Posts Tagged ‘1915’

Overseas Help at Christmas

December 26, 2013

Bert Shore has featured a few times in this blog. Earlier this month we looked at a very old multi-tool he had – something which may have originally belonged to his grandfather. Today, we look back again to Bert’s own childhood and his involvement with one aspect of World War One – The Overseas Club. The Patron of this club was His Majesty the King. That would be George V for we are looking at 1915. And here we see Bert’s certificate for Christmas Day Gifts which helped to bring happiness to brave sailors and soldiers.

Christmas Day Gifts from Bert Shore of the Overseas Club

Christmas Day Gifts from Bert Shore of the Overseas Club

The aims of the Overseas Club are explained on the certificate.

The Overseas Clun Mission

The Overseas Clun Mission

We also have the banners of six empire countries.



It is interesting that India sent many men to fight for the allies at a time when British soldiers were based in India to attempt to keep order. We also note that Newfoundland was a country in its own right. It did not become a part of Canada until 1949.

Once again, we do not know what Bert Shore actually did to earn his certificate but I dare say men, bogged down in the mud, were pleased to know that they were thought about back home.



November 30, 2013

It’s the last day of November. It’s time to batten down the hatches as we prepare for winter. Politicians seem to be predicting an ‘Arctic’ season – but then, why should they know. But if it is a long, cold winter, then maybe we should hold on to thoughts of better climes – those far from lazy hay days back in late spring and early summer.

Maybe, in the 21st century, many of us do like to enjoy the summer weather without putting too much strain on the muscles. But 100 years ago it really was a case of all hands to the farm work at haymaking time. Producing the winter feed for animals was such a crucial part of the farmer’s year. Without a good hay crop he’d have to cull animals and lose income for the following year.

So it really was all hands out in the field to ensure that the hay days were a success.

This photo dates from 1915 and shows haymakers at Knapp Farm which is sited at the bottom of Lavington Hill, near Broadwell.

Haymakers at Knapp farm, Market Lavington in 1915

Haymakers at Knapp Farm, Market Lavington in 1915

We have a team of something like 26 men, women and children here although we doubt if the youngest child shown did much work.

Light duties for this one, perhaps?

Light duties for this one, perhaps?

It is interesting to note that whilst many local men would have been away fighting the war in 1915, there were soldiers being trained locally and clearly at least one has been spared to help get the hay in.

Help from the military

Help from the military

This is Mrs Baker - but just which Mrs Baker?

This is Mrs Baker – but just which Mrs Baker?

This lady is captioned as Mrs Baker. There were several branches of the Baker family in the village.

We guess, from his rather superior dress, that this chap was Mr Watts, the farmer.


Mr Watts, the farmer, we think

As ever, any further information would be much appreciated.

An Overseas Club Certificate

November 28, 2013

This blog post could be called another request for First World War stories. Here we look at work that children could do on the home front.

The child in question here is Bert Shore

Overseas Club Certificate awarded to Bert Shore in 1915

Overseas Club Certificate awarded to Bert Shore in 1915

Albert (Bert) Shore was the oldest child of John Shore, a Market Gardener and his wife Annie. He was born in 1906 in West Lavington and he probably lived in that parish during the time of World War One. In 1911 the family were certainly in West Lavington with a home on Rickbarton.

But Bert later married a Market Lavington girl, and one close to the hearts of people involved at the museum, for his bride, when he married in 1940, was none other than Flo Burbidge, born and raised at our museum building. The couple lived in Market Lavington and many of their artefacts ended up in our museum, including this certificate.

The certificate certifies that Bert Shore has helped to send some comfort and happiness to the brave sailors and soldiers of the British Empire, fighting to uphold liberty, justice, honour and freedom in The Great War.

We do not know just what Bert did but as someone aged 9, we feel sure he was proud of his certificate. This one was issued for Empire Day in 1915.

The School Run in 1915

April 13, 2013

Many, many children are taken to school by car these days. Let’s not blame laziness but rather suggest that with parents working it may be the only way to safely and conveniently get youngsters to their centre of education. But, as we all know, it does add an extra peak traffic time as cars converge on schools.

Is the school run a new phenomenon? Absolutely not. We have a picture here of a group of children whose parents had decided that the Miss Chinnocks’ school in Market Lavington was the perfect place for them to get their education. The family concerned lived in Erlestoke some 3½ miles to the west. This family had not, at the time, moved into motor transport. The family travelled in a small cart.


We have a charming photo here, with five children and an adult seated in the little cart. The horse decided to look away as the photo was taken but the people all posed nicely.

We don’t often look at the lives of non-Lavington residents but these were Lavington educated, so we’ll make an exception. Not that we do know all that much of them!

The children belong to the Look family. The family had Manor Farm in Erlestoke. The family had not been in Erlestoke for long. At the time of the 1911 census Edward Henry Look was a dairy farmer in Somerset with his wife, Eva and four young daughters – Edith, Ida, Eveline and Hilda. Perhaps they are amongst those on the cart. Edward died in 1957 and is buried at Erlestoke.

And off the children go to the Miss Chinnocks’ School which was sited next to the Workmans’ Hall in the village.

One of our new displays for 2013 is entitled ‘School Days’ and there you can see many photos of school children, posing for group photos or just at work. There are also other artefacts to remind us all of school days from the past. We hope to see you there.

The Tuberculosis Book

February 18, 2013

A rather dull looking brown book which we have at Market Lavington Museum was a very official book for keeping records of tuberculosis. This was also known as consumption and was, pretty much, a killer disease.

A rather dull looking book at Market Lavington Museum

A rather dull looking book at Market Lavington Museum


It’s a tuberculosis notification book

There’s nothing very pretty about the front cover. I think you might describe it as brusque and efficient, but the publishers have made an effort with their own label.

Publisher's plate

Publisher’s plate

It is the inside information that is rather chilling – the diagnosis of TB for a patient.


A patient is named – Dorothy Thorn, living in Market Lavington

 Dorothy Thorn, the unfortunate patient, had been born in Weymouth according to the 1911 census. This sees Dorothy with her Granny, 63 year old Jane Axford, we believe in The Market Place in Market Lavington. Alternatively, she may have been Emily Thorne with parents Charles and Emily in Weymouth. Emily had been born in Market Lavington and we believe she was Emily Godden. It looks as though Dorothy was enumerated twice in 1911.

That might make up for our complete inability to find her on the 1901 census!

A Bicycle Advert

January 12, 2013

The bike has been around for a very long time. Even the so called Safety Cycle, forerunner of today’s technological two-wheeled wonders, has been around for 130 or more years. They represented a form of transport with minimal running costs yet capable of going much faster than people could walk. They were an ideal machine.

The Merritt family of Market Lavington were fairly quickly into bike sales. Today we feature an advert they placed in about 1915

Merritt's of Market Lavington advertise Humbers - The King of Cycles

Merritt’s of Market Lavington advertise Humbers – The King of Cycles

It’s of interest that they show a lady’s bike but then in 1915 many men were struggling in the mud of France and Belgium. At this time Merritt’s were agents for Humbers, described as The King of Cycles.

Humber was one of the biggest manufacturers of bicycles in around 1915. They were eventually bought out by Raleigh.

Merritt’s of course continued as Raleigh agents from their Church Street premises but no doubt the motor side of the business got more important as people turned to powered transport.