Today’s object is a rather impressive certificate from 1909 awarded to a sapper in the Royal Engineers for completing his Second Class Certificate of Education with the Army:
The top of the certificate explains what it is for and has the royal coat of arms and the letters ‘E R’ for ‘Eduardus Rex’ of King Edward:
Beneath this is the recipient’s name, here a Sapper F.G. Reynolds, and his regiment, the Royal Engineers, plus the date of award, 28th July 1909:
Finally the certificate outlines the topics that Sapper Reynolds had successfully shown his competance in:
Successful completion of the various educaton certificates could lead to higher pay, as explained by Frank Richards who studied for his third class certificate in 1904 :
I knew many first class soldiers who never received the top rate of pay, merely because they did not have a third class certificate of education. Some of them could read and write a little, but they hated the thought of going to school again and would rather be paid less than do so. I hated the idea of school myself, but I did not intend to have twopence a day less than another man, not if I could help it. I started to attend school a fortnight before an examination came off, and then sat for it. The teaching was somewhat similar to what my cousin Evan and I had been given in Standard Three of our board school when we did not happen to be playing truant. I managed to pass the examination and was awarded my third-class certificate.