In 1918 Winifred Sandford was studying at Teacher Training College in London when a government request was made for female students to join the Women’s Army. Winifred decided to go and ended up at Barwick, near Yeovil, where she joined six hundred other women. They were accommodated in tents, with eight girls to each tent. When the weather was good some of them slept outside. During her ten-week vacation, Winifred pulled flax for aeroplane construction. The flax had to be pulled by hand and it was very hard work especially on the hands which often had festering sores.
Brothers Peter and Tony Musgrave worked in the family willow merchant’s and basket-making business, which was started by their grandfather and carried on by their father. The business peaked during World War II when they had a contract with the War Ministry to make baskets for dropping supplies by parachute into occupied Europe. Although the brothers would have liked to go into the business, their father was adamant that they should not do so as he thought it was a dying industry. When their father became too old to carry on he gave the business to the remaining workers, and it soon finished. Peter and Tony are sad that such a flourishing enterprise should have completely vanished. Peter became a company director and Tony was a draughtsman with Westlands, the leading helicopter company based in Yeovil.
In 1907 Evelyn Henry Villebois Burnaby published ‘Memories of Famous Trials’. One of the cases he recalls was held at the Spring Assizes at Taunton before Chief Justice Alexander Cockburn in which four poachers from Yeovil, Somerset were alledged to have kicked to death local policeman Nathaniel Cox.
The following article was originally published in Notes & Queries for Somerset & Dorset in 1893