Peldon in WW1 from the school logbooks

As one would expect, Peldon School logbook concentrates on aspects of teaching and staffing, poor behaviour and absenteeism, bad weather, problems with the buildings, heating and ventilation, visits by the Rector, school managers, Attendance and Sanitary Officers and the annual inspector's report. In amongst this day to day detail can be seen a glimpse of what was happening at home while World War 1 was raging

1914

September 4th The elder girls this week have had extra time for knitting as they are making socks for wounded soldiers in connection with the Red Cross Society - the wool being provided by Mrs Store.

September 11th Mr J M Green [schoolmaster] leaves us today. He has offered his services and been accepted as a recruit in the Army in response to the call from his King and Country.

During the past month 439,000 men have been secured out of the half million asked for - our little school being proud to have supplied one of the number. His post here is to be kept open for him during the time of the war.

The school master returned home safely and appears on the Roll Of Honour in Peldon Church his entry reading Green Sapper J.M. FSC RE [as I understand it he was a member of a Field Survey Company in the Royal Engineers]

October 14th Lectures on Poultry Keeping were given on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings 12th, 13th and 14th October.

November 20th Lantern lecture 7.30pm in aid of National Relief Fund

December 18th A very eventful week in the history of the Country. Towns on the East coast bombarded by German Cruisers.

[This was the German Navy's attack on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby]

Lecture in the Schoolroom this evening War Pictures shewn by Magic Lantern. Proceeds for the National Relief Fund.

1915

February 6th Concert in aid of Belgian Relief Fund

September 17th On Wednesday afternoon an old scholar, Ernest Gladwell, was buried in Peldon Churchyard - he was killed by an incendiary bomb dropped by a Zeppelin on the previous Tuesday morning as he lay asleep in the barge of which he was skipper.

Alfred Gladwell still at work helping his father with the thatching of stacks. The Authorities allow this owing to the War, other help not available.[Alfred would have been around 11 years old]

December 7th School closed today to enable teachers to attend a conference in Colchester on forming a Cadet Corps of Boys who have recently left school

1916

January 25th An aeroplane having come down in a field near here, teachers and children went to see it during the morning.

May 1st During the week, the school has been opened in the evenings as a Recreation room for the use of the Military stationed in the village and has been well-used.

May 29th The School Attendance Officer, Mr J. P Smith has joined H M's Forces

June 9th Received a note from the teacher of carpentry that the classes are discontinued for the present, he the teacher being called up for military service

Older boys went to Mersea School for Carpentry. On June 9th the entry in West Mersea School logbook reads

As Mr Edgar will be called to the colours this will be the last class in woodwork for some time

Mr Edgar was to return safely and continued in post at West Mersea School until July 1932.

September 24th An event of historic importance occurred early this morning. A large German Zeppelin having been hit and damaged by British airguns came down at Little Wigborough. The crew, 21 in number, were taken in charge by Peldon Special Constables and by them handed over to the military authorities.

1917

November 9th Received certificates of exemption for 3 boys, George Ponder, Bertie Balls and Hedley Mallett, they being allowed to work on the land under War Regulations owing to shortage of labour

1918

September 13th An agent from Wilkins Jam Factory came during the afternoon to arrange about collecting blackberries which the children are to pick in connection with the national scheme organised by the Food Control Office

Between 16th September and 25th October the logbook reports the children have a number of mornings off to collect blackberries which were weighed and sent off to Wilkins Jam Factory.

October 1st Miss V A Pirie [supplementary teacher] has sent in her resignation. She leaves at the end of the month having obtained promise of employment at an aeroplane factory, her reason being the prospect of better pay.

October 22nd School has been closed two half days for blackberry picking.

October 25th Half holiday today for above purposes. Altogether 11 half days have been given and the total weight of fruit picked by children is 17cwt 1qrt 8 and three quarter lbs. In addition the mothers have picked just over half a ton. These were all sent direct to the Jam Factory at Tiptree and paid for by the agent each day when collected.

November 11th An Armistice was signed today by Britain and her Allies and the Germans. Hostilities ceased at 11a.m.

November 12th The Rector came in and promised the children a day's holiday in the near future in honour of the above Armistice.

Elaine Barker
Peldon History Project

Peldon School Log Books are in Essex Record Office.

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Peldon School
Ernest Frederick Gladwell 1890 - 1915 - killed by bomb from Zeppelin

Author: Elaine Barker
ID: PH01_SLB
Source: Mersea Museum