WW1 TOC H Plaque (War Memorial, Uckfield) Traditional Geocache
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The cache is a 35mm film pot located ~2ft (0.6m) above pavement level. Sorry, the cache is not accessible to wheelchair cachers.
I am often disappointed that the caches associated with churches make no mention of the supreme sacrifice that was made by so many people during WW1, WW2, and subsequent wars. Often, nor do they make any reference to the, sometimes, important people who are laid to rest there.
In contrast, this cache is placed to highlight both the War Memorial and the excellent work that TOC H, originating at Talbot House, Poperinge (pronounced Popper-Ringa), Belgium, played during WW1 and has played subsequently. This work has included the funding in 1971 of the lighting for the War Memorial placed within the grounds of this church. A plaque on the wall highlights this generous gesture and also commemorates the 25th anniversary of TOC H. (I am a little confused by this because TOC H was founded in 1915. So it should be the 55th anniversary.)
The Story of Talbot House (Toc H), Poperinge - source: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/ypres-salient/museum-talbot-house-history.htm :
On 11th December 1915 the house at number 43 Gasthuisstraat (at that time the street was called by its French name - Rue de l'Hôpital) opened its doors for the first time, welcoming British soldiers to a new club. The large house was owned by a wealthy brewer, Monsieur Coevoet Camerlynck. In the early summer of 1915 some German shrapnel shells had landed in the garden and damaged the rear of the house. Having removed his family and all his belongings M. Camerlynck was pleased to offer the empty house for rent to the British Army for 150 Francs a month; on condition that the house was repaired and made watertight. Opening of an Every-Man's Club: An Army Chaplain the Reverend Philip “Tubby” Clayton saw a use for the property as a soldier's club. It became a rare place where soldiers could meet and relax regardless of rank, an Every-Man's Club. A notice was hung by the front door bearing the message: “All rank abandon, ye who enter here.” Naming the House “Talbot House” and “TOC H”: Initially it was proposed that the House was named Church House. According to Padre Neville Talbot, “the staff of our Division saw a scarecrow in the name and smelt tracts.” And so the house was named Talbot House in memory of Lieutenant Gilbert W L Talbot, aged 23, who was the brother of Padre Neville Talbot. Gilbert was serving with 7th Battalion The Rifle Brigade when he was killed at Hooge in the Ypres Salient on 30th July 1915. His death came during a British counter-attack following the German Army's first use of liquid fire on the Western Front. Gilbert was the youngest son of the Lord Bishop Talbot of Winchester and left a career of brilliant promise unfulfilled. He is buried in Sanctuary Wood British Military Cemetery, Zillebeke near Ieper. The name Talbot House soon became known to the soldiers of the Ypres Salient in a shortened form of “TOC H”. TOC was the British Army signaller's code for ‘T’, and H was ‘H’. Toc H After the Great War: 1919: When the Great War was over Monsieur Camerlynck, the hop merchant, returned. However, he was overwhelmed by the number of ex-soldiers who came knocking at the door to see the old house again, and put it up for sale. In 1929 Lord Wakefield of Hythe bought the house for £9,200 and donated it to the Talbot House Association. This is the reason for the official twinning of Poperinge with Hythe in Kent, England. Also, in 1920, Clayton founded a Christian youth centre in London, also called Toc H, which developed into an interdenominational association for Christian social service. The original building at Poperinghe has been maintained and redeveloped as a museum and tourist venue. Branches of Toc H were established in many countries around the world. An Australian branch was formed in Victoria in 1925 by the heretical Rev Herbert Hayes. Another was formed in Adelaide the same year.
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