This church suffered major bomb damage through enemy action on 26 January 1943 (Twyford, 2005). Herbert Read of Exeter was invited to excavate for and salvage any remains of ancient woodcarving (Western Morning News, 1943), but much of it must have been beyond repair, as the ‘ornamentation along the top of the screens across the transepts is all that survives of the finely carved mediaeval screens’ (ag-project.co.uk).
Reredos – Photograph (PWDRO 116/25 & 244/2) R.F. Wheatly architect; 1926
A faculty was granted for an oak reredos in memory of the Revd Thomas Francis Boultbee in 1926 (DHC 328A/3/PW/2), who was Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral and Rector of the parish of St Andrew 1916-1925. Accompanying the faculty petition is a drawing of the reredos by Violet Pinwill that appears to be a copy of another plan held at DHC (1626B/P/1-2) signed by Reginald Wheatly. The wording of the dedication became the subject of controversy and the widow of Prebendary Boultbee complained, after she saw the completed reredos in the church, that the words ‘by his parishioners’ had been omitted (DHC DEX/9/a/2/AvetonGifford/8). This work was destroyed in the 1943 bombing but the brass plaque bearing the dedication was salvaged and mounted on the wall of the north transept.
DHC 328A/3/PW/2 Faculty. Aveton Gifford. Reredos.
DHC 1626B/P/1-2 Plans. Aveton Gifford. Reredos.
DHC DEX/9/a/2/AvetonGifford/8 Faculty. Aveton Gifford. Reredos.
PWDRO 116/25 Photograph. Aveton Gifford. Reredos.
PWDRO 244/2 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.
Twyford, H. P. (2005) It Came To Our Door. Plymouth in World War II – A Journalist’s Eye Witness Account. Revised and illustrated by C. Robinson. Pen & Ink Publishing, Plymouth.
Western Morning News (1943) Church Bomb Took Tower. Bells in Fragments. Aveton Gifford Screens Found. 11 March p. 2.