Carbrooke Heritage Group

We would like to thank Jan Godfrey for the lovely presentation of ‘An Ocean Apart’. She chatted about her memories of Carbrooke school during the 1940’s particularly the effect that the arrival of 7000 American servicemen had on the area, and their links and kindnesses to the pupils of the school. The talk took place in the school, which has changed dramatically during the past 60 years.

In 1944 Lt. Col. Field wrote to his relative Leona Robbins aged 11, in Norfolk Virginia USA, asking her whether she might send a few bits and pieces to the war-deprived children of Carbrooke. Not only did she send little gifts, she wrote letters to, and replied to each letter sent to her by the Carbrooke children. A friendship began between Leona, Carbrooke school children and Mary Norton, (Headmistress) which would last to the end of the war, and a collection of letters, donated to the Library of Norfolk Virginia by Leona, which she recently rediscovered in her mothers attic! (Jan has made a copy of the letters, bound them into booklets, and donated them to the Heritage Group, a copy will also go to the school. The Heritage copies will be available to study in the Heritage corner, in the church. If you or any of your relatives attended the school during the 1940’s it is likely you will find one of their letters there.

The wartime friendship has lasted until today, with American servicemen and their families returning back to the area to visit old friends and places. Jan also described the people who were an inspiration to Carbrooke children at the time, and encouraged them on, such as Rev. George Chambers who has been mentioned before, and Headmistress Mary Norton, who kept an amazing wartime diary in the school log, perhaps this information could give us a new project to work on. A very enjoyable evening.

If you missed it, you can watch a previous presentation of Jan’s talk here:

On June 20th at 7pm in the school, we will be hosting a Family History workshop, run by Mark Ward. Family History is an incredibly popular hobby at the moment, although knowing how or where to make a start is a bit of a minefield. Mark will explain how to get started, also using computers and the internet, (which must be one of the greatest benefits to Family Historians). If you have already made a start on your own family history, please come along , as we can all offer advice to help each other, or exchange information, you may even meet some of your distant or not so distant relatives, who can help you along with your research!

At Carbrooke Village Fete on 22nd, we will be manning a stall, where we will display some of our documents and photos. We have also arranged for, ‘The Age of Chivalry’ group based in Ovington, to come along and display some amazing Medieval combat skills, this will be really exciting, and they will be available to answer questions on the subject, and display some of their equipment.

Next Meeting: 18 June 7pm in Carbrooke Church. All welcome.



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