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Elsie Godden’s Celebration of Peace certificate

Elsie Godden’s Celebration of Peace certificate

Linton and District Historical Society
Glenelg Highway
Linton VIC, 3360

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles was cause for celebration around the globe. In the grandeur of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, France, the cessation of hostilities of the Great War between Germany and the Allied powers ended with the signing of the treaty on 28 June 1919.

Half a world away the residents of Linton, Victoria, gathered on 19 July outside the shire hall to celebrate in less formal surroundings. Children were presented with a medal and a certificate to commemorate the event. Elsie Godden, the eleven-year-old daughter of Edwin and Susannah Godden, licensees of the Royal Standard Hotel in Linton, was one of those present. After the presentation, returned soldiers, children and others in various fancy dress costumes formed a procession which made its way to the Avenue of Honour. Here they paused to sing God bless our splendid men before moving on to the Recreation Reserve. Local women prepared lavish refreshments to round out the afternoon of sporting activities and the judging of costumes. At night the parish hall filled with dancers. The Ballarat Star described the event as having been celebrated with a great deal of enthusiasm.

After the presentation, returned soldiers, children and others in various fancy dress costumes formed a procession which made its way to the Avenue of Honour. Here they paused to sing God bless our splendid men before moving on to the Recreation Reserve. Local women prepared lavish refreshments to round out the afternoon of sporting activities and the judging of costumes. At night the parish hall filled with dancers. The Ballarat Star described the event as having been celebrated with a great deal of enthusiasm.

Children played a significant role in community fundraising during the war, and there was significant rivalry between schools to see which one could raise the greatest amount. On Australia Day 1915 the Linton schoolgirls dressed as nurses to sell flowers and other patriotic items to raise funds for the war effort. The ribbon that Stella Todd bought on that day to Remember Australias Heroes is now in the local museum collection.

By July 1918, before the war ended, Linton had already taken steps to commemorate its war dead by planting an Avenue of Honour in Denison Street with 100 alternating oak and elms. In recent years, with the disbanding of the local RSL branch, the children of Linton are continuing to play a role in the commemoration of the Great War by organising the local Anzac Day service. They have become the keepers of the tradition of war commemoration in Linton.

References

Australia Day, Grenville Standard, 31 July 1915, p. 1.

'Country observances, Linton', Ballarat Star, 22 July 1919.

War remembrance in Linton – World War I:

http://www.lintonhistory.org.au/war-remembrance/

Linton makes history: an Australian goldfields town and its past, Jill Wheeler, Carlton, 2015.

Further Information: 

Linton and District Historical Society

PO Box 41

Linton VIC 3360

Website: www.lintonhistory.org.au

Email: enquiries@lintonhistory.org.au