Author Archive

Remembering James Craythorne Keeper at Belle Vue Zoo Manchester died WW1 20th October 1918

October 20, 2018

 

warmem2-belle-vue-today

Belle Vue Zoo staff war WW1 memorial, Gorton Park Cemetery, Manchester

Private James G Craythorne, 1/6 Manchester Regiment, killed aged 19, on 20th  October 1918.

Craythorne (1)

TWGPP image copyright 

This Belle Vue Zoo (Manchester) Keeper was ironically in the fighting for Belle Vue Farm, buried at Belle Vue (Farm) Cemetery, France.

Craythorne (2).jpg

Belle Vue Farm Cemetery (TWGPP copyright image)

Three or four generations of the Craythorne family worked as small mammal and reptile keepers at Belle Vue Zoo. Another relative James Craythorne followed his own father into zoo work, was employed aged 12 from the 1880s to retirement in 1944 and was then replaced  by his son Albert!

warmem3-belle-vue-names

Two Manchester local history sites mention the Belle Vue Zoo dynasty of keepers from the Craythorne family and J. G. Craythorne’s death:

http://gortonphilipsparkcemetrywargrave.weebly.com/belle-vue-war-memorial.html

http://manchesterhistory.net/bellevue/craythornes.html

J. G. Craythorne – Remembered 100 years on from his death 20 October 1918, so close to the Armistice Day.

Read more about:

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

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens Project, Newquay Zoo, 20 October 2018.

Remembering Robert Service of Kew Gardens Canadian TMB Artillery Died WW1 28 September 1918

September 28, 2018

Robert Service, 28th September 1918

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Robert Service of Kew Botanic Gardens – Remembered on the WW1 section Kew Gardens staff memorial (Image Source: Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens project, Newquay Zoo)

Gunner Robert Service, 1257927, 4th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, died 28th September 1918.

robert service

Robert Service was born in Maxwelltown, Dumfries in 1891. He previously worked at Messrs J. and R. Service, Dumfries (a family Nursery business?).

He was at Kew Gardens from October 1912 to May 1914, leaving to work as Horticultural Superintendent in the Department of Science and Agriculture, British Guiana.

He enlisted in the Canadian Army in January 1917 and served in the TMB Trench Mortar section, Canadian Artillery, 4th Canadian Division.

service bourlon

Almost all the graves in this Bourlon Wood cemetery are men of Canadian Regiments, many killed in late September 1918; some of them like Robert Service are born in Scotland.

He is buried at Grave Reference I. D. 18, in the small Bourlon Wood Cemetery. There is no family inscription on his headstone, which is pictured on the TWGPP website.
Bourlon Wood  and the village were the scene of desperate fighting in the Battle of Cambrai 1917 (where fellow Kewite George Douglas died). At the end of the Battle of Cambrai, British troops were withdrawn from Bourlon.

The wood and the village were ultimately retaken by the 3rd Canadian and 4th Canadian Divisions on the 27th September 1918, the day before Service died.

IMG_4425

Image Copyright TWGPP

Bourlon Wood Cemetery has nearly 250 burials – Service is surrounded by mostly Canadian regiment casualties – and was started by the Canadian Corps Burial Officer in October 1918, burying the mostly Canadian dead of this action.

IMG_4426

Image Copyright: TWGPP

274 metres South-West of the cemetery is a Battlefield Memorial erected by the Canadian Government to recall the forcing of the Canal du Nord by the Canadian Corps on the 27th September 1918 and the subsequent advance to Mons and the Rhine.

His name features on the striking  Maxwelltown and Troqeer War Memorial. http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=38&mforum=warmemscot

MaxwelltownWM1 Service

 

service canadain war memorial

His name is also remembered in the First World War Book of Remembrance  in Canada.

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/books/page?page=498&book=1&sort=pageAsc

You can read about other Kew Gardens casualties in WW1 at https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/such-is-the-price-of-empire-the-lost-gardeners-of-kew-in-the-first-world-war/

Robert Service, Remembered 100 Years on 28 September 1918 / 2018.

Remembering Sidney George Comer of Kew, Killerton and Boconnoc Gardens , Died WW1 22 September 1918

September 22, 2018

sgcomerww1

Kew Guild Journal Obituary 1919

Sidney George Comer, September 22 1918

Private Sidney George Comer, Machine Gun Corps and Tank Corps, USA

This Kew trained gardener had gone out to work in the USA in February 1914 after working at Kew from February 1911 as Sub-foreman in the Propagating Pits at Kew.

He is listed as a boarder at 1 Gloucester Road, Kew in the 1911 census, alongside two other young gardeners, Joseph Sharps of Ness, Chester and Edward Plummer Heim of Purton, Wilts. All three young gardeners grandly signed their 1911 census returns as “Gardener, Royal Gardens, Kew“.

Sidney Comer was born in February 1889 to a Mary J. Comer. His father J. C. Comer was a wheelwright on the Killerton Estate, Exeter, Devon (now run by the National Trust).

His Kew Guild Journal obituary of 1919 notes that he was “one of 6 sons … all serving in the forces”. Although many Comers are listed as casualties on the CWGC.org site, I have thankfully not so far found any other of his five brothers listed as killed.

Sidney is also listed with odd dates (1916 death)  on the Broadclyst War Memorial in Devon.  http://www.devonheritage.org/Places/Broadclyst/BroadclystWarMemorial-Part1.htm

According to his Kew Guild Journal obituary, Comer died of pneumonia on September 22, 1918 whilst in training at Camp Devens, Massachusetts, after enlisting in the US army once America entered the war in 1917.

 

Many serving troops and civilians died during the Spanish Flu / Influenza pandemics which swept around the world in the chaos at the end of the war.

As well as service at Killerton, before going to Kew the Kew records suggest Comer had also worked  at Boconnoc near Lostwithiel, home today to a famous spring garden in Cornwall.

s g comer

Married in 1916, his wife predeceased him  in America (for which I have no records access).

However researcher Jan Gore found  him “via Ancestry. His wife was Rosalie, b 7 August 1878 and d. 19 June 1917. They married on 26 July 1916 in New York. She is buried in St John’s Cemetery, Yonkers, Westchester, New York, as is he. He died of broncho-pneumonia.”

 

Sidney George Comer, Gardener, Remembered. 

To read more about the other Kew Gardeners who died in WW1 visit our blog post https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/such-is-the-price-of-empire-the-lost-gardeners-of-kew-in-the-first-world-war/

Blog posted on the centenary of Sidney Comer’s death by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 22 September 1918 / 2018.

 

 

Gardening in Wartime WW1 Resources

September 17, 2018

parks and gardens uk ww1 page

Our World War Zoo Gardens Blog and especially the much visited blog post on the Kew Gardens Staff War Memorial WW1

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

is mentioned on the Park and Gardens UK website page on Gardening in Wartime WW1 Resources

http://www.parksandgardens.org/projects/gardening-in-wartime/753-a-selection-of-wwi-resources

This Parks and Gardens UK website is well worth visiting, especially for the garden history and social history pages  including  the many fascinating links about how WW1 affected the gardening profession, parks and estates. 

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 17 September 2018.

Remembering John Charles Nauen of Kew Gardens died POW Far East 10 September 1941

September 11, 2018

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

1939-45 panels, Kew Gardens War Memorial. Image: Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project

It is 75 years ago since Kew trained botanist J.C. Nauen died as a Far East Prisoner of War (FEPOW) in Burma around the 10 September 1943. His plant skills must have saved many POW lives from diseases of malnutrition.

John Charles Nauen worked as Assistant Curator of the Botanic Gardens Singapore from 1935.

He served with Kew colleague G.H. Spare (see weblink below), Nauen (or Naun) served as a Serjeant 5387, volunteer in the 3rd Battalion, (Penang and Province Wellesley Volunteer Corps) SSVF Straits Settlement Volunteer Force.

Trained at Kew, his botanic skills would have been  of great help gardening and collecting plants from the local area to help keep fellow prisoners alive.

Nauen died as a Japanese POW prisoner of war, aged 40, working on the infamous Burma-Siam railway in September / October 1943 of blood poisoning.

He was buried in 1943 at Tambaya then reburied in 1946 at Thanbyuzayat Cemetery. many small POW cemeteries were concentrated into larger memorial areas.

naun concentration cwgc

Image: CWGC archive. 

He is buried in Thanbyuzayat CWGC Cemetery in Burma, alongside 1000s of fellow POW victims from the Burma-Siam railway. He was the son of John Jacob and Clara Nauen of Coventry.

nauen cwgc

Some of Nauen’s plant collecting herbarium specimens survive at Kew, whilst he has an interesting obituary in the Kew Guild Journal 1946 and The Garden’s Bulletin Singapore September 1947 (XI, part 4, p.266).

naun kew guild obit 1a crop

“As the Japanese scale of rations was so meagre and vegetables and fruit entirely lacking, Nauen was one of the first to advocate gardening in real earnest and offered his professional experience to the authorities, but military bureaucracy did its best to discourage the efforts of mere privates and NCOS.

Nauen with his untiring zeal however continued to work on his own amongst all and sundry who were trying to cultivate the ground around their quarters, with seeds and cuttings when he could, and willingly gave of his knowledge.”

Nauen’s Kew Guild obituary 1946

What an amazing man, a quiet hero! It is a remarkable story, showing how valuable Kew trained botanists were in wartime in many different sitations. . Similar POW gardening stories can be read in Kenneth Helphand’s Defiant Gardens and the fascinating accompanying book Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime (2008).

naun kew guild obit 1b

 

 

 

naun kew guild obit 2

Of all the possessions for a POW to drag through the jungle, Nauen chose two heavy volumes of Burkill’s Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula.

The story of his Kew and Singapore comrade Gordon Henry Spare is given on the Kew staff on the WW2 section of the Kew War Memorial blogpost:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/the-lost-gardeners-of-kew-in-world-war-two/

Some CWGC documents have his name spelt as NAUN.

naun cwgc 2

His headstone can be seen here on the TWGPP site :

https://www.twgpp.org/photograph/view/3756828

nauan twgpp

Additional link on the POW stories and the Volunteer Force that Nauen belonged to:

http://www.malayanvolunteersgroup.org.uk/

John Charles Nauen and his FEPOW and Kew comrades in WW2, Remembered.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens Project, Newquay Zoo, 10 September 1943.

 

Remembering Charles Dare ZSL London Zoo died WW1 10 September 1918

September 10, 2018

 

IMG_2353

Charles Dare is remembered on the ZSL Staff War memorial at London Zoo. 

10.9.1918        Charles William Dare    County of London Regt             ZSL  Helper,
originally enlisted as 2965 or 610564  19th London Regiment, he served also as Private 245116,  2nd (City of London) Battalion  (Royal Fusiliers).

ZSL War Memorial 009small

Names of the fallen ZSL staff from the First World War, ZSL war memorial, London Zoo, 2010

He  was killed on active service,  aged 20 and is listed on the  Vis-en-Artois memorial, one of 9580 killed in this area in the “Advance to Victory”  having no known grave.

c w dare medal card ww1

Charles had been in France with the London Regiment since June 1917. On this medal roll entry and elsewhere he is Presumed Dead or D.P. on 10th September 1918, presumably because his body was never found. This is why he is remembered on the Vis En Artois Memorial, rather than having an individual grave or headstone.

c w dare medal roll entry ww1
Charles Dare was killed during period of the 100 days of the  “Advance to Victory”  (August to November / Armistice  1918).

August 8th marked the beginning of the Battle of Amiens was known as the ‘Black Day’ of the German Army; on the 15th, British troops crossed the Ancre river and on the 30th, the Somme river.

Advances carried on throughout September 1918, when Charles Dare was killed. The Armistice came two months after Charles Dare’s  death on the 11th November 1918.

Family background
Charles Dare was born and lived in St. Pancras in  1898 and enlisted in Camden Town.

He had an older sister, Lilian E Dare, two years older, also born in St. Pancras.

His father Charles J Dare was a distiller’s clerk from Hereford, aged 38 in 1901 living at 16 Eton Street, St. Pancras parish / borough (London 1901 census RG 13/133). they stilllived there in 1911, not that far from Regents Park and the Zoo. His mother Mary A Dare, 37,  was born in Lugwardine,  Hereford.
A Helper in ZSL staff terms is a junior or trainee member of staff before they become a Junior then Senior Keeper.

cw dare register ww1

 

Charles Dare married an Emily Catherine Holloway (1897-1944) of Kentish Town, early in 1918. According to the UK Register of Soldiers Effects, they had a daughter Gladys born 10th March 1918 or 1919.

Charles’ widow Emily Dare remarried an Arthur Scraggs in 1930 but was sadly killed as a civilian by enemy action (presumably an air raid casualty) during the “Baby Blitz” on London WW2 at her home 179 Grafton Road, London on 19 February 1944. 187 planes of the Luftwaffe bombed London on this day as part of Operation Steinbock. It was the heaviest bombing of the British capital since May 1941.

You can read more about the other ZSL London Zoo casualties of WW1 remembered on the ZSL Staff War Memorial here:

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

Remembered on the centenary of his death – Charles William Dare, ZSL Helper (Keeper), died WW1 10 September 1918.

Blog  posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 10 September 2018.

Remembering Joseph Hayhurst of Kew Gardens died WW1 7 September 1918

September 7, 2018

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Joseph Hayhurst’s name on the Kew Gardens WW1 staff Memorial.  

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

Hayhurst died serving as G/31695, 6th Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment, died 7 September 1918, aged 33.

He was formerly 24251, KOSB King’s Own Scottish Borderers (Border Regiment), the Regiment listed on the Kew War Memorial.

59DB35AF-A8BC-4AA7-B069-D8CC1F220E15

He is buried at the oddly named Unicorn Cemetery, Vendhuile, Aisne, France. It appears from CWGC records that he was reburied here from another plot or cemetery elsewhere.

557459FB-FD62-481E-B77A-25E2AEDCC621

Hayhurst was one of three named 6th Royal West Kent Regiment casulaties (identified by disc) who died on 7 September 2018,  relocated from post war from one isolated map reference / grave to Unicorn Cemetery. 

How did Unicorn Cemetery get its unusual name?

CWGC website source: Vendhuile (Vend’huile) was very nearly reached in the Battle of Cambrai 1917. It was taken by the 27th and 30th American Divisions at the end of September 1918, and cleared by the 12th and 18th Divisions on 30 September. After the fight, men of the 18th Division were buried by the 50th (Northumbrian) Division in Plot I, Row A, of Unicorn Cemetery (the name is taken from the Divisional mark of the 50th Division).

Hayhurst was born at Clayton Le Moors, Lancashire on 4 April 1885 to Joseph (senior) a general labourer (1901 census) and mother Ann.

Joseph was listed in the 1901 census as Nursery Gardener Assistant aged 15. His brothers and sisters were cotton weavers.

Aged 25 in the 1911 Census, he was living as a boarder in 55a Moscow Road, Bayswater whilst working as a “Gardener Public” for HM Office of Works. Kew Gardens remains to this day a government department.

Unfortunately there appears little in the Kew Guild Journal about the circumstances of his death or his role and time at Kew Gardens.

A postwar Kew Guild Journal 1921, p.43 “In Memoriam” section records that the deaths “of W. Humphris and Mr J. Hayhurst of the Border Regiment … are recorded in the war but we have been unable to obtain any parmticulars”.

Joseph Hayhurst enlisted back in his own birth county at Windermere, Lancashire.

He is listed on the CWGC website as the husband of Mrs. Bertha Hayhurst, Ebenezer Terrace, Billington, Whalley, Blackburn, Lancs.

J. Hayhurst is also remembered on the Billington, Whalley War Memorial. (Flickr photo by Robert Wade)

22A715F8-D10C-4AFF-9020-BEEC6B3055FE

There is no additional inscription from his family on his headstone, photographed on the TGWPP website or recorded on the CWGC register.

What was happening on the day Joseph died?

Looking at the 6th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment War Diary, the men were moved into position N.E. Combles on 4th September 1918.

6th September 1918 – The Battalion moved at dawn to St Pierre Vaast Wood, later at 2pm proceeded to Riverside Wood. Moved at 8pm to positions West of Narlu.

7th September 1918 – West of Narlu. Moved at 2.30 Am to assembly positions along Road V 30 b and d.

The Battalion attacked the high ground North of Guvencourt. attack successful . Jacquenne Copse occupied in morning posts established in W 29 B and D. Peiziere and Epehy villages strongly held with machine guns. Enemy aeroplane shot down by D company, occupants (two Germans) taken prisoner.

Casualties Killed in Action 8 O.R.s (Other Ranks] Wounded 65 O.R.s Missing 16 O.R.s Officer Casualties Captain W.C. Clifford MC, 2nd Lieutenants K.H. Daniel and D.C.S. Bryan, Lieutenant L. Willoughby at duty.

8th September – W? Of Peizieres. at 7.30 a.m. troops of 58th Division passed through the Battalion and continued to advance. Battalion withdrew at noon and proceeded to vicinity of Vaux Wood. Casualties 3 O.R.s wounded.

——–

Joseph Hayhurst and his two Royal West Kent Comrades buried alongside him were amongst the eight killed or 16 missing Other Ranks.

Return of Soldier’s Effects Register

6th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment War Diary September 1918

Joseph Hayhurst’s WW1 Medal record card

You can read more about Joseph and the other gardeners on the Kew Gardens staff War Memorial here:

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

Joseph Hayhurst and his comrades in the 6th Royal West Kents, died 7th September 1918 – Remembered a hundred years later.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens, Newquay Zoo, 7 September 2018.

The Blitz begins 7 September 1940

September 7, 2018

 

ZSL 1940 p2

The Times article republished and illustrated in War Illustrated November 15th 1940

The Blitz, during which Nazi Germany bombed London and other English cities in nighttime raids, lasted from Sept. 7, 1940, to May 1941.

The raids killed around 43,000 British civilians and left widespread destruction.

ZSL London Zoo was in the firing line for the first time in over twenty years since Zeppelin airship and airplane bombing of London in WW1.

Long existing zoos such as Belle Vue (Manchester) and Bristol Zoo  had to put ARP (Air Raid Precautions) in place in 1939, along with newer 1930s zoos such as Chessington Zoo and Belfast Zoo.

https://www.zsl.org/blogs/artefact-of-the-month/zsl-london-zoo-during-world-war-two

ZSL 1940 p1

Some animal propaganda (ZSL chimps with tin hats) in  War Illustrated November 15th 1940

” The Zoo is in fact a microcosm of London …” 

Chessington Zoo

Chessington Zoo was bombed on 2 October 1940 and several staff family members were killed. https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/chessington-zoo-blitzed-2-october-1940-eyewitness-accounts/

www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/80/a5333780.shtml

Lovely Chessington Zoo home movie 1940 footage, a grand day out presumably before the October 1940 bombing  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHeqmMWs7VM

LR Brightwell's wartime panda poster London Zoo 1942

LR Brightwell’s wartime panda poster for London Zoo 1942, encouraging zoo visitors and pandas to return  once the 1940/1 Blitz had quietened down. The “Off the Ration” exhibition encouraged Dig for Victory allotments like our World War Zoo Gardens but also encouraging zoo visitors  grow your own food animals (rabbits, chickens, pigs). 

Zoo Blitz Resources for Schools

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

inspire yr 6 ww2 doc

Interesting Year 6 cross-curricular topic map for WW2 – Blitz and Battle of Britain (now defunct 2014/15 Inspire Curriculum, Cornwall)  

The 1944/45 Blitz

Later in the war (1944/45) Chessington Zoo  was hit by a Flying Bomb – as mentioned in our blog post https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/chessington-zoo-blitzed-2-october-1940-eyewitness-accounts/

You can see Chessington zoo and circus staff clearing up the aftermath on YouTube https://youtu.be/T9CiQvwP1TQ 

London Zoo would also be affected by V1 and V2 bombing, including London Zoo veteran staff member Overseer W.W. T. Leney being killed in 1944 by a flying bomb at home. Nowhere in London or the Southeast was safe, night or day, at work or at home during the flying bomb raids. We shall mark the occasion 75 years on later next year on 25th November 1944 / 2019 with a fuller blogpost on Walter Leney.

The ZSL London Zoo staff war memorial:

Leney, William Walter Thomas, ZSL Overseer: Killed by flying bomb 25.11.1944

ZSL London Zoo veteran Keeper and Overseer William Leney at 65, old enough to have served in the First World war, was killed alongside his wife Kate Jane Leney (also 65) at 59 King Henry’s Road (Hampstead, Metropolitan Borough) by flying bomb. W.W.T.  Leney and wife died on 25 November 1944. Several flying bombs are recorded as having fallen around the London Zoo area, close neighbour of RAF Regent’s Park.

Studying the Blitz and Wartime Life? 

For more details about our schools wartime zoo / wartime life workshops for primary and secondary schools at Newquay Zoo, contact us via  https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/education-clubs/school-visits/primary

berlin elephant front

The last elephant left at the damaged Elephant house Berlin Zoo in 1943/44 after the Allied Air raids (Image source: Mark Norris, private collection from defunct press archive0.

Similar Allied air raids on German cities and industrial targets  caused extensive damage to German zoos in city and railway areas, as personally and vividly described  in zoo Director Lutz Heck’s Berlin Zoo memoir Animals – My Adventure. This will be the subject of a future blogpost as we approach the 75th anniversary of these raids in 1943 / 2018 and 1944 / 2019.

Remembering all those affected by the Blitz and air raids, 1940 /41 and 1944/45. 

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 7th September 1940 / 2018.

A Tale of Tin Hats WW2

September 6, 2018

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

A Table or Tale of Tin Hats during our wartime schools workshops at Newquay Zoo.

Our WW2 Tin Hat collection has been busy again this year with school wartime zoo workshops at Newquay Zoo.

On the eve of the First Day of the Blitz (7th September 1940) 78 years on, we explore some of the protective head gear that zoo keepers and others may have worn in their various work and wartime roles.

https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/education-clubs/school-visits/primary

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/world-war-zoo-gardens-workshops-for-schools-at-newquay-zoo/

The ‘Tin Hats’ or Steel Helmets

Heavy – Tried on by many visiting school pupils!

Many male and female wartime zoo staff members, if not called up into the Armed Forces, may have had a ‘second life’ in the form of a night-time  or weekend role in the Home Guard, Fire Service or ARP Wardens in their work or home area.

All these roles required  protective equipment and clothing, including steel helmets.

WW2 British Police Helmet 

Issued to Police staff and wartime Police reservists

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

Fire Service Helmets

The NFS National Fire Service in Britain adopted the wartime Brodie Helmet style, rather than their traditional Roman / Napoleonic cavalry brass helmets.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Not sure what HAL in red stands for, whereas their fire sector number was written as a number, in this case 34 (West London).

Their sector number was written as a number, in this case 34 (West London).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Reproduction canvas shoulder hanger for your steel helmet – this helps to always keep it with you, along with your gas mask! 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

NFS Service Number 815946 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

NFS Sector or Fire Area 8 (decal) 

Newquay  lost many of  its AFS Auxiliary Fire Service Crew in the Plymouth Blitz in 1941. A memorial bell can still be seen at Newquay Fire Station today.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/the-plymouth-blitz-70-years-on-and-newquays-lost-wartime-afs-firecrew-remembered/

whipsnade-elephant

Peaked cap and smart uniform: unnamed ZSL Whipsnade Zoo  Keeper c. 1939/40 ploughing up zoo paddocks for crop planting with Dixie the elephant, instead of horses. (source: Zoo and Animal Magazine, 1939/40) 

Peaked Caps

Male zoo keepers traditionally wore a smart military style, stiff peaked cap in public (right up until the late 1980s in some zoos). Many other jobs also had this everyday cap, as well as the steel helmet for Raid and ARP duty.

NFS crews also had a smart peaked cap, worn when not wearing the Steel Helmet.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Rubber handled WW2 fireman’s axe, designed to avoid or insulate against electrocution if touching live wires. 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Maple and Co?  1941 makers stamp on the canvas Fireman’s Axe holder 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Information and voltage markings 

 

Irish / Eire Raid Warden Helmet

Distinctively a lovely Irish or emerald shade of green.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Irish Republic / Eire ARP Wardens Helmet – The W looks rather amateurishly applied. Helmet Source: closed Fire Service museum / collection

Although a neutral country in WW2, unlike Northern Ireland, there were several occasions when Eire or the Irish Republic / Southern Ireland  was bombed by the German air force, presumably by mistake.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dublin_in_World_War_II

As a result Dublin Zoo staff would have had to had ARP precautions in place. The newly opened 1934 Belfast Zoo in Northern Ireland was in the Belfast Blitz area.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/belfast-zoo-and-the-belfast-blitz-19-april-1941/

http://www.belfastzoo.co.uk/about-us/zoo-history/elephant-angel.aspx

Zuckermann Helmet 1939/40

Designed by zoologist Solly Zuckerman at ZSL London Zoo for civilian workers and fire watchers

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

MFP possibly refers to Main Fire Party or Precautions or similar 

Look out for a future blog post on ZSL London Zoo Scientist and primatologist Solly Zuckerman and how he designed and tested this helmet.

wartime-clothing.png

Heavy helmets match to some of the heavy original WW2 clothing, much tried on by visiting school pupils during our wartime zoo / wartime life Schools workshops at Newquay Zoo.

World War Zoo Nov Dec Zoo Magazine pics 021 Whipsnade keeper in tin hat 1939

Primary history source material – Keeper Billett of Whipsnade Zoo ZSL in tin hat and gas mask pictured in the shortlived ‘Animal And Zoo magazine’, November 1939 (magazine / photo from the World War Zoo archive, Newquay Zoo). Can’t quite see the front marking on the helmet.

This part of a print (below) in our collection shows some of the range of labelled and marked helmets that would distinguish different ranks and different emergency services during and after an air raid.

steel hlemet pdf .jpg

Note the NARPAC National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee helmet.  

Some of the rarer variations of markings, if genuine, can command much higher prices to collectors than others. Beware imitations!

Lesson Ideas for Primary School WW2 sessions 

inspire yr 6 ww2 doc

Blitz and Battle of Britain WW2 Cross Curricular Year 6 topic (the now defunct 2014/5 Inspire Curriculum, Cornwall) 

https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/education-clubs/school-visits/primary

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens, Newquay Zoo, on the eve of the Blitz anniversary 7th  September 1941 / 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering Merchant Navy Day 3rd September 2018

September 3, 2018

 

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).

Punch onions uboats 1917

A 1917 Punch cartoon from our World War Zoo Gardens archive collection

Remembering the brave men and women of the Merchant Navy past and present on Merchant Navy Day every 3rd September, who keep us and our animals supplied and fed in peacetime and wartime:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/remembering-merchant-navy-day-3-september-from-a-zoo-keepers-perspectivenwall/

mercahnt navy the common task punch

Food Security: the Dig For Victory gardener and the Merchant Navy, twinned in “The Common Task” Punch cartoon in my collection (March 19, 1941)

Another reason to be thankful and also Dig for Victory! Dig for Plenty! 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Merchant Navy Day tributes, 2014  Tower Hill Memorial (Image: Mark Norris) 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

“And Have No Grave But The Sea” – Tower Hill London CWGC War Memorial for Merchant Navy sailors of WW2   (Image: Mark Norris, 2014)

Remembering the Merchant Navy Crews involved in wartime along our Cornish coastline as well:

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

Remember as well the Merchant Navy crews buried in our local Newquay Cemetery including stewardess Louisa Tearle and also the crew of SS War Grange torpedoed off Newquay May 1918:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/the-somme-the-ennor-family-living-memory-and-our-local-cwgc-headstones-in-Newquay/

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 3rd September 1939 / 2019.


%d bloggers like this: