World War II

We have had access to a collection of papers which have been kept by the son of Jeffery Burnett Ham.  JBH lived in Acacia House (now Henmore House) and was the Head Warden for ARP Area 38, which covered Weare and Allerton.  At the start of the war, this was one area, but JBH requested that another warden be appointed for Allerton, and Weare became known as 38A.  Acacia House was the ARP Wardens Post, since it had a telephone.  JBH kept meticulous records of wartime activities, samples of which you can see below.   We are grateful to Dave Ham for the loan of these papers.

Evacuees :
Over 400 evacuees came to Weare for varying lengths of time during the war, starting in 1939.  The name of each evacuee was listed in an exercise book, together with the welcoming host.  Some moved on to other families or other districts, and the dates are usually recorded.  Others returned home, and a small number were locally employed, and therefore no longer classed as evacuees.

The list of names and host families has been transcribed.  Click here to access the transcribed list.  Example of original page.

Another exercise book noted the items borrowed from a central store in Axbridge, and their return : camp beds, bedding, crockery and so on.

Evacuee children were staying at Sparrow Hill Farm when it was hit by a bomb; the family immediately recalled them home to the city, where they felt they would be safer, and at least all together.

Rest and Feeding Centre
In 1942, meetings were held to set up committees should it be necessary to open a Rest and Feeding Centre.  Click here to see a record of the first meeting
 
Diary
In addition to all the official records, JBH kept a daily log of activities in the village, bombs dropped in and around the area, meetings held, training sessions, fund raising Whist Drives, and so on.  This has been transcribed.  Click here to see the transcription.  Click here to see an extract from the original.

Air raid warnings - a special book records each of the air raid warnings, and the level of alert.  Example of a page showing colours for levels of alert.

ARP warden duties  -  Each warden signed a log book showing the hours on duty, which was countersigned by JBH.  Click here for names.  Example of page in the log book.

Activity Forms - wardens had to fill in a form each time a bomb was dropped in the area.  A transcription of the forms can be seen by clicking here.  Sample of original forms.

 

 

 

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