Extra relief for poor in peace celebrations

15th July, 1919
Peace Celebrations

Letters from the undermentioned Unions read in reference to granting extra Relief to persons in this Union, chargeable to those Unions, during the week ending the 19th instant in respect of Peace Celebrations, and it was resolved to instruct the Relieving Officers to grant extra relief as follows:

Billericay Union – Adults 4/- and Children 2/-
Parish of St Giles, Camberwell – Adults 3/- and Children 1/6
Westhampnett Union – Adults 2/6 and Children 2/-
Eton Union – Adults 4/- and Children 2/-
Parish of Lambeth – Adults 4/- and Children 2/-
Brentford Union – no extra relief
Guildford Union – Adults 4/- and Children 2/-

Letter from St Elizabeth’s Home, Midhurst, read asking if the Guardians will allow a sum of money towards the cost of Peace Celebrations at that Home in respect of Elizabeth M Shaw.
Resolved that the Superintendent be asked to treat E M Shaw in the same manner as the other Children of the Home.

Windsor Board of Guardians minutes (G/WI1/26)

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The final downfall of German militarism: the most epoch-making moment of the year nineteen hundred and nineteen

A woman who grew up in Windsor was present at the celebrations after the signing of the treaty which brought a formal end to the war.

The Peace of Versailles

Probably the most epoch-making moment of the year nineteen hundred and nineteen was that marked by Hermann Muller signing the Treaty of Peace in the name of the German Republic. We did not see that signature affixed. We reached the palace of Versailles as the first gun fired its signal to the waiting crowds. In fact, we were late, for motor cars had been sorely taxed, and we had come with a relay. But the rush in this car from the Arc-de-Triomphe in Paris to Versailles was full of vivid impressions.

Our route lay through the woods of Boulogne-sur-Seine and St Cloud, then in the full flush of their summer glory and lit by a warm sun. The road all the way was kept by French soldiers posted every hundred yards, and at every bend, and as our car dashed furiously along the clear road, people looked at us so curiously, that we felt we must be taken for late arrivals, who hoped at least to defer and perhaps to annul the Treaty.

At last we swung into the long straight avenue leading up to the Palace gates. On either side, dense lines of cavalry – chestnut mounts, azure blue uniforms and helmets overtopped with gleaming lances and red and white pennons, al in perfect alignment. As our late car approached, the whole formation, till then “at ease”, sprang to attention, and we felt we were very fraudulent, and quite undeserving of such salutes. We got out quickly, and as we reached the terrace beyond the Palace, the first gun told us that peace had been signed. The followed a great scene in a great setting: the long park front of the Bourbon’s home, the wide formal gardens of the terrace, the great fountains which play so seldom, and all of these were bathed in sunshine. The Republican Guard were much in evidence, the infantry in dark blue, with befeathered kepis, while the sun was reflected from the dazzling rows of the cuirassiers.

Whilst the German delegates were departing there was silence, but when the “Big Four” appeared, the assembled company on the terrace could restrain itself no longer, and their reception was immense, while the leading representatives of France and England, on making their way to the far edge of the terrace, were well-night carried off their feet by the crowd. The view which these leaders of the Congress had when they eventually reached their goal was unique – in the foreground, the steep slope of the formal gardens, then the high boundary rail, behind it and with the superb avenue and lake for background, the Parisian in his thousands, and with his wife and family all densely packed and cheering.

This was the picture which we left by a side entrance, to seek contrast in the solitude of the great park of Versailles, and there, buried in silent glades, or roaming amidst the artificial rusticity of the “hamlet” it was easy to see again as in a Watteau picture, the senseless but harmless frolics of the Court of Louis XV. Here we were free to muse upon the epochs of history which have had their opening and closing scenes in these surroundings. The revolutionary oath taken in the Tennis Court beyond the palace spelt doom to the regime of artificial shepherds and shepherdesses and all that they implied; from this a span of eighty-two years saw, in the Palais de Glace, the triumph of German militarism, and this day June 28th, 1919, after a further lapse of forty-eight years, had seen its downfall.

An Old Girl.


Clewer: St Stephen’s High School Magazine, 1920 (D/EX1675/6/2/2)

Wireless messages concerning the armistice coming from an agitated operator at the Eiffel Tower, before many in authority knew what was being said

St Augustine’s was the only children’s home for boys run by the Community of St John Baptist. Many of its inmates went on to serve in the Armed Forces, and they shared their experiences with the Sisters.

June, 1919
Dear Friends of St Augustine’s Home

The health of the boys has been excellent this winter, for which we are most thankful. We had a bad epidemic of influenza a year ago, and when the disease made its re-appearance in Windsor in the beginning of winter, we trembled, but schools were closed, and we resorted to gargling and house-spraying, and had not more than half a dozen cases at most.

Our always kind doctor and dentist have returned home from war work, and again look after our boys…

We ended our financial year with bills amounting to more than £200 unpaid. We are printing not merely our last balance sheet, but a pre-war one, by way of an interesting and instructive comparison. One thing that may strike you is that not merely are our expenses heavier, but our subscriptions are considerably less. There have been so many claims on everyone, but we hope that as these lessen, the claims of a Home like ours, which has sent many sons to the front and is helping to train others to take the place of those who have fallen, may appeal not merely to former subscribers but to those who will become new friends…

Our household linen cupboard, and our clothes cupboard, were almost empty this spring… Then … came a large package of garments, cutlery and other things from a war hospital… during the last two weeks of March.

A number of kind friends at Eton and other places made a special Lent effort and sent us a nice contribution of stockings… If other friends would follow this example (perhaps some of those who have knitted so assiduously for soldiers) and ask their friends to do the same, the stocking basket would wear a more cheerful aspect…

August will soon be here, and we hope to see some of our old boys down for the holidays, though Peace celebrations may very naturally take them elsewhere. They have come and gone from time to time as leave allowed, and many thrilling things some of them have to tell – though told always in the simplest, most matter-of-fact way. Some have been in ships torpedoed, one received and transmitted wireless messages concerning the armistice coming from an agitated operator at the Eiffel Tower, before many in authority knew what was being said. And some of our boys will of course never return, but have won the “great promotion” of which the Home is so proud.

Yours very gratefully
The Sister-in-Charge

Letter to Friends of St Augustine’s Home, Clewer (D/EX1675/23/4/6)

Special classes for soldiers

Students were getting back to normal on leaving the army.

MAIDENHEAD TECHNICAL INSTITUTE

The Sub-committee understand that the Technical Institute will probably be evacuated by the Red Cross Hospital authorities shortly…

EVENING CLASSES

In a circular letter, the Board of Education urge the importance of the resumption of the part of this work which was curtailed owing to the war and of its further development at the earliest possible date.

The Sub-committee have not found it possible to resuscitate any of the closed classes this session but have made provision in the estimates for increasing the number of classes next session.

ARMY EDUCATION

In connexion with the scheme for Army Education, the Sub-committee have been asked to arrange special classes for soldiers at Windsor and these have been duly held. The whole of the cost is payable by the War Office.

COUNTY SCHOLARSHIPS

The Sub-committee have allowed B L James (3rd year Senior Scholar), who was released from the Army in January to resume his Senior Scholarship at the Newbury Grammar School for the remainder of its period.

M G Hyder, who was granted a Supplementary County Scholarship in 1916, has been released from the Army, and took up his Scholarship at Keble College, Oxford, as from the commencement of the Lent Term.

The Sub-committee have renewed the Scholarship of E H Austin (who has also been released from the Army) at the University College, Reading, until the end of the Summer Term.

Report of Higher Education Sub-committee to Berkshire Education Committee, 3 May 1919, in Berkshire County Council minutes (C/CL/C1/1/22)

On military duties in Egypt and Palestine for four years

One demobilised soldier got a short break before resuming work.

12th March 1919

Mr Howard, who has been on military duties in Egypt and Palestine for four years, has now returned to England, has been granted leave of absence until Monday March 24th 1919 when he will recommence his duties here.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School log book (C/EL72/3, p. 204)

Football with the returned servicemen

A group of demobilised servicemen wanted to play football with boys from their old school.

6th March 1919

About 16 old boys who had returned from military and naval duties visited this afternoon and asked that they might join the school football team in a game. An extra play was given in consequence.

Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School log book (C/EL72/3, p. 203)

Lining the streets in honour of the home-coming of the Coldstream Guards

The Coldstream Guards were coming home to their peacetime home in Windsor barracks.

Windsor
27th February 1919

The mayor asked that the boys and girls of the various schools might line the streets in honour of the home-coming of the Coldstream Guards. He granted all the schools a half holiday (school closed at midday in consequence).

Reading
27/02/1919

Absent by permission, having received an invitation to view the battle-ship ‘Renown’ at Portsmouth.

Log books of Windsor Royal Free Boys’ School (C/EL72/3); Coley Street Primary School Reading (89/SCH/48/4)

It has been decided to not “repatriate” the British born wives and children of enemy aliens against their will

Windsor had provided a home for the inmates of a Surrey workhouse during the war.

11th February 1919

Mrs Bartholomew

Letter from Local Government Board read, stating, in reply to an enquiry by the Clerk, that in cases where the husband of a woman in receipt of an allowance as a British-born wife of an interned alien has been repatriated, the allowance may be continued to the wife and children, also that it has been decided to not “repatriate” the British born wives and children against their will, but they will be permitted to follow their husbands if they so desire.

Richmond Military Hospital

Letter from the Richmond Union (Surrey) read stating that the Military Authorities have asked permission to remain in occupation of that Union’s Institution until 31st March 1920, and asking whether the Board will agree to such of their inmates as are Boarders at this Union’s Institution remaining as such until that date.

Resolved that the Richmond Inmates be allowed to remain at this Institution until 31/3/1920, provided the circumstances remain the same.

Minutes of Windsor Board of Guardians (G/WI1/26)

They cannot be demobilised in advance of general demobilisation

January 28th, 1919

Letter from Mr Gulliver, Assistant Master, read, stating that he is willing to resume his former duties as male Attendant, at the old salary, from the date Mr Lockhart leaves.

Letter from the Local Government Board read, stating that the Guardians’ application for the discharge from the army of Messrs Wood and Edwards, Porter and Labour Master, respectively, has been considered but they cannot be demobilised in advance of general demobilisation.


Windsor Board of Guardians minutes (G/WI1/26)

A war bonus of 20% on prewar salaries

The porter at Windsor Workhouse had had his job kept open for him.

Windsor
14th January, 1919

Letter from Mr W J Wood, Porter (now on active service) read with reference to Demobilisation and his return to duty.

The Clerk reported that he had informed Mr Wood that the Guardians had by resolution decided to keep his post open for him.

Resolved that no action be taken with regard to the Temporary Officer until the date of Mr W J Wood’s return is known.

Faringdon
14th January 1919

War Bonuses

Letter from Clerk to Guardians Wallingford. His Board has adopted a scale without waiting to call the proposed conference.

It was resolved to determine the question of the bonuses to be allotted to outdoor Officers in this Union independently.

It was accordingly resolved that a war bonus of 20% on prewar salaries should be granted to all the outdoor Officers to date from the 1st October 1918.

Windsor Board of Guardians minutes (G/WI1/26); Faringdon Board of Guardians minutes (G/F1/44)

Extra relief this Christmas in view of the cessation of hostilities

Paupers in Windsor Poor Law Union were allowed extra cash to celebrate peace.

December 17th, 1918
Extra Christmas Relief

Memorandum from the Local Government Board read authorising Boards of Guardians granting extra relief to recipients of Outdoor Relief this Christmas in view of the cessation of hostilities.

Moved by the Chairman.
Seconded by Mr Hamilton.
That to celebrate the cessation of hostilities and Christmas, all regular recipients of Outdoor Relief from this Union (excluding non-resident and non-settled cases) be granted during this week extra relief to the extent of 2/- for each adult and 1/- for each child.

Windsor Board of Guardians minutes (G/WI1/26)

Tomorrow’s General Election

The first election to allow women and all adult men to vote was looming.

Reading
Dec 13th 1918

School closed all day to prepare it for a Polling Station in tomorrow’s General Election.

Windsor
Dec: 13th

Mrs Baker still absent [with influenza]…

School closed on Friday as it was required for preparation for a Polling Station on Saturday in connection with the Parliamentary Election.

Log books of Redlands Boys’ School, Reading (86/SCH/3/30); Holy Trinity Infants School, Windsor (C/EL58/2)

Away with Influenza

Influenza’s toll increased.

Windsor
Dec: 6th

Mrs Baker absent from Monday noon, suffering from Influenza.

Peasemore
Dec. 6

Miss Jacobs, the needlework mistress, away with Influenza the whole of the week.

Log books of Holy Trinity Infants School, Windsor (C/EL58/2); Peasemore School (C/EL49/2)

Assistance of Germans and others in distress

It was very difficult for women to make ends meet if their husbands had been interned.

3rd December, 1918

Letter from Emergency Committee for the Assistance of Germans and others in distress read with reference to Mrs M Bartholomew at present in receipt of allowance granted by HM Government to British-born wives and children of interned Aliens.

Relieving Officer, 1st District, reported on the case.

Resolved that the relief granted Mrs Bartholomew be increased by 5/- per week for 4 weeks.

Windsor Board of Guardians minutes (G/WI1/26)

One little girl has died following Influenza

The terrible flu epidemic sweeping the world was continuing to make inroads locally.

1918
Nov 22nd

School reopened on Monday morning. Many girls are still absent with Influenza and Influenza Colds.

One little girl – Frances Clark – has died from Pneumonia, following on Influenza.


Log book of Holy Trinity Infants School, Windsor (C/EL58/2)