Remembrance Sunday 2016

There was a good turn out today from villagers of all ages upwards from babes in arms and Scouts and Guides to hear the names read out of the men of the parish listed on the Parish War Memorial in Devoran churchyard.

This was  followed by  a dipping of banners carried by the Scouts and Guides throughout the Last Post and Two Minute’s Silence, a pause for reflection shared across the nation, before moving  on to a service of remembrance in the Church.

A mild Autumn day with sunshine and fallen leaves.

Poppy crosses and wreaths  left around the base of the memorial to tell passers-by that these names are not forgotten.

Hearing the names read out, after having spent much time researching them to ensure their stories and are not forgotten, is both a somber and reassuring moment that these men of the village are still part of village life as they had once been and would have been if they had lived.

Remembered today by their families and villagers.

Posted by the Devoran War Memorial Project, Remembrance Sunday, 13 March 2016.


W J T Davey killed Somme 28 July 1916

wjtdavey thiepval

This is the record for Willie Davey that now exists on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing database set up by Ken and Pam Linge.

They were delighted to receive a copy of the photograph. They have spent many years trying to put a face to each name and some background information to a database of every ‘Missing’ man listed on this memorial to those with no known grave from the Somme battlefield area.

You can find out more about Willie Davey and the men on the Devoran War Memorial at:

cwgc thiepval

W.J.T. Davey has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. (Image: website)


William Donald Pascoe

William Donald Pascoe

I was born in Feock parish in October 1896, the eldest of four children born to William Williams Pascoe and Alice Mary. My three younger siblings were Netta May, born in 1899 Llewellyn Maxwell born in 1900 and Lillian Annie, born in 1901.

We lived in Lemon Street or Market Street as it is known today.

My father was village postman and he was originally from St. Agnes. Mother was originally from St. Gluvias. Her maiden name was Dingle.

When I was old enough, I got a job as a newsboy, but later got a job as an apprentice with W. Visick & Sons just along the road at Perranarworthal.

The three oldest of us children all played our part in the war.

I joined the 13th Reserve Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, Netta May became a Land Girl and Llewelyn Maxwell joined the Royal Navy.

I was taken ill while still on home service and died of Cerebro-Spinal Fever on 20th April 1915.

My younger brother Llewellyn survived the war and came back home. He carried on with a career in the navy and moved over to Perranporth for some years. He died in 1982.

Lillian married a postman, John Standford and they lived for many years in London.

The desire to come back to Devoran and the family home in Market Street was always there and the family are all remembered on the family grave in Devoran Churchyard.

There are the names of my father, William Williams Pascoe who died on 12th January 1926, aged 59, my mother, Alice Mary, who died on 24th February 1958 at the age of 84. My name is there as well and Lilian Annie, who died at the age of 89 on 12th May 1990.


The Pascoe family grave, Devoran churchyard April 2015 (Image: Mark Norris)


Written by Bob Richards for the 1st July centenary 2016 in Devoran Village Hall.

Read more about William Donald Pascoe and the other names on the Devoran War Memorial:



Thomas Tyack

Thomas Tyack

I was quite the ancient mariner by the time the war broke out in 1914.

I was born in Devoran on 7th October 1864, the third child of Richard and Elizabeth Tyack. My father was a master shoemaker, who was originally from Chacewater but he had a good business in Devoran and employed three men. We lived at 24 St. John’s Terrace.

When I left school I went to live in Fairmantle Street, Truro where I lodged with Mrs. Emma Curnow and her daughter, Mary. Emma was a widow and they took in laundry to earn a living. I got a job as an apprentice engine fitter but I soon got fed up with life ashore and took my trade into the Royal Navy, which I joined on 3rd July 1887.

I served on a lot of ships and saw service and action all over the British Empire in the late Victorian era and into the early years of the 20th century.

I rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, Engine Room Artificer and was discharged from the navy in 1909 with “very good character” on my discharge papers.

I came back home to the family in St. John’s Terrace after my discharge and lived with mother, who was now past 80 and my sister Mary, who was a year older than me and was at home looking after her.

Father had died back in 1906 at the age of 91 and was buried in Devoran Churchyard on 26th October of that year.

War in Europe was becoming ever closer during July 1914 and Britain declared war on Germany on 4th August 1914. I had re-joined the Royal Navy just a couple of days before that on 2nd August when there was a general call to the nation to prepare for war.

I joined HMS Albion, a 13,000 ton pre-Dreadnought type Battleship first launched in 1896. We were stationed in the English Channel for a while and then off the coast of Finisterre in case the German navy tried to break out into the Atlantic. After that we went out to the Dardanelles where we were in action against Ottoman shore bases in preparation for troops to move in. We were hit many times by gunnery from ashore, but the old ship was tough and managed to avoid serious damage until May 1915 when we had suffered so much damage that she had to make for Malta for repairs.

I came back home to HMS Vivid, a shore base at Devonport, but I was not in the best of health by then and I was invalided out of the navy in July 1915 suffering from bronchitis and emphysema.

I came back home to 24 St. John’s Terrace.

Mother died just a few months after I got back and we buried her alongside father in Devoran Churchyard on 19th November 1915. She was 89.

There were just me and Mary left now and we grew old together.

Mary followed mother and father up to the Churchyard on 30th November 1940, at the age of 77 and I followed them all up the road a year later and was buried in Devoran Churchyard just a week before Christmas 1941 also at the age of 77.


Written by Bob Richards for the 1st July centenary 2016 in Devoran Village Hall.

Read more about  names on the Devoran War Memorial and Roll of Honour:



Edwin Marshall


Edwin Marshall of Devcran (c/o Olwen Martin / Ancestry)

Edwin Marshall

My family had associations with Devoran and more particularly the Carnon Mine area going back to before 1900. We were quite a big family. There was father, William Marshall, mother, Leah, and five children, Richard, William, Jonathan, Leah and me, the baby of the family. Father was born in Perranarworthal but the rest of us were all born in Kea Parish. Father was a Coal Porter. I believe his job was taking coal from the ships that docked at Point and Devoran around the area for domestic purposes rather than taking it to the mines.

Before I got married we all lived at Bleak House between Carnon Mine and Devoran but after I got married in 1902 to Eveline Louisa Pearce, we got our own cottage just down the road at Carnon Mine.

We had five children of our own within a few years, Florrie, who was actually born before we got married, William Edwin, 1904, Elsie Louisa, 1906, Bertram John, 1908 and Leah Vera born in 1909.

When the war came, I joined up like so many others and in 1915 I was in the Army Service Corps as Private SS/14236 of the 18th Labour Corps. We were not front line troops but did a lot of work behind the lines, making roads and railways, working with supplies and ammunition and a whole lot of other work to keep the front line troops supplied and ready for action.

On the morning of 28th July 1915 we left Avonmouth on the RMS Royal Edward, with a total of 1,367 officers and men aboard, bound for the Gallipoli Campaign. Our sister ship the RMS Royal George had left Devonport the day before. Our last sight of Cornwall was when we passed The Lizard on the evening of that same day.

There were a lot of Cornishmen on board, including at least thirty from Falmouth and Penryn and we all said they could have saved a lot of time if they had called in to Falmouth to pick us up instead of taking us all the way to Avonmouth!

Written by Bob Richards for the 1st July centenary 2016 in Devoran Village Hall.

Read more about Edwin Marshall and the other names on the Devoran War Memorial:



Claud Trenoweth

Claud Fitzgerald Trenoweth

Although my surname of Trenoweth is Cornish, I was born in Aldershot. The reason for that is that my mother and father left Cornwall for a short time after they got married in 1892, but came back to live at Carnon Mine soon after I was born and before my younger siblings, Percy, Norman and Marion were born. In fact the family continued to live at Carnon Mine right up to the 1940’s. Father died there in 1942. Mother lived on until 1956, and the grand age of 86.

When I was old enough to leave school, I went to work as an engine cleaner. This was in the last days of the old Devoran railway. Soon after, the war came and me and my brother Percy both joined up.

We both joined up early in the war and both got our names beautifully inscribed by Dr. Edwards’ daughter Gwendoline on the Roll of Honour she began right at the start of the war.

I was in the 5th Battalion, DCLI, known as the Pioneers. We started off in Falmouth, moved on to training camps on Salisbury Plain and then came back to Cornwall. We were all anxious to get over to France and finally got there.

We landed in Le Havre on 22nd May 1916 and were straight into action.

The Battle of the Somme began on 1st July 1916, just a few weeks after we got to France and far from being the big adventure we had all thought it would be to fight the Hun, it was a terrible time. Thousands killed, wounded and missing, mud everywhere, rats the size of cats, not the sort of thing you want to remember or even describe.

Our first major action was at a place called Fromelles. The idea was to try and divert some of the German defences from the main Battle of the Somme a few miles further south, but it was a miserable failure. Everything was planned in a rush, men weren’t properly trained in trench warfare, most of us had only been in Flanders for a few weeks. We were outnumbered two to one, we were trying to attack uphill into German defences that had been dug in for months, in some cases a year or more.

The whole thing only lasted two days but cost the lives of over 7,000 men, over 5,000 of those were Australian troops. “The worst day in Australian history” they called it.

The following year, 1917, I was discharged from the Army. It said on my discharge papers that I was no longer physically fit for military service. They said that my military character was only “fair” on my discharge papers. If they had seen some of the sights I had seen they would know that nothing was “fair” in that terrible war.

I came home and by the end of 1917, I got married to Alice Dix. She lived down at Ponsmaine, Feock. Her mother had been a widow for a long time and they lived with her uncle, John Penna who was an Oyster Merchant.

We had two boys, George and Henry and we carried on living down at Ponsmaine for many years. Pill Creek was a lot different to the Somme.

I later got a job as an AA patrolman.

They laid me in my final resting place at Kea Church on 16th February 1954 at the age of 58.

Alice lived on until she joined me there on 17th February 1969 at the age of 73.

Written by Bob Richards for the 1st July 2016 centenary talk at Devoran Village Hall.


Albert Crocker and the Crocker family

The Crocker family

I am Albert Ernest Crocker. I was born down at Paul near Penzance although my family roots were around Feock parish. Father, Samuel was born in Feock parish in 1866 and mother, Catherine Jane, formerly Williams, was also born here. My younger brother, Richard Henry, known as Harry, was also born in Paul but we came back to live at Penpol before my other siblings were born. They were Samuel, Edward, Gordon, Eva and Reginald.

Father worked as a farm hand.

When the war came, Harry and me both joined up. I was in the 7th Battalion DCLI and we went to France in the middle of 1915. We saw a lot of action but somehow I managed to survive it all right up to near the end of the war.

In March 1918, the Germans began their Spring Offensive, a last ditch attempt to break through the Allied lines and advance through France. They made a lot of progress in a very short time, pushing us back across the old battlefields of the Somme. Parts of our lines were in full retreat and we thought for a while the game was up.

We were fighting just a couple of miles north of the town of Albert and on 2nd April, I was lost in action. My body was never recovered and my name is etched along with over 14,000 others who have no known grave on the Poziers Memorial to the Missing.

My younger brother, Harry was luckier than me. He survived the war and came home to Cornwall where he got married and I believe moved to Redruth and had a coal merchant business.

I had two cousins also killed in the war, George Francis Crocker and Richard Stephens.

George Francis Crocker joined the Merchant Navy. Before the war he lived down near Trelissick and worked with his father, also George as a gardener. I am not sure if they were gardeners at the big house at Trelissick, but they might have been. On 2nd October 1915, he was sailing back from Cyprus to Leith in Scotland but they were spotted by a German submarine, U-39 and sunk by shelling from the U-boat. Most of the crew survived but sadly George was one of two men aboard who were killed. Like me, he has no known grave and lies somewhere beneath the Mediterranean Sea a few miles north of the island of Crete.

The sad thing is that they weren’t involved in carrying supplies for the war as far as I know. They were carrying a cargo of Locust Beans, but I don’t suppose that made any difference to the submarine captain, he just saw them as an enemy ship.

My other cousin, Richard Stephens survived the war but died in February 1919 as a result of war related injuries.

He lived at Point with his wife, Ottilia, always known as Tilly. Richard was the son of James and Eliza who lived over at Trolver Croft for many years, he followed his father in a maritime career. He married Ottilia Siebert in 1897 and they lived at Point. She was from Stepney in London originally where her father worked as a Tailor before coming to Cornwall. Her grandfather and many more like him were German Jews who came to London in the middle of the 19th century because of religious persecution.

Richard had a long naval career and rose to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. When he died in 1919 he was serving with HMS Terrible.

His name is not with the other Great War victims on the Devoran War Memorial. It is around the back, on the panel with the World War Two casualties. Some say this is because he died after the war and after the names of the others had already been put on the memorial, but others think that he is separate because his wife’s family had German origins.

We may never know the real reason.

His widow Ottilia lived on at Glenavon, Point with her son, John and daughter in law, Margaret until she died in 1950.

Written by Bob Richards for the 1st July 2016 centenary talk  at Devoran Village Hall.

Read more about these men at