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Priest Hutton C. of E. School and the League of Nations

The development of awareness of the international peace movement in a rural elementary school between the wars
Priest Hutton C. of E. School  © Janet Nelson

Priest Hutton C. of E. School
© Janet Nelson

At Priest Hutton C. of E. School between the wars, the subject of the League of Nations and efforts for international peace were occasionally introduced twice a year, on Armistice and Empire Days, promoted by the Headteacher, Florence Mary Webster. In 1918 the school had 41 children up to 14 years of age, mostly taught together by Florence. According to the School Logbook (1919-1935), Florence only recorded activities on Armistice Day 8 times, most actively in the early 1930s. In each year mentioned, a religious service took place in school except for 1927 and 1928 when the school listened to the new BBC School Radio, first introduced in 1924. Within the service, Florence gave a talk, for example in 1921 on the League and the Disarmament Conference; in 1929, on the necessity of trying to avoid future wars; and in 1931 on the League, after which poems and messages from John Masefield, General Smuts and Gilbert Murray  were read.

On Empire Day in May each year, Florence recorded activities in only 5 out of 16 years. In the early 1920’s it was a festive occasion but in 1930 and 1933 Florence used the day to teach about the League in History and Geography. No other references to international peace were recorded at any other time.

References/Further Reading:

Priest Hutton C. of E. School Logbook. Archive ref: SMPH/1/1/1 1897-1935, Lancashire Archives.