The Gould Family lived at Tyneham from
Thomas Henry Mansbridge Gould (1872-1948):
Tom was the Head Gardener. Tom married Virtue Mary Park Everett (1877-1964) at Tyneham on 20 April 1904. Virtue was the sister of George Everett and aunt of Archie Everett.
Tom and Virtue had:
- John Cedric James Gould (1912-2010) – John
At the time of the evacuation, most of Virtue’s crockery was smashed while being transported in an old tin bath.
John Gould’s letter to Prime Minister Harold Wilson
19 December 1974
Dear Prime Minister,
I was born on 24 October 1912 in the Gardener’s Cottage at Tyneham on the Dorset coast. I lived and worked in the village until 1940 when I joined the Army.
Then in 1944, when I was fighting with the Devonshire Regiment in India, I had a letter from my mother saying they had been evicted from their home on 19 December 1943, which is 31 years ago today.
Our home was taken over by Major C.H. Miller of Southern command who gave written and verbal promises that we could return ‘at the end of the emergency’. This pledge was made at Cabinet level by Winston Churchill. The eviction notice stated: ‘The Government appreciate that this is no small sacrifice which you are asked to make, but they are sure you will give this further help towards winning the war with a good heart.
In 1948 the Government accepted that we had a right to return home but said that priority had to be given to national defence needs. Then in 1961, Mr Silkin legally closed 92 miles of public paths in and around Tyneham. We no longer have any right to see our old homes again.
You can imagine my tremendous pleasure and excitement when Lord Nugent’s report in 1973 said these tank ranges should be returned to the people of Dorset. I had always wanted to return, and at last it seemed this was going to happen.
Tyneham to me is the most beautiful place in the world and I want to give the rest of my life and energy to its restoration…
As a life-long member of the Labour Party, I appeal to you to look again at Tyneham’s plight before there is a Parliamentary debate on this matter.
If you reject this plea, I must make a second request, that when my time comes I will be interred in Tyneham Churchyard. It is there – and in memory of many old friends, my Grandparents and Uncle Tom, who were allowed to live out their lives in Tyneham – that I would like this wreath to go. Most of all, I want to go home.
Page last updated: 27 June 2021