World War 1





World War 1 - Local Timeline

17th July 1915

Miss Beare, daughter of Mr T Beare, St Pauls Road to take up an appointment at Netley Military Hospital.

VAD wounded enjoy trips to ?Dartmoor and Torquay.

Local dairyman fined for diluting milk with water.

Mrs Brooks of the Dartmouth Inn and the children of Wolborough Girls School present newton's Ambulance Corp with two stretchers to ease the movement of ounded from the station to the local hospitals.

15th July 1915

King presents local flying aces Ft Lieut. Mills with DSC at Buckingham Palace.

8th July 1915

Despatch rider Corpl. E Elmsall of Devon Square, shares some of his experiences whilst home on leave for a few days.

Local school children continue supporting 'Eggs for the Wounded', the local grand total is 19,358 donated. Several children receive letters of thanks from the wounded recipients after they write their names and addresses on th eggs.

Newton Abbots new Girl Guides company now are over fifty members strong.

1st July 1915

Fundraising parade of Newton's Post office and GWr employees, St John Ambulance Brigade and Trade Unionists, accompnied by local bands took place.

Two local men charged with posession of Homing Pigeons without a permit, in contravention of the Defences of the Realm Act.

65 more wounded arrive at Newton Abbot and were greeted by rousing cheers of a large welcoming crowd.

Local child recieves letter of thanks from a soldier for egg donated to the sick wounded fund.

Mr Bradford of Wolborough Street has 6 sons serving King and Country.

26th June 1915

Mr Coles, former Mid Devon Advertisers' manager and popular Devon dialect writer / reciter, enlists as gunner - promises to send reports back to MDA.

Newton's air hero, Flt Lieu Mills awarded Distinguished Service Medal. During hoe leave in Newton, large crowds gather at St Leonards Tower to make personal presentation, in honour of his bravery.

Two brothers of leading local family, Capt. Alex and Lieu Jack Vicary, of Dyrons, both mentioned in despatches for conspicuous bravery - on the same day. Capt. alex also awarded the Military Cross.

First outing for VAD hospital wounded, included touring parts of Dartmoor, a stop at Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Natsworthy Manor, where squire Mr Scrimgeour provided scrumptious refreshments and charming grounds to wander.

19th June 1915

Army offers farmers short term use of soldiers, from New Armies and TAs, to help with hay hearvest, if farm labour shortages threatens its safe collection.

17th June 1915

Western Gaurdian reports 'Eye Witness' accounts in Parisian newspaper of Newtonian's sucessful attack on Germans Airship shed (reported 10th June), 5 aeroplanes as well as Zeppelin destroyed. Exploits cheered by thousands of watching townsfolk, Germans cavalry charge towards gathering crowds.

16th June 1915

Salvation Army allowed to use Bandstand in Courtenay Park on Thursday, and the Brotherhood band on Sunday's.

Speed restriction of otor vehicles to 10 mile per hour within Town prposed to Devon County Council.

12th June 1915

Secon Newton family, Mrs Gully of Victoria Place, mourns the death of two sons within  week.

Possibility of soldiers to be billited in small houses on Coronation Road, raises query, would it be better to utlise the substanial villas and houses in the Town to provide this accomodation?

Union Workhouse currently has total of 397 persons resident.

10th June 1915

Newtonian, Flt Lieu Mills, son of local Brewer, along with Flt Lieu Wilson from Torquay, play key role in bombing and destruction of German Airship Shed near Brussels - Zeppelin destroyed and 28 crew killed.

Newtons emigrants to Canada return to support the War effort, they include Charles Madron, former postmaster, also Pte Badcock of the Toronto Reg. who sadly, is reproted missing.

Two son of Mr and Mrs Dore killed within days of each other, though in very different apseres of the War.

5th June 1915

Wages rise for Newton employees at Messrs Vicary & Sons leather works (including the girls), as war bonus and at Watts Blake Bearne & Co, clay owners.

Contributions to provide outings for VAD patients - to visit Dartmoor and elsewhere going well.

Newton Abbot Girl Guide company formed. 



World War 1 - World Timeline

29th June 1915

Turkish counter-attacks at Dardanelles repulsed with heavy loss.

25th June 1915

Bukoba, German port on Lake Vitoria, Nyanza, Africa destroyed by British 'Frontiersmen'.

17th June 1915

Russina announce loss of 120,000 last month during Austro Hungarians and German offensives (see 1st May). Some 14,000 Russians take as POW's.

15th June 1915

Zeppelin raid on NE coast of England, industrial plants suffer damage, 16 workmen killed.

11th June 1915

Austrians lose 16,000 prisoners at Zuranwno, Russia, now part of modern Ukraine.

7th June 1915

First (German) airship destroyed in mid-air by (British) aeroplane. airship shed at Evere, North of Brussels destroyed by British aviators, Zeppelin plus 5 aeroplanes destroyed and 28 crew killed.



For more Timeline information:   Timeline_doc_30_May_2015.pdf


World War 1 Micro Histories packs 1 and 2

With 20 brand new stories connecting the town to World War 1, we now have on sale packs 1 and 2 of the Micro Histories collection, a total of 40 stories. The histories include historical information and images of soldiers, sailors, balloonist, nurses and doctors from Newton Abbot, as well as the historical background.

At £2 a pack they are great value for money.



 An example of one of the Micro-histories


The museum is always keen to hear your stories, do contact us through the 'contact us' facility on this website, or the museum facebook page. 



Your WWI Stories

Richard Harris sent the museum some of his First World War family stories. 
Amos Hewing’s niece discovers her Uncle’s WWI story at school

William Pearce had served with the Medical Corps of the Devonshire Regiment attending wounded soldiers, and been decorated with the DCM and MM. After the War, William Pearce became headmaster in Newton Abbot. One of his pupils was Amos’s niece, Selina.
Mr Pearce sometimes told his pupils about his war experiences. On one occasion he told Selina’s class how he had rescued a soldier from No-Man’s Land. He had been cut down by gunfire taking a German position. The soldier was severely wounded, the lower part of his right arm shattered by gunfire. As the story unfolded, Mr Pearce told the children how the soldier’s arm had to be amputated in the field hospital. (Amos is seated on the left)
Mr Pearce then asked Selina if she knew the name of the Soldier? Selina thought she was in trouble for not listening and broke down in tears. Mr Pearce comforted her and told her that she should be proud of this soldier - as it was her Uncle Amos. Selina cried even more. She knew that Uncle Amos had been wounded but he had never told his nieces and nephews, with whom he lived, how he had been wounded.


 The whole family was involved in the War, brothers George, Sam, Amos & Tom Hewings, George Tom Sam The Harris Family 1917


Private Archibald Orton

Seaforth Highlanders Regtl. No.790.

Born 15th September 1893, parents George and Ann Jane Orton Nee Ward

18 August 1911 Enlisted
24th November 1914 Tidworthy Military Hospital
17th March 1915 Discharged for medical reasons
In receipt of disability pension @ 50%
22 August 1913 Shorncliffe Barracks @E Company 2nd Seaforth Highlanders.
21st October 1914 'E Company 1st Batt. Seaforth Highlanders 7th Division Indian Expeditionary Force 'A'
14th November 1914 1st Seaforth highlanders 19th Brigade 7th Division Indian Exp Force 'A'
Arrived Agra September 1912, Darjeeling Aug - Dec 1913, Meerut Jan 1913, Calcutta Mar 1914, Ambala, Apr1914, Chakrata May-Jul 1914

W095 3941Medals - 1914 Star and Rosette, British War medal, Victory medal, Defence medal (1939-1945)

1st Battalioin Seaforth Highlanders came from India to the estern Front with the 19th Indian (Dehra Dun) Brigade 7th Indian (Marat) Division, arrived 12th Oct 1914, moved with Division to Mesopotamia, arrived 24th September 1915.

Married Amy Elizabeth Sophia Davis on 31st Jul 1919 at King Richards road Weslyan Methodist Chapel, Leicester.
Children - Amy Betty Feb 1921, Alan Davis Jan 1923, Leslie George Nov 1925, Derek Neil Apr 1927, Christine Dorothy Apr 1932.

Private Archibald Orton














 Sydney Sanders

Front Row third from the left

Sidney Sanders Kingsteignton

Born in Kingsteignton in 1898. He joined the Army in 1914 and went to France. Taken prisoner and spent 3 years in a prisoner of war camp in Germany.He worked down a coal mine 12 hours a day, and was given 2 meals a day of boiled turnips.
The prisoners were eaten by lice and their families would send special cream for their lice via the red cross.
He died in 1968.