Webpage created: September 17, 2019
Webpage updated: September 17, 2019
HENRY PATRICK TWYFORD (1892-1964)
Henry Patrick Twyford became well-known in Plymouth chiefly because he kept a diary of events during the Second World War.
He was born on July 15th 1892 at Dartington, Totnes, and received his early training with the "Totnes Times". In 1910 he joined the "Western Morning News" as a junior reporter at Devonport.
During the First World War he served with the Royal Artillery but was invalided out of the services in 1918 after being gassed and wounded the previous year. He rejoined the "Western Morning News" in Plymouth as their specialist in agrcilture and football.
He wrote in the "Football Herald" under the names of 'Flagstaff' (Devonport Services), 'Gunner' (Plymouth Albion), 'Tamar' (Plymouth Argyle) and was the first 'Pilgrim' when Plymouth Argyle were promoted to the Second Division.
In addition, 'Pat' Twyford covered royal visits, Lady Astor's election campaigns, the tercentenary of the Passion Play at Oberammergau, and murder trials.
As the accredited war correspondent for the "Western Morning News" during the Second World War, he covered the Normandy landings, the Battle of Caen, the breakout of Normandy, the liberation of Paris and Brussels and the surrender of the Channel Islands. He also flew with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on many anti-submarine patrols and other operations.
Upon being appointed as depauty chief reporter he gave up his football reporting but became full-time agriculture correspondent.
Outside of his journalism career, Mr Twyford was a Special Constable for 20 years, retiring as Divisional Commandant. He was the first local correspondent when the British Broadcasting Corporation'a Western Region started news broadcasts from Bristol, a Freemason, and a member of the Seven O'Clock Regulars all-year-round swimming club.
But it was a hobby that has made his name most prominent in Plymouth's history. In his spare time, after the War, he turned his private diaries into a book, "It Came to Our Door", a record of life in the City between 1940 and 1945.
During the 1950s he became an enthusiastic supporter of the City of Plymouth Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and of the choir at Emmanuel Church.
Henry Patrick Twyford retired from journalism in February 1964, due to ill health, and died on Saturday December 5th 1964, at the age of 72 years. He left a widow, Win, and a daughter, Monica.