Peace Celebrations

PEACE CELEBRATIONS

19 July 1919: The National Peace Celebration was held.  Evenwood held its own Peace Festival:

“No praise can be too great for all who organised and carried out a display that would have done credit to any town in England.  Few places are so favoured as Evenwood in the delightful stretch of country which surrounds it on all sides and in the glorious sunshine that prevailed the whole scene was inspiring.  Then with our most creditable Village Band, magnificent Colliery Banners, interesting competitions and school procession we had a picture that will never fade from our memories.  Probably 2,000 children and adults took part, reverently and heartily in the Service by which we expressed our gratitude to Almighty God for His great mercy in giving us the Victory.” 

The vicar also reported that:

 “As a nation we are £8,000,000,000 in debt through the war.”

14 September 1919: a Church Service at St. Paul’s, Evenwood:

 “Few more inspiring services can have been held than that of the evening of September 14th when our demobilised soldiers came to church to return thanks for a safe return.  Every seat was packed and all the extra ones we could secure were filled with a vast congregation which admirably accompanied by our Evenwood Band gave a hearty rendering of five favourite hymns.  All stood whilst Mr. Bird played the Dead March for the brave comrades who did not return.”

 7 October 1919:  The Comrades of the Great War held their meeting in Evenwood School attended by Capt. Appleby and Mr. & Mrs. Wilson:

 “some 50 ex-servicemen belonging our Parish have joined and we trust that Evenwood will do its bit in fostering that spirit of comradeship which helped so much to beat our enemies and which can enable the British Empire to realise its possibilities and live up to its privileges.”

The identity of “the Wilsons” has not been researched but it is assumed that they were officials of the organisation.

11 November 1919:  Of the anniversary of the Armistice, the vicar wrote:

 “One of the chief things we should be looking forward to is the Anniversary of the Signing of the Armistice – Nov. 11th – that day when the joy bells rang to tell us that the long drawn out horror of the Great War was over for God had given us victory.  The countless thousands whose dearest were swaying in deadly conflict on so many battle fronts constantly exposed to hardship, suffering and agonising death, will never forget the relief which that day and surely they will wish to thank and praise the Giver of all good things.  We hope (D.V.) to preach Nov. 9th on the League of Nations that carefully planned scheme which we have so often prayed may abolish war and bloodshed.”