“Extracts from Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury”





Memorable Scenes in Christchurch Park.


 In common with the whole nation, Ipswich on Saturday celebrated the signing and ratification of Peace, and the occasion was one of manifest and great rejoicing, such as the borough has seldom seen the like. The weather was on the whole favourable to outdoor festivities, and though extremely warm, with a few light showers, the public could congratulate themselves on escaping the heavy rain that marred the celebrations in some other parts of the country. The crowds in the gaily-decorated streets of Ipswich from early in the morning until midnight were of a memorable character, well behaved, and in the best of tempers. Naturally as the end of the day drew near there were rather more boisterousness than in the early part of the day, and at least one shop in town had its windows accidently broken, but on the whole the day passed off without any serious outward incident.




The day’s proceedings commenced at eight o’clock in the morning with a special service in the Public Hall. The service was organised by a committee of the Church of England Men’s Society, with Mr T.S. Damant as chairman and Mr Frank Angell as secretary. Doubts were at first expressed that so early the attendance would be small, but long before the advertised time for opening every seat in the Hall was filled, nearly all the standing place occupied, and yet numbers were unable to secure admission. The C.E.M.S. male choir, drawn from all the churches in the town, with the Bishop the Rural Dean (the Rev. S. Green), the Rev. Canon Williamson, the Rev. H.W. Hindle, the Rev. S.W. King, the Rev. G.L. Morrell, the Rev. F. H. Nicholls, the Rev. J. Powell, the Rev. J. Wood, the Rev. W. F. Kerr, and the Rev. B.C. Pownall, assembled in the ante-room at the back of the platform, and processed to the Town Hall, where they met the Mayor (Mr. E.C. Ransome), who was accompanied by the Deputy-Mayor (Mr. H. D. Phillips), Ald. J. H. Grimwade, Ald. F.H. Rands, Councillors S. H. Daniels, T. B. Read, F. Brown, J.R. Staddon, K. J. Badshah, and Sydney Brand, with the Town Clerk  (Mr. Bantoft), the Surveyor (Mr. E. Young Harrison), the Water Engineer (Mr. C.W. S. Oldham), and the Chief Constable (Capt. A. T. Schreiber). The procession then marched through the hall on to the platform. The service commenced with the singing of the hymn “All people that on earth do dwell” after which the Rev. Canon Williamson gave the thanksgiving prayer. This was followed by a remarkably good rendering by the choir of Smart’s “Te Deum,” and then the Rev. G. L. Morrell read the first lesson, after which came the hymn “Now thank we all our God.” The Rev. J. Wood read the second lesson, and then the Bishop delivered a short and appropriate address.

He said that this was a day of rejoicing , a national holiday, not only by command of the authorities but of instinct, a day of joy and gladness. In Ipswich, before they surrendered themselves to the mirth and gladness of the day, before man and women went forth with their families to share in it, they met together  for an act of definite religion and approach to God. They recognised that there was nothing incompatible between human joy and gladness and the religion of Jesus Christ. That day had been obtained for them by the sacrifice of their boys, who were God’s instruments in His great work. It was for the kingdom of righteousness and for the freedom of men that they strove, and gladly laid down their lives. They recognised, too, that God in his goodness had granted them the victory. But Britain set free from present danger from the foreigner, found herself faced with strife and conflict in her own streets. There still remained much for her citizens to do, which needed courage, wisdom, patience, to cast out and then to build up brotherhood. That they knew as they entered on their day of rejoicing, and therefore they met that morning to cast out all their anxieties upon God.

After the address came the grand “Hallelujah Chorus.” followed by prayer by the Rev. S.W. Key, and the singing of the hymn “For all the saints,” which, with the “Benediction,” closed the service.

The musical portion of the service reflected the greatest credit upon Mr. H.E. Carter, who conducted, and had taken a great deal of trouble in training the choir, and he was admirably seconded by Miss A. L. Poole (Mrs H. E. Carter), F.G.C.M., A.R.C.M., who gave a delightful exposition on the organ, adding greatly in the enjoyment of the service.



IMG_7263Cllr Kavas James Badshah

(ex Post Master General & Director General India. later Mayor of Ipswich 1925-26)

Later in the morning the Mayor presided over a special meeting of the Council, to send to the King a Resolution of congratulation. Mr. Badshah, before the business of the meeting commenced, said that there was a strong feeling in the town that as part of the peace celebrations there should be a suitable and public acknowledgement of the services rendered by men of His Majesty’s forces. He asked what was being done.

The Mayor said the matter was under consideration. It was certainly the intention of having an entertainment for the men who had fought for them. The date suggested was Saturday, August 16th, If there was a general desire that the town should provide money for this matter could be brought forward at the next meeting of the Council on August, 13th. He asked permission for the exclusive use of Christchurch Park on the date he had mentioned or such other date as might be fixed upon.

This was agreed to.

The Mayor said that the only other business was to ask the Council to send a loyal congratulatory address to Their Majesties the King and Queen upon the conclusion of peace. It had been a war of nations, in which the Empire had taken a great part, and there was little doubt but that the King and Queen had worked as hard as anyone in the Kingdom. (Applause.) He moved that the address be sent. The High Steward (Ald. Edward Packard) said that he believed that in former days such a resolution was handed to    the King by the High Steward of the Borough, but in the present times they were more prosaic, and such a resolution was now sent through the Home Office. At any rate the only definite duty that he could ascertain in connection with the High Stewardship had now departed from it (Laughter.) They could not pass such a resolution without a word of appreciation of the action of the King during the period of the war. (Hear, hear.) It had been said by one of the greatest poets:-

When on his shoulders each man’s burden lies;

For therein lies the office of a King

His honour, merit, and chief praise.

During the last few years the King had borne upon his shoulders the anxieties not only of his own family and himself but of all his people throughout the Empire. They could not help also feeling that the greatest honour they could pay was not only due to the King but to those men who had never returned. (Hear, hear.) They did not forget their services, they could not forget the losses they had individually sustained, and he felt sure that the gallant men who had returned and were now amongst them again would be the first to award the greatest honours to those who had fallen. (Hear, hear.) The war was won by the men who had not returned; it was won by those who were amongst them and rejoiced that day. He gladly seconded the resolution.

The Town Clerk then read the address, which was as follows:-

“To His Most Excellent Majesty the King. May it please your Majesty, we, the Aldermen, and Burgesses, of the Borough of Ipswich, most respectfully desire to approach your Majesty with an expression of your loyal and hearty congratulations on this victorious termination of the great war, and the conclusion of a just and righteous peace. We humbly beg to offer to your Majesty, and to your gracious Queen Mary, an expression of our loyal and dutiful attachment, and we earnestly pray that your Majesties may long be spared to enjoy the blessings of peace and prosperity, and to reign over a happy and contented people. Given under our common seal this nineteenth day of July, 1919.



The Mayor put the resolution, which was carried through with applause.

In the address an effort has been made to express an idea suitable to the occasion for the event demanded more then the ordinary stereotyped illuminated address. The illumination, which has been desired and executed by Mr. George Rushton, of the Ipswich School of Art, assisted by Mr. Wood, shows a certain restraint with rich colour. At the head is a panel containing seven heralds, draped in white, sounding the triumph of the battles which gave us final victory. The background consists of gold rays, symbolising a golden future for the nation, surrounded by a border of Tudor rose, amongst which is placed the Royal arms and supports the Ipswich arms, and the badge of the Suffolk Regiment. The lettering is in script gold, black, and blue. There are certain plain spaces, designed to enhance the whole. The address is enclosed in a beautiful casket, on which appear the Royal and borough arms.





A short adjournment was made in which to drink the health of His Majesty, and the civic party was then photographed on the steps of the Town Hall, under the admiring gaze of an enormous crowd.

Headed by the band of the 1st V.B. Suffolk Regiment, the Mayor attended by the Corporation, marched in procession to the Park, where at the northern extremity, six guns, provided by the 126th Battery R.F.A., stationed at Warren Heath, were in position. Precisely at mid-day the first shot boomed out, followed at stated intervals by the remaining twenty. After the last shot had been fired the band struck up the National Anthem, followed by the march of the Suffolk Regiment. “Speed the Plough”

Once again the Mayoral procession reformed and proceeding back down the Park, reached two enclosures just below the Martyrs’ Memorial, where the ceremony of planting two oak saplings was to be carried out by the Mayor and Mayoress.






The Mayor was the first to perform the operation in the enclosure on the right of the path way leading up from Christchurch Mansion.

Alderman E.P.Ridley, the chairman of the Estate Committee, handed the Mayor a silver bladed spade on the handle of which was the inscription: ‘Presented to E.C. Ransome, Esq., Mayor, on his planting a Peace oak in Christchurch Park, 1919.


Before proceeding to carry out the operation. His Worship said that it gave the greatest pleasure to the Mayoress and himself to plant the two oaks. One was an English oak, the other American. The oak signified strength, and the two oaks would signify the strength of the Empire and the American Republic, and symbolised the drawing together of the two great English-speaking nations. (Applause.)

He hoped that drawing together would continue, and that they would always be very great friends with their cousins who left them so many years ago in the Mayflower. (Applause.)

His Worship then proceeded to commence the operation of filling in the hole in which the tree was planted.


On the other side of the path the Mayoress, with a similar spade to that of the Mayor, performed a similar operation, for which she received three cheers.


The playing by the band of the National Anthem concluded the morning’s part of the proceedings.




By 2 o’clock steady streams of people were converging to Christchurch Park from all points of the compass. All the seven entrances had their share, but the main body arrived at the Soane Street gates. All the afternoon the flow continued until the great Park presented a truly remarkable scene, there being right along the eastern half of the Park one continuous series of large masses of people, the numbers of whom it would be impossible to estimate. Some of those who had witnessed great gatherings in the Park on previous occasions were inclined to the belief that the attendance on Saturday constituted a record.

In the afternoon on the flat ground at the northern end of the Park a delightful series of athletic sports was gone through. Thanks to the energy of Mr. Alan Turner and R.R. Thurlow, assisted by a willing band of local sportsmen, a capital programme of twenty one events was safely negotiated without a single hitch. The entries for most of the events particularly for the younger generation were very large, necessitating the running of several heats. The entries would have still been larger had some of the would-be competitors followed the oft-repeated advice in the East Anglian Daily Times and “Evening Star”  to enter on the ground between 10 and 1. As a matter of fact, many sent their entries to the house of the secretary, Mr. Thurlow, and then could not be admitted, whilst so great was the desire of the youngsters to enter that there was not sufficient time to accept them and make arrangements for their running. Some keenly contested events were witnessed, but perhaps the best of all was in the first round of the tug-of-war, when the team representing Messrs. Ransome, Sims and Jefferies’ Plough Works took ten minutes to dispose of their opponents, the Ranelagh Works.

The officials responsible for the carrying out of the sports were Committees, Messrs. A.G. Beverley, D. Coe, H. Cockrill, J.H. Connell, F.J. Craven, F.W. Judge, A. W. Page, W. C. Page, A. Rogers, T. H. Saul, W. H. Taylor, and C. B. White, starter, Mr. Peter Turner, judges, Messrs. W. A. Blofield, R. W. Smith, and Alan Turner, hon. secretary, Mr. R. R. Thurlow, not forgetting Woollard, Portman  Road groundsman, now of Ipswich Grammar School.

Results:- 75 yards flat (boys under 10), 1 A.E. Bice, 2 C. Upson, 3 Bertie Cook. Ditto (girls under 10), 1 R. Roper, 2 Florence Lane 3 Muriel Woods. One lap flat, 1 Eustace Hazlewood, 2 W. S. Berry, 3 J. Green. 75 yards ladies skipping race, 1 N. Bateley, 2 Millie Reed, 3 E. Webb. 75 yards flat (boys under 12), 1 Fred Calversbert, 2 E. Vincent, 3 E. Young. Ditto (girls under 12), 1 C. Pike, 2 Nellie Read, 3 Doris Adams. Tug-of-war (catch weights), 1 Plough Works, Ransome, Sims and Jefferies, 2 Foundry, ditto. Five laps flat, 1 A. Dunnage, 2 S. West, 3 S.R. Osborn. One lap ditto (boys under 14), 1 A. Vincent, 2 R. Blomfield, 3 Nelson Wright, ditto (girls under 14), 1 Elsie Fitch, 2 C. Pike, 3 E. Bales. Ditto (veterans over 40), 1 J. Woods, 2 R. Young, 3 J. Barrett. 75 yards girls skipping race (under 12), 1 Nellie Read, 2 Doris Adams, 3 Doris Dawson. 75 yards ladies flat, 1 N. Bately, 2 e. Webb, 3 E. Webber. Three laps flat, 1 F. V., Jervis, 2 B. J. Smith, 3 S. West. One lap ditto (boys under 16), 1 C. W. Pearce, 2 J. Dickson, 3 R. J. Pizzey. Ditto (girls under 16), 1 Mabel Ling, 2 Mabel Castleton, 3 Ivy Bennett. 75 yards sack , 1 D. Berry, 2 J. Durrell, 3 B. J. Wolham. One lap obstacle race (boys under 17), I. W. S. Berry, 2 Sidney Baldwin, 3 C. Rosher. 75 yards flat (veterans over 50), 1 Dick Powell, 2 J. Mortimer, 3 G. H. Southgate. Two laps obstacle, 1 H. T. Wilkinson, 2 E. A Bowen, 3 D. Hammond. Wheelbarrow race (75 yards), 1 G. Durrell and G. Kent, 2 F. V. Jervis and W. Walton, 3 Edgar Cooper and Alf Peck.

During an interval a display was given by members of the Ipswich and District Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs, under the direction of District Commissioner Hicks.




A wonderful crowd was to be seen around the pond near the Mansion, where arrangements had been made for the carrying out of an aquatic display by members of the Ipswich Swimming Club. A considerable area of ground in the vicinity forms a natural amphitheatre and the spectators were packed as close as they could get in this coign of vantage a well-dressed and enthusiastic gathering of all classes  who showed their appreciation of the performance without stint. It was one well worth witnessing. Various kinds of diving were first shown by the following members:- Messrs. A. Davidson, E.H. Burgess, H. Cross, R.G. Hopes, E.M. Ward, H. Pizzey, L. Jackaman, F. Pickering, and W.A. Robinson. Then came a contest between rod and man, in which Mr. W.C. Prentice as a fisherman sought to land a human fish, represented by Mr. Wainwright. The last time such a contest was witnessed in the Round Pond the line broke, but in this instance the line held, and the swimmer was “landed” in two and a half minutes after interesting “play.” A water polo match proved very attractive and the course of the game was watched with increasing excitement. A display of life-saving produced amusement as well as affording a good object lesson. Mr. S. James, in the uniform of a soldier, was pushed in and was gallantly rescued by Mr. E. H. Burgess, as the ever-alert policeman. The next item lasted a considerable time, but was thoroughly enjoyed throughout. This was the sport of men fighting with sacks of shavings or some light material, on a spar projecting over the water. It created no end of fun, and the victors received a hearty ovation from the spectators. A clever exhibition of swimming was then given by Mr. Harry Calow, who swam round the pond hands and feet tied in five minutes. He also demonstrated that it was possible to dive into water with a lighted cigar and come to the surface smoking, afterwards giving many examples of many different kinds of swimming. He was warmly applauded during and at the conclusion of his performances. Throughout the afternoon Mr. C. Silburn and Mr. Fred James kept the fun going at every opportunity as clowns. It may be mentioned that Mr. Cook, the well-known oyster merchant, provided an oyster trawl in order to clear the pond of tins and rubbish that had been thoughtlessly thrown in by the public, but it would be as well, as a preliminary to any future aquatic display, to have the pond properly cleared out. In the evening the water sports were repeated with a slight variation.

Thousands were entertained by an efficient concert party under the direction of Mr. Cyril Cullingford and Mr. Harry Valmore. Mr. Cullingford is a well-known comedian and sustained his reputation in song and story, supplemented by a “conjuring stunt.” He also with Miss Olga Lebeda, took part in lively duets, which afforded much pleasure as did Miss Lebeda’s well-rendered solos. Mrs Rogers’s finely-rendered contralto songs were much appreciated, and Miss May King was equally popular in her vocal selections. Mr. E. T. Philips, an agreeable tenor, rendered suitable songs, which elicited much applause. Mr Jack Connell is always a host in himself with his humorous character songs, and Messrs. Valmonte and Pryke kept their audiences in high good humour with their comic ditties and dialogue. Wally Johnson and Allan Leach, duettists and dancers added to the fun by their lively turns. Mrs. Cullingford and Miss Maud Lebeda shared the onerous task of providing the accompaniments during the concerts, which extended over about four hours, and a rest on the sloping ground in front of the platform must have been an agreeable change this being almost the only entertainment at which “seats were provided.”IMG_7261

Just above the hollow where concerts took place a space had been roped off for a fancy costume cricket match, which was arranged by Mr. Chas. Gammage, the players being all men from the Orwell Works, who were attired in a variety of strange costumes. The rules of the game were of the players own making, and there was not much cricket to be seen, but the fooling added to the variety of entertainment., and the tugs-of-war, with which the afternoon was enlivened, created even more amusement than the cricket.


Mayor E.C RANSOME 1918-19/1912-13



The Mayor and Mayoress were  too “at home” to a large party of friends at the Mansion, and on the lawn in front of the historic building, the band of the 1st Battalion of the Suffolk Volunteer Regiment played appropriate selections. Afternoon tea was served in a marquee on the further lawn.

In the bandstand in the upper portion of the Park the band of the Comrades of the Great War provided an abundance of music which was much appreciated by those who sought the shelter of the surrounding trees and a rest on the seats in the enclosure. In the evening dance music was played for the benefit of those who cared to “trip the light fantastic toe” on the adjacent grass.




In the north-east corner of the park, behind the Fair, a quoit tournament took place, arranged by Mr. Read. On account of its secluded position this fixture did not attract very many of the general public, but many quoit players found their way to the corner and witnessed or took part in many exciting matches. The first round took place at 11a.m., and the second round commenced at 2 p.m., about a score of teams having entered, including All Saints (two teams), Bridge Ward C.C. (three teams), Jubilee Rovers, Ranelagh Works (two teams), Royal William, Waterside (three teams), Zulu Tavern (three teams).

No fete of any consequence in Ipswich seems to be complete without the presence of that great combination of amusements known as Barker’s Fair. The upper part of the park, on the Westerfield Road side, was occupied by a great array of whirligigs, swing-boats, shooting galleries, cokernut shies, and other devices for providing what may be considered by some to be eccentric amusement, but which is a source of never-ending delight to the juvenile portion of the visitors and to a large proportion of the grown-ups. This was a great centre of attraction throughout the whole day to thousands, many of whom were mere lookers-on interested in seeing their adventurous friends disporting themselves on wooden horses, gay whirling motor-cars, and other strange vehicles. The girls vied with soldiers and sailors in the violent exercise provided by the swing boats, and many a sturdy foundryman tested his strength or the accuracy of his aim with rifle or wooden ball.

The catering which was recognised as a big task, was boldly undertaken by the loyal support of their staff on a day when everybody seemed to expect a holiday. They had two large marquees, which were a scene of great activity throughout the latter half of the day, and some hundreds of gallons of tea and hundredweights of cake and bread and butter must have been consumed. The arrangements were carried out under the personal superintendence of Mr. Read, the manager, and seemed to be smooth and successful.

The Mayor’s Committee provided an abundance of hot water free for the use of the mothers who brought their own tea for their families.

Dr. W.F. Fryer, with a large contingent of men and nursing sisters of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, was on duty at the Park. They had to deal with twelve casualties – two bad cuts, the patients being taken to the Hospital, and ten quite minor injuries. In addition they temporary looked after twelve lost children.






When the sports of various kinds were over and the dancers tired of their terpsichorean activities, all steps-except perhaps those of the inveterate Fair frequenters -were bent towards the sloping ground on the Henley Road side of the Park, where the firework display was to take place. There was gathered there a marvellous assemblage of the townsfolk, and the scene resembled from the opposite hill a huge bed of brilliant flowers. They waited very patiently for “the dusk.” when the fireworks were to commence, and the wait was relieved by the sending-up of a few fire balloons. It was not until after half-past nine that first illuminations betokened the commencement of the display. The coloured lights amongst the trees produced a very pretty effect, but when the fireworks really commenced there was no end to the admiration expressed on all sides for the brilliant programme of pyrotechnics that had been prepared, and the Mayor is to be specially complimented on the very charming and enjoyable display which brought “the end of a perfect day.” It was voted to be the best show of fireworks that had been seen for many a year, a fact for which Mr. H. B. Sullings is to be commended. Whilst the set-pieces were wonderful examples, an effect which won golden opinions was the grand illumination of the Park with powerful prismatic lights. Also the great curtain of fire covering an area of over five hundred square feet and developing into a great white waterfall gave great delight.





A happy thought, and one which is reserving of recognition, was struck by Mr. and Mrs Arthur Last, of the Marsh Tavern, Princes Street. They had three sons in the war, two are safely home, and the other is still on duty in Mesopotamia, where he has been for the past three years. Two of the boys were in the 2/3rd East Anglian Howitzers and the other had served on H.M.S. Tempest and H.M.S. Loyal. Wishing to do something to help those who had been friends of their sons, Mr. and Mrs Last invited any who had served in either of the units to a dinner before proceeding to the Park to join in the festivities. No fewer than 75 accepted the invitation, and were regaled with a delightful repast, accompanied by all the usual sundries that go to make such an event a success. That the kindness of Mr. and Mrs Last was appreciated was shown by the hearty cheers they received before their guests left bedecked with roses from the garden to further enjoy themselves.





One Comment

  • Very interesting, also I now where two roads got their names Badshah & Bantoft, & also learned a new word (terpsichorean) although at this age I don’t if I’ll remember it or live long enough to work it into conversation.


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