Pray daily for an honourable settlement

Peace had brought industrial unrest, as lower paid sections of the population protested against high prices and the threat of reduced wages.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners, …

I write this letter while the country is under the shadow of a great strike. I feel that honest men will differ as to the rights and wrongs of this struggle, and we must respect honest differences of opinion. But the strike is of a magnitude that forces men to take up one side or the other.

Personally, I feel that with three months in which to bargain with the Government before any reduction of pay could in any case take place, a strike now is unjustifiable.

And so, while I expect there are many minor grievances against the Government now that the strike has been started, many of us after careful reflection feel that we must support the Government, not only in keeping order, but in carrying out the transport of food and necessaries. For nothing but very serious grievances justify a powerful section of the people – I think there are sometimes grievances so great as to do this – in holding up so far as they can the ordinary life of the whole community.

But whatever view each one of us takes, I hope we shall all remain friends as befits fellow countrymen and fellow Christians, and avoid all needless bitterness of word or deed.

Finally, as Vicar, I would ask every parishioner to pray daily for an honourable settlement, so that in peace at home we may produce food, coal, clothing, houses and manufactured articles, and not merely print more paper money, that will neither warm nor feed us…

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

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

“Many a railway man in his heart loathed the unsportsmanlike order to stop work”

The country was hit by industrial unrest.

Rector’s Letter

My dear people –

As we assembled for our Evening Service on October 5 the glad news came that the Railway strike was over, and that the men would return to work as suddenly as they had left it. During the week of the strike prayer was offered by many that God’s Holy Spirit would grant “a right judgment in all things” to those concerned in the dispute, and the prayer was answered. We recognise the rights of Labour, and we recognise that Trades Unions have a legitimate place in the economic framework, but we do earnestly deprecate the short-sighted policy of “ca’canny”, which damages a man’s self-respect and destroys his honourable pride in his work, and we believe that many and many a railway man in his heart loathed the unsportsmanlike order to stop work suddenly, without even a few days’ notice, in an attempt to hold the whole community to ransom: by the splendid effort of all good citizens, high and low, rich and poor, the attempt did not succeed. Let us hope that wise counsels may now guide our industrial unrest towards and honourable and lasting peace, that will adjust the interests of individual classes and safeguard the welfare of the country as a whole.

Yours very faithfully,

George H Williams

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