William Pill 1914 Gardener

gardener with a trowel and leaf of sage

The Gardener – William (‘Young Bill’) Pill
Born Gorran Haven, 1898. Attended the local ‘Schoolhouse in the Wind’.
Followed his father and brothers into the fishing trade, then took up an apprentice position on the garden staff at Heligan for the Tremayne family.

You can follow the day to day life of William Pill a 1914 gardener on and he is also adding content to our facebook page leading up to our performance 100: The Day Our World Changed at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

13th July 1914 5pm, Planting alpines in the rockery.
13th July 1914 2pm, Wheeling rocks in the barrow.
13th July 1914 11am, Monday 13th July 1914. Helping Mr Moss in the Rockery.
12th July 1914 5pm, Walking with Elizabeth. Shippams fish paste for tea.
12th July 1914 2pm, Listened to the men talking at the Parliament. All about war. Mr Treffry got angry and swore.
12th July 1914 11am, Sunday 12th July 1914. Chapel.

11th July 1914 4pm, Harvesting broad beans.
11th July 1914 11am, Saturday 11th July 1914. Watering peaches in the glasshouse. Fed melons and cucumbers.
10th July 1914 5pm, Sent to put the cart away then home.
10th July 1914 1pm, Five trips up and down with seaweed. Stinks when the sun gets on it.
10th July 1914 11am, Friday 10th July 1914. Carting and spreading seaweed on the brassicas.
9th July 1914 5pm, Mr Tremayne walked over to me. Said nothing, then he asked how old I am. Told him. He stood quiet again then left me.
9th July 1914 2pm, Still on leeks. Mr Tremayne came and watched me planting. Makes me uncomfortable.
9th July 1914 11am, Thursday 9th July 1914. More leek planting in the kitchen garden.
8th July 1914 3pm, This afternoon Mr Pascoe too keeps snapping at me. Going to keep my mouth shut tomorrow.
8th July 1914 1pm, Asked Mr Pascoe what is wrong with Mr James. Said he’s probably worried about his sons. He said quietly, Aren’t we all?
8th July 1914 11am, Wednesday 8th July 1914. Me and Mr Pascoe have been set to cut the lawns.
7th July 1914 5pm, Weeding in the pea rows. Glad to get away from Mr James – has been in very bad temper.
7th July 1914 1pm, Sent to help Mr James again, hanging a new gate.

7th July 1914 11am, Tuesday 7th July 1914. Planting winter leeks.
6th July 1914 5pm, Fence posts rotten at the ground. Doubled up.
6th July 1914 3pm, Sent to help Mr James with the fences round the mansion.
6th July 1914 11am, Monday 6th July 1914. Morning, I’ve been removing an apple cordon.
5th July 1914 4pm, Mother gave us pilchards after I did some gardening. Back still aching from yesterday.
5th July 1914 1pm, Me and Elizabeth having a Sunday walk. Stopped for a while in the dell.
5th July 1914 11am, Sunday 5th July. No work today. Chapel.
4th July 1914 5pm, Back aching from the quarry today. Glad tomorrow is Sunday.
4th July 1914 3pm, Still working in the quarry with Mr Rundle. I forgot my croust and he gave me a sandwich.
4th July 1914 11am, Saturday 4th July 1914 morning. Helping Mr Rundle today cleaning up in the quarry.

3rd July 1914 1pm, Helping Mr Paynter (Frederick) watering new grass and watering in the glasshouses.
3rd July 1914 11am, Friday 3rd July 1914 morning. Pinching out and tying in tomatoes.

100: WISH LIST Update! Can you help?

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An amazing response to our radio and newspaper wish list call out!  Thank you so much to everybody that have donated and lent us stuff for the show.

We are still looking for the following items:

(If you can help please email or drop in at the Heligan reception. There is also a bunting bin at Mevagissey Activity Centre for fabric bits)

 First World War caps/ uniforms
 Old suitcases (cardboard or leather)
 Measuring equipment for the medical
o Height measurement stand
o Eye charts
 Old oilskins
 Navy blue jumpers
 100 simple deck chairs
 Lots of white sheets
 Large tin tubs / baths
 Washboard
 Old garden tools
 Luxury Edwardian car
 Harmonium
 Golf buggies
 Lobster pots
 Buoys
 Ropes
 Sturdy wooden tables
 Wooden stepladders
 Hairdressers
 Wooden step ladders
 Hay cart
 Cut flowers for decorating bandstand
 Bandages / slings
 1st Aid equipment (of the era)
 Memories, stories, photographs, journals, recipes
 Traffic cones,
 Sand bags

You rock!!! Thanks

WE WANT YOU! PERFORMANCE & SINGING REHEARSALS. Find out ways to get involved.


Fancy getting involved? Come along…

Sundays in July: 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th

Performance all day, Singing 2pm-4pm (to be confirmed)

All you need to bring is YOU, friends who want to join in and a packed lunch. Don’t forget to wear
comfy clothing. We are looking for anyone and everyone to join in, we particularly need young men
& women from ages 17-40 to be our nurses and soldiers.

Rehearsals will take place in Jubilee Hall or at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Please contact Sue Hill in
advance to find out where 07967 311 062 and to see if singing will be included /


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Great turn out at the making workshops over the last couple of weeks! Don’t worry if you’ve missed them… Theres more to come.

Saturdays in July: 12th, 19th & 26th

Open Days & Drop-in sessions
Jubilee Hall, Mevagissey. 10am – 4pm

Come and join us to make bunting, flags and other beautiful items for our event. Come for a natter
and a chatter. Come for the day or come for a bit. Bring old scraps of material, bring your sewing
machine if you have one, bring scissors, pinking shears and other essential sewing kit items and bring
a packed lunch.

If you prefer to work in the comfort of your own space, come-along, pick up what you need and take
it home.

Other workshops may take place but we will let you know when & where. To register your interest or
find out more please contact Ellie Williams on 07968 049 418 /

Field Of Loss Update! #fieldofloss

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Hundreds of moving contributions have been added to The Field of Loss over the last few weeks, See below to find out more…


The First World War caused unimaginable losses, devastating a generation. But all losses are individual
and personal. At this time of remembrance we’d like to create a field of empathy, where all losses are commemorated together.

As part of 100: The Day Our World Changed we will create in Heligan a field
of white flags, each representing the loss of a loved one. We have already had 100s of people add their memory/ loved one and we would like to invite you to add yours too!

Write a name, a memory, a message or a wish and either email it to  or add your contribution by hashtagging a picture of your entry on social media such as Twitter or Instagram #fieldofloss we will harvest them and add them for you.  Be part of this collective act of memory.

There is a permanent Field of Loss station at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. It will also be at Eden in July, Port Eliot
Festival and Mevagissey Feast Week (5th July).


Welcome to our new website!


If you’ve caught this then you are one of the lucky first, this is hot off the press. Over the next few days and weeks you’ll see loads more features and content added, so stay tuned.