News from 1918 header

 Excerpts taken from the Ivybridge Parish Magazine from 1918 give an insight to life in Ivybridge exactly 100 years ago.


V.A.D. Hospital

We extend a very hearty welcome to the patients at Stowford Lodge, and wish to assure them that we intend to do everything in our power to make their time here happy. Owing to the pressing need for accommodation, the Hospital had to be opened several days earlier than had been originally intended, and this involved very strenuous labour on the part of Mr W.B.Craig (Assistant County Director of the Red Cross), Mrs Hawker (Commandant), and Miss Matthews (Quartermaster). However, assisted by a most energetic band of local workers, and with the help of some of the patients from Salisbury Road, a miraculous feat of preparation was accomplished in about five days, and everything necessary was ready for the coming of the first batch of men on Wednesday, Dec. 19. We are glad to have Sister Stephenson in charge, as many of us have pleasant memories of her when she was in charge at Delamore. By Christmas Day everything had shaken down into good working order, and a very happy day was spent; presents were given from the Devon County Fund for those in hospital, and also from the Red Cross, and the usual good fare was provided; after tea staff and workers and many friends were present, and a very jolly time was spent. Songs were sung by Mrs Carr and Mrs Tatham, Nurse Wood, Mr G.Stone, and Private Clayton; fancy dances were given by Misses Joan and Ruth Cooper; Private Webster was responsible for a well rendered monologue; and Private Sexton for an excellent stepdance, most pluckily performed in spite of physical weakness. This impromptu entertainment was followed by a dance, and the festivities wound up with a series of round games – by universal consent a most enjoyable evening.
In 1909, the Red Cross in Devon started working on plans to create hospital and convalescent homes to help relieve pressure on military hospitals in preparation for war.  By August 1914 many V.A. Hospitals were ready to take in patients.  The first convoy of patients arrived in the UK in October 1914.
Stowford Lodge was used as a second line Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital from December 1917 to January 1919. During that time, the 50-bed hospital had 154 Neurasthenics and 113 ordinary patients. ‘Neurasthenic’ patients were men suffering from what is termed today as post-traumatic stress disorders but at the time ‘shell shock’ – basically a severe reaction to the intense warfare and enemy bombardment endured.
Stowford Lodge was kindly lent by the owners of Stowford Paper Mill for the duration of the war or as long as required. The hospital was equipped and liberally supported by the residents of Ivybridge and the surrounding area.

Free-Will Offering

The first year of the working of this scheme will have concluded ere the issue of this magazine. The promises made at the beginning of the year have been faithfully fulfilled and the Secretary (Mr Elcock) and the Treasurer (Mr Moysey) hope that the offerings will total about £30. We earnestly appeal to all members to continue their contributions in this coming year, and hope that others will see their way to supporting the Fund. The Committee has made grants of £5 to the Deaconess Fund and £8 to Diocesan Finance, and the balance will be available for payment for the cleaning of the organ, for meeting the almost certain deficit on the Church Expenses account, and other needs. The Diocesan Finance Fund is for the purpose of helping forward the efforts of the Church in the Diocese; it falls under three heads – (1) the Ministry, (2) the Children, (3) the Buildings. Under (1) grants are made to poor Benefices, to assistant curates in poor parishes, and to widows and orphans of poor clergy. Under (2) assistance is given to Teachers’ Training Colleges, grants are made to schools, bursaries are given, and Inspectors of Religious Education are principal. Under (3) assistance is given to maintain the fabric of churches where little money can be expected to be forthcoming from the parishes themselves. (We are indebted to the Paignton Parish Magazine for this terse description of the general application of the Fund). The Diocese was asked to raise £8,000 during this current year towards these objects, and our allotted share of that sum is something over£18. Including the above grant from the Free-will Offering Fund we shall have raised about £11 of this amount; a great improvement on any previous effort, but a good deal below what we ought to do. For full particulars of the F.W.O. scheme apply to Mr Elcock, Hon. Sec
Freewill Offering – ‘a voluntary religious contribution made in addition to what may be expected or required’.
Churches used these schemes to raise funds although older records seem to indicate it was also used to raise money to help people in difficulties.

War Shrine

Isn’t it about time we had a War Shrine? Twenty-five of those whose names are on the Roll of Honour have died for King and country.
A public meeting held in January 1919 discussed the issue of a permanent memorial for all the servicemen who had lost their lives in the war. Mr H.J.F. Lee, Chairman of the Urban Council presided over the meeting where it was agreed that the unused monies of the Coronation Fund, Fire Relief Fund and Belgian Refugees Fund should be used for a public memorial. It was stated that the total amount was about £44.


The war memorial was officially unveiled in 1922 in the presence of a large crowd.
Unveiling the war memorial in 1922

Christmas Day

We are thankful to be able to record a record number of communicants and record offerings for Christmas Day; in fact, the number of communions made was slightly in excess of the number on Easter Day. The offerings at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. for the Church of England Homes for Waifs and Strays were £2/0/5½, and at 11 a.m., for the Poor Widows of the parish, £3/2/6¾; Total, £5/3/0¼.
Christmas Day during wartime changed attitudes for the giving of presents with the moral consensus to avoid frivolity.  
People were encouraged to give useful, sensible items, particularly to their male relatives at the front. Gifts such as warm gloves; correspondence cases; safety razors and watches. 


The National Day of Intercession and Thanksgiving

It was good to see such excellent congregations on this day, especially at 11, when the Church was virtually full. We are glad to welcome the District Council and its Chairman, who came as a body to join in our prayers for God’s help in the New Year, a year which we believe will be the critical year of the war, and a year in which the Council will probably have important work to do in our midst in connection with food matters, and in the matter of providing man-power. The collections were for the Red Cross Society and the Order of St John of Jerusalem, one fourth being given to Mr Craig for local needs. The total was £10 14s. 4d. – a splendid effort, the more so when remembering what a large amount has been subscribed during the past few weeks to the V.A.D. Hospital at Stowford Lodge.

Roll of Honour

Our most sincere congratulations to Mr W. Brownfield Craig on his being made as “Officer of the Order of the British Empire.” It is indeed an honour well-earned and well deserved. Mr Craig has from the earliest days of the war acted as an assistant County Director of Red Cross; he has no less than eight hospitals under his care, and these hospitals are generally acknowledged to be “second to none” in the country. Mr Craig has put in an immense amount of time and work for the Red Cross, and at his own expense has travelled what must amount to thousands of miles in doing that work. We are indeed glad that his services have been recognised.

Golden Roll

We very much regret that Arthur Manley, who was reported as missing on Feb. 17th, 1917, is now concluded to be dead. The War Office has notified his parents that “no further news having been received relative to Sapper A. Manley, who has been missing since Feb. 17, 1917, the Army Council has been regretfully constrained to conclude that he is dead, and that his death took place on Feb. 17th, 1917 (or since).” – R.I.P. Our deepest sympathy is with Mr and Mrs Manley, and his fiancée, Miss Hill.
Arthur Manley was born in Ivybridge in 1894 and was the only child of Tom, the local tailor and his dressmaker wife Mary. The family ran their business from Fore Street, originally number 34 as depicted and later number 42.
Thomas enlisted on 12th January 1915 at Plymouth.  He was 22 years and 8 months old when he signed on.  He was sent to Chatham with the Royal Engineers on 21st January.  He left behind Miss Hill whom he intended to marry. 
He served overseas for a total of one year and 145 days.  He was reported missing 17th February 1917.  Later the same day he was reported as officially missing presumed killed in action. Arthur served a total of two years and 37 days before being killed in Belgium age 24.
 Arthur Thomas Varcoe Manley was awarded the Victory Medal (8.2.1921) and the British War Medal which was received by his father 5.9.1921.  It was 14.9.1920 before the 1914-1915 Star was received. These medals are now in the possession of the Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group.
Sadly, Arthur Manley has no known grave but he is commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing at Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.

Additional Names

Prayers are asked for George Northmore, who has recently joined up. Russell Maher has been wounded; we are glad to know it is not serious, and that he hopes to leave hospital soon.

Band of Hope

The Christmas Tea (ration) and Social took place on Monday, Jan. 7. At the close of a most enjoyable evening each child received a present from a big snow-ball, and the workers also received gifts, most kindly presented by the Hon. Sec., Miss Luscombe. The Hon. Sec. presented medals and bars for good attendance to the following:-
4th year. Vera Mugridge, suspender to bronze medal.
3rd year – Bertie Folley, Cyril Moysey, Kathleen Wright, Evelyn Wright, and Kathleen Pengelly, bronze medal.
2nd year – Winnie Moon and Ivy Mugridge, bar.
1st year – Frank Moysey, Reggie Caff, and Dorothy Folley.
The Band of Hope was founded in 1847 with the objective to teach children the importance and principles of sobriety and teetotalism. Meetings were held in churches throughout the UK and included Christian teaching.
Set up in an era when alcoholic drinks were generally viewed as a necessity of life, next only to food and water, the Band of Hope and other temperance organisations fought to counteract the influence of pubs and brewers, with the specific intention of rescuing ‘unfortunates’ whose lives had been blighted by drink and teach complete abstinence.
Reference: Wikipedia

V.A.D. Hospital

There are now 41 patients in the Hospital, and ere long the full number will be in residence. Things have settled down quickly, and all is now in good working order. The men seem pleased with their surroundings, and are well looked after and catered for by the staff. The billiard table, kindly lent by Mrs MacAndrew, has been erected, and both it and the small table are never out of use during the hours in which play is permitted. There have been one or two social evenings, and on Jan. 23rd the majority of the patients attended a whist drive at the Council Schools; this was excellently organised by Mrs Roberts, and should result in providing much at least of the sum required for purchasing a piano for the Hospital. The real sympathy of Ivybridge people with the wounded is well shown in the splendid additional list of subscriptions posted in Messrs Luscombe and Harris’ window. There are rumours of an entertainment to be given by the staff and patients; more we know not, as the intending performers are most successfully “camouflaging” their preparations.
The men badly want the use of a field for football; they have a football, but for want of a ground cannot use it. The exercise would do a world of good to those permitted by the doctor to play. Will some landowner or farmer come to the rescue? Little if any damage would be done to the field; the writer, an old football player, can assure the lender as to this.
The sewing party at the Hospital badly needs a sewing machine.
The patients at these hospitals were generally less seriously wounded than at other hospitals. The servicemen preferred the auxiliary hospitals to the military counterparts because they were less strict, not so crowded and generally more homely in nature.
The standard uniform for WW1 convalescent soldiers was a blue jacket with white lapels.   These were known as “hospital blues” or “convalescent blues” and made of flannel resembling ill-fitting pyjamas and were accompanied with a red tie.  Military authorities required that the garment be worn at all times by soldiers.  However, officers were exempt and were provided with a white armband bearing a red kings crown.

Lady Rogers' School

Has again distinguished itself in the Bishop Phillpotts’ Prayer Book Prizes Examination. In Set A, Annie Wakely is first among the 317 examined, and in Set B, Maud Wilcox is first of 222 candidates. All of the eleven girls presented are classed:-
Set A (girls not yet passed Govt. std. V.) – first class, Annie Wakely; second class, Cora Mutton, Hilda Raymond, Gwendoline Waldron: third class, Violet Ford.
Set B (girls std. V., not yet passed std. VI.) – first class, Margaret Botterell, Maud Wilcox; second class, Muriel Botterell; third class, Isabel Bliss.
Set C (girls who have passed std. VI.) – first class, Dorothy Raymond, Gertrude Wakely.
Many congratulations to Miss Nicholls on this fine result. With great regret we record the departure of Miss Gill, who has done the best of work as assistant-mistress for about six years.


Our heartiest congratulations to Miss Bullen, now Mrs Jenkins, on her marriage. She has our very best wishes; may her husband and all other war-husbands, soon be enabled to return home. Mrs Jenkins has been a good Churchworker; as she is living at home, at any rate for the time, we hope still to have her help.