OLD DEVONPORT . UK
www.olddevonport.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 23, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 23, 2016

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DEVONPORT WORLD WAR TWO HEROES MEMORIAL

The Devonport World War Two Heroes Memorial is located on the waterfront at North Corner and reads:
 

IN CELEBRATION AND IN HONOUR
OF NORTH CORNER HEROES DURING
WORLD WAR II 1939 - 1945

Sheard G - Operation Frankton
Sheard M - British Empire Medal
Sheard W H - Distinguished Service Medal
Siddall H - P.O.W. Stalag VIIA & VIIIB
Yabsley T - George Medal

Mrs Lizzie Cook, of Devonport, planned and organised the project on behalf of the Friends of North Corner.  The Friends raised most of the funding and the resources, with additional contributions from Devonport Management Ltd and the Devonport Regeneration Company.

Devonport Management Ltd provided a piece of granite coping previously on Number 9 Dock.

The memorial was unveiled on September 17th 2002 by the only surviving person of those listed, Mrs Mabel Siddall, the widow of Mr Harold Siddall.  As Miss Mabel Sheard she was awarded the British Empire Medal for her pulling many bodies out of burning homes and running through the fire torn streets to get help for them.  Her brother William is also honoured on the plaque.

Royal Marine Corporal George Sheard, another of Mabel's brothers, was one of the "Cockleshell Heroes" who paddled their canoes silently through France in Operation Frankton.

Mabel's husband, Mr Harold Siddall, was a prisoner of war in Germany for four years before returning home to become a teacher at a local school.

Mr Thomas Yabsley was a leader of an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Rescue Party who rescued people from the burning basement of a house in Emma Place, East Stonehouse, during the night of March 21st 1941, for which he was later awarded the George Medal.

The unveiling ceremony was conducted in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Ian Gordon, and Commander Charles Crichton, Royal Navy.

Mrs Mabel Siddall, formerly Miss Mabel Sheard, died on October 22nd 2010 in a retirement home at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.  She was 92 years of age.  The funeral service took place at Milton Baptist Church, Somerset, on Thursday November 4th.  She was survived by her son, Peter, and daughter, Barbara.