Warning to take your own Tea on Holiday with you

In 1918 the Ministry of Food proved it cared about its nations love of Tea after sending a message out to the public warning them that they may not be able to obtain supplies of their beloved brew whilst visiting holiday resorts, telling them to ‘take their own’ with them. Take Tea With You The Ministry of Food desires to warn visitors to holiday resorts that they must not rely on being able to obtain supplies of tea while away from home. Persons who do not propose to stay at…

Great Demonstration on the 4th Anniversary of the War, 1918

With the entry of the American troops, fresh and ready for the fight, in April, 1918 and the failure of the German Spring Offensive, the mood of the country becomes more optimistic for an end to the fighting. There was a celebration of the 4th Anniversary of the war on Martin’s Hall. These three men, The Mayor, Frederick Gillett; the Right Honourable H.W. Forster M.P.; and Sir Leonard Powell, all gave rousing speeches at the demonstration. It still needed three months until the Armistice was finally signed and the fighting…

Miss Beatrix Batten

It’s always nice to see women receiving awards for their efforts. Here we have Miss Beatrix Batten, Commandant of Abbey Lodge V.A.D. Hospital, Chislehurst awarded the M.B.E She was born in April 1886 and lived with her parents and sister at Foxdeane in Lower Camden, Chislehurst. Her father was a solicitor. Known as Trixie she graduated from Girton College, Cambridge. She volunteered with the Red Cross in 1913 and rose to become Area Commandant. She was awarded the Red Cross War Medal for over 1000 hours of unpaid work during…

‘Voices of the Home Fronts’ – talk at Kew

I will be presenting a paper at the Voices of the Home Fronts: Reflections and Legacies of the First World War Conference at the National Archives at Kew on Friday 19th October. Under the ‘Post-war provisions and practicalities’ section I will be talking about the housing crisis after the Great War and how Bromley implemented Lloyd George’s policy, ‘Homes Fit for Heroes’. Tickets are on sale now

Update to Military Ancestors database

I have recently updated my database on Military Ancestors. I am therefore pleased to announce that the database now contains names from World War 2, from the outbreak of war in 1939 to the end of 1940.   The database is very easy to use, but please use the advice below to help you narrow down your search. Help and Advice The site allows you to make searches using surnames, but also keywords such as road names, regiments, locations. You can use the main search box facility but also you…

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…

Sergeant A E Smith

Sergeant A E Smith was the son of Mr & Mrs H G Smith of West Wickham, and had two brothers also on military services; Lance-Corporal C Smith & Private T Smith. Sergeant Smith was a member of the Royal engineers. Prior to WW1 he had been in Royal Engineers for 16 years and had gone through the South African War. During World War 1 he was with the first troops forming the British Expeditionary Force and was with the first British troops to land in France. He is mentioned several times in…

Private William Bray

William Bray was an old boy of Ragland Road Boy’s School in Bromley.  He was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs George Bray of Nelson Road, Bromley, and a member of one of the ‘Soldier families’.  He was part of the 5th King’s Shropshire Light Infantry.   It had first been reported that Bray had been wounded at Loos, but on the 17th December the Bromley & District Times (page 9) reported that when the stretcher-bearers went to bring the wounded in they found that the trench where Bray had fallen had been blown…

Leading Seaman William B Bumstead

Leading Seaman William B Bumstead , son of Mr C H Bumstead of Addison Road, Bromley, was one of three brothers on active service during WW1.   At the beginning of the war he was in the North Sea, but by the 20th November 1914 he was serving in the Mediterranean Sea on board the Royal Navy’s HMS Shannon   Featured in the Bromley & District Times, 20th November 1914, page 3. Researched on www.militaryancestors.co.uk

Cyril Percival Thatcher

Cyril Percival Thatcher was the son of Mr & Mrs J Thatcher of Great Elms Road, Bromley, and one of five brothers.  He spent his time during World War 1 on board the Destroyer HMS “Chatham” in the North Sea.   Featured in the Bromley & District Times, 30th October 1914, page 4 Found using www.militaryancestors.co.uk