

The dawn of peace is a time when high ideals are needed more than ever

By the summer of 1919 some were unhappy with the way the country was going in peacetime.

Editorial

The dawn of peace is a time when high ideals are needed more than ever. A well known cartoonist in Punch has recently represented John Bull lying lazily in a hammock with a pipe in his mouth and refreshments at his side, sighing, “Funny thing how slack this victory feeling makes you. I’ve done nothing since last November. Wonder if a spell of work would cure me.” Where restraint and self-sacrifice were merely enforced during the war, there has been a sharp re-action in favour of license and self-indulgence. The strike epidemic is one form of it. The voluntary sacrifice that is recorded by war memorials up and down the country – memorials which sometimes bear the names of 10,000 men of one regiment – leaves a very different heritage; courage, endurance, vision: vision, not the fading illusion of the unpractical dreamer of dreams, but the inquiring ideal which the prophet had in mind when he said, “Where there is no vision the people perish”.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

One week’s extra “peace” holiday

8th August 1919

Closed this afternoon at 4pm for summer holidays – 5 weeks – plus one week “peace” holiday. The school will re-open on Monday Sept 22nd.

Sonning Boys school log book (89/SCH/1/2, p. 86)

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)

Peace seems to bring with it as many activities as war

Wounded soldiers made a generous gift to a Maidenhead church.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

This July we have had a busy month of Parish work and Festivities. Indeed, I never remember to have passed a summer month so lacking in leisure. Peace seems to bring with it as many activities as war. Still, with its arrival, it is a great joy to welcome old friends on their safe return. Among others, the return from the wilds of the Danube, even if fleeting, of Mr Sellors, our old colleague, has been a great pleasure to us all.

In connection with the War, St Luke’s Church has received an almost unique gift. Together with, I believe, St Paul’s Cathedral alone, the wounded soldiers at the VAD Hospital have worked us a strikingly beautiful red silk Altar Frontal and Antependium for the fald-stool [sic?]. It was done for us as a surprise, and was finished just before the Hospital, the mounting being completed by July 26th. The idea was formulated, I believe, by the Commandant, but all details and material were got for the men by Mrs Salmonson; and, I know, that the active sympathy of many other workers contributed to its final success. The names of the men who worked on it are written on the back of the Frontlet or Super-Frontal. By lifting the fringe we shall see thus an enduring record of the names of the skilled and kindly men who did the work. It is to be used and dedicated on Sunday, August 3rd, the Eve of the Anniversary of the War. The Special Prayer of Dedication will be said at the 11 am Service, when some front seats will be kept for VAD workers…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar, C E M Fry.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

An extra week to commemorate peace

King Street School, Maidenhead
1st August 1919
School closed at 4 p.m. for Summer Vacation – Notice received that in accordance with the King’s desire holiday was to be extended till September 9th – the extra week to commemorate Peace.

Charlton Infant School(C/EL12)
1st August 1919
Summer holidays – five weeks – and one extra week to commemorate peace which has been granted by the desire of His Majesty King George.

Hinton Waldrist School
August 1st 1919

Closed school for Harvest vacation – an extra week by order of the King.

Log books of King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1, p. 454); Charlton Infant School, Berkshire (C/EL12, p. 49); Hinton Waldrist C of E School (C/EL84/2, p. 171)

The victory year

Children must have been pleased by an extra week’s summer holiday as a peace dividend.

Chieveley Primary School
July 31st 1919

School closes today for the Summer Holidays. An extra week has been added to commemorate the victory year following The Great War.

Lower Sandhurst School
July 31st 1919

We broke up at mid-day for the usual summer holiday to be extended to five weeks in commemoration of peace.

Combe School
July 31st 1919

School closes Thursday July 31st for 6 weeks. An extra week has been granted as a Peace Holiday.

Hampstead Norreys CE School
31 July
We closed school today for 6 weeks. The extra week’s holiday has been given in response to the King’s request for an extra week in honour of Peace.

Log books of Chieveley Primary School (88/SCH/11/2); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL66/1); Combe School (C/EL15/2); Hampstead Norreys CE School (C/EL40/2)

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 happiness which the children were all expecting these first holidays of the Peace to bring

Clewer
Distribution of Prizes and Certificates

On Monday, July 28, the Rector of Clewer (the Rev. A T C Cowie) distributed the certificates and prizes won during the School Year. He then took the simple dismissal service, and gave a short address, in which he showed how the happiness which the children were all expecting these first holidays of the Peace to bring, depended on the spirit of unselfishness in their homes.

Speenhamland
July 28th

Letter from Office to say that an extra week’s holiday would be given this year in commemoration of the signing of Peace. We shall now re-open on Tuesday Sept. 9th.

Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1919 (D/EX1675/6/2/2); log book of St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3)

“When we look back and see how terrible was the peril through which was passed, it is enough to make our blood freeze”

PEACE!

For the Peace which has been granted to us may the Lord’s holy Name be praised! The deliverance has been wonderful; we should be the most ungrateful people on earth if we failed to offer Him thanks. Our late foes are already threatening vengeance for peace terms which they describe as inhuman. But it is only just that the chief criminal should suffer most. As the Allied note stated, no fewer than seven millions of men lie buried in Europe as a result of Germany’s desire to tyrannise over the world, while twenty million other men carry upon them evidence of wounds and suffering. Something was bound to be done to make a repetition of the frightful crime impossible.

It was by a miracle of God’s mercy that we were saved from disaster. When we look back and see how terrible was the peril through which was passed, it is enough to make our blood freeze. But, defending the right, we were “under the shadow of the Almighty.” How better can we thank Him than by striving anew to get His Will done on earth? There are foes with whom we ought to come to fresh grips. Since we have won to-day, let us fight with more eagerness to-morrow. We can put aside machine-guns and bombing places and gas masks, and take up the old weapons of Faith and Prayer, the spear of Truth, and the sword of the Spirit. And may God bless our native land!

Maidenhead Congregational magazine, July 1919 (D/N33/12/1/5)

“I hope that now Peace has come, we shall maintain our War-time sobriety”

Opponents of heavy drinking hoped (in vain) that wartime restrictions on alcohol would stick.

Church of England Temperance Society

A Meeting of the Local Branch was held at 8 pm, on Friday, July 25th, at the junction of Denmark Street and Cordwalles Road. Two excellent speakers – Capt, Hutchinson, of the Church Army, and Mr Harold Lawrence – gave us stirring addresses. I venture to hope that now Peace has come, we whall maintain our War-time sobriety, whether at home or in club [sic].

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Preparation for the “Peace” Entertainment

Battle Infants School
25th July 1919

The Head Teacher was again out of school on Monday for about two hours making arrangements for the “Peace” Treat.

The School was closed on Thursday that preparation might be made for the “Peace” Entertainment, to be held for the children in the afternoon.

Notice has been received that the Summer Holidays are to be extended by one week in celebration of Peace.

Christ Church, Reading
25th July 1919

In response to the wish expressed by the King, that in commemoration of the Peace an extension of the summer holidays in all schools might be granted, the Education Committee have decided that an additional week shall be given to all the public elementary schools of the Borough which will therefore close this afternoon and re-assemble on 2nd September.


St Katherine’s, Clewer

July 25th

School was closed this afternoon for the Summer Vacation 5 weeks. An extra week has been granted to signalise the Signing of Peace after the War, 1914-1918.

Coley Street, REading
25/07/1919

School closes this afternoon for Summer vacation in response to the King’s wish of an extra week to celebrate Peace Year.


Log books of Battle Infants School log book (SCH20/8/2); and Christ Church CE Infants School log book (89/SCH/7/6); St Katherine’s School, Clewer (C/EL113/2); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4)

“It was a moving thing to see so many of our brave men gathered together at the end of the war”

Ex-servicemen gathered in Burghfield to celebrate the peace.

On Sunday, July 6th, an ex tempore muster of Burghfield ex-service men took place at the Hatch, where about 28 men fell in and marched to the church under Lieut. Searies, for the 11 o’clock service.

A fortnight later [20 July], after better notice, there was a fuller parade in which about 80 took part, including the Chapel band from the Common. Major Chance, Lieut. Searies, Staff Sergeant Major Jordan, Sergeant Wigmore, and other NCOs were present. The band played the party to and from church, and also well accompanied the three hymns (Nos. 166. 540 and 165), which were sung with great heartiness. The Service of Thanksgiving for Victory, and in memory of those who have given their lives, was conducted, in the absence of Mr Coates [the curate, who was on holiday], entirely by the Rector, who preached an eloquent and most inspiring sermon on the text – “To what purpose is this waste?” (Matthew XXVI.8). The lessons (Isaiah XXV.1-9 and John XII.23-33) were read by Mr Willink. The bells rung muffled peals before and after service.

On leaving church the little column proceeded to the Hatch recreation ground, at the entrance marching past Mr Willink and Mr Lousley, the former (by request) taking the salute. Before dismissal some photographs were taken by him, but the light was very bad and no great results can be expected.

It was a moving thing to see so many of our brave men gathered together at the end of the war in that church in which prayers have so often been offered for their safe return, and for that of others who will come back no more. May the great spirit of unity, which, with God’s help, has brought us through to peace, keep us still united in Burghfield during the years before us.

It was disappointing that the invitation to all soldiers and sailors in the Bradfield district, to the Military Festivities in Reading on July 19th had, late in the time, to be withdrawn. This cast unexpected burdens on our Committee. They hope, however, that the steps taken at the last moment will have given satisfaction all round.

Burghfield parish magazine, August 1919 (D/EX725/4)