Archive for the ‘World War Zoo Gardens project’ Category

Remembering Cuthbert St. John Nevill FLS Linnean Society died WW1 18 April 2018

April 18, 2018

 

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Cuthbert St John Nevill photograph (from Rosemary’s  Relatives website)

Cuthbert St. John Nevill was a Fellow of the Linnean Society FLS  who was killed during the Spring Offensive of 1918.

https://www.linnean.org
Born in 1889, Nevill was killed on 18 April 1918. The eldest son of a stockbroker Sir Walter Nevill, Highbury New Park, London, he was educated at Eastbourne and Uppingham.

He worked as a member of the Stock Exchange and joined the City based HAC Honourable Artillery Company with whom he served in Egypt and Aden in 1915, thus being eligible at his wife’s post-war request for a 1914-15 star alongside his British War and Victory medals.

Transferred as a Second Lieutenant to the C Battery, 251st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery and commissioned in 13 April 1916, he served with the RFA in France until his death in service on 18 April 1918.

He is buried at III A 1, Chocques Military Cemetery, where many of the burials are related to the No. 1 CCS Casualty Clearing Station.

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Cuthbert is buried in Chocques Militray Cemetery (Image CWGC) 

In 1918, Cuthbert married Miss Eunice May Le Bas (1890 – 1979) of Guernsey.

Widowed within the early months of her first marriage, she remarried another officer (possibly wounded as awarded a Silver War Badge), J.C. Oakley-Beuttler Lieutenant in the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry (1888 – 1940) in November 1919.

 

Several other Linnean Society fellows were killed in WW1, recorded on their Roll of Honour – see my 2013 blog post:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/lost-fellows-the-linnean-society-roll-of-honour-1914-1918/

https://rosemarysrelatives.wordpress.com/2007/11/09/in-memory-of-my-nevill-relatives-who-died-in-the-great-war/

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Part of the worldwide Ribbon of Poppies planted at Newquay Zoo for the WW1 Centenary

April 11, 2018

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Part of the 2016 crop of Poppies at the World War Zoo Gardens at Newquay Zoo

We have planted more poppy seeds at Newquay Zoo as part of the Ribbon of Poppies Remembrance event to mark 100 years since the end of WW1.

 

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Some ever so useful fake or silk poppies (from 2015)

 

I have  registered our  little poppy patch with Ribbon of Poppies at Eventbrite.

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Inspired by The Memorial Mob, this event which is free to join wherever you are. Twitter #RibbonofPoppies    http://thememorialmob.webs.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RibbonofPoppies/

I was tipped off about this Ribbon of Poppies event or initiative by Rosie and the Gardens staff at Wild Place, part of Bristol Zoo http://www.wildplace.org.uk/

They are thinking of planting not just red Flanders Poppies but working out if they can find 100 varieties of Poppies to grow for 2018.

Wild Place’s walled gardens and its Sanctuary gardens are  an interesting ‘wartime garden’ in itself, as I posted  in 2014:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/digging-into-bristol-zoos-wartime-garden-past-mystery-photograph-solved/

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100 types of poppy? Having bought poppy seeds in different garden centres, I was surprised to find that there probably are that many ornamental varieties of poppy.

I have mostly bought Papaver rhoeas, the Flanders or Field Poppy but also an ornamental poppy Papaver somniferum, a variety named a suitably brave ‘Victoria Cross’. 

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Some of the poppy seeds are saved from previous years, some have been bought from various suppliers including a special packet from  Heligan Gardens as part of the Heligan 1914 – 1918 centenary celebrations.

Part of the profits from some of these seeds appropriately  goes to service charities Royal British Legion and SSAFA.

Thousands of poppy seeds have now been scattered on the front section of our allotment garden, backed up by some Ladybird Poppies (Papaver commutatum), a hardy annual poppy which will also self sow.

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http://www.centenarynews.com/article/call-to-sow-ribbon-of-poppies-for-2018

Poppies are bee-friendly and wildlife friendly plants, great for our native species focus this year.

 

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Our  suitably rusty memorial to wartime zoo keepers and gardeners  past, based at Newquay Zoo for the last ten years  (2018)  

 

Why mark this in the modern zoo? Many zoo staff joined up or were conscripted from such zoos as were open in 1914 (and 1939) including  Bristol, London, Belle Vue and Edinburgh Zoos. Not all of them came back, complete in mind and body. Sadly their stories and sacrifice have sometimes been forgotten over the years. No doubt the same story can be told for each of the towns or village communities surrounding our zoos and gardens today, and to the families of many  of our visitors today from all nationalities.

The same happened to staff in botanic gardens like Edinburgh or Kew. Over the last (almost) ten years we have posted on the blog on the anniversary of each WW1 zoo or botanic gardens related casualty. A few of these stories are collected here: https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/ww1-related-posts/

This was another of our poppy posts on the 100th anniversary of the 1915 ‘poppy’ poem In Flanders Fields – some very useful fake silk poppies on show! https://wordpress.com/post/worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/979

Inspired to get involved?

I hope that you and your family, your workplace, your zoo or botanic garden, your garden, your street or your park are inspired to take part in the nationwide or even international Ribbon Of Poppies, even with just a small pot of ornamental or Flanders Poppies. Sign up and find out more: Get involved!

https://www.facebook.com/RibbonofPoppies/

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens, Newquay Zoo, 11 April 2018

NB. Unlike some of the Ribbon of Poppies venues, please note that Newquay Zoo is not a ‘free to enter’ venue – more about our ticket prices and annual passes: https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/plan-your-visit/tickets-and-prices

To finish: a couple of shots of recent and surviving planting in the World War Zoo Gardens, such colourful veg just to the right of where our poppies are sown.

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International Women’s Day March 8th – Land Army Girls March 1945 magazine cover

March 8, 2018

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WLA Land Girl on front cover of My Home magazine March 1945 price 9d (Author’s collection/WWZG) Note the length of service armband.  

It were never that glamorous! A rather fluffy and idealised portrait of life for a WLA Land Girl is shown on the front cover of My Home magazine March 1945 (price 9d).

Life for the women of the Women’s Land Army was often very different, especially in winter.

Land Girls served in wartime zoos,  such as the team running the ‘Off the Ration’ Exhibition at London Zoo, set up with the Ministry of Information etc, to show householders how to look after simple food animals – pigs, rabbits, chickens.

This linked to a simple model wartime farm and garden which was established, as at Kew Gardens, to give gardening and livestock advice to members of the public and visitors.  Some Whipsnade Zoo paddocks were also ploughed up (by horse and elephant!) to be farmed for the war effort.

land army greatcoat labelThe quite small sized Land Girls woollen overcoat is quite a popular but surprisingly heavy fashion item for visiting schoolgirls to try on during our World War Zoo schools wartime workshop at Newquay Zoohttps://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/education-clubs/school-visits

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

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/ww2-at-newquay-zoo-and-other-primary-workshops-inspired-by-the-new-curriculum/

 

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Women’s Land Army greatcoat (second from right)in our original wartime clothing section.

 

Marking International Women’s Day March 8th and the activities of extraordinary ordinary women such as the Women’s Land Army in WW1 and WW2 with this colourful  Land Army Girls March 1945 magazine cover.

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project, Newquay Zoo, 8 March 2018

 

 

Wartime January Gardening Advice

January 26, 2018

 

middleton calender coverA wet but mildish start to the year with nothing much happening in the World War Zoo wartime garden at Newquay Zoo in January.

What would Wartime gardening expert Mr. Middleton have to say about January gardening?

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/mr-middletons-january-gardening-advice-1943/

Cambrai 100 Wooden Tank Toy

November 20, 2017

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Wooden tank toy 1920s to 1940s ? (Author’s Collection / WWZG)

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British Mark 1 tank 1916 (Solomon camouflage screen) Image Source: Wikipedia / Library of Congress. 

 

Putting away display materials from a World War Zoo schools workshop at Newquay Zoo, I photographed one of the sturdy handmade wooden toys in my collection to mark the anniversary of the ‘Tank Battle’ of Cambrai 100 on  20 November 1917.

The caterpillar tracks echo those of a First World war tank.

In its simple wooden design it appears handmade, either a homemade item from the First World War or 1920s to 1940s.

Most of the few wartime toys we have for our occasional school workshop displays are made from wood and  scrap metal when the supply of toys from Germany, toy-making  nation, or toys from   British manufacturers ran short or ceased during World War Two.  Supplies of metal ran short and toy firms were often turned over to war work and munitions.

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This is no tiny wooden model, it is quite a chunky item which fits into standard shoebox.

Remembering the anniversary of Cambrai, 20 November 1917. http://tank100.com/

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 20 / 21 November 2017

https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/explore/news/detail/new-workshops-for-a-busy-summer-of-zoo-school-visits

Remembrance Weekend 2017

November 11, 2017

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World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, 2016 poppy. 

Remembering the many zoo and botanic Gardens staff and their families affected by the two world wars and conflicts silence.

Remembered at Newquay Zoo and in many zoos and botanic gardens by the two minutes silence at 11 am  Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th November 2017.

We will remember them.

Posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project, 11 November 2017

Remembering Royal Navy Stoker Thomas Tumbs of Belle Vue Zoo died WW1 2nd October 1917

October 2, 2017

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Thomas Tumbs’ name on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. Image Source: Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo.

Remembering Thomas J. Tumbs of Belle Vue Zoo Manchester who died serving in the Royal Navy during WW1 as a Stoker on 2nd October 2017.

Stoker First Class T J Tumbs, AB (Able Seaman) Service Number K/29448
Tumbs died aged 40 whilst serving on HMS Drake on 2 October, 1917  on convoy duty off the coast of Ireland, sunk by torpedo from German U-boat submarine U79.

Stoker First Class Tumbs was aged 40 and one of 19 sailors killed aboard the cruiser HMS Drake when it was torpedoed by German U Boat U79 on 2 October 1917.

 

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HMS Drake 1901 (Wikipedia source)

Attacked while escorting an incoming Atlantic Convoy, HMS Drake limped into Church Bay off the coast of Northern Ireland where it sank and still provides a wreck popular with divers.

HMS Drake was the lead ship of her class of armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy around 1900.  Assigned to the 6th Cruiser Squadron of the 2nd Fleet, she  became the squadron’s flagship when the fleet was incorporated into the Grand Fleet upon the outbreak of the First World War.
HMS Drake remained with the Grand Fleet until refitted in late 1915, when she was transferred to the North America and West Indies Station for convoy escort duties. In 1916 she participated in the unsuccessful search for the German commerce raider SMS Möwe.

HMS Drake was torpedoed by the German submarine U-79, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Rohrbeck  on 2 October 1917 after her Convoy HH24 had dispersed for its several destinations. The ship was about five miles (8.0 km) off Rathlin Island at the tip of Northern Ireland when she was hit.

The torpedo struck the No. 2 Boiler Room and caused two of her engine rooms and the boiler room to flood, killing 18 crewmen including Thomas Tumbs. 

 

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From the Wessex archaeology report pdf

 

This knocked out her steam-powered steering. Her captain decided to steam for Church Bay on Rathlin Island … Drake’s crew was taken off before she capsized later that afternoon

As mentioned, Thomas Tumbs has no headstone or burial, his gravesite is the wreck of HMS Drake and the ocean.

HMS Drake today

The wreck of HMS Drake in shallow water was partly salvaged in 1920. A fishing trawler collided with the remainder of the wreck in 1962 and sank the next day. Ammunition and ordnance was salvaged during the 1970s and the wrecks were demolished with depth charges to reduce the chance of any other ships coming to grief on the wrecks. In 1978, the remaining fuel oil was salvaged to reduce pollution from leaking oil.

Since June 2017 the wreck of HMS Drake has been a scheduled historic monument. Diving is still permitted.

http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/files/splash-import/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/hms-drake-undesignated-site-assessment-final-version-with-figs.pdf

According to Captain Radcliffe’s confidential report on the loss of HMS Drake to the Admiralty, the Drake was torpedoed: ‘…abreast No. 2 Boiler Room the starboard side, the boiler room was immediately flooded, killing everyone there except one man who was blown on to the upper deck and landed there unhurt, and another who climbed up through the Stokehold hatch.’

The last extract to be cited here is interesting in that it states that the 18 dead were left on board. During the research for this report no reference was found relating to the removal of the dead, and without further research it is unsure whether their remains are still inside the wreck. Captain Radcliffe states that: ‘Nobody except the dead remained on board the Drake, when I left her for HMS Delphinium, the mess decks, Boiler Rooms, Engine Room had all been searched and reported clear…” (Wessex Archaeological Report)

Thomas Tumbs remembered on war memorials

The CWGC website has a listing for Thomas Tumbs and the Plymouth Naval Memorial 

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3044422/tumbs,-thomas-james/

As he has no known grave, being lost at sea, his name is remembered on Panel 22 of the Plymouth Naval Memorial, which I visited in 2015 on a suitably wet and blustery day.

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

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

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Fellow Belle Vue Zoo Manchester sailor Matthew Walton’s war at sea in the Coronel and the Falklands are mentioned as the battle honours on this section of the Plymouth Naval Memorial, where T J Tumbs is also remembered (Image: Mark Norris)

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Belle Vue zoo’s sadly vandalised war memorial, Gorton Cemetery. Manchester lists their First World War dead – a tiny glimpse of the losses of men from zoos on active service in both world wars. Image: manchesterhistory.net

Thomas J.  Tumbs is also remembered on land at the Belle Vue Zoo Manchester zoological gardens staff WW1 memorial at Gorton Cemetery, Manchester.

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Thomas J Tumbs is remembered ( 6th name on left column of names) on the damaged Belle Vue memorial names section, thankfully carved in stone as the statue has been stolen. Image: manchester history.net photo

Thomas was the son of the late Charles and Mary Tumbs (nee Collis), of 1 Newton Street Gorton, Manchester. Tumbs married in 1905  Evie Lilla Tumbs (nee Harvey) , formerly of 32 Gloucester Street, Gorton.

Thomas was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Like his father he is listed as working for a Locomotive Engineers ”, specifically, an  Electricity Labourer in the  Locomotive Engine industry. Sounds like a heavy manual job, a Stoker by another name! On 1901 he was a carter at a brickworks. No doubt his role at Belle Vue Zoo was equally labourious.

Thomas had a sister Sarah A Fryer, 33 Middlewood Street Gorton, Manchester (source: Royal Navy War Graves Roll 1914-19)

Thomas’ parents are buried in Gorton Park Cemetery where the Belle Vue Zoo staff war memorial is located.

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens, 2 October 2017.

Journal articles about World War Zoo Gardens

October 2, 2017

 

Some lovely online journal links to the World War Zoo Gardens project at Newquay Zoo 

 

BGEN web article https://bgen.org.uk/resources/free/using-the-garden-ghosts-of-your-wartime-or-historic-past/

 

BGCI Roots journal https://www.bgci.org/files/Worldwide/Education/Roots_PDFs/Roots%207.1.pdf  

 

ABWAK Keepers journal March 2014 https://abwak.org/uploads/PDF%20documents/RATEL%20PDFs/RATEL_March_2014.pdf 

 

IZE journal no. 50 2014 http://izea.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/1.-FULL-IZE-Journal-2014-FINAL-.pdf 

 

World War Zoo Gardens Blog https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/   

 

You’re already here! Published since 2009, including centenary posts on the centenary anniversary of each zoo staff or zoo gardener, botanic gardener, gardener, naturalist and associated trades that we are aware of as having been killed in WW1 or WW2.

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/worldwarzoo1939

 

 

The original Dig For Victory Teachers Pack from the Royal Parks / Imperial War Musuem 2008 allotment project

 

http://www.carrickfergusinbloom.org/DFVTeachersPack.pdf

 

Posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Monday 2nd October 2017

 

 

 

National Poetry Day – Gardeners and Men! Kew Gardens WW1

September 28, 2017

To celebrate National Poetry Day 28 September 2017, a wartime poem from RBG Kew Gardens in  WW1 –

“For King and Country fought and died — Gardeners and Men !”

GARDENERS OF EMPIRE.

Tillers of the soil they were — just gardeners then,

In faith the day’s work doing as the day’s work came,

Peaceful art in peace pursuing — not seeking fame —

When through the Empire rang the Empire’s call for men!

Gardeners they were, finding in fragile flowers delight,

Lore in frail leaves, and charm even in wayside weeds.

Who, in their wildest dreams, ne’er rose to do brave deeds,

Defending righteous cause against relentless Might!

 

The wide world gave her flowers for them — the mountains high,

The valleys low, and classic hills all fringed with snow

Where fires by sunset kindled light the alpen-glow.

O ! Fate implacable ! — to see those hills and die !

 

The war god rose refreshed — Gardeners and Soldiers then!

Who, that slumbering Peace might wake, dared, with manhood’s zeal,

To make Life’s sacrifice to Love’s supreme appeal.

For King and Country fought and died — Gardeners and Men !

 

written by H. H. T

Probably Harry H. Thompson, editor of the journal,   The Gardener,  who left Kew in 1899.

Reprinted from the Kew Guild Journal, 1915. http://www.kewguild.org.uk/media/pdfs/v3s23p265-39.pdf

Read more about the poem, women gardeners at Kew – Gardeners and Women! and my favourite WW1 poet Ivor Gurney below:

I read Gardeners and Men out at a graden history in London in 2014, probably for the first time in a century or at least decades:

 

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/for-king-and-country-fought-and-died-gardeners-and-men/

 

Read more about Kew Gardens in WW1

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

Lost gardeners and zoo staff of WW1 in Passchendaele 1917

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/lost-gardeners-and-zoo-staff-during-passchendaele-1917-ww1/

Happy National Poetry Day!

How will you celebrate it?

 

Blog posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, 28 September 2017

 

World War Zoo Gardens hits its 8th Blogaversary 2017

August 14, 2017

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WordPress my trusty blog host have left me a happy blogaversary message that this weekend was the 8th anniversary of signing up to WordPress.com and starting our World War Zoo  Gardens blog at Newquay Zoo in August 2009.

https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/

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My garden’s eighth blogaversary surprise present, a yellow poppy poking out amongst sneaky ferns (I love ferns!) that thrive in the shade below  beautiful Globe Artichokes – great enrichment for our macaque monkeys. August 2017 

 

Our wartime zoo garden left me a surprise this weekend, a bright yellow poppy! Nothing traditional like a red one …

Over 270 posts later, near 100,000 views and around 40,000 visitors so far, this is not a bad little blog footprint for a very tiny patch of dug up lawn in eight years.

Looking back at the first entries in August 2009 is really interesting as we hurriedly prepared for our wartime zoo garden launch weekend in August 2009.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/world-war-zoo-project-%e2%80%93-newquay-zoo%e2%80%99s-wartime-garden-2009/

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The reproduction wartime garden signs are little rusty now and difficult to replace but the wartime zoo garden is still going strong August 2017

 

This launch weekend in 2009 was well timed to link with the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two in late August / early September 1939, remembered here  https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/70-years-today-on-from-the-outbreak-of-war/

Some early thoughts on how European zoos survived wartime

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/long-ago-and-far-away-%e2%80%a6/

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The blitzed remains of Berlin Zoo’s elephant house and its surviving elephant during the bombing raids of 1943/44 (Original photo in our archive collection).

 

 

Familar pest control problems August 2009 that have not changed

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/disaster-strikes/

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/23/slaughter-by-torchlight-but-not-in-the-blackout/

Personal memories and family stories August 2009

A family story in August 2009 from my late mother about scrumping for apples in Vera Lynn’s Garden. Vera Lynn is still with us, her centenary this year, my wartime evacuee mother sadly not.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/scrumping-apples-in-vera-lynns-garden/

Some early research on how London Zoo survived wartime

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/zoology-gave-way-to-first-aid-and-fire-fighting-courses-%e2%80%a6/

“But with the beginning of 1939 reality was brought home at last. Beneath its canopy of blimps [anti-aircraft or barrage balloons] London set about evacuation, the building of underground retreats, the distribution of gas masks.

Zoology gave way to first-aid and fire-fighting courses…

When on September 3rd the long expected blow fell, an emergency committee was set up. With a big cash balance in hand the [Zoological Society of London] was confident that it could “see it through” …

In deference to public hysteria the poisonous snakes were decapitated … The panda, elephants and African Rhinoceros were evacuated to Whipsnade …

In company with all other places of entertainment etc. where crowds might gather to the risk of public safety, the zoo closed its gates …”

The Zoo Story,  L.R. Brightwell, 1950s, p. 225-6.

Breaking ground and digging  up the lion house lawn  August 2009

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/digging-up-the-lawns-at-newquay-zoo/

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Richard (our then zoo gardener) or his legs “Digging for Victory”,  removing the first turf for our wartime zoo garden August 2009.

Double Trench-digging for beginners August 2009

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/double-trench-digging-for-beginners-or-how-to-dig-a-trench-for-vegetables-the-1940s-way/

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/sweat-toil-yes-but-thankfully-no-tears-or-blood-yet/

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Our World War Zoo Garden after eight years 2009-2017 (August 2017)

 

An early link to our sister Zoo at Paignton Zoo and their strange wartime experiences, stories that we have followed up over the years. https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/please-do-not-eat-the-peacocks-when-visiting-the-zoo/

https://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/more-strange-wartime-zoo-stories-sent-to-us/

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Fine Abbott Thayer disruptive colouration camouflage on a Newquay Zoo peacock, 2017 – this didn’t stop hungry American GIs eating their ancestors at Paignton Zoo just before D-Day 1944. http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/4/hiddentalents.php

 

 

The outline of plans for our wartime zoo garden launch weekend at the end of August 2009 remind me how busy we were preparing everything in time:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/23/wartime-zoo-garden-launch-next-weekend-bank-holiday-30th-and-31st-august-2009/

World War Zoo exhibition photos and garden launch 30310809 garden box 2 027

Winter garden work – in the library or armchair, planning your coming year’s crop plans and trying new plants using handy wartime advice even in cartoon / strip form from the papers. Items from part of the Newquay Zoo wartime life collection, garden launch weekend, August 2009

The wartime garden launch weekend in August 2009 went well and also saw Vera Lynn back in the album charts!https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/first-day-of-our-wartime-zoo-gardens-display/

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/successful-second-day-of-our-wartime-zoo-life-exhibition-and-vera-lynn-back-in-the-charts/

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Beautiful Rhubard Chard, great favourite of our monkeys, growing August 2017

 

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More edible leaves and colourful, tasty flowers of our Nasturtiums – a treat for some of our animals and visitors, August 2017

 

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/last-strawberries-of-a-slug-summer/

This 25th August 2009 blog entry had the hopeful postscript about a new US president:

“One day hopefully all zoos will have their own Victory Gardens. They have one I hear at The White House now to mark Barack Obama’s arrival. I think we have a long way to go in the zoo before we get to self sufficiency, but from small acorns …”

Then to finish our look back at August 2009 with one of the fantastic images we uncovered of life at London Zoo in September 1939

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/shelter-from-the-storm-ahead-wartime-zoos-3-september-1939/

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Taking shelter at London Zoo in September 1939, a sandbagged tunnel under the road (Zoo and Animal magazine, November 1939)

If you go to the Archive dropdown menu to the right, you can sample some of the last eight years of delights from our 1940s allotment gardening, wartime zoo and wartime gardening research from WW1 to WW2 and beyond.

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Not forgetting that this colurful and scented garden is a practical and peaceful memorial to the many zoo and botanic gardens staff affected by war since 1914, many of whose stories we have uncovered since 2009. (photo August 2017)  

 

What next for the World War Zoo Gardens and its blog?

Since 2009 many school garden and wartime garden projects, thrift and recession allotments and their blogs have come and gone, gardens and blogs both being  ephemeral things.

Education changes, which led to a new primary  National Curriculum in 2013/14 in England and Wales, have sadly seen, at one low point, no WW2 content in the primary history curriculum. This uncertainty  has greatly affected  uptake of wartime zoo workshops for schools. https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/world-war-zoo-gardens-workshops-for-schools-at-newquay-zoo/

Thankfully primary schools can still, with a little creative curriculum imagination,  study WW2 as one of the “turning points in British History since 1066″ and we are rewriting our workshops to reflect this.

Workshop talks in action

Mark Norris delivering one of our World War Zoo Gardens workshop days in ARP uniform, 2014. Volunteer Ken our ‘Home Guard’ is shyly sitting out of the photo!

It has been a great eight years so far since 2009, working with and meeting a wide range of people, amongst the highlights of  which I think of talking to pupils in our wartime zoo school workshops, attending re-enactors weekends, meeting former landgirls and evacuees,  linking with staff at Kew Gardens, Chester  and London Zoo and chats with thousands of zoo visitors over the allotment garden fence.

nicole howarth chives wwzg

Primate Keeper Nicole harvesting flowering chives as enrichment for monkeys, 2012. She  returned in August 2017 from the Dutch zoo where she now works to see how Newquay Zoo and its gardens are doing  (Image: Mark Norris)

 

The wartime zoo garden has been a great practical resource for our Newquay Zoo keepers since 2009. It has provided scented herbs, edible flowers and leaves and many fine fresh vegetables to feed and enrich the lives and enclosures of many of our most endangered zoo animals. None of the animals were that fussed about our 1940s potato varieties though.

Eight years of blogposts, articles, talks and conference papers has led to lots of interesting links with other zoos, botanic gardens and historians. http://www.bgci.org/resources/article/0729/

We have even won a national zoo award from BIAZA for “best use of planting in a zoo landscape feature / design” in November 2011.

wartime garden BIAZA award, Mark Norris

Newquay Zoo’s wartime gardener and blogger Mark Norris with wartime issue spade and  BIAZA award for best plants in a landscape feature and design, November 2011.

Hopefully our garden project will still be here in two year’s time for our World War Zoo Gardens Tenth Anniversary in 2019.

May 2019 is also Newquay Zoo’s own 50th Birthday, which will keep us busy  https://newquayzoohistory.wordpress.com/

2019 will also see the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2, many of its participants rapidly passing away and also the wrapping up of the WW1 centenary 1914-1919.

Plenty to blog about, plenty of new stories to uncover.

Thanks to all the Newquay Zoo staff and many many others who have been involved so far with our World War Zoo Gardens project since 2009.

WWZ gardens June 2011 002

Hundreds of thousands of zoo visitors  have stopped to read this attractive World War Zoo Gardens sign at Newquay Zoo since we put it up in 2011.

 

This post (No. 275)  sums up perfectly what  World War Zoo Gardens is about, being  a little bit of looking back to the past, an update on the present and a glimpse towards the future.

Happy Blogaversary!

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, 8th Blogaversary weekend of the 12th / 13th August 2017.


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