On 11 November 1918 at Downside School, the abbot lit a bonfire and upon it the German flag and an effigy of the Kaiser were burnt. The Kaiser was “a pair of old trousers and a rugger vest filled with straw, a football bladder with a face painted thereon, and crowning all a crested tin helmet”. Boys cheered and sang loudly. There were similar sacrificial scenes at other Catholic boarding schools, with their roaring boys and roasted Kaisers. And at Cotton College, when the news of the Armistice arrived the chapel bell was rung so vigorously that the rope snapped.
Centenary of the Armistice: ‘Let us see to it that we guard the peace’
Centenary of the Armistice
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