A Parish at War
Memorial Book title05

H.M.S. Goathland

There are several books on local history [by authors such as Maria Forbes, Margaret Tucker and Phyllis Cram] which cover the goings on of the parish, and in particular Winscombe, in some detail and better than can be covered here. However, here is a brief description particularly of he fund raising activities in the Parish during WW2.

World War 1

The parish vestry minutes are silent on the happenings on the ‘home front’ of WW1, the only mention of the war being two listings of the men of the Parish who had gone off to war.

World War 2

The parish seems to have gone through more of an upheaval during this period with the arrival both of evacuees and troops being billeted in many houses around the village.

The Parish council minutes shows the change from the pre-war preoccupation of naming new roads and keeping footpaths clear to the war work of taking down all signposts [only later recording that they needed to keep a record of where stored and where they came from!] and blocking the footpaths in case of invasion.

It was relatively late, on the 30th January 1941, that the council recorded that they had addressed the Civil defence requirements and split the parish into 18 sectors and appointed fire Squad leaders under the command of Mr. B.L. Gardner [a retired Army Captain] as Head Warden. The previous November Bristol had been heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe and the parish fire brigade had attended on the first of many occasions.


    September 1940

The Caxton library organises a “Spitfire Fund”

    November 1941

Parish collects £60-0-3 for the National air raid Christmas fund, the highest amount collected by any of the local rural district council [RDC] parishes

    May 1942

15th to 22nd the RDC organises a “Warship Week” National Savings drive to raise funds for H.M.S.Goathland, the Parish raising a substantial contribution. Later that year a fund raising activity is organised by the parish council for the comfort of the crew.

Click here for details

    September 1942

Parish collects £47-7-73 for the National air raid fund, again the highest amount collected by any of the local RDC parishes. A Whist Drive is organised and raises £10-0-0 which is allocated directly to the Weston-super-Mare air raid fund.

    May 1943

15th to 22nd the RDC organises a “Wings for Victory” National Savings drive. The RDC set the Parish a target of £22,500 which was beaten soundly with various events raising a total of £31,266.  [Using the Retail Price Index that’s about £935,000 in today’s money!]

    March 1944

The RDC organises a “Salute to the Soldiers of War” National Savings drive. The RDC again sets the Parish a target of £22,500 which they again exceeded.

    April 1945

The Parish council minutes records that £25-14-0 was donated to the “Red Army Flag Day Appeal”

was also much fund raising activity organised in the village at the time :















With peace in 1945 the parish turns it mind to remembrance and a return to normal parish business.

Mr Gardner proposed to the council the addition of the names of the recently fallen to the War Memorial, and creating a permanent obligation to the council to maintain it, on 27th June 1946

1946 also finds the council recording the need to involve the police in cases of vandalism at he War Memorial Ground on the lynch - nothing much has changed there then!