Newspaper Extracts

Whilst trawling through the newspapers of 1914-1919, Pam has come across many interesting articles which give us an insight into life both at the front line as well as back at home.

Some examples are found here:

The HeadlinesLocal NewsEntertainmentRecipes & Home AdviceLettersPeople

3 looks for the Bromley Fashionistas – c.1918-style

For the lady of fashion in June – So elegant! The latest fashions brought to you from Sainsbury’s in June 1918 –  three special values for the ladies of Bromley. Sourced from the Bromley & District Times, 7th June 1918, page 3

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New Suit or a Chocolate Egg for Easter?

How times have changed. I doubt very much that you would see an advert like this in the local newspaper today suggesting giving your son a new suit for Easter, but this is exactly what Issac Walton and Co. promoted for Easter in 1918. At least the models looked very pleased with their new suits!

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Top Easter Fashions in 1918 from Sainsbury’s

So if you walking around the shops in 1918, these would have been the fashion statements that were on offer to you from top retailers such as Sainsbury’s – so elegant! Taken from the Bromley & District Times, 22nd March 1918

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Wearing Furs

Fur Coats, Fur Trimmed Coats, Cloth Coats, Furs and Millnery. In October 1917, the shops were advertising winter wear. Fur, real fur in those days, was very popular with the affluent.    

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Kids fashion 1917

The House for Juvenile Clothing, 1917

Here are the fashions for the younger generation. No mobiles here, just running around! I think the Peter Pan Outfit for boys is particularly cute.  

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Sainsbury’s Fashion, 1917

Yes, it is Sainsbury’s.   When I started reading these newspapers I was surprised to see that at that time, Sainsbury’s was not a food store but sold clothes and linen and other such items. If you read the Sainsbury’s website, it seems that Sainsbury’s was founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury and his wife Mary Ann, who set up a small store selling milk with scrupulous care of hygiene and quality of food. The link below is quite interesting. Sainsburys Humble Beginnings 1869-1900 Perhaps there was more than…

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Fashions of January 1917

At no other sale in the kingdom can you buy Royal Worcester Kidfitting Corsets at Lower Prices than at Medhurst’s Winter Sale Aren’t you glad you do not have to wear garments such as these today?  But you get a good idea of why ladies of the time tended to have a fairly gentle sedentary life. No jogging or marathons possible in these clothes! [source: Bromley & District Times, 5th January 1917, pg 5]

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Measles

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…

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Children picking blackberries

Children to be paid to pick Blackberries

Blackberries – Children to get 3d. A lb for picking A discussion took place on the subject of blackberries for jam. The Kent Agricultural Committee wrote asking the Food Control Committee to appoint an organising agent for the borough to arrange and superintend the picking of blackberries by children and their conveyances to recognised jam manufacturers. Children would be paid 3d per lb. (pound) for all they picked, and the organising agent would be paid £3 per ton (imperial) for his services.  Tuppence for transport would be provided. In the…

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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…

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Statue of soldier

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…

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Sharing Piggies in St Mary Cray, 1918

St Mary Cray Pig-Keeping Society Nearly 800 shares Applied for A meeting of the committee of the newly-formed Pig-keeping Association for St Mary Cray was held at the Council Schools on Monday evening, Mr George Dow (Chairman of the Parish Council) presiding. Mr Cecil Berens (Secretary of the society) was able to announce that application had come to hand to date for 265 shares, and of these a considerable number came through Mr H. West, Mr G. Ogburn, and Mr F Stanger. It was decided that a special appeal should…

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National War Bonds – invest every shilling you possibly can!

No sum can be too large! Another example of an advert, often seen in local newspapers, encouraging local people to invest ‘every shilling’ they could, so they can buy their towns ‘own’ gun to help their boys on the Front line, by investing in National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates to help pay for the war.   FIRE your Money at the Huns Join the throngs of patriotic investors who all this week have been hurrying to lend their money to their country. Draw out your savings and buy War Bonds.  Back up…

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Local schools finally acquire land for gardening purposes

Gardening at Bickley Schools Bickley and Widmore schools reported that at last it was possible to acquire a piece of land for gardening purposes. As it was so late in the season for agricultural classes to begin, it was hardly likely that the Board of Education would make any grant in respect of these classes, and the School Management Committees recommended that the piece of land should be acquired on the terms offered 1 shilling per rod subject to the Board of Education agreeing that the time spent on it…

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Strong Protest by Butchers as to the Fair Distribution of Meat

The Meat Supply: Strong Protest by Butchers Supported by Committee The question of the quality of the meat now being supplied to Bromley came up in a letter: Dear Sir,- At a meeting of the Meat Trade Section of the Bromley Chamber of Commerce held on Thursday last several members reported having received very serious complaints from their customers as to the inferior quality of the meat supplied. Whilst the butchers are most anxious to give satisfaction it was generally agreed that the public had good cause to complain, for…

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Throwing Stones and Cutting Property

Boys will be Boys The following matter was brought before Beckenham Council: ‘Among the matters dealt with was a letter from a resident, complaining of the conduct of youths in the Alexandra Pleasure Ground. A letter from a resident complaining of damage to his allotment in Hospital Meadow by children playing thereon were also submitted. The committee recommended the Council to prohibit the admission of children under 14 years of age to allotments except in company with their parents. Mr Dyke said the council wished top bring the conduct of…

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They came to Britain, looking for safety…

Repatriation of Belgian Refugees A letter was read from the War Refugees Committee in reference to the Repatriation of the Belgian people to their country at the end of the war, and asking if the Bromley committee would be prepared to undertake the administration of all cases arising in this district, and the General Purposes Committee resolved to recommend the Council to constitute a Belgian Refugee Committee in accordance with the scheme already approved for the administration of the Major’s Funds, and that such committee be requested to deal with…

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Places of recreation for soldiers in 1917

A BROMLEY EFFORT We hear on all hands of the splendid work done by Army Huts at the Front, and how much they are appreciated by our men. But it is not only abroad that these huts are needed. In our own county of Kent alone are number of men, some engaged in guarding our shores, others still in training: men of the Royal Navy, men from all parts of the United Kingdom, men of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the Royal Flying Corps, and the Royal Naval Air Service. It…

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Soldiers Entertained

This extract, taken from the Bromley & District Times, 6th September, 1918 [pg 5] and gives an account of an evening of entertainment in Bromley:   The men of the Army Service Corps in our neighbourhood, together with their lady friends, had a capital entertainment provided for them on Wednesday evening at the Drill Hall, Bromley, which well deserved the cheers given at the close. The principle part of the entertainment was sustained by the talent found in the men themselves, and their efforts were heightened and graced by the…

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Pantomime time in Penge

Christmas and the New Year are traditionally pantomime times. On January 5th the Penge Empire were showing Little Red Riding Hood twice nightly at 6.10 and 11.30. The following week a musical comedy from the Prince of Wales Theatre in London was to be presented. In London Peggy Kurton played Evelyn. Whether she appeared at Penge is not known.   To see pictures of the Penge Empire click here >

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“Dominion Day” at Orpington

Ontario Military Hospital Carnival It was “Dominion Day” at Orpington on the 1st inst., and a successful and largely attended sports carnival was held at the Ontario Military Hospital. There were probably more than 3, 000 persons present on the charming sports field above the hospital, situated in the very centre of a delightfully wooded and hilly country. While monoplanes and biplanes droned overhead, the sports programme was carried through with every evidence of pleasure to the many patients and other spectators who thronged the ground. It was a touching…

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Silent Films

On 9th February, 1917, the showing of the silent film, Davy Crockett was advertised; a magnificent drama in five parts. In those days the films were shown continuously on Saturdays from 2pm to 10.15 pm and two performances on other days. Seats: 3d (penny) + 1d leisure tax 4d (penny) + 1d tax 1 shilling (12 pennies) + 2d tax Davy Crockett Davy Crockett is a 1916 American silent film starring Dustin Farnum as Davy Crockett, and tells the story of the famous Tennessee frontiersman, soldier, scout, and Congressman who…

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Gnocchi alla Romana

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…

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Oh for an electric dish-washer!

The first dishwasher was invented in the USA in 1857 by Josephine Cochrane (trust a woman to realise the value of such an invention). The first dishwasher in Europe was invented by Miele in 1929, but they did not become commercially popular in Britain until the 1950’s and only for the wealthy at that time. Advert which appeared in the Bromley & Kentish Times, 12th July 1940, page 2

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Local schools finally acquire land for gardening purposes

Gardening at Bickley Schools Bickley and Widmore schools reported that at last it was possible to acquire a piece of land for gardening purposes. As it was so late in the season for agricultural classes to begin, it was hardly likely that the Board of Education would make any grant in respect of these classes, and the School Management Committees recommended that the piece of land should be acquired on the terms offered 1 shilling per rod subject to the Board of Education agreeing that the time spent on it…

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Strong Protest by Butchers as to the Fair Distribution of Meat

The Meat Supply: Strong Protest by Butchers Supported by Committee The question of the quality of the meat now being supplied to Bromley came up in a letter: Dear Sir,- At a meeting of the Meat Trade Section of the Bromley Chamber of Commerce held on Thursday last several members reported having received very serious complaints from their customers as to the inferior quality of the meat supplied. Whilst the butchers are most anxious to give satisfaction it was generally agreed that the public had good cause to complain, for…

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No ration card required

In 1918, the British government set out new laws introducing the rationing of certain food; Sugar, meat, flour, butter, margarine and milk, as a way of sharing food equally. However, as this advert shows from World Stores (who had branches at 50 East Street, Bromley and 41 High Street, Orpington), from the Bromley & District Times on 17th May 1918 (page 6), certain foods did not require a ration card to be purchased.   NO RATION CARD REQUIRED for any of the the following:- (equal to Meat in food value) Spaghetti (in tomato…

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Why do the British love to Queue?

I really like this advertisement to encourage people to queue in an orderly fashion for the trains and buses. It is no wonder that the Brits are know for being such great ‘queuers’, it seems our grandparents and great-grandparents have been conditioned to do so after adverts like this appearing in local newspapers. Though, these days, at times, we do like to break the queue, especially in the rush hour and at the supermarket check out (more difficult).

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Spring Cleaning the 1918 Way

Want to clean your carpets? From steam carpet beating to the cordless vacuums today.  Advert taken from the Bromley & District Times, 22nd March 1918. I assume the Scotsman in his kilt is the tradesman.    

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Salt a Good Cleanser

Household hints were often printed in the local newspapers.  The following account was printed in the Bromley & District Time in 1917: Every housewife should realise the possibilities of salt as a cleanser. Indeed, salt and paraffin should be in the cleansing outfit of every householder, for together they form a combination which eradicates almost any dirt. For polishing mirrors nothing can exceed the merit of salt. When applying it the glass must be wet with clear water, then the salt rubbed on with a damp newspaper. The final rubbing…

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Care of candles and lamps

To the country resident the problem of lighting the house is always more or less a vexed one. Candles for general use are artistic, while lamps for sewing, reading, and cooking are absolutely necessary. There are ways of economising in burning candles. Long candles are more economical than short ones, as the small piece that goes into the stick is only wasted once. A truly economical woman can make candles from small the pieces that are left by melting the tallow or wax, picking out the pieces of wick, and…

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Italian Recipes for Meatless Days

By 1917, certain foods were in short supply, especially meat, wheat for bread, butter and sugar.  Here is a recipe that appeared in January.  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!   Risotto in Bianco Half a pound of rice, washed and dried; two pints of broth; two ounces of butter (or less if preferred); two tablespoons of grated cheese. Bring the broth to boil, then throw in the rice; boil until the broth is…

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A Trench View of Air Raids & Reprisals

20th July 1917, page 5 A TRENCH VIEW OF AIR RAIDS AND REPRISALS Sergeant J Gutteridge, of Bromley, was never a pessimist, as our readers have had a number of occasions to know – the men give a lead in cheerfulness and solid confidence which could well be followed by a great many at home – and his view on the subject of air raids and reprisals which is occupying so much civilian attention is worth reading. We are sorry he is wounded, and glad it is only slightly. We…

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I came to think of him as a ‘friend’ – Letters of Gutteridge

From the beginning of 1917, letters from John Gutteridge rarely appear in the paper. Whether this was because there were more pressing matters report such as problems on the Home Front, as food prices and availability became more difficult and there was a growing number of regulations regarding food production and distribution (although rationing was not introduced, though frequently threatened, until 1918) and there was a lack of space. Or whether John Gutteridge was just not having the time or inclination to write, we shall never know. In 1917, there was…

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The boys did justice to the food provided by the Colonel

26th January 1918, page 2 STILL CHEERY AND BRIGHT Sergeant Gutteridge, of the West Kents, writes home another of his cheerful letters , in which he says they are all merry and bright. “Had a great time yesterday. The company had a dinner and concert. The boys did justice to the food provided by the Colonel of the regiment, and the concert was a great success, the chief item being an original chorus by the sergeants of ‘B’ Company, entitled, ‘ The Nine Point Two,’ which caused some fun. Today…

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Another Christmas out here, but we live in hopes of Frits giving in before long

20th October 1916, page 3 SERGEANT GUTTERIDGE STILL GOING STRONG ON CHEERFULNESS Look like having another Christmas out here, but we live in hopes of Frits giving in before long. Dear Sir, _  Still we live, and no complaints.  More work than worry at present. We have been having a fairly good time these last (few) weeks, football, boxing &c., being our chief items with the regiment.  We have now turned our attention to the more serious part of the programme, and are now leaving Frits with a decent few…

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Update from the Front Line

28th August 1916, page 6 Often the Bromley & District Times published short updates on the Gutteridge to inform readers of his current status on the Front. We are glad to receive a card from our cheerful friend, Sergeant J Gutteridge, advising us that he is well notwithstanding all the strenuous demands on time and energy there is at the Front

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We Expected the D.C.M. for Our Good Work

28th June 1916, page 10 Another letter from Sergeant Gutteridge of Bromley explaining the fun the ‘boy’ had trying to keep the soldiers awake! Of course we expected the D.C.M. for our good work in keeping the men awake “We had some fun a few nights ago. We had to “stand to” and the boys were allowed to lay down their equipment and helmets on, but not to go to sleep. We found it difficult to keep them awake, so a few gathered round and told them the methods used…

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We found it difficult to keep them awake

23rd June 1916, page 10 More tales from the Front Line provided by Sergeant Gutteridge of Bromley: “We had some fun a few nights ago. We had to “stand to” and the boys were allowed to lay down their equipment and helmets on, but not to go to sleep. We found it difficult to keep them awake, so a few gathered round and told them the methods used by the Huns when they gas us. This is how the tale went. The Germans send forth to our line trained monkeys,…

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A Good Tune Would Make All the Difference

5th May 1916, page 5 WHO WILL? Sergeant Gutteridge (long known to our readers as Corporal Gutteridge), of Bromley, and now “somewhere in France,” writes:- “Have any of your Bromley readers a gramophone they could send the boys? One is apt to get dull when all is quiet, and I have an idea a good tune would make all the difference. If someone would be so kind as to send the boys of our Battalion a gramophone I am sure they would more than appreciate their kind gift. You have…

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A Narrow Escape

28th April 1916, pge 2 CORPORAL GUTTERIDGE HAS A NARROW ESCAPE In a recent letter home Corporal Gutteridge relates a narrow escape he had. He says: “I was conducting a sergeant of a certain regiment (who was taking over our trenches) to a listening post in front of our firing line, when the Germans opened fire on us with a machine-gun, and I, being near the parapet, at once jumped over. Being dark, I did not notice a rifle and bayonet that a sentry had left on the fire-step, so…

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I wonder who will start the games today

14th April 1916, page 8 I ran across one of the Bromley boys last week, and we had a jolly good time, in fact the best I had spent since being out here. As ever cheerful and optimistic, Gutteridge writes to the Bromley Times of life in the trenches. Dear Editor:- APRIL FOOLS DAY I wonder who will start the games today. We have had a quiet week, owing to being moved to another part of the line. The weather being of the best recently we are having a good…

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Private A C J Boxall

6345533 Private A C J Boxall (aged 19) with the Royal West Kent Regiment was posted as missing on May 20th 1940. His parents were anxious for any news and “would be grateful to any of his comrades in the battalion who could give them any information about their son.” He had been taken a prisoner of war (no 15534). In 1945 he was being held at Stalag 344, Lamsdorf in Poland Sources: Bromley and Kentish Times, 12th July 1940 and www.forces-war-records.co.uk

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John Bond Bassett, 2nd Lieutenant

72521 2nd-Lieutenant John Bond Bassett , aged 28, was a printer by trade, the third son of Mr & Mrs W R Bassett of Murray Avenue, Bromley. “He was in the severe fighting following the German breakthrough and after the evacuation of Dunkirk it was believed that he had been brought back, though he was known to have been wounded. Nothing definite, however, could be ascertained and on June 17th his parents received notification from the War Office that he was admitted to a casualty clearing station on May 28,…

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Hugh Bertram Neely

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…

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Ronald Young Hedderwick

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…

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Rifleman James Hodson

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…

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Private Edward Butcher

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…

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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…

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Private George Bax

Private George Bax

George Bax was the son of Mr Alfred Bax,  of North Road, Bromley.  Brother to Gunner Walter Bax He joined up when war broke out and was at Tilbury Fort, an artillery fort on the north bank of the River Thames, London.  He was a member of the 4th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment. [source: Bromley & District Times, 21st May 1915, page 9]

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Stoker Fred Arthur Foot 1915

Fred Arthur Foot, Stoker

1st Class Stoker Fred Arthur Foot, the son of William Foot of Hartford Lane, Bexley, served on board the HMS Test.  He died of pneumonia while on duty in the Grand Fleet on the 24th Mar 1915, aged just 19. His funeral was held at St Mary’s, Bexley on the 19th April 1915.   [source: www.militaryancestors.co.uk]

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Lieutenant J L Miller-Hallett 1915

Lieutenant J L Miller-Hallett

2nd Lieutenant J L Miller-Hallett (possibly John Lionel) was the youngest son of Mr & Mrs A Miller-Hallett of Goddington near Chelsfield, Orpington. He was a member of the Indian Army attached to the 3rd Fusilliers, and passed into the Indian Army at outbreak of war from Sandhurst College.  His brother, 2nd-Lieutenant J A Miller-Haller had obtained his commission in the 11th Battalion South Wales Borderers and was stationed at Colwyn Bay. J L Miller-Hallett was twice wounded in action on the Western Front. First in June 1915, when it was reported in the Bromley &…

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