Posts Tagged ‘Australian’

Australians in Market Lavington – also the Mullings family

May 9, 2016

For some time we have tried to link our local Mullings family – the basket makers – with other Mullings in the south of England. A lead in this task comes with a postcard of Australian troops in Market Lavington in 1916 – 100 years ago.

Australian soldiers in Market Lavington in 1916

Australian soldiers in Market Lavington in 1916


It has to be said that the soldiers look a bit ragged in style. They are not marching in step. In fact they have seen the photographer (Mr Burgess) and are stopped and posing – all except the head tossing white horse at the back.

On the extreme right we see Mr Elisha’s tailoring shop. A young Elisha has the family dog jumping up at her. A close look reveals people in many doorways. Maybe it is Mr and Mrs Phillips at the former hardware shop. A sign on the arched entrance to what we now call Woodland Yard advertises a car for hire near the Market House. It’s a fascinating glimpse of times 100 years ago in Market Lavington. But the back has a story to tell as well.

Card to Mrs Mullings of Kentish Town

Card to Mrs Mullings of Kentish Town

First of all, as often happened, a stamp collector has removed the stamp and with it the post mark. But the recipient is clearly Mrs Mullings with an address in Kentish Town, London and the salutation is Dear Emily.

Emily Mullings was born in 1872 as Emily Ford. She was born in Easterton where her dad was an agricultural labourer. In 1895 she married Henry Mullings. Henry was a dozen or so years older than Emily. He had been born in Devizes but by 1891 he and his parents were on High Street in Market Lavington. His father, William, was a basket maker.

So we can happily link our basket makers with this family.

But let’s read the message,


Message from Ada – possibly Mrs Hopkins

It is clearly from Ada who sounds to have a daughter called Doris.

This was sent by Ada Hopkins who was actually Henry Mullings’s sister. She did, indeed, have a daughter called Doris.

Australians in World War One

August 24, 2013

As we move towards 2014, and that centenary of the start of the First World War, this is a reminder that we shall be devoting display space to that war.

We still seek personal stories and any other memorabilia that people might have.

Today, in particular, we are calling our friends in Australia. We have shown a photo of Australians marching through Market Lavington (click here) but here we look at two Australians who had a portrait taken, no doubt to send home to their loved ones.

Two Australian soldiers who spent time in Market Lavington in 1916

Two Australian soldiers who spent time in Market Lavington in 1916

These two chaps are, on the left, Charles Alexander McKewan and on the right Alf McAfee – or so it says on the back.


The photo is dated September 12th 1916.

Sadly we know nothing further of these two men or of the many other Australians who spent training time in our village.

Can anyone out there tell us anything of their Ozzie ancestors in Market Lavington?


Australians in the Market Place

May 8, 2011

Soldiers from all round the world – members of the British Empire and others – all rallied to the cause in the First World War. Just what the cause was, most probably was an unknown quantity to men who spent weeks sailing to Britain from the other side of the world, to fight a world war.

Salisbury Plain was already established as a training area so it was not surprising that these fighting men from overseas gathered in places on and around Salisbury Plain and that included Market Lavington. Our photo, which we think dates from 1916, shows Australian forces in Market Lavington Market Place.

australian Soldiers in Market lavington in about 1916

This was a very different Market Place from the one we know today. The soldiers are parading with a view of the east side of the market place behind them. These days, the buildings there date from around 1990 and include the chemists shop on the corner and a hairdresser’s.

Back then the buildings dated from the 16th or 17th century and included Mrs Hayne’s sweet shop and, on the corner where the chemist shop is now there was Briant Tobacconist shop.

briant's shop stood where the chemist shop is in 2011

Between 1916 and 1990 (in about 1960) the old Tudor buildings were pulled down and replaced with a car park and yard for agricultural engineers. It was when that was no longer needed that Rochelle Court was built.

But to return to the soldiers. It is no doubt a long shot that any of them might be recognised but here’s a close up of a few of them.

Some of the Australians in the Market Place at Market Lavington. How many of them were killed in the war, or fell victim to the flu outbreak at the end of the war?

Do get in touch if you can tell us anything.