Tag Archives: Devoran Village Hall

“The Names on the Roll” talk Devoran 1st July 2016


Ever wondered what life was like for people around Devoran, Point and Penpol a hundred years ago?

How might life in the Devoran area have changed for its men, women and children during the First World War?

Local Devoran history enthusiasts Bob Richards and Mark Norris have spent several years researching the lives of the men named on the Devoran War Memorial as part of the WW1 centenary.

With the recent discovery of a lost early draft panel during the restoration of the Roll of Honour in Devoran Village Hall, Bob and Mark have used these new clues to explore more of the military histories of the volunteers and veterans who signed up in 1914 and 1915, along with the conscripts of 1916 onwards.

Bob and Mark will be joined by Sue Corfield, the paper conservator who will talk about how she cleaned and  restored the Roll of Honour and discovered the missing panel.

devoran poppies and roll of Honour

The newly unveiled handmade poppies made by Ann, Esther and others garland the Roll of Honour, Poppies Coffee morning, Devoran Village Hall, 19 July 2014

Discover more about Devoran’s Royal Navy men, merchant sailors, early aircrew, officers and other ranks, soldiers, saddlers, tunnelers, land girls and the young lady ambulance driver who wrote these “names on the roll”.

100 years ago Devoran, Point and Penpol were very different villages from today, their serving men and women drawn from a vanished working world.

Bob and Mark will be exploring the family history, local connections and military journey of some of the many “names on the roll” of honour researched so far, some who survived and some who never returned …

Proceeds from this illustrated talk go towards the Devoran Village Hall restoration fund Phase 2.

Friday 1st July  7.30pm (doors 7.00pm) Devoran Village Hall, Quay Road, Devoran,  Cornwall, TR3 6PW
£8 including Ploughman’s Supper
(Ploughman’s Suppers must be booked in advance)
Tickets: devoranvh@live.co.uk or 0776 542 3751
In aid of Devoran Village Hall Refurbishment Fund Phase 2


Devoran War Memorial Project



Devoran Men In His Majesty’s Forces January 1915

Interesting newspaper clipping found whilst researching the names on the Devoran Roll of Honour and War Memorial for this web site / blog.

Useful in preparing for the talk on the “Names on the Roll” in Devoran Village Hall 7.30 pm on the evening of the Friday 1st July 2016 by Bob Richards and Mark Norris. This marks the centenary anniversary of the first day of the Somme. Watch the Village Hall website and Facebook page for further talk details, entry is £8 including refreshments / ploughman’s supper in aid of Village Hall restoration Phase 2. Tickets from the usual devoranvh email at live.co.uk

During the village hall restoration and paper conservation of its signs such as the Roll of Honour, a hidden first draft panel turned up behind the finished one.

This adds to several lists of Village or Parish names – the granite war memorial, the brass plaque in the church, the finished Roll of Honour, the first draft 1914-1916 panel and now this January 1915 list in the local  West Briton newspaper.

In his Majesty’s Forces”, West Briton Thursday January 7th 1915

Article listing six local parishes including Feock which Devoran was part of:


James Bilkey,

John Bilkey,

Charles Brabyn,

Fred Cooke,

Charles Coad,

John Collins,

– Cooke,

– Chenoweth,

– Chenoweth,

Albert Crocker,

S. Dowerick,

R. Ellis,

J. Ferris,

William Geach,

Walter Hamlin,

Fred Hichens,

W. Hichens,

Louis Hall,

S. Hall,

Humphrey Hicks,

James Johnson,

George Lilly,

James Lewarne,

W. Lewarne,

R. Lewarne,

P. Marshall,

J. Merrifield,

H. Merrifield,

James Murray,

R. Rickard,

Arthur Rosevearne,

E. Searle,

– Sandwell,

A.W. Thornton,

Alfred Teague,

Thomas Tyacke,

Claude Trenoweth,

Percy Trenoweth,

William Teague,

Thomas Arnold Venning, (Engineer Lt. Commdr – killed)

Albert John Venning (Engineer Lt. Commdr)

Orlando Webster,

William Woolcock,

Richard Williams,

Fred Williams,

W. Dunstan,

Arnold Brown.

Why the Variations from the 1914 “Names on the Roll”?

This listing shows some of the men from Feock parish (including Devoran and surrounding hamlets and villages) who were on active service by January 1915. It is different from the Roll of Honour 1914 lists.

Whilst some of these names  appear on the Devoran Roll of Honour finished or first draft, others will  likely be on the Feock War Memorial or other local lists. More about them another time …

Some differences or variations in names may be typing, printing or spelling errors in the newspaper. Walter Hamlin may well be the W. Hamblyn Seaman RN of the 1914 list. Claude Trenoweth’s family name I have seen miswritten on army documents as Trenwith (maybe how it was then pronounced?)

devoran poppies and roll of Honour

The newly unveiled handmade poppies made by Ann, Esther and others garland the Roll of Honour, Poppies Coffee morning, Devoran Village Hall, 19 July 2014

Some names  like E. Searle don’t appear on the first draft 1914-16 roll of Honour draft list until the finished Roll of Honour is completed after the war.

This may be as Searle is listed in the 1919 / post war finished Roll of Honour listing amongst a small group of Devoran men in the Mercantile Marine (in what we would now call Merchant Navy), as opposed to regular Royal Navy men like William Geach, Thomas Tyack(e) or Charles Brabyn.

Perhaps in 1914 their regular seaman’s job in and out of ports like Falmouth and the ailing Devoran or Point Quay serving with the Mercantile Marine would not at first be regarded or recorded  as on war service like the other Devoran volunteers or veterans.

This may have changed when the realities of the U -Boat submarine blockades, news of torpedoing of Merchant Navy ships off the Cornish coast and  rationing at home  made it increasingly clear to people that the Mercantile Marine men were  every bit as exposed to danger as Devoran men in the trenches or the Royal Navy.

Anyway a few more helpful clues like first names to identify more of the “Names on the Roll”.

Posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial project, May 2016.


Devoran and its wartime evacuees

Western Morning News 03 January 1941 page 5

Western Morning News 03 January 1941 page 5

Devoran, World War 1: as in many Cornish communities, Belgian refugee families were  looked after in the Feock Parish area.

This creation of a temporary home and friendship began again in 1939 with a new wave of refugees and evacuees. Not only foreign servicemen were welcomed into the area, many children found a brief period of safety in Devoran  from the bombing of London, Plymouth and other cities at risk of the Blitz.

Devoran, WW2: On the Francis Frith website there are memories from George Burton, a WW2 evacuee who stayed with his sisters with various kind Devoran families – the Hoare, Cook, Toy and Eddy families.

“I was evacuated in 1939 to Devoran, and was billeted with a family by the name of Eddy, my three sisters and myself. We were only there for about two months before we were all taken down with scabies. We all went off to Perranporth isolation ward, we were all kept in hospital until we were better, and then went back to Devoran on a bus, it stopped outside the school.

We were all lined up outside the school, when a nice lady came up to me and asked if I would like to go and stay with her, she told me she had two sons and a daughter, and lived on a big farm with chickens, cows, sheep, pigs, horses, and without giving it another thought I said ‘Yes please’. They were a lovely family and looked after me like I was their own. I lived with them for four years.

[Blog Editor’s note: This farm family  appears to have been the Hoare family mentioned in the next section. Members of the Hoare family are mentioned in the Home Guard blogpost ].

When I went into the army to do my two years National Service I received four parcels a year from them. Two of my sisters went to a family named Cook, they lived down by the river, and my other sister went with a family named Toy. I have kept in touch ever since, Mr and Mrs Hoare have since passed on, as too the daughter and the eldest son, Doreen and Ken, Rex is the only one left and we still keep in touch with each other.

The picture (on the Frith archive) brings back wonderful memories of those terrible years we all had, I must say mine were made a million times better having lived for four years with such wonderful people. I could go on but I think I should leave it for another time.”

A memory shared by George Burton , on Jan 16th, 2009.  Source: Francis Frith website. I have contacted George to hear more  and permission to quote his story here but have yet to hear back from him.

On the Shire on the Web 2000 newsletter http://www.shire.org.uk/shire.php?edition=344 Bristol History website, there is a photo of evacuee pupils from Shirehampton School, evacuated from the Bristol and Avonmouth area when bombing raids started in 1940/41. The names of the known evacuees are Vic Mitchell, Angus Macleod and Tommy Beecham.


Shirehampton pupils evacuated to Devoran 1940  from the Bristol area Photo c/o ‘Shire’, the Shire on the Web newsletter September 2000. Bottom row, left, shows Vic Mitchell, 3rd left is Angus McLeod, and far right is Tommy Beecham, who has been in touch recently with ‘SHIRE’ … Vic Mitchell, who now lives in Plymouth, sent in this photograph as he is interested in finding where these friends are now. Do you know the names of the girls and the other boy ?

On the BBC People’s War website are WW2 memories (Article ID:
A4325122) from Nicholas John (‘Jack’) Green of Carnon Downs:

“The first lot of evacuees were London Irish Catholics. We had two boys billeted with us about the same age as my brother, Jim, and I. They were called Terry & Patric O’Carrol.

Later we had Plymouth and Bristol children in the area and there were many children for the school at Devoran so we local children went to school in the mornings and the evacuees in the afternoons. This didn’t do much for our education, but we had half a day off every day.”

Newspaper archives contain photos of a Nativity play put on by Evacuee pupils at Devoran. Several London schools including a Roman Catholic School were evacuated to the Devoran area.

Sadly there is also a WW2 newspaper report of the local billeting officer having to fine and make an example of an unnamed householder in Devoran, one in St. Agnes and mention of similar billeting problems in Chacewater. This is  all presumably for not making evacuees welcome or being honest about the space they had available.

Blogposted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project, February 2016.


The first draft of Devoran Parish Roll of Honour revealed.

As part of the Devoran Railway Centenary Festival and Devoran Village Hall restoration, Ann Cunningham of the Devoran Village Hall Committee has arranged for several pieces of village history to have been sent to a paper conservator to be made good for the next century or more.

These three items are the original typed rules of the Village Hall or Institute, the Devoran National Savings Group certificate of merit (covered in another blog post) and the Parish Roll of Honour. All have come back restored and reframed as required, looking as fresh as if they were made, printed or written yesterday. Three framed pieces of paper went away, four frames came back.

The Third Panel

Behind the original two  panels of the beautifully hand-written Roll of Honour prepared by GLB (probably Gwendoline Layton Blunt, nee Edwards, the doctor’s daughter) was found preserved or hidden (unknown or long forgotten) the first draft. This was prepared in year by year enlistment sections from 1914 to 1916.

Looking through this is very much a time capsule. At the latest the new document or third panel is frozen in time sometime in late 1917, at the bottom inscribed in pencil “To Be Continued at The End of The Year”. Several dates of death or discharge are added for late 1917.

Who knew how long the war would go on for at the time?

Conscription and the Military Service Bill was now in effect by 1916. Previous to this, the men listed would have been volunteers.

For some reason, GLB and whoever else was involved in compiling the Roll of Honour changed the year  by year format into the one we see on the finished panel, an alphabetical list compiled after the war.

The original was a year-by-year detailed format, listing regiments or service in army, navy or the newly formed Royal Flying Corps, discharge details (due to wounds?) and dates and details of deaths.

This was too much work to discard and maybe thought of as of historic interest for the future.

GLB herself was married in late 1917, after service as  Red Cross Ambulance Driver in France 1916-1917.

The provisional list of names

Transcribed from photographs of GLB’s ornate calligraphy / handwriting script and will be amended if needed on closer study.

MCMXIV (1914 column 1)

Chellew-Woolcock, T. 2 Lieutenant, 19 Cheshire Regiment

Thornton, A.W. Sgt, RE

Tyack, T. Chief Petty Officer, RNR Discharged

Sandwell, W. Sergeant RFA

Rundle, T.  Petty Officer RN

Smith, M.C. Warrant Officer RN

Brabyn, C. Petty Officer RN

Bryant, T.A. corporal, 8 DCLI

Short, ?  Lance Corporal, 24 R.F. Royal  Fusiliers

Geach W.G., Armourer’s Mate RN

Cook, F. (In faint pencil)

Williams , F.J. Sapper RE

Bray, E. seaman RN

W. Apps

Perkins, S. 8 DCLI

Berryson, W Private  22 Rifle Brigade

White, W. C. Sapper RE

Trenoweth, C, Private 5 DCLI Discharged April 9 1917

Trenoweth, P.J. Private  4 DCLI

Crocker A.E. Private 10 DCLI

Johnson J. Private 4 DCLI

Lewarne J Seaman RNR

F.G. or F.C. Webb, Sapper RE

Stephens, R. Seaman RNR

Bilkey, James, Private 4 DCLI discharged March 20 1916

Gill, A.J. Sapper Canadian  RE

Hamblyn, W, Seaman RN

Hancock F.C. driver  RE

Vincent A. (In faint pencil)

Pascoe, W.D. Gunner RFA died 20 April 1915 RIP

Pascoe, M. Gunner RN

Coad, C. Private 4 DCLI

1915 Column 1

Sampson K.G. Lieutenant ASC

Phillips A .G. lance Corporal, 5 DCLI

Hitchens W.T. seaman, RN

Crocker, J.H. Private 10 DCLI

Evans, R. seaman RN Discharged June 1916

Crocker, T.H. seaman RNR

Eddy, J. driver (M.T.) ASC

Dingle, R.T? or R.C. driver RFA

Pinnock ?D.H Seaman RNR

Barnes T.H. Private RFA

Deeble M.C. seaman RNR

Marshall, W. Private 3 DCLI

Kellow R Private ASC

Peters, W.T.B. Air Mechanic RFC

column 2 1915

Dungey C. Private Australian Expeditionary Force

Marshall, E. Private ASC Drowned August 13 1915 HMT Royal Edward

Burley E.R. seaman RNR

Tregaskis, A.G. Private AOC

Jose, G. driver (MT) ASC

Ferris, W. seaman RNR

Martin S.S. Private RAMC

Hancock D. Private 3 DCLI

Dunstan, W.J. seaman RNR

Mitchell, T. Private 24 RF Royal Fusiliers

Hitchens, J. seaman RNR

Dungey, E. private 10 DCLI

Burton F.W. seaman RNR

Pennyluna or Penaluna A.C. Private DCLI

1916 MCM XVI

Column 1

Davey W.T. Private RE Killed in action July 28th RIP

Hitchens T.H. Private West Surreys

Stephens, J. Able Seaman RNVR

Trebilcock, T.L. Private DCLI

HItchens, T.C. Gunner RGA

Russell, W.J. Gunner RGA

Stephens, W.J. Able Seaman RNVR

Paynter, P. Gunner RGA killed in action (written in pencil) January 1917

Samson, J.S. Private DCLI

Burrows, W.C. Private Devons

Column 2

Pengelly, W.J. private 1 DCLI, discharged September 21 1917.

Gay, E.E. Private Devons

Adams, J.G. Private W. Surreys

Webber, W.J. Private AOC

Bennetts, H.G. Private RE

Hitchens, J.E. able Seaman RND Died April 18 1917

Clift, J.L. Private RGA

Opie, A. seaman RNVR

Dunstan, N.J. Private RE

Phillips, W.J. Private DCLI

“To be continued at the end of the year.”

Ongoing Research

The Roll of Honour and its mysterious 1914 to 1916 third panel are now in the safe keeping of the Parish Office whilst the Village Hall is refurbished. Over the winter Bob Richards and I will be looking into the stories of the men who served and came back. The 1914-16 list also sheds some light on the casualties on the War Memorial.

Masking Devoran – gas masks distributed 1939

masking devoran

A distribution of gas masks for Devoran and Carnon Downs district was made on Thursday and Friday at Devoran Village Hall. Mr. H.C. Sweet (senior warden) superintended, assisted by members of the Red Cross Detachment  and other residents.

West Briton, Thursday 7 September 1939

Looking at the newspaper dates: Gas masks appear to have been distributed in Devoran on Thursday 31 August & Friday 1st September 1939.

War was declared by Britain on Germany on Sunday 3rd September 1939, after Germany invaded Poland on the 1st September. Evacuation of children from Britain’s cities also began on 1st September 1939.


Devoran’s Railway: Redruth and Chasewater Railway, The Railway Magazine November 1936

,page 1

Passed on to me  an old Railway Magazine of November 1936 with a fabulous short article on The Redruth and Chasewater Railway, which ceased in September 1915. By the end of World War 1 the rails were taken up by local men for scrap for the war effort.

In time for the Devoran Railway Festival at the end of September  2015, the centenary of the last train running, here are very very rough scans of the magazine article.

Page 2

There are some photographs here that I’ve not seen before, taken only 20 years after the line closed.

page 3

Lovely photograph of the Village Hall in the 1930s – those same windows – just before World War Two.
page 4~


page 5

“Although but two decades have passed since the closure, traces of this once-busy railway are somewhat scanty … The locomotive and wagon workshops , now the village institute …”

Mr J. F. Tyacke  is named as the last manager of the railway and the harbour  (“who had formerly been the locomotive superintendent”) – his daughter Miss M. P. Tyacke who lived at Treviddo, 4 Devoran Lane was important in the wartime fundraising, cultural and musical life of the village.

A fascinating little article … A short summary of the subject dealt with in much longer detail in the D.B. Barton book about the railway.

I will try to rescan the photographs in future.

Posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project.