World War 2 victory in Europe Celebration

VE day Celebration at "Trecarne" Berry Lane

Thelma Oliver

The above Photo found in the family collection of  Thelma Oliver nee Savage nee Waters was taken at a Victory In Europe Celebration at Bungalow “Trecarne” in Berry Lane with family and some friends and neighbours.  Thelma remembers she was 15 years old at the time. “Trecarne”  was the Home of Mr William and Mrs Alice White and their two daughters Nova  and Joan.

Joan is now Joan  Goodfellow who contributes to this website.  William and Alice were the Aunt and uncle of Thelma.

Back Row :Two Men Mr Ashdown, Larry ( he was an Irish labourer who lodged at “Trecarne”  and working on the construction of the prisoner of war camps at Langdon Hills).

Back row of Ladies: Mrs Alice White, Mrs Collier, Joan Ashdown,  Mrs Ashdown, Mrs Parker

Front row of ladies standing: Florence Ash ( Thelma’s Grandmother), Mrs Ashdown, Joyce Ashdown Mrs Shaw, Daphne Shaw, “?” Joyce Waters.

 Seated on the ground: Lenny Parker, Ernie Shaw “? Girl in Middle” Little Maureen Shaw, Thelma Waters (kneeling).  

Thelma is unsure the names of who the other children seated at the front are except for Nova White who is next to Thelma but seated on the ground.

When proceeding up Berry Lane from Emanuel Road “Trecarne”  was to be found on the right hand side of the road just before the bend prior to Samuel Road.

The Shaw family lived in Berry lane almost opposite “Trecarne” similarly so did Lenny and His Mother

The Ashdown’s in lived in one of the turnings  off Berry Lane above Samuel Road all the families knew each other well.  Thelma says Mr Ashdown was a Joiner and made her a polished wooden sewing box. In later years when living at Billericay, Thelma taught piano to Peter Shaw the son of  Ernie.

This photo has not scanned well but I have the original – Trevor

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  • Responding to Alan’s query as to why it took so long to effect repatriation of the German POWs.    I suggest this was possibly at the request of the prisoners themselves and in fact some of them never did return to Germany having formed association with  local people.  I knew one local girl who married a POW from the camp who remained here and they later opened a market garden in Woodham Ferrers.    

    By W.H.Diment (17/05/2014)
  • Trevor Savage 15/05/14,  appears to suggest that the army camp on the road from Crown Hill to the Lower Dunton Road did not exist at the same time as the POW camp, but was built later.

    While I do not know when the army camp was built, I can say that it existed in late 1946 when I visited it to obtain a certificate to say that I was qualified to drive various vehicles and exempted me from taking a civilian test for a driving license.  The camp did not appear to have been newly built, also being of timber construction it would hardly have been built as a more permanent post war barracks.

    Also I remember that at this time, the POW camp still had German POWs who worked locally, mostly in agriculture.

    By W.H.Diment (16/05/2014)
  • I agree with Bill Diment’s posting of 16/05/14 concerning POW’s working on the local farms in 1946. I actually remember them as part of the local scene as late as 1947. Seemingly with minimum security they appeared to have free run and could often be seen walking the High Road.

    However, one doubts that they would have dropped in for a pint at the pub. I feel sure that there were still plenty of locals who would have made them feel less than welcome. And then some! Given that the war in Europe ended in May 1945 this would seem to have been an awfully long time to effect repatriation. After all, they also had families anxiously awaiting their return after a long time in captivity.

    I wonder why it took so long and when repatriation was finally concluded.

    By Alan Davies (16/05/2014)
  • Thelma has clarified as far as she remembers the only POW camp was the one on the corner of Dry Street by the water tower.

    The army camp at the bottom of the hill near the old disused church (now a house) going to Dunton Lower road was built later.  

    By Trevor Savage (15/05/2014)
  • Thanks 2nd Coz Trevor –  two further people I recognise are Grace Heather and daughter Jean in the middle at back who lived in Samuel Road. Keep up the good work.  I am trying to get to one of the meetings to take along photos that they can scan for me


    By Joan Goodfellow nee Merchant (14/05/2014)
  • Hi Trevor

    You and Thelma keep coming up with some gems. You may or may not know that Steve Wynn and I published a book on the POW camp at Langdon Hills.

    What we were unable to establish is whether the camp was originally built as a POW camp or for some other purpose.

    You make reference to a Irish labourer working on the construction of the camp. I was wondering if Thelma has any further knowledge of the building of the camp and its subsequent inhabitants.


    By Ken Porter (13/05/2014)

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