Arthur Webber - Cutcombe Parish
is known to us all and has many memories to share. Whatever is going
on, he has done it. Cricket, Home Guard, YFC, special policeman, rearing
poultry, thatching ricks, harbouring deer, working at the market.
During the war he mapped all the wells in the area in case the Germans
poisoned the water supply; in the 70s he directed weekend traffic
in Dunster. He has a reputation as a gardener, photographer and has
done tapestry. But singing is his first love. He says there's not
a tune in the hymn book he doesn't know something about. A true countryman.
When war broke
out Arthur and his brother Sidney joined the Home Guard. They would
have to do night duty then come home and start work on the farm.
Another of his jobs in the Home Guard was to draw up a plan for the Americans showing them where all the wells in the area could be found because the Americans thought the water supply might be poisoned by the Germans. The Americans found a supply that used to go down to Quarme and took the water up onto the hills where they were camped. One night the Home Guard were invited up to the American camp for dinner – he remembers having a particular type of sausage there he had never tasted before.
There was a hump on the road to Wheddon Cross known as the ‘Colonel’s Bump’ because the soldiers both British and American would drive as fast as they could over it trying to get their jeeps to leave the ground.
American tanks were a common sight and did some damage to the railings near Watercombe – this is still visible today!
set up their guns near Dunkery Beacon and fired shells to Larkbarrow,
eventually destroying it. The flash could be seen from the village
followed by a bang a few seconds later. When the war was over there
were shell holes left all over the place and they became full of water.
The Home Guard knew D Day was coming because of the increase in military traffic in the area. They were sent up to Health Poult for night duty because they could see the bombs better from there. One night he saw 3 bombs land on Dunkery because the pilot had been unable to unload them on South Wales for some reason. The road over Dunkery was closed because of bomb damage. You can still see the holes on Dunkery now.
One night a British
plane came down near Cutthorne. The pilot had bailed on the other
side of the Exford road and was brought back to Wheddon Cross.