Guardsman James Williams

James Williams was the son of Mr & Mrs F Williams and brother to Mr W Williams who was assistant steward of Swanley Junction Working Men’s Club and Institute. His father had served 21 years in the British Army, for some years with the Grenadier Guards and served through the Egyptian campaign in 1882. As an Army Reservist he went to Canada between 1910-11.  He married Miss Emma Bridle, of Swanley in 1912 in Canada, where was still living. James had returned from Canada and was quickly sent to the Front with the…

Private Frederick Norman Ayles

Private Frederick Ayles was an old boy of Aylesbury Road School.  His mother (a widow) lived on Simpson Road, Bromley. He had joined the army in 1902 and later served with the South Lancashire Regiment. He went to France on 7th October 1914, and consequently must have seen some of the severest fighting. He was killed in action on the 13th November 1914. His brother Ernest Walter Ayles joined the Army Service Corps in October 1914  (two month prior to the report of Frederick’s death) and was in training at…

Gunner W H King

Son of William Henry and Eliza King, of 17 New England Road, Brighton, King was a Bromley postman and Captain of the Bromley Postal Football Club (which was a successful team) when he signed up to the war. He was serving with the Royal Horse Artillery when he was wounded at the battle of Mons. He died of his wounds on the 12th September 1914 Source: Bromley & District Times, 27th November, 1914 (page 7) and www.cwgc.org

Raiders Foiled in Air Attacks on London: 1940

The onslaught continued into September 1940.  This article appeared in the Bromley & District Times newspaper. Fine Work by R.A.F. fighters and A.A. Gunners   Waves of enemy bombers, supported by fighter escorts have failed in repeated thrusts at London’s defences. Mass raids by day and cruising “nuisance” planes at night have formed the enemy’s tactics against Britain this week. In the attacks over Kent, R.A.F. fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft guns have smashed large formations of German bombers and escorts, sending them racing for home depleted and battered. The R.A.F.…

Private T Smith, 1914

This is Private T. Smith who served in the First World War.  I want to link him to the correct reference in my Military Ancestors database. Can you tell from this photo which regiment he belonged to?   The list of possibilities is: Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment Royal West Kent Regiment J Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, 4th Cavalry Division Royal Engineers

Bombs on Villages during World War 2

This sad report were published in the Bromley & District Time newspaper on 6th September 1940. Family of Four Killed A husband and wife and their two boys were killed in a quiet Kent village on Sunday afternoon, while they were in a shelter.  There is no military objective of any kind in or near that village – it was just a case of ruthless indiscriminate bombing. On Friday several bombs fell in a Kent beauty spot.  An old mansion was destroyed, but happily no one was in residence at…

Dunkirk Evacuation

From the Women’s page by Elvira The level of help at the evacuation of Dunkirk spread far further than just the small ships. Look at some of the things people of Kent gave. Dunkirk Sleep still impossible. I have been idly turning the few pages of “Kent.” There are some portions of great interest referring to the part Kentish towns and villages played during the great evacuation of Dunkirk.  It is a little startling to read that at Paddock Wood a bacon cutter cut up 1,500 loaves from the Sunday…

Sapper R. G. Jones

As reported in the Bromley & District Times in 6th September 1940 Prisoner of War Mrs R. G, Jones of Maeberry, 10 Nichol Lane, Bromley, received a post-card from her husband on August 29, stating that he is a prisoner of war in Germany. Sapper Jones left England on May 20 and his wife received a letter from him dated May 24.  Then she had no news other than that he was missing, and neither the Red Cross nor War Office could give any further information.  Mrs Jones is now…

Unexploded Bomb on Railway Line

Danger coolly tackled by staff In the South of England an unexploded bomb fell a short distance from a main-line signal box and train services had to be temporarily suspended.  As the bomb could not be disposed of immediately, a screen of laden coal wagons was placed on the up-line to enable single-line working on the down-line. Volunteers were asked to work freight traffic past the spot. The traffic and locomotive running staffs volunteered to a man and the crews of down trains from London were equally responsive, refusing to…