Posts Tagged ‘1945’

Alan Baker – fireman

May 31, 2014

Earlier this month we featured a badge that had belonged to a fireman. That’s a fire fighter, rather than a man who managed the fire on a steam locomotive.

That fireman was Alan Baker, known as Shuner. We have now been given a bit more of Shuner’s memorabilia..

Let’s start with his service certificate.

Alan Baker's fire service certificate

Alan Baker’s fire service certificate

This document tells us that Alan joined up as a part time fireman on 16th February 1934 and he left at his own request on 13th September 1945. We know he was attached to the Market Lavington brigade although the certificate does not mention this. It does indicate that local authority brigades were, in effect, nationalised into a single service in 1941.

Shuner, as an established fireman, was not called up for army service during World War II. But a grateful country recognised his service (and others like him) with an award of the Defence Medal.

The medal was posted to Alan in a small brown package.

Package sent to Alan Baker of Lyndale, Northbrook in Market Lavington

Package sent to Alan Baker of Lyndale, Northbrook in Market Lavington

The package certainly told anyone who saw it what it contained.

The package contained a Defence medal

The package contained a Defence medal

Inside there is a duplicated ‘letter’ from the Home Secretary. That would have been James Chuter Ede at the time.

Accompanying letter from the Home Secretary

Accompanying letter from the Home Secretary

The medal itself has no recipient name on it.


Medal and ribbon


The reverse side of the medal

The reverse side of the medal

We’d like to thank Shuner’s son for donating these items to the museum.

Arthur Henry Sainsbury

April 5, 2014

Peter, our museum chairman, has recently acquired a couple of images of Market Lavington people, possibly with a connection to each other but today we’ll just look at one of them with the good old local surname of Sainsbury – Arthur Henry Sainsbury.

These photos were being sold by a trader at an antiques market and we had to decide if the information given really did make these people Market Lavington or Easterton folk. This was the information on the back.

Information on the back of a photo. To acquire for Market Lavington Museum or not to acquire? That is the question.

Information on the back of a photo. To acquire for Market Lavington Museum or not to acquire? That is the question.

We have a 1939 electoral roll at the museum and the first thing we did was to check out that. Here we see all people called Sainsbury who were electors in Market Lavington for 1939

People with the Sainsbury surname on our 1939 electoral roll

People with the Sainsbury surname on our 1939 electoral roll

We can see, amongst them there is Arthur Henry and we could take a guess that Olive Louisa might be his wife.

This is easy to check out and we found that Arthur Sainsbury married Olive Osmond in 1932.

The Osmond family lived at 12 Council Cottages on Spin Hill in 1939.

Checking back on our 1926 electoral roll we found no Arthur and no Osmond. We think the Osmonds must have moved after 1925 and suspect Arthur and Olive were able to acquire one of the new houses when they married.

As they married in 1932, there was a good chance we’d find them on the 1911 census. Our luck was in and we found Arthur was born in 1906. He was born and lived with his family in the Cheverells.

The information on the back of the photo is thus proved so let’s now see the image.


Arthur Henry Sainsbury on the right. He was a serving soldier at Ghent in Belgium at the time.

Arthur is on the right. We do not know who his mate is but we do know that these two British soldiers were in Ghent in Belgium when this photo was taken, soon after hostilities ceased at the end of World War II. Somebody out there might recognise him and put a name to him.

As far as we know, Arthur and Olive had a son called Robert born in 1935.

The Sainsbury family were still living on Spin Hill in 1964 but Arthur died in 1966. He may have been hospitalised at the time for the death was registered in the Bath district. Olive died in 1993.

Son Robert married Christine Plank. He died in 2004 in the Swindon area.

We have odd bits of information about this family but do get in touch if you can tell us anything more.

Vera Burgess gets married

April 2, 2014

This photo has been sitting around, somewhat unresearched at the museum for ten years. Our curator has recently sorted out some of it. It shows a group at the wedding of Vera Burgess.

Vera was the daughter of Alfred George Burgess who was known as George and his wife who had been born Irene Esther Glover who was known as Rene.

Wedding of Vera Burgess of Market Lavington to Derrick Firmager in 1945

Wedding of Vera Burgess of Market Lavington to Derrick Firmager in 1945

Vera was born in 1922. The Burgess family lived at 13 High Street, Market Lavington. At one time the front of the premises was a shop and out in the back garden there was a photographic studio. We assume the wedding was at Market Lavington. The background in this photo doesn’t give us much in the way of clues.

The wedding took place in 1945. His name was Derick Walter Firmager and he is wearing a military uniform with three stripes so he was a sergeant. Rene and George are on the right. George is more used to working on the other side of the camera and looks a tad nervous. It was probably his brother pressing the shutter. We assume the people on the left are Derrick’s parents. We do not know who the bridesmaids are.

It is good to find a photo of one of the famed Burgess brothers who ran their photography business in Market Lavington for many years.

We believe the Firmagers had two sons. We’d be interested in hearing from them.


Celebrating VJ night

September 27, 2013

Our local people, and others around the world, are just wonderful. They know we have an active and lively museum and they make it their business to support us. In particular, photos of interest continue to arrive with us and amongst the latest batch are a couple which show people in Easterton out celebrating VJ Night at the very end of the Second World War.

The street party seems to have taken place at the bottom of White Street which, no doubt, was handily close to the Royal Oak for any vital supplies.

The first picture shows the lighting for the party.

Celebrating VJ Night in Easterton - 1945

Celebrating VJ Night in Easterton – 1945

Illumination was by candles in jars, suspended over the street – and very pretty it must have looked too.

The second picture has been enhanced to show more of the scene.


Celebrating VJ night outside Kandy Cottage in Easterton

On the right we have Kandy Cottage which stood at the very bottom of White Street. It was demolished to allow the main road to be straightened. That, no doubt, would never have happened now. The name Kandy came from past residents who were Ken and Yvonne – KandY!

The other building in the centre of the photo is Court Close Farm.

These are lovely photos. Thanks very much to Philip for giving us copies.