Monthly Archives: October 2011

Unveiling of Historic Plaque

A plaque commemorating the stoicism of the Brixham people in adversity has been unveiled at Brixham Museum.



At the time of the Second World War the museum was the local police station and the few officers there had to police a town containing a torpedo shipyard, a refuelling installation and 4,000,000 gallon underground aviation fuel storage tank.

Sergeant Alfred Mock, who had fought in the First World War, was in charge of the station during this time. Members of Sergeant Mock’s family, including his son Frank who provided the plaque, will be on hand to see it unveiled.



There is a display in the museum based around Sgt Mock which details the esteem he had for the people of Brixham, who largely policed themselves in a period of reduced manpower, increased risk and deprivation. He watched, saluted many troops and wished them luck as they were unloaded outside the station house to march down to the harbour to embark.



The museum curator, Dr Phil Armitage, welcomed the plaque being added to the front of the museum and said, ‘This goes to show what respect the people of Brixham were held in by those who manned this police station and also commemorates a long serving officer, who was based here from 1933 through the depression and the war until 1945.”

Chairman of Brixham Town Council , Councillor Martyn Hodge, said  “It is pleasing that members of Sergeant Mock’s family feel strongly enough about Brixham to have had this plaque erected. The words show that it is not just about Sergeant Mock but also the people of Brixham. It is entirely fitting that it is placed in such a prominent location on the front of the old Police Station in New Road and re affirms this building’s importance as part of the heritage of our town.”


Object of the Month – Radar Rat


Radar Rat

An interesting exhibit at Brixham Heritage Museum is a mascot named ‘Radar Rat’. This Rat is attired as a Corporal in the WRAF (we thought!) and was carried in the cockpit of a bomber during 30 sorties to Germany in the Second World War.

However, following some publicity in the Herald Express, a gentleman was prompted to do some research, thinking that the women in the Royal Air Force were WAAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) throughout World War II, so that Radar Rat would have been attired as a WAAF Corporal (not WRAF, as we had stated).

His research via the Internet revealed that the Women’s branch was originally formed as the WRAFs between the two World Wars, but reverted to the WAAFs between 1939 and 1949, after which they were re-named WRAFs.

Thus, if Radar Rat was attired pre-1939 she would have been a WRAF, but if attired after war commenced she would have been a WAAF. Who knows?

Whatever her title, she was extremely lucky to survive 30 sorties over Europe!