Market Lavington Museum

World War Two memories

In our previous blog, we wrote about Aubrey Chapman’s memories of the local band playing carols at Christmas. The oral history he recorded includes more than just band memories. Aubrey was a young teenager during the second world war and his recording has snippets of information about that time in the village.

He recalled officers being stationed at Ivydene. We believe that was where the Searchlight Battery was.

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Ivydene has long gone, but stood in the area near the Market Place where Rochelle Court has now been built. See Seeking Ivydene and Ivydene Discovered for more information.

Aubrey also spoke of officers in the building at the back of the Green Dragon and at the barn at Bouverie House (The Old House on Parsonage Lane). He enjoyed opportunities to go to the barn to watch films from time to time. The barn is sometimes called the Drill Barn, because the Home Guard met there. (See also The Old Barn.)

In this photograph the Home Guard are pictured outside The Old House. There are many more posts about them to be found by typing Home Guard in the search box on the front page of the museum blog.

Aubrey remembered his grandfather going on parade with them, carrying his 12 bore gun, on Sunday mornings. They met up in the Market Place and then paraded down the street.

We have met Laurie Plank before. (See West Park Farm Dairy.) He had lost a leg in an accident and used crutches. Aubrey told us that meant the length of each of his ‘strides’ was much longer than those of the two legged Home Guard members and Laurie would soon be yards in front of the parade. This problem as solved by moving him to the back of the marchers, where he couldn’t overtake.

First hand memories all help to enhance our knowledge of village history and we are very grateful to those who have provided written and oral details for our museum collection.