Posts Tagged ‘1919’

Mary Redstone marries

September 4, 2016

It is the First World War and Market Lavington and Easterton’s young men are away from home on military service. But young men from the commonwealth – notably Canada, are over here, learning the coarse arts of war on Salisbury Plain. It is no wonder romances sprang up between the local lasses and the overseas men. Some ended, as romances will, when separation occurred. Some ended with the oh so sad death of the serviceman. But some came to fruition and ended in marriage. Mary Redstone, an Easterton lass, married her Canadian, Edward Bliss Taylor, after the war ended in 1919. The marriage was local but the couple made their permanent home in Canada.

We have a copy of a wedding photo.

Group at the Easterton wedding of Mary Redstone and Edward Bliss Taylor in 1919

Group at the Easterton wedding of Mary Redstone and Edward Bliss Taylor in 1919


We are not certain of the location but we think this could be almost the last house in Easterton – we know the Redstones lived there. We don’t know most of the people in the image but imagine there are more Redstone relatives than Taylors. Let’s concentrate on the three we know.


The Reverend King, Vicar of Easterton with the happy couple

Mary is clearly in the middle with Canadian serviceman, always known as, Bliss on her arm. Are they Sergeant stripes he sports on his wrist? The vicar is the Reverend King who was Vicar of Easterton. It was his insistence on improvements to the road that loops round from Easterton to the top of Spin Hill in Market Lavington that led to the road being given his name – King’s Road. No apostrophe is used these days so it is just Kings Road.

We have seen Mary before on this blog – as a much older woman in 1972 when she visited her old home. You can click here to read that.


Easterton – opposite the church

December 14, 2015

The houses in this post card still stand at the Urchfont end of Easterton, but they have been substantially altered in some cases.

Houses opposite Easterton Church in 1919

Houses opposite Easterton Church in 1919

The central, thatched cottage may have been entirely demolished and a new building erected which looks much more like the one on the right. That now has a two storey extension on its right hand side, rather than the single floor one we see in the photo. The house at the left end looks to have been two semis when the photo was taken. It is now one much larger home.

This post card was sent in 1919 so the original photo was taken before then. We’ll note that the end house has been marked by Xs by the sender so let’s look at the back of the card.

Postcard sent in Septemaber 1919

Postcard sent in Septemaber 1919

We’ll start by saying this has been given to the museum. We did not pay £12 for it. Next, we can’t trace the recipient who seems to be called Miss O Newtlo. Nobody with that surname was listed on the 1911 census. But the message has some interest.


Picking out odd passages we have:

‘This is a bit of our garden on the left. Also infant teacher’s house. She is about my age, a very nice girl and a friend.

It is our H(arvest) Festival on Sunday.’

The card continues round a right angle.


‘I’ve such a lot of writing to do and lessons to get up and mark.’

It appears to be signed K. M.

Now we take some guesses. K. M. was the junior teacher at Easterton School. I wonder if she started that job in September 1919. Comments like ‘I am getting on very well’ sound like the words of someone starting out on a new venture.

It seems she lived near her friend and colleague, the infant teacher.

Maybe somebody can tell us more about these former teachers who predate Miss Windo, the well-known, long term Easterton teacher. She’d have been about 14 when the card was sent and, no doubt, at home near Bradford on Avon.

A Goods Label

July 16, 2014


Today we look back to a time when the railway companies were compelled, by law, to be common carriers. Anybody could present a consignment of goods at a depot and the company would do all necessary counting and weighing, and would look up the rate for the product in a huge tome. The consignee would pay over the right amount and his goods would be labelled and placed in an appropriate truck.

Later, a ‘pick up’ goods train would arrive and would add the trucks waiting to its train and haul them off to a central depot for resorting.

It wasn’t the quickest way of getting goods from one place to another, but it worked.

We have recently been given one of the labels issued at Lavington.

Great Western Railway goods label issued at Lavington station

Great Western Railway goods label issued at Lavington station

We can see, and it is no surprise, that this label was issued by the Great Western Railway. It appears to have been issued on 1st July 1919 at Lavington. Christopher Williams was sending his consignment to Bristol – the Redcliffe Sidings. We know the wagon number it went in and the sheet number.

It would be lovely if it told us more. We have no idea what Christopher Williams was sending.

Sadly, we have no idea who the consignee was, beyond his name.

Perhaps somebody might be able to help us with that?


Edward Cook

June 17, 2014

Edward Cook was essentially an Eastcott lad although he was actually born in North Bradley, near Trowbridge. However, his dad and grandfather were Eastcott folk and so it is no surprise to find that Edward also lived there.

Edward was a child of the twentieth century for he was born in 1902. As yet we have found no certain details of his birth. He may be the Albert Edward Cook whose birth was registered in the Westbury district in June 1902. What we do know is that he was aged 9 for the 1911 census which says he was the only child born to William and Lottie – born at North Bradley. The family lived at Eastcott in 1911.

This photo shows Edward, said to be aged 17.

Edward Cook of Eastcott in about 1919

Edward Cook of Eastcott in about 1919

Edward certainly looks a very fresh faced young man in his military uniform in this picture.

Maybe a reader would recognise the cap badge??

Can you identify Edward's cap badge?

Can you identify Edward’s cap badge?

We assume Edward just missed serving in World War One.

As ever we’d like to know more. Do get in touch if you can help.

A Lavington and Easterton Football Team

March 5, 2013
Market Lavington and Easterton football team in about 1919

Market Lavington and Easterton football team in about 1919

We think this picture could have been taken at Gye’s Yard on White Street. Ignoring the team for a moment, we can see, in the background, some kind of pump and a cartwheel which could well have been associated with the Gye’s building, carpentry and wheelwrighting business.

This is a well captioned photo so we can name the men.

Back row (left to right): Dick Sainsbury, Wilf Moore, Peto Baker, Reg Harris, Fred Burnett, B Gale, Bert Burnett.

Middle row (left to right): Bob Sainsbury, Geo Alexander, Bill Mills, Harry Cooper.

Front row (left to right): Sid Mullings, Dick Andrews.

The photo is well captioned by name, but no date is given. We date it to about 1919.

Let’s pick on the lad with the ball.

Alec George Alexander, born Market Lavington but by this time of Easterton

Alec George Alexander, born Market Lavington but by this time of Easterton

This is George Alexander. He was born in 1897, the son of Richard and Jane. Richard was the publican at The Kings Arms. The family were there for the 1901 census but our George was entered as Alec G Alexander.  In 1911 he lived with his widowed mother at The Clays, Easterton.

Alec George served in World War 1. He was injured whilst in Mesopotamia and also served in India.

In 1922 he became a postman in Easterton. He earned 8/11 a week and his duties involved 15 miles of walking every day.

In 1926 he married Nellie May Ross, daughter of a gardener at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington.

In 1936 Our Mr Alexander transferred to the Devizes area where he remained a postman until retirement in 1957 – but he worked in the office for a further five years.

Alec George Alexander had been a keen bandsman – a drummer. He played with the Market Lavington Prize Silver Band when he lived in Easterton.

He and Nellie celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1976.

Alec George Alexander died in 1980.

May Potter and the Red Cross

December 29, 2012

May Potter, later, Mrs Elisha, was an all-round good egg. Apart from her paid job she was active in all sorts of voluntary ways in the village, even when not much more than a child.

Helena May Potter was born in Market Lavington in 1903. She’d have just celebrated her 15th birthday. The following year, 1919, May had done enough to earn a certificate from the Red Cross.

Red Cross Certificate earned by May Potter of Market Lavington in 1919

Red Cross Certificate earned by May Potter of Market Lavington in 1919

Sadly, we have not been able to find out just what May did, or where. But one can imagine that injured and sick men appreciated her cheery smile and dedication. These happy attributes were something that generations of school children in Market Lavington were soon to benefit from.