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News from 1918

People of Ivybridge logo

News from 1918

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



V.A. Hospital, Stowford Lodge

The Assistant County Director and Officers of the V.A. Hospital, Ivybridge, desire to convey their grateful thanks to those who have by gifts of money and articles, as well as by loans of furniture, so generously supported their efforts to establish the Hospital. Special thanks are due to the band of willing helpers (including patients from Salisbury Road Hospital) who cleaned down the house, a stupendous task, accomplished in five days by dint only of very hard work, creating a record not likely to be beaten, nor it is hoped attempted. Much expense has been saved by the patients themselves, who have coloured and painted much of the interior, and done a considerable amount of carpentry. The Officers wish to acknowledge their indebtedness to the organisers and supporters of the various entertainments given to augment the funds (particulars given below). By the kindness of the Vicar a limited space will be allotted monthly to Hospital Notes. The first list of donations and subscriptions is appended. Unpaid promises will be thankfully received and acknowledged by Mrs Clapperton, Hon. Treasurer, V.A.Hospital, Ivybridge.


Donations and Subscriptions – £100, Mr F.E.R.Becker (Director of J.Allen and Sons, Ltd.); £50, Col. And Mrs Mildmay; £30, Maj. And Mrs J.Bayly; £10, Mrs Lindesay, Miss Matthews, Capt. J.W.Matthews, Mr and Mrs H.Alger, Capt. And Mrs H.G.Hawker, Maj. And Mrs Eden, Mrs MacAndrew (monthly), Blachford Estate Tenantry per Mr W.J.Woollcombe, Holbeton School Children’s Xmas gift; £5, Miss Deare, Mr H.D.Smith, Mr and Mrs R.H.Hughes, Mr and Mrs E..Hawker, Mr and Mrs H.J.F.Lee, Mr J.D.Pode, Miss Morris; £3/3/-, Mr and Mrs R.J.Clapperton, Mr A.G.Harris, Mr C.H.Morton, Dr C.E.Cooper; £2/2/-, Capt and Mrs Pode, Rev and Mrs Bampfield, The Misses Hawker (Plymstock), Mr G.F.Pearse, Mr and Mrs Ward, Mrs Orlebar (monthly); £2, Mr and Mrs J.Smerdon (yearly); £1/1/-, Rev J.F.Powning, Mrs and Mr Fuller, Mr J.L Horton, Mrs White, Mrs Tatham, Mrs Luscombe, Mr J.H.Glover, Mr and Mrs Mackay, Mr and Mrs Sincock, Mr and Mrs Birch, Mrs Windle; £1, Anon (2). Mr Luscombe, Mrs Carr, Mr G.F.Rider, Miss Mumford, Miss Nicholls, Mr and Mrs Mattacott, Rev J.Jameson, Mrs Partington, Mrs Friend, Mr and Mrs Wroth, Miss Toms.


Entertainments – Dance, per Mr Peine, £4/10/-; Ermington, Lady Handbell Ringers, per Mrs Hole, £7/16/6; “Dons” Concert, per Mr Gard, £9; Ermington Entertainments, per Mrs Hole, £7/7/2; Whist Drive, Ivybridge, for Piano, per Mrs Robers, £19/10/-; Concert by Patients, £19/19/-; Whist Drive, Ugborough, £9/15/-
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.


Allen – Sherrell – On Feb. 6th, Henry Allen to Aunie Elizabeth Sherrell
Gregory – Jolliffe – On Feb. 16th, Robert Gregory to Florence Jolliffe
Barton – Smerdon – On Feb. 18th, Frederic Charles Barton to Mary Kathleen Margery Smerdon
Kingwell – Maddock – On Feb. 23rd, Harry Kingwell to Harriet Daisy Maddock
Harry Kingwell and Harriet Daisy Maddock would live long and happy lives in Cornwood. Daisy was born in 1894 and was the oldest of 10 children.  She was a founder member of the Cornwood WI, formed in June 1917. On Daisy’s 100th Birthday, her brothers Tom and Ned with Leah named a crossroads near Dinnaton as “Daisy Kingwell’s Cross”. Daisy worked as a cook at Lyneham House.

Visit of the Rev. A.R. Langford Brown, Diocesan Missioner

The Diocesan Missioner, who since his last visit to us in Lent, 1916, has taken part in a Mission in Australia, as one of the two representatives of the English Church, and who spent last summer doing Y.M.C.A. work in France, will pay his much looked-forward-to visit to Ivybridge on March 9th, 10th (Mid-Lent Sunday), and 11th. On Saturday Evening he will lecture on “The Y.M.C.A. with our Soldiers in France”, in the Public Rooms (kindly lent by the proprietors of the London Hotel), at 7.30 p.m.; the lecture will be illustrated by Lantern slides. No charge will be made for admission, but a silver collection will be taken on behalf of the great work being done by the Y.M.C.A. for our fighting men. As all are interested in this work, it is hoped that the interest will manifest itself by a crowded hall and a substantial addition to the Association’s funds.
YMCA badge
The Y.M.C.A. was founded by Sir George Williams in 1841. Concerned about the welfare of his fellow workers (in the drapery trade in London), he started a prayer and bible study group. The group soon grew attracting men from all across London.

Ivybridge and District War Savings Committee

The National War Savings Committee is organising a movement to raise the sum of £100,000,000 by the sale of War Bonds and War Savings Certificates during the week March 4th to 9th, so that the fight for victory at this critical stage may be made possible. The duty allotted to the Ivybridge District (extending to Ringmore and Bigbury) is to provide two aeroplanes, at a cost of £5,000. The Local Committee earnestly hopes that everyone will do his or her level best by investing large or small sums in these securities so as not only to accomplish, but to exceed this duty.
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 target of £100 million mentioned in the parish magazine was surpassed and reached a total of £207 million by the end of the war. These government savings were then renamed ‘national savings certificates’, and were used to fund house building and other reconstruction and development projects.

Free-will Offering Scheme

The balance sheet for 1917 shows receipts £28/17/10, expenditure £14/14/7 balance £14/3/3. We hope to have the organ cleaned shortly cost about £20; a probable deficit on Church Expenses Fund will have to be met and so on. We appeal again for new subscribers. The scheme ought to raise £50 a year, without difficulty. Mr Elcock, Hon. Sec., will give all particulars; he will also be glad to receive the sums which some members pledged themselves to give last year, but whose pledge has not been kept. Of course, the Hon. Sec. alone knows the names of the defaulters.
Freewill Offering – ‘a voluntary religious contribution made in addition to what may be expected or required’. Churches used these schemes to raise funds in addition to the normal collections as during these times of hardship they were finding that normal receipts were insufficient to meet the outgoings.
The Ivybridge Freewill Offering Scheme: Each person on joining the scheme promised to set aside weekly any sum from one half-penny and upwards and allotted a number, receiving 52 small envelopes for the amount to be placed in week by week. A box at the church door was then available to receive the envelopes.



The War

At the time of writing a tremendous battle, quite possibly the last of the war, is being waged on the Western Front. The Germans have concentrated their strength against the British Army and have gained some ground in their great offensive. We firmly believe that that offensive will be held up as all other offensives have been. The crisis however is great, and it is our duty to pray with the most intense earnestness that God will guide, help, and strengthen our soldiers of all ranks, who are fighting so magnificently for us. The Church is always open for private prayer, and at all services special intercession is made.
“The tremendous battle” referred to is the German offensive, Operation Michael which lasted from March until 6 April.  The Germans wanted to capture the strategically important area of Amiens, to divide the Allied armies and to weaken them to the point where a combined counter-attack would be impossible. The Germans advanced within 10 miles of Amiens, a key rail point, taking 40 miles of occupied territory on a 50-mile front in less than 2 weeks.  The offensive ended when the Allies managed to halt the German advance after they were unable to maintain supplies to the advancing troops. By the end of Operation Michael, the Germans had suffered 239,800 casualties, the British, 177,739, and the French, 77,000.

The late Major Bayly

It is with the very deepest regret that we record the death after an operation of Major Bayly, and our most, sincere sympathy is with Mrs Bayly and her daughter in their great sorrow. The Vicar, speaking of his death on the Sunday morning after, said that “his loss would be felt throughout the county, his interests being so wide and diverse; but it would be especially by the Church in Ivybridge. He was a loyal, staunch fellow-Churchman, one who loved his Lord, and therefore loved His Church. His religion was intensely real to him. He was indeed a ‘good’ man. For the second time within a short period God had taken one of His best servants from their midst. When John Bayly was at home, he never, when well, missed making his Sunday communion. On Septuagesima Sunday he made his last on earth, and it was little thought that in the strength of the heavenly Food then received he would be called into the presence of his God. For many years he acted as Vicar’s Warden, only relinquishing office because his military duties made it very difficult for him to attend to his duties of his office. At his own request he was elected as a Sideman, as he still desired actively to interest himself in Church matters. During the time he held office he was most generous in his support of Church Expenses. Their beautiful screen was a lasting memorial to him and his generosity. They left him in God’s hands, praying that God would give him light and refreshment, peace and rest, and a joyful resurrection at the Last Day.” The body was brought into our church at 11 a.m. for a short service before being taken for burial to Sheepstor, where his father is buried, and in which parish Major Bayly had large interests. A largely attended service was also held at 2 p.m., the hour of the burial at Sheepstor.
Major John Bayly was born in 1869 in Plymouth and had lived at Highlands House in Ivybridge before war broke out. He was a volunteer in the Royal North Devon Hussars. In 1913 he was awarded the Territorial Distinction medal in recognition of his long service in the territorials. During the Great War, Major Bayly served with the 16th Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment. He died on 26 Feb 1918 of illness he contracted in Gallipoli, aged 48 years. He is buried near the north-east corner of Sheepstor church and is remembered on the Ivybridge War Memorial. Funds for the Rood Screen inside St John’s Church were donated by Major Bayly and his family.

Rood Screen at St John's Church


The Vicar and Church-wardens acknowledge with thanks the following subscriptions: –
Coal and Clothing Clubs – Mr Clapperton, 5/-;
Church Room – Mr Alger; £1, Dr. Cooper 10/-;
Choir Fund – Mr Alger 12/-, Dr. Cooper 5/-;
Organist Fund – Mr Alger 10/-, Dr. Cooper 10/-;
Sunday School Prizes – Miss Matthews 10/-.
Coal & Clothing Club (2)
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, thanks to the generosity of subscribers, a bonus of  ⅓ on accrued savings was paid to all members who had regularly made payments to both the coal and clothing cards. As only one shop in Ivybridge participated in the Clothing Club scheme, members were also permitted to use a shop in Plymouth.
In March 1916, Varcoe & Sons and Lee & Son were supplying coal whilst Arthur Manley and John Yeo & Co in Plymouth, were supplying clothing.

Lenten Preachers

The most grateful thanks of all are due to the Rev. C.W.H. Sewell, Vicar of St.Gabriel’s, Plymouth, and to the Rev. A.R. Langford Brown, Diocesan Missioner, for the great help they have given us this Lent. Mr Sewell’s addresses on some great questions of the Gospel were most thoughtful and well suited to the needs of the day; and of Mr Langford Brown’s help we cannot speak too highly. On Saturday, March 9th, he gave a most interesting lantern lecture on “The Y.M.C.A. with our soldiers in France“, to a large audience; the collection, for the Y.M.C.A., amounted to £1 13s. 6.; small expenses totalled 2/6. We thank very much the proprietors of the London Hotel for the kind loan of the Assembly Rooms free of charge, and Mr Flemming for so kindly lending his lantern when it was found that Mr Craig’s could not be worked owing to a mistake about the chimney. On Sunday morning, March 10th, Mr Brown spoke on “The call of Home”; in the afternoon to the children on “God loves, God sees, God hears”; and to the men on “Present-day problems and opportunities” – a splendid address, one which could hardly be bettered; in the evening his talk was “On the true conception of God being necessary for the true conception of Prayer”. About 80 women mustered on Monday afternoon for a very moving service and address on “Our time for God.” Will those who ordered “The Churchman’s Bible Reading Manual and Kalendar” kindly apply to the Vicar for the same. Some questions in conclusion. Were our ears just tickled and our feelings but temporarily touched by the eloquence of Mr Brown? Or have we been brought nearer to God, and so more eager to seek His Presence at the Altar? Will there be any increase in the number of communicants on Easter Day?  Crowds heard him gladly; is it to be left to the few to follow their Lord more earnestly in the way?
Problems with technology is an age-old issue it would seem! The Magic Lantern, also known as optical lantern or stereopticon, was the forerunner of the modern slide projector. A slide was projected with the help of a lens, condenser and artificial light onto a screen.

Subscriptions & Donations

(second list)
£2, Mrs Powell; 10/6, Mr and Mrs Chamberlain; 10/-, Mr H.D. Smith (monthly), Misses E.A. and E. Phillips (monthly), Miss Witheridge, Mrs J. Edwards, Mrs White, Mr and Mrs Manley, Mr and Mrs Elcock, Miss Sherwell, Mr and Mrs Couch, Mr Rutherford, Mrs Mugridge, Mr S. Lee, Mr Baber, Miss Gill, Mr W.Dennis, Mrs Stephens, Mr and Mrs W.H. Bowden, the Rev. A.G. Curnow, Mr Dennis, Mr H.Blight, Mr and Mrs Smith, Mrs Giles, Mrs Mackay, Mrs Hoare, Mrs Bullen, Mr W. Phillips; 8/-, Mr and Mrs Burls (monthly); 7/6, Mrs Head; 5/-, Mrs Rice, Mrs Chudley, Mrs Roberts, Mrs Scoble, Mrs Daniels, R.B., Mr S.Head, Miss Dawe, Mrs Turner, Mother Superior (Convent), Mrs Pearse (West Park), Mrs Blackmore, Mrs Crispin, Mrs Purdie, Mrs Luscombe; 5/-, Rev A.E. Day, Mrs Day, Mrs Hole, Mrs A.Edwards (monthly); 3/6, Mrs Caunter (monthly); 2/6, Mr S.Chubb, Mr J.Wills, Mrs Partridge, Mrs Wyatt, Mrs Willcox, Mr Stephens, M.C., Mrs Vincent, Mrs Morris, Mrs Hilson, Mrs Hill, Mrs Chadder, Mrs Daniels, Mrs Walke, Mrs Knapman; 2/-, Mrs E.M., Mrs Penwill, the Misses Walke, Mrs Pengelly, Miss Horton, Mrs Shepheard, Mr W.H. Blight, Miss Hancock, Miss Roskelly, (fortnightly) Mrs Carter Allen.
Donations continued to be received, perhaps prompted by the first list issued in the parish magazine the month before. Many names on the list are prominent members of the community and shop traders in the village.

Roll of Honour

Prayers are asked for the following, who have recently joined up – Alfred Churchward, Reginald Lake, Frederick Mugridge, Horace Newcome, and Robert Edgar Yabsley. Thomas Newcome and Thomas Williams have been invalided Harold Pearse has had to go back to hospital at Plymouth. Frederick Northmore, who was reported in the November Magazine as dangerously wounded, is now at home convalescent; he has lost an arm, but thank God his life has been spared.

V.A. Hospital

The best thanks of the Officers are tendered to the Committee of the Constitutional Club for allowing the patients the use of their rooms and billiard table and for the interchange of billiard matches; to Miss Bartlet and party for an excellent entertainment given at the Hospital; to all who have sent gifts of vegetables, eggs, butter, &c. – these are most acceptable and permanent requirements, eggs especially will be gratefully received. The following “Wants” list is published in response to enquiries: – A pony and gingle, Bath chairs, deck chairs, strong croquet sets and single mallets, clock golf (including putters), small tables (folding or otherwise), poultry and young chicken for rearing. The Hospital has recently been inspected by Miss Swift, Matron-in-Chief, Joint War Committee; Col. Melville, Assistant Director of Medical Services, Plymouth; the Countess Fortescue, President, Devon Branch B.R.C.S., all of whom expressed satisfaction. Many patients have recently been discharged to civil life; they are to be congratulated, but the loss of several of these is much regretted at the Hospital.
The patients at Stowford Lodge were generally the less seriously wounded. The servicemen preferred these 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.