The following entries from Crich C of E School logbook during 1914–1918 are courtesy of Hazel Thomson editor of "Fact & Fabrication, Glimpses of the WW1 Home Front in the Dewent Valley" produced by the Fact & Fabrication Project Team.
NB: Words in italics are not verbatim
26th August 1914
Mrs J. T. Lee (wife of one of the Managers, has presented a “Daily Telegraph War Map” with a box of flags, to the school, this afternoon.
22nd June 1915
Private Byard of the 3rd Sherwood Foresters, visited the school this morning to visit and say “Good-bye” to his children, as he has been ordered to proceed at once to the Dardenelles. As the whole school had just assembled in the large room, the whole school sang “God of our Fathers” for him, and gave him a cheery send off.
(Cookery classes started on the 15th April 1915 at the Parish Room for 18 girls from the school on Thursdays. The cookery mistress was H. M. Robinson. They ended at the end of June 1915.) Comparisons could be made with rationing towards the end of the war. See December 6th 1917
26th November 1915– it was noted that the Head Master’s salary was increased from £125 to £130 per annum effective from 1st December 1915
25th February 1916 – Heavy snow, some roads were blocked and affected attendance. Only 68 children were present out of 128 on roll.
Also noted that a teacher, Miss R Radford, did not get in until the afternoon after the snow plough had been. The school was affected by further snowfalls until well into March.
24th May 1916
During the last half-hour of the Morning Session the whole school assembled in the Main Room to be addressed by the Head Master on the “Meaning of Empire Day”, his duties of citizenship as members of such an Empire as the British Empire. Patriotic Songs were sung and then the school closed at noon, until tomorrow morning.
July 3rd 1916
A branch of the National War Savings Association has been opened at this school today.
29th September 1916
Miss M Woodiwiss’s salary increased from £75 to £80 per annum.
July 12th 1917
Two boys have been granted permission by the Head Master to be absent from school to help in Agricultural Work. A separate record is being kept for this purpose.
10th October 1917
The school closed at 4 pm today on account of Crich Fair, twill reassemble on Monday October 15th at 9 am.
December 6th 1917
During the last lesson this afternoon (2.50 to 3.30) the Head Master addressed the whole school on “The Urgent Need for avoiding Waste” A similar lesson, also lessons on Food Economy, will be given each week for the future – one lessen per week to the whole school – by the Head Master.
Jan 8th 1918
The school has been very cold indeed the whole of the day, the highest temperature registered 47°. The children + teachers have been so cold that writing has been almost impossible. [The radiators and pipes were warmed with little effect]
21st January 1918
A bin of ink powder had to be borrowed from Mr Andrew (Fritchley C.E. School). It was requisitioned in September. Complaint was made to the County Office but nothing had materialised.
April 25th 1918
The Head Master was absent from school the whole day, as he had been called to Derby for re-examination by the National Service Medical Board.
July 18th 1918
Miss Woodiwiss (C) is absent from duty this afternoon, by permission of the Head Master, as her brother is home on leave.
July 19th 1918 – Cases of “Spanish Influenza” reported. 24 children absent.
Oct 10th 1918 – Crich Fair – 4 pm closure
7th November 1918 – 27 children off with Influenza
Nov 11th 1918
As our Armistice was signed at 5 am today, a holiday was given the children this afternoon.
16th Dec 1918
…. One of our scholars, George A. Whiteleader, has died through Influenza during the holidays.
Note: Many men from Lea Mills who served had attended this school and relatives are mentioned in the log. Lea Mills men who served in WW1.
Gardening Classes commenced November 1st, 1911.
July 31st 1914
School closed for Summer Vacation.
Sept 7th 1914
School reopened this morning in United Methodist Free Church Schoolroom Holloway, owing to alteration to Lea School.
Oct 5th 1914
Gardening Report –
The Garden, although situated on an awkward slope, is very successfully cultivated.
Not only are the natural operations well taught but the education side of the subject is carefully associated with the School work generally. …. A full report was given about the school garden.
June 4th 1915
Attendance Holiday this afternoon.
June 25, 28, 29, 30th 1915
Headmaster away by permission. Mrs. Benison in charge.
July 7th 1915
Fall in attendance due to epidemic of measles.
Sept 30th 1915
End of School Year
Av Att for Year 145
Av no on Register 158 – 28
During the month School Collections have been made for wounded soldiers.
Potatoes, 1 box from Garden Boys
1 Box from Scholars.
Hilda Wragg who sat for the Examination last May has obtained a free place at the Lady Manners School, Bakewell.
(Note: School holidays were usually Christmas, Easter, Witsuntide, Summer and Sometimes in Autumn although holidays were given for Empire Day, Shrove Tuesday, Wakes and Fairs and for attendance.)
Nov 29th 1915
Derbyshire Ed Com - Letter of Nov 20th re Enrolment and Military Service of Head Teachers received from Mr. Lowe to-day.
Feb 7th 1916
Course of Cookery Lessons commenced to-day at 1.30 p.m. Teacher Miss Crowther.
Feb 21st 1916
Cookery Course completed at noon.
March 24th 1916
The sum of £1.1.3 collected in the School for care of wounded horses forwarded to R.S.P.C.A. to-day.
April 24th 1916
Empire Day – ‘Lessons on Empire’ this morning.
Collections made for soldiers to be sent to the Over-Seas Club.
Half Holiday in the afternoon.
Sept 6th 1916
Headteacher absent after opening at 1.30 pm on business connected with Military Service.
Sept 25th 1916
Mr J E Benison, headmaster, left for Military Service.
Sep 26th 1916
I (Nellie Child. C.) took temporary charge of the school
….. The Head Teacher does not arrive until 9.40 a.m. by permission.
The School closes each day at 3.45 pm to allow Head Teacher to catch a convenient train.
9th Oct 1916
Mrs. Child terminated her engagement as temporary Headteacher.
… I take charge of the school pending the appointment of a permanent headmaster.
24th Oct 1916
Mrs. Marsden-Smedley, a school manager, visited in the afternoon and spoke to each member of staff.
27th Oct 1916
I finish my duties as temporary headmaster today. [signed] Henry Ward.
30th Oct 1916
Commenced duties to-day as Temporary Head Master. Herbert Pearson
Dec 1st 1916
Hospital collection ….. Allocation 10/- to Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and 4/- to Derbyshire Education Committee’s Spectacle and Appliances Fund. Signed Charles Knowles.
Dec 11th 1916
On account of the lighting restrictions the afternoon session is being commenced at 1 p.m. instead of 1.30 pm each lesson being put forward half an hour.
Feb 5th 1917
The afternoon session is now being commenced at the usual time 1.30 p.m. … a School War Savings Association has been formed this week. …. Subscriptions amount to £4.13.6. [this increased as more children joined]
May 7th 1917
The Chairman of the Managers has given permission for five boys to be absent from school which temporarily employed by the Matlock Urban District Council in setting potatoes on land situate near Lea Mills. The Council is to pay the managers at the rate of one shilling per day per boy and the managers to pay the boys.
May 15th 1917
The five boys, referred to above, returned to school to-day to school to-day on account of the work being discontinued for the present.
May 16th 1917
I have received instructions for the Assistant Director of Education that the above boys cannot further be excused attendance at the school without permission being obtained from the District Committee.
May 21st 1917
Course of Cookery Lessons commenced to-day at 9.30 a.m.
May 25th 1917
School closed at end of morning session for Whitsuntide Holiday, the Empire Day half-holiday being given today.
May 30th 1917
Egg collection for wounded soliers taken in school. 36 eggs and 1/5 (money) collected.
June 6th 1917
…. I regret to report that the pea and bean crops in the school gardens have practically been destroyed by pheasants.
This week’s egg collection – 44 eggs and 6d collected.
July 16th 1917
…. Two boys have been granted exemption from school while assisting in haymaking, Robert Lee and Joseph Wragg.
November 28th 1917
Harold Bunting absent, attending Medical Examination in connection with Military Service.
Dec 12th. 1917
Collection taken in school for ‘Overseas Club’ which send out Christmas Comforts to Sailors and Soldiers. ….. Total 15/-
Dec 21st 1917
Total War Savings Subscriptions for year ending Dec 22nd = £111.11.0.
Jan 21st 1918
Mrs Marsden-Smedley visited + presented a pheasant to each of the 19 scholars who cultivated a garden-plot last year who are still in attendance at school.
Jan 29th 1918
Harold Bunting has to-day received notice that he must report for service in the Navy, Feb 4th.
Feb 1st 1918
Harold Bunting left to-day.
Feb 4th 1918
Harold Bunting returned to school this morning having received a telegram Saturday notifying him that he was not to report for service until he received further instructions.
Feb 19th 1918
School closed at end of afternoon session to liberate teachers for registration work in connection with the Rationing Scheme.
Feb 25th 1918
Harold Bunting has received notice to report for service March 11th.
March 11th 1918
Harold Bunting left, Friday March 8th and joined the Navy to-day.
June 10th 1918
Albert Byard, Upper Holloway, reported by parents to be suffering from Scarlet Fever.
Sept 13th 1918
School closed to-day for Blackberry picking …. Blackberries dispatched = 2591/2 lbs.
Sept 29th 1918
… net weight of blackberries dispatched 426 lbs.
Nov 11th 1918
Half Holiday given this afternoon to commemorate the signing of Armistice Terms.
30th June 1919
Half Day Holiday this afternoon for Peace Celebration. I understand the other schools in the district are having all day holiday.