The Wiveliscombe Children of the Great War Project

In the autumn of 2014 the Wiveliscombe Civic Society was lucky enough to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for The Wiveliscombe Children of the Great War project , which will focus on the children of the town, as they lived 100 years ago,  and now.  Previously unseen records from the primary school alongside baptismal records and other genealogical resources will build a picture of family life in Wiveliscombe during and after the First World War. 

Postcard of Wiveliscombe

Postcard of Wiveliscombe Primary School

The project, co-ordinated by Suzie Grogan and Pauline Homeshaw M.B.E, Chair of the Civic Society, will enable children in the town to discover the memories and heritage of the people whose families lived through the First World War. Many of these families have been part of the Wiveliscombe community for generations and still have descendants in the town. The children will research the war’s history, visit the Somerset Heritage Centre, graveyards, the recreation ground and the local care home to create a commemorative book containing their findings, and the results of an art competition.

Children from Wiveliscombe Primary School

Children from Wiveliscombe Primary School

With help from local historians, the information gathered will be the basis for the book and this will also lead to the creation of a mosaic to be sited in the centre of town.  Information will also be recorded by the children to be archived for future generations to listen to but also for playing out on our community radio station, 10 Radio.

Ceramic Poppy Project

Ceramic Poppy Project

It promises to be a lovely project that will offer a lasting legacy for the children of the town, now and in the future.

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Heritage Centre Welcomes New Collection

We are very grateful to receive an interesting new collection of photographs relating to the work of the Wiveliscombe Mule Depot.

The Mule Depot in Wiveliscombe was set up in early 1915 in addition to existing Mule Depots in the county under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel G. H. Badcock.

The people of Somerset were told to look out for the animals moving around the county, as reported in the Devon and Exeter Gazette:

The Devon & Exeter Gazette 9 January 1915 reporting the presence of mules in the county.

The Devon & Exeter Gazette 9 January 1915

Mule Depots were created in West Somerset due to the proximity to Avonmouth docks. The animals entered the country via the docks, and went on to rest on Somerset farms before going to their duties in Europe.

In the Devon and Exeter Gazette of March 25 1915, ‘Tenders are invited‘ by Lieut.Col. Badcock to supply the Mule Depots hay, grain, and oats ‘between 1st May and 31st July 1915.’ No.10 Depot is based at ‘Messrs.J. and W. Dunn’s, Jew’s Farm, Wiveliscombe‘.

A few of the photographs are featured here:

Further information about Mule Depots please see:





Wiveliscombe hosts Commemoration Rugby Match

Pupils from Kingsmead School, Wiveliscombe, will be playing a special rugby match on Wednesday 17 December.

Following a morning of First World War themed activities at the school, a rugby match will be played on the memorial recreation ground from 2.00–3.00 pm by pupils from Years 10 and 11.

Shortly before the match at 1.45pm the Last Post will be played followed by the carol Silent Night.

The match commemorates the presentation of the recreation ground to the people of Wiveliscombe in honour of those lost during the war.

The ‘Rec’, as it is known locally, was opened on 6th June 1920, and also features a stone obelisk memorial to those who died. One of these men was the sportsman Lieutenant Ralph E.Hancock.

Wiveliscombe soldier, Lieut. R.E. Hancock, 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment.  Killed in Action 29 October 1914.

Lieut. R.E. Hancock, 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in Action 29 October 1914.

The event is also inspired by the Christmas Truce of 1914 and recognises the power of sport to bring people together.

The Somerset Remembers touring exhibition will be on display at the Rugby Club during the afternoon and members of the public will have the opportunity to discuss the First World War with experts.

Refreshments will also be available at the Rugby Club for spectators.