Italian Recipes for Meatless Days – Gnocchi alla Romana

By 1917, certain foods were in short supply, especially meat, wheat for bread, butter and sugar.  Here is a recipe that appeared in the Bromley & District Times newspaper in January 1917. I liked the elegant suggestions about serving the Gnocchi alla Romana. Definitely for the middle-class housewife who maybe has lost her live-in cook!   Gnocchi alla Romana 3/4 pint Water 3/4 pint Milk 1/2 pound Semolina Butter Grated cheese Salt. Boil the semolina in the milk-and-water, with salt to taste for fifteen or twenty minutes, stirring well occasionally…

Do you like the boots? Bon Marché fashion

This advert for the Bon Marché store in Brixton appeared in the Bromley & District Times in early January 1917.   The cost of ladies boots was 12s (shillings) 11d (pence), which, if I remember correctly, is about 65p in today’s money! However, when you think that some families had to manage on £1 (20 shillings) was a lot of money for a working class woman! Brixton’s Bon Marché department store opened in 1877.  It claimed to be the first purpose built department store in the UK and was the brainchild…

Hugh Bertram Neely, 2nd-Lieutenant

Hugh Bertram Neely was 2nd-Lieutenant of the 3rd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment (attached to 1st Battalion). He was the second son of William and Clare Neely, of Ruxley House, Widmore Road, Bromley. His brother Clive William Neely also fell in World War 1 in Basra. Hugh was educated at Quernmore School, Lancing College and then to Rouen. He entered the Medical School at Guy’s hospital where he took the Licentiate in Dental Surgery. He was noted as being a clever and able student.  He then went on to start a dental practice at…

Private Ronald Young Hedderwick

Ronald Young Hedderick was the son of Robert Munter Hedderwick and Isabel Corbet Hedderwick, of Woodlands, Chislehurst, Kent. Born in London. He was a member of the Honourable Artillery Company, Ronald died on the 16th May 1915, aged 27, having just woken up. He stretched, exposing his head above the parapet and was picked off by a German sniper. He was one of 1,001 causalities buried at Voormezeele Enclosre no.3, in West Vlaanderen, Belgium. His grave stone is inscribed with the words “HE FOUGHT HIS WAY TO EVERLASTING LIFE MET BY HIS GOD’S…

Rifleman James William Hodson

James William Hodson, a native of Orpington, was a  member of the 2nd Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps. His parents, William and Mary Ann Hodson, lived at 1 Bank Cottages, Lower Rd., St. Mary Cray, Kent. He was killed in action on the 21st May 1915, aged 23 Featured in the Bromley & District Times, 24th May 1918, page 4 He is buried  at Woburn Abbey Cemetery, Cuinchy in Pas de Calais, France.  His grave stone is inscribed with the words “GONE FROM US BUT NOT FORGOTTEN NEVER SHALL HIS MEMORY FADE” Researched using www.militaryancestors.co.uk…

Private Edward Butcher

Edward Butcher was the younger son of Mr William Butcher of Spout Hill Cottage, West Wickham. Prior to World War 1, he was a member of the Territorial Force (Croydon) for 7 years and joined the Queen’s Surrey Regiment about 2 years before the war broke out. He was in the band, a First Class Drummer.  He went to the Front at the beginning of the war.   He was killed at the retreat of Mons on the 15th September 1914, and buried at Moulins and a memorial service was held…

Gunner Walter Bax

Walter Bax was part member of a large family of boys, who were all in the Army.  The son of Mr Alfred W. Bax and Clara E. Bax, of 17 North Road, Bromley, Kent.  He was brother to Private George Bax. Walter was an old boy of Wharton Road School in Bromley and had worked for a time for Mr Cox, fruiterer. Before World War 1 he had joined the 5th Dragoon Guards, but was invalided out after 2 years’ service.  He rejoined the Royal Field Artillery in October 1914, and after training…

Council Sets up Battlefield Scene to Help Raise Funds for the War

FEEDING THE GUN ON BROMLEY’S BATTLEFIELD “No Man’s Land” from the Trenches £70,000 raised: How the Money Came in In an effort to raise money to pay for the war, the Government sold War Bonds. Bromley supported this in great patriotic spirit. In 1917, a tank – ‘Tank Drake’ had toured the country and came to Bromley to the Market Square. When members of the public bought war bonds they could have their bonds and certificates stamped at the tank. There were displays of aircraft dropping leaflets and the band…

War Naturally Affected the Birth-Rate in a Most Alarming Manner

On 4th October 1918, there was a report in the Bromley & District Times on a CHILD WELFARE EXHIBITION ‘An important feature of Bromley Baby Week, which was opened at the Public Library on Wednesday afternoon of last week by the Hon Mrs Eustace Hills, with Mayoress (Mrs Fillet) in the chair. The exhibition was prepared and conducted under the Child and Welfare and Health Committee of the National Union of Women Workers, and was a most interesting and instructive character, the exhibits being arranged under such headings as “Guidance for the Expectant…