Thanet’s Peace Celebrations July 1919

Thanet Advertiser July 5th

As soon as the news of peace was in the air a great crowd began to gather at Ramsgate Market Place, the Town hall being the centre of gravity which attracts the people when important announcements are expected. The raucous voices of the ships’ sirens rent the air, and the general din was added to by the blowing of numberless weird instruments by children of all ages in the street. It was, however, a very orderly assembly, and waited patiently for the Mayor to make, from the balcony of the old building, his formal announcement of the Great Fact.

The official news was of course very late. While the Mayor and representative townspeople awaited High Authority’s intimation, the newsagents in the Market Place were busily engaged in rubber-stamping the words “Peace signed (official)” in the stop-press columns of the evening newspapers, which sold like the proverbial “hot cakes”.

As the Union Jack was run up the flagstaff and straightened on the breeze there was a great rolling cheer – a cheer which came straight from the hearts of a people which had faced peril in many forms and had borne sacrifice and suffering with enduring patience, a people conscious of the fact that the shadow had at last lifted, a people which held the fervent hope that Peace would bring as its corollary the re-instatement of right and the setting-up of a high standard of international justice.

The Mayor first congratulated the women of Ramsgate who had “stuck by” the town all the way through the evil days that war had brought. He then thanked the boys who had done their bit to bring about a satisfactory settlement. The vicar Revd Hertslet then invited everyone to a twenty-minute thanksgiving service at St George’s Parish Church that evening and the church bells began to ring out across the town. Other Ramsgate churches also hurriedly held thanksgiving services.

Thanet Advertiser July 12th

Plans for Thanet’s peace day on 19th July were announced. These included a Venetian Fete in Ramsgate’s Inner Harbour starting at six o’clock with greasy-pole walking. This would be followed by swimming races and a competition for the best decorated and illuminated yachts. A children’s procession headed by a band would process through the town at 2 o’clock followed by tea in Ellington Park.

Thanet Advertiser August 16th

3 local ex-soldiers were fined for being drunk and disorderly at the Market Place in Ramsgate during the peace celebrations!

Walter Henry Allsworth Brunswick St
William Thomas Debling Newcastle Hill
Charles William Simpson Packer’s Lane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *