About Weaverham History Society

Due to the coronavirus outbreak the meetings in June and July 2020 have had to be cancelled. The talk due to given in September has been postponed until 2021 and unfortunately our October speaker is also unavailable due to illness.
Therefore we hope to resume our schedule in November.

VJ Day – 75th Anniversary

VICTORY OVER JAPAN DAY

Although war in Europe ended in May 1945, the war in the Far East continued for several months until shortly after the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the wake of which, on 15th August 1945 Imperial Japan surrendered.  This effectively ended the Second World War and Saturday, 15th August this year marks the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.   However, the surrender document was not signed until 2nd September 1945.  The war therefore officially ended aboard the battleship USS Missouri on that date, and 2nd September is therefore the date commemorated in the United States as well as in Japan where it is officially called ‘The day for mourning and praying for peace’.

In 2003 Weaverham History Society recorded the voices of men and women living in the village and, in 2004, the society published a book called ‘An Oral History’ based on some of these recordings.  In it Jean Hornby recalls “VJ night at the end of the war in August 1945 there were big celebrations in the village.  My sister-in-law Rosie was there with George Moss and we had a band.  This night was special, all dancing and singing.  I had never seen anything like this.’’  It should be noted that Jean was not home for the village VE Day celebrations in May as she was still serving in the ATS

Once again Churchill ensured there would be enough beer in the capital to celebrate and that red, white and blue bunting was unrationed.  As the population celebrated in cities, towns and villages there were some who would not return home from the Far East for some time and others who would never return.

Two members of the Burma Star Association who now live locally are Vince Murphy of Hartford and Jim Costigan who lives in Weaverham. 

Photograph of Jim in Burma 1944

Jim in Burma 1944

Jim Costigan was born in Glasgow on 26th June 1925. At the age of 17 he joined the RAF having told the recruiting sergeant that he was 18.  Having failed the eye test for air crew he spent 6 months at a base near Bath training to be an electrical engineer and then transferred to Blackpool before going to Glasgow from where he was transported to India.  It was whilst in Blackpool that he met his future wife.

After a few weeks in India, Jim went to Burma where his main job was to recover, salvage and repair downed aircraft.  

Photograph of RAF Spitfires in India 1944-5

RAF Spitfires in India 1944-5

He was later posted to India and then, on 15th August, 1945 to Malaya.  It was whilst en route to Malaya that the announcement was made over the tannoy that the Japanese had surrendered.  

Photograph of Japanese surrender, Kuala Lumpar, September 1945

Japanese surrender, Kuala Lumpar, September 1945

Despite the Japanese surrender the documents were not signed until 2nd September and fighting in some areas continued until December when Jim was sent to Singapore and then flown home


We would like to hear from anyone who served in the Second World War or had a loved one who served, as we wish to remember as many as possible of our local men and women, both those who survived and those who did not. 

The Royal British Legion is asking us to ‘remember the impact that leaving, missing and returning home has on service men and women and their loved ones’.  They want us to think about the ‘scale of the service and sacrifice made by the entire Second World War generation’.

Weaverham History Society promotes the study of and interest in history and archaeology with particular reference to Weaverham and the surrounding area.

The Society meets at Weaverham Primary Academy, Northwich Road, Weaverham, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 3BD.


Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month and we invite a guest speaker to talk to us on a topic of historical or archaeological interest, though sometimes the subjects range further afield.  You can see what’s planned on our Programme page.


Membership is £15.00 per year with renewals in September.  Meetings are free to members of Weaverham History Society, children and students. Visitors are requested to pay £2 at each meeting.


We also organise highly enjoyable visits to local places of interest in spring and summer usually by coach from the village and we seem to have started a tradition of having a yearly canal boat trip as well. The Society normally invests in the services of Blue Badge guides on our visits.  We also have a very enjoyable Christmas event every year, the talk commonly having a seasonal flavour.


We have articles on a range of topics, mainly about Weaverham, but also covering the surrounding areas. Although not a dedicated family history group, we do have some information on local families, and are always interested to hear from you.
We are continually developing our Archives and we have an array of items (objects, maps, and photos).  We are always grateful to receive any contributions.  


As we expand our new website you will be able to see some of what we have by visiting our Weaverham Archives page.

The Weaverham History Society also has a Facebook page.


We launched this website in January 2016, but while we move things across you can still find the old website at http://history.weaverham.org.uk/index2015.htm

 


The Battle of Britain 10th July – 31st October 1940

 80th Aniversary 2020

Never was so much owed by so many to so few

Following the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk and the fall of France, Germany planned to gain air supremacy in preparation for the invasion of Great Britain.  The Luftwaffe began with an air and sea blockade targeting coastal shipping, convoys and shipping centres but on 1st August 1940 they were directed to achieve air supremacy by incapacitating RAF Fighter Command.  Within days this led to them not only targeting airfields but also aircraft factories and infrastructure.

The Battle of Britain was the first military campaign fought entirely by air forces and the bravery of RAF pilots of Fighter Command flying Hurricanes and Spitfires supported by ground crew led to the defeat of the Luftwaffe forcing Hitler to abandon his invasion plans.  The Battle of Britain was fought over Southern England and was later to be followed by the Blitz (starting with a bombing campaign over London and later targeting other major cities in the country such as Liverpool).

The Battle of Britain saved the nation from invasion and we have to thank the many pilots of the RAF as well as those from other countries who fought so bravely and, in many cases, sacrificed their lives.

Read more here.


 

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