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GREEN, Joseph (1895-?) – Horticultural Instructor

In the 1924 Electoral Roll for Wickhamford, Joseph Green is listed as living with Basil Griffin’s family at “34 Wickhamford”, which is now 6 Manor Road.   He was probably a labourer working for one of the many market gardeners who had plots of land in the village.  At the time of the sale of the Wickhamford Estate in September 1930, the auction details list all of the people whose land and houses were affected by the sale, but Joseph Green’s name was not mentioned.

In 1936, Joseph married Ruby Gwendoline Mills in the Swindon area.  He was still on the Wickhamford Electoral Roll in 1939, but the address given for him was the “Instructors’ Mess, Army Vocational Training Camp, Chistledon, Wilts.”   This suggested that he had joined the Army in the run up to World War 2, but in the 1939 Register of civilians, his name appears in the household of Ernest Mills at The Bakery, Turnball, Highworth, Wiltshire.  He was his father-in-law, who was a baker, grocer and confectioner and also in the household were his mother-in-law, Ellen, and wife, Ruby.   Joseph Green’s occupation was given as “Horticultural Instructor”.  The Bakery was a short distance from the Army camp.  The Mills family were at the same address for the 1911 census.  Joseph was also recorded as an A.R.P Chief Warden and his wife was also an A.R.P Warden.

The Army camp at Chistledon had been established in 1914, at the outbreak of the Great War, for infantry training.  In 1927, the Army Vocational Training Centre was established to give vocational training for soldiers soon to enter civilian life. The camp had a leased mixed farm, a dairy, glasshouses and workshops.  (It reverted to being an Army training camp again at the outbreak of the Second World War.)

Joseph Green was employed at the camp to train soldiers to work in horticulture on leaving the Army, but his job would have been terminated at the outbreak of hostilities.   According to the 1939 Register, Joseph was born on 18th March 1895, so he would have been too old to enlist in 1939, but he had probably served in the Great War.  Joseph Green is not an uncommon name in the archives, so it has not been possible to pinpoint his place of birth and family or his date of death.  In 1939 he was 44 years or age and his wife was 35 and there is no indication that they had any children.  Joseph was executor of his father-in-law’s will in 1957, but it is not known when Joseph died.  Ruby died in the Exeter area in late 1988.

Tom Locke - November 2019