Celebration will mark end of Millwey Memories project

PUBLISHED: 15:01 17 October 2018

Working on the Millwey Memories project. Picture: EDDC

Working on the Millwey Memories project. Picture: EDDC

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Axminster community project looked back at life on the Millwey estate after the War

The huts and tents of the 315th Station Hospital where US Army D-Day casualties were trearted at Millwey Rise (The Camp). Picture DICK STURCHThe huts and tents of the 315th Station Hospital where US Army D-Day casualties were trearted at Millwey Rise (The Camp). Picture DICK STURCH

The Axminster community project - Millwey Memories - comes to an end this week following a summer of events.

East Devon District Council has organised five months of activities and events focusing on the history of the American military hospital that was sited at Millwey and the lives of the residents who lived there after the Second World War.

The project’s conclusion and its many fantastic achievements is being celebrated at Millwey Community Centre on Friday (October 19), from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

There will be photographic displays, a screening of the Lego animations made by EDDC mobile support officers (MSOs) and residents and a 3-D map of the original camp.

Participants will be raising a glass of fizz and enjoying a delicious buffet as a reward for their hard work.

Axminster MSOs and East Devon community development officers all worked hard over the summer running a series of ‘Millwey Memories’ events on the estate.

This has involved recording photographs, maps and memories from the original residents of the old American Hospital, known as The Camp.

Many residents from Axminster and beyond have been involved with this project, recording their childhood memories of living in what was a unique environment after the end of WWII.

On Friday all the material that has been collated will be handed over to the Axminster Heritage Centre to include in a new temporary exhibition - the first to be held its new modern extension, currently under construction.

Axminster Rural ward member, Cllr Ian Hall, who has been closely involved with the project, said: “Community support and participation has always been a big part of the rich character of Millwey Rise. Many wonderful memories have been generated by this great project, which is going to be a treasured archive of past generations for the community of the future.”

Cllr Douglas Hull, ward member for Axminster Town, said:

“I am fully supportive of this local project, as we want to make a record of Axminster residents’ memories to act as a lasting legacy for future generations.”

A book – The Camp (Millwey Rise) Rhymes of Life 1947-1952 – detailing life on the site immediately after it was vacated as a World War Two US military hospital was recently published by local resident Dick Sturch who moved there with his family in 1947. It is available from the Archway Bookshop in Axminster and Central Stores, Millwey Rise.

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