Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: November 03, 2021
Webpage updated: November 03, 2021




On Monday January 10th 1938 the Plymstock Lower Hooe Council School re-opened after the Christmas holiday as the Plymstock Hooe Junior Council School only for those from 10 years and 7 months to 14 years old.  Mr A W Rably was the recently appointed head master.  The senior pupils, those aged between 10 years 7 months and 14 years, had been transferred to the Plymstock Senior School.  The number on the register was now 131 children although only 116 were apparently present on the first day back.  There were now five classes, two mainly composed of infants and three entirely for juniors, and the other teachers were Mr J J Urel; Miss Greeves; Miss Eslick; and Miss Wingate.

Miss Eslick took up a post at Lydford, Devon, in May 1938 and was presented with a handbag by the scholars and staff in recognition of 13 years at the School.

In preparation for the expected hostilities to come, on Wednesday September 28th 1938 the Air Raid Precaution (ARP) wardens fitted the children with respirators.

A new infant teacher, Miss Joyce Emily Lovell, joined the staff on Monday October 17th 1938.

The Plymouth Co-operative Society started to supply milk for the children in November 1938, 150 bottles every day.

Twenty-one new pupils were admitted when the School resumed in January 1939 after the Christmas break.  The Medical Officer conducted a nutritional survey.

When the School re-opened on Wednesday September 27th 1939, after the summer holiday, during which war was declared, only 146 of the 176 pupils on the register attended.  They found that trenches had been dug in the school field.

Miss Bawden left the staff in June 1940 and was presented with a wrist-watch on behalf of the scholars and staff.

During the summer holiday in 1940 the School premises remained open for games, music, country dancing and gardening.  When School resumed on Monday September 9th 1940 there were 180 children on the roll but only 158 were present on that first day back.  Between Thursday November 28th and Tuesday December 3rd 1940 the School was closed due to air raids.  The roof was pitted with shrapnel and some bricks were dislodged.  Only 59 pupils presented themselves on Wednesday December 4th 1940.  Two children, Pauline Charles and Derek Burgoyne, had been killed during the air raid on Thursday November 28th 1940.  The registers were not marked for several days because only about 30% of the pupils were present but on Monday December 9th 1940 some 86 pupils (about 45%) were in attendance.

Only seven children attended School on Friday January 17th 1941 because the buses were unable to run due to bad weather.  The School was closed.  The School also closed on Friday March 21st 1941 following the devastating air raid on Plymouth on Thursday March 20th 1941.  Only 28 pupils attended on the following Monday, March 24th 1941, which was just as well as there was no water supply for the boilers and consequently no heating.  Attendance got worse during the air raids of April 1941, with only two pupils turning up for the morning and afternoon sessions each day on Tuesday April 22nd to Friday April 25th 1941.

Mr Brice from the Plymstock Senior School stood in for the head master who went on sick leave, initially for one week.  However, on Tuesday June 3rd 1941 a Miss E Worthy took over as temporary head mistress.  Mr Rably did not return to School until September 1941.

The Policed were called to the School on Thursday June 19th 1941 because National Savings Stamps to the value of 1 19s 6d had vanished from the head teacher's locked desk drawer.  The crime was solved very quickly and Police Constable Hanwell found the Stamps on or by Monday July 7th 1941.  Four stamps were missing.

Also on Monday July 7th 1941 there was an air raid between 3.45 and 4.17pm, during which the children took shelter.  This was repeated on Monday July 14th 1941 and again between 2.05 and 2.15pm on Wednesday August 6th 1941.

One hundred and twenty-seven of the pupils took part in a gas mask test on Thursday December 4th 1941.

A young pupil by the name of Michael Strange received fatal injuries on Monday December 8th 1941 while waiting for the school bus at the bottom of Colesdown Hill, opposite the garage of Messrs W Mumford Limited.

Pupils received their first ever hot school dinners on Monday September 7th 1942.  They were made at a cooking depot at Yealmpton.

Miss Geeves was presented with two blankets by scholars and staff as a token of her esteem.

The School closed on Friday September 10th 1943 on account of the capitulation of Italy during the Second World War.  It did not re-open until Monday October 11th 1943.

As a result of the reorganisation brought about by the Education Act 1944, in 1945 the Plymstock Hooe Junior Council School became the Hooe County Primary School, with Mr R H C Fice as its head master.