Two minutes of perfect silence and stillness

Schools remembered the Armistice one year earlier on the first Remembrance Day.

Bracknell
11th November 1919

Today is the first anniversary of the armistice. All the children and staff assembled around the flagstaff. Just before 11 a.m the Headmaster read the King’s proclamation – the flag was lowered to half mast and two minutes of perfect silence and stillness was observed as a simple service of silence and remembrance. Children sang ‘God save the King’ and special lessons on ‘The League of Nations’ were given in the upper classes.

White Waltham
November 11th 1919

Today Nov 11th is the first anniversary of the Armistice which stayed the world wide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of Right and freedom. The King has sent the following message to the people with a request that his message should be read to the pupils in all schools.

Kings Message:

I believe my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that Great Deliverance and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.

To afford an opportunity for the universal expression of this feeling it is my desire and hope that at the hour when the armistice came into force, the eleventh our of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, there may be for one brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all normal activities. During that time, except in rare cases where this may be impractical, all work, all sound, and all locomotion should cease, as that in perfect stillness the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the Glorious Dead.

No elaborate organisation appears to be necessary. At a given signal, which can easily be arranged the suit the circumstances of each locality. I believe that we shall, all gladly interrupt our business and pleasure, whatever it may be and unite in this simple service of Silence and Remeberance.

George R.I.

Programme:

10.50 All Children assembled in Large Room
10.55 Brief explanation of reason of assembly and the Reading of the King’s Message.
11-11.2 Reverent Remembrance of the Glorious Dead in Silence
11.3 Singing of Hymn “On the Resurrection Morning” to end a most impressive service
11.10 Resumption of work.

Eastbury
11th November 1919

The League of Nations Day Nov. 11th. At eleven o’ clock a pause was made in the ordinary work. The bell tolled thirteen times as that was the number of men at Eastbury who have made the great sacrifice. During that time the names of the dead heroes were written on the blackboard, while all the children stood silent, seeming to realise the act of honour the silence was giving to the glorious dead.

Prayers for the departed were read and the prayer for peace and a hymn was sung. The children seemed much impressed by the lessons that were given. The King’s letter was read. The national anthem concluded the service.

King Street School, Maidenhead
11th November 1919

The Anniversary of Armistice Day was kept in school by a complete change of timetable commencing with a simple musical service of praise & worship & an address to the children on “Give to the world the best you have” as a basis for a League of Nations.

The Silence Time (which is a daily occurrence here) was devoted to the sending of love & affection to the fathers of our children killed in the war & yet still near them. The lessons throughout the day were in relation to this, & bigger children were allowed to take home what they had written about the Great Day.

A widowed mother called in the afternoon & told of the cheer she had received from her little boy’s expression of what has been told him in school today.

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To make our country, our county, our village, supreme monuments to our Glorious Dead

There was still bitterness towards those who had chosen not to fight.

Discharged Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Federation

On Wednesday, 22nd October, the Mortimer and District Branch met at the Jubilee Room, under the chairmanship of Mr R W Sharp, the prospective representative of the branch on the Local War Pensions Committee. Mr H C Eggleton, the Branch Chairman, explained clearly the objects of the Federation, viz (briefly), “To safeguard the interests of every ex-Service man and the dependants of our fallen comrades, and to make our country, our county, our village, supreme monuments to our Glorious Dead”.

It is hoped that every man who has worn the Blue or Khaki (excepting only conscientious objectors) will join the Federation. Will every man whos is suffering through delayed gratuity, etc, kindly communicate with Mr J Anderson, Secretary, Nightingale Lane, Mortimer, who will give every possible assistance; also all widows, mothers, or other dependants of those who have made the supreme sacrifice. It is hoped to have a Burghfield sub-branch, if enough new members join.

Note: The Editor willingly inserts this, and assures the Branch that the Reading Rural WP sub-committee will hope to work in harmony with a friendly ally.

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

Beautiful glass representing St George

The Earley war memorial porch plans were altered to save money.

Memorial Porch Committee Meeting

There was a good attendance on October 16. Present: The Chairman, Mr Churchwarden Brown and Mr FB East (hon. Treasurers), Messrs. W B Waters, H B Mole, W Lawrence, A H Salman, H Masters, H Knapman, J A Murray, G C T Carter, F C Edwards, E Clayton Jones, E Long; Ladies – Mrs Newbery, Miss Goose, Miss Lawrence, Miss Driscoll, Miss G Fanstone.

The meeting was occupied with many matters of importance for an hour and a half. It was decided by a majority of votes that a resolution to line the porch with stone to be rescinded on the grounds of expense, and that the walls be plastered. It was agreed that the question of slate or stone material for the slab upon which the names be inscribed be left to the judgement of the architect; and the committee confirm their previous resolution that all parishioners should have the right to place names of their sons who died on this tablet; they felt, however, that it was not desirable that this should be done in cases where the names were associated with a memorial in another church, without special reason. The chairman produced some figures supplied by the builder which are of general interest:-

Estimated cost of Porch £559 13s 0d
Less nett cost of stone lining £20 18s 0d
£538 15s 0d

Add cost of figure in niche, also slate or stone tablet with names cut, amount uncertain, Architect’s commission of 10% on above amount

£53 17s 6d
£592 12s 6d

At the close of the meeting the treasurers made the following statement

Subscriptions paid or promised, as already announced in October Magazine

£482 0s 2d
Less unredeemed promises £2 1s 6d
£479 18s 8d

Collection at dedication festival £39 11s 0d
New subscriptions Oct 16 £11 5s 5d
£530 15s 1d

The next meeting of the committee was fixed for Nov 20 at 7.30pm

The work is now growing rapidly, and it is interesting to watch the plan of dovetailing the new work into the old wall of the present building. To do this the old north doorway had to be lowered to meet the timbered ceiling of the porch, a new arch has also been turned on the inside and the door cut down correspondingly. Thus the new doors and doorway will be considerably lower. Adjoining this doorway, about three feet eastward, will be a small door leading to the stairs to the chamber over the porch. The stairway is cut partly in the thickness of the wall and abuts in part on the floor of the porch, being concealed by brick walls. For this purpose one of two lights has been removed and there remains one single window just east of the stairs doorway. This light will be filled with beautiful glass painted by Mr Bewsey, representing S George. It is a gift from Mr B H Butler in memory of his son Benjamin James Butler whose ship was torpedoed in the Mediterranean. The glass is finished and ready for fixing. The ceiling of the porch will be built of rebated oak joists with oak panels to ceiling covered with deal floor (above) and a layer of felt between. The chamber above will thus be impervious to sound and draught. It has been decided to plaster the walls of the interior; and not as stated last month to line the porch with stone; the expense, £20 18s, seemed not justified by the advantage.


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

Accidentally killed at Archangel

A Burghfield mechanic was killed abroad.

NAVAL OR MILTARY NOTES

We regret to record that Mr and Mrs Green, of Mill Cottage, have received a telegram informing them that on 4th September their son, Albert L Green, 2nd A/M, RAF, was accidentally killed at Archangel. He was only just 20, and was one of our Brightwell apprentices.

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

“She desired to make a home for her two sons who had been demobilised”

A children’s home lost its foster mother due to her own sons coming home from the war.

7th October 1919

Mrs Hannon, Foster Mother

Reporting the receipt of a … letter from Mrs Hannon asking the Guardians to allow her to resign as she desired to make a home for her two sons who had been demobilised.

Recommending that the resignation be accepted.

Foster Mother, Palmer Home

Recommending that the vacancy at this home caused by the resignation of Mrs Hannon be referred to a Sub-committee … with a view to their considering and reporting to the Committee upon the advisability of employing a Foster Father and Foster Mother.

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

The time is approaching when the names will be wanted

Burghfield was finalising its list of names for the war memorial.

The War

Private Joseph West, of Trash Green (late Rifle Brigade), has just been mentioned in dispatches. He was wounded at Neuve Chapelle in March, 1915, and was discharged about a year later. Congratulations to him on his belated honour.

Mr Willink hopes that any Burghfield men who has received any mark of distinction not already announced in this magazine will communicate with him.

He hopes also that relatives of Burghfield men who have lost their lives on service in the war will take the trouble of studying the Roll of Honour in the inner Church Porch, and also the List of the Fallen which rests against the screen inside the church near the lectern, and that they will notify him of any omissions or mis-statements which should be attended to. The time is approaching when the names will be wanted for inscription upon the cross to be erected in the churchyard.

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

Reduction in old age pension owing to a pension due to the loss of a son whilst on Active Service

Tuesday, the 2nd day of September, 1919

OLD AGE PENSIONS

A Resolution from the Durham union was … read by which it was proposed that no old age pensioner should suffer any reduction in pension owing to him or her being in receipt of a pension due to the loss of a son whilst on Active Service, where the receipt of the said sum brings the total income above the maximum. It was resolved:

That, whilst in sympathy with the proposal the Board take no action in the matter.

Minutes of Wallingford Board of Guardians (G/W1/36)

No reduction in pension

13th August, 1919
O. A. Pensions

It was proposed by Mr Cutler, and seconded by the Revd A A Bull, and resolved, that this Board support the following Resolution passed by the Guardians of the Durham Union –

“That we seek an Amendment of the Old Age Pension Act to provide that no Old Age Pensioner shall suffer any reduction in Pension owing to he or she being in receipt of a pension due to the loss of a son whilst on Active Service, where the receipt of the said Pension brings the total income above the maximum prescribed for in the Act in determining the present conditional scale of Old Age Pensions.”

Minutes of Maidenhead Board of Guardians (G/M1/38)

Relief to be stopped until the army pension is exhausted

A bereaved mother was not allowed public funds to support her as she had her son’s army pension to call on.

5th August 1919

Case of Ann Ford
The Relieving Officer for No. 1 District reported that this woman had lately received £9:5:0 arrears of Army Pension in respect of her son who was killed during the War and also £5 gratuity. As this was a non settled case it was resolved that the Clerk write to the Pontypridd Union recommending that relief be stopped until the money is exhausted.

Newbury Board of Guardians minutes (G/N1/39, p. 184)

“Come to the cookhouse door, boys”: the long-hoped-for end of this weary and cruel struggle

Burghfield celebrated the end of the war.

Peace Celebrations

These took place on Saturday, July 26th, in fine weather and were a great success. The church bells were rung early in the morning, and at intervals afterwards. At 2.15 there was a short service, with a sermon by the Rector, in the church, attended by practically all the children from our four schools, over 260 of them, with the teachers, as well as many mothers and a number of ex-service men. The church inside was like a flower garden with the happy throng of young folk and their bright flags and banners and pretty dresses; but it was an earnest service too! The Burghfield Brass Band, under ex-bandsman W J Hathaway, late of the Royal Berks, met the long procession on the way from church, and played them into Hillfields lower park [the home of Mr Willink], where tents and a marquee (in preparation for the approaching Flower Show) had already been pitched, and were available in case of rain – which never came.

Sports for the children began at once, and at 4 o’clock they sat down on the grass to a good tea, after which the men’s sports were carried on till 5 o’clock, when 106 ex-service men, residents in Burghfield, were summoned by the now familiar “Come to the cookhouse door, boys” call, to an excellent meat tea in the marquee (provided by Mrs Sherval). Mr Willink said a few words of welcome at the end of the meal; but the fullest speech was well made by Mr Lousley, Chairman of the memorial and Celebrations Committee, later in the evening at the distribution of the sports prizes by Mrs Geoffrey Chance, when he gave a clear explanation of the aims and methods of the Committee, and thanked all those who had done so much for the Festival (except himself, who had as usual done his share and more), especially Mr H D Higgs (the Hon. Sec.), Mr Hannington, for conveying the Pinge Wood children; and Major Chance, Lieut. Searies, and Messrs E Lousley, Page, G Pembroke and Sheppard, with other teachers, as active members of the Sports Sub-Committee.

The day ended with dancing on rather rough sun-baked ground – but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Indeed there were no complaints all day, and it was a real pleasure to see so many friends and neighbours celebrating in such good fashion the long-hoped-for end of this weary and cruel struggle – yet those were not forgotten over whose lives the war has cast an abiding shadow. The Hillfields grounds were open during the day.

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

A splendid and lasting tribute of our gratitude to God for the valour of our men

The vicar of Maidenhead St Luke, holidaying with a brother home from the front, liked the parish’s war memorial plans.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

I write this letter far away in the stormy Hebrides; where lochs abound, great winds blow, and sea birds and seals are as common as rabbits ought to be on Maidenhead Thicket.

I feel that the few days I have been away – much of it spent in travelling – must have thrown a great strain on my colleagues at a very busy time. I suppose I must plead that the Armistice, the hope of an early Peace, and my brother’s return, must be my excuse…

As regards the future, I am hoping that on June 30th, the Parochial Church Council and the War Memorial Committee may approve of the beautiful plans Mr Cheadle has drawn out for us. I believe the Borough memorial Committee close their appeal on June 30th. We shall then have a clear field, and shall not in any way spoil anyone else’s scheme. The Memorial Chapel will be (if adopted) a splendid and lasting tribute of our gratitude to God for the valour of our men. In it we can pray for all we love here or in the next world. We can draw near to the Fallen in our thoughts. We can meditate on the One Great Sacrifice and think of our own kith and kin who followed that example in no unworthy way. But if we do undertake this work we ought to carry it out as nobly as lies in our power.

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

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

Released after over four years’ service in the Army

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners

As regards coming events, … above all the Welcome to Returned Sailors and Soldiers, and their wives (both in the same place), organised by the CEMS, will, I hope, be favoured by good weather and large musters…

Lastly, I hope to be away for two or three weeks in June. I should have gone later, but my brother, who is released after over four years’ service in the Army, specially wants me to go with him to Scotland. This makes, I feel, a special occasion where family claims must be considered.

If I have to miss important meetings, this is my excuse.

In any case, with Mr King Gill and Mr Thurland in charge, I know that everything will go on splendidly…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar,

C E M Fry

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

About to return

A schoolboy got an early finish to see his soldier dad.

May 26th 1919

William Newell was allowed to leave school before the close of the afternoon session by request of his father, a soldier from France, about to return.

Bradfield CE School log book (D/P22/28/2, p. 222)

A cross on the highest point

Suggestions were made for an Ascot war memorial.

WAR MEMORIAL

My dear rector, various suggestions have been made with regard to a War Memorial for Ascot, and it appears desirable that a Public Meering should be arranged for some evening in May when the whole question could be discussed, and a Committee formed.

I know you have been waiting for older residents to take the lead, feeling that it is a local, and not an Ecclesiastical matter; and I now write not as Churchwarden, but as the originator of the Ascot Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Committee.

Amongst the suggestions are:-

1. A Village Cross, with the names of those who have fallen inscribed on the base, to be erected on some suitable site such as (a) the triangular piece of waste at the four cross roads opposite the Royal Hotel; (b) on the highest point of the heath.

2. A Mortuary Chapel in the Ascot Burial Ground in the Priory Road, such a Chapel being urgently required.

3. A tablet in the Church bearing the names of all who have fallen in the war. This might be put up, either by itself, or in connection with the Mortuary Chapel, or as may be desired.

It is hoped that there may be a large gathering at the Meeting, and that especially those who have lost relations in the war, and Sailors and Soldiers who have served will attend, as the question should be widely discussed, so that all may take a share in the project as finally arranged.

Yours Sincerely

W. H. Tottie.

Ascot section of Winkfield District Magazine, May 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/5)

Sick at the thought of how we are being let down at Versailles today!

John Maxwell Image was not optimistic about the future. His wounded brother in law was our friend Percy Spencer.

29 Barton Road
7 May ‘19

My dearest old man

Florence … wants to see her wounded brother who is still at St Thomas’s Hospital, poor fellow.

I feel sick at the thought of how we are being let down at Versailles today! Especially at the ingratitude of Belgium, and of Italy – the latter I have heard vigorously defended here. But Belgium!

And the Agitators in Britain!

And Shinn [sic] Fein impudence!

What a future lies before every one in England except the moneygrubber and the Profiteer and their lickspittles.


Tuissimus
Bild

Letter from John Maxwell Image, Cambridge don, to W F Smith (D/EX801/2)