Lodge and Front Drive, Coombe Lodge

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12 Responses to “Lodge and Front Drive, Coombe Lodge”


  1. 1 Andrew Doucette May 15, 2015 at 1:58 am

    That’s my Great-Great-Grandfather, Thomas Joseph Adams (1812-1889) and his wife, Jane (nee Gill) (1816-1895). Thomas was butler to Captain Anthony Blagrave Valpy, who built the original Coombe Lodge, and Jane also worked for the Valpy’s. The Cottage pictured was their house where they lived until Jane died in 1889.

  2. 2 Blagdon Local History Society February 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    That’s interesting, The Blagdon burial register records they worked for the family for over 50 years., Capt Valpy didn’t build Coombe Lodge, it was occupied by Thomas Roworth before the Valpy family, Thomas was married to Mary Anne Catherine Valpy, sister of Anthony B Valpy. The house is referred to as ‘The Mansion House’ in earlier Land Tax records, I believe Capt Valpy made a lot of improvements to the house. Capt Valpy’s widow Anna died in 1878 and In her will left £100 to Thomas Joseph Adams and £100 to Charlotte Gill – is this Jane Adams’ sister? Do you have any other photos of Blagdon and/or Valpy/Adams family?

  3. 5 Blagdon Local History Society February 6, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Many thanks, really interesting to see the connection with local families Panes, Lemon, Ball and Filer. The cottage next to Street End Grove Cottage is known by locals as ‘Tommy Ball’s’ (Grace’s brother) cottage, Tom & Grace sadly lost their mother very young & were brought up by their Lemon grandparents, Tom was a well known local character. We have some photos in the archives which may be of interest to you, I’ll sort them out & contact you. In the meantime search ‘Tommy Ball’ for a photo of the cottage before conversion.
    Thanks again!

  4. 6 Blagdon Local History Society February 6, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Thomas Roworth was a local solicitor & JP and as a churchwarden was very involved with the rebuilding of the church in 1821. The church was in a very dilapidated state and after stern letters from the bishop it was obvious major repairs were needed. Thomas Roworth was instrumental in applying for grants and organising the rebuilding of the nave of the church which also had a gallery. There are photographs of the old church in the archives. This church was again demolished in 1908 by Lord Winterstoke, leaving the original tower, and building the church we see today. Thomas Roworth’s tomb lies in Blagdon churchyard.

  5. 7 Russell H Raisig December 1, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    My Father, Charles C Raisig Sr, was the commander of the 310th Ordnance Battalion, US Army, before the D-Day Invasion; and he was headquartered in this structure in late winter/early spring of 1944 during the build-up. Until he died in 2000, Dad always expressed kind memories and happy thoughts of Blagdon and it’s people. I found this picture in a pamphlet titled “Bygone Blagdon” that was among his papers.

    • 8 Blagdon Local History Society April 10, 2019 at 11:23 am

      We were very interested to hear about your father staying in Blagdon. The village has been in contact with a member of the 126th Ordnance company (based in Blagdon in 1944) who wrote a book about the company’s experiences in WW2 called Metric 16. The book is still available in the second hand market. We didn’t know that the 310th Ordnance Battalion were also here, It’s the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we’d love to hear more about your father’s experiences and memories of Blagdon if you have any.

      • 9 Russell Raisig April 10, 2019 at 3:11 pm

        I am afraid that I have few details other than my previous notes attachment in my first e-Mail. In the 1990s before Dad died (2000), my Mother and he returned to Europe and visited Blagdon before going to the D-Day Beaches. I remember that he was very surprised to see “his HQ” still standing and he spoke with a couple of local residents about it. My Mother told me that they corresponded with someone (Christmas cards) after that visit. However, she died in 2009 and can not help with further information. Regrettably, I have no names, addresses, etc.

        Dad was reassigned on 15 May 1944 to command the 177th Ordnance Battalion for the Invasion itself. As such, he lost an entire medium automotive maintenance company, the 3422d, and twenty-seven enlisted men of Detachment B of the 526th Heavy Maintenance Company (Tank) when LST 1006 was sunk in the English Channel by a German torpedo in the early hours of 9 June. Eleven men and two officers of Detachment B had been rescued but were carried back to England.

        THANK YOU for the tip on the Ordnance book, Metric 16. I found a reference to it at the University of Pittsburgh Library located about 5 miles from my home. I will investigate it there.

        Last year, my Wife and I were in England and stayed at Coombe Abbey near Coventry (wonderful couple of days, beautiful country matched by the Abbey). Is there a connection to Coombe Lodge?

  6. 10 Sheila Johnson April 10, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you for your quick response! The building was the original lodge house for the old Coombe Lodge, the drive was moved when Coombe Lodge was rebuilt in the late 1920s, the house was completed in 1932. We knew there were American soldiers stationed in the grounds of Coombe Lodge, but didn’t know there was a commander in the Lodge.
    I’m pleased to hear you can locate a copy of Metric 16, there’s a good description of their time in Blagdon. The author Meredith Butterton visited the village several times.

    There is a local story that some of the troops were selling fuel to the local villagers – fuel was rationed and hard to get at the time. . With the Americans about to leave this welcome source was about to disappear, but ‘the supplier(s)’ gave extra amounts to make up for this. Unfortunately with the GI’s now gone some local car owners found their cars impossible to start the next morning – water not being combustible!

    I’m sorry there’s no connection with Coombe Abbey – coombe means ‘a short valley or hollow on a hillside, the road into the village passes through a little wooded valley and is also known as the Coombe.

    I hope you enjoy Metric 16 …

    • 11 Russ Raisig April 15, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      Sheila, I am truly sorry, as an American and as an Ex-Soldier, to hear about the fuel scam. I trust that my Father had moved to the 177th Ord Battalion by that time. Shameful story! Dad had an unwavering sense of fair play and honesty. (My bum well remembers a paddling it received when I intentionally hit another boy with a baseball when I was 10/11 years old) I have attached a picture of my Dad taken in early December 1944. When he was in Blagdon, he would have been 27/28 years old (birthday was 1 April …… April Fool’s Day in the States!)). He was about 5′-10″ tall with lighter brown hair (I think, anyway …… I only remember as bald!). The photo was taken in Belgium just prior to the Battle of the Bulge. I wish that the location was your home town, but I can find nothing that I can attribute to Blagdon. After his D-Day landing on Omaha Beach, he was assigned to the 2nd French Armor because he could speak fluent French. Therefore, he was one of the first Americans in Paris upon it’s liberation in August of ’44. Toward the end of the War, his unit was part of a Concentration Camp liberation; in the 1990s, he tried to tell me of that experience …… he broke down in tears and he never finished. It has been great fun corresponding with you …… Thanks! Russ Raisig

  7. 12 Sheila Johnson May 16, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Russ, No problem – it was probably the rascals in the 126th Ordnance and the village seems to be still laughing about it, so I don’t think there was any bad feeling! Your dad certainly had some bad experiences in the war, it , I haven’t seen the photo yet, attachments are not delivered directly, so I will ask for it to be sent over. We have a village fete at the weekend and tthe History Society will be there. I’m adding details of your father’s visit to our display. Some of the 126th Ordnance were stationed in Blagdon Court in the centre of the village and some in the grounds of Coombe Lodge. The 126th Ordnance Compancy left the village on March 3lst 1944, so I guess the 310th Company were possibly all based in the grounds of Coombe Lodge? Huts or tents I wonder? Most of what we know has come from the book Metric 16.
    Thanks for getting in touch with us, it’s been really interesting!
    Sheila


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