Toc H (Ocean Grove Branch)

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Toc H (Ocean Grove Branch)

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Dates of existence

c1939 - c1960s


'Toc H' also known as Talbot House was founded by Reverend P.B "Tubby" Clayton, near the battlefields of Ypres Belgium in 1915 during World War 1. The original Talbot House was in the close by town of Poperinge, Belgium, and was a building where soldiers could rest, relax and pray while going and returning from the horrible front lines of the war.

The house was named in memory of a close friend of Rev. Clayton who died in 1915, Lieutenant Gilbert Talbot. "Toc" signifies the letter T in the signals spelling alphabet used by the British Army in World War I.

After the war, the spirit and ethos of Tabot House became a movement, beginning in 1922 in England and then began to spread around the world, especially in the Commonwealth.

In Australia, the movement was championed by the then Governor General Lord Forster, who himself had lost two sons in World War 1. In 1925 Rev. Clayton toured Australia and by the early 1930s there were Toc H branches in every state.

The Toc H movement continues today. It's main work is building friendships and offering service to the community. It's vision statement is 'to build a better world by reaching out to all in friendship and service, promoting mutual understanding to lessen prejudice, and practising Christian Values.’

The Ocean Grove branch was established in 1939, meeting at St Peter's Church in Hodgson St, Ocean Grove.

On January 7th 1940 a great tragedy occurred for the organisation as two young boys drowned while attending a Toc H Camp at Ocean Grove.

The artist Sidney Nolan regularly attended Toc H meetings and was involved with the group, during the time he lived in Ocean Grove in 1939-1940.


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