|Tubby Clayton National Portrait Gallery, London ( creative commons licence)|
The Libraries got a call from Mrs Lesley Cairns some months ago and she told of her keen interest in the subject and her research. They generously offered to present the talk at the library. Ian and Jan have provided the Libraries with a full set of their notes they used for the talk and these can be found in the libraries vertical files.
The following information is a summary of these notes:
Tubby Clayton was born in Maryborough, in a cottage known as Severn at 39 North Street.
With the outbreak of World War 1, he volunteered his services as an Army Chaplain and ministered to the troops on the Western Front. Along with his friend and Senior Chaplain, Neville Talbot, they decided that something need to be done to improve the welfare of the troops.
They rented a property they named Talbot House and this was abbreviated to Toc H.as the letters T.O.C was the code the army signalers used for the letter T in communications and the H just stood for house.
The club was founded in 1915 and was run on egalitarian principle, with all soldiers,officers and other ranks being treated equally. Branches spread to fulfill the need of men returning from the war to England. These branches assisted with medical needs, employment and companionship.
A branch emerged in his birth place Maryborough. Governer of Queensland Sir Leslie Wilson, addressed members and suggested they could assist in a proposed scheme to bring children from western districts to the seaside. The Country Women's Association helped bring groups of children to Oakhome at Torquay, which was owned by them. A local, Dr Whittle and some supporters raised money to buy the house next door called Bondi. After renovations, it accommodated the first group of children in 1938, who travelled from Cunnamulla district. Toc H continued to run in some form until 1985.
At the talk, Mr Graham Ruhle provided photos of a chair that was crafted by his relative Mr. Colin Ruhle, a staunch member of TOC H. The chair was donated to Reverend Clayton's Church in London. It has the inscription
Fashioned with zest
For your reverent rest
If you find me strong
I was made in Maryborough
Mr Graham Ruhle tells us it can still be found in the London church.
Published with consent from Jan Downman and Ian Scougall
Tags #TocH #WW1 #torquay #Oakhome #tubbyclayton #localhistory