Nothing much has been done during the War

The nation’s laser focus on the war for over four years meant that now some chickens were coming home to roost.

11th July 1919

The Cemetery Sub-committee beg to report that they have made their usual inspections of the Cemetery during the last 6 months. They have found the grounds kept in good order. The necessary repairs have been effected in the Church, Chapel, Superintendent’s Lodge, and the Office at the Cemetery.

As nothing much has been done during the War these repairs are necessarily heavier than usual.

Reading Cemetery Company minutes (R/UC1/8/4)

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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)

Cake to celebrate peace

10th July 1919
Cake for Peace Celebrations

The Master reported … that a quantity of cake would be required for the inmates in connection with the festivities for the Peace Celebration, and he was directed to make the best arrangements he could to obtain the same.

Report of Stores & Furnishing Committee, Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/59)

Pork and fruit pies

Reading paupers were to be allowed a night off for the peace celebrations, as well as extra treats.

8th July 1919

Celebration of Peace

Reporting the receipt of a letter and order from the Local Government Board giving the Guardians power to make such modifications of the regulations in force with regard to the discipline and diet of the inmates of the Institution as may be deemed by them suitable for the occasion, and that the event should be celebrated in the Institution on such day or days, not exceeding two in number, as may be determined by the Guardians, and authorising reasonable expenditure in connection with the celebrations.

Recommending that such inmates who wish to go to their friends on the 19th inst may do so and stay the night if they wish. That on the night of the 19th those inmates who wish to do so may remain out until 9.30 pm, and the Master was directed to arrange with the Park Keeper to let them through the gates up to that time.

That tobacco and sweets be provided for the inmates on the 19th instant, and that Wednesday the 23rd instant be fixed for the day for the celebration of peace for the inmates of the Institution, that dinner shall be at 12 o’clock, that pork and fruit pies be provided, and that tobacco and sweets be included in the extras.

Report of House Committee, Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/59)

Another nurse went down with Influenza

Influenza was having a big impact on life at home.

At a meeting of the Committee held in the Board Room on Tuesday the 1st July 1919, the following letter from the Hon Sec: of the Caversham District Nursing Association was read:-

Dear Sir,

Dr C W Powell has asked me to ask you to bring the enclosed appeal before the Reading Dispensary Trust at their meeting tomorrow, as they are, it is believed, in a position to help us substantially.

The appeal was written Dr Powell. He has backed it up himself by increasing his already very generous contributions to the funds.

It needs no words of mine to add to it except to say that after it was written another nurse went down with Influenza and she is also still suffering from the after effects. It increased our expenses and diminished our receipts.

I enclose a copy of our Balance Sheet showing our financial position on March 31st last.

Many thanks in anticipation,

Yours very truly,

A.E Evans

The appeal referred to in the foregoing letter was also read and proved to be an appeal which was issued as a New Years appeal, since when the Dispensary Trust had made (in February last) a grant of £25 to the Association.

Reading Dispensary Trust minutes (D/QRD1/12)

Careful and repeated consideration of many war memorial designs

There was a U turn over the Mortimer memorial.

War Memorial

The recent public meeting reversed the decision of its predecessor, and unanimously agreed to place the Memorial at the Cross roads at the top of the hill near the Pound. Mr. Maryon’s design was accepted, after the committee’s careful and repeated consideration of many other designs. At least £500 is now asked for. An account has been opened at Lloyds Bank, Reading, and donors are asked to draw cheques to “Mortimer War Memorial or Bearer” and send them direct to Lloyds Bank. Smaller amounts should be sent in cash to the Hon. Sec. at Wisley, Padworth Road.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P120/28A/14)

“Various brothers gave some of their experiences during the time they were on active service”

More men were welcomed home.

BROTHERHOOD NOTES

On Saturday, June 21st, we held the “Welcome Home Tea” to our Brothers who have been on active service, and are now demobilised. They numbered about 30, and a most pleasant evening was spent.

A meat tea was generously given by our President (C Steward Smith, Esq., JP) and afterwards various brothers gave some of their experiences during the time they were on active service. Musical items were rendered, and during the latter part of the evening coffee and sandwiches were served. It was really one of the best and most enjoyable evenings held in connection with the Brotherhood for many a day.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, July 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

A welcome home gathering

Reading Methodists welcomed home the troops.

19 June 1919

Mr Phipps proposed, Miss Beecroft seconded, That the meeting to celebrate Peace, decided to be held by the June Quarterly Meeting, be held if possible in Wesley Church.

The following were elected to form a Committee to make arrangements for the Welcome Home Gathering of Demobilized men & others who have served in the Forces: Messrs Willis, Everitt, Goss, Turner, Hinton, & Ralph Clifford, with power to add.

Wesley Methodist Church, Reading: trustees’ minutes (D/MS60/1A/1)

The war will not, strictly speaking, have “terminated”, until the peace terms have been duly ratified

The war had still not technically ended, as the treaties had not been signed. But peace celebrations were in full swing.

Peace Celebrations

At a second General Meeting, on 17th June, the recommendation of the Committee that these celebrations should take the form of a Tea, with games, etc, for the children of the parish, was approved. “Children” to include all ages up to 14, and any still attending school over that age. By the time this magazine appears it is hoped that the German Representatives will have signed the Peace Terms. But Austria, Turkey, and Bulgaria remain to be dealt with, and moreover the war will not, strictly speaking, have “terminated”, until the terms have been duly ratified by the proper representative assemblies. No doubt, however, an official Peace Celebration Day will be proclaimed before this has taken place in all the countries concerned.

Meanwhile, as announced at the Meeting, the Military Authorities are arranging central functions for those who have served overseas, and there will be a gathering and entertainment in Reading.

War Memorial

At the same Meeting, further recommendations of the Committee were adopted, viz:

(a) The erection of a Cross in the Churchyard in memory of those who have fallen;

(b) The improvement of the Parish Recreation Grounds, in connection with a Sports Club to be formed.

It was referred to the Committee to raise two separate funds for these two objects (Peace Celebrations and War Memorial), the latter fund to be applied first to the Cross, and secondly to Recreation Grounds, etc.

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

“We are truly sorry to lose from our midst one from whom we expected much in coming days”

After all the dangers of war it was illness which felled one returning soldier.

CONDOLENCE

We much regret to have to record the death of Mr Frank W. Snell of 22 Eldon Road. Our friend had not long been demobilised. He was on active service for a considerable time in France, and was seriously wounded in the head and face. There can be no doubt whatever that the brief illness to which he succumbed was due to this cause. We are truly sorry to lose from our midst one from whom we expected much in coming days, and we tender our sincerest sympathy to his parents, and the other members of his family, in their sore bereavement.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, June 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

Going out to witness the sports and other festivities in the Town

Workhouse residents in Reading were allowed to take part in the town festivities.

10th June 1919
Peace Celebrations

The Committee had before them the following recommendations of the Peace Celebrations Committee, and decided to recommend to the Board that the same be approved, viz:

1. That the days set apart for the Celebration be observed as general holidays.

2. That the inmates during one of such days be given extra fare similar to that provided on Christmas day.

3. That discipline be relaxed, and that such of the inmates as are able and desirous of going out to witness the sports and other festivities in the Town, be allowed to do so, and to return at a reasonable hour at the discretion of the Master.

4. That Concerts be arranged at the Infirmary and the Mansion House, Prospect Park.

5. That the officers on duty during the days set apart for Peace Celebrations, be granted equal time off, as and when they can be spared.

Report of House Committee, Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/59)

A heartfelt “welcome back” to the men who had done and suffered so much for their country and for us

There was a warm welcome home for returning soldiers at Broad Street Chapel.

June

VARIOUS ANNOUNCEMENTS

It is proposed to give a “Welcome Home” to demobilised soldier and sailors connected with the church, in the Schoolroom, on Wednesday June 4th at 7 pm. A limited number of tickets for the tea and subsequent gathering will be sold to other friends at 1/6 each. Application for these tickets should be made to the Chapel-keeper or to any of the deacons.

July

“WELCOME HOME”

On Wednesday June 4th, members of the church and congregation assembled in the Schoolroom to give a cordial “Welcome Home” to men from the church and its various organisations who had been “demobilized”. About forty of these brethren attended, in response to the invitation which had been extended to them, and the whole proceedings were most enjoyable. At 7 o’clock the company sat down to a substantial tea which had been arranged by the wives of the deacons, and when the good things provided had been satisfactorily disposed of, the tables were cleared away for an informal meeting. Miss Vera Smith had very kindly arranged a capital programme of songs, recitations, etc, which were contributed by a number of her friends, and interspersed with the various items short speeches were delivered by several of the deacons.

The Minister was present, but owing to a relaxed throat, he was unable to speak. Mr Chas Steward Smith, JP, presided, and in fitting terms he gave a heartfelt “welcome back to Broad Street” to the men who had done and suffered so much for their country and for us. Other speakers in similar strain were Mr W. J. Brain, Mr Ernest Francis, Mr Swallow, and Mr Tibble. At the close, Mr W. J. Dance and Ex-Sergeant C. S. Stebbings voiced the gratitude of our guests for the welcome accorded them, and for the way in which the church had kept in touch with them by letters and parcels during their absence. The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” fittingly concluded a very happy gathering. Mr J Swallow was secretary, and Mr Tibble treasurer, of the committee which made arrangements for the function.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, June and July 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

The address of the Belgian nurse child

3rd June 1919
Children Act 1908

Reporting that the Inspector under the Children Act reported that … the address of the Belgian nurse child had now been ascertained and the proper authority of the district where he was now residing had been notified.

Infant Poor Committee, Reading Board of Guardians (G/R1/59)

The main Military Celebrations for the County of Berks shall take place in Reading

Preparations were underway for official Berkshire celebrations of the peace.

County Peace Celebrations

The Peace Celebrations Committee have decided that the main Military Celebrations for the County of Berks shall take place in Reading.

It is to be understood that this day is not intended to prevent Boroughs or Parishes from organizing local celebrations on another day, though it is hoped that the celebrations in Reading may be looked upon by all as being representative of the County.

The Reading programme is to include a parade and March Past, at which the Lord Lieutenant will take the Salute. The troops will then be entertained to dinner and Sports will be arranged for them in the afternoon. An invitation will be extended to all Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men who have served overseas.

The Hon. Secretary for the Peace Celebrations Committee is Major A.S. Turner, The Barracks, Reading.

Wargrave parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

Death at Aden

A tragic death on the way home.

CONDOLENCE

We were all much grieved to hear of the sad loss which our old friend, Mrs Hussey of 32 Northumberland Avenue, had sustained in the death of her son at Aden, when on his way home after service abroad in the army.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, May 1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)