Sunday, February 19, 2012

July 26-August 1, 1940

Another local man, Private G.H. Edmonds, (pictured left) formerly a painter in the GWR Works, was reported missing this week in 1940.

Private Edmonds of the Oxford & Bucks’s Light Infantry was in the same unit as Sergt Major Thompson, recently confirmed to be a prisoner of war.

A married man with one daughter, Pte Edmonds lived at 77 Bullingdon Road, Oxford having left Swindon and the GWR Works for a job at the Morris Works in Oxford.

Mrs T.H. Davies of 5 Prior’s Hill, Wroughton received welcome news from the War Office that her husband had been taken prisoner of war.

Corporal Thomas Henry Davies of the Cheshire Regiment (pictured right) had previously served for seven years in the Welch Fusiliers and within a week of the outbreak of war had been called to the colours and immediately sent to France.

Mrs Davies had last heard from her husband seven weeks previously when he sent a field card to say that he was quite well.

And Lieutenant Martin Keith-Roach RN, (pictured below) son of the former Rector of Blunsdon, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Serving in the submarine Triad, Lieut. Keith-Roach received the award “in recognition of daring, endurance and resource in the conduct of hazardous and successful operations.”
Before being posted to the Triad, Lieut Keith-Roach was for two years attached to the China Station, and was well known at Blunsdon where he spent several holidays.

Shopkeeper Dewi Mervyn Davies of 133 Manchester Road appeared in court charged with employing a young person for more than 44 hours a week and failing to keep records.

Teenager Mabel Brown, who worked from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm except on Wednesdays when she left at 1 pm, received 7s 6d a week, said she had an interval for dinner from 12 – 1.30 but no tea hour. She used to take her tea with her, but never had time to eat it.

Mabel’s duties included the delivery of newspapers and periodicals and housework as well as assisting in the shop and sub Post Office.

Davies pleaded guilty, stating that he had never been in business before and was ignorant of the regulations.


During the week ending July 20, Swindon’s “lend to defend” effort realised £19,851 – nearly enough to buy four Spitfires. The town’s accumulated total is now £381,777.


In preparation for the start of the new football season two local teams announced they would be amalgamating.

Swindon Corinthians and the GWR Staff Association Rangers would in future be known as Swindon GWR Corinthians.

“This is not purely a wartime measure,” Harry Beattie, Corinthians secretary told the Evening Advertiser. “The GWR should have one of the best football clubs in the country, and we believe that the amalgamation will go a long way to making this possible.”

Mr E.A. Howe, Chairman of the Swindon Borough League, was appointed chairman of the new club and Mr S. Wallis, Secretary of the GWR Staff Association Rangers, Mr Beattie’s assistant.

All matches will be played on the GWR Ground, Shrivenham Road where the facilities are second to none in Wiltshire, reported the Advertiser.

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