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News from 1918

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



Coal and Clothing Club

We were able to grant a bonus of ⅟9 each to members who had earned it on both branches of the Club. This is the highest bonus yet given; of course, so much cannot be promised for this year, as the membership of the Club has much increased. The following is the statement of the accounts. Lack of space prevented earlier publishment: –
Receipts: Balance 1916-17, £5 4s. 11d; Weekly payments, coal £41 12s. 10d., clothing, £41 4s. 9d.; Donations, £3 7s.; Discount, £3 8s. 4d.; Interest, £1 3s. 9d.; Total, £96 1s 7d.
Payments: For coal, £46 2s. 6d.; for clothing, £44 9s. 3d.; Withdrawals, 8/9; Underhills, 3/6; Auditor, 10/-; Balance, £4 7s. 7d.; Total, £96 1s. 7d.


Clothing clubs were set up to help poorer members of the parish buy warm clothing for the winter. Each member was typically allowed to pay in a small amount of money from 3d to 1s each week to the scheme with a bonus added at the end. Members were only allowed to buy goods from shops that were approved. In 1916 only one shop in Ivybridge participated into the Clothing Club scheme so members were permitted to use a shop in Plymouth as an alternative.
In March 1916, Varcoe and Lee & Son were supplying coal whilst Manley and John Yeo & Co in Plymouth were supplying clothing.

Easter Day

This was remarkable for the large number of communions made, 163 and for the very excellent congregations at all services. It was made particularly happy for the writer by the capital turn out of patients from the V.A. Hospital at 7 a.m., and again at 11. The decorations were beautiful, thanks to many helpers and donors of flowers; and last but not least, to the children of Lady Roger’s School and of the Catechism, who between them brought over 500 bunches (real big ones) of primroses. The music, under Mr Elcock, with Deaconess at the organ, was simple and good.

Roll of Honour

Prayers are asked for Cecil Andrews, Bertie Roper, and Donald Trotman, who have recently joined up. Charles Broom and Harry De Ville have been wounded, as has also G. Close, late 2nd master in the Council Schools. Ernest Hockin has been gassed. All are in hospital in England and making good progress towards recovery. Samuel Daniels has been taken back to hospital from his home, seriously ill.


George Close served with one of the Bicycle Battalions, fighting near Peronne on the Somme, at the time he was wounded. His battalion was told to withdraw but they were so tired they lay down to sleep.  When George awoke he realised they were being fired on by a German aircraft.  His two colleagues were killed and George was wounded in the neck and shoulder.  When the stretcher party arrived they patched him up, but said he had two options.  “Wait until we’ve attended the more seriously wounded and then be stretchered back to a field dressing station”, or “Walk back unaided”.  George walked all day for 5 miles through a maze of trenches, using the sun to guide him. He reasoned that the sun was moving west which was away from the enemy and where he wanted to go. He survived to become Headmaster of Modbury School, retired to Loddiswell, celebrated his Golden Wedding and died in his 90s.

Ivybridge War Savings Association

The accounts for the half-year have been audited, and show that during that period 752 certificates have been bought at a cost of £583 16s. Members cash withdrawals have only been £2 15s. 7d. for the six months. In addition to the War Certificates, War Bonds to the value of £685 were purchased in the Business Men’s Week in March. The War Savings Committee owes much to Mr and Mrs Russell, who are doing splendid work as treasurer and secretary respectively of the District Committee; and to Mr J. Partington, who has been indefatigable as local secretary.


War Savings Associations were set up locally following the establishment of a National War Savings Committee in 1916 to encourage people to save and lend their money to the government.
War savings certificates were designed to be affordable for ordinary people. A £1 certificate cost 15s 6d to buy and could be redeemed, free of income tax, five years later, representing a very good return of 29% in five years. Lending to the government was a secure prospect with the assumption that the war was won!
The associations worked tirelessly to sell war savings certificates, war loan stock and war bonds. One-off campaigns targeting particular communities or professions proved to be successful tactic. ‘Business Men’s Week’ in March 1918 was targeted at business owners, (both male and female); As part of the campaign, bank managers wrote to their business customers, urging them to take part.


The Vicar and Churchwardens acknowledge with many thanks the following subscriptions to various Church Funds: – Miss Matthews, £5; Captain Matthews, £10; Major Eden, £1; Mr Carter Allen, 10/-

Golden Roll

Joshua Horton and Richard Trotman have made the great sacrifice for their country in the recent severe fighting. R.I.P. Our deepest sympathy is with their relatives; may God console and comfort them. We share too the great anxiety of the relatives of William Reid and George Vivian, who are reported as missing.


Gunner Joshua Horton served with 374 Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA). Corporal Richard Trotman was a signaller, serving with 58 Division Signalling Company, Royal Engineers. Both of these men died on the same day, 21 March 1918 and have no known grave. However, they are both commemorated on the same memorial to the missing in Pozières, France. The Pozières Memorial commemorates the names of 14,655 casualties of the United Kingdom who died on the Somme battlefields between March and August 1918.


Mrs Hawker has carved and given the beautiful new hymn board, which no doubt many of the congregation have noticed. Our most grateful-thanks to her.
Mr and Mrs Hawker lived at The Chantry, close to Victoria Park, and were staunch supporters of the war effort in Ivybridge. Mrs Hawker, the daughter of Rev. Sudlow Garratt, became the Assistant Commandant at the V.A. Hospital. She was also the President of the Women’s Institute. Mr Hawker ran a successful wine merchanting business in Plymouth.
Their son, Captain Reginald Sudlow Hawker, served with the South Devon Yeomanry/Machine Gun Corps during the war in Egypt and Palestine but did not return. A cross outside St John’s church commemorates him.

V.A. Hospital

Sincere sympathy is expressed with Miss Stevenson, sister-in-charge, on the loss sustained by the death of her mother. The ‘Wants’ list published last month has so far brought no response. Bath chairs being urgently needed, one has been purchased and another lent by Salisbury Road Hospital. An excellent second-hand upright grand piano has been bought at a cost of £32, to replace the one hired at the expense of Miss Matthews, Quartermaster. Donors of vegetables, eggs, &c., are again, gratefully thanked. It is hoped that in this respect, the support given to this Hospital by residents in the parish will not fall short of that received during the past 3½ years or less, at the other Hospitals in the Totnes Division. On March 30 the Vicar, Hon. Chaplain, conducted a short Intercession Service, when there was a full attendance. The third list of subscriptions is unavoidably withheld until next month.

Lieutenant Sandford

Lieutenant Francis Hugh Sandford, D.S.O., R.N., born at Cornwood when his father, the late Archdeacon Sandford was Vicar in the parish, along with five other picked sailors, made a daring and successful attack, in an old submarine full of explosives, on the Zeebrugge Mole. It was a most hazardous operation, and although he and two of his crew were wounded, they all got off with their lives. Lt. Sandford is now in hospital in England.
Excerpt from the Cornwood parish magazine May 1918.


Lt. Sandford commanded an obsolete submarine C3, with its volunteer crew of 1 officer and 4 ratings.  On 23 April 1918, C3 was involved in the attack on the lock gates at Zeebrugge which were crucial to the operation of German U boats there. C3 was loaded with 4 tons of amatol explosive and Sandford chose to control C3 manually to destroy the viaduct of the Zeebrugge Mole. This prevented reinforcements from reaching the German garrison there. For this action, in which he was wounded, Lt. Sandford received the Victoria Cross (VC). Overall in this action, which involved many other Royal Navy ships and 1700 men, 227 died and 356 were wounded.



Roll of Honour

Yet another name to be added to the already long Golden Roll, that of Henry Hannaford, Sergt. Warwick Regt., who made the greatest sacrifice on April 10th. Our deepest sympathy is with his widow and parents. Mr and Mrs Hannaford are not only mourning his loss, but are in great anxiety as to the fate of their younger son, Albert, who has been reported as “missing”, and of whom no further news can be obtained.  Albert is an old choir boy. We are glad to be able to announce that cards have been received from W. Reid and George Vivian, who were ‘missing’, stating that they are prisoners of war. It may interest our readers to know that the youngest son of Dr. Trelawny-Ross, who was reported as ‘missing’, is also a prisoner of war. H. Phillips is at home, invalided.


William Henry Hannaford (known as Henry) was in the Territorial Army before the war; Henry’s younger brother Albert also joined the Territorial’s as soon as he could, and the two brothers met up on Salisbury Plain early in 1918. 
Unfortunately, the two brothers were destined for the area, unbeknown to them, where the second Spring Offensive in April was to be staged. Henry,  serving with the 10th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was on the Messines Ridge when the Germans attacked on the night of the 9th-10th. The attack caused 453 battalion casualties, including Sgt William Henry Hannaford. So rapid was the enemy advance that Albert’s battalion, which was over 20km away at Merville, was attacked. Albert was mortally wounded and had to be left; one of the 487 casualties of the 1/5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He had just had his 19th birthday. He died just a day later after his brother on 11th April 1918.
Neither brothers have known graves. Henry is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing at Zonnebeke, Ypres Salient Battlefields in Belgium and Albert on the Loos Memorial to the Missing at Loos-en-Gohelle in France. Both men’s names appear on the Ivybridge War Memorial.

Organ Recital

Our most grateful thanks are due to Private Ellyatt (organ), Private Pattison, M.M. (violin). Mrs Carr and Nurse Kirkpatrick (vocalist), for a most beautiful Service of Praise on Tuesday evening, May 21st. Lack of space prevents details being given. A very large and appreciative congregation joined in the offering made to God. A collection taken as the people left the church amounted to £3/3/1½. This will go towards the sum required for cleaning the organ, a job which badly needs doing. Private Ellyatt, who is the organist of a London Church, is most kindly acting as our organist while at the Hospital, and adding much to the reverence and beauty of the services thereby.

V.A. Hospital

Miss Stevenson has accepted the appointment of Sister-in-charge at the Newton Abbot Neurasthenic Hospital (300 beds). To bid her farewell, a concert was held on the 13th May, when she was presented with a handsome tea service, tray, and cloth, from the patients, officers, and nursing staff, by Mrs Hawker, who very ably and appropriately voiced the general feeling, followed by Gunner Hind, who spoke on behalf of the patients. A cordial welcome was extended to Sister Lytton at a concert and whist drive on the 16th. On Whit Monday, in the grounds, a concert, followed by a sketch, entitled “The Travelling Medical Board” (composed by several patients), was creditably performed. Thanks are offered to those who kindly lent costumes. It is proposed to hold a Fete in June, to which the subscribers to the Hospital Funds will be invited. It is desired to fly the Red Cross Flag, as at other Hospitals. Will any kind friend give the necessary flag staff? The patients were entertained by the adult members of the Parish Church Choir at a Social at the Assembly Rooms on Thursday, May 23rd. A whist drive, songs, etc., helped all to spend a very pleasant evening. The kindly action of the choir was much appreciated.


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. 
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.