Posts Tagged ‘soldier’

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?


Ernest Hiscock

July 15, 2011

What we have, at Market Lavington Museum, concerning Ernest Hiscock, are his army discharge papers.

Army discharge papers for Ernest Edward Hiscock of Market Lavington

Ernest was born in 1866 to Edward Hiscock, an engineer and his wife Sarah. Ernest was quite a lot younger than the three elder brothers who lived with him and his parents on High Street, Market Lavington, at the time of the 1871 census.

By 1881, Edward had died and our Ernest was living with his mother, still on High Street. Ernest was an apprentice agricultural engineer.

We know that young Ernest – perhaps a little unsure as to his precise age, attested for the army at Devizes on 25th February 1890. We lose track of Ernest then. No doubt he was abroad – almost certainly in South Africa at the time of the 1901 census, for he was entitled to a South Africa medal.

Writing is hard to read on the document, but it looks as though he completed his term in the army on 21st August 1908.

In 1911 Ernest was living alone on High Street, Market Lavington.

Ernest died in 1936 and is buried at St Mary’s, 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.

The Potter family at home

April 7, 2011

The Potter family (and two soldiers) at their Parsonage Lane home in 1915 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

A close up on the people

Edwin Potter was born in about 1876. He was the son of Edwin who ran the horse bus service between Market Lavington and Devizes. Our Edwin, the younger, was brought up in premises next to The Green Dragon which had formerly been The Bell Inn (now Old Bell House). In 1901 he worked for his father, who also farmed, as well as running the buses.

Edwin Potter

Edwin married Mary Ann Pike in the spring of 1903. She had been living in West Lavington in 1901.

Mary Ann Potter (formerly Pike)

The couple were blessed with children. Helena May was born in 1904, Amy Kathleen in 1906 and Edwin John in 1908. This family occupied a house on Parsonage Lane in 1911 and they were there when our photo was taken in 1915. Also present were two soldiers, believed to be Canadian, who were billetted on the family.

Edwin and Mary Ann remained at Parsonage Lane, for the rest of their lives. Mary Ann died in 1951. Edwin survived until 1959.

Of the three children on this photo, we have met Helena May frequently. She became Mrs Elisha, and taught at Market Lavington School.

Amy Kathleen married Frank George in 1931.

Edwin John married Dora Ellis in 1944.