Category Archives: war memorial

Devoran WW1 100 Remembered 2018


A named handmade poppy for each Devoran man lost … poppies made by Ann Ramsden 

A few photos from a very successful Poppies coffee morning to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice today Sunday November 11th 2018.

After the reading of the names on the war memorial, names now very familiar through research on this blog, the two minutes silence and the sounding of the Last Post, many people headed down to the Village Hall for a centenary cup of tea.

The standards of scouts, brownies, guides and cubs were paraded back into church by the young bearers.

Poppies and wreaths were laid both quietly, privately and also publicly on the newly cleaned memorial.


Down in the Village Hall, there was a good and chatty crowd ranging from young scouts and brownies through to white-haired veterans. There was a chatty queue for tea and every chair was soon taken at the tables – except for one special silent guest already seated there as people arrived .

This silent witness could be one of any of the WW1 and WW2 casualties who never returned to his home village to share tea and talk with friends, family and neighbours.


The Man Who Wasn’t There …

A poppy was knitted by Ann Ramsden for each casualty named on the Roll of Honour and the War Memorial.

The Centenary knitted poppies of 2018 reminded me full circle of the 2014 poppies made to garland the Roll of Honour before it went off for conservation and came back in 2015 with the discovery of the lost first draft panel (shown on the right).


Centenary poppies of the 11th November 2018 

Children were shown how to make tissue paper poppies.

ANZAC biscuits were served with tea (all eaten too fast for me to photograph these!)

setting up display DVH 2018

Setting up before everyone arrives (Devoran Village Hall facebook image) 

I produced eight exhibition display boards featuring information from this blog on Devoran casualties and survivors of WW1.


I created a CWGC headstone shaped A4 panel for each WW1 casualty as part of the display in the Village Hall. Two sailors survived WW1 – Charles Brabyn and Thomas Kemp – only to die at sea in WW2, so we featured them as well.


I also selected a few others named on the Roll of Honour and created an A4  panel for them, often with their Navy or Merchant Navy records and photos.


I brought along a few original WW1 items ranging from War Budget original WW1 weekly magazines and postcards to WW1 ration books.


There were also an original recipe book, Punch cartoons, cigarette cards, an armistice flyer  from the Basrah Times  and an original RFC / RAF aerial photograph glass negative storage box stamped 1918 (surplus from the Imperial War Museum archive).

Once it was all over,  I remembered to photograph the well-thumbed display before I  packed it away with family help to take home.

dvh facebook full house

Full House for Devoran !00 Remembered (Devoran Village Hall Facebook image) 

Only as the tables and chairs were being put away could you once again hear the WW1 music and songs that I had put on to add some atmosphere as people arrived.

Thanks to Ann Cunningham and the Devoran Village Hall volunteers for all the organising, the setting out and tea and cakes. 

We did the occasion proud and I’m sure the WW1 villagers would have been pleased with the turn out and the renewed Remembrance by today’s village.

Reading through the WW1 casualty panels and stories of surviving  service men (and women), where they lived, their peacetime occupations and what their families did, you realise that in someways you are connecting back with  a very different village as it was then in WW1, still very focussed on the river, the sea and local farming.

Walking home afterwards we went back through the churchyard to see and read the poppy crosses in the now quiet churchyard.


A fresh crop of poppy crosses on the newly cleaned Devoran War memorial, 11 November 2018. 

Devoran 100 Remembered 1918 / 2018.

Postscript / future plans 

At some point in 2019 Bob, Ann and I  hope to organise a second and final talk on Devoran and WW1 1917-1919 sometime around the time the war memorial playing field was dedicated  in September 1919/ 2019 and when the war memorial was unveiled (possibly in November 1919?) The first talk took place about Devoran 1914-16 on the 1st July 2016. This second talk will hopefully also add a little more to the Devoran Village Hall funds.

We might even stretch to a third talk sometime (in 2020?) on Devoran in WW2 and the thankfully small list of casualty names (including some WW1 veteran seamen) as the 75th D-Day and 80th Outbreak of War/ Blitz  anniversaries approach.

Watch this blog, the Village Hall Facebook page and the telegraph pole posters for further information nearer the time.

Further research and blog posts will appear over the next few months on

  • Conscientious Objectors and the Conscription Tribunals locally,
  • the Volunteer Training Corps (WW1’s Home Guard?) ,
  • the 1919 deaths / casualties
  • the survivors named on the Roll of Honour.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial project, 11/ 13 November 2018


100 Years On We Remember …


The new 2014 panel on the Devoran War Memorial, listing two new WW1 Devoran casualty names P.A. Sweet and W.J. Hoyle, thanks to work / research by Bob Richards and the Feock Parish Council.

100 years on from the Armistice  about ten minutes before 11 am on 11th November 2018, people from Devoran will gather around the Memorial to hear the names read out on the War Memorial.

Shortly afterwards as part of the Armistice Centenary year  there will be tea and coffee in the Village Hall, along with the chance to see a display of some of our research about each man named on the Devoran War Memorial and a sample of a few others on the Roll of Honour …

All are welcome


Cora Cornish Ball – The WW1 Unremembered


cora ball

Cora Cornish Ball, died WW1 22 November 1918

As part of the 14-18 centenary commemorations, I have been taking part in projects  with The Big Ideas company including the Unremembered project for remembering the women workers and multinational Labour Corps of WW1.

I was allocated a Cornish example of an ‘Unremembered’ female casualty  in the form of Cora Cornish Ball, a name I recognised from seeing her name on a war memorial whilst living near her home village of Kenwyn in Truro many years ago. She is also on the big Truro Memorial in Boscawen Street.

You can see more about Cora and the Unremembered project on my other blog post

You don’t find many women on WW1 war memorials,  so I was curious back then to find out who she was.

There is an interesting entry about her on Pete London’s 2014 book on WW1 in Cornwall.

“Sadly though, only 11 days following the Armistice she died, perhaps a victim of the terrible flu pandemic sweeping Europe at the time. Cora Ball was laid to rest in Les Baraques Military Cemetery at Sangatte, near Calais; she was just 22.”

“Born in 1896 to a large family, for a time Cora lived in Kenwyn village near the city. Her father had various jobs and the family moved around the local area. Despite that, Cora kept up her schooling until she was 14 or so, and in 1917 the slim young girl volunteered for service with the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.”

“As Corps No.2717, Cora travelled to France where she served near Calais. Her WAAC uniform consisted of a khaki cap atop her short dark bob, with a matching khaki jacket and skirt; regulations stipulated the skirt must be no more than 12 inches above the ground. During her war service, perhaps because she’d stayed on at school Cora reached the rank of Forewoman, equivalent to an army sergeant.”

Blogposted 9 November 2018 by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project.

T.H. Kemp and F.W. Kemp of Devoran, Merchant Navy brothers WW1 WW2

mercantile marine

Devoran Roll of Honour Merchant Navy section  – fuzzy blow up of another photo, probably one to retake.

The Devoran Roll of Honour lists six men of the Devoran parish or village who served in the Merchant Navy in WW1.

It lists two Kemp brothers, T.H. Kemp and F. W. Kemp.

Both these sailor brothers served in the Mercantile Marine or Merchant Navy throughout WW1. Thomas died on naval service in WW2.

Images have recently  come to light in the archives of these two Devoran men.

Thomas Harold Kemp 


Thomas Harold Kemp was born in Devoran on 13th July 1885 – possibly into a family of Coal and Oyster Merchants run by his father Thomas Henry Kemp (b. 1843).

He worked his way through his Masters and Mates Certificate through First and Second Mate to Master Mariner by 1910.


(Extra) Masters certificate for T.H.Kemp, 21 October 1910

Thomas Harold Kemp served throughout WW1 and throughout the 1920s and 1930s, finally dying at sea as Captain on the SS Ocean Courage in 1943.

brass plaque

The brass plaque inside the church

I’m not sure why he is not listed on the main granite Devoran War Memorial, only on the brass plaque. It may be that he had moved away from the area.

On the 1911 Census the Kemp family were living at Cliddia, Perranwell.

In the 1920s Thomas was living at (Electoral Registers) at Calidgey, Perranwell Station with an Ethel Mary Kemp (sister).

On his death at sea certificate in 1943  it lists his sister Caroline as next of Kin, living at the same address as him at Lapres Hall, Exeter. On probate this lists an Esatbourne address (1 St Leonards Road)  and sister ‘spinster’ Caroline Louisa Kemp,  leaving over £7577.

t h kemp card

Putting another face to a WW1 veteran and WW2 casualty name – T.H. Kemp


He is listed on the brass panel inside the church rather than the stone war memorial.

He and his crew are remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial in London for those with no known grave but the sea.


Devoran’s T.H. Kemp, SS Ocean Courage recorded on the WW2 section, Tower Hill memorial.

Francis William Kemp

His brother F.W. (Francis William) Kemp also served in the Merchant Navy throughout WW1.


Francis was born in Devoran on 18th October 1886.

1911 census f w kemp

In 1911 he was living with his retired Master Mariner father (and former Coal and Oyster Merchant) Thomas John Kemp at Cliddia in Perranwell.

fw kemp master cert

He became a Master Mariner out of St Ives in 1912 and served as a Chief Officer.

The note written across says that he died in 1929 (his death was registered in St. Austell).


Putting another face to a WW1 name – F.W. Kemp

Two more Devoran faces added to names on the Devoran Roll of Honour.

Two more of the many Devoran sailors and maritime families of Devoran 100 years ago.

Short panels about them will feature amongst the Devoran 100 Remembered display in the Devoran Village Hall on Sunday 11th November 2018 (morning)  after the reading of the names and silence at the War Memorial on Armistice Day 100.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial project, 9 November 2018



Remembering H.C. White of Devoran died WW1 31 October 1918

Henry Cecil White was a Private 215895, 745 Area Employment Company, Labour Corps who died on 31 October 1918, aged 33.

White is buried at II.C.16, St. Pol British Cemetery, St. Pol-sur-Ternoise, France. This cemetery was linked to No.12 Stationary Hospital. Dying so close to the 11th November ceasefire, it is likely that Henry White  died of wounds or ill health (there were many influenza victims amongst soldiers at this time).

cwgc St Pol cemetery

St Pol cemetery looking a little like Devoran memorial recreation ground (Image: website)

He is listed on the CWGC website as the son of Mr. W.H. and Mrs. E.A. White, Carnon Gate, Devoran, Cornwall.


H C White headstone St Pol British Cemetery (Image copyright TWGPP/CWGC, The War Graves Photographic Project

On his CWGC headstone can be found the following short verse chosen by his family: “Call not back/ the dear departed/ Anchored safe/ where storms are o’er”.
His father William Henry White (born 1847, Princetown , Devon, England) married Elizabeth A. White (born 1856, Calstock, Cornwall) in 1884 and they were listed as living at Lydford in Devon in the 1891 census. He appears to have retired to Devoran by 1901 as he was previously a prison warder at Dartmoor Prison (in the era of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles!)

Henry Cecil White was born at Portland, Dorset in 1886.

Living in Carnon Gate with his family, Henry became an apprentice at an iron foundry (fairly illegible 1901 census entry) along with his brother William C. White also born at Portland, Dorset in 1886. Brother William became an apprentice wood pattern maker in a foundry, a job that took him to board and live like Henry did in Redruth by the 1911 census. Henry is listed as an Iron Moulder in the 1911 Census. Both brothers were single at the time of the 1911 census.

Tony Dyson’s 2007 research notes that Henry Cecil White is remembered on the gravestone of his father William Henry White in Devoran Churchyard, near the rear of the Parish Centre. If I have time I will photograph this headstone in the next few weeks.

Blog posted on the 100th anniversary of Henry White’s death on 31st October 1918 / 2018 by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project.




Devoran WW1 100 Remembered



A Date for Your Diary Armistice Sunday 11 November 2018

Join us for the next part of Devoran 100, remembering the local men who served during World War 1  one hundred years ago, as World War 1 came to an end.

I will be updating the display from 2014 about each casualty with what we have unearthed or researched about them since then.

Every Remembrance Sunday the local casualty  names are read out at the War Memorial.

How else has Devoran marked the contribution of the area in World War 1 during the 1914-1919 Centenary? 

Devoran oppies Bob Richards

Bob Richards talks at the coffee morning about the WW1 casualties, Poppies Coffee Morning, Devoran Village Hall, 19 July 2014

In 2014 the fabulous Devoran Village Hall team organised the Poppies coffee morning to mark the outbreak of WW1 100 years on.

Shortly after this the Devoran Parish Roll of Honour left for restoration, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.

devoran poppies 1

Rev. Margaret Saville unveiling the Handmade poppies framing the WW1 roll of Honour, Devoran Village Hall, 19 July 2014.


The new panel on the Devoran War Memorial, listing two new WW1 Devoran casualty names P.A. Sweet and W.J. Hoyle, thanks to work / research by Bob Richards and the Feock Parish Council. Image: Mark Norris

In 2014 two new WW1 names – P. Sweet and W.J. Hoyle –  were added to the Devoran War Memorial after research by Bob Richards.

DEvoran poppy book pages

A few of the simple biographies of each WW1 casualty from Devoran. Poppies Coffee Morning , Devoran Village Hall 19 July 2014


A few of the items on display in 2014.

At the Devoran Centenary Railway Festival in 2015, the WW1 Roll of Honour returned, looking as good as new,  with the exciting discovery of a lost early draft section hidden behind the familiar frontispiece.

On 1st July 2016  Bob Richards, Ann Cunningham and I told some of the stories behind the 1914 – 1916 casualties and the “Names on The Roll”.

In 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice,  the Devoran Village Hall is hosting a tea and coffee event with the chance to view an update of the Devoran War Memorial Project display from 2014 and 2016. 


We hope to see you there.

Bob, Ann and I hope in autumn 2019 – after five years of researching the names on the Roll and the  War Memorial – to do the final talk about Devoran men of WW1 and their families. This will update the story from   1916 to  1919, and be scheduled for  round about the time that the War Memorial recreation ground was dedicated and the War Memorial built in Devoran. Dates tbc.

Meanwhile … 

On the 100th anniversary date of each identified casualty on the WW1 Devoran War Memorial, I have posted an update on this blog of what we know about that man and his death in WW1.

We marked or will mark the 70th,  75th and 80th anniversary of the WW2 names from Devoran as well. We may do a future talk on the thankfully fewer WW2 names after 2019.

Sadly these posts do not come to an end with the Armistice Centenary but extend out into 1919/2019 as the final casulaties died of wounds many months after the Armistice.

The mental and physical scars were born by the surviving men and the families of Devoran for many years afterwards.

100 years on, Devoran remembers.

Blogposted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project, September 2018.

Remembering the lost sailors of Devoran on Merchant Navy Day 3rd September 2018


A mass of wreaths and poppies at The Tower Hill Merchant Navy memorial, Oct 2014 (Mark Norris, Devoran War memorial Project)

Remembering all the men and women of The Merchant Navy throughout both wars and peacetime who work hard to supply and feed us

Many Devoran men served in the Merchant Navy during both wars. some of them sadly died on active service.


Devoran’s T.H. Kemp, SS Ocean Courage recorded on the WW2 section, Tower Hill memorial.

Devoran men like G.F. Crocker died with Merchant Navy in WW1.


Devoran’s G.F.Crocker of the SS Sailor Prince, one of the Merchant Navy men from WW1 with no known grave lost at sea recorded on the Tower Hill Memorial, London (Picture: Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial project )

T.H. Kemp and W.C. Nicholls were also lost at sea in WW2.


W.C. Nicholls, AthelPrincess, WW2 section , Tower Hill memorial

3rd September is of course also the anniversary of war being declared on 3rd September 1939.

Remembering the men and women of the Merchant Navy past and present  on Merchant Navy Day 3rd September. Hooray for the Red Duster!  

Blog posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project, 3rd September 2018.