Remembering John Basil Tallack Devoran WW2 died 28 November 1944

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A faded photocopy of a photo of a visit to Tallack’s original cross, The visitors may be his parents? c/o Tony Dyson 2007 research.

75 years on we remember John Basil Tallack of Devoran, who died on this day 28th / 29th November 2019 serving with the Reconnaissance Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps as they fought their way across  Europe:

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Plaque in Carnon Downs Chapel to J B Tallack c/o Tony Dyson’s 2007 research.

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Devoran War Memorial WW2 section 2019

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A poignant press cutting about J B Tallack’s life and death – unknown newspaper, c/o Tony Dyson 2007 research.


J.B. Tallack’s headstone (Photograph copyright / courtesy of the CWGC / TWGPP War Graves Photographic Project).

J B Tallack’s headstone with the inscription (Photograph copyright / courtesy of the CWGC / TWGPP War Graves Photographic Project).

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Masbree cemetery with J B Tallack and comrades’ graves from the 1944 fighting. Image Source: Copyright / courtesy of CWGC/TWGPP War Graves Photographic Project)

John Basil Tallack, remembered in his home village of Devoran and by his family.

Blogposted by Mark Norris Devoran War Memorial Project 28/29 November 2019


Remembrance Devoran War memorial 2019

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As usual, people from Devoran and Feock will gather on Remembrance Sunday just before 11 o’clock for the reading of the WW1 and WW2 names before the Two Minutes Silence and the Last Post.

People have been doing assembling by this cross  now for almost 100 years.

1919 may have been the date of the unveiling of the Devoran granite war memorial but the first record we have for the cross is 1920, so Remembrance Sunday 2020 will be the first time we know the cross was involved in the Armistice / Remembrance service.

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West Briton November 1920

Posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project, 10 / 11 November 2019

Remembering the Levant Mining Disaster 20 October 1919

20th October 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the loss of 31 men at Levant Mine down St Just / Penwith way, West Cornwall when the Man Engine failed.

Events are happening with local schools and the local community to mark this sad event. This large loss of life in a small community so soon after the First World War  must have been devastating.

Local newspapers started a relief fund for the families of those injured or killed and Devoran people and pupils played their part in 1919 with fundraising:


Devoran pupils and families raise funds for Levant: Devoran School Headmaster for many years Mr W.R. Cock, mentioned in the Western Morning News November 12, 1919


Levant Mine Disaster fundraising help from the village of Feock, Western Morning News, 6 November 1919


Even the working men’s community down the  Pub (landlord or fundraising organiser  Mr W.E. Blackwell? ) played its part in Devoran, noted  amongst the subscribers to the Western Morning News Levant Mine Disaster Fund, November 1919

Devoran School, The Commercial Inn (now the Old Quay Inn), the wider Parish and Village gave quickly and generously

The families and communities of Levant and St Just remembered this Day, 100 years on,  16th October 2019.

Blog Posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project, 16 October 2019

Devoran War Memorial Armistice 1920

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Memorial Clues from the West Briton, 11 November 1920

When was the Devoran war memorial cross erected and unveiled? Was it in place by 1919?

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At present we do not know exactly when the Devoran Parish war Memorial cross in St John’s Churchyard was erected.

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H.J. MARTIN, DEVORAN maker’s nameplate, Devoran War memorial

We know it was sculpted by Herbert J. Martin, local mason and builder (1872 – 1952).

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West Briton, 11 November 1920

This is the earliest record –  11th November 1920 – that we can find so far for the Devoran war memorial.

As a result, as far as we know,  Armistice 2020 is likely to be the centenary of the Devoran war memorial.

At the talk that I did in Devoran on 14th September 2019, close to the centenary of the Devoran War Memorial Recreation Ground,  I mentioned a little more about each of the groups attending the Armistice 1920 service.

Some groups attending were  short-lived such as the ex-servicemen’s organisation Devoran Comrades of the Great War (later part of The British Legion from 1921), whilst other recent Edwardian creations of Devoran Boy Scouts (1920?) and Devoran Girl Guides are still going on in the village. I also talked about the recently released records of local volunteer VAD nurses.

I will post separately about each group on this blog over the next few weeks.

Reverend John R.  Jones would shortly leave Devoran in a year or so, having been its wartime minister except for periods of military service as a chaplain in the UK (recorded on the Devoran Roll of Honour). Reverend Yeo Ward replaced him, dying during the Second World War (headstone / buried at the entrance to the Parish Centre).

“God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget! …”

“God of our Fathers, Known of Old” –  The “Lest We Forget” song is a musical setting of Kipling’s 1897 poem “Recessional“, a popular choice at war memorials, on ANZAC Day and Armistice Day for many years. Several settings or solo recitals can be found on Youtube. The Kipling Society  lists 70 settings of Recessional, both prewar and postwar!

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project, 30 September 2019. 

Absentees under the Military Service Act 1916

Notice in the Police Gazette Tuesday October 10th 1916  – Absentees under the Military Service Act

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One local man is named in a national police The Police Gazette  as absent under the Military Service Act 1916 – Truro area.

James Henry Davey aged  32, trade: linesman – last known address 3 Market Street, Devoran, Cornwall.

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Unfortunately I cannot find anymore at present about him (several were born in Britain c. 1884) nor about the rest of the Davey family  in Market Street. Davey is a fairly common surname in the area and across Cornwall.

Some people sought exemption through conscientious objection or on grounds of reserved occupations. Some of these in Devoran are described here:

Conscientious objectors were charged with being absentees under the Military Service Act.

Others like James Henry Davey appear (to have chosen) not to have turned up at the local barracks or place of enlistment. Unlike William L.Trebilcock Davey of Devoran, who died in WW1, James Henry Davey does not appear on the Devoran Roll of Honour.

One James Henry Herbert Davey (b. 1884) from St Enoder Parish / St Columb died serving in 1918 in the 10th DCLI / “Cornwall Pioneers”

The Military Service Act  1916

The Bill which became the Act was introduced by Prime Minister H. H. Asquith in January 1916. It came into force on 2 March 1916. Previous to this the British Government had relied on voluntary enlistment, and latterly a kind of moral conscription called the 1915 Derby Scheme.

The Military Service Act specified that men from 18 to 41 years old were liable to be called up for service in the army unless they were married, widowed with children, serving in the Royal Navy, a minister of religion, or working in one of a number of reserved occupations.

A second Military Service Act in May 1916 extended liability for military service to married men. A third Military Service Act in 1918 extended the upper age limit to 51.

Men or employers who objected to an individual’s call-up could apply to a local Military Service Tribunal. These bodies could grant exemption from service, usually conditional or temporary. There was right of appeal to a [Cornwall] County Appeal Tribunal.


Remembering John Garfield Jeffrey of Devoran and Operation Market Garden 19 September 1944 75 years On


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Second World War names added round the back section of Devoran war memorial, above the WW2 names.

J. G. Jeffery

Flight Sergeant John Garfield Jeffery, 1601089 Air Bomber, 190 squadron, RAFVR, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, died aged 22 on 19 September 1944.

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The other half of John G. Jeffery’s Short Stirling crew and his Squadron Leader’s crew from two planes lost from 190 Squadron lost on 19 September 1944 are buried 40 kms away at Mierlo Cemetery near Eindhoven, Netherlands. Image : CWGC website

He is buried with other crew members in Grave reference Protestant Section collective grave 1-4, St. Michielsgestel Roman Catholic and Protestant Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands.

J Garfield Jeffery RAFVR

J Garfield Jeffery (right) and other RAF crew graves (Image: CWGC) ST. MICHIELSGESTEL ROMAN CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT CEMETERY, Holland,-john-garfield/

and crew
There are 5 other related graves from the exact same date in this cemetery either of Jeffery’s air crew (Navigator, Pilot, Air gunner and Air bomber John G. Jeffery) or Army Glider regiment staff. This may have been half of an entire air crew of 8 or 9 carried on a 190 Squadron Short Stirling Mark. IV aircraft when engaged in glider towing or supply drops during ‘Operation Market Garden’ and the Battle of Arnhem.
11 to 12 aircraft and 38 men were lost by 190 Squadron of No. 38 Group RAF during the 17 to 23 September 1944 operations.
Previously Jeffery’s 190 Squadron had been involved in supply and personnel drops as part of Special Operations Executive SOE missions supporting the French Resistance around D-Day June 1944, as well as dropping paratroops and glider troops and supplies as part of the D-Day landings.
He is listed on the CWGC website as the son of Lewis John Jeffery (a railway platelayer) and Florence Lillian Jeffery (nee Ferris) of Perranwell, Cornwall.

Tony Dyson’s 2007 research garnered information from Aubrey Ferris of Market Street, Devoran who was a cousin of Garfield Jeffery:
“Garfield was born and lived at No 1 Carnon Cottages on the Bissoe Road. He attended Perranwell School and then Falmouth Grammar School. He then passed into the Civil Service and worked in the Ministry of Labour. Having joined the RAFVR Garfield trained as a Bomb-Aimer and joined 190 Squadron flying in Stirling Bombers. Stirlings were used for towing the Horsa Gliders that carried troops and equipment to the Arnhem area as part of Operation Market Garden (featured in the film A Bridge Too Far). On the second day after the initial drop at Arnhem, Garfield Jeffery was on a resupply mission (his first mission over enemy territory) when shot down by anti-aircraft fire.”

Remembering John Garfield Jeffrey  and the men of the Arnhem battles “Operation Market Garden”  75 years on September 1944 / 2019

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project

Charles Brabyn of Point Devoran and the sinking of the HMS Courageous 17 September 1939 WW2 80 years on


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Charles Brabyn (photograph c/o Brabyn relatives collected by Tony Dyson in his 2007 research)

The first casualty of the Second World War in Devoran was a First World War veteran sailor, shipwright Charles Brabyn of Point , Devoran who died on HMS Courageous when it was torpedoed on the 7th September 1939 80 years ago.

Brabyn sank on HMS Courageous, on 17 September 1939 with over 500 others, the first British warship to be lost during the Second World War.

Many like Charles Brabyn of the crew were from the West Country, including many from the Royal Naval Barracks at Keyham, Devonport. Many like Brabyn are remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Read more on our 75th anniversary post and the Devoran WW2 section of our website

Royal Navy / IWM source picture of Courageous sinking, 17 September 1939.

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Charles Brabyn’s name on the Plymouth Naval Memorial (Image: Mark Norris, 2013)

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A sailor stands forever watch over some of the panels of names on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. Image: Mark Norris, 2013

Remembering Charles Brabyn and family, the men of the HMS Courageous and their families 80 years on 17 September 1939 / 2019. 

Blog posted 17 September 2019 by Mark Norris, the Devoran War Memorial Project blog.