Leonard Tredwin & Clarissa Nina Wood
Sheila Mary McGahey
Born at Sampford Arundel on the 5th January 1895 and educated there. On leaving school he joined the Post Office, Called up in 1916 he enlisted in the North Somerset Yeomanary served in the trenches in France from 1916-1918. Latterly serving with the Anson Battalion, Naval Brigade of the Royal Naval Division, (his son David still has a map Illustrating the operations carried out by 'A' Infantry Brigade of the Royal Naval Division during the withdrawal of March and the advances of August, September, October and November 1918).
Leonard on the left before leaving for France
Work was scare for the returning heroes of the Great War and one of the jobs offered to Leonard and many others was picking flax by hand in the fields. Back breaking work with bleeding hands. He soon found a job with the G.W.R. and was posted to Wales. and became secretary in the local Labour Movement and finally a political agent for a member of parliament called George Daggar M.P; Leonard's gained the nickname "The Captain" and apon resigning was given a fond farwell as the local paper of the time reported: -
THE SOUTH WALES ARGUS
FOR HIS PARTY
Founder of Influence of Trade and Labour Council. On the occasion of his departure for Exeter, member of the Monmouthshire Labour movement met at Celynen Collieries Institute, Newbridge, to pay tribute to Mr. L. Tredwin, former secretary of Abercarn Trades and Labour Council and Abertillery Division Labour Party. He came to Monmouthshire in 1919, after serving in France and Belgium with North Somerset Yeomanry and the Royal Naval Division. He joined the C.W.R Company and was posted at Abercarn. In 1920 he was transferred to Pennar branch. Mr. Tredwin was not long in the area before he became actively identified with the N.U.R. In 1922 he became Secretary of Abercarn Trades Council, at a time when affairs were at a low ebb and in a bad state of organisation. The Trades Council then laboured under a heavy deficit, but the energy and organising of Mr. Tredwin enabled him, when he resigned a short time ago, to report that all the Trades Council's liabilities had been discharged, and that there was a credit balance. Furthermore, the organisation gained correspondingly in status, and is now the strongest body in the district, every Lodge being affiliated. In 1923 he was appointed secretary of Abertillery Divisional Labour Party. In 1929 Mr. Tredwin was appointed Agent to Mr. G. Daggar M.P. Wallet of Notes. Mr A. Smith (Chairman of the Trades Council), presented Mr. Tredwin with a wallet of notes, inscribed. He said no one he knew had done more for the organisations than Mr. Tredwin. Mrs. Hoskins (Abertillery), on behalf of the Divisional Labour Party, presented Mr. Tredwin with a gold watch. Councillor Walter Jones (Crumlin) paid a tribute to Mr. Tredwin's energy and enthusiasm. Councillor A. E. Meredith, C.C. (Cwmcarn) said if Mr. Tredwin had done nothing else, it would always be to his credit that he ran one of the most brilliant elections in Wales. Councillor Andrew Jones (Chairman of Abercarn Council) stated that Mr. Tredwin persuaded him to join the Labour Party. Mr. Williams (Nantyglo) referred to Mr. Tredwin's work during the election. Letters were read from Mr. H. Morris (National Organiser for South Wales) and Mr. George Daggar, M.P., expressing regret for being unable to attend. Councillor A. J. Jones said the loss to the Labour organisation in the constituency would be great. Though Mr. Tredwin's activities, said Mr Arthur Edwards, the Trade Council were now a force to be reckoned with. Mrs. D. Matthews remembered the time when there were poor attendances at Trade Council meetings, but Mr. Tredwin had changed all that. Mr. T. Owens and Mr Ben Roberts also spoke. In reply, Mr. Tredwin said the happiest years of his life had been spent in the western Valleys. He asked that the same support be given to his successor as he had received. Councillor F. H. Duns ford, who said it was Mr. Tredwin's influence that had lead to him joining the party a few month ago: Mrs. George Daggar, wife of Mr. Daggar, M.P.; Mr. F. J. Hillier, Mr Newall (Cwmcarn), and Mr. H. Sykes (Crumlin), also spoke. Solos were given by Madame Ozgar Harris (Abercarn) and Mr. F. J. Hilliar, and humorous items were rendered by Mr. Ernie Jenkins. Madame Wrighton Cleavey (Abercarn) was the accompanist.
On the left Dagger M.P. far right Leonard "The Captian"
Very fond of his mother, who was the Headmistress of the school at Sampford Arundel and teaching at the school was a young teacher from Exeter Clarissa Nina Wood.
Clarissa Nina Wood
On the 3rd February 1923 Leonard and Clarissa (always known as Nina her second name) were married at St Olave's church Fore Street Exeter. The family home was directly opposite so on her wedding day she just walked across the street to the church. At the time of their marriage Leonard was living at 24 North Road Newbridge Monmouthshire and Clarissa at Fore Street Exeter. Leonard's father, as we know, was Francis Tredwin (master builder). Nina's father was John Charles Wood (fine art dealer now deceased). The newly weds returned to live in Wales and the following year their first son Peter Francis Tredwin was born on the 20th February 1924 and living at 13 Strath View, Pentwynmawr, Abercarn in Wales. On the birth Certificate Leonard was employed as a Builders Clerk although still working for the local Labour movement. From the news paper article we can see he had a promising career in Wales, the labour movement and therefore reluclant to leave. But when in 1930 (approx) an opportunity to take over one of the four businesses in Fore Street Exeter owned by Nina's mother Eliza Annie Bennett (formally Wood and born Eliza Annie Drake at Bath). These comprised at the top corner, Wrides tool shop, Reasons baby shop, Tom Smiths lending library and Samuals fine art gallery all with living accommodation over. Possibly with some reluctance they returned because Leonard had carved out a good career in Wales. On the 25th December 1931 a second son was born at Fore Street Exeter to Leonard and Nina - David Noel Tredwin, He was originally to have been called just David but the second Christian name was suggested by the parish priest (Father Long) to commemorate his Christmas birth. Trading continued with the family living over the business until 1938, when Eliza Bennett sold the entire block to the Fifty-shilling tailors (£2.50 being the cost of a gent's suit from which this multiple firm took it's name). With the sale completed Leonard and Nina purchased 95 South Street Exeter from a Mr Saunders and amalgamated both Businesses (Lending library and Tobacconist). The main home was still up stairs. With war clouds looming and remembering the occasional air raid from German Zeppelins (air ships) of the First World War. The decision was made to rent a second home in Buckerell Avenue Exeter. At the outbreak of war in 1939 Leonard joined the local defence Volunteers. A civilian defence force with no uniforms but wearing armbands and armed with walking sticks and other implements. They patrolled the canal banks and other areas against possible parachute invasion. The L.D.V. became the home guard and later in the war he became a section commander in charge of a machine gun emplacement at Ide. This is a small village beyond Alphington and was part of the perimeter defence of Exeter should a German invasion take place. His sten gun was always kept in the larder in Buckerell Avenue but David was forbidden to touch it. On the 4th of May 1942 Exeter was attacked as a reprisal raid for the RAF having bombed a German cathedral city. In spite of the black out it was relatively easy for the attacking aircraft to fly up the river Exe and swing in over the city. In this hellish night oil bombs and incendiary bombs were dropped, Which soon set this lovely mediaeval city ablaze. The flames were intense and the heart of the city destroyed. Flames could be seen in Plymouth some forty miles away. South Street was completely destroyed and the property at Buckerell Avenue partly demolished. The family walked out of the blazing city to sleep for the night on a farmhouse floor. Leonard and Nina re-started the business in temporary premises at Davids Hall in Market Street Exeter and this was due in part to the help of Alderman Frank Tarr, one time mayor of Exeter, and secretary of the Druids Friendly Society. Eventually Buckerell Avenue was repaired and after the end of the war South Street re-built and the business re-established there once more.
The Tredwin Shop in South street Exeter
When he was 65 Leonard and Nina retired and soon moved back to his old home at Sampford Arundel. Apart from working long hours and rebuilding his business he enjoyed his garden, motorcar and the company of some long standing friends. He died on the 6th nov 1964 and was buried in Sampford Arundel churchyard.
Clarissa Nina Wood
(Born 1894 and Died 14th Jan 1975)
Clarissa Nina Wood Born in 1894 in Bristol one of the Daughters of John Charles Wood and Eliza Annie Wood (daughter of Henry Tadd a Timber Merchant). On the death of John Charles Wood in 1900, Eliza moved from Bristol to 95 Fore Street, Exeter to carry on the picture framing business. With Eliza were her children Violetta, Stanley, Claude and Rita. While Olive Winifred, Clarissa Nina and Edna were in Erskine Orphanage at Babbacombe Torquay On 19th January 1901 Eliza Anna Wood aged 35 married Arthur Bennett aged 25 at the Register Office Exeter. Described as a gentleman living at Farringdon House near Exeter his father James was a valet and now deceased.
Nina (they used her middle name) became a teacher at Sampford Arundel School under the Headmistress Anna Maria Tredwin. She stayed in Sampford Arundel and there met her husband to be Leonard Tredwin, With her parents living in Exeter she often bicycled from Exeter to Sampford some 22 miles. One of her sister would see her off at the end of the tramlines at Exeter (these were a great hazard to cyclists who could get their wheels jammed between the lines) and Leonard would ride his bicycle to meet her and help her dismount! In the First World War she gave up teaching and trained as a nurse at the Bristol royal infirmary.
This was a five-year training and the salary was £6 per year. Apparently 36 Shillings Quarterly £1.50 in today's money and you queued before matron to be paid. From this sum you also purchased your own textbooks. She helped nurse many of the war wounded, average age 18 - 20 years old and found the removal of their shattered limbs distressing. A good wife and mother and a keen businesswoman she worked hard all her life and cared well for her two sons Peter Francis Tredwin and David Noel Tredwin. She loved good clothes, an avid reader of all kinds of literature and crosswords were her speciality. When taken ill she told the matron at Wellington Hospital she was Bristol Royal Infirmary trained. Unknown to her this was transmitted to the B.R.I. and 24 hours later an ambulance arrived from Bristol to take her back. Her records had been checked and the hospital was pleased to have her back. She died at 82 shortly afterwards on a ward she had been in charge of so many years ago. Shortly before her death the doctors and nurses would gather around her bed to listen to her stories of the Hospital some fifty years before. A gracious lady now laid to rest in Sampford Arundel churchyard within view of the school at which she had taught, so long ago.