The End of the War – Nott Street State School

At 11.30am on Wednesday (13 Nov 1918] one thousand students of Nott Street State School paraded in the school grounds where they saluted the flag, sang the National Anthem and patriotic airs.

The students were addressed by the headmaster, Mr Richards, Cr J P Crichton, chairman of the school committee, and Mr J L Murphy MLA.

Mr Richards gave an apology from the Mayor, Cr R H Gill, for his unavoidable absence.

Mr Murphy said it gave him

great pleasure to be present to join with you in this celebration of a victory that means freedom for all the peoples of the world. This triumph for liberty has been achieved by the Allies after four years of great sacrifice. You know the extent of that sacrifice; you know the number of men who have laid down their lives in the cause of the Allies; and you know that hundreds of thousands of the men of the Allies’ forces have been wounded in the colossal conflict: you know that hundreds upon hundreds of square miles of country have been laid waste by the enemy. Last of all, but by no means the least in importance, you know of the number of men who freely went forth from Port Melbourne to fight alongside their fellow-citizens from all other parts of the British dominions and from Great Britain, for the cause of right. Those men who went from Port Melbourne are the fathers of some of the scholars assembled, and the brothers of many of the others. With profound respect we express our regret that some of those fine men will never return.

Mr Murphy spoke of the ones who were left to mourn and grieve for those who had made the supreme sacrifice before continuing.

We rejoice that at last peace has been reached, and that the arch enemy of humanity, the Kaiser, along with the kings of the kingdoms that made up his Empire, has been consigned to that seclusion from which they never should have emerged. The Kaiser, who caused the death of 7½ millions of the flower of the world’s manhood, should be hanged just as any other criminal.

Addressing his pupils, Mr Richards, spoke of the boys and girls of Great Britain, France and Belgium and other countries of the Allies that were also celebrating today the great victory over Germany.

At the conclusion of the speeches with Mrs E F Russell, of the School Committee, Mrs Crichton, Mrs Simpson, Crs Crichton and Sinclair and three boys carrying three large flags, at their head, the pupils marched from the school along Nott, Graham and Bay Streets to the Town Hall singing as they went.

They were cheered as they progressed along Bay Street and on arriving at the Town Hall they sang the National Anthem and gave cheers for the Allies. Mr Richards then announced a half-holiday and he, too, was given three rousing hurrahs.

References:

1918 ‘Nott-street School.’, Port Melbourne Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1920), 16 November, p. 3. , viewed 09 Nov 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88368394

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