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Albert

The Albert family were only resident in Chewon Mendip for the duration of World War Two but they lived in what was then called Navestock which is why there is a page dedicated to them.
 John Fenwick Albert was a london barrister who served with the Inns of Court Regiment in the late 1930’s when he was living in London. He foresaw the coming of war so moved his family out to Somerset. initially he rented Navestock but he soon bought it.
 John Albert was living in Somerset at the outbreak of the war so he joined the Somerset Light Infantry and was stationed in India. Mrs Albert must have been one of those remarkable women who contributed so much to the war effort. She was living alone in relatively unknown environment of a Somerset village with two small children but she used her home as part of a network that was trying to get persecuted Jews out of Germany. Chewton Mendip could claim it own ‘Schindler’s List’  of people who are alive today because the resident of Navestock probably broke the rules, and perhaps the law, for the greater humanitarian good.
 Their son, also called John, has provided extensive memories of his time in war-time Chewton Mendip and a full account will be published later.
 Another of the little known facts is that Navestock was used as an unoficial convalescence home at the end of the war.
John Albert senior was still in India when the war ended and the Somerset Light Infantry were the last unit of the British Army to leave imperial India after independence. He was the Judge Advocate to the British forces in India and he granted a firm of solicitors power of attorney to sell Navestock but not before Mrs Albert performed perhaps her most heroic duty. She befriended a number of soldiers who had been held in the horrible Japanese prison camps. The young John Albert and his sister remember their emaciated bodies, their tears and screams and how the prisoners would wander around at night. This was all very frightening for a young boy or anybody else for that matter. However the suffering of the carers was insignificant, although real enough, compared to horrors endured by the unfortunate ex prisoners of war. This convalescent care was all done on an unofficial basis and the unfortunate ex prisoners stayed in Navestock until they were mentally and physically fit enough to return to their families.
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