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.
A poppy was made of felt 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).
Children were shown how to make tissue paper poppies.
ANZAC biscuits were served with tea (all eaten too fast for me to photograph these!)
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.
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.
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