World War II
We have information about all those from Stoke who served in the armed forces. It is hoped that more of the details will appear here at some stage. In the meantime these are photos of four of those who lost their lives in the Second World War.
The Armed Services
About 90 children were evacuated from a West London school, and the relationship between the London and local teachers were not always good, as the school log book shows. As the evacuees recorded in later years, their experience was often very good.
On 13th March 1940. John James Bird was cold, tired, not yet eight years old, and an evacuee. The long journey from Notting Hill was finally over.
“It was already dark when we arrived,” remembers James, “and we were taken to the village hall for cakes and cream buns – with real cream! Then it was time to go to our new homes. An elderly lady opened the door to greet her new charges, but she seemed shocked to see three forlorn little faces looking up at her. We realised all was not well as the two adults were deep in discussion.
“Apparently she had agreed to take two little girls and thought she had been allocated Dorothy James, and Winnie Bird. She hadn’t realised she was getting the Bird family – Dorothy, age 9; James, age 7; and Winnie, age 4. But it was OK. Nan, as we came to know Mrs Boobyer, couldn’t bear to split up the family, so another bed was found from somewhere.
“We had a very happy time in Stoke St Gregory. They were carefree days, away from the horrors of war-time London.”
James and his sisters returned to London in the late summer of 1944, just as the V2 rockets began to fall on the capital.
The Home Front
VJ Day Celebration Outside the Royal Oak
Locally made hampers for the war effort
Stoke St Gregory Home Guard, outside the front wall of Stoke House. Front Row: B Hubbard, I Keirle, C Musgrove, R Staple, R Boobyer, E Chedzoy, V Musgrove, J Doster. 2nd Row: S Dare, A Chedzoy, A Nicholas, P Coate, P Woodland, G Patten, F Frampton, M Patten, S Boobyer. 3rd Row: W Dunnell, A Slade, C Yarde, H Cox, M Morris, F Coate, P Peach, F Duddridge, F Champion W Musgrave. 4th Row: F Hembrow, H Adams, L Venn, C Keirle, D House, F Chedzoy, C Doster, G Hearn, M Garland, V Boobyer, F Stokes, S Dare. Top Row: E Staple, ? Broom, B Hembrow, B David, F Chedzoy, L Chedzoy, F Hembrow, E Garland