Tuesday, February 14, 2012

June 21-27, 1940

Sadly three more local men were reported missing this week. Platoon Sergt Major Vernon Thompson, 26 of 571 Ferndale Road, Swindon (pictured left) was reported missing following the evacuation from Dunkirk. PSM Thompson of the Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry had served for seven years before the outbreak of war. As a Reservist he was recalled to the colours and had been in France since January.

Private Frederick Arthur Andrews, also of Ferndale Road, the adopted son of Mr & Mrs C.W. Spackman, was reported as missing since May 20. Sent to France on his 21st birthday, private Andrews was in the Queen’s Royal Regiment.

Aircraftman Wilfred Greenman, 20 the son of Mr & Mrs T. Greenman of 44 Eastcott Road, was reported missing since June 17. A previous employee at the GWR Rolling Mills, Aircraftman Greenman volunteered for service with the RAF at the outbreak of war.

The number of Swindon residents stepping forward to become blood donors increased during a weeklong promotion in the town. Organisers were hopeful that if the trend continued the target of 5,000 new donors could be reached. Col. L. Whitly, director of the Army Blood Transfusion Service is pictured admiring a display in a window of Newspaper House.


The annual Swindon Schools Athletic Association Sports Day had a themed obstacle race. In keeping with the Dig for Victory campaign, boys had to race from the starting line and change from running shoes into heavy gardening boots. They then had to throw off their jackets, pick up a sack of soil and carry it on a wheelbarrow. Next the boys had to pot and water a plant and sprint with it to the finishing tape.

In their obstacle race the girls had to change into a nurse’s uniform, dose a ‘patient’ with medicine, completing the race after rolling up a long bandage.
Children from both local and evacuated schools took part in the Sports Day held at the County Ground.

‘Six perpetual shields were competed for by all the schools and Sanford Street Boys and Ferndale Road Girls each had the satisfaction of earning the right to have their names inscribed on two of them,’ reported the Advertiser.

Dinah Olliver from Commonweal School is pictured winning the 100 yards race for 15-16 year old girls while W. Devenay of East Ham won the event for boys aged 16-17.

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