Searching for a wartime hero

Can you help with the search for a hero?

A local author is looking for more information about a Bath man who – during World War 2 – helped save an African American Gl from the gallows.

Credit: Kresen Kernow (Cornish archives) by Geoff Ellis

She’s Kate Werran who already has one book about the tensions between black and white Americans stationed over here to her credit.

Thanks to Coppa Club in Milsom Street for letting us chat upstairs this morning. Kate had a fascinating tale to tell me and l hope you will hear her out on this one. An amazing chapter in the city’s wartime history.

Apologies for the sound fault. If you can help – let me know!!

Barry Hall writes from Northern California:

” I moved to Combe Down in 1995 and my wife and I rented the flat above the fruit and veg shop at 1 The Avenue (now an Estate agents, screen shot attached). I heard about this story of the African American Gl on Radio 4 back then (between 1995-1997?) and I seem to remember it had a lot of detail—what made my ears perk up was I seem to remember that it mentioned Combe Down, and the incident happened on the Firs Field??  I may be remembering this incorrectly of course, it was a long time ago. 

I got friendly with an old chap in the village named Phil Bishop (in his late 70s at least, back then), who lived in Dial House on Church Road (his father was the mine foreman at one time). Maybe one of his relatives are still around and may know some details? They were obviously a long time Combe Down family. I seem to remember he had a son and daughter; but they may be gone as well—long time ago now!

We presently live in Northern California—my wife (from Bruton) and I (American) lived in Bath for over 20 years (left in 2016). I was a Trustee at the Museum of Bath at Work and was “Museum designer in-residence” for quite a few years. I am good friends with Stuart Burroughs (I still maintain the Museum website and Mail Chimp mail-outs). 

I enjoy your videos—looks like things are changing near the Avon Street Carpark since I left (where the idea for The Museum of Bath at Work was born)!

All the best! And tell Kate Werran good luck!”

1 Comment

  1. What a really fascinating story! Longing to buy Kate’s book now… 👏🏻🙏

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