Some time ago, we went over to North Tawton to
photograph the War Memorial there and were extremely puzzled to find the
name of Herbert Samuel Stentiford on it. The World War 1 website of the
Imperial War Graves Commission did not list him as a casualty. Was there
an error? Had he been omitted by them in a mistake? It was Doreen Norton who
solved the mystery for us, bringing back a copy of his Short Service
Record which her eagle eye had spotted at Kew. It transpires that
Herbert Stentiford did not die in the Great War but afterwards, but that
the names were collected in North Tawton, local people clearly thought his name deserved a place on their Memorial.
You will have to decide for yourself if you agree with them.
Over the past five years, we've managed to trace
dozens of dwellings in which not only Stentifords lived, but which were the homes of
members of the other families - Stuttafords, Stedifords Stedefords and
so on - as well. Some of the buildings go back centuries and you can
make out the original shape and identify bits which have been added on. But not
in Plymouth. Bombs were dropped all over Devon and did much damage but
fires raged throughout that City on many occasions so that fire fighters were utterly
overwhelmed. Consequently the destruction there, and the loss of
life, were devastating.
We've often had cause in the past to thank Steve
Johnson for the use of his photo collection but what a wonderful
thing he has done by putting his unique collection of old Plymouth
photographs in the public domain for use in articles like ours. We may
not be able to see the original homes anymore but Steve's pictures
enable us to see what our ancestors saw, warts and all. He has given us
an invaluable means of exploring the places in which they lived and
worked and we'd like to thank him yet again..