We will all know that November is the month for remembrance – both in the Church year with 2nd November being ‘All Souls’ when we commemorate the faithful departed and the 11th November and the Sunday nearest that being Remembrance Day/Sunday when we remember those who gave their lives in service for their nation. Last year, at our Remembrance Sunday service in Kinnerley three members of the Scouting Group read accounts from the lives of three members of our local community sharing their memories of being a child in the war years. One of those was from the young boy Jos Bevan who has lived in this area all of his life. Many of you will remember Jos as he gave so much to this local community. Many will also know that Jos sadly died in September this year at the age of 87 years. So as both a tribute to Jos and as we approach Remembrance Sunday this year I am including below the story from Jos which was read by a member of the Explorer Scouts as the voice of young Jos in the war.
War Memories from Jos Bevan
My name’s Joey Bevan, although I understand later in life I become known as Jos. I am a young boy and our country is at war. I remember the day it was announced on the radio but I had no idea what it meant.
Our village of Kinnerley is very different now. There are so many more people here.
There are the evacuees. They live in different homes in the village and come to our school which is opposite the Church, by the shops. First we had some from Birkenhead – they were Catholics and at first we didn’t mix very well but in the end they became our friends. They had four classes, the same as us, and four teachers which meant our school doubled in size. Sometimes classes had to go out onto the yard for lessons because there wasn’t enough room in the school. The second lot of evacuees come from Wallasey – they are from a Church of England School and we get on well with them.
None of my brothers have gone to war because we all had to stay and farm. We live at The Rookery and the Home Guard are based here and use it for their stores. My dad is in the Home Guard and it all seems very serious. I know that food is rationed because of the war but we never go without because of the farm.
It isn’t just the evacuees who have come to our village but lots of workers. McAlpine’s are here to build the railway and the munitions stores. The noise of the machinery they use can be heard all day and all through the night. Its taken a bit to get used to that in our quiet village and countryside. There are so many workers that our pub is packed every evening and there are always people in and out of the shops.
And then there are the soldiers. There are a number of camps very near to us, one at Farm Hall, another at Pentag and then of course the big one at Nesscliffe. The village hall, which is next to the pub in Vicarage lane, is too small for all the people who go there for a whist drive and to dance. I think they’re going to build a new one opposite the church and then perhaps in years to come a house may be built where the village hall now stands. I hear that some of our local boys are feeling a bit left out though. Our girls from the village are no longer interested in them, they just want to talk to the soldiers instead!
There is another group of men here too. They are staying down at Acksea Farm. They’re Germans and Italians and they’re prisoners. They’re ok though. We sometimes see them walk up to the village, a group of about 40 or 50, and they even come to Church here. They only have one soldier with them but they don’t try to escape. Last Christmas the Italian prisoners made toys for the children of the village. My sister was given a book that opened up to a sewing kit.
I know that the war is a bad time for everyone but it is also an exciting time for me. My friends and I love trying to get through the gate in the barbed wire to see all the building work going on. The red caps chase us off but I’ve learnt a way round them. I tell them about my sister at home and they tell me to send her down to see them. They let me have a little look in then!
Morning Prayer in November is every Wednesday, 9am at St Mary's Kinnerley
Prayer Breakfast is Thursday 9th November, 8.30am at St Mary's Kinnerley
If anyone would like a visit from either Revd Helen or a member of the Pastoral Visiting Team
please contact Revd Helen 01691 682351