Posts Tagged ‘world war 2’

Mrs Drury with evacuees

January 6, 2016

This photo dates from the time of the Second World War and features a Mrs Drury of High Street in Market Lavington with four evacuee children, all looking a bit miserable, it has to be said. The little ones had been sent from their own homes to an unknown destination where local residents cherry picked children to live with them. Some of the youngsters were lucky and formed lifelong friendships with their foster parents, brothers and sisters. Others were less fortunate. We have no idea how these children fared but they appear to be well looked after.

Mrs Drury and evacuees during World War II

Mrs Drury and evacuees during World War II

We are very short of information on this photo. We think Mrs Drury might be Constance Ethel, known as Ethel who was the husband of Bill Drury. They had a house on High Street at the time the 1939 electoral roll was drawn up. But also on that list is a Marjorie Helena Drury of High Street so it could be her.

If anybody can tell us any more we’d be delighted to hear from them.

Cash in a bottle

June 19, 2015

Guessing the value of cash in a bottle was a fund raiser during World War Two. The little game was designed to raise funds for war weapons. We have the results sheet.

Results sheet for Cash in a bottle competition

Results sheet for Cash in a bottle competition

125 coins had been put in a bottle. It is interesting to note that there were £1 coins called sovereigns and also half sovereign coins.  There were crowns as well, worth a quarter of a pound. They are called five shilling pieces in the list. Other coins represent the normal pre decimal currency – the lower denomination. If you had a pounds worth of farthings you’d have 960 of the little coins. Three penny pieces were 80 to the pound. The jar full came to five pound ten shillings and nine and three quarter pence.

Colin Jones was the winner, just three farthings out from the actual amount and he was awarded ten shillings worth of Savings Stamps.

There are other good local names amongst the winners. What we are not told is how much money went to the War Weapons Fund.

Serving men and women

February 15, 2015

 

This year we mark 70 years since the end of World War II as well as continuing to mark 100 years since the First World or Great War.

We are lucky enough to have a list of the men and women who served in the Second World War, separated out into the streets on which they lived. It is a hand written document and covers quite a large piece of paper.

Men and women of Market Lavington who served His Majesty in World War II

Men and women of Market Lavington who served His Majesty in World War II

We can note that apart from the lists, the paper was used for some working out – but clearly the lists are too small to read so let’s enlarge.

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Here we have 63 people – those from The Sands and Cemetery (now Drove) Lane, High Street, Market Place and Northbrook and Parsonage Lane.

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These list the 55 people from Spin Hill and Broadway, Church Street and The Spring.

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And here we have the 35 people from New Street (more often The Muddle), White Street, Fiddington Clay and Stobbards Row.

That makes a grand total of 153 serving men and women from just the one village of Market Lavington.

Emms – Evacuees

August 28, 2014

History is continuous. This year we may commemorate 100 years since the start of World War One and 100 seems important because we have a decimal number system. It is also 75 years since the start of World War Two – not so important to us, but maybe it should be because there are still people about who remember that event.

It’s World War II we remember today with a photo of three evacuees who were members of the same family – the Emms.

The Emms brothers were Second World War evacuees in Market Lavington

The Emms brothers were Second World War evacuees in Market Lavington

These three are Albert, Fred and Tom Emms, from London. They had spells living near Chippenham and Devizes and then the family were offered accommodation in Market Lavington Market Place. This meant the three boys, their two sisters and their mum could all be together.

We have included some of their memories before on this blog.

A World War Two kit bag

May 18, 2014

Sometimes the story of where an item comes from can add interest to the item. This recently donated item is a World War two RAF kit bag.

A World War Two RAF kitbag

A World War Two RAF kitbag

This was found under the eaves in a loft. The house was on Northbrook Close and it certainly must have been there for more than forty years and probably much longer. The person who found it saw the name and wondered whether it had anything to do with our village newsagent. Keith Davis, the newsagent, has the same name as that on the kit bag. He obviously shared thoughts with his sister and they knew it belonged to their father. It was Keith’s sister who brought it to the museum.

Our electoral register drawn up in 1963 shows the owner of this bag, L F Davis living at 39 Northbrook. This is the very loft it was found in although the address is now Northbrook Close.

Lionel Frederick Edward Davis was born in 1918.  His parents, Frank and Annie lived at The Rest on Northbrook. They would have been the occupants when the photo we showed yesterday was taken.

We have yet to discover what Fred actually did in World War II, but the kit bag was issued to Leading Aircraftman Davis L F. so he was clearly promoted.

The back of the bag has a hand written message which is very hard to read but appears to have the same number but may say Sgt Davis of North Brook, Market Lavington

Hand written message on the bag may indicate a further promotion for Market Lavington man, Fred Davis

Hand written message on the bag may indicate a further promotion for Market Lavington man, Fred Davis

Fred, as he was known, became the village newsagent. He was just 66 when he died in 1985.

The King thanks the Children

January 30, 2014

2014 may mark the centenary of the start of World War One, but at Market Lavington Museum we have just received a document which relates to the Second World War. Market Lavington and Easterton children were, in common with all children in the country, given a personal letter from the King on Victory Celebration Day – May 8th 1946. No doubt thousands of these letters have survived but we are now pleased to have one given by a lifelong Market Lavington resident. The letter is on card and has punched holes at the top so that it can easily be hung on a wall.

Letter of thanks from George VI to a Market Lavington child in 1946

Letter of thanks from George VI to a Market Lavington child in 1946

The King is thanking all of the children for sacrifices they had to make during the conflict. He hopes that they will be able to grow up as good citizens, working for unity amongst the peoples of the world.

The back of the letter has a Second World War timeline and space for a child to write in their own family’s war record.

The reverse of the letter has a war time line

The reverse of the letter has a war time line

Thanks, Faith, for this interesting record. No doubt other people will recall that they had one of these letters as well.

The Blood Donor

November 8, 2013

If you are of an age, the title for this posting will bring back memories of Tony Hancock grumbling that the pin prick of blood taken to test for anaemia was not the whole blood donation and that they wanted about a pint. He grumbled that a pint was about an armful.

Today’s item is a blood donor registration card dating from World War II. We have to confess it had us baffled for the person concerned was a Miss B Pye.

Identity card for Miss B Pye of Market Lavington which should have read Miss B Gye

Identity card for Miss B Pye of Market Lavington which should have read Miss B Gye

We knew of no such person, but then realised the address was a give-away since Primrose House was the home of the Gye family. For Miss B Pye read Miss B Gye – Bessie who later became Bessie Francis.

Blood donor information from the time of the Second World War

Blood donor information from the time of the Second World War

The information on the reverse makes it clear that blood donating was vital and very much needed.

Of course, the donation of blood continues to this day. The blood transfusion service makes use of the Market Lavington Community Hall.

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.

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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.

A Volunteer Driver

June 21, 2013

Today we look back to the dark days of World war II when the future of our country hung in the balance, But let us not say that nothing changed as a result of the war. Fifty per cent of the population had skills which could no longer be wasted as they had been before. I refer, of course, to women. Before the war many jobs and activities were deemed to be beyond the capability of females. But with the men away fighting, somebody was needed to do vital jobs at home. Women took over. Sometimes, of course, they had paid jobs but others volunteered. The Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) did so much to help the country that, eventually ‘Royal’ was added to the name and it became the WRVS.

Much of what the WRVS did was in what might have been thought of as traditional female roles – caring and catering. But these activities could be in any location so women took up driving.

There was a voluntary uniform for the WVS, but it was not given. Women who wanted it had to buy it so most just had lapel badges or arm bands. Today we show such an arm band.

A WVS arm band from World War II. It canm be found at Market Lavington Museum.

A WVS arm band from World War II. It canm be found at Market Lavington Museum.

We’d love to know what the obliterated small writing said!

This armband reminds us of tasks carried out by a million or more volunteer women, who turned their hand to any job that needed doing. It was given to Market Lavington Museum by Mrs Pullan of Drove Lane in Market Lavington.

The Black Out

April 20, 2013

During World War II bombing was usually done visually. Pilots of bombers, up in the sky, looked for targets that they could drop their load on. However, they often flew at night to help keep themselves invisible so they needed light on the ground to get an idea of what they might hope to destroy.

To make it hard, the answer was to make sure it was as dark as possible. Sources of light had to be blacked out.

For householders, this meant making sure no light escaped from within the home and material suited to ensuring the blackout was made available by the government. Here is some of this material.

Black out material made into blinds for use at Spring Villa in Market Lavington

Black out material made into blinds for use at Spring Villa in Market Lavington

It really doesn’t look all that exciting as an object, but it tells a story of the enormous difficulty of coping in the pitch black war time conditions.

The material was tough, being made of bitumen laced paper on sacking type material. In this case it was made up into blinds. Not only did the material prevent the egress of stray light (and we can all imagine how the ARP warden in ‘Dad’s Army’ would have reacted to any of that) but also it was tough enough to stop glass being blown into the room should a bomb explode nearby.

These blinds date from 1939-45 and were in use at Spring Villa on The Spring in Market Lavington.