This is a poignant time of year to be asking you for help.
The History Society has embarked upon a project to commemorate the centenary of the start of The Great War. We hope to open the Heritage Centre in 2014 with an exhibition of stories and pictures which illustrate the social history of Whimple when news of the war broke out. We also want to be able to tell the stories of the many Whimple people who not only went to fight in the war but also stayed behind. To do this we need help. Some people have already kindly made themselves known but we need more volunteers to help us piece it together. Can you spare some time? A few hours, one day or more - any amount.

Below are a few extracts from David Parker’s book ‘The People of Devon in the First World War’.
I hope it will encourage you to contact us.

The high summer of 1914 was like many summers before, with final preparations being made for a host of popular events on and around the Bank Holiday, Monday August 3rd. Advertisements were appearing all over the county for horse and pony shows, regattas, horticultural shows, flower shows and in Whimple the villagers were preparing to host a sports day.

On the evening of Sunday August 2nd 1914 news of the imminent prospect of war reached the village of Broadclyst. During evensong the daughter of the verger appeared in the doorway of the church with a piece of paper in her hand. The verger was a Naval Reservist, and a telegram had arrived. He got up noisily, hung his cassock on it’s peg in the tower vestry and left. By the time the congregation came out of the church he was on his way to the depot in Exeter. Throughout Devon thousands of others with military and Naval training received similar calls.

On Bank Holiday Monday, August 3rd Germany declared war on France and its armies immediately invaded Belgium and Luxemburg. On August 4th The British Government sent and ultimatum to Germany to evacuate those countries: by eleven o’clock in the evening there had been no reply and by midnight Britain was at war.

On August 7th Lord Kitchener called for a 100,000 more men to create a ‘New Army’. Despite the high numbers in Devon’s Territorial’s, local mayors were asked to stimulate more recruiting and to identify reliable recruiting contacts in all the parishes.

We have the names of over 100 Whimple men who joined The Great War and we are looking for volunteers to help research the part they played. If you would like to help please contact Sue Ayres email sue@reubenayres.com or info@whimple.org
or call Sue 823082. You can also approach anyone from the History Society or pop a note in our post box which can be found outside the Heritage Centre.

Proposed Programme of Events for 2017

Friday 17th March

The Annual General Meeting in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m.
Monday 3rd April
The Volunteers Thank You Evening at the Heritage Centre starting at 7.30 p.m.

*Please note that admission to the talks is £2.00 for non-members of the Society.


Saturday 16th September
We are having a Flag Parade to celebrate the return of the newly restored vintage Scout and Cub flags and to show off the new flag for Whimple. A newly formed Whimple Band will lead flag bearers and villagers on a route starting from The Thirsty Farmer at 10.45 a.m. to the Heritage Centre.
Tea and cakes will be served at the HC. We will also have an exhibition showing over 100 years of Scouting in Whimple.
Please help make this event a success and come along with your family and friends.

Friday 29th September
A talk in the Victory Hall by Marilyn Bishop on ‘Local Artist Beryl Cook’ starting at 7.30 p.m.

Sunday 22nd October
Apple pressing at the Heritage Centre from 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Please note that the last pressing will start at 2.00 p.m.

Friday 28th October
An Antiques Evening with David Sumner of Otter Auctions in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m. Please bring along any antiques, artefacts etc that you would like appraised. Unfortunately David cannot do any valuations on the evening.

Friday 17th November
A talk by Dr. Julia Neville on ‘WW1 Hospitals in Exeter’ in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m.

Opening of the Heritage Centre for Christmas Shopping
Once again the Society has decided to open the Heritage Centre to allow members to do any last minute Christmas shopping from our shop on Saturday 25th November and Saturday 2nd December from 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. It will offer you a chance to buy Wassailing Mugs and T-shirts ready for January’s Wassailing in addition to many other ideas for Christmas Gifts.

Saturday 6th January 2018
Due to a clash of events, The Christmas Lunch will now be a New Year’s Lunch on Saturday 6th January 2018 at the Whimple Cricket Club starting at 12 noon. ( Please find a booking form at the end of the Newsletter)

Wednesday 17th January 2018
This year’s wassailing will start at the New Fountain Inn at about 6.30 p.m. for the usual ‘rehearsal’. The assembled company will then move off at about 7.00 p.m., the first wassail ceremony, which will be around the Society’s Whimple Wonder tree. The procession will then proceed up Church Road to Lower Woodhayes Orchard for the second wassail ceremony. The procession will then move back to the Square, via Dince Hill Close, where the procession will gather near the tethering stone to remember the Society’s first Chairman, John Shepherd. The procession will then continue along Town Lane and Broadclyst Road to the orchard adjacent to Knowle Cross Farm for the third and final ceremony of the evening, courtesy of Jim and Mary Chard. The last port of call will be at the Cricket Club for traditional wassail refreshments. We would urge everyone to enter into the spirit of the evening by wearing traditional dress and bringing ‘instruments’ that will make sufficient noise to waken the trees and ward off the evil spirits in the apple trees. Wassailing Mugs and T-shirts will be on sale on the evening.

2018 Programme
We are about to consider our programme of events for 2018. If you have any ideas with regard to talks, visits, fund raising or themes for the Centre, please let us know as we are always looking for new ideas.

New Year Raffle
Over the years members have been very generous in providing prizes for the raffles held at the Society’s events throughout the year. Once more the Committee is making an appeal for prizes especially for our New Year Raffle. If you have an item suitable as a prize please give it to a member of the Committee.
The Society has been well provided with prizes in the past and has never had to buy any. Thank you to all who have given in the past, it is much appreciated.

The Society would like to encourage members to have their newsletter
e-mailed to them for two reasons (i) to reduce the cost of postage and stationery and (ii) to allow members to be contacted with regard to events that are taking place at other Societies and Museums etc. If you are happy to do this could you please contact the Secretary at roger325smith@btinternet.com.

*Please note that admission to the talks is £2.00 for non-members of the Society

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Saturdays 10.30 – 16.00
Wednesdays 13.00 – 15.00
1st APR.17  -  30th sept. 17


01404 822499