The King Visits Kent, 1940

When the local Home Guard received a surprise visit from Royalty in August 1940, the local newspaper reported the excitement of the villagers in West Wickham, and the surprise of the men themselves.  The Home Guard put on the largest display in the history of the movement on that day.   Record parade of Home Guard at West Wickham Inspection of Anti-Aircraft units The deep interest which the King takes in the military ad civil defence of this country was evident at two visits which he has made to Kent within…

Food Facts, August 1940

A regular feature in the local newspaper in the 1940’s, here is another list of useful ‘Food Facts’ for readers to help encourage them to ‘never waste anything’. The Ministry of Food was almost before its time, by offering more advise on the Wireless each morning – almost like a modern podcast! Every Time you cook you help or hinder Hitler! This advert appeared in the Bromley & District Times, 16th August 1940 (page 3)   This Week’s Food Facts Please make full use of the fruit and vegetables now…

Buy National War Bonds, Advert 1940

War Bonds – Britain’s Broadsides! Britain’s vast war effort calls for weapons of every calibre.  National War Bonds are the heavy guns of our war finance.  They provide the means by which private individuals, the Directors of business concerns, Executors and Trustees can help the Nation to victory.   If you have £100 or more, buy National War Bonds.  If you are a Director or Trustee, use your influence to sustain and increase the flow of investment. Buy National War Bonds   Source: Bomley & District Times, 9th August 1940…

Lifebuoy Soap – Advert, 1940

Lifebuoy was introduced in England by Lever Brothers in 1895, and marketed as a soap that could be used in every part of the house, from the bathroom to the kitchen.  It was originally, and for much of its history, a carbolic soap, containing phenol (carbolic acid, a compound extracted from coal tar), but in later versions the phenol was removed Lifebuoy’s popularity reached its peak between 1932 and 1948.  After World War Two, when more materials were available and rationing was over, other more appealing soaps began to take hold of…

Coney Hall Fete, August 1940

This article, which featured in the Bromley & District Times on 9th August 1940, shows the carefree nature of life in Britain during World War Two. Less than a month later the London area was targetted by the Germans and the Blitz began.  Throughout the year that followed (October 1940 – June 1941) 133 bombs  and 1 parachute mine dropped in the Hayes and Coney hall area alone.   Two Days’ Merriment at Sparrows Den The Mayor (Alderman R.W. Jeffs) was willing, but the donkey jibbed, Mr Keenor, chief organiser, uses…

Prime Minister’s Message: August 1940

On Saturday 4th August 1940 the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, issued a statement via 10 Downing Street wishing it to be known that the ‘possibility of German attempts at invasion has been no means passed away” This report appeared in the local newspaper the following week.   Possibility of Attempts at Invasion CONSTANT VIGILANCE ENJOINED Our growing strength and preparedness The following statement was issued from 10, Downing Street, on Saturday: – “The Prime Minister wishes it to be known that the possibility of German attempts at invasion has by…

Private Walter Waters

Another of the men of the Royal West Kent Regiment reported missing is Prvate Walter Waters the son of Mr and Mrs J. Waters, 54 Victoria Road, Bromley Common, and husband of Mrs Waters, 26 Mosul Way. He was educated at Raglan Road School and later joined the Territorials.  He was a lorry driver in the employment of the Corporation.  He went to France in the Spring of this year (1940), and the last letter received from him was on May 10. Private and Mrs W. Waters have three young…

Troop Entertainers wanted

The Bromley T.W.E.R.P.S. Concert Party was an amatuer group set up for the purpose of entertaining service personnel and giving public concerts to raise money for various wartime needs. The group performed at various locations including airfields, gun sites, the Woolwich Garrison Theatre and to the cadets at HMS Worcester – a training college for the Merchant Navy. This article featured in the Bromley & District Times newspaper on 9th August 1940. T.W.E.R.P.S. want recruits Bromley T.W.E.R.P.S. Concert Party have shortened their name somewhat to T.W.E.R.P.S. Varieties as being more representative of…

Recycling at its best

Recycling and re-using was a huge part of life during World War II, we could certainly learn a lot from back them.  One particular drive the government pushed through was the salvaging of metals, especially aluminium, which could be used for their potential in the aircraft industry. This is a typical sacrifice that many people are making in town In some towns around the country you may even notice where old iron railings once stood.  These were removed for the same purpose. This article featured in the Bromley & District…

Typical Local News Reports from WW2

Here we show a typical page from a local newspaper which, like so many others, had several reports of men missing or killed or prisoners of war. The page from the Bromley & District Times reports on an Air Attack on Dover Harbour, a gift from the Deputy Commissioner of Kent of a mobile canteen for those whose homes are destroyed, the Roll of Honour for the Queen’s Own West Kent Regiment and an obituary for a soldier from Bromley (in this case Pilot Officer John Allen).   Source: Bromley &…