Grateful thanks to all those men and women of all nationalities who helped to make VE Day and later VJ Day a reality in the Theatres of War, at Sea, on the Home Front and to the children who nobly and enthusiastically supported their efforts.

Here are just a few pictures of Verwood in those days in recognition of their dedication, heroism and sacrifices for our future.

Read part of Verwood's story through the eyes of the Council School Logbooks below.

















 Verwood Council Senior Mixed


20 Feb             Head absent.   A.R.P. Meeting at Wimborne.

2 April             Gas Masks were inspected today and seven pupils received new ones as their own had become too small.

 19 April           A test of A.R.P. arrangements was carried out at 9.50 a.m.   Every child had taken adequate     cover within 2 minutes of the Air Raid Warning Signal.

                         (The Council School’s arrangement was that each child be assigned a neighbouring house in which to take cover)

 19 June            Mr. Tracey A.R.P. officer to the Wimborne Rural District Council, visited the school this morning and gave his approval to the A.R.P. scheme for the school and also approved the provision of one stirrup pump and ½” wire mesh for the windows.

 3 July               At 3.5 p.m. an action Air Raid warning was received and the children were dispersed to houses in the vicinity.   20 bombs were dropped and the “All Clear” was received at 3.40 p.m.

 30 Sept            The school was closed from 9 a.m. this morning on the instructions of the County Education Officer, owing to the proximity of a delayed action bomb. 


 14 May           Mrs. P. M. Davies, member of the A.R.P. County Ambulance Unit No. 21 and Assistant Secretary of St. John Ambulance Association, Verwood Branch today commenced instructing the senior girls in First Aid.

 23 May            Empire Day was celebrated by suitable Hymns, Prayers, Songs, Headmaster’s Address, an address by Major A. T. Bourne R.A. and a combined march past by Pupils, A Unit of Royal Artillery, Home Guard, Scouts, Guides, Rangers, A.R.P., A.F.S.   Half  holiday.                      

 8 Sep                 Mr. Coombes, Contractor, at the school today engaged in putting up blackout fittings and curtains.

 14 Nov              The Wimborne R.D.C. Salvage Waggon took away 388 lbs of salvaged paper etc. collected by the children.


 26 March         The afternoon was devoted to gathering broom tips in response to a request by the Education Committee from the Ministry of Health. 

27 March          Sent 186 lbs of broom tips to Messrs. Broome & Schimmer, 4 Leather Market, London S.E.1. also 56 lbs from the Junior School. 

16 April             I am distressed to make the following entry received this morning from Dr. Alexander “It is with very great regret that I have to inform you that Dr. J. R. West, the County Education Officer for Dorset, was accidentally killed on Monday last while taking part in military manoeuvres as an officer of the Home Guard”.   Dr. West was a generous and sympathetic friend to me personally and to all the teachers of Dorset generally - I deplore the loss of an esteemed adviser and friend. 

26 June           The afternoon was devoted to gathering nettles - Ministry of Health and circular letter from County Education Officer.   1¼ cwt sent to Mrs. Wylie, West Moors for drying.

1 Sep              10.30 a.m. The school was taken gathering blackberries for the Jam Making Centre.   Picnic dinners were taken and all arrived back at the school at 3.45 p.m.   Total gathered 124½ lbs.  £1.16.4.

16 Sep             Gathered 84¾ lbs blackberries for the W.I. Jam Preserving Centre.  Total now 209¼ lbs.

17 Sep             Despatched 109 lbs rose hips to Messrs. H. W. Carter & Co. Ltd., Durnford Ave., Ashton Gate, Bristol 3.

12 Oct             3½ lbs foxglove seeds to Messrs. Broome & Schimmer.  2/- per lb.

21 Oct             57 lbs rose hips

22 Oct             Messrs. Maclean 3 cwt horse chestnuts

11 Nov            Remembrance Day observed with due solemnity at 11 a.m. 

15 Nov            Civil Defence Day.  The School paraded with the Civil Defence Services for Te Deum.


14 Jan             County Architect called re iron railings for salvage.

14 Jan             First Aid examination held.

21 May           The school programme has been arranged this week so that much work in connection with “Wings of Victory” campaign may be done.

24 July             Children’s sports organised by the teachers - material provided and prizes by Verwood Platoon Home Guard under Lieutenant Sherry - Fancy Dress (100 entries), parade at 2 p.m.  Sports 3.25 to 7 p.m.  Tea at 5.30 p.m.   All teachers were present.


15 Jan             A children’s party for all the children of the village was given by the Home Guard in the school this afternoon from 2.30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

2 Feb               Eric Daniels aged 13 was fooling on his bicycle on the way home to dinner and collided with the Salvage Lorry (Mr. Hall).  He is absent this afternoon.

3 March           Boys last night found an unexploded bomb in a wood.  I allowed Michael Kearon to show P. C. Haines its position at 10 a.m.

24 April           This morning at 2 a.m. (D.S.T.) The village was heavily bombed by several German planes - incendiaries and H.E.  One boy, aged 14, Max Barrett was killed, houses were destroyed and damaged - people rendered destitute and homeless.   Mr. Stride (teacher) did yeoman service;  one house was saved by his efforts and prompt action. 

27 April           Max Barrett was buried today at 2 p.m. with Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, the children who wished to attend were taken to the funeral by the teachers. 

8 May             The school National Savings Target for “Salute the Soldiers” Week was £400.  The school, led by Mr. Stride subscribed a total of £1004.12.0. including help from supporters of the school.

19 June            Mrs. Collins has been granted leave of absence for 19th, 20th and 21st because of her husband’s War Service leave. 

16 Sep              The Home Guard No. 3 Platoon led by Lieutenant Bates and Platoon Sergeant H. C. Barrow provided the means and prizes (£20.12.3) for a children’s sports day today.

7 Nov               Mrs. Wright sold poppies in the school on behalf of the Earl Haig’s Fund.

7 Nov               Annual Rose Hip collection has resulted in a total of 72 lbs.  Rain has interfered with picking.

21 Nov             Peter Turner aged 5, Edmondsham Road, attending the junior school was knocked down and injured by a lorry of the U.S.A. Army No. 229065 at 1.25 p.m. in the road near the entrance to the Market.  The driver was Corporal Berndt of Q328 West Moors (Private address “The Albion” Verwood)


8 & 9 May   Victory in Europe.  Celebrations and Holiday

The school assembled as usual at 9 a.m. and a Thanksgiving Service of Praise and Song was held.  The Headmaster gave an address.  Milk was served and then all adjourned to the Recreation Ground where the field was laid out for sports in the evening.   The children were dismissed at 12 noon.  Sports organised by the teachers and funded by public subscription through the Parish Council were run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Wednesday 9th was a holiday. 

14 June            The school together with all the children of the village of school age attended a tea party and entertainment in the Recreation Ground as part of the V.E. Day celebrations provided by the Parish Council 5-7 p.m.  All teachers were organisers and were present.

31 Oct              School closed at 3.40 until Nov 7th for mid term break and V.J. days.


6 Jan                Bananas appeared in the shops today for children, after an absence of five years.

6 June              Closed for V.E. Holiday and Whit break.   Last period devoted to games and each child was given a copy of the King’s Greeting  Card. 

8 June             Victory Day celebrations marred by rain.   Sports programme cancelled.   All children of Verwood and Three Cross assembled in this school under the Verwood Teachers and were entertained to song and chorus.  Tea, lemonade, mild, ice cream (by Mr. W. E. Twitchin). Mr. Barrow, Chairman of the Parish Council addressed the children. 

20 Dec             Rose Hip collection closed - sacks returned.


Verwood Church of England School


11 Sep            The school re-assembled this morning a week later than had been arranged owing to the outbreak of War.


14 May          The school reassembled this morning, the remainder of the holiday having been cancelled owing to the extension of hostilities.

 3 July              An air raid warning was received at 1.20 p.m.   All the children went to their shelters.  The “All Clear” was not given until 3.45 p.m. so the registers were not marked.

 (The Church of England children had to run across the Green and take shelter in a trench in the Vicarage garden)

 21 Aug              Miss Miller called to deliver a stirrup pump.

 20 Oct              The school reopened this morning after having been closed since September 27th owing to the presence of an unexploded bomb in the vicinity.

 16 Dec             Miss W. Fudge, Certificated Assistant teacher under the Southampton Authority, arrived to take up temporary duties on the staff, there being now 56 evacuees on roll.


26 March         Standard III went to Dewlands Common this afternoon to gather broom tips.   A half hundredweight was despatched to London

22 May           Empire Day was celebrated this afternoon when the children gave a programme of songs     and dances finishing with a short Empire pageant in the Vicarage garden.  Managers and parents were present.

9 Sept               43 lbs of blackberries were taken to the jam making centre.


10 May          The school was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, those two days being proclaimed as public holidays to mark the end of hostilities in Europe.


Three Legged Cross Church of England School


 11 Sept            Re-opening of school postponed until today owing to the Outbreak of War.

 13 Dec            The scholars of this school have collected £4.4.0. for the British Sailors Society and this amount has been forwarded to the London Headquarters.


6 July              The desks have been turned temporarily in order that the children may hide under desks more speedily in the event of an air-raid.

10 July            Air Raid warning at 1.15.   Children were under their desks till 4 p.m.

As an unexploded aerial torpedo is expected to be exploded near the school at 2.30 this afternoon the children have been sent home at mid-day and will not return today.

 23 Aug            Air Raid warning at 3.15. 

The children sheltered under their desks until 3.45 p.m.

26 Aug            Lessons were interrupted for an Air Raid Warning from 2-2.20.

(Air raids continued through September and October0

18 Nov             Owing to the Ferndown bus not running as usual, the Horton children did not arrive until 9.45 a.m. as they had to walk.  As a result of air raids during the night many other children were also late.

25 Nov             Two evacuees from Southampton admitted..  Owing to lack of desks and also room, I have not admitted 5 other evacuees that applied for admission this morning.   Air raid warnings 2.35-2.50 and 3.25-4.10.

27 Nov            A cheque amounting to 14/5d, being 50% of the value of waste paper collected by this school, received from the Wimborne and Cranborne Rural District Council.  I propose using this for buying library books for the children.


8 Jan               Mr. Shirvington, correspondent, visited regarding the use of the school as a shelter for distressed people in an emergency.   The Managers propose to agree to arrangements being made for a “black out” and for storing food supplies.

21 April           Five evacuees admitted although it is felt that there is not room for them.   54 on books.

18 Sep             In reply to my request, the Air Raid Precautions Officer of Wimborne informs me that he has written to the Head Warden at Verwood asking him to arrange for the inspection of the children’s respirators at this school.


12 Feb             Workmen were fixing black-out curtains for the County Council from 8.45 a.m. to noon.

18 June           The Chief A.R.P. Officer informs me that he has written to the Head Warden of Verwood, Mr. Craven, asking him to co-operate with me in the matter of inspection of gas masks.

17 Sept            One stone of Rose hips sent to Ferndown School, the local depot.


12 Feb             The Head teacher has received permission from the County Education Officer to be absent during the coming week on account of her Husband being on leave.

3 March          Bars of chocolate received from the London County Council to be distributed to London evacuee children.

28 April           A large quantity of books and magazines has been collected by the children this week for the Book Salvage Drive.   Owing to Air Raids at night this week many children have been up at night on several occasions.   The daylight exercises and flights of aeroplanes over the school this week has been very disturbing to the work of teaching. 

5 May             The Book Salvage Drive that has lasted a fortnight has ended today and the children have collected 1740 books and magazines.   End of “Salute the Soldier” week.


11 May           Gas Mask practice and inspection from 2.30 to 3.40 p.m. as has been done regularly each month.   Mickey Mouse masks of Peter Phillips and Sidney Lacey changed for small sized respirators.


8 May             The children assembled at the school this morning and a Thanksgiving Service for the Cessation of Hostilities with Germany was held The children were dismissed at 10.45 a.m. for two days holiday.

4 Sept              Waste paper collected by the children removed today - 160 lbs.















 C. W. E. ALBRAY                         B. C. ORMAN

 L. BARROW                                  E. H. PERSON

 R. C. BARROW                             S. W. PEARCE

 S. BARROW                                   D. READ                               

 M. BARRETT                                 R. SIMS

 E. BREWER                                    J. SIMS

 J. CHAPPELL                                 J. S. M. SHEARING

 A. B. FOX                                         S. SHEARING

 R. E. HARRIDGE                            M. SAUNDERS

 W. R. HASKELL                             W. SLEE                                         

 L. K. V. KIMBERLEY                     J. TOMS

 C. S. KEMP                                       W. G. TURNER

 G. J. LYNES                                      H. J. THORNE

 J. MAN                                               D. J. WAREHAM









CHARLES ALBRAY was a Lance Bombardier R.A.S.C., Royal Artillery who died aged 27 on 19 February 1947 and is buried in Verwood Churchyard.

LESLIE BARROW was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery who died aged 23 on 6 June 1941 and is buried in Basrah War Cemetery.

CLIFFORD BARROW was an Aircraftman in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died aged 22 on 28 December 1944.   He is buried in Verwood Churchyard.

S. BARROW.   We have not yet been able to establish who he was.

MAX BARRETT was the only Verwood civilian casualty of the war who died aged 15 on 24 April 1944 and is buried in Verwood Churchyard.

EVAN ZIPH BREWER was a Petty Officer aboard H.M.S. President III who died aged 42 on 7 October 1947 and is buried in Verwood Churchyard.

JOSEPH JOHN CHAPPELL was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers who died aged 24 on 27 May 1943 and is buried in Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia.

A. B. FOX.   We have not yet been able to establish who he was.

R. E. HARRIDGE.   Recent information says that he was ROY EDWIN HERRIDGE born Southampton but whose parents Albert Edwin and Ethel later moved to Crab Orchard, Verwood.   He was a Guardsman in the Grenadier Guards who died 10th April 1945 aged 20 and is buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

WALTER RALPH HASKELL was a Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force who died aged 28 on 17 August 1943.   He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.

LEONARD VICTOR KIMBERLEY was a Private in the Dorsetshire Regiment who died aged 21 on 22 July 1944.   He is buried in St. Manvieu War Cemetery, Normandy, France.

CYRIL SIDNEY KEMP was a Pilot and Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force.   He died aged 28 on 23 February 1941 and is buried in Verwood Churchyard.

GAVIN JOHN LYNES, D.F.C., was a Pilot and Flying Officer in the Polish Squadron of the Royal Air Force.  He died on 9 May 1941 and is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.   He was the son of the then Vicar of Verwood.

JAMES MANN was an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy who died aged 19 on 19 July 1944.  He is remembered at Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Hants.

BENJAMIN CHARLES ORMAN was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery who died on 27 July 1944.  He is buried at Banneville-La-Compagne War Cemetery, Normandy, France.

ENOCH HUGH PERSON was a Major in the Royal Army Service Corps who died aged 31 on 7 June 1944.   He is buried at Hermanville War Cemetery, Normandy, France.

S. W. PEARCE.   We have not yet been able to establish who he was.

D. READ.    We have not yet been able to establish who he was.

ROBERT SIMS was a Sergeant in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died aged 20 on 1 September 1943.   He is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.

J. SIMS.   We have not yet been able to establish who he was.

JAMES SIDNEY SHEARING was a Flight Sergeant in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died aged 23 on 24 October 1944.   He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.

STEPHEN TOM SHEARING was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers who died aged 20 on 17 June 1940.  He is commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial, France.

MAURICE SAUNDERS was a Stoker on H.M.S. Bickerton who died aged 19 on 22 August 1944.   He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hants.

WILLIAM SLEE was a Flight Sergeant in the Royal Air Force who died aged 32 on 1st March 1942.   He is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.

J. TOMS.   We have not yet been able to establish who he was.

WALTER GEORGE TURNER was a Corporal in the Military Police who died aged 30 on 6 June 1943.   He is buried in Verwood Churchyard.   

HERBERT JOHN THORNE was a Lance Corporal in the Military Police who died aged 35 on 6 June 1943.  He is buried in Verwood Churchyard.    We have not yet been able to establish how he and Walter George Turner, both members of the Military Police who died on the same day, met their fate.

DEREK WAREHAM was the only Verwood casualty of the Malayan Emergency after World War II.

Our thanks to Commonwealth War Graves Commission for this information.   If relatives have any information on those not identified we shall be pleased to hear from them.



Parish Council Minutes

20 Oct 1941                The Chairman reported that recently the Military Authorities had occupied the Verwood Recreation Ground without permission and, unless he had interfered, considerable damage would have been done to the Council’s property.   His representations to the Commanding Officer had good effect.

22 March 1943          Mr. Brown raised the question of obtaining the Village Hall from the Military Authorities.  After several parishioners had spoken on the matter, Mr. Brown proposed and Miss Limpus seconded “That the Verwood Village Hall Committee be requested to make application to the Requisitioning Officer for the release of the Village Hall.”

16 Aug 1943                Scrap Metal collection point at the rear of Verwood Rec. Ground Pavilion.

14 Sep 1943                Special Parish Meeting held at Verwood Council School

To discuss arrangements for Celebrations etc. on “Battle of Britain” Sunday September 26th.

A Parade and United Service be held in the Verwood Recreation Ground.

13 Dec 1943                Games by U.S.A. Military Units on the Recreation Ground

The Chairman said he had had verbal requests for the ground to be used for Sunday football for Negro soldiers.   After discussion it was proposed by Mr. Craven and seconded by Mr. Cannell that applications for the use of the ground at any time should be made from the Commanding Officer;  and attention was drawn to the regulations governing the use of the field by which Sunday Games are forbidden.

27 March 1944            Annual Parish Meeting

                                    Sunday Games in Recreation Ground

Discussed on a question by Mr. Stroud who was informed by the Chairman that although a regulation governing the use of the Ground forbade Sunday games he had not denied the ground to U.S. Troops.   He had not been asked by these men.   After discussion Mrs. Craven proposed and Mr. Mercer seconded “that Sunday games be allowed on the Ground”

Mr. Stainer, seconded by Mrs. Jeffreys, moved an amendment “that the rules governing the ground be not set aside without specially consulting the parishioners.” 

On being put to the vote the amendment was carried and the proposition lost.

19 June 1944               The Clerk reported that a cow had been tethered in the Recreation Ground.  After discussion Mr. Franklin proposed and Mr. Barrow seconded that a letter be written to Mr. Nicklen, the owner of the cow, asking him to refrain from such action and also requesting him to tether his goats so that they will not be able to cause damage to the Recreation Ground hedges.

16 Oct 1944                The Chairman produced papers from the W.D.L.A Southern Command announcing that the Military Authorities relinquished the Recreation ground Buildings as from September and asked that claims, if any, for damages be made immediately.

It was agreed that the Committee should meet at the Pavilion on Thursday October 19th at 4 p.m. and that the Clerk should ask Mr. J. Shearing, builder, to attend in order to assist in making an estimate.


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