Author Archive

Gardening with Children 1908 and 2018

August 15, 2018

Jekyll children

 

1908 and 2018 – an interesting question: How best do you involve children in gardening? This is something staff at a zoological or botanic garden are sometimes asked, because gardening can be good for wildlife, for sustainability and for your mental health.

A blog comment or email from the USA arrived at Newquay Zoo recently:

“My name is Scott. I am writing to you because as a gardening Dad with two kids I understand how important it is to spend time with them in a constructive way.”

I am fortunate to have (had) lots of fun chats with children and families whilst working in our World War Zoo Gardens wartime allotment at Newquay Zoo. Some children sneakily eat the edible stuff when I’m not there. Best of all, children often tell me about what they grow at home or in school.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/overheard-at-the-world-war-zoo-gardens/

How to Get Children Gardening

Back in 1908 the famous British garden writer and designer Gertrude Jekyll (rhymes with treacle) wrote a surprising book for its time called Children and Gardens. It was published by Country Life in both Britain and America.

Since reprinted and still available, you can also read a scanned Archive.org  copy here, free:

https://archive.org/stream/childrengardens00jeky

Within a decade as World War 1 ground on, as most of the younger gardeners were called up on active service, these same British children would be encouraged at home and school to grow their own  food. The German U-boat submarine blockades seriously hit the import of food to Britain by merchant shipping.  Bad harvests were recorded in 1916 / 1917, leading to food ration books being issued in Britain in 1918.

American children were also encouraged to grow food, as part of Uncle Sam’s patriotic United States Schools Garden Army, after the USA entered the war in 1917. https://blogs.loc.gov/inside_adams/2017/01/the-school-garden-army-in-the-first-world-war/

This was WW2 Dig For Victory  25 years early, as mentioned in my March 2013 blogpost on Herbert Cowley, an injured WW1 gardening writer who was a friend and photographer to Gertrude Jekyll:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/dig-for-victory-1917-world-war-1-style-the-lost-gardeners-of-kew-and-the-fortunate-herbert-cowley-1885-1967/

Gertrude Jekyll in 1908 had some interesting ideas about giving children ownership and pride in their gardens:

childrengardens00jeky_0039

Staking your territory and naming it in plants.

I hope Gertrude Jekyll’s book encouraged at least a few parents of  posh Edwardian children to let them get a little bit dirty, wear practical working clothes and grow some food in real dirt.

childrengardens00jeky_0119 wheelbarrow

It might have given them a tiny but valuable appreciation of the manual toil of the working classes around the world who put food on their tables.

childrengardens00jeky_0058 pumpkin

From Children and Gardens … almost a feel or  look of Heligan gardens before that garden went quietly to sleep after WW1.

Hopefully some Edwardian children had some muddy, spud eating fun growing up, because of Gertrude Jekyll’s 1908 book.

Dyb Dyb Dig!

It is also interesting to note that the Baden Powell Scout Movement came into being around this time (1907/8), quickly followed by the Guides (191)) for the kind of girls who had already cleverly highjacked or gatecrashed their brothers’ opportunities to set up scout troops.

http://www.scoutsrecords.org/explore.php?dil=&icerik=80&bparent=CB6FCCF1AB7A8F1765FC3A9D09C9ACAE&

Girl Guides can be seen market gardening in 1917 here in this IWM image Q 108289 : https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205087807

Interesting IWM WW1 Centenary article:

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/10-ways-children-took-part-in-the-first-world-war

CHILDREN ON THE HOME FRONT 1914-1918

WW1 school girls  involved in gardening –  IWM image Q31135

CHILDREN ON THE HOME FRONT 1914-1918 © IWM (Q 31155)

CHILDREN ON THE HOME FRONT 1914-1918

IWM Q31153 Horace Nicholls’ WW1  photo of British Schoolgirls growing food. 

CHILDREN ON THE HOME FRONT 1914-1918 © IWM (Q 31153)

Some photos even show air raid shocked children gardening as convalescence and therapy https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205296421

THE MEDICAL SERVICES ON THE HOME FRONT, 1914-1918

© IWM (Q 30542)

Caption: Air-raid shocked girls from the Llangattock School of Arts and Crafts, gardening their own plots at the Kitchener Heritage home for air-raid shocked children and educative convalescence for disabled soldiers at Chailey, Sussex. IWM Collection:  THE MEDICAL SERVICES ON THE HOME FRONT, 1914-1918 © IWM (Q 30542)

2018: It is the final year of the 1914-18 centenary. Within ten years of 1908, plenty of the young boys shown in Gertrude’s book would have been in khaki uniform and have had a very different experience of digging and mud than you could ever wish for anyone.

Some of the girls could have ended up working the land in the WW1 version of Land Girls, growing herbs or nursing for the same war effort.

childrengardens00jeky_0164 campfire

As the book was reprinted in 1933, some  photographs appear to have been retaken orupdated,  as I have seen some charmingly relaxed 1930s/ 1940s versions of my parent’s generation.

These 1908 pictures of children in the garden are surreal, whimsical, reminiscent of E. Nesbit and The Secret Garden, Cottingley fairies, Beatrix Potter and Alice in Wonderland.

childrengardens00jeky_0157 fun

Some garden sandpit, this one!

childrengardens00jeky_0158 in the sand pit

childrengardens00jeky_0068 saved seeds

This is in part an improving, natural history book, practically written advice to children and written for children (and parents) to read.
childrengardens00jeky_0167 tea kitchen

There is a whole chapter on Gertrude Jekyll’s cats sunning themselves in the garden, a hundred years before Youtube and The Internet was invented to show cute cat videos.

childrengardens00jeky_0109 first garden

Lots of personal childhood experiences in Gertrude’s book.

Most important is a patch of ground that a child can call its own to play, dig  or grow stuff. Modern urban British back gardens tend to be far too tiny.

trelawney-garden-centre-and-bop-wartime-garden-blog-0810-001

Gardening advice, Boy’s Own Paper August 1940 – I’m not sure children would be allowed to mess around with Derris Dust today!

Dig for Victory gardens (or Victory Gardens in the USA) in WW2 were important ways to feed the family and involve schools and children in the war effort.

Popular monthly children’s magazines would have gardening articles by famous gardening authors:  https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/gardening-and-garden-centres-for-growing-wartime-boys-tomboys-and-garden-gnomes-“go-to-it-lads”-the-boy’s-own-paper-august-1940/

 

Scott’s email 2018

1908 / 1918 / / 1940 / 2018: I was reminded of all this Children and Gardens material when I received an interesting email from a fellow blogger in the USA:

“My name is Scott and I am writing to you because as a gardening Dad with two kids I understand how important it is to spend time with them in a constructive way. This seems particularly important today as kids would rather spend their time watching Disney Channel or playing video games when given a choice between TV and playing outside.”

I’m sure the Wild Network movement would agree with Scott about the threat of us all becoming a nation of “glassy eyed zombies” on I-pads and I-phones, or as my 1970s childhood version, “square eyed”.  However, before anyone complains,  video games and cartoons have their place in life.

Scott at the Architypes blog continues:

“Now as a blogger I have combined my experience with gardening and kids to create a helpful guide to prove that with a little creativity you can get kids excited about gardening.

You can see Scott’s ideas here: https://www.architypes.net/gardening/kids/

Scott came across World War Zoo gardens through our blog post  https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/category/vegetable-gardening/page/4/ while doing some research and thought you might be interested in some of his ideas.

“Perhaps you could mention it on your blog or links page. Please let me know what you think, it would be great to work with you. Thanks for your time, Scott.”

There is some good advice from Scott in his article that I’m sure Gertrude Jekyll and the 1940s Dig For Victory gardeners would approve of.

Thankfully there are today some good books and websites on involving children with gardens, both in school, home and the community. Here are a few more websites from the UK, Australia and America, once you have read through Scott’s ideas:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/gardening_with_children/

https://www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/gardening-children-schools

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/gardening-for-children

https://kidsgardening.org/

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/children

As the modern Gerturde Jekyll of gardening TV today, Alan Titchmarsh, would say: “Whatever the Weather, Enjoy Your Garden!”

childrengardens00jeky_0171 paired children

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project, Newquay Zoo, August  2018.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Our contribution to the UK-wide “Ribbon of Poppies”, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, July 2018. This is where I start singing from our old school hymnbook Pete Seeger’s 1950s / 1960s protest song “Where have all the flowers gone?” 

100 Days and the Black Day of the German Army 8th August 1918

August 8, 2018

Today marks the centenary of the Battle of Amiens, known as the “Black Day of the German Army“. It was the  beginning of the end, the 100 Days Offensive that would see the end of trench warfare, retreat and ultimately the Armistice on November 11th 1918. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Amiens_(1918)

It has seemed a “long war” since we started centenary posts in August 2014 for each of the zoo or botanic gardens staff killed in WW1.

The 100 Days may seem the start of the end but several more zoo and botanic garden staff would die before November 11th.

Private Joseph Hayhurst, of Kew Gardens, 7th September 1918  

Hayhurst died serving as G/31695, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment, formerly 24251, KOSB King’s Own Scottish Borderers (Border Regiment), died 7 September 1918, aged 33. He is buried at the Unicorn Cemetery, Vendhuile, Aisne, France.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/such-is-the-price-of-empire-the-lost-gardeners-of-kew-in-the-first-world-war/

nova jones ZSL war mem

Nova Jones, William Dexter’s granddaughter, inspects his name and that of fellow keepers like Charles Dare on the restored panels at the ZSL London Zoo staff war memorial, 2014 (Image: Mark Norris) 

Charles William Dare, ZSL London Zoo, 10 September 1918

Dare was a young keeper or ZSL ‘Helper’ , London Zoo. Died serving with County of London Regiment, 245116, London Regt (Royal Fusiliers), remembered on the Vis-en-Artois memorial having no known grave, 10 September 1918

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/remembering-lost-wartime-staff-of-zsl-london-zoo-in-ww1/

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

RBG Kew Gardens staff WW1 memorial 

Private Sidney George Comer, of Kew Gardens, 22 September 1918.

(Formerly Killerton Gardens, Devon  and Boconnoc, Cornwall.) Comer died serving with the US Machine Gun Corps and Tank Corps, US Army.

Comer died of pneumonia, presumably as part of the influenza pandemic that swept the world at the end of WW1, also killing Belle Vue Zoo’s Norman Jennison. 

Robert Service, Kew Gardens, 28th September 1918
Gunner Robert Service, 1257927, 4th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, died 28th September 1918. He is buried at Grave Reference I. D. 18, Bourlon Wood Cemetery.

Private James George Craythorne, Belle Vue Zoo, 20 October 1918

Craythorne died serving with 1/6 Manchester Regiment, killed  ironically in the fighting for Belle Vue Farm, buried at Belle Vue (Farm) Cemetery, France. One of several generations of Craythornes who worked at Belle Vue Zoo Manchester.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/remembering-the-lost-ww1-staff-of-belle-vue-zoo-manchester/

Captain Norman L Jennison, MC (Military Cross), Belle Vue Zoo, 30 October 1918

Jennsion died serving with 6th Manchester Regiment (Territorials), dying of flu, Italian Front, Genoa, Italy. Norman Jennison was the son of Angelo Jennison, one of the two Jennison brothers who owned and ran Belle Vue Zoo Manchester.

warmem3 Belle Vue names

Belle Vue Zoo’s now vandalised war memorial – luckily the names, although hard to read, are inscribed in stone as the brass statue has been stolen. Image: manchesterhistory.net

warmem2 Belle Vue today

Belle Vue zoo’s sadly vandalised war memorial, Gorton Cemetery. Manchester lists their First World War dead. Image:manchesterhistory.net

But not quite the End …

When fighting has ceased, sadly more names are added to staff memorials from 1919 on into the mid 1920s, Dying from the Effects of War Service” as the battered Belle Vue Zoo war memorial in Gorton puts it. We will schedule a blog post on the centenary of each of these passings.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Our ribbon of poppies and more edible flowers in our World War Zoo gardens allotment, Newquay Zoo, Summer 2018. 

Our ribbon of poppies is fading and seeding itself for next year.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Our  keepers’ memorial plaque, Newquay Zoo, Autumn 2015

No doubt this collection of names from Britain and its Empire is mirrored by the names of many lost French, German, Austrian and other zoo keepers and botanic gardens staff worldwide killed or wounded in WW1. Our World War Zoo garden and its ribbon of poppies quietly and colourfully remembers  all of them, their colleagues and families.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Cabbages and Poppies in the World War Zoo Gardens, allotment, Summer 2018. 

Blog Posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens, Newquay Zoo, 8th August 1918

 

 

 

 

Overheard at the World War Zoo Gardens

August 6, 2018

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Rationing Section – World War Zoo Gardens sign, Newquay Zoo, Cornwall, UK

Overheard early today whilst quietly watering the very dry and thirsty plants at the World War Zoo Gardens recreated zoo keepers’ allotment at Newquay Zoo.

A small family group approached the garden and looked at all the plants and then the garden sign.

Visiting Mum to her small boy: “See this ration book here on the sign?” 

Small boy looks at ration book on the sign and nods.

Mum: “This is what Granny had when she was a little girl.” 

“During the war food was rationed by these coupons and you often didn’t have very much food on your plate.”  

I want you to think about that ration book tonight and the next time you don’t eat all the vegetables and food on your plate.

Small boy stayed thoughtful and quiet throughout this last bit, before the family all walked away to look at more animals.

Point well made, I kept respectfully quiet, as this child was already outnumbered by family adults.

———————————————————————————————————–

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

World War Zoo Gardens allotment, Newquay Zoo, July 2018 

I have overheard some fantastic family learning and conversations going on amongst visiting groups, whilst working in our zoo wartime  garden allotment next to the Lion House.

I have had great conversations with zoo visitors old and young about the plants and the history side.

I have heard the garden talked about and identified variously as Mr Bloom’s Garden, Mr McGregors’ Garden (hopefully without Peter Rabbit) or Granddad’s allotment.

Today’s overheard conversation  taught me one thing:

You can read books on interpretation and signage.

You can undertake brilliant visitor evaluation research on signage impact.

You can write wordy Learning Outcomes for your education project.

You can use long words like food security, Education and Engagement, cross-generational learning or  inter-generational learning.

What you can’t easily do is measure how wonderful and simple that parent / child / family interaction was. 

Thanks to that Mum, she made my day. It made the whole garden project worthwhile.

I will make sure to clear my plate tonight.

Herbs and garden sign Newquay Zoo 2015

On the fence next to the lion enclosure, bundles of herbs and some garlic seed heads for our monkeys, harvested October 2015 (Image: Mark Norris)

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 6th August 2018.

 

Remembering Percy Murray Adams Whipsnade ZSL keeper died WW2 POW 28 July 1943

July 27, 2018

 

Percy Murray Adams ZSL Whipsnade Keeper

Percy Murray Adams (Gunner RA) ZSL Whipsnade Keeper

Died as a  Japanese  POW, Burma,  28 July 1943 aged 26.

Served as Gunner 922398, Royal Artillery, 148 (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regt, serving with 419 battery.

Buried at Thanbyuzayat Military Cemetery, Burma. https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2007400/THANBYUZAYAT%20WAR%20CEMETERY

P M Adams 2

Thanbyuzayat Military Cemetery, Burma  (Copyright photograph by The War Graves Photographic Project TWGPP)  

According to his ZSL staff card, he was born on 15 July 1917 and joined ZSL Whipsnade as a youngster on 24 May 1932, shortly after it opened.

Like Henry Peris Davies at London Zoo, Adams was called up as a Territorial on September 3rd 1939.

I remember seeing  his ZSL  staff record card whilst researching in the ZSL library. It  reports him in March 1942 as “Reported as Missing at Singapore.” In 1945 it reported “died of dysentery in Japanese POW camp somewhere in 1943.”

P M Adams

Adams’ headstone at Thanbyuzayat Military Cemetery, Burma (Copyright photograph by The War Graves Photographic Project TWGPP)

Adams is buried in Thanbyuzayat CWGC Cemetery in Burma, only a few rows away from Kew Gardens’ trained gardener  J. C. Nauen  who died as POW in September 1943 https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/the-lost-gardeners-of-kew-in-world-war-two/

ZSL War Memorial 010small

Adams is named amongst the five fallen ZSL staff from the Second World War, ZSL war memorial, London Zoo, 2010. This well polished plaque has since been replaced in 2014. 

ZSL War Memorial 003small

Autumn colours behind the ZSL war memorial, London Zoo, November 2010 (Photo: Kate Oliver, ZSL)

Happy times at Pre-war Whipsnade

I have a special interest in Percy Murray Adams as he was one of the first ZSL WW2 keepers where I fitted a face to a name on the ZSL Memorial, thanks to an appearance in the January 1939 edition of Zoo and Animal Magazine with his huskies. Within that year, Adams would be serving in the Army.

Keeper Adams and the Huskies on their sledge must have been a strange sight at pre-war Whipsnade!

“My favourite is Angussuak, and he is the king of them all. The other dogs give way to him and he always leads the sledge when I take them out for a run.”

P M Adams ZAM whole 0139

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Keeper P.M. Adams featured in Zoo and Animal Magazine, January 1939 

P M Adams ZAM 0139

P M Adams ZAM 0139 3

Close up of the Keeper Adams’ and Husky article January 1939, Zoo and Animal Magazine 

Zoo and Animal magazine from 1936 to 1941 featured several Whipsnade articles. An interesting picture of life in Whipsnade in wartime can be found in Whipsnade My Africa by Lucy Pendar and also Beasts in My Belfry by Gerald Durrell (student keeper at Whipsnade c. 1945)

Reading this article and then researching what happened to young Adams, shown  in the Zoo and Animal Magazine as a smart 21 to 22 year old in his ZSL Keeper uniform, it seems such a very long journey in a very short time from working with the Huskies from a Greenland expedition housed at Whipsnade in the English countryside of pre-war Bedfordshire  to the sweltering forests and POW labour camps of Singapore and Burma.

Adams was not the only zoological gardens  or botanic gardens staff member to be interned or die as a Japanese POW. Read more here:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/remembering-zookeeper-and-gardener-far-east-pows-70-years-on-2015/

Keeper Adams’ Life as  a Japanese POW

ZSL Whipsnade Keeper Adams in September 1939 became 922398 Gunner Adams. His 148th Regiment Royal Artillery  (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) was transferred to Singapore, arriving just before the Fall of Singapore in February 1942.  The regiment  was captured around 15 February 1942.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_Infantry_Division_(United_Kingdom)

Over time more documents have become available through family history sites that flesh out a little the bare statistics of Adams’ life and death as a Japanese POW on labour camps such as served the notoriously brutal Burma Siam Railway project.

76D1371B-E194-4F27-8D11-1F41B902864C

I read or write no Japanese so cannot confirm what they have written for his occupation and place of capture. This document suggests that he is married. 

EFE4D00B-61A6-45CA-83E2-CE1321804892

D976FBFB-3280-42F9-A88E-073D06AA43E5

This CWGC document gives us an idea which cemetery Percy Murray Adams was buried in; what remains could be found were later recovered to Thanbuyzayat Militray Cemetery

This document gives us Adams’ dates of capture 15 February 1942 and death on 28th July 1943.

78461AFD-7A43-40CD-8F3D-AC3B56EB0EF9

298C7BF1-3699-4B72-A58A-4FCD13BBD717

Faded wartime typescript monthly roll showing Adams was (on the move?)  with Overland Party B from 27 April 1943.

7A257E1B-3040-460D-ABA2-71AA947CFDA5

British Army Records Form (RH 66?) with similar details to Adams’ ZSL London Zoo staff card.

The difficulty after the war of collecting the POW grave remains from cemeteries such as Sonkrai to concentration cemeteries in Thanbuzayat is clearl;y set out here on this interesting document:

https://www.cofepow.org.uk/armed-forces-stories-list/war-graves-burma-siam-railway-2

This whole CoFEPOW website (Children of Far East Prisoners of War) is well worth a look.

I know from (now deceased) members of my extended family that it was very difficult for the wives  and children of  men who had been FEPOWS as the men adjusted to the stresses and strains of normal working  life  once the surviving POWs had returned home. Maybe today we would have a little more understanding of the PTSD that such men suffered.

Remembering Percy Murray Adams died 27 August 1943 and the many far East Prisoners of War and their Families. 

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project, Newquay Zoo 27 August 1943.

Zoo Visitor, 38: Mass Observation London Zoo Visitor Research 1938

July 25, 2018

Mass Obs Questions ZAM 1138

The Questions! Animal and Zoo Magazine  October 1938. Does “The Zoo” refer just to London Zoo?

Why do people visit zoos? What do people do when they visit zoos?

Zoo Visitor Research is not such a young science or marketing method, judging by this Questionnaire in Zoo and Animal Magazine,  October 1938.

The Zoo and You 1938 questionnaire was created by Tom Harrisson and team at Mass Observation, which became well known for its civilian diaries (including Housewife, 49) and surveys of Home Front opinion in Britain in World War 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass-Observation

Mass Observation was headed by anthropologist and ornithologist Tom Harrisson, who had previously written for Zoo and Animal Magazine  about animals and people in exotic countries (see postscript at end of blog).  http://www.massobs.org.uk/about/history-of-mo

The Mass Observation 1938 questions asked were:

  1. How often do you go to  the Zoo and what is your favourite time of year?
  2. What animals do you like best?
  3. Do you have a pre-arranged plan?
  4. Do you use the Guide or the maps provided in each House?
  5. Describe what you think you get out of a visit.
  6. Who do you go with?

Sadly only the answers of the winner with “the most interesting set of facts” appears to have been published.

mass obs answers ZAM 0139

The Half a Guinea’s worth of  Winning Answer!  Zoo and Animal Magazine, January 1939

I found most surprising the section where Miss Joseph, obviously a keen photographer, said that you  can make an “appointment  with a keeper to call back and  have an animal out.”

“The animals I like best are the ones the keepers allow me to have out of their cages.”

Somewhere in the ZSL Library Archive at London Zoo or at the Mass Observation archive at the University of Sussex, maybe a horde or box file of slowly browning paper question slips might still rest, full of everyday information about everyday zoo visits c. late 1938, eighty years ago.

I wonder if the information was ever used for planning or whether the outbreak of war eight months later in September 1939 got in the way.  War certainly changed the life of Tom Harrisson and the Mass Observation team and their many diarists.

zsl 40s map BW

1940s Guide Map of London Zoo (note Camel House “damaged by enemy action”). You can follow Miss Joseph’s favourite route from the South Gate / Entrance c. 1938.

I wonder how a modern zoo visitor to London Zoo or my home zoo of Newquay Zoo might answer these questions today?

These days, such visitor behaviour research might still involve questionnaires, familiar from many market research projects. However it may also involve discreetly watching zoo visitor behaviour and dwell time in a certain area such as a new animal enclosure (to answer for example the thorny question “Does anyone actually read zoo animal information signs?”)

Mass Observation’s 1938 Question 3 “Do you have a pre-arranged plan?” or route of visit was an interesting question in modern terms.

Recently  an unusual research project by Michelle Gurney for Paignton Zoo / Newquay Zoo / Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust  (WWCT) Research involved satellite tagging a range of willing visitors (free cup of tea as a reward!) Afterwards it was possible to look at the GIS map plotting of how the visitors used the Paignton or Newquay Zoo area and which bits or animals were most visited, which least visited.

Amazing stuff, all very useful for looking afresh at your zoo site and visitors.

Zoo Visitor Research, at least 80 years young!

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project, Newquay Zoo, 25 July 2018.

Postscript:  Tom Harrison, “Birds, Cannibals and I

Here is an example of one of Tom Harrisson’s early articles for Zoo and Animal Magazine, Volume 1 No, 3, August 1936:

article 836 1  article 836 ZAM 2

article 836 ZAM 3

article 836 ZAM 4

 

 

 

Mr Middleton Calendar Boy of February 1940

July 18, 2018

middleton 1940 calendar

middleton 1940 calendar close up

Close up on this February 1940 Calendar page of Mr Middleton the famous veteran BBC Radio Gardener, broadcasting from 1934 until his death in 1945.

A random lovely item from our World War Zoo Gardens Collection.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._H._Middleton

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 18 July 2018

The Battle of Britain Begins 10th July 1940

July 10, 2018

World War Zoo Children evacuation suitcase items 001 spitfire wooden toy

The Battle Of Britain in miniature for a wartime boy? A beautiful wartime handmade wooden Spitfire toy, in our World War Zoo Gardens Collection at Newquay Zoo. 

On 10 July 1940,  the Battle of Britain began.

Running from the 10th July to  31 October 1940, the Royal Air Force defended the U.K’s towns, coasts and airfields against a large-scale air attack by Nazi Germany.

2018 also marks the 100th anniversary of the RAF being formed out of the Royal Flying Corps in 1918.

Considered as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces, Nazi Germany sought to force Britain into a peace agreement, to disrupt the country’s war supply production and to demoralise the population by bombing.

Picture World War Zoo gardens Newquay Zoo May June 2010 089

Let your shopping help our shipping” was one propaganda message about saving food – grow your own is another, promoted by a typical piece of advertising from a wartime gardening magazine (from the World War Zoo gardening collection / archive at Newquay Zoo).

One such attack was on Falmouth Docks  on 10 July 1940, around 3pm when ten docks and Merchant Navy staff were killed. Many more were injured.

Quite often when I have been in the Falmouth area on this date,  maroons or sirens are sounded mid afternoon around 3pm on 10th July to mark this sad event.

image-1

Charles Pears (1873 -1958), painting “The Bombing of The British Chancellor 10 July 1940”, signed, oil on canvas, a large painting at 80 x 125 cms and presented by the Falmouth Harbour Commission, 1993. Copyright: Falmouth Art Gallery www.falmouthartgallery.com

The event is remembered in the dramatic painting by Charles Pears, which once hung in the Docks Office and now hangs in Falmouth Art Gallery:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/remembering-the-british-chancellor-and-the-bombing-of-falmouth-docks-10-july-1940/

Local civilians killed on board SS British Chancellor or at Falmouth docks, 10 July 1940
George Eric Bastian, aged 40 from Mabe
Walter Samuel Knott, 48, Falmouth
Charles Palin from Falmouth
Henry Arthur Pellow, aged 40 from Falmouth
Samuel Prouse, aged 64
Leonard John Tallack of Mylor
Merchant Navy crew of SS British Chancellor, mostly buried in Falmouth Cemetery:
3rd Engineering Officer John Carr, 26 (buried in Sunderland)
2nd Engineering Officer William Joseph Crocker, 36 (of Portsmouth)
Chief Engineering Officer Charles Halley Lennox, 56 (of Glasgow)
3rd Engineering Officer Philip George Lucas Samuels, 26
Further family information on CWGC.org records can be found for most of these men.

These men would be numbered amongst 40 000 civilians  killed over the course of the Battle of Britain campaign from 10th July to 31 October 1940.

How does this link with the World War Zoo gardens project at Newquay Zoo?

The need for Britain to grow its own secure food supply as part of the “Dig For Victory” campaign was never more vital once docks and merchant shipping were under regular attack by plane and submarine. This food security issue is one of the things that the World War Zoo gardens project was created to mark and remember, along with the loss in WW2 of zoo and botanic gardens staff including some who served and died with the RAF.

 

battle of britain infographic

Interesting Infographic from the RAFBF about the Hardest Day 18th August 1940. 

 

How is The Battle of Britain Remembered in Schools?

The Battle of Britain, Radar  and the Blitz are still studied at primary school level in the new 2014 History curriculum, something we link with during our wartime zoo workshops.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/blitz-and-pieces-at-our-wartime-zoo-workshops/

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/remembering-the-start-of-the-blitz-7-september-1940-and-a-happy-new-school-term/

Battle of Britain Day is officially remembered each year on 15 September 1940. A recent 2015 blogpost linked to some interesting schools and web resources:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/battle-of-britain-day-remembered-15-september-1940/

Newquay war Weapons Week Benenden school evacuated Newquay Copyright Newquay Zoo

St George and the wartime dragon, ready for St. George’s day this week – striking Battle of Britain imagery from Carmen Blacker and Joan Pring’s wartime design for Newquay War Weapons Week, 1941 whilst evcauted with Benenden school to Newquay. Copyright Newquay Zoo

On September 7th 1940, the London Blitz bombing began during the closing stages of the Battle of Britain. running on almost nightly until  May 1941. London Zoo and Chessington Zoo amongst many other places did not escape  bomb damage.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/london-zoo-in-the-blitz-26-27-september-1940-from-magazines-and-press-articles/

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/chessington-zoo-blitzed-2-october-1940-eyewitness-accounts/

Further Blitz and Battle of Britain related blogposts from 2010 onwards:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/blitz-battle-of-britain-broad-beans-and-dig-for-victorys-70th-anniversary-at-the-world-war-zoo-gardens-newquay-zoo/

and a 2010 post about another significant Battle of Britain date Adler Tag or Eagle Day 13 August 1940 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adlertag

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/acorns-adlertag-and-autumn-in-the-wartime-zoo-garden-and-a-bit-of-time-off-for-a-wartime-time-safari-all-around-us/

Blogposted on 10 July 1940 by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project, Newquay Zoo.

 

 

A ribbon or tiny bow-quet of poppies, flowers and vegetables?

July 3, 2018

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ladybird poppies at Newquay Zoo’s  World War Zoo Gardens allotment July 2018 

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Poppies popping up all over our wartime zoo keeper’s vegetable garden now!

Our Ribbon of Poppies #Ribbonofpoppies is popping up in unexpected places in our World War Zoo gardens allotment at Newquay Zoo amongst our vegetables, edible flowers  and scented herbs grown for animal food treats and scent enrichment.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/part-of-the-worldwide-ribbon-of-poppies-planted-at-newquay-zoo-for-the-ww1-centenary/

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Poppies and Poppy seedling pop up amongst the Rhubarb chard. You have to be extra careful with the weeding!

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Edible Blue Borage flowers – a monkey treat! 

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Garlic seed head in flower – a delicate treat for our monkeys, great for visiting bees too!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Edible nasturtium leaves and flowers – and Poppies!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

‘Rhubarb’ Chard flower and seed heads and Poppies.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Cabbages and Poppies: A wild mix of poppies for remembrance and edible vegetables for our zoo animals.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Think this might be  Victoria Cross type of Poppy!

Lovely to see that our colleagues at Wildplace in Bristol have gone ahead with their 100 poppy varieties for the 1918 / 2018 Armistice Centenary – I hope to see this before the flowers fade.  http://wildplace.org.uk/news/poppy-garden-flourishes

Blog Posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens, Newquay Zoo, 3rd July 2018

 

Remembering W. S. H. Menzies of Kew RAF WW2 died 2 July 1943 75 years ago

July 2, 2018

BD38337D-6D63-4F29-9F20-F72B430B4779

Kew Gardener “Tom” Menzies is buried in Sleaford Cemetery amongst other RAF graves. 

7184BBD4-D476-455B-B602-C380FEFB8EC7

W.S.H. Menzies, 2 July 1943
Sergeant William Sydney Hugh Menzies, Sergeant Wireless Operator, RAF (Volunteer Reserve) buried Sleaford Cemetery, Lincolnshire. Garden boy at Kew 1936-38. Son of William Duncan Graham Menzies.

From the Kew Guild Journal 1943 for “Tom” Menzies

D641D2B2-359E-48DB-9154-2F353EE75B1D

http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/planes/dales/bj965.html

W.S.H. Menzies, Gardener of Kew and Tresco Abbey, RAF remembered 75 years on, along with the crew of Wellington Bomber BJ965.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project, Newquay Zoo.

 

 

 

Remembering John Nicholls Winn Kew Gardens staff died of wounds 7 June 1918 WW1

June 6, 2018

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Some of our Ribbon of Poppies blooms at Newquay Zoo, today’s blooms dedicated to John Nicholls Winn of  Kew Gardens staff died WW1.

Some of today’s blooms in our Ribbon of Poppies patch at Newquay Zoo are dedicated to John Nicholls Winn, a member of Kew Gardens staff who died of wounds 100 years ago today on 7 June 1918 serving during WW1. https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/our-first-red-poppies-towards-the-nationwide-ribbon-of-poppies-project/

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

John Nicholls Winn, one of over thirty  Kew Botanic Gardens staff remembered on the WW1 section Kew Gardens staff memorial (Image Source: Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens project, Newquay Zoo)

Kew WW1 War Memorial Staff Member No. 35. John Nicholls Winn
Signaller / Private John Nicholls Winn, 365004, C company, 7th Battalion, London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles), died on 7th June 1918, aged 20.

He is buried at Grave Reference X. 5629, Richmond Cemetery, Surrey.

‘Jack’ Winn is listed as the son of William Nicholls Winn (1868-1945, who worked as Assistant in the Curator’s Office at Kew Gardens for many years) and Bertha Winn, of 87, Mortlake Rd., Kew.

According to his CWGC record, there is no family inscription on this grave. This appears to be a private headstone, rather than a standard CWGC headstone, as featured in the picture on the TWGPP website.

74D44E1C-F6C5-4D94-B748-81878EC5D246

Thumbnail picture of Jack Winn’s civilian grave in Richmond Cemetery thanks to the TWGPP website.

According to the Kew Guild Journal obituary 1919, John Nicholls Winn was born at Kew in 1898, enlisted in Richmond aged 18 in May 1916 and went to France in Spring 1917.

Although he served in the 7th Battalion London Regiment (Civil  Service Rifles), he was formerly No.  533417 or  6682, 15th London Regiment, with whom he served in France from 16 April 1917 to 14 May 1917.

He then served from 15 May 1917 to 30 April 1918 in the 7th Battalion London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles).

D7FEE9B5-785A-4AD6-A009-F5CC7FDD86CC

WW1 Medal Rolls entry for J.N. Winn

Signaller Jack Winn was wounded in the leg and died later of septic poisoning in hospital in Exeter.

This death of wounds back home in Britain is why he is buried near home and family in Richmond, Surrey.  He is remembered on the Richmond War Memorial, as well as the Kew Gardens Staff War Memorial.

You can read more about the 36+ casualties from Kew staff and Kew trained gardeners in WW1 at our previous blogpost:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/such-is-the-price-of-empire-the-lost-gardeners-of-kew-in-the-first-world-war/

John Nicholls ‘Jack’ Winn, Remembered with poppies 100 years on.  Floreat Kew!


%d bloggers like this: