Children’s grand parade to celebrate peace

Many of the schools in Berkshire celebrated the peace today.

Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School
24th July 1919

School closes today (Thursday) for summer holidays-six weeks – one week extra being given at King George’s command – to celebrate the signing of Peace.

Grey Friars Infants’ School, Reading
July 24th 1919

School closed today on account of Peace Celebration Treat for the Infants. Treat took place 2.30 to 5pm on Vicarage Lawn.

Central Continuation School, Reading (89/SCH/8/9)
24th July 1919

Schools closed this afternoon on the occasion of the children’s peace procession.

Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School
24th July 1919

School was closed today for the Children’s Treat in commemoration of the Peace.

George Palmer Boys’ School, Reading
24th July 1919

Closed (pm) to permit of (Peace) Children’s Parade.

Coley Street Primary School, Reading
24/07/1919

The competitors in the ‘fancy costume parade’ of the Peace Day celebrations (Sat 19th) are forming a grand parade through a portion of the town this afternoon.

Boyne Hill
July 24th

In accordance with a desire expressed by His Majesty the King, the Education Committee have decided to extend the summer holidays by one week.

Newbury
24/07/19

Children left at 3:15 today for the purpose of finishing their Peace Day sports.

Log books of Abingdon Conduit Rd Infants School C/EL4/2); Grey Friars Infants’ School, Reading (R/ES4/2); Central Continuation School, Reading (89/SCH/8/9); Reading ChristChurch CE Infants School log book (89/SCH/7/6); George Palmer Boys’ School, Reading (89/SCH/8/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1))

Peace Treat

Children continued to celebrate peace.

Reading: All Saints Infant School
23rd July 1919

The school closes this morning (Wed) till Friday; on account of the swimming gala this afternoon; and the children’s Peace Treat tomorrow.

Wallingford Boys Council School
1919, 23 July

Visited, at about 12.10, by the Chairman of Managers, when it was decided that an extra week’s holiday should be given in response to the wish of HM the King (Peace Celebration).

Newbury
23/07/19

There will be a half holiday this afternoon by order of the Ed: Com: as the swimming sports are taking place.

Log books of All Saints Infant School, Reading (89/SCH/19/2); and Wallingford Boys Council School (SCH22/8/3); St Joseph’s Infant School, Newbury ( N/ES 7/1)

Each child wore a red white & blue rosette

Peace festivities were in full swing.

Clewer
July 17th

School was closed all day today. The children assembled at 1.15 and marched to Clewer Park with flags. Each child wore a red white & blue rosette. These had been made previously during the Handwork Lessons by the 1st Class. The day was beautifully warm & fine and a very enjoyable time spent. The children dispersed soon after 8 o’clock.

Aldermaston
17th July 1919.

Five away this afternoon (Hants children) to attend peace celebration.

16 Heath End children were absent this afternoon as Mrs Mc Connell of Heath End House [in Baughurst, Hampshire] had invited them to a tea to celebrate “Peace”.

Reading: George Palmer Boys’ School
17th July 1919

In afternoon adjourned to meadow adjoining Coley Park to run off preliminary heats of Peace Day Sports.

Coley Street Primary School
17/07/1919

The children’s ‘Peace Day’ activities are being fixed for Saturday 19th.

Log books of St Katherine’s School, Clewer (C/EL113/2); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/2-3); George Palmer Boys’ School log book (89/SCH/8/1); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4)

“Competitors to walk 50 yards smoking a cigarette”: competitions for wounded soldiers

On Wednesday 10 July 1918, Reading Philanthropic Institution mounted a Wounded Soldiers’ Outing at Rectory Grounds, Caversham, placed at the disposal of the committee by Lady Moseley.

The day consisted of the following programme:

2.30

Sports programme

1. Guessing Competition.
The Secretary of the Institution [J H Smart of Beresford Road, Reading] was born in the year 1841. What was his age in days on July 1st, 1918, estimated at 365 days per year?

2. Threadneedle Race.
Wounded Soldiers and Ladies – Soldiers to thread needle.

3. Slow Walking Race.
Competitors must place one foot after the other in a forward movement; to stand still means disqualification.

4. Egg and Spoon Race.
Teams of three; each competitor to cover 25 yards.

5. Necktie Competitions.
Conditions explained at the start.

6. Toy Symphony.
Competitors to walk 50 yards playing “toy instruments”.

7. Whistling Competition.
Conditions explained at the start.

8. Animal Imitations.

9. Musical Chairs.

10. Potato Race in Pairs.

11. Feeding Bottle Contest.
Competitors to walk 50 yards smoking a cigarette, drink contents from feeding bottle suspended without using their hands, cigarette to be kept alight until the finish of a further walk of 25 yards.

12. Bowling Competitions.

13. Fixing The Donkey’s Tail

14. Band Race

7.30
Lady Moseley will present the Prizes to the winning competitors.

From 5.45 to 7.30 the sports were accompanied by a concert by Reading Favourites Concert Party, followed by the band of the 1st battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Wounded soldiers’ outing programme (R/D137/6/3)

Playing at soldiers

Berkshire Education Committee was interested in national proposals for a scheme to train teenage boys not yet old enough to join the armed forces. A committee comprising councillor and chair of the committee, H G Willink and Messrs Mansfield and Childs of Reading University reported back. Their main concern was that the men most suitable for running such a programme were away at war, but they also felt that younger boys should not be militarised. Another big issue was the connection between social class and officer status.

Report of Cadet Training Sub-committee to the Education Committee

First report of the Special Sub-committee appointed on 29 April 1916 by the Berks Education Committee to consider the Lord Mayor of London’s “Scheme for the National Organisation of Cadet Training”.

We have met and considered this Scheme; and have also had before us a detailed Scheme of the Essex Education Committee “for the formation and organisation of Cadet Units”.

While not prepared to recommend either Scheme in its entirety, for reasons which will appear, we desire to express our appreciation of the aim underlying both, and to state that in our opinion there is need for some well-considered system by which lads below 18 years of age may not only gain the benefits of discipline but may also undergo a training which will exercise and develop their intelligence. We are convinced that this is essential if the youth of the country is to be adequately prepared either for future naval or military service or to be efficient and useful citizens of the Empire.

The Lord Mayor’s proposals fall under two heads, viz:

1. The establishment of a “National Cadet Council”, with certain relations to other authorities and with a quasi-subordinate system of City and County Cadet Committees…

2. The early introduction of a uniform system of training, upon lines following generally those of the Australian Cadet Scheme (which is established by law) but on a voluntary instead of a compulsory basis.

Under such a Scheme, lads above elementary school age and under 18 would be organised as Senior Cadets, who would receive a minimum of training in Physical Drill, Company (and some Battalion) Drill, Field Training, and Musketry. Boys from 12 to (say) 14, or Junior Cadets, would undergo a training which could only be called military in the sense of being preparation for military work. It would consist of Physical Exercises and Marching Drill, together with any two of the following: Miniature Rifle Shooting, Swimming, Organised Games, and First Aid. Senior Cadets to have a simple uniform, but Juniors none.
As regards the relations with existing formations – OT Corps would not come under the Council at all, the Boys’ Brigade, Church Lads’ Brigade, and YMCA, as well as the Boy Scouts, would remain separate, but close communication between them and the Council would be encouraged; and no objection is raised to lads or boys passing to or from them and Cadet Units, or even belonging to one of them and to a Cadet Unit also.

Note: The Essex Scheme, which contains no reference to the Lord Mayor’s proposals, invites “the co-operation of District Educational Sub-committees, School Managers, Teachers and others, with a view to the formation of Cadet Units”, the membership age to be from that of leaving the elementary school till 19, but no admission after 18….

The Scheme … lays down an elaborate curriculum of instruction, to be given in connection with the Evening Continuation Schools…

One further point may be noted. The Australian lad of 14 receives a “Record Book” in which his military history is entered up to the age of 26 years, and individuals unable to produce a Record Book with a clean service sheet are debarred from any service under the Commonwealth Government. There would, however, appear to be insuperable difficulties in the way of including this valuable feature in any voluntary Scheme, at any rate before the system was in practically universal operation.

Taking the Scheme as its stands, we are of opinion, in regard to the first “head”, that the establishment of some such central consultative body as the proposed “National Cadet Council” is desirable, provided that its functions are in the first instance confined to inquiry, ventilation and discussion; and do not extend to an immediate setting-up of a definite new Scheme, still less to its actual bringing into action.

We give due weight to the objection that the absence on active service, or the employment on other war work at home or abroad, of so many of the men best fitted to construct or introduce a system of such importance is a serious obstacle to arriving at a satisfactory decision upon the best lines for it. But we also feel strongly that the present united spirit of patriotism in public opinion ought to be utilized before reaction sets in, as may very likely be the case when the end of the war comes into sight…

The important point to bear in mind is that no new Scheme can be satisfactory which will not fit into a general plan for National Training for Home Defence, or which will in any way prejudge the question whether such training is to be on a voluntary or compulsory basis….

There are certain points which to us seem fairly clear, and which may be worth stating, if only to elicit discussion.
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