Boys Charged with Stealing Apples

The Bromley & District Times reported on a number of cases of boys stealing apples from Orchards on the Bromley borough area in the month of August 1918. Perhaps the apples were too good to resist, or the boys had a desperate need for food, who knows, but it seems they were willing to travel far from their homes to steal these crops from orchards in Chelsfield, Farnborough and St Mary Cray. There was a hefty fine for being caught at 15s each – at least 2 days wages for…

Is this the Ideal Summer Beverage?

Would an advert like this, as featured in the Bromley & District Times in July 1918, made you go out and buy Cyder to quench your thirst on these warm summer days? According to Minchew’s Real Cyder & Perry, there is a difference between Cider and Cyder. Cyder is rarely made on a commercial scale, whereas Cider is. Cyder is made from a single pressing of vintage fruit, rather like “extra virgin” olive oil. Cider, the drink almost given to agricultural labourers well into living memory, was made from the cyder pulp being re-pressed at the rate of 10…

Don’t run any risk with Allotment cuts & brusies – Use Zam-Buk

July 1918 The popularity of allotments at this time meant many could be liable to small scratches and cuts, which could quickly become infected and lead to severe consequences – after all- no antibiotics in 1918. An advert for Zam-Buk featured in the Bromley & District Times newspaper. Don’t run any risks with Allotment cuts & bruises Always carry Zam-Buk the antiseptic healer Work on the allotment produces a big crop of Cuts, Scratches and Blistered Hands, with the risk of dirt and dangerous disease germs infecting the broken skin…

Canadians & Americans bring their national game to Bromley

Ensuring that the oversea visitors felt at home, a game of Baseball was arrange at the Spartan Athletic Ground in Bromley between Canadian and American servicemen on the 6th July 1918. The event drew in a large crowd attracted to the sport with all proceeds raised divided between the Lewisham Prisoners of War Fund and the Canadian Convalescent Hospital. Canadians and Americans at Baseball A large number of people were attracted to the Spartan Athletic Ground, Bromley Hill, last Saturday, where Canadians and Americans met in their national game of…

Every Man Who Is Fit to Fight is Fit to Pension – Demand for Justice

The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers (NADSS) was a British veterans’ organisation. Founded in early 1917 at a conference in Blackburn, the group drew together various local groups representing working men who had served in World War I but had since been discharged. The organisation campaigned for better pensions, and more opportunities for re-training. Bromley had its own local branch, who in June 1918 held a mass meeting in the Market Square, Bromley to demand justice for the ex-fighting men and the dependents of the gallant men who…

Lady Librarian initiates a very practical improvement at Bromley Public Library, 1918

According to this article, which was published in the Bromley & District Times, 1918, it took a female librarian’s initiative to move the books shelves up a notch or two in order to stop readers overlooking the variety of titles stored on the lower shelves. Even back in 1918 libraries were seen as important assets to the community “The large increase in the number of users of the Public Library, is good evidence of its value to the community in these days when intelligent recreation is sought in relief of…

Inmates of the ‘Grim Grey House” given a holiday… stories from the Workhouse

Workhouses, like the one in Bromley (now the PRU hospital), often organised holiday outings for the inmates.  This article reports their annual outing in 1918 to the park at Hollydene in Keston, which the ‘poor folk’ were given to their disposal for the day. The article highlights the restrictions to food, high prices and rationing which had to be adhered to, but also the generous donations of toys, in spite of the high prices, and other supplies from local residents. But in spite of all this, the ‘poor folk’ still had…

Sergeant Albert Ludlow, Bromley

Albert Ludlow was one of three brothers, and had lived at The Cottage, Cowper Road in Bromley Common.  He was a member of the Territorial Force, 3/5th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, He had joined from the Reserve and was now with the Expeditionary Force. Information sourced from the Bromley & District Times 1914-1920 Researched using the FREE database at www.militaryancestors.co.uk

Sergeant A E Smith

Sergeant A E Smith was the son of Mr & Mrs H G Smith of West Wickham, and had two brothers also on military services; Lance-Corporal C Smith & Private T Smith. Sergeant Smith was a member of the Royal engineers. Prior to WW1 he had been in Royal Engineers for 16 years and had gone through the South African War. During World War 1 he was with the first troops forming the British Expeditionary Force and was with the first British troops to land in France. He is mentioned several times in…