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

Friday 28th April *
A talk by Jim Rider entitled’ Mayday in July’, the story of a Viscount airliner crash at Salston Fields, Ottery St Mary, in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m.
Sunday 14th May *
A talk by Todd Gray in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m. about his 116 miles hike from Lyme Regis to Hartland to promote interest in Devon. He will be doing this as President of the
Devonshire Association and will, at the end of each day, give a lecture on the distinctiveness of the county.
Saturday 1st July
The ‘Unearth Whimple’ performance in the Victory Hall. Doors open at 6.30 p.m. Bar available.
Performance starts at 7.30 p.m. and features among others Jim Causley.
Tuesday 4th July
The Village week Walking Treasure Hunt around the village, this will start at The Heritage Centre at 5.30 p.m.
Afternoon tea and cakes at the Heritage Centre starting at 2.00 p.m.
The Society will be running the Barbecue on Village Day, anyone interested in helping for an hour or two, please contact a member of the Committee. Your support would be most welcome.
Friday 28th July and Friday 4th August
Conducted village walks, starting at the Heritage Centre at 6.15 p.m. anyone interested should book with the Secretary (tel: 01404 822244).
There will be a parade of the recently refurbished Scout and Cub flags as well as the new Whimple flag designed by a pupil from the village. Final details of the event will be published later
A talk in the Victory Hall by Marilyn Bishop on ‘Beryl Cook’ starting at 7.30 p.m.
Sunday 22nd October
Apple pressing from 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.
A Social Evening – details will follow later
A talk by Dr. Julia Neville on ‘WW1 Hospitals in Exeter’ in the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 p.m.
Saturday 6th JANUARY
The Annual Christmas Lunch at The Cricket Club starting at 12 noon. This is a provisional booking that might change to Saturday 2nd December.

Thank you to all members who provided their e-mail addresses for the newsletter and notification of other events. The Society would still like to encourage other 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.

Future programme
If any member has any suggestions for either next year’s Exhibition or any of the talks could they please contact the Secretary on 01404 822244 or the Curator on 01404822221 or e-mail the Society on info@whimple.org.

*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