About the Devoran War Memorial and the blog project

Throughout 2014 I will be posting my research on the names on the Devoran War Memorial in Cornwall, starting with the names from World War 1 to mark in a small and local way the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 and its effect on one small rural riverside village in Cornwall. Throughout 2015 I will add research on the Second World War names to mark the 70th anniversary of VE day in May 1945.

The blog also incorporates the research by Feock Parish Councillor Bob Richards and that done in 2007 by Tony Dyson.

Photographs can be seen on this website link http://thebignote.com/2012/10/10/devoran-church-of-st-john-and-st-petroc-war-memorial/ Devoran has a granite war memorial in the churchyard with names from both world wars and a small memorial plaque in the church. I first came across both researching the Victorian plant hunters Thomas and William Lobb, born nearby, who have a memorial in the church and churchyard. Thomas Lobb is buried in the churchyard near the War Memorial.

A wartime press cutting mentions that Botanists are Honoured (reported in the Western Morning News, 3 October 1942) Devoran Churchyard Plaque: “Amongst those present were four members of the Lobb Family – Mr. J. Sims, (great nephew) and Mr. Sims and Mr and Mrs A. Keeley.” Cornish Bishop Hunkin of Truro, who was involved at the time, was a well known gardener and garden historian.

A more everyday memorial is the Devoran memorial recreation ground next to Devoran Old School. Devoran Old School is a listed building, now a residential property since a more modern primary school was rebuilt several years go on the edge of the village. The adjoining play ground, a slighly waterlogged grassy triangle on a slope, was given by the Robartes family to the people of Devoran in memory of the fallen village men. It is still a very lively part of village life, events and children’s games, just as it has been for almost a century.

I have been blog posting since 2009 my ongoing research on the effects of wartime on zoos and botanic gardens through the http://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com blog as part of the World War Zoo Gardens project based at Newquay Zoo. Part of my job has taken me over the last 20 years around the county of Cornwall doing talks on Newquay Zoo and recently our wartime gardening project into many church halls, school and village memorial halls, where I often find interesting memorials or intriguing fragments of wartime life. More information is becoming available online all the time. I mostly use the Commonwealth War Graves Commission CWGC website, along with the family history and census records through Ancestry.co.uk. There is also a recent good short photographic history of the village by (the late) Ralph and Marie Bird.

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