Tag Archives: Great War

Gallipoli casualty Edwin Marshall of Devoran portrait found

A photograph of Edwin Marshall of Devoran has been found, in time for the centenary of his death en route to Gallipoli on the Troopship Royal Edward which sank on 13 August 1915.

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

Thanks to Olwen Martin, who still has relatives in the village, for permission to use this photo. Another face added to a name on the war memorial!

You can read more about Edwin Marshall at: https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/devoran-first-world-war-casualties-k-to-p/

Lost Devoran sailors on the Merchant Navy Memorial, Tower Hill

On a recent trip to London, I stopped at The Tower Hill Memorial to missing men of The Merchant Navy who have no known grave. On this  memorial are several  Devoran War Memorial names.

In the First World War section G.F.Crocker of Devoran is remembered high up on the columns of names. More can be found about Crocker on the Devoran  WW1  names section.

There is more about the Tower Hill memorial on this CWGC website page.

Thousands of names of lost Merchant Navy men from WW1 . Tower Hill Memorial, London (Picture: Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial project )

Thousands of names of lost Merchant Navy men from WW1. Tower Hill Memorial, London (Picture: Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial project )

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 )

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 )

On the World War 2 section are recorded further Devoran names: T.H. Kemp and W.C. Nicholls. More can be found about each casualty on the Devoran  WW2 names section.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESStatues on the  WW2 section Tower HIll memorial represent the 24,000 missing Merchant Navy sailors and fishermen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not far away the loss of over 888,246 British and Commonwealth men and women killed in WW1 is memorably recorded by the temporary installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies in the moat of the Tower of London “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” by Paul Cummins.

Devoran men lost in WW1 are represented by a handful of the 888,246 poppies Tower Hill poppies installation, Oct 2014.

Devoran men lost in WW1 are represented by a handful of the 888,246 poppies Tower Hill poppies installation, Oct 2014.

Amazingly these poppies have all now sold, raising millions for veterans’ charities.

Each of the Devoran men on the WW1 section of the war memorial is represented by one of these poppies.

 

Devoran men lost in WW1 are represented by a handful of the 888,246 poppies Tower Hill poppies installation, Oct 2014.

Devoran men lost in WW1 are represented by a handful of the 888,246 poppies Tower Hill poppies installation, Oct 2014.

This year two new names have been added to the Devoran war memorial, and their names will be read out with many others at the Armistice Sunday service. The folders of research about the named casualties by Tony Dyson, Bob Richards and Mark Norris  are housed in the Parish Church.

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

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

I will be observing the  two minutes silence elsewhere on the Sunday but it is good to see the renewed interest in the names on the war memorial amongst people in the village.

LIke their families and loved ones in Devoran 100 years ago, we will remember them.

Life in wartime Devoran in World War 1

Gwendloine Layton Blunt Dates of service British Red Cross Society ambulance service (Courtesy BRCS archive)

Gwendloine Layton Blunt Dates of service British Red Cross Society ambulance service (Courtesy BRCS archive)

Elizabeth Hotten’s Cornwall at War (History Press, 2008) is a fascinating piece of social history, being a selection from mid Cornwall  wartime parish magazines from the Boer War to World War 2. It is well worth buying to read in detail, but here are a few clues from Hotten’s book and others to suggest how life changed for many ordinary people, especially women and children on the Home Front in WW1 in Devoran. The family background (such as the details of wife, family and parents) on our blog posts about WW1 casualties give some indication of the emotional and financial cost of losing a father, husband, brother or son from a close-knit small village.

Gwendoline Layton Blunt (nee Edwards) British Red Cross Society record cards (Courtesy: BRCS archive )

Gwendoline Layton Blunt (nee Edwards) British Red Cross Society record cards (Courtesy: BRCS archive )

The wartime marriage on 16 July 1917 in Devoran of the oldest of Dr. Edwards’ four daughters, Gwendoline Mary Edwards  (b.1895), to serving soldier Lieutenant Denzil Layton Blunt is mentioned. Gwendoline had recently returned from serving in France with the British Red Cross Society BRCS motor ambulance section. An enquiry lodged with the BRCS archives for any further information on Gwendoline Edwards elicited that VAD Cornwall 34 (34 might be her number or an area number) Gwendoline Edwards served as a 21 year old from 13 October 1916 as Rank G.S. (General Service?) Chauffeuse until 9 July 1917 (a week before her wedding). Particulars of duties: Motor Ambulance Driving in France.

Advertising image of a British Red Cross nurse and motor ambulance, Chambers' Journal,  1st October 1918 (Author's collection)

Advertising image of a British Red Cross nurse and motor ambulance, Chambers’ Journal, 1st October 1918 (Author’s collection)

Food, rationing and shipping in WW1
The number of  large boats and mineral cargos were declining  at Devoran Quay throughout the First World War, hastened when the Redruth and Chasewater Railway from inland mines down to Devoran Quay closed in 1915. The metal  railway lines were lifted in 1918, probably as scrap metal for the war effort. The granite sleeper blocks are still plentiful  in the area along the old Railway line route through the village, now part of the Mineral Tramway cycle network. The staff, no doubt, were employed elsewhere in industry for the war effort,  such as engine driver Ed Webber of Carnon Gate whose 1918 transfer certificate to Rotherham Iron and Steel Works is shown in Ralph and Marie Bird’s Devoran and its River: A Photographic History (Truran, 2008). What we recognise as ‘Dig for Victory’ in WW2 began in spirit much earlier,, mainly in the “U-Boat summer” of 1917 when Allied merchant shipping (Britain’s food supply from the Empire) was being heavily sunk by unrestricted German submarine warfare. Plenty of shipwrecks around the Cornish coast date from this period. The U-Boat threat, shipping losses and naval balloon and flying boat stations of Cornwall are covered in Pete London’s recent books on Cornwall in WW1. You can read Pete’s blog Here.

Many Devoran front and  back gardens would, like plenty around the country, have been dug up and put over to more vegetable and fruit production as a patriotic duty.

Other measures nationally included voluntary meatless days and cutting back on the amount of bread eaten, as exhorted through an address from the King George V to be read out in churches like St John’s Devoran on four Sundays late in the war.

King George V, royal proclamation on restraining waste of bread, 1917  Source: Author's collection

King George V, royal proclamation on restraining waste of bread, 1917
Source: Author’s collection

In June 1917, the Devoran parish magazine notes that Miss Netta Pascoe, part of the Girl’s Guild at the Church “has left home to take up farm work under the National Service Scheme“, a forerunner of the WLA ‘Land Girls’ in WW2. Netta Pascoe, born in 1899, had already lost a brother, William Donald Pascoe in army training in 1915 (see Devoran WW1 casualty names K to P).

The National Service Scheme for farm work (set up by Meriel Talbot) was established within a time scheme which matches closely Netta Pascoe’s departure date  is described on this Land Army website. The scheme helped replace many farmers and their men who had been called up. A National Archives short film can be seen here http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/national-service-womens-land-army/

The Devoran parish magazine requests parishioners in July 1917 to support the war effort by “most careful observance of our food rations, by less grumbling” about what food is not available (Hotten, p.63). Food prices had increased steadily throughout the war, along with several poor harvests and loss of shipping to create a food crisis in Britain, threatening the war effort. A 1918 ration book belonging to Elizabeth Hotten’s father is illustrated on p.64 of her book, one late solution to this problem that would recur in WW2.

WW1 adult (brown) and child (green) British ration books 1918 (from the author’s collection)

In August 1917 the newsletter exhorts the people of Devoran (Hotten, p. 65):

As Germany is threatening to win the War through her submarines, it is the duty of all of us who have fruit and vegetables to bottle and dry the same for future use.

Along with a Cornwall County War Agriculture Committee, a Truro District War Agricultural Committee had been established by 1916. Along with the efforts of the various volunteer groups such as the fundraisers of the British Red Cross Society, this helped encourage food production and fundraising for the war effort.

Devoran in WW1 was still largely a rural area with declining industry and marine trades. Eventually a national Food Controller and Fuel Controller would inevitably have an effect on the everyday coal and food supplies available to Devoran families and to other areas such as heating the church and school. There is more about this topic throughout Elizabeth Hotten and Pete London’s books.

At the Sunday School Anniversary service on Sunday 11 August 1918, gifts of eggs,cakes and flowers were donated by Devoran families to local hospitals  (Hotten, p.75) caring for troops, including the Royal Cornwall Infirmary (now Treliske Hospital) and the Naval Hospital at Truro,  (then a Union workhouse recently converted to flats on Tregolls Road).

Empire Day was again celebrated in Devoran School on 24 May 1918 with an address or assembly to the village pupils, many of whose older brothers were involved, given by the Headteacher Mr W.R. Cock on the fighting efforts of the British Empire. Mr Cock is later pictured speaking at the handover by Viscount Clifton of the War Memorial Recreation Ground in September 1919, in memory of Devoran’s fallen men (see our recreation ground blog post). The heir of the local landowners who had shaped much of the village, the Agar-Robartes family of Lanhydrock, Tommy Agar- Robartes, had also been killed during the First World War.

National Savings WW1
After the war’s end, the parish magazine notes that the day school is involved in Devoran War Savings Association, collecting £100 by October 1918 as part of the National War Savings Scheme. Little notes about salvage and savings can be found printed on the back of WW1 ration books. A certificate from a later version of this National Savings scheme in WW2 can still be seen hanging in the Village Hall.

Onwards Christian Soldiers
The local vicar or Parish Priest of St. John’s Church Devoran, Mr. John R. Jones, is featured on the village Roll of Honour and pictured several times in Ralph and Marie Bird’s Devoran and its River: A Photographic History (Truran, 2008). He served as a chaplain to the Wessex Brigade and in military hospitals (probably in the Salisbury area) and army camps at Sutton Veny in 1917, working alongside the Church of England’s Men’s Society, similar to the YMCA.

Rev. John Jones notes some ex-pat surnames amongst some of the troops, some originating in Cornish emigrant families amongst the strong presence of Australian and Empire /Colonial troops at Sutton Veny, so close to Salisbury Plain’s training areas. There is more about WW1 and the army camps at Sutton Veny on their website http://www.suttonveny.co.uk, along with postcards of the vicarage garden full of soldiers. One of the postcards is from a Cecil to an address at Princetown, the Dartmoor Prison area where Devoran WW1 casualty H. Cecil White’s prison warder father served – a distant coincidence, when 1000s of troops were based here.

Engineering and Industry Links
Nearby Bassett Foundry or Visick’s Yard, until recently a light industrial site, had wartime engineering work in WW1 and WW2. A photograph of women workers in the RIC (Royal Institution of Cornwall) shown in Bob Acton’s Exploring Cornwall’s Tramway Trails book 2 is captioned “photograph taken at the Bassett Foundry site, probably during WW1. The women appear to be cleaning trench mortar bomb warheads.”

Roll of Honour of Devoran men who served in WW1, Devoran Village Hall

Devoran Village Hall, centre of many activities in the village  , is built in an old railway engine workshop from the Redruth and Chasewater railway which closed during the First World War. Being an old Victorian building, there are plans for improvement 

Surviving proudly on its wall inside is the Devoran village and parish roll of honour:

Devoran Roll of Honour 1914-18, Devoran village hall (photographed : Mark Norris, 2013)

Devoran Roll of Honour 1914-18, Devoran village hall (photographed : Mark Norris, 2013)

Hereunder are recorded the names of those officers, NCOs and men on active service of the Parish of Devoran who served their King and Country in the Great War.

Written above the list of names is a line of Latin, now famous from the title of a Wilfred Owen poem about gassed soldiers:

Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori.

Translated, this means “A sweet and fitting thing it is to die for your native land”.

I remember puzzling through this Owen poem at school, struck by the similarity to my old school motto (chosen for an upcountry ex-grammar school, built in 1914) that survived oddly into comprehensive days, the motto shortened to Fas et Patria – ‘Duty and Country’. We stared at similar roll of honour boards on our school hall wall during long assemblieslisting the names of the fallen schoolboys and teachers. As it was pointed out to us in Armistice week, many of them were little older than our teenage selves.

Against several of the Devoran list of such names are the letters RIP. These recorded as war dead on the village war memorial or inside church plaque; these RIP names of the war dead are covered in my other blog posts on this site. The Devoran village hall roll of honour is written in an ornate calligraphy script (by ‘GLB’ – see note below) so I hope the transcribed initials are correct. I will correct any mistakes notified.

There are some good Cornish names here. Many of the names are still in the village or  on the school registers like the Marshall or the Woolcock families. Many such as the Dungey family (horse bus owners) or Brabyn family (boatbuilders) can be found throughout the school photograph and captions in the photographic history Devoran and its River book by Ralph and Marie Bird, published by Truran.

I’m sure many of the men named on the Roll of Honour can be seen in the Devoran School photographs from the 1890s onwards, in the church choir with the the Vicar Mr Jones  and many WW1 survivors with medal stripes in the Home Guard photograph from the 1940s. There is more by and about Mr Jones as a forces chaplain and about  Devoran parish affairs in WW1 in Elizabeth Hotten’s selection of parish magazine entries in her book Cornwall at War. 

The Devoran Parish Roll of Honour 

J.G. Adams RIP

S. Allen

W. Apps RIP

W. Bettison

H.G. Bennetts

C. Brabyn – see note below

R.W. Bryant

F. Bryant

T.A. Bryant

E. Bray

R.J. Bilkey RIP

E.R. Burley

W.C. Burrow

J.H. Bilkey

F.W. Burton

W.H. Burrell

T.H. Barnes

A.G. Coad

T. Coad

C.C. Coad

W.G.E. Coad

C. Coad

F.C. Currow

F.O. Cortis

A.E. Crocker RIP

R.H. Crocker

G. Crocker RIP

J.H. Crocker – see note below

T.H. Crocker

L.G. Clift

F. Cook

R.T. Dingle

C. Dungey

A.E. Dungey

W.J. Dunstan RIP

H.J. Dunstan or N.J. Dunstan

G. Dudley

W.J.T. Davey RIP

M. Deeble

J. Eddy

R. Evans

W.J. Ferris

W.G. Geach

A.J. Gill

H. Gray

E.E. Gay

W. Gay

E. Harris

W. Hamblyn

D.D. Hitchens

W.H. Hitchens

B.G. Hitchens

J. Hitchens

T.H. Hitchens

D. Hancock

F.G. Hancock

P. Hawke

J.E. Hitchens RIP

Rev. J.R. Jones, vicar

J.H. Jory

S. Jose

G. Jose

J. Johnson RIP

R. Kellow

J. Lewarne

E.A. Lilly

C.H. Lock

G. Martin RIP

S.S. Martin

W. Mitchell

T. Mitchell

E. Marshall RIP

W.C. Marshall

C. Marshall

P. Marshall

P. Nicholls

A. Opie

W.T.B. Peters RIP

S. Perkins

O.H. Pinnock

W.J. Phillips

E.J.H. Phillips

A. Phillips

W.T. Pollard

W.D. Pascoe RIP

L.M. Pascoe

J.P. Paynter RIP

A.C. Peneluna

W.J. Pengelly

C.M. Rogers RIP

F. Ruberry

W. Russel

T. Rundle

R. Stephens RIP

W. Sandwell

K.G. Sampson

R.J. Sampson

W.J. Stephens

J. Stephens

W.J. Stephens

C.M. Shepherd

M. Short

J.M.S. Skewes

M.C. Smith

A.W. Thornton

S.C. Trenhaile

P. Trenoweth

C. Trenoweth

N.or H. Trenoweth

S.W. Thorn

R.C. Tyack

T. Tyack

T.J. Trebilcock

A.G. Tregaskis

H. Tregaskis

R. Vinicomb

H.C.H. Wasley

W.J. Webber

G.H. White

H.C. White RIP

W. White

T.H. Williams

F.J. Williams

R. Williams

P.J. Woodward

E. Woolcock

W.C. Woolcock

F.G. Webb RIP

Mercantile Marine   (N.B. the old name for what is now called Merchant Navy)

T.H.Kemp – N.B. see below, later a WW2 casualty

F.W. Kemp

G. Lloyd

E. Searle

T.J.E. Woolcock

A. Mitchell

—————–

The Roll of Honour only features the men of the parish and no record of any women who may have served or undertaken war work, such as nursing as mentioned of Gwendoline Edwards (see previous blog post on a wartime marriage).

The identity of the GLB who did the Roll of Honour calligraphy might well be Gwendoline Layton Blunt, the married name of our BRCS Red Cross nurse Gwendoline Edwards, daughter of Dr. Edwards of Edwards House, Devoran Lane.

It strikes me as the sort of project that might appeal to someone who had served in a motor ambulance unit and had married a serviceman. She had family still in the area such as her doctor father and who had both the society position, the leisure, literacy and accomplished ‘lady’ craft skills to do this tribute, even if she was living away in Hertfordshire. Gwendoline would have known many of these men of her generation through her father’s role in the village. Without taking the back off etc to check for dates and signatures on what may well be fragile, this is a good working theory for now.

Where we can find out details of the war service of those who survived, I will post these onto separate blog posts over the next year or so.   For example, the C. Brabyn listed here may well have served through WW1 in the navy and be shipwright Charles Brabyn who died on active service on HMS Courageous in September 1939. Born in 1890, he had Long Service medals awarded in 1929 – see our Devoran Second World War Casualties A to R   

LIke Charles Brabyn, Thomas Harold Kemp died at sea during World War Two according to http://www.cwgc.org records for T H Kemp. His name is recorded on a brass plaque inside the Devoran parish church  – see again our Devoran Second World War Casualties A to R   

During restoration in 2015, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Devoran Railway Festival,  a third handwritten panel was found behind the Roll of Honour.  This was possibly a first attempt with more information than could finally fit into the finished Roll of Honour. We will research this further in 2015/16.

Ongoing Research

Among the blog posts you will find more biographical information and I am happy to add more as it emerges (e.g. via the contact form). For example, several Crockers died in WW1 yet  J.H. Crocker survived the war; John Henry Crocker (b.1894) a tin smelter from Point served in the 10th Service battalion DCLI Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry  “Cornwall Pioneers” and Hants (Hampshire)  Regiment. A glimpse of a job from a vanished industrial Devoran …

Finally, a subject for another Blogpost, the Second World War National Savings certificate in the Village Hall for the Devoran Village Savings Group 1940-1964:

National Savings Group Certificate Devoran WW2 and postwar (Photo: Mark Norris, 2013)

National Savings Group Certificate Devoran WW2 and postwar (Photo: Mark Norris, 2013)

Other Devoran related wartime casualties and a wartime marriage

The CWGC website http://www.cwgc.org reveals an interesting number of other Devoran and local names of wartime casualties when ‘Devoran’ is used as an additional information keyword. Some of these names appear on the Kea church war memorial; others may be listed on Feock War Memorial.

A new panel section has been added by Feock Parish Council in October 2014 to the Devoran War Memorial to add new names as research uncovers any missing Devoran casualties.

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.

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.

Other WW1 / First World War casualties

Major Francis Gordon Grant Thoyts 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, India medal, died aged 44 on 26 August 1914. He is commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre-Memorial, France to those who died in the first three months of fighting in this area in 1914.

Bob Richards suggests that his connection may not have been very strong to the Devoran area.

Born around 1870, Thoyts was a professional soldier, the holder of the India Medal (Chitral) and the son of Colonel N.B. Thoyts. He is listed on the CWGC site as the husband of Irene Margaret Thoyts, Tregye Farm, Devoran.

Lance Corporal Edgar Frances Medley,
883217, 31st Battalion Canadian Infantry died aged 39 on 27 May 1918.
Another name that crops up on a CWGC search under the name ‘Devoran’ is Edgar Medley but his connection appears at the moment quite slim.

Born c. 1879 in Toxteth Liverpool, he is the only CWGC burial in Innisfail Bowden Chalak Farm Cemetery, Alberta, Canada. Intriguingly the CWGC website records that ‘recent research shows he is buried here.’ he married in 1905 in Banff, Canada where he seems to have spent most of his life. He is listed as the husband of Louise Maude Medley, Innisfail, Alberta.

The Devoran connection on the CWGC website appears to be his mother Mrs Gifford Johnson of Devoran. Born Catherine Scott in Malta, she had remarried a Mr Gifford Johnson by the time of her son’s death.

Percy Sweet

Rifleman Percy Archibald Sweet

Percy Sweet has been included on the additional panel to the Devoran War Memorial, despite not appearing on the Devoran Roll of Honour.

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

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

Rifleman Percy Archibald Sweet 474189 of the 12th London Regiment (The Rangers) was killed aged 31 on 9 April 1917 during the battle (7-9 April) to take the French village of Neuville Vitasse by the 56th (London) Division. He is buried at plot 1 A 35 with many other London Rangers in the London Cemetery, Neuville Vitasse.

Percy Sweet's headstone, London Cemetery  (Image copyright TWGPP/CWGC, The War Graves Photographic Project)

Percy Sweet’s headstone,
London Cemetery
(Image copyright TWGPP/CWGC, The War Graves Photographic Project)

Percy Sweet’s father Francis and Louisa Sweet lived at Fernmere on Market Street in Devoran. Percy is also listed on the CWGC website as a ‘native of Hammersmith’ London where Percy and his brothers and sisters were born.
His father (a shoemaker) and mother is still listed in the 1911 census working in London but by the time Rifleman Percy Sweet was killed in France in 1917, the family were living in Devoran. His father Francis was born in Kenwyn, Truro and his mother Louisa (nee Pridham) from Southdown in Cornwall.
Percy was born in 1887 and was listed in the 1911 census as a Cordwainer (a leather worker / shoemaker) in London. This explains why he enlisted in a London regiment.

Percy Sweet’s Service Records survive and give a few personal details of his enlistment (attestation) including being issued with spectacles whilst out in France on army service.

Thanks to Feock Parish Councillor Bob Richards for this Percy Sweet information.

The other name that Bob Richards has researched and suggested is  Lance Sergeant William James Hoyle 9554, 1st Battalion DCLI, who was killed aged 23 on 20 October 1914 in the early battles of the war and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial in France. He is listed as the brother of Mrs Abraham, 13 Trelawney Road, Falmouth (CWGC information). He is elsewhere listed (Forces War Records) as born in Devoran and resident in Ploperro.

Another ‘Devoran’ keyword related casualty is Private John Rubley Davies, 8319, 2nd Battalion Canadian Infantry who died aged 23 on 12 September 1916. He is buried in Oxford Botley Cemetery, one linked to the 3rd Southern General Hospital based in the Oxford University Exam School. He is listed as the son of Pascoe and Bessie Davies and born at Devoran, Cornwall.

WW2 / Second World War casualties

Able Seaman Lewis Adams D/J/12221, Royal Navy, HMS Chelsea died aged 46 on 1 April 1941. He has no known grave and is listed on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, panel 46, column 1.
Listed on CWGC as the son of Jmaes and Mary Adams. The local connection is his wife, Dorothy Mary White Adams, Devoran, Cornwall.

His name can be found added to the plinth of the Kea Church war memorial, below the First World War names. Kea War memorial can be seen at thgis site: http://thebignote.com/2012/10/11/st-kea-church-war-memorial/

Engine Room Artificer 3rd class, William Norman Worth, D/MX 51189, Royal Navy, died aged 26 aboard HM Submarine Oxley on 11 September 1939. Like many Devoran naval casualties lost at sea, he is remembered on panel 34, column 1 of the Plymouth Naval Memorial.
Listed on the CWGC website as the son of Norman Joseph Worth and Gwendoline Worth, the Devoran connection is his listing as the husband of Gwendoline Mary Worth of Devoran, Cornwall.

Corporal Peter John Thomas, 7917955, 1st Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Tank Regiment died in Holland aged 24 on 30th September 1944. He is buried in Uden War Cemetery, the Netherlands / Holland. Uden was liberated by Allied forces from the Germans in September 1944.
Peter Thomas is listed on the CWGC website as the son of Harry and Elsie Thomas of Devoran, Cornwall.

image

A First World War wartime marriage

In Elizabeth Hotton’s Cornwall at War, page 49, a wartime marriage is recorded in the Devoran parish magazine as ‘quietly solemnised’ on Monday 16 July 1917 at St. John’s Parish Church between Miss Gwendoline Edwards, eldest daughter of Dr. Edwards and Lieutenant Denzil Layton Blunt of Brampton, Huntingdon.

Thankfully Blunt seems to have survived his First World War service in the RASC Royal Army Service Corps to appear for a second time in the London Gazette (first as an Officer in 1915) receiving in June 1945 the grandly named award of the Chancery of the Order of St. Michael and St. George for his wartime service as Director of Agriculture, Colonial Agriculture Service, Kenya.

The bride had an interesting wartime story of her own to follow up in the future, showing how the First World War changed the lives of Cornish women. Miss Gwendoline Edwards the bride is noted in the parish magazine in August 1917 as having “recently returned from France” where she was involved in BRCS (British Red Cross Society) motor ambulance work.

An enquiry lodged with the BRCS archives for any further information on Gwendoline Edwards elicited that VAD Cornwall 34 (34 might be her number or an area number) Gwendoline Edwards served as a 21 year old from 13 October 1916 as Rank G.S. (General Service?) Chauffeuse until 9 July 1917 (a week before her wedding). Particulars of duties: Motor Ambulance Driving in France.

It appears that this daughter of the local doctor Dr. P.H. Edwards was out in France as a Red Cross ambulance driver. She died 50 years after her wartime service in Kenya in 1967.

Advertising image of a British Red Cross nurse and motor ambulance, Chambers' Journal,  1st October 1918 (Author's collection)

Advertising image of a British Red Cross nurse and motor ambulance, Chambers’ Journal, 1st October 1918 (Author’s collection)

There is more about the British Red Cross volunteers in WW1 on their blog / website, well worth a further blog post!

First World War Casualties, Devoran

Devoran War memorial

Devoran War memorial

This is the initial list of First World War Casualties on the Devoran War memorial (and brass memorial plaque inside the church) as read from visits and photographs.

J.G. Adams

W. Apps

R.J. Bilkey

A.E. Crocker

G.  Crocker

W.J.T. Davey

J.E. Hitchens

J. Johnson

E. Marshall

G. Martin

W.D. Pascoe

J.P. Paynter

W.T.B. Peters

G.  Rogers

R. Stephens

F or F.G. Webb

H.C. White

Look at the Index of WW1 names page for links to more information on each casualty.

Devoran War memorial

Devoran War memorial

The memorial was carved or appears to have been made by H.J. Martin of Devoran, as the base inscription suggests. More is included about him in the blog post section on Devoran casualties.

H.J. MARTIN, DEVORAN  maker's nameplate, Devoran War memorial

H.J. MARTIN, DEVORAN
maker’s nameplate, Devoran War memorial

Devoran War memorial recreation ground, 1919

Apart from the War memorial in the churchyard,  another permanent memorial exists to the men of Devoran who fought and died in the First World War in the form of the memorial recreation ground.

Dedication stone of the Devoran War memorial ground.

Dedication stone of the Devoran War memorial ground.

The slightly faded inscription on the back of this stone seat reads:

Devoran Recreation Ground 

This land was given to Feock Parish Council by Viscount Clifton as a war memorial to the men of Devoran to be used for recreation and enjoyment of the people of Devoran for all times, 12 September 1919 

The memorial stone sits at the top of this well used stone seat in Devoran Recreation Ground , 2013

The memorial stone sits at the top of this well used stone seat in Devoran Recreation Ground , 2013

A photograph exists of the dedication ceremony showing “The Official Handover of the Playing Field in 1919” in Ralph and Marie Bird’s Devoran and Its River (Truran, 2008)

and also on the Restonguet Creek Society website http://www.restronguetcreeksociety.org/images/bsd/d17.jpg

where this photo is captioned D17. ‘The Park’ (or playing field) being given to the village by Lord Clifden 1919. Probably Mr. Cock speaking and Lord and Lady Clifden (or Clifton) on the left. Photo: Jean Lapham.

Devoran Memorial Recreation Ground today , the slope and entrance where the 1919 dedication took place.

Devoran Memorial Recreation Ground today , the slope and entrance where the 1919 dedication took place.

It is still heavily in use everyday for ‘recreation and enjoyment’ by the ‘People of Devoran’ and also for special events by Devoran Preschool and Devoran Community Association  such as the Party in The Park in July 2013.

Devoran 'Party in the Park', Devoran Recreation Ground July 2013 . The memorial seat is at the top of the slope on the left.

Devoran ‘Party in the Park’, Devoran Recreation Ground July 2013 . The memorial seat is at the top of the slope on the left.

Devoran 'Party in the Park', Devoran Recreation Ground,  July 2013 . Taken form where the dedication ceremony took place in 1919

Devoran ‘Party in the Park’, Devoran Recreation Ground, July 2013 . Taken from where the dedication ceremony took place in 1919.

The Lanhydrock estate of Viscount Clifden (or Clifton as the plaque says) lost their own men in the war, including a Lanhydrock son and heir, Cornish MP Tommy Agar-Robartes. He is remembered in a stained glass window memorial ‘up country’.