Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Links and Ties III

4 Comments

One rainy afternoon I was looking to see if I could give some added value to the chore of food shopping on holiday, by turning left instead of right, to see what if anything I could find.  What I found was the village of Sherford. I took a peek in  the 13th century Parish church (sorry I’ve not exterior photos, it was too wet)

Sherford parish church 

The parish of Sherford was part of the area that was totally evacuated, to allow troops to train for the D-Day landings. Goodness knows what it must have been like for the local population, amid great secrecy and haste, to pack up their homes, dispose of their livestock and leave the fields fallow, not knowing if and when they could return,  I found  the transcript of this notice, which was posted at each church’s in the parish: very poignant

TO OUR ALLIES OF THE U.S.A.

The church has stood here for several hundred years. Around it has grown a community, which has lived in these houses and tilled these fields ever since there was a church. This church, this churchyard, in which their loved ones lie at rest, these homes, these fields, are as dear to those who have left them as are the homes and graves and fields which you, our Allies, have left behind you. They hope to return one day, as you hope to return to yours, to find them waiting to welcome them home. They entrust them to your care meanwhile and pray that God’s blessing may rest upon us all.

Charles, Bishop of Exeter

Sherford parish church window

The Church has ancient panels 

Sherford parish church painting

Sadly at some stage a concrete floor has been laid,  probably for structural reasons, which must have snuffed out a lot of the visible history of the building, tomb stones, tiles, worn flag stones

Sherford parish church pulpit

There were a lot of beautifully made kneelers, no two were alike as far as I could see.

Sherford parish church kneeler 1

Some depicted the links and ties to Exercise Tiger

Sherford parish church kneeler

A small list told of a massive loss, especially for the Weekes family. Stone and Tucker are names I’ve seen before (I’m not sure if the list is of casualties of both World Wars)

IMG_1827

 

There was to be a sudden total evacuation of this quiet Devon countryside, involving 3,000 people, their possessions, farm stock and equipment. This fact was made known by the Lord Lieutentant of Devon, on 12th November 1943, at East Allington Church. Later on the same day, the message was delivered at Stokenham Church, where my father would have heard it. I’m sure that when he went home with the news, Mother and all others must have been filled with horror and disbelief, looking at their surroundings and wondering “For how long?” and “Shall we ever come back again?”.

The BBC History link gives a vivid account of the experience of the evacuation, it’s well worth a read

This is the penultimate ‘Devon Holiday’ post, I’ve been back in the real world for what seems an age now, zipping here there and every where, collecting blog posts as I go, the  gentle pace of  a Devon holiday seems very distant already.

Advertisements

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

4 thoughts on “Links and Ties III

  1. This is simply a stunning contribution to real history–the stories about what happened to ordinary people in extraordinary times. Thank you.

  2. Fascinating; I had no idea about this and you’ve stimulated an interest I shall pursue, so thanks. I’m really into things SW.

  3. We just got back from our holiday last night. We turned on the TV, and whadyknow, there’s Mrs Uhdd’s Sherman tank! It was slot in a programme about the coast, I think, and gave a summary of everything you wrote about a fortnight ago. Did you see it too?

Come on, join in.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s