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)

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)

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)

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))

Donkeys and drums

Some clergy had reservations about the unbridled nature of the peace celebrations.

July 1919

Vicar’s Letter

The Signing of the Peace will naturally turn the thoughts of many towards the ‘Peace Celebrations,’ proposed to be held on Saturday, July 19th. I do not think I can do better than quote a few sentences from a letter written by the Bishop of Norwich, which was published in The Times on Saturday, June 28th. With regard to organised festivities in connection with the Celebration of Peace, the Bishop fears lest these should bring out the poorer and not the nobler side of a natural outburst of high spirits, and he says:

‘We do not wish to substitute mere excitement for that quiet sense of fellowship with the living and the dead and that sober thanks-giving which ought to be the real notes of such a day. At this time we have to think not only of peace abroad, but also of true peace and good will at home, and no stimulated and unrestrained merrymaking helps to give us these. The expression of our joy should not be inappropriate to the tender and solemn remembrance of those who have fallen in the war, nor regardless of those who are mourning for the desolation of their homes. This is, indeed, an occasion for joy, but elaborated celebrations are costly, and the country is in no financial position, and many chastened people in no frame of mind, to spend large sums on extravagant exhibitions of rejoicing. Much sacrifice has gone before the day of thanks giving, and much sacrifice must follow it if the Peace is to be as great as the war. I venture to suggest that we should concentrate our efforts on giving the children a happy day, as many of us do at Christmas time when we commemorate the birth of the Prince of Peace. This, I believe, while shielding us from the risks of orgies protracted into the night, would evoke what is best in the hearts of all classes, and would make a memorable occasion for the boys and girls upon whom will eventually rest the task of fully working out the problems of the new age which the Peace has brought with it.’

No words could I think express better my own feelings with regard to the ‘Peace Celebrations,’ and I hope they will equally commend themselves to you all.

August 1919

The Vicar’s Letter

I feel that my first duty is to thank most heartily the Members of the Committee, and all others, who rendered such very efficient help in collecting funds, arranging and cutting up for the tea, and in superintending and devising the capital Sports, etc., which gave so much pleasure to our young guests on the occasion of the Peace Celebration. If only it had been a really fine day! The dampness of the unpleasant drizzle had no apparent effect on the spirits and excellent conduct of the children, yet we all felt it would have been so much brighter had the sun shone out. Provision for the tea was ample and much appreciated. The donkeys were quite up-to-date, and behaved as donkeys have ever done at a Children’s Fête! Most grateful were we to Mrs. Young, Mr Reynolds and Mr. Stretch for the loan of them; they were quite a feature in the programme. And what shall be told of the glory of the bonfire, which apparently surpassed in brilliance any other that could be seen far or near! As soon as the gentleman with the drum was satisfied that he had done enough in celebrating Peace, one was able to get to bed about 1.30 a.m.! thankful that all concerned had had a happy day, and may God grant that the occasion for keeping such a day shall never occur again during the life-time of the youngest of those who were present with us!

Cookham Dean parish magazine, July and August 1919 (D/P43B/28A/11)

Fireworks and flares

On 19 July 1919 peace celebrations were held across the county following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

St John’s School. Caversham
July 19th 1919

Saturday- to celebrate the conclusion of peace all the children of the town [Reading] were entertained to tea, games etc in either Palmer or Prospect Parks.

King Street School, Maidenhead
19th July 1919

“‘Peace Day’ was kept by a sumptuous tea for the children in school this afternoon. Several people came to help entertain them. An old pupil gave musical selections while children had their tea & the popular airs they were familiar with were much enjoyed.

After tea, cheers were given for the soldiers & the king & concluded with the National Anthem. Children were then taken to Kidwell’s Park to enjoy sports, roundabouts & other amusements.

Aldworth School
July 14th-18th 1919

This week we made 100% attendance!

The Peace celebration was held on Saturday July 19th – Dinner, tea and sports in the old playground, for all parishioners, followed by fireworks and flares in “Battle Field” at Westbridges.

Lower Sandhurst School
July 19th 1919

To day Saturday in common with all parts of the country this Parish held its Peace Festival.

The school children assembled at school and marched to the Wellington Arms where they met the other two schools and headed by a band a procession was formed and a move was made to the Broadway. Here the ceremony of hoisting the flag was performed, prayers and thanksgivings were offered for victory and peace speeches were delivered, Mr. W. J. Joye, Chairman of the Managers, being one of the speakers.

Tea and sports were provided for the children and although the weather was unpropitious the children spent a happy time.

Bracknell Church of England Mixed Primary School
19th July 1919

‘Peace Celebrations’. During the day all school children were specially provided with a tea (followed by a tea for the general public). Sports were also provided for school children, preceded by a procession from the Hall through High Stand to the Sports Ground. All who had served in H. M. Forces during the war were entertained to dinner.

St Peter’s CE School, Earley
19th July 1919

Today was observed as “Peace Celebration Day” for the parish of Earley, & the children of the school, whether living in Earley or in Reading, were included in the invitations. By kind invitation of J Rushbrooke esq, the celebration took place in Bulmershe Park, where, despite showery weather, a most enjoyable afternoon & evening were spent.

Cookham Alwyn Road School log book
July 19th

Saturday: Peace Celebrations. Tea to scholars in School Buildings. March to Kidwells Park at 4.15.

Eastbury National Primary, Lambourn
19th July 1919

Peace celebrations at Eastbury. The school children took part in the procession, sang patriotic songs, and afterwards partook in tea in a lane kindly lent for the occasion. Giving in to the rain, the sports were held on the following Monday.

Charney Bassett
19.7.19

Peace-day was kept up in the village. The children had a tea in a barn kindly lent for the occasion, and the adults a meat tea; owing to the bad weather the sports were postponed until Sat the 26th.

Speenhamland
July 19th

We have been making preparations for the Peace Celebrations tomorrow, and work has to some extent been interrupted.

Bracknell
19th July 1919

Peace Celebrations.

During the day all school children were specially provided with a tea (followed by a tea for the general public). Sports were also provided for school children, preceded by a procession from the Hall through High Stand to the Sports Ground. All who had served in H. M. Forces during the war were entertained to dinner.

Log books of St John’s School. Caversham (89/SCH/14/1); King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Aldworth School (C/EL54/3); Lower Sandhurst School (C/EL66/1); Bracknell Church of England Mixed Primary School (C/EL45/3); St Peter’s CE School, Earley (SCH36/8/3); Cookham Alwyn Road School (88/SCH/18/1); Eastbury National Primary, Lambourn (D/P79B/28/2); Bouverie Pusey School, Charney Bassett (C/EL41/2); St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3); Bracknell Church of England Mixed Primary School (C/EL45/3)

Hearts uplifted in gratitude to God for His great mercy in bringing us through all the perils of the War

Rector’s Letter

My dear people,

In accordance with official command we held our Thanksgiving Services for the Signing of Peace on Sunday, July 6; our hearts were indeed uplifted in gratitude to God for His great mercy in bringing us through all the perils of the War, and we supplicated Him to give us the grace of humility that so we might be enabled to face the difficulties of the years that lie immediately ahead with the hope that depends upon Him and the courage that faithfully expects the guidance of the Holy Spirit…

George H Williams

Remenham parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P99/28A/5)

A chastened gratitude because of the ever-present thought of the price paid for Peace

Ascot and Warfield were thankful for the peace treaty.

Ascot
The services on July 6th, the day of Thanksgiving for the signing of the Peace Treaty, were well-attended. Ours was a chastened gratitude because of the ever-present thought of the price paid for Peace; but it was sincere.

Warfield
Sunday, July 6th, the Day appointed for Thanksgiving to Almighty God on the occasion of the Signing of the Treaty of Peace, was well observed in the Parish.

Winkfield District Magazine, August 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/8)

Soldiers throwing stones

Some people got a bit over-excited by the official end of the war.

Lower Sandhurst
July 4th 1919

Six or seven windows were broken by persons throwing stones on either Saturday or Sunday night. I am informed that soldiers belonging to the camp are the delinquents. Have written to the C.O. of the guard, and to the police.

Lower Basildon
4th July 1919

School closed on Friday afternoon, for a half holiday, on the occasion of the Signing of the Peace Treaty.

Boyne Hill
July 4th

On account of the Proclamation of Peace this morning, this afternoon is to be observed as a general holiday.

Lower Sandhurst School log book (C/EL66/1); Lower Basildon CE School log book (C/EL7/2); Boyne Hill Girls’ CE School (C/EL121/3)

The Germans are still trying to make up their minds

Some feared it was not time to celebrate quite yet.

Peace

At the time of writing peace is not yet signed and the Germans are still trying to make up their minds, but the question of peace celebrations was discussed at a recent meeting of the Parish Council. Several suggestions were made and it was decided to lay proposals before a Parish meeting very shortly, when people will have an opportunity of criticising and amending any scheme brought forward.

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

We must not forget our brothers who have made the supreme sacrifice

Peace did not mean putting the past behind us.

The signing of the Peace Treaty is an appropriate moment for reminding our readers of the proposed War Memorial in S. Mary’s Church. We must not forget our brothers who have made the supreme sacrifice, and there must be many people who will only be too anxious to take their share in providing a permanent memorial. All donations should be sent direct to Colonel Justice, at Speen Court.

Speenhamland parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P116B/28A/2)

Stand up as a token of respect to those who have fallen in the great struggle

1st July, 1919

The Chairman, referring to the signing of Peace, desired the members of the Board to stand up as a token of respect to those who have fallen in the great struggle, he also wished and proposed to place on the minutes the high appreciation of the members of the Board for the courage shewn by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and others comprised in His Majesty’s Forces, including the many thousands who came from the Dominions…

The Vice-Chairman and the members of the Board heartily associated themselves with the Chairman in his remarks, and unanimously passed the resolution, which was seconded by Mr Rasey.

Wokingham Board of Guardians minutes (G/WO1/26)

What the Treaty of Versailles meant to the world & what children could do to help in the world’s peace

Some schools incorporated the Treaty of Versailles immediately into lessons.

King Street School, Maidenhead
30th June 1919

The signing of the Peace Treaty was made the subject of the day’s lessons. Mistress explained to the school what it meant to the world & what the children could do to help in the world’s peace. Patriotic marches & national anthems of other countries were used throughout the day & children correlated lessons wherever possible.

Peasemore
June 30th

The Time Table was not kept today. Extra games were played, a Gramaphone [sic] “played” patriotic marches and pieces, and “Peace” was heartily celebrated. Mrs Blea, Miss Weil and Miss Podbury helped to entertain.

Sonning Boys’ School
30th June 1919
Closed this afternoon by order of the Managers. Procession and tea in connection with Peace Rejoicings.

Sonning CE Girls and Infants’ School
30th June 1919

School closed in the afternoon by order of the Managers. The children had a treat to celebrate the signing of the Peace.

East Ilsley
30th June 1919
School closed in afternoon as a recognition of the signing of the peace Saturday.

Log books of King Street School, Maidenhead (C/EL77/1); Peasemore School (C/EL49/2); Sonning Boys School (89/SCH/1/2); Sonning CE Girls and Infants (89/SCH/1/4); East Ilsley CE School (C/EL39/1)

Victory Week

The war was definitely over now.

Eastbury CE School
28th June 1919

The Peace Treaty signed today.

Cookham
June 23rd-28th 1919

A “Victory Week” in connection with “Victory Bonds” was held this week and resulted in £59 being taken.

Log books of Eastbury CE Primary School, Lambourn (D/P79B/28/2, p. 360); and Cookham Alwyn Road School log book (88/SCH/18/1, p. 338)

Peace is signed

The war was now officially over.

28 June 1919

Peace is signed. Just heard from Captain Kelly!

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)