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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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War Memorials


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St.Andrew's Church today

St. Andrew's Church, Aveton Gifford, as it is today

©Richard J. Brine

St. Andrew's Church - early 1900s
Just as everyone was putting on the kettle for tea on January 26th 1943, a pack of marauding German bomber planes descended on the village. They dropped bombs and strafed the village with gunfire.

Only a tiny number of houses in Aveton Gifford escaped damage; a child was killed and at least 20 people were injured, some seriously.

As the villagers pulled themselves together and looked about them, they saw, with horror, that their beautiful medieval church had received a direct hit as had the adjoining rectory.

St. Andrew's Church, Aveton Gifford in the early 1900s

Aveton Gifford - the Old Rectory

The original Rectory at Aveton Gifford

Totally destroyed by a direct hit on 26 January 1943

Very little remained except for part of the shell of the church. Priceless medieval features, the tower, the organ, memorial tablets, had all gone in a moment. The octagonal font, however, survived undamaged and is still in use with a richly-coloured replacement window behind.

The changes made to the ground plan of the original church during the re-build can be seen from the exterior. Originally, the Chancel had aisles on either side, one being a little chapel dating from the 13th century - these were not replaced. The replacement tower had to be rebuilt and reduced in height  in 1970 - the original held a fine peal of 8 bells.

The font

The font

St. Andrew's Church, Aveton Gifford

©Richard J. Brine

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