WW1 & WW2



Duchy of Cornwall

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1569 Muster Roll


Tailor’ Doney

James Doney the Blacksmith











The earliest entry in the North Hill parish registers of anybody with this name is dated 17th October 1743. This entry records the baptism of the fourth child of John and Wilmot Doney. John’s origin is uncertain but he may have come from Quethiock. Wilmot was a South Petherwin girl which was where she married John in 1734.

 Their first three children were William (baptised in 1735 in South Petherwin), .John (baptised in 1737 in St Cleer) and Peter (born in 1739 in St Neot).

After their travels across these parishes they settled in North Hill and both John (snr) and Wilmot are buried in St Torney’s churchyard. William and John (jnr) went on to marry and have families in the North Hill area. Peter moved to St Stephen’s by Saltash and James moved to Lewannick.

‘Tailor’ Doney and his Family (click to read more)

The Family of James Doney the blacksmith of Congdon’s Shop featuring Cecil & Percy Doney and their Uncle Elias Doney (click to read more)

Botternell Farm in North Hill was part of the Duchy of Cornwall’s estate until 2001. From 1935 to its last days as a farm, Botternell was farmed by James Doney and then his sons, Andrew and Anthony. The image at the top of this page shows Prince Charles at Botternell Farm talking to James Doney who is with his son, Andrew, and Anthony’s daughter, Joy.

William James Doney was born in Middlewood in 1880 and baptised in the chapel. His father was Elias Doney a blacksmith whose ancestors had been blacksmiths at Congdon Shop since the beginning of the 19th century and possibly earlier than that. William married Mary Blackmore and they had five children, the second of which, also called William, was injured in March 1941 when his home was hit by a bomb in the Plymouth Blitz and died in the Prince of Wales Hospital the following day. Their third son was Vernand Archie Doney and he served on HMS Sultan, the shore establishment in Singapore which fell to the Japanese in 1942. Along with many other Vernand was transported to Batavia (now known as Sumatra in Indonesia) and was one of many in the Atjeh Party forced to construct the Pakanbaru Railway. In June 1944 he and 700 other PoWs were put on board ship bound for Japan. They were being taken in horrendous conditions as a forced labour force. The ship they were on, the Harukiku Maru, was carrying strategic materials and the PoWs were a human shield. The ship was sunk by the submarine HMS Truculent and all but 180 of the PoWs died. Vernand did not survive the incident. This extract has been referenced from Death on the Hellships: Prisoners at Sea in the Pacific War by Gregory F Michno, Naval Institute Press 2001: “More than 20,000 Allied POWs died at sea when the transport ships carrying them were attacked by Allied submarines and aircraft. Although Allied headquarters often knew of the presence of POWs through radio interception and code breaking, the ships were sunk because interdiction of critical strategic materials was more important than the deaths of prisoners-of-war.”



Jack Doney of Coad’s Green


Two wonderful images of Jack Doney.



Can you tell us more about him?


Sydney Doney

Sydney Bartlett & Leonard Bartlett (L-R back) with Sydney Doney & Henry Foot (L-R front)


This photo was taken in Winnipeg, probably in the winter of 1915/1916.

Sydney Doney is the fourth cousin of the father of John M Doney who contributed the story of John Doney (1843-1923).


The image at the top of this page shows Prince Charles at Botternell Farm talking to James Doney who is with his son, Andrew, and Anthony’s daughter, Joy.

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