Trees

Tree Planting by the Pond 1937

We have two pink horse chestnuts by the Pond in Aldbourne, one dates from 1935 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of George V, and another sapling was ceremoniously planted in 1937 to mark the coronation of George VI.  Sadly, the later tree didn’t thrive and has been replaced at least once in the intervening years.

I remember Wally Palmer telling me about the trees by the Bus Shelter and Pond House, planted for two Kings.   The tree by Pond House may have died and been replaced in 1938; however, if you take a look at the BBC film Village in the Downs (1967) there’s some great footage of Wilf Jerram chatting to Desmond Hawkins.  The tree in the film certainly doesn’t look that old so perhaps the smaller horse chestnut we have now was planted in the 1950s or 1960s.

Looking back to 1937, the two oldest children at the village school wielded the spades and then went on to enjoy the sports.  Beryl Perrett did particularly well, placing second in the Girls under 14 race.  Many thanks to John Brown for confirming the location of the Coronation Field in 1937, and for sharing his recollections of a very good tea,

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Guy Richard Brown, DFC

Major Ingpen's notes in Wiltshire Museum archive
Major Ingpen’s notes in Wiltshire Museum archive

The whole country celebrated with George V for his Silver Jubilee.  On 6th May 1935 Miss Ann Brown, assisted by her sister and brothers, planted a pink horse chestnut by the pond in Aldbourne.  As I type this, the ‘candlesticks’ that will become blossoms are just starting to appear.

The last Aldbourne fatal casualty of the war was Ann’s brother, Flight Lieutenant Guy Richard Brown, DFC RAF who died, aged 24, on 6th September 1945, three weeks after the Japanese surrender and is buried in Heliopolis War Cemetery, Cairo, Egypt. He was awarded the DFC for his service in 50 operational missions over Egypt and Libya leading to the capture of Tripoli. After then he seems to have flown for a electronic countermeasures unit in Britain against Germany. At the time of his death he was serving in an air ferry unit. The bus shelter was built as a memorial to him, just yards away from the tree he helped to plant in 1935.

With thanks to William and Ann Brown.

Additional information sourced from http://www.theobservationpost.com ‘Aldbourne’s War Dead and Easy Company’s Band of Brothers’ (June 2017)