Caretaker needed for Smallpox Hospital – Job Advert, 1941

Looking for a job? Here’s a good one for a couple – but the remunerations is somewhat uneven but they do get accommodation (no children) and rations and washing. So maybe for the right couple it would be a good opportunity. West Kent Joint Hospital Board Caretakers of Smallpox Hospital Applications are invited from parried couples for this joint appointment determinable by one calendar months notice given by or to the Board. Salaries  – Husband £110 per annum and wife £56 per annum, together with residence (no accommodation for children),…

Sending Parcels to the Front Line

Right from the outset of the second world war, British railways were the mainstay of the internal transport system.  They were used extensively for transporting goods and war equipment, as well as troops and evacuated children.  Railways had proved harder to bomb and much easier to repair than alternative modes of transport. War saw a major reorganisation of the railway industry in Britain. which resulted in the control of the railways being passed to the Railway Executive Committee.  They took responsibility for running the network and giving information on urgent…

Highest Scout Honour Given, 1941

The Silver Wolf scouting award is the highest award given out by The Scout Association.  It is an unrestricted gift of the Chief Scout and awarded “for services of the most exceptional character.” The award itself consists of a Silver Wolf suspended from a dark green and yellow neck ribbon. During the early years of the Scout Movement throughout the world, it was the practice of the Founder, Lord Baden-Powell, to give the Silver Wolf to Scouters in any country who had done outstandingly valuable work for the Movement.  It’s recipients…

Battle of the Atlantic

An example of how newspapers advertised the dramatics of the war to help sell newspapers. This advert for the News Chronicle newspaper appeared in the Bromley & District Times newspaper in March 1941. Battle of the Atlantic German U-Boats and Bombers V British Fleet, Convoy System, The Coastal Command and the R.A.F. Hitler threatens that the great Battle of the Atlantic is about to start. What shall we do to combat the menace to the vital routes between this country and the continent of America? How will the enemy attack…

Communal Kitchens coming to Beckenham – WW2

Communal kitchens were created in the 1940’s, during the Second World War, to help people who had been either bombed out of their homes, run out of ration coupons or otherwise needed help.   These community feeding centres were named ‘British Restaurants’ by the, then, Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.   Set up by the Ministry of Food, the centres were run by the local government or volunteers.  Both my mother and grandmother helped at the British Restaurant which operated in West Wickham, Kent. Meals were sold at a set price of 9d…

Refugee Wedding: Pittock-Buss to Gross

Geoffrey Pittock-Buss was born in Croydon in 1919, the son of civil servant James John Adam Pittock-Buss (1885–1962) and Marion May Battishall (1881–1961), who was a professional singer. He attended Whitgift School in South Croydon between 1931-35, before starting a career in journalism and publishing. He set up the New Vision Publishing Company and in 1944 published Vera Brittain’s “Seeds of Chaos: What Mass Bombing Really Means” for the Bombing Restriction Committee. He edited or worked on local newspapers in Kent and south London as well as The Illustrated London…

Death of Sub-Lieutenant Stafford-Clark, 1940

Sub Lieutenant (A) John Stafford-Clark was the son of former Mayor of Bromley Francis Stafford-Clark (1929-1930). This notice of his death was published in the local newspaper in March 1941. He was part of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, H.M.S. Heron., based in Yoevilton in Somerset. He died on the 26th February 1941. Sub-Lieutenant (A) J. Stafford Clark, R.N.V.R. Sub-Lieutenant John Stafford Clark, of the Fleet Air Arm, younger son of Alderman F. Stafford Clark, L.L.D., J.P., and Mrs Stafford Clark, and brother of Flight-Lieutenant David Stafford Clark, M.B., B.S.,…

The T.W.E.R.P.S.: Spring edition

The T.W.E.R.P.S. were a local amateur concert party. who were in much demand during World War 2 to entertain the troops and other service personnel. I am unsure at present what their initials stood for, so if anyone has any information about them which they can share, that would be most appreciated. This feature appeared in the local newspaper in March 1941. The well-known Bromley concert party, the T.W.E.R.P.S. whose services in entertaining troops and other members of the Services are so much in demand, have, owing to war demands,…

Denouncing the “Quislings’ of Europe

Quisling – a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country. The term ‘quisling’ originated in Norway in 1933.  Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian military officer and politician who nominally headed the government of Norway during the occupation of the country by Nazi Germany during World War 2. He was put on trial in Norway charged with embezzlement, murder and high treason against the Norwegian. He was sentenced to death and killed by firing squad on 24th October, 1945 Source:Article appeared in the Bromley & Kentish Times, March…

What do I do? – Ministry of Information Advice

The Ministry of Information (MOI), was a central government department created briefly at the end of the first world war, and again on the 4th September 1939, the day after Britain’s declaration of war, with the first Minister sworn into Office on 5 September 1939. The Ministry’s function was “To promote the national case to the public at home and abroad in time of war” by issuing “National Propaganda” and controlling news and information Initially it was responsible for censorship, issuing official news, home publicity and overseas publicity in Allied and neutral…