Call for recognition for Exmouth’s first OBE recipient

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 March 2017

Edith Pratt OBE from Littleham

Edith Pratt OBE from Littleham


An Exmouth historian has called for the town to recognise its first-ever OBE recipient - 100 years on.

Edith Pratt, who grew up in Exmouth and attended Southlands School, received the award in August 1917, just months after the order had been established by King George V, for her service as a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps during World War One.

She then went on to serve in the Women’s Royal Air Force, achieving the rank of deputy commander.

Her family owned Prattshayes in Maer Lane and the surrounding Orcombe lands at Littleham, and after her death in 1959, the entire estate was donated to the public.

Now, a century after Edith received her OBE, Daphne Barnes-Phillips is calling for her to receive recognition from the town.

A previous plan for a blue plaque at Prattshayes did not come to fruition as the National Trust does not allow such plaques on its properties. However, Daphne is hoping to receive suggestions for other sites where such a plaque could be located.

She said: “Edith was the first recipient of an OBE in Exmouth, male or female, and that must have been a pretty big thing, especially for a woman at that time.”

Anyone with any ideas is asked to contact Daphne by calling 01395 263494, or emailing

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