NOVEMBER 2018 + Peter Fillan Obituary

Since its formation in 2001, our Group has held its Quarterly Open Meetings with a Guest Speaker every year, with subjects covering a wide and varied range with most (if not all) relating to a local (i.e Devon) and/or historical interest.    Our next Open Meeting, on FRIDAY 07th DECEMBER is no exception, and the subject connection could not be more local.

Captain & Mrs Jones

Our Speaker will be Chris Robillard, a local journalist/author, whose new book is called “Captain & Mrs. Jones” – a true story of love, romance and espionage in war-torn France during the 2nd World War (according to its cover)   “Well, yes, interesting  …. I hear you thinking, but what’s the local connection?”   I could leave the author to tell you on the night, but in the hope of tempting you to come and hear the full story, I will tell you that the story has come to light because the son of Captain & Mrs. Jones now lives here in Marldon, and has only very recently been able to tell the full story to our Speaker (for reasons which will be explained by the author).

Our December Open Meeting is also our Christmas Evening, and this year, for various reasons, we have decided to change the format and have a Speaker instead of entertainment, pleasurable though that has been for some years.   There will of course be mulled wine, tea/coffee, and Mince pies, plus a raffle.   In another change, the Meeting will be open to all, i.e Members and their spouses/guests as usual, and non-members.  Admission will be only £2, payable on the door on the night.   Alternatively, if you wish, you can buy tickets in advance.   If you would prefer to buy tickets, please contact either our Secretary Derek (529859) or our Chairman Tony (521419).    Members will receive our usual flyer in good time, but please look out for our Posters on the Village Notice Boards.   Although there will also be a reminder in next month’s Magazine, please make a note of the date now.


I am pleased to say that our programme of Guest Speakers for 2019 has already been arranged by our Secretary (Derek), including “Smuggling in Devon – the truth behind the fiction” by Robert Hesketh and “Nature in the Garden” by Paul Rendell.

If you have any queries about any of the above, please do not hesitate to ring either our Secretary Derek (529859) or our Chairman Tony (521419).

Tony Chidlow .. Chairman

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(Former Headmaster of Marldon C of E Primary School)

Peter Fillan  was Headmaster of Marldon Church of England Primary School for 21 years, before retiring in 1988.   Sadly, he passed away on 28th October, only a few weeks before his 90th birthday.    He will be remembered with much affection, and sadness, by very many present and former residents of Marldon who were not only pupils at the School, but were also Peter’s contemporaries, who will recall those happy years when their own children were his pupils.

Peter and his wife Jean retired to Dartington, and thankfully Peter was rewarded for his lifelong devotion to his profession by enjoying a long and well deserved retirement.

Peter was one of the last generation of Head Teachers who actually taught, and had no objection to being described as “an old fashioned teacher” who loved teaching children.  He had a firm hand when necessary, and was liked and respected by all parents whose children were in his care.   The children in turn enjoyed their schooldays and especially what might be called the “non academic” pursuits and experiences which Peter introduced and thought were essential, such as days (and weeks) on visits to places such as local farms, beaches, camps, and other places further afield where the children could gain knowledge and  experience of life and how others lived beyond the classroom and their life in a small village.   He was always conscious of the safety and welfare of the children in his care, whether on a visit to a local farm or a week long “holiday” under canvas at centres just that little bit further from home, such as Wembury or Slapton.

Peter was also very keen that, living so close to the sea, as many as possible of his children learned to swim, and encouraged the building and use of an outside swimming pool at the School, encouraged and assisted by eager parents.

Notwithstanding these “non academic” pursuits, and despite the size of what was, after all, a small village school, very many of his children have progressed both academically, and subsequently in worthwhile careers.   At the risk of repeating myself, Peter will be remembered and missed  with much affection and sadness  by all who knew him.


  1. Hello to you all please can you tell me who I can write too regarding the graves in Marldon Church Grounds,as There are a few of my family in the casket area up at the top of the steps ,including My Husband who died in England on the 22nd February 2003,it was a day after our Golden Wedding to which we had travelled home all the way from Australia,he lies in casket where I had Double place for me when I die too,his Name is Frank Evans.As I am so far away I cannot be there to clean and tidy around his grave and am wondering if there is someone I could contact who could do this for me ,My Sister has always done it but she is elderly now and cannot do it anymore.My Brother Derek Ryan and Beryl Ryan are also there and my Mother and Father are in a grave higher up.,also my nephew Andrew Rees.I would be grateful if you can let me know please we used to live in Marldon Cross Hill before we emigrated to Australia,he always used to say he did not want to die inAustralia,so he got his wish,I often wish we had stayed ,but he had been in the Royal Navy 18 Yrs and he always wanted to come to Australia,Please if you can let me know I would appreciate anything you can tell me .Thanking YouMy Best Wishes Doreen Robinson nee Evans,I still love England.I am 85 in January..i

    On Thu, 1 Nov 2018 at 6:03 pm, Marldon Local History Group wrote:

    > MLHG Secretary posted: “Since its formation in 2001, our Group has held > its Quarterly Open Meetings with a Guest Speaker every year, with subjects > covering a wide and varied range with most (if not all) relating to a local > (i.e Devon) and/or historical interest. Our next Open” >


  2. It was with great sadness that I found the news of the death of Peter Fillan on your site, I have so many wonderful memories of my school days, changing my career recently into the education sector has only highlighted just how much I learned in my primary years Thank You so much to all 1968-1974 please relay my condolences to the all the family who I remember with much affection. Christine Goss


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