Parish war exhibition

Exhibition in St Sampson’s church, to show how the two world wars, and all the other wars of the last century, affected the families of the people who have lived in South Hill Parish, during that time, or live here now.
This is not just about families who were living here during the wars, although obviously they have some interesting stories to tell, but also those parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts etc. of the families who live here today, and who may have been living hundreds of miles away.
We have some fascinating stuff, including details of a South Hill man who was awarded the Victoria Cross, but there must be much more we could include. Pictures, letters, diaries, photographs of medals, and newspaper clippings are ideal, but we would also like the stories of what happened on the ‘home front’.
Land girls, prisoners working on farms, home guard (Did we have our own Captain Mannering ?), ambulance drivers, evacuees, merchant navy, or anything about how our families were affected.  Does anyone still have a gas mask, or a ration book ?
Please let me know if you have anything.  We can help with printing and copying if it is too valuable to loan.
Geoff Clemerson, Anvil Cottage, 01579 362623

What does the centenary of the end of the First World War mean to your family?

The first world war was supposed to be the war to end all wars, but there has been armed conflict somewhere in the world every year since the armistice, so we want to include memories of all those conflicts as well, right up to the present day. You may have photographs, letters, or any other family memorabilia relating to any of the armed conflicts of the last century. You might even prefer just to write a short piece about the person concerned. The church is not locked, so it would be better to display photocopies or photographs of anything which is precious to you, including medals. We can help with this if necessary.

There will also be a book of remembrance in the church, where you could write the names of any family members who served in these wars, and we intend to incorporate this into the service on Remembrance Sunday itself.

Outside, in the churchyard, there will be a small area in the churchyard where you could put small remembrance crosses.

We want this to be an event for everyone, not just the church folk, so please tell all your friends and neighbours about it, and encourage them to take part.

Please bring anything you want us to display to me, Geoff Clemerson, at Anvil Cottage, just down from the St Sampson’s church at South Hill, or telephone me on 01579 362623.

Commonwealth War Graves

Some of you will have seen the Commonwealth War Graves Commission sign which has gone up outside St Sampson’s church. If you try to find the usual Portland stone headstones, you will search in vain. John Henry Rogers and Aaron Dennis are commemorated in the churchyard not with official war commission memorials but with personal gravestones. There are no Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials in St Sampson’s churchyard.

  • John Henry Dennis was Chief Stoker aboard HMS Earnest when he died on Tuesday 8th February 1916, age 39.
  • Aaron Rogers was a Petty Officer, on HMS Vivid, who died on Thursday February 10th, age 40.

For reasons unknown, neither of these men’s names appears on the war memorial in Golberdon.

Their graves can be found in the churchyard next to each other in the row of graves nearest to the road wall.

Thank You Miranda Lawrence-Owen for this information.