While indexing the parish records, the archivist came across two baptisms where the address had been recorded as Sisters of Nazareth, West Stowell. Research revealed that the nuns had run a babies home in Bristol, which had been damaged during World War II. The Bishop of Clifton, The Right Reverend William Lee, was keen for the nuns and the babies to be evacuated from the city as soon as possible.
Sir Eric and Lady Phipps of West Stowell House offered part of their home to the nuns and on October 29th 1941 Mother Superior and the nun in charge of the babies travelled to Devizes where they were met by Fr Louis and taken by him to West Stowell. They were greeted by Lady Phipps who showed them the part of the house and the two cottages in the grounds that they could use.
Some alterations were needed and it was not until April 30th 1942 that the first load of furniture was taken to West Stowell. Two nuns and two girls were already there to receive it. On May 13th, forty babies, the Mother Superior, two nuns and two girls were transported from Bristol to West Stowell in three U.S. ambulances driven by members of the Women's Voluntary Service.
The nuns, girls and babies remained at West Stowell until September 1945.
The Parish Archivist is grateful for the help given by
the Sisters of Nazareth Archivist
in adding this page to the parish history.