Posts Tagged ‘1942’

The guides of 1942/43

May 22, 2016

The Second World War would have had quite an impact everywhere so it is good to know that guiding went on and flourished. The local Girl Guides were based in West Lavington but young ladies from many local villages were involved.

They met together for a photo and here it is.

The Lavington Guides of 1942/43

The Lavington Guides of 1942/43


We have the names of most of the young ladies.


Apart from actually having the names it is interesting to see how fashions change in names. Back when these girls were named – around 1930, it seems that Eileen, Jean, Marion and Sheilagh were popular. They don’t appear in the top 50 for 2016. Lily, however, is currently fashionable and appears in the top ten most popular names for baby girls in the UK this year.

Lovely picture and it may bring back memories for some octogenarians today.



The cost of an ambulance

October 10, 2014


In 1942 Ronald Hussey took ill – seriously ill. His parents and, possibly, a doctor decided he needed the hospital and an ambulance to get him there.

But of course, in 1942 this presented a problem. There was no National Health Service. Doctors, treatment and even ambulances had to be paid for. Many were commercially run, hoping to make profits for owners. Even the charitable services required cash to keep going.

The Husseys used the Devizes Borough Ambulance which we think was charitable but still had to charge. And here is the bill the Husseys received.

An ambulance bill from 1942

An ambulance bill from 1942

We can see the cost was £2-11-0. In terms of proportion of income that’s the equivalent of about £320 today. No doubt it hit the family hard, financially. But at least some of it was paid by an HSS grant – and here’s the letter about that.

Charitable support paid some of the cost

Charitable support paid some of the cost

This is the Hospital Service Scheme – the Husseys must have been contributing members and so they only actually had to pay £1-11-0.

But, in all honesty, who cares about money. Their son, Ronald, had been rushed to hospital. A happy outcome would have been worth any amount of money. But sadly, there wasn’t one. Ronald died – he was just 12 years old.

Present members of the family have a great tranche of letters and cards which were sent from all sorts of people. Maybe, one day, we’ll copy some of them for you to see on this blog.

Market Lavington Fire Brigade in 1942

February 25, 2014

We have recently been given a photo of the fire brigade. The caption is a model of perfection. But first, the photo.

Market Lavington fire brigade in 1942

Market Lavington fire brigade in 1942

The photograph was taken in the Market Place and shows the men, smartly attired, standing alongside the fire engine, already an appliance of some antiquity. It was Market Lavington’s first motorised fire engine. And now the caption.


Wonderful information has come with this photo

Wonderful information has come with this photo

With that information there isn’t a lot to add. You can read more about Mr Reg Milsom and the fire engine by clicking here.

We can come up with a few biographical details for some of the men.

The chief, Tom Merritt, was born around 1884 so he was approaching 60 when this photo was taken. In 1905 he married Agnes Shore and Alf, their first born arrived the following year.

Allan and Cecil Baker were brothers, sons of George and Eliza. Both were born in the first decade of the 20th century.

Albert Potter was the son of Frank. The Potters had a farm on High Street, near the Green Dragon. Alf was born in about 1909.

It’s a lovely picture and we’d like to thank Diane for giving it to the museum.