Tag Archives: WW2

Remembering Devoran’s William Head HMS Matabele sunk 17 January 1942

Remembering Chief Stoker William Alfred Head D/K52949 Royal Navy and the crew of HMS Matabele, lost on Arctic Convoy PQ-8 when HMS Matabele was sunk by U Boat U454, 17 January 1942.

Remembered 75 years on.

One of Devoran’s many naval casualties in two world wars.

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World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial Photo: Mark Norris

Remembered on the Devoran Village war memorial and also the Plymouth Naval War Memorial to those lost at sea.

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Chief Stoker W.A. Head’s name on the Plymouth War Memorial. (Image: Mark Norris, 2013)

Read more about William Head, his wife WI stalwart Marion Head (later Rowe) and family at: https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/devoran-second-world-war-casualties-a-to-r/

Only 2 of 238 of HMS Matabele’s crew survived the freezing waters. Often convoy ships and their escorts were unable to return and search for the missing.

In January 1942 she formed the screen, with Somali, for the cruiser Trinidad on Convoy PQ-8 from Iceland to Murmansk. The convoy departed on 11 January, and came under torpedo attack on 16 January.

On 17 January Matabele was hit by a torpedo from the German submarine U-454 and sank almost immediately. Only two out her complement of 238 survived. Many who were able to leave the stricken ship succumbed in the ice-cold water before rescue was possible. The two survivors were picked up by the minesweeper Harrier. (Wikipedia entry HMS Matabele).

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HMS Matabele F26/G26 (Wikipedia / Royal Navy image source public domain) Some of the Carley float life rafts  that were frozen fast can be seen midships. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Matabele_(F26)

William Head’s name features amongst the crew and casualty list for HMS Matabele on uboat.net  (based on The Times Casualty List,  9 March 1942.)

http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/person/15190.html based on his CWGC entry.

http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship1257.html

Read their names so that they are not forgotten.

Arctic Convoy PQ8 and HMS Matabele

For more about the otherwise successful Convoy PQ8 (1 merchant ship SS Harmatris damaged, 1 escort HMS Matabele lost), read Arctic Convoy PQ8: The Story of Capt Robert Brundle and the SS Harmatris by Michael Wadsworth (Pen and Sword, 2009).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convoy_PQ_8

At 22.21 hours on 17 January 1942 HMS Matabele (G 26) (Cdr A.C. Stanford, DSC, RN), escorting convoy PQ-8, was hit by one torpedo from U-454 in the stern, which caused her magazines to blow up and the ship sank within two minutes off Kola Inlet. The survivors were unable to release the Carley floats because they were frozen in their lashings and had to jump overboard. Some of them were killed when the depth charges of the sinking destroyer detonated, but the most died of hypothermia in the icy water before they could be rescued.

Only two of the four men picked up by HMS Harrier (J 71) survived.

The U-boat had reported an earlier hit on a destroyer at 18.54 hours and a previous shot that missed. All attacks were probably against the same destroyer. (Source Uboat.net entry, HMS Matabele).

http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-10DD-34Tribal-Matabele.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/88/a2737488.shtml is a personal testimonial from a crew of one of the fellow Convoy PQ8 ships.

http://www.halcyon-class.co.uk/harrier/harrier_1942.htm has accounts from sailors who picked up the two survivors Bill Burras and Ernie Higgins. One source quoted suggests that about 60 crew made it off the HMS Matabele alive, despite the explosions and ship sinking in a couple of minutes but died in the freezing sea.

Remembering the crew and families of HMS Matabele and the men of the Russian / Arctic Convoys, 75 years on from 17 January 1942.

Several more of the crew casualties were from Plymouth and Devon, Devonport being the ship’s manning port, and some from Cornwall such as Albert Victor Brown of Mullion, Edward Lyndon Curnow of Goldsithney, William Doidge of Trerulefoot, Leading Stoker Leslie Oliver of Polperro, Leading Telegraphist Douglas Roscorla of Newlyn, Delmore Truran of Porthleve and Albert Wade of Lerryn. All West Country men whom Chief Stoker William Head might have known well.

Remembering also the supportive wartime villagers  of Devoran who looked after the grieving families of Devoran’s wartime casulaties. 

Blogposted by Mark Norris on behalf of Devoran War Memorial project, 17 January 2017.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

 

Remembering A C B Sowden of Devoran 7 September 1945

Remembering Alfred (A. C.B.) Sowden of Devoran who died on active service 70 years ago in the Far East on 7 September 1945.

We wrote more about him recently on VJ day at: https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/remembering-vj-day-70-years-on/ 

Of the Devoran War memorial casualties from WW2, one of them Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden was lost on special operations with SOE Force 136  in the closing stages of the war in the Far East.

Sergeant Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden, 841889, Royal Corps of Signals, awarded B.E.M. (Military), for his SOE service in France July 1944, died on 7 September 1945, aged 27.

Rangoon Memorial to the Missing, Burma. Image Source: CWGC

Rangoon Memorial to the Missing, Burma. Image Source: CWGC

He is remembered on the Rangoon Memorial in Burma to those with no known grave. It is possible he died from wounds or tropical disease. The Rangoon Memorial  bears the names of almost 27,000 men of the Commonwealth land forces who died during the campaigns in Burma (now Myanmar) and who have no known grave.

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Son of the farm manager at Killiganoon Farm, Alfred Sowden died on 7 September 1945, a few weeks after the war ended on VJ Day.

Plaque in St Eval church his birth parish mentioning A C B Sowden

Plaque in St Eval church Alfred’s birth parish, mentioning ‘A C B Sowden’ (image source: St Issey Folk genealogy website) Alfred’s uncle Samuel Sowden is also listed, a casualty of WW1. 

There is more about his family and St. Eval / St. Issey connections: http://www.st-issey-folk.co.uk/opc/getperson.php?personID=I19545&tree=St_Issey_Folk

killiganoon rightmove

KIlliganoon Farm (rightmove.co.uk website 2015)

The ‘Kohima prayer’ adopted by the Burma Star association http://www.burmastar.org.uk/epitaph.htm is a fitting end to this blog post:

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,

For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

Alfred  also appears on our WW2 section of the Devoran War Memorial life stories.

https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/devoran-second-world-war-casualties-s-to-z/ 

World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial Photo: Mark Norris

World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial
Photo: Mark Norris

Alfred Sowden , Remembered with thanks 70 years after their death 7 September 1945  in their home village of Devoran,

Remembering VJ Day 70 years on …

Remembering VJ Day 70 years on 15 August 2015 ..

World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial Photo: Mark Norris

World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial
Photo: Mark Norris

Of the Devoran War memorial casualties from WW2, one of them Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden was lost on special operations with SOE Force 136  in the closing stages of the war in the Far East. Sergeant Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden, 841889, Royal Corps of Signals, awarded B.E.M. (Military), for his SOE service in France July 1944, died on 7 September 1945, aged 27. He is remembered on the Rangoon Memorial in Burma to those with no known grave. It is possible he died from wounds or tropical disease. An interesting section on a Canadian Veteran’s Affairs website (see http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=history/secondwar/courage/asia) mentions what Force 136 SOE men like Alfred  Sowden did in August 1945:

The surrender of the Japanese after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, changed the role of undercover agents in the Asian countries. Their role shifted to one of accepting the surrender of Japanese units and keeping public order until civil government could be restored. Force 136 also played a key role in assisting prisoners of war in these countries.”

Son of the farm manager at Killiganoon Farm, Alfred Sowden died on 7 September 1945, a few weeks after the war ended on VJ Day 70 years ago today. https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/devoran-second-world-war-casualties-s-to-z/ Hopefully  when the VJ Day news came through, many people in Devoran could give thanks and celebrate the end of another terrible world war. The Sowden family would receive their sad news several weeks after VJ Day. The ‘Kohima prayer’ adopted by the Burma Star association is a fitting end to this blog post:

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today” http://www.burmastar.org.uk/epitaph.htm

Alfred Sowden and many others, Remembered with thanks on VJ Day 70 in their home village of Devoran

Postscript

I have found few records of VE or VJ Day celebrations in Devoran 1945 or how  the national Victory Parade was celebrated in June 1946, so I would love to hear more (through the comments page or devoranwarmemorialproject@gmail.com)  of how these events were marked in Devoran.

In Ralph and Marie Bird’s Devoran and its River book there is a reproduction of Devoran County Primary School’s Victory Day card 8th June 1946.

Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project.

Devoran National Savings Group in wartime

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

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

At the back of Devoran Village Hall is a framed certificate for the National Savings Group in WW2 from 1940 until 1964. Certificate of Merit presented to Devoran Village Savings Group in recognition of notable service given to the National Savings Movement 1940  – 1964. Signed by Mackintosh of Halifax, Chairman National Savings Committee. Looking through newspaper articles we can trace a little about this patriotic village group:

National Savings – Mr J. Kerr a barrister is voluntarily undertaking a campaign with a kinema van on behalf of the National Savings effort and is now touring the towns and villages of Cornwall. On Saturday he visited St. Newlyn East, Zelah, Chacewater, Devoran and Feock … Taken from the Western Morning News 5 August 1940.

Savings Leaflets like these would have been available form Devoran Post Office in wartime. Source: Mark Norris, author's collection.

Savings Leaflets like these would have been available form Devoran Post Office in wartime.
Source: Mark Norris, author’s collection.

Devoran’s newly formed National Savings Group has 115 members including 17 from Carnon Downs who in a fortnight have brought National Savings stamps to the value of £9, 6 shillings. Taken from the Cornishman, 17 October 1940.

doc00753520150120171008_001

doc00753620150120171041_001Devoran National Savings Group during the year have saved a total of £1659,  12 shillings and 6d (pence). Of this £603 was saved during War Weapons Week in March and £372, 18 shillings and 6d (pence) during the months of July to September, when the aim was £300, the cost of a light ambulance. Western Morning News, 7 October 1941.

National Savings Book Source: from Author's collection, Mark Norris.

National Savings Book
Source: from Author’s collection, Mark Norris.

National Savings book Source: from Author's collection, Mark Norris.

National Savings book 1944
Source: from Author’s collection, Mark Norris.

Devoran Village, Point and Penpol War Savings Group saved during Truro and District Warships Week, a total of £1493, 16 shillings. The Devoran Council School Group saved £55, 5 shillings. Miss G.A. Edwards as secretary. Western Morning News, 26 November 194

From author's collection

From author’s collection

On 6 October 1942 the Western Morning News  article gives further background: Devoran Village National Saving Group was  formed in September 1940. The membership now numbers 174 and the total savings amount to  £2970, 10 shillings and 6d (pence). During the ten weeks of the Tanks for Attack campaign, this group invested £303. Two efforts organised as a gift to the nation amounted to £47. Mr G.T. Langdon is the Group Secretary.

From author's collection , Punch WW2

From author’s collection , Punch WW2

1943: Devoran Village War Savings Group, assisted by Mrs. W. Dunn, closed the Wings for Victory Campaign Week with a concert in the Village Hall on Saturday. Proceeds realised £15. Taken from the Western Morning News, 25 March 1943.

Wikipedia source

Wikipedia source

Wikipedia source

Wikipedia source

The Devoran Savings Group continued until 1964 but no further press cuttings have so far been found.

Any further information about the Devoran National Savings Committee would be very welcome; please contact me via the comments page or devoranwarmemorialproject@gmail.com

Devoran W.I. in wartime as reported in Cornish newspapers

W.I. Badge from the Author's collection

W.I. Badge from the Author’s collection

Devoran Village Hall and Devoran W.I.
2015 is the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Institute (new slogan: Inspiring Women),  founded in the UK during the First World War in 1915. 

Devoran Women’s Institute is sadly no more, though the WI survives at nearby Point and Penpol and a Devoran Ladies Club still meets at the Parish Centre.

Viv Acton and Derek Carter’s book Operation Cornwall 1940-1944 (Landfall, 1994, out of print) and its successor on 1945 and beyond, Cornish War and Peace (Landfall, 1995, also out of print) are well worth tracking down for the wealth of information on Cornwall in wartime.

There are a few delightful vignettes of life in Devoran Village Hall, many based on the memories of Devoran resident the late Betty Phillips. 

The W.I. had an important national role of fruit preservation in the days of food rationing, as Betty Phillips of Devoran remembers (p.87):

“picking pram loads of blackberries and collecting and cleaning jars for the W.I’s Preservation Centre set up in the Village Hall to make jam from the surplus fruit.”

The Falmouth WI branch recorded 630 lbs jam collected and made in 1941, 675 lbs in 1942. There are still plentiful blackberries for the picking and still much foraging for sloes, apples and blackberries along the Quay and paths near the War Memorial recreation ground!

The Devoran Village Hall was created in the 1920s from the original Redruth and Chasewater Railway workshops and was apparently informally segregated into a men and women’s end in its early days. Acton and Carter record on p.99 the memory (probably Christmas 1942 or 1943) of how:

“one young girl who attended the Christmas social of the Devoran Women’s Institute being held in the Village Hall was watching the members sedately dancing, when the doorway was suddenly filled with smiling figures attracted by the sound of the small band. Within seconds, the ladies found themselves being whirled around the floor by their American partners in a most exciting way. Soon the visitors were teaching the local girls the extrovert skills of jitterbugging, much to their delight.”

The American GI’s had obviously arrived locally!

Looking through Cornish newspapers through Find My Past’s British Newspaper Arcive, there is a wealth of interesting snippets of wartime life of how the women of Devoran passed leisure time and supported the war effort through social events, fundraising and adult education. It also reveals a few recurring names of busy women!

The earliest record I can find of WI activity is in October 1920 (West Briton, 14 October 1920) witch an established pattern of talks, music and social elements:

Mr W.T. Lawrence KC gave an interesting lecture “Margaret Godolphin and Foott”. Miss Alice Williams presided over a crowded audience and a solo was rendered by Mrs. Parkin.

Another 1920 meeting had a talk by Mrs Russ Parker on  “Child Welfare”.  This pattern continued throughout the 1920s and 1930s into the Outbreak of war.

W.I. News Devoran, Western Morning News Friday October 4th 1940

The house to house collection in aid of ‘Cornish Blind’ resulted  in – Devoran Village (Misses F.M. Bennett and L. Miller, £2, 8 shillings, Devoran Lane and Street (Mesdames A. Annear and A.M.Pascoe, £3, 6 shillings), Point (Mesdames E. Watts and T. Lavin, £1, 16 shillings), Carnon Downs and District (Misses P. Passmore and B. King, £1, 4 shillings) and Carnon Gate (Miss A. A. Webber, 7 shillings)

Devoran W.I.
Western Morning News 17 April 1940
Miss M.P. Tyacke presided, had a lecture on family wartime menus by Miss Lloyd Davies.

W.I. Plays
Western Morning News 22 April 1940
(also in The Cornishman 25 April 1940)
W.I. Dramatic Society “Mirror to Elizabeth” by Devoran W.I. Spring Council [meeting] Cornwall Federation W.I. on Saturday

Devoran W.I. is 21
Western Morning News 13 May 1940
“The Village Hall was decorated with movement’s colours of red, yellow and green … [cake] cut by Miss Alice Williams, one of the Institute’s First Members …”

So Devoran W.I. must have been formed around May 1919?

Devoran W.I.
Western Morning News 23 July 1940
Out of Door Meeting was held at Devoran House by permission of Revd. and Mrs A.S. Rashleigh. Miss M.P. Tyacke presided. Games, folk dancing and community singing arranged.

Devoran W.I. Dramatic Society with Feock Amateur [Dramatic] Society enjoyed a talk by Miss M. Kelly, British Drama League on “How to Make Your Own Plays”
Western Morning News 26 September 1940

Devoran W.I.
Western Morning News 14 October 1940
Lecture on Perran Foundry given by Mr Tregoning Hopper

W.I. News
Western Morning News 20 January 1941
Talk on Trinidad was given by Mrs. ffrench-Constant. Competition arranged by Miss. J, Sweet was won by Miss L. Nicholls.

W.I. News
Western Morning News, 23 May 1914
The Secretary Mrs E.T. Dillon on behalf of members presented Mrs John Dingle with a teaset on occasion of her recent marriage.

Misses M. Smith and Fry (Truro) spoke on the work done by the R.C.I. Linen League. Miss Smith opened the members’ Linen LeagueBox which contained £9 / 2 shillings / 6 d and the proceeds of the gift stall realised £2 / 2 shillings making a total of £11 / 4 shillings / 6 d.

W.I. News
Western Morning News June 1941
Falmouth Group met at Devoran. Members came form Mabe, Mylor, Falmouth Penryn and Ponsanooth.
Mrs.G.T.Langdon (Devoran) presided … a Talk on Indian Women and children was given by Mrs. Carey Morgan. Penryn W.I. would entertain the next group [meeting] in September.

Research note: Mrs G.T. Langdon was also involved as Group Secretary of the Devoran National Savings Group and the Cornishman (20 May 1940) records the birth of a daughter to “Mary, wife of G.T. Langdon”.

Devoran W.I. frequently did well as winners in the Cornwall Music Festival, regaining the Shilson Shield, as reported in the Western Morning News on 4th July 1942.

Devoran W.I. News
Western Morning News 10 September 1941
The Secretary Mrs E.T. Dillon reported that 60 lbs of blackberry and apple jam had been made at the centre. A talk on Cornish Wild Flowers was given by Miss W. Beckett (Assistant Librarian at Falmouth)

Devoran W.I. News
“On the Home Front” page, Western Morning News 27 October 1941
Mrs.G.T. Langdon reported that 424 lbs of jam had been made. Miss G.A Lewis was appointed knotting wool representative. Mr Bridger (Feock) gave a talk on smuggling in Cornwall.
A sketch “Very Catching” was given by Mrs. E. Daniell and Miss G.A. Lewis with items by the band (Miss E. Dixon, Master L. Dixon, Miss L. Miller, Miss W.M. Bennett, Miss G.A. Lewis, and Miss J. Trenhaile).

On the same page the important news: Custard Powder Control
Custard and blancmange powders, cornflour and similar products containing starch are to be controlled soon under a Food Ministry Order. “On the Home Front” page, Western Morning News 27 October 1941.

Devoran W.I. News
Western Morning News, 25 November 1941
Mrs G.T. Langdon presided at the November meeting and talk on Music Down the Ages was given by Mr. G. Raper of Leeds University, assisted by Mr Arnold Tinney who sang various compositions to illustrate the lecturer’s remarks.

Devoran W.I. News
Western Morning News, 30 December 1941
Mrs G.T. Langdon presided at the Annual Meeting when the Hon. Sec. Mrs E.T. Dillon reported that the contributions to outside objects included the RCI [Royal Cornwall Infirmary] Linen League Fund £11 / 4 shillings and the National Institute for the Blind £15 / 5 shillings. Miss L.G. Opie (acting treasurer) announced a very successful financial year …

Miss K. Spear showed specimens of economy knitting and sewing. Officers elected President Mrs G.T. Langdon, Secretary Mrs E.T. Dillon , treasurer Miss M. Palmer. Miss M. Foreman and Mrs C.M. Shepherd were added to the Council.

Devoran W.I. News
“Western Morning News 19 March 1942
Mrs. G.T. Langdon was in the chair at the March meeting when Mrs. Alfred Martin gave a talk on “Production”. Recitations were afterwards given by Miss Miller and Miss G.A. Lewis at the piano.

Meanwhile on the same page of other West Country W.I. news … “in Buckland Monachorum … Mrs Beer demonstrated the making of camouflage nets.”

Devoran W.I. Annual Collection
Western Morning News 19 March 1942
Devoran W.I. annual collection and whist drive in aid of the British Empire Cancer Campaign Fund, £18 / 5 shillings.

Devoran W.I.
Western Morning News, 22 September 1942.
At the September meeting a talk was given on “wartime cooking” by Miss Bullocke, who was thanked by Mrs. Dunn and Miss Pellow. The social half-hour included tea and an intelligence test arranged by Mrs. Head and Miss Pellow.

Research note: This Mrs. Head may well be Marion Maud Head (later Rowe), the widow of Chief Stoker William Alfred Head, D/K52949 Royal Navy, who died aged 41 on 17 January 1942 when his ship HMS Matabele was torpedoed. See https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/devoran-second-world-war-casualties-a-to-r/

Devoran W.I.
Western Morning News, 20 October 1942.
At the October 1942 meeting, Mrs. G.T. Langdon presiding, Corporal D. Russell spoke on “Conditions in the ATS” and Miss V. Ross-Crawford on “Ceylon”.
During the social half-hour there was an entertainment of solos by Mrs. E.D. Buckingham; recitation Mrs Richards, and pianoforte duet, Mrs. Dunn and Miss Allen.

Devoran W.I.
Western Morning News, 23 January 1943.
Miss M.P. Tyacke presided at the January 1943 meeting, when Mrs. E.T. Dillon (Hon. Sec.) reported that the proceeds from the recent gift stall in aid of the Prisoner of War fund realised £1 6 shillings and 6d.
An M.O.I [Ministry of Information] film dealing with “incendiary bombs” followed. The attendance included members of the WVS, Red Cross detachments, Home Guard and ARP personnel.

Research note: Various MOI films dealt with this subject including short comic MOI 1942 film by Will Hay, Go To Blazes http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/1423872/index.html and a Pathe Newsreel equivalent from 1940: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/how-you-can-deal-with-incendiary-bombs

Devoran Also further supported Prisoners of War  through a penny a week fund, totalled £5, 17 shillings and 8d for April 1943, as reported in the Western Morning News on 11 May 1943.

Research note: Interesting mention of Devoran Home Guard. A few weeks later, the Western Morning News of 10 February 1943 reported that:
“Members of the Home Guard held a Whist Drive in the Devoran Village Hall in aid of Home Guard funds, proceeds £3, 4 shillings.”

Devoran W.I.
Western Morning News, 23 February 1943.
Miss M.P. Tyacke presided [at the February 1943 meeting], Miss Collier was appointed delegate to attend the Spring Council meeting.
A talk on “English Humour and why do we laugh” by Mr. T.S. Atlee, Perranwell. Miss Joyce Irenhaile accompanied during the social half hour.

Research note: T.S. Atlee of Perranwell may well be Thomas Attlee, brother of the labour leader Clement Attlee who became Prime Minister in the 1945 Labour landslide election. Tom S. Attlee lived at Tullimaar on the Truro-Falmouth roads, one of its many notable inhabitants. As the BBC reported on 15 May 2014, Tom Attlee was a Conscientious Objector in WW1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27404266

Devoran W.I.
At the March 1943 meeting Miss Truscott (Falmouth) gave a talk on “Child Welfare” and Mrs. J. Connor spoke on “Vegetarian Dishes”. A competition “Make Do and Mend” judged by Mesdames Collyer and Harvie, was won by Mrs R.T. Dingle and the Misses J. Dingle and Allen. Western Morning News, 25 March 1943.

Devoran W.I. News
The Annual effort for the British Empire Cancer Campaign resulted in House to House collection £11, 13 shillings and 10d. Donation from Devoran Dance Committee £5. Cake competition (Mrs E.T. Dillon) £2, 8 shillings. Sales of cakes 13 shillings, 6d. Whist Drive £3, 1 shillings and 9d. Donations 9 shillings, 11d. Refreshments £1, 2 shillings. Lightning Drive, 8 shillings. As a result £24 will be forwarded to the Fund. Mrs. E.T. Dillon made the arrangements. Taken from the Western Morning News, 8 May 1943.

Devoran W.I. News
Miss Tyacke (president) took the chair at the October 1943 meeting. An illustrated talk on “Posture and Gait” was given by Mr. Stuart Brown of Falmouth.
A physical training demonstration was provided by seven little girls. A photograph companion 1. Mrs. T. Latin. 2. Miss L.G. Opie and Mrs E.T. Dillon (tied). Taken from Western Morning News, 26 October 1943

Devoran W.I. News  in 1944  and 1945  becomes more scarce (possibly as wartime newspapers reduced in size?)  No doubt they continued to meet as actively and fundraiser throughout the rest of the war and on through postwar austerity.

Occasional glimpses of late wartime activities occur. Devoran W.I. Dramatic Society presented in heats for a national drama competition the short play  “White Queen, Red Queen” by playwright T.B. Morris. The  cast was V. Pellow, M. Head (whose Royal Navy husband had been lost in 1939) , M. Kernick, V. Hitchens, J. Jennings, M. Langdon, G. Lewis, L. Miller, C. Pellow. Producer: Miss M.P. Tyacke.