In 1944 the Second World War was well into its fifth year and parents and wives must have lived in constant dread of hearing tragic news of loved ones who were fighting abroad. The Somerset Guardians of the day were filled with tales of soldiers feared dead and Timsbury did not escape unscathed. In the autumn came news that Guardsman Ronald Parfitt, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Parfitt had been killed in action in north-west Europe. Ronald who was only 21 had been in the forces for two and a half years but had only been overseas for a month. A Sunday School teacher and member of the choir at Tabor his death like others the village suffered during the conflict must have had a dramatic impact.
There was news of a much more cheerful nature for Mr. and Mrs. J. Pickford who lived at Hook. They were informed that their only son Leslie who had been training with the R.A.F. in Canada for nine months had gained his wings and had been commissioned as Pilot Officer R.A.F. V.R. Meanwhile a dance was held in the Church Room organised by the 7th. Platoon Timsbury Home Guard with music supplied by Mr. Treasure’s Pensford Melody Makers. Some two hundred people turned up and a profit of £12 was handed to the Somerset Red Cross Association.
Meetings of the North Somerset Left Discussion Group were regularly held at the home of Captain Scobell at The Bungalow, Kingwell. In 1944 a large gathering welcomed Dr. Hewlett Johnson, Dean of Canterbury, who gave a lecture on “The future of democracy” and gave strong support to the activities of the Soviet Union. Later in the year some seventy students attended the annual one-day school there and heard lectures from Mr. J. Campbell, the Assistant Editor of The Daily Worker.
The Timsbury and District Nursing Association benefitted to the tune of £10 thanks to a village rabbit show. The best rabbit in the show was a Dutch owned by Mr. H.R. Gill of Shoscombe while the members’ points cup, donated by Miss Eshelby, was won by R. Sims with P. Thatcher in second place.
The Senior School was the venue for a concert which featured artists of international repute and which was organised by Timsbury Choral Society under the auspices of the “Council for the encouragement of music and the arts”. The Choral Society sang themselves under conductor Madam Hilda Lewis with John Bowrey at the piano while the artists were Antonia Butler (cello), Helen Anderson (soprano) and Harry Isaacs (piano).
There was naturally little organised sport in Timsbury at this time but a “Salute The Soldier” boxing tournament took place in May 1944. Bath boxers won four out of the five bouts and village losers included Corporal Parfitt and Fred Smith. Timsbury G.T.C. (Girls’ Training Corps) under Miss Evans (Commandant) and Miss Day held a sports tournament at the village Senior School and in competition with Keynsham G.T.C., Midsomer Norton G.T.C. and Radstock G.T.C. came out the victors. The sports shield was presented to the winners by Mr. Bob Pullen, Head of the school, Mrs. Greenland acted as points steward and refreshments were provided by the Timsbury G.T.C. canteen.
Finally this month a little taster of some of the adverts which found their way into the newspapers of the day:
|Mother! Child’s best laxative is California Syrup of Figs. No other laxative regulates the tender little bowels so nicely||I always carry a supply of Beecham’s Powders in my pocket. Then I’m immediately ready for any attack of headache, rheumatic or nerve pain. Beecham’s Powders are wonderful!|
|Pack some biscuits in their satchels for they’ll need something to restore the energy they’ll exhaust in work and play. Biscuits are ideal food for schoolchildren, rich in nourishment, easily packed and carried, quickly eaten and digested. Biscuits are rather scarce but remember they are still the best points value.|