Devon’s Festival of Remembrance to remember the Great War

The 2014 Devon Festival of Remembrance will be held in The Great Hall, Exeter University on Thursday 6 November. Starting at 7pm, the event’s format will be similar to previous Festivals, with the muster of standards of the Royal British Legion, ex-Service associations and contingents of the Armed Forces, youth organisations and emergency services.

The evening’s music will be led by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal MarinesRBL Lympstone, whilst the “Men of Morchard” singing group return to give another performance after their very successful appearance at the 2007 Festival.

This year marks the centenary of the start of the Great War, which was to impact on virtually every family in the country and throughout the Empire. More than a million British and Empire servicemen were killed in that terrible conflict and society was changed forever.

Guest speaker is Dr Todd Gray, MBE, honorary research fellow of Exeter University and a foremost authority on the Great War’s impact on the county of Devon. He has written numerous books including a comprehensive study of the 2000 war memorials in Devon.

Thousands of survivors and their families were to endure very difficult times during the 1920s and 30s only to be faced once again with the horrors of war in 1939. As a result of the First World War, the British Legion was founded to alleviate the suffering of the survivors. The Legion today continues to safeguard the memory, interests and welfare of ex-Service people.

The Festival of Remembrance is the opportunity for the people of Devon to reflect on the enormous price paid for the relative peace of today. This event is simple but extremely poignant, especially this year, the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War.

Tickets at £10 may be purchased from the Exeter Northcott Theatre Box Office, Tel 01392 493493 or or http://www.royalbritishlegion/devon/festival or


For more details, please contact Major P.D. Williams, Public Relations Officer, Devon Royal British Legion, Tel 01837 840757

Brixham in the Great War

This exciting community project has been developed by the Friends of Brixham Library, in partnership with Brixham museum and a wide selection of local Brixham ww1 a  organisations. The successful application for funding from the National Lottery will enable the project to commemorate the outbreak of The Great War, its impact on Brixham and its continuing legacy, and to ensure that future generations will continue to recognise the sacrifices made.

The two year project will include:

  • Artist workshops and activities with Paul Bennet to create a “triptych” – culminating in an exhibition at Brixham Library.
  • Volunteer training and open day session in archive research techniques – To add to our understanding of home/war service and local impact to fishing industry and everyday life.
  • Drama workshops with South Devon Players culminating in a production of the play “The Provident” written by David Murphy.
  • Publication of Lawrence Lake’s illustrated war time diary – Teachers’ packs – Project booklet – Booklet.
  • Refurbishment of Brixham Museum WWI display.
  • Mobile exhibition.
  • Consolidation of Museum archive and artefacts.
  • Dedicated Roll of Honour on Museum website.
  • Tours of St Marys Churchyard to investigate the war dead buried there.

Brixham ww1 bThe photographs show Brixham Museum’s new WWI display launch and the WWI Bootcamps held at Lupton House during August.

Click here for more information about the exhibit at Brixham Museum.

Louise Cresswell, Projects Coordinator, Brixham Museum,

County Roll of Honour now available online

The Friends of Devon Archives have recently completed their project to transcribe the Devon Roll of Honour documents to provide an online database, accessible to all.

The website home page gives the interesting background to this project, and details about the research and production of the original documents following the end of the First World War.

In short it is a database based on the original county Roll of Honour held at the Devon Heritage Centre, but also incorporating extra information submitted by the FODA researchers and users of the site:

The Roll of Honour can be found by clicking here


for further information please contact Pete Best at, or

Stuart Tyler – Archivist

Devon Heritage Centre  Great Moor House, Bittern Road, Sowton,  Exeter, EX2 7NL  tel: 01392 384253  email:

Ide Rugby Club reforms to commemorate players lost during WW1

ide rugby war memorial rosesIde Rugby Club has been reformed to remember the Ide 1907/08 team and those members who died during the First World War.

The village turned out in force on 5th October 2014 to watch the newly reformed club’s first match in 106 years.  The club was re-formed in memory of the men from the village of Ide who were killed and wounded in WW1.Ide rugby

The match began with the names of the 23 men killed in the First and Second World War being read out by the club’s historian Martin Robson.  The Last Post was also played to the silent crowd before the kick off between Ide RFC and a combined military XV which the visitors won.  Martin is keen to learn of other similar groups around the county who are commemorating those lost from their community in a similar way.  You can contact him at

The Ide players’ kit features red poppies, and the names of the men killed in both wars are printed on their blue shirts.  Read about the original team members here.

The Ide skipper was Scott Voysey is the great nephew of John Edwin Voysey who was captain of the old Ide team that played for just two seasons in 1907-8 and who was killed in 1917.  Other relatives and descendants of men killed in WW1 also attended the match at Weir Meadow.ide rugby1908

Read the Telegraph article about the reformed Ide Rugby Team and their first match on 5th October 2014 here

Read the Express & Echo article about the first match here

For further information about the Club, visit : 

Our twitter feed is: @iderfc

Follow the club’s journey on Facebook: Ide rugby football club

Devon’s Youth Remembers during Poppy Parade on 1st November

The Youth of Devon will be parading down the High Street, Exeter on Saturday 1st November at 11.30am in commemoration of World War One and in particular the 900+ servicemen from Exeter who lost their lives during that conflict.

Cadets, Scouts and Guides from all over Devon, as well as local schools have been invited to participate in this event, which is being organised by the Devon Branch of the Royal British Legion.

As the parade marches past the Guildhall, where the Salute will be taken by the Lord Mayor of Exeter (Cllr Percy Prowse) and Lord Lieutenant of Devon (Sir Eric Dancer), a poppy drop will take place, showering the youth with poppy petals.

The parade will then continue onto the Cathedral Green where a small ceremony will take place, followed by the laying of crosses of remembrance.

Lord Mayor says: ‘The Lord Mayor is looking forward to welcome all the participants for this unique parade to our City.  It should be very proud day for the City’


For further information, please contact the Lord Mayor’s Office, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1JN.  Email: Tel: 01392 265524 Mobile: 07720465895

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Exciting Job Opportunity to help communities research the First World War

Everyday Lives in War: Experience and Memory During the First World War

The University of Exeter wishes to recruit an Associate Research Fellow to support the work of Professor Henry French in collaboration with University of Hertfordshire’s AHRC-funded First World War Engagement Centre. This post is available from 1st November 2014 on a fixed term basis at 7 hours per week until 31st December 2016. This post will be based at the University of Exeter.

The Centre aims to connect and encourage academic and community research on the First World War as part of the centenary. Everyday Lives in War will help communities to research the effects of war on daily life between 1914 and 1918, and the legacies of the conflict. The post is offered from 1st November 2014 for 26 months part-time. Applications from all humanities and social science fields are welcome.

Postdoctoral fellows should have an academic interest in the First World War and its legacies, centenaries and commemoration, or public history; possess excellent communication skills in varied registers, in order to work effectively with community history groups and heritage organisations; experience of working in public history contexts; will be expected to carry out their own research leading to publications in a field related to the First World War in journals of international/national standing; have experience of working independently and  managing a varied workload, and to work on collaborative outputs – such as the project’s website.

For further information about the post, please click here to view the full advertisement on the University of Exeter website.

We Will Remember… the Poppy Banner

The Devon ‘We Will Remember’ Banner has now topped 1,000 poppies donated by people in Devon for relatives who served in WW1.

The banner continues to grow  having 2 new side banners added to enable more lives to be commemorated.

There are a few ‘rogue’ Poppies on the Banner- one in particular from a child of about seven years of age. This little boy came with his Mum and viewed the Banner looked at the memorabillia and decided he too would like to write a Poppy, with no one in his family that they knew of to dedicate the Poppy to, a long discussion ensued, eventually the little boy said in a clear and very determined voice that he wanted to donate the Poppy to Williams daddy . William had been his best friend in Nursery and Williams daddy had been killed in Afganistan 3 weeks after William was born. Needless to say the Poppy is a very important addition to the Banner.

One little girl added her tribute by covering the poppy with kisses – very appropriate and what many people would have liked to do.

A young man came to one of the church venues and wanted to add his tribute – the Poppy was written to remember Harry Patch , Harry had been to this young mans school and had obviously made a very lasting impression. A Howells - poppy banner

Photograph: Adrienne Howells with the Poppy Banner at the RAMM, Exeter

The Banner has proved incredibly popular with everybody , the idea of being able to dedicate a Poppy to someone and have the Poppy added to a public County Commemoration gives great comfort to the older generation .

The younger generation are fascinated by the stories collected and have been eager to add family Poppies to the Banner. Not everyone is able to travel to London and the ‘We Will Remember’ Banner is Devon’s answer to the Poppies in The Moat.

See the attached schedule of exhibitions where you may visit the Poppy Banner over the next few weeks.

For more information about the Banner, please contact Adrienne Howells at

Devon Library involved in national Digital War Memorial Project

Devon’s library service has been one of 10 national pathfinders piloting how libraries can work with artists and communities to explore the meaning of the First World War within local communities.  We have worked with DAISI (Devon Arts in Schools) and artists in Cullompton on a piece of work that has engaged local children, a dementia group and artists in uncovering the part  that Cullompton played at that time.

The material has now been uploaded to HistoryPin, along with the pathfinders from across the country.  It’s available at    The Devon contribution is available by clicking on the tab marked ‘More than we can well imagine home here’.  In addition, relevant ‘pins’ have been added to the map with different content relating to Cullompton.

We are officially launching the site at the British Library on 8th September at an event which will be attended by Ed Vaizey, the Libraries and Culture Minister and Alan Davey, Chief Executive of the Arts Council (who have funded the pathfinders with a grant of £200K) with local representation from the project team led by Lesley Salter, one of our Development Officers, and Councillor Roger Croad.

Our aspiration is to enable library services across England to work in the same way so that we have a digital war memorial reflecting libraries’ deep engagement with their local communities.


For further information about the project, please contact Lesley Salter on 01392 383000.

Diary of the Great War

Anna Matthews, from Exeter, has been compiling an interesting day-by-day diary of the events of the First World War which can be viewed at:

One hundred years on, this site publishes day-by-day accounts of the First World War, as published at the time in the “Diary of the War”, a column in British broadsheet newspaper, The Times*. It was a retrospective summary of events printed every month, starting in September 1914.

The text is reproduced exactly but links have been included in order to provide additional context for the 21st century reader. Readers may sign up to receive the “latest news” via the site, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter @GreatWarDiary, like our Facebook page or check back each day to keep abreast of wartime developments.

Copies of the original newspapers are kept at the British Library and digitised versions can be accessed through The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985, a subscription database available through many UK public libraries. Why not ask your local branch?

This site is not produced by or affiliated with Times Newspapers or parent company News Corp. It is produced as a personal project of Anna Matthews (@exeteranna) for the purposes of learning, education and commemoration. The reliability of The Times as a source of historical fact should not be taken for granted – and that’s what makes this project so interesting! Cambridge University provides an introduction to the reading and understanding of historical sources.

Your feedback and questions are welcome. Please email

Anna Matthews

Centenary Commemorative Garden blooms at Newton Ferrers

A WW1 Commemorative Garden has been constructed in Newton Ferrers, financed by the Yealm Branch of The Royal British Legion and the Yealm Garden Society.

Newton Ferrers memorial gardenPhoto: Chairman of the Yealm Branch of the Royal British Legion with the Rev Anne Legge

The garden is situated on The Green and easily visible by those entering Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo, and was built with railway sleepers by former Royal Marine Scott Rogers who lives at Collaton. A beautiful wooden Iona cross was made by Peter Leonard of Noss Mayo and installed in the garden which will remain in place until Armistice Day on 11th November 2018.

It is currently planted with 20 diascia, 50 dwarf begonia, 40 verbina and numerous poppies.

On the 100th anniversary of Britain entering the 1914-1918 War on Monday 4th August a ceremony and service was held at noon around the garden attended by some 110 members of the Newton & Noss community. The service was conducted by the Rev Anne Legge. There were readings by the President of the Yealm Branch of the Newton Ferrers Memorial Garden RBL flag1Royal British Legion, Rear Admiral Robin Hogg, the Chairman, Mr David Southwood, and the Deputy Chairman, Brigadier Christopher Lunn. A wreath was laid by the Treasurer, Mrs Lesley Challacombe.

That evening the Rev Anne Legge led a Vigil by candlelight with prayers and readings between 10-11pm in Holy Cross Church to recall Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark “Lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.” The Chairman of The Yealm Branch of The Royal British Legion read out the Roll of Honour of the 27 men from Newton & Noss who gave their lives during the 1914-18 War.

David Southwood

Newton Ferrers Memorial Garden RBL flag