World War One

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.

 
Browse newspaper extracts:

LOCAL NEWS STORIESADVERTSHOME LIFEFASHIONSENTERTAINMENTTHE PEOPLELETTERS
Bromley Battlefield - Footsteps to the Past

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 ...
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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 ...
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ladies drinking tea

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Baseball - Americans vs Canadians

Canadians & Americans bring their national game to Bromley

Ensuring that the oversea visitors felt at home, a game of Baseball was arrange at the Spartan Athletic Ground in Bromley between Canadian and American servicemen on the 6th July 1918. The event drew in a large crowd attracted to the sport with all proceeds raised divided between the Lewisham Prisoners of War Fund and the Canadian Convalescent Hospital. Canadians and Americans at Baseball A large number of people were attracted to the Spartan Athletic Ground, Bromley Hill, last Saturday, ...
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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 ...
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Neelgherries, Bromley Public Library

Lady Librarian initiates a very practical improvement at Bromley Public Library, 1918

According to this article, which was published in the Bromley & District Times, 1918, it took a female librarian's initiative to move the books shelves up a notch or two in order to stop readers overlooking the variety of titles stored on the lower shelves. Even back in 1918 libraries were seen as important assets to the community "The large increase in the number of users of the Public Library, is good evidence of its value to the community in ...
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Hollydale House_Keston

Inmates of the ‘Grim Grey House” given a holiday… stories from the Workhouse

Workhouses, like the one in Bromley (now the PRU hospital), often organised holiday outings for the inmates.  This article reports their annual outing in 1918 to the park at Hollydene in Keston, which the 'poor folk' were given to their disposal for the day. The article highlights the restrictions to food, high prices and rationing which had to be adhered to, but also the generous donations of toys, in spite of the high prices, and other supplies from local residents. But ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Where they have succeeded Chislehurst will not fail – War Weapons Week, 1918

Help us to win Our Gun Adverts like this were often featured in local newspapers encouraging local people to invest their money in National War Bonds and War Saving Certificates to help buy weapons.  This advert was a chance for Chislehurst to show that they could save as much as other towns to invest in National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates to help pay for the war. Other districts have achieved as much - districts no larger, no richer no more patriotic than ...
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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 ...
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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 two letter, which were read to the Mayor.  The first, which was addressed to the Executive Officer, was as follows: 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 ...
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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 ...
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They came to Britain, looking for safety…

Repatriation of Belgian Refugees During World War 1, it is estimated that Britain was home to almost 250,000 Belgian refugees, who had come to Britain seeking safety when the Germans invaded Belgium in 1914.  Some were housed with British families across the country, while overs were sent to purpose-built villages where they had their own schools, shops, churches, hospitals and newspapers, as well as prisons and police force.  These areas were considered Belgian territory and run by the Belgian government. They even ...
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Dame Clara Ellen Butt performs in Bromley

Dame Clara Ellen Butt, DBE (1 February 1872 – 23 January 1936) was an English contralto. Her main career was as a recitalist and concert singer. Her voice, both powerful and deep, impressed contemporary composers such as Saint-Saens and Elgar; the latter composed a song-cycle with her in mind as soloist. Butt appeared in only two operatic productions, both of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. Later in her career she frequently appeared in recitals together with her husband, the baritone Kennerley Rumford. She made ...
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Women Committee Set Up to Stop Girls Canoodling with Soldiers

During World War 1 a Women Committee was set up as there was concern about girls canoodling with the soldiers, and soldiers corrupting local girls.  Consequently women were encouraged to join the street patrols in particular areas where girls and men might ‘enjoy’ a little ***.   The War Office gave permission for these patrols to take place outside military camps and were also very active in public parks and cinemas. It was the Women's Patrol Committee who recommended that lights ...
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Would you have welcomed an Aussie to your home in 1918?

When the war broke out in 1914, the echoes carried to all corners of the British Empire, and the call brought forth an extraordinary display of solidarity. Soldiers from as far away as Canada, New Zealand and Australia signed up to help in the war effort having been brought up with a strong sense of loyalty and obligation to the Empire. Of course fighting so far way from home, meant that soldiers who were lucky enough to get some leave ...
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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). Pass Down ...
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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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Tanks for the Memory

The country was in desperate need of money to pay for the Great War.  Throughout the war the Government had been trying to encourage people to invest in war loans and saving certificates. None of the earlier issues had been particularly popular. In 1918 there was some desperation as Britain was on the brink of bankruptcy.  In March, 1918 towns began to hold ‘Tank Days’.  Tank Drake (yes, it was a male tank – the sex of a tank depended ...
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The Paper Shortage – Recycling in 1918

There many were shortages by 1918. Paper had been in short supply for several years to such an extent that papers were reduced, not only in the number of pages, but also in reducing the size of the page. Around each Christmas, there were more pages, in order to increase the number of advertisements. Immediately after the Armistice, the papers quickly returned to their pre-war size. Today, supermarkets are beginning to introduce places to return plastic bottles and received some ...
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War time school dinners

National Kitchens Open During WW1

National Kitchens were opened during World War One to provide affordable nutritious meals for war workers and poorer people. The school dinner ladies and set up may have looked like this. This article was taken from the Bromley & District Times, 22nd March 2918 Communal Kitchen and School Dinners Under the able guidance of Mr A Goymer and the energetic secretaryship of Mr Foxwell, the village Food Control Committee has brought forward a scheme for a communal kitchen. Mr Goymer ...
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What was happening in Bromley 100 years ago?

1917 was a bad year. The death toll was going up. If the casualties of the Battle of the Somme had come as a terrible shock, Passchendaele was even worse. Men were dying on the battlefield by their thousand. Food was in short supply and prices were rising. What was happening in Bromley 100 years ago? Here are some of the items occupying the columns of the District Times from the 30th November, 1917 With so many men away at ...
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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, ...
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Conscription Introduced

As the number of volunteers coming forward dwindled, conscription (the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service) was introduced. Many men tried to avoid conscription and went before the military tribunals. Others took matters into their own hands and ignored the papers and ‘disappeared.’ Lists of those who had not taken themselves to join the forces appeared fairly regularly. The numbers of men increased as the war continued. Some were found: many weren’t ...
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Red Cross Animals

One of the four-footed friends of the French soldiers approaching a wounded man with a bandage in its mouth. Like the famous St Bernard, these Red Cross animals have proved of infinite benefit to wounded and suffering humanity Sourced from the The War Illustrated, 31st October 1914 ...
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Teaser the Mascot of H.M.S. Warwick

A lot of ships had pet mascots like Teaser, who was the mascot on H.M.S. Warwick during World War 1. The War Illustrated, 1st June 1918, pg 282 ...
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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 ...
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How OXO helped Strengthen the Home Front

In 1840 a German chemist, by the name of Baron Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), invented meat extract through his Extract of Meat Company, and shortly after Oxo was created.  The formula was so popular that by 1908 Oxo was able to become an official sponsor of the London Olympics and supplied ...
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Phosferine-advert

Phosferine Advert

Another example of the type of advert used by Phosferine to advert their product, whereby they use the recommendation of a 'real' soldier to sell the product.  This advert appeared in the Bromley & District Times on the 9th August, 1918 (page 8) Private A.M. McDonnell, M.M. (late) Royal Army Medical ...
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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 ...
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Are you a lover of Sardines?

My husband love sardines, so this advert would have appealed to him ...
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Cyder - the Ideal Summer beverage

Is this the Ideal Summer Beverage?

Would an advert like this, as featured in the Bromley & District Times in July 1918, made you go out and buy Cyder to quench your thirst on these warm summer days? According to Minchew's Real Cyder & Perry, there is a difference between Cider and Cyder. Cyder is rarely made on a commercial ...
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Zam-buk advert - Allotments

Don’t run any risk with Allotment cuts & brusies – Use Zam-Buk

July 1918 The popularity of allotments at this time meant many could be liable to small scratches and cuts, which could quickly become infected and lead to severe consequences – after all- no antibiotics in 1918. An advert for Zam-Buk featured in the Bromley & District Times newspaper. Don't run ...
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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 ...
Read More

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. "Doreen" Costume is Wool Serge, well cut and tailored, cut on the new straight, lines, finished pockets; Coat lined throughout, Navy ...
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The Supreme test of British Womanhood

Adverts like this one from the Bromley & District Time (31st May 1918,  page 6) appeared in local newspapers advertising for woman to join the British Army in roles such as cooks, waitresses and clerks. The supreme test of British Womanhood comes now The British Army Urgently requires 5000 Women ...
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Women of Britain – We Need You…

An advert which appeared in the Bromley & District Times on the 24th May 1918 (page 6), advertising for the women of Britain to help with home service during the war. Women of Britain Will you come and cook for the men who are defending you and your home? 7,000 ...
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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 ...
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Our Soldiers Want More – Zam-Buk

Zam-Buk was advertised throughout the war. Our Soldiers Want More - Zam-Buk To Heal their CUTS, BAD FEET & TRENCH SORES... Don't let your soldier lad go with out Zam-Buk I was surprised to see a small tin of Zam Buk in my son’s kitchen.  It is still being made ...
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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 ...
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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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A little bit of butter; nice if you could get it

MARGARINE STOCKS REQUISITIONED DISTRIBUTION TO-MORROW MORNING The Bromley Food Control Committee have requisitioned a quantity of  margarine in Bromley, which is being distributed among the retailers in various parts of the borough , and instructions have been given that the whole of it is to be placed on sale simultaneously ...
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Must-have Christmas Gifts for the Family c.1917

Life may have been tough in 1917, but Christmas would soon arrive and there were presents to buy.   Below is a selection of advertisements for Christmas presents printed in the Bromley & District Times newspaper. Here are some Christmas ideas for the family from Herbert Collins Ltd, of Market Square, ...
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Women-grocers-wartime-bromley

Lady Grocers keeping store in business

International Stores was noted as "The Biggest Grocers in the World".  During the war they were able to stay in business by employing 'lady grocers' - they used local newspapers to advertise this, like this one that appeared in the Bromley & District Times in February 1917: "Nearly 2000 of ...
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Food Economy-advert-Bromley

Food Economy during wartime

During war time local stores would help customers visualise what they could spend their money on in adverts.  Here 'Worlds Store', located in East Street Bromley and High Street Orpington promoted their Dried Fruit Salad to readers. "One pound of World's Dried Fruit Salad costs sixpence... makes 12 large portions" ...
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Nursery-Rhyme-Bromley-Times-1917

Word of warning from the London General Omnibus Company

The London General Omnibus Company often created adverts like this in local newspapers to help inform readers about the dangers of the road, titling them as "Nursery Rhymes for the Present Times" This one for instances warns of the dangers of sitting on the kerb: "Little Miss Muffet, instead of ...
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Advert for LSD? Surely not in the Bromley Times!

Like the large letters L.S.D? No, drugs had not been legalised. This refers to pounds (L) shillings (S) and pence (D). This advert was posted in the Bromley & District Times, 1st January 1917 [page 2] to promote the Mutual Loan Society.  Might make people look twice when reading today! ...
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Who Said War Prices?

Taken from the Bromley & District Times on 5th January 1917  [page 2], this advert is promoting World's Stores on East Street, Bromley and High Street, Orpington, who say they "Have enough for everybody". It certainly would not be pre-packed. A customer would ask for what they wanted to buy ...
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Phosferine #2

Another advert for Phosferine in the Bromley & District Times from 1917, and again another genuine soldier is using it, it seems. I was at Givenchy, Festubert, Neuve Chapelle, Arras and Loos before I got the would which necessitated the amputation of my left arm.  The Hospital I was in was ...
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Poisoned Sores

Another advert for Zam-Buk as featured in the local Bromley & District Times in 1917.   Remember this was a time before Penicillin was discovered (in 1928). POISONED SORES Started with Blackheads Terrible Disfigurement Rapidly Cured by Zam-Buk In an interview with a London Pressman, Mrs F.E. Sharp, whose residence ...
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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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The Bus Conductor

Some of us will still remember the days when we paid our fares to a bus conductor or conductress and she would give us a little ticket in various colours according to the fare and then ‘clip’ it to prove it had been used. The bus driver did just that ...
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Phosferine #1

Every few weeks an advert for Phosferine would appear, featuring a soldier and saying how it had helped him. I checked one or two of the men feature and they seem to be real names – maybe real people. I and my mates derived great benefit from the Phosferine Tablets ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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risotto-in-bianco

Italian Recipes for Meatless Days – Risotto in Bianco

Another recipe that appeared in the Bromley & District Times in January 1917, was this simple Risotto in Bianco, which helped give ideas to housewives looking to provide an interesting and delicious meal to their family, even though meat was in short supply. Risotto in Bianco 1/2 pound Rice, washed and dried 2 pints of Broth 2oz of Butter (or less if preferred) 2 tbsp Grated cheese Bring the broth to boil, then throw in the rice Boil until the broth ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 two letter, which were read to the Mayor.  The first, which was addressed to the Executive Officer, was as follows: 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 ...
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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:- ...
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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). Pass Down ...
Read More

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. "Doreen" Costume is Wool Serge, well cut and tailored, cut on the new straight, lines, finished pockets; Coat lined throughout, Navy and Black only. Worth 59/11. Offered at 42/- "Eunice" Pleated Coat Frock in good quality Coating Serge.  Knife pleated from square yoke, pointed Cuff trimmed embroidery fastened down front and ...
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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! ...
Read More

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 ...
Read More

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 ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More

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 ...
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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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Pinocchio film listing, Bromley

Disney’s Pinocchio comes to Bromley!

For every one - of every age! It's easy to forget how old Disney's Pinocchio actually is! This film listing for Bromley's Gaumont cinema was published in September 1940 and lists if as Walt Disney's full length feature film in technicolour. A great distraction for families living through World War 2, especially when the threat of bombing was common and so close by ...
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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, ...
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TWERPS on stage

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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Mr H G Milstead, 1915

Mr H.G. Milstead

Whilst working for the Standard Bank in Mombasa, Mr H.G. Milstead became the South Africa correspondent for the Bromley & District Times. Mr H.G. Milstead was the only son of Mr & Mrs H.H. Milstead of Hawes Road Bromley. He married Miss Doris May Bagnall, 2nd daughter of Mr & Mrs Bagnall of Cape Town, at ...
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Private Ernest W Bridgen

Private Ernest W. Brigden

Private Ernest W. Brigden was serving with the Worcestershire Regiment when he was killed action in November 1914, aged 22. His family had lived in the Crays (Bromley) for some years and then Swanley for 6 years. Information sourced from the Bromley & District Times 1914-1920 Researched using the FREE database at www.militaryancestors.co.uk ...
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Harry Ludlow

Harry Ludlow, Seaman

Harry Ludlow was one of three brother serving in the First World War.  He served for the Royal Navy onboard HMS Duncan (c.1914) and then HMS Landrail. He was also an old Boy of Raglan Road School, Bromley Information sourced from the Bromley & District Times 1914-1920 Researched using the FREE database at www.militaryancestors.co.uk ...
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Guardsman James Williams

Guardsman James Williams

James Williams was the son of Mr & Mrs F Williams and brother to Mr W Williams who was assistant steward of Swanley Junction Working Men's Club and Institute. His father had served 21 years in the British Army, for some years with the Grenadier Guards and served through the Egyptian campaign in 1882. As an ...
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Private Frederick Norman Ayles

Private Frederick Norman Ayles

Private Frederick Ayles was an old boy of Aylesbury Road School.  His mother (a widow) lived on Simpson Road, Bromley. He had joined the army in 1902 and later served with the South Lancashire Regiment. He went to France on 7th October 1914, and consequently must have seen some of the severest fighting. He was ...
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Gunner WH King_1914

Gunner W H King

Son of William Henry and Eliza King, of 17 New England Road, Brighton, King was a Bromley postman and Captain of the Bromley Postal Football Club (which was a successful team) when he signed up to the war. He was serving with the Royal Horse Artillery when he was wounded at the battle of Mons ...
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Private T Smith_1914

Private T Smith, 1914

This is Private T. Smith who served in the First World War.  I want to link him to the correct reference in my Military Ancestors database. Can you tell from this photo which regiment he belonged to? The list of possibilities is: Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment Royal West Kent Regiment J Battery, Royal Horse ...
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Private John Ludlow

Private John Ludlow

Private John Ludlow was one of three brothers serving in the First World War.  He was a member of the Army Service Corps and stationed in Ireland. Information sourced from the Bromley & District Times 1914-1920 Researched using the FREE database at www.militaryancestors.co.uk ...
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Lieutenant L M Powell

Lieutenent L M Powell

Second Lieutenant L.M. Powell, of Chislehurst was killed in action on 17th June 1915.  He is listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database as being part of the 3rd Battalion. attd. 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders. Please do contact me if you have any further information about this soldier. Source: St Mary Cray, Orpington District Times, 7th January 1916.  ...
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Amos David John Friend

Amos David John Friend

Amos D J Friend a member of the Royal Field Artillery. Son of Mr Alfred Friend and brother to Horace A T Friend Mentioned in the Bromley & District Times on the 2nd October, 1914. He is noted as being added to the Cudham Roll of Honour in 1916 ...
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Horace Alfred Thomas Friend

Horace A T Friend

Horace Alfred Thomas Friend was the son of Mr Alfred Friend and brother to Amos D J Friend. He was with the Mounted Police in London before serving with the colours during WW1.Horace A T Friend He is commemorated on the Cudham Roll of Honour. Source: Bromley & District Times (search via www.militaryancestors.co.uk) ...
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Lieut John Peake Knight

Captain John Peake Knight

Captain John Peake Knight, of Sundridge Mansions, was the son of James Percy and Ellen Gray Knight, of 17, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone; and Grandson of the late Mr J P Knight for many years manager of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. He attended Quernmore School. He had married his cousin, Miss Olive Phyllis Wall ...
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Private Charles Mitchell

Private Charles Mitchell

Private Charles Mitchell was the son of Mrs H Mitchell of Chatterton Road, Bromley, and was an old boy of Raglan Road Boy's School. He signed up to the Royal West Kent Regiment at the outbreak of war. Source: Bromley & District Times, October 1914 (searched via www.militaryancestors.co.uk) ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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Gunner Walter Bax

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Private Frank Offin 1914

Private Frank Offin

Private Frank Offin was one of 3 brothers who served in the First World War.  His father, Mr F Offin, lived in Vale Cottages, Mason's Hill, Bromley. He was a member of the 6th (Service) Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, stationed at Purfleet. [source: www.militaryancestors.co.uk] ...
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Private Herbert Venters 1914

Private Herbert Venters

Herbert Venters was the son of Mr & Mrs W Venters of Wharton Road, Bromley.  He had attended Wharton Road Council School. He was mentioned in the Bromley  & District Times onthe 25th Spetember 1914 as having joined up in the February and had volunteered for foreign service.  He became a member of the 5th Royal West Kent Regiment. He ...
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Stanley William Reuben Friend 1914

Stanley William Reuben Friend

Stanley William Reuben Friend was the son of Mr Alfred Friend and a member of the Royal Field Artillery. Mentioned in the Bromley & District Times newspaper on the 2nd October 1914 ...
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Private William Conway 1914

Private William Conway

A member of the Army Service Corps, who lived in Wharton Road, Bromley. He was reported on in the Bromley & District Times on the 16th October 1914. [source: www.militaryancestors.co.uk] ...
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2nd-Lieutenant C H Viney 1914

2nd-Lieutenant Cecil Henry Viney

Cecil Henry Viney was the son of Mr & Mrs C T Viney of Dartmouth, Durham Avenue, Bromley, who had been residents at South Hill Park for many years. His father was a Church warden at St Mark's church, Bromley. Cecil was educated at South Lodge, Enfield Chase & Winchester. When war broke out he was a ...
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2nd Lieutenant Ferdinand Marshall-Townshend 1915

2nd Lieutenant Ferdinand Marsham-Townshend

The younger son of the late Hon Robert Marsham-Townshend, of Frognal, Sidcup, Ferdinand Marsham-Townshend was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards. He died on the 16th May 1915, aged 35. At first he was missing, but his body was found and buried. Cut off with a party of Scots Guards he preferred death to surrender. His ...
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Lieutenant Oswald Payne 1915

Lieutenant Oswald Payne

Lieutenant (John) Oswald Payne was the son of Mr & Mrs Frederick Payne of New Farm, Bromley. Prior to the war, he was a junior partner in the firm of Baxter, Payne, and Lepper, (Bromley and Beckenham), and a Fellow of the Surveyors' Institution and secretary of the Kent Branch of the Land Union. Payne ...
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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 ...
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Sergeant Albert Ludlow -1914

Sergeant Albert Ludlow, Bromley

Albert Ludlow was one of three brothers, and had lived at The Cottage, Cowper Road in Bromley Common.  He was a member of the Territorial Force, 3/5th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, He had joined from the Reserve and was now with the Expeditionary Force. Information sourced from the Bromley & District Times 1914-1920 Researched using the FREE ...
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Sergeant A E Smith - 1914

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 ...
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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, ...
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Leading Seaman William B Bumstead - 1914

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 ...
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Cyril Percival Thatcher - 1914

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 ...
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Signalman Charles Clarke 1914

Signalman Charles Clarke

Charles Clark, son of Mr & Mrs C Clark of Tweedy Road, Bromley was a signalman in the Royal Navy.  He reported lost at sea in the Bromley & District Times on 11th December, 1914 when an explosion on board HMS Bulwark destroyed the ship on the 26th November. He had seen nearly 12 years service ...
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Captain J C Faunthorpe

Captain John Champion Faunthorpe, C.B.E., M.C.

Born in Battersea on 30th May, 1871, John Champion Faunthorpe was the son of the Reverend John Pincher Faunthorpe, who at the time of the award was living at Elmfield, Bromley Common, and was living in Bromley at least in 1881 and 1891. He was educated at Oxford and served in the Indian Civil Service, ...
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Second-Lieutenant John Potter, D.S.O.

Second-Lieutenant John Potter, D.S.O., was born about 1895, son of the late Mr William Manuel Potter and Mary Ann Potter, of “Clynder”, Gravel Road, Bromley Common. He was educated at Clifton College and on the outbreak of war joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and served with them until November 1915. He was present at ...
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Sergeant H E A Squelch, D.C.M.

Sergeant H E A Squelch served with the Wireless Section, Royal Engineers, and was the only son of Mr and Mrs Henry Squelch of Crown Lane, Bromley Common, formerly of Keston. He was on the postal staff at Chislehurst. He enlisted in the Royal West Kents in September, 1914, and was soon made a sergeant ...
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Military Medal for Corp. C Brown

It will be learnt with much pleasure by residents of Farnborough that a gallant soldier, well known to many of them, has been awarded the Military Medal for devotion to duty during battle.  Corporal C Brown, of the Middlesex Regiment, was employed in the nursery and market garden of Mr W Lawrence, at Crofton Road ...
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Military Cross for Lieut. H D Reynolds

It will be learnt with great pleasure that another son of Mr and Mrs Reynolds, of  Morden Lodge, Shortlands, Lieutenant Herbert D Reynolds, East Lancs Regiment has been awarded the Military Cross for gallant conduct in recent operations.  Lieutenant Reynolds was personally congratulated upon the field before his regiment by his Divisional General upon his ...
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Award for Gallantry – Corporal Bert Taylor

AWARDS FOR GALLANTRY: CORPORAL BERT TAYLOR Corporal Bert Taylor, of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles, who has been awarded the Military Medal, is the second son of Mr & Mrs William Taylor, of 3 Highfield Cottages, Swanley Junction. He is 27 years of age and attended the Farningham Hill School, being afterwards employed at Messrs W ...
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Tribute to Captain Ross

10th March, 1916 page 10 CORPORAL GUTTERIDGE’S LETTERS: TRIBUTE TO CAPTAIN ROSS Last week we had two communications from Corporal Gutteridge, of Bromley, 1324, B Company, 8th Royal West Kent Regiment, whose cheery and optimistic letters are always welcome, although indeed they are but characteristic, as our readers know, of all the letters from the ...
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Private George Bumstead

Son of Mr C H Burns, and one of one of 3 brothers on active service.  Private George Bumstead lived on Addison Road, Bromley. Member of the 3rd Dragoon Guards -  stationed in Egypt, but is now with the Expeditionary Force Sources www.militaryancestors.co.uk Bromley & District Times - 20th Nov 1914, page 3 ...
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William Henry Thatcher

Son of Mr & Mrs J Thatcher of Great Elms Road, Bromley, and one of 5 brothers. Member of the Nigerian Land Contingent. His military service during the war was in Nigeria employed on the Government Railway. Source: www.militaryancestors.co.uk Bromley & District, 30th October 1914, page 4 ...
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Private-Sidney-Thomas-Miller-BromleyTimes

Private Sidney Thomas Miller

Another of our brave young heroes to pass silently to rest, as a result of wounds received whilst fighting his country’s enemies, is Sidney Thomas Miller, son of Mr & Mrs Miller, of Vauxhall Place, Lowfield Street, Dartford. Admitted on March 15th to hospital in France, suffering from severe shrapnel wounds in his left arm ...
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Lieutenant-AG-Tapp-BromleyTimes-portrait

Lieutenant Arthur Gerard Tapp

The Military Cross has been awarded to Lieutenant Arthur Gerard Tapp, R.F.A. (Royal Field Artillery), for gallantry in the field. Lieutenant Tapp is the son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Tapp, who lived for many years in Highland Road, Bromley, before taking up their abode at Horley, Surrey, and a grandson of the late Mr ...
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Thomas-Edward-Coney-Fisher-BromleyTimes

Lieutenant Thomas Edward Coney Fisher

Lieutenant Thomas Edward Coney Fisher of the East Lancashire Regiment was a gallant young officer, who fell while leading his men into action on the first day of the great British offensive last year (the Battle of the Somme).  Lieutenant Fisher was the elder son of Captain E Fisher, Royal Jersey Militia, and Military Representative ...
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Gordon Ewart Thatcher

Obituary for Gordon Ewart Thatcher, a Petty Officer on the Destroyer "Cherwell" was reported in the Bromley & District Times, 30th October 1914, [pg 4] His pre-war military service included serving on the "Encounter" when Lord Kitchener visited New Zealand.  During the war he was in the Red Sea expecting an engagement with the German ...
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Corporal H W Mummery

Mrs Mummery, Albion Road, Marden, has received news that her husband, Corporal H W Mummery, King’s Own Royal Lancasters, has been killed in the recent fighting at the Front. He was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs Mummery of Star Road, Ashford, and late of Bromley. He was educated at the Bickley and Widmore ...
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Corporal C. Smart

Served with the Honourable Artillery Company. He was the son of Frederick Smart of Thornhayes, London Lane, Bromley.  His brother Geoffrey Smart also served in the Honourable Artillery Company Before taking up service, Claude was an artist by profession and studied at the Carlton Studios. He had won two King's prizes in one year. The Honourable Artillery ...
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Gunner R E Mockridge

Much sympathy is felt with Mrs Mockridge, of Bromley Gardens, who has received new that her husband, Gunner Robert Edward Mockridge, was killed in action in France on September 2nd. The news was conveyed in a letter from the Major of his battery, in which that officer says:-  He was struck on the head by ...
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Lance-Corporal Christopher Paul Conway

He was a member of the 5th Battalion, Royal, volunteered for foreign service and probably went to Jubbelpore in India for garrison duty.. Lived at Wharton Road, Bromley One of 4 brothers; Private Stephen Conway, Private William Conway, Corporate Albert George Conway. [source: Bromley & Kentish Times, 16th October 1914, pg 5] ...
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Petty-Officer James Green

It was reported that he had given 8 years services, serving with the Royal Navy on HMS Stag Bromley & Kentish Times, 6th November 1914 [Source: Military Ancestors] ...
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Bandsman Arthur Warwick

He was a Bandsman with the 2nd Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby), who was killed in action in France on 20th September 1914. His military number was 1045. The Bromley & Kentish Times reported that he had spent 6.5 years in India and was at home on a 6 months furlough when he was called ...
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Gunner Ernest Nelms

He was with the Royal Field Artiller. A shell from one of the enemy's large guns fell close to the gun that Nelms was serving and devastated all around inflicting terrible injuries, who was close to death when he left the field. He was reported to have a sister, Mrs A Jinks living in Kingston, ...
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Private L.W. Johnson

Taken from the Bromley & District Times, 25th December, 1917 (pg 3) I thought you might like to have a few lines from one of the Bromley boys, so have written a few lines about this country ...
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Miss Margaret James Birkett

Bromley & District Times, 25th December 1914, pg 4 A nurse with the Red Cross, Miss Birkett had taken up nursing 3 years earlier. Her knowledge of French was invaluable when nursing the Belgian soldiers. She lived at Summerhill Villas, Chislehurst. The newspaper reported that she had been ill on the Tuesday (22nd Dec), very ill and ...
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Sergeant E.S. Mussell

Served in the 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment. An Army Reservist who had served in Malta previously. He had married Miss Bessie Hilda Thompson, daughter of Mr H Thompson of Farnborough, 3 years previously, and had 2 sons aged 1 and 2. He was called up on 5th August 194; left for France the following ...
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Letters sent to the local newspaper from soldiers serving on the Front Line

TRIBUTE TO CIVIL DEFENCE SERVICES

To the Editor Sir,- I should much like to express through the medium of your paper, our deep appreciation of the great work being done by all the Civil Defence Services. The tireless devotion to duty and the splendid courage of the men and women in all branches of the Home Defence organisations can never be adequately expressed in words, and this fine spirit is an inspiration to all who have the honour to know them and benefit by their ...
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Tea-Time Gossip

As written in the Bromley & District News on 27th September, 1940 (page 2) Under the Bed A near-by A.A. gun of terrific calibre has brought down a large piece out of one of our ceilings.  Someone said to me, "I do think they ought to warn us" I replied, "Don't be such a fool.  Do you expect them to knock on the door and say 'Please we are about to let off a gun,' as if they just wanted ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Tribute to Captain Ross

10th March, 1916 page 10 CORPORAL GUTTERIDGE’S LETTERS: TRIBUTE TO CAPTAIN ROSS Last week we had two communications from Corporal Gutteridge, of Bromley, 1324, B Company, 8th Royal West Kent Regiment, whose cheery and optimistic letters are always welcome, although indeed they are but characteristic, as our readers know, of all the letters from the men at the Front. It is only the less hard-worked civilian at home who finds time, and thinks he has cause, for grousing. One of ...
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He died a soldier’s death

3rd March 1916 (page 5) CAPTAIN W URQUHART ROSS - an officer respected by all his men As will be seen in the following extract from John Gutteridge, He had great respect for this commander of the regiment and spoke very highly of him: Another tribute to the deceased officer came to our hand only yesterday, from Corporal Gutteridge, of B Company, 8th Royal West Kents. In a letter which he says #“We are having a busy time, but the Germans ...
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People hardly know how we appreciate such comforts here.

25th February 1916 (page 2) OUR WARMEST TIME Our genial correspondent, Corporal Gutteridge, Royal West Kent Regiment, says:- "Deart Sir, - Have been very busy. Have been relieved from the trenches after being away from the rest camp for twelve days. My word! It has been our warmest time. The Germans have done nothing else but shell us, the shells dropping right in our trenches. But we have been very lucky. They must have sent, in all, something like a ...
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15th October 1915 – Letter from Gutteridge

I wonder what we fellows will do after the war Also printed on 15th October, 1915, Gutteridge gives us an interesting insight into life in the trenches. "Our regiment has just returned from the trenches, and had a very peaceful time; a change from the bayonet scrap we had on the 26th of September, we coming our this time with a complete roll. The only danger we had was when we relieved the ---, and when we were relieved by ...
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Their work was deserving of the highest praise

28th January 1916 COMMENDATIONS FOR WEST KENTS Corporal Gutteridge, of the 8th West Kents, who has recently returned to the trenches, after a brief visit home on leave, writes: “I thought probably you would like to know that two of our fellows have been commended for special work. While the regiment were in the firing line at ___ Private Calaw and Private Watson crawled from our own lines to the enemy’s, and sketched their firing trench, and arrived back in ...
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Dinner, Concert & Football

26th January, 1916 p2 The company had a dinner and concert. 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, ...
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Jolly Boxing Night

7th January 1916 (page 3) A LUXURIOUS EVENING FOR THE MEN WHO DESERVED IT With the 8th West Kents Corporal Gutteridge, of Bromley, 1234, B Company, 8th Royal West Kents (the glorious West Kents) sends us an account of the Company’s concert, which took place on Boxing night, in an empty room adjoining a farm. "Decorations were supplied by the boys, who had them sent from home in their Christmas parcels; tables were provided by the owner of the farm, refreshments ...
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Soldiers - Military Ancestors

Flooded Dug-outs

14th November 1915 We all have got quite used to the hardships Lance-Corporal Gutteridge, 8th West Kents, writing in November 1915 says: “Our regiment has been very busy. We left the rest camp on Tuesday, the 9th of November, and expect to be relieved on the 18th of November, so we will have had a pretty good time, especially when I way the weather has been against us. We have been flooded our of our dug-outs, but it makes no ...
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More tales from the Front Line

12th November, 1915 page 2 "The Germans opposite me are starving. They shouted across for food, and sometimes they got it. It all depends what regiments are occupying the line" More notes from Lance-Corporal John Gutteridge, on life in the trenches during World War one. "A few lines from our mud camp, somewhere in Belgium. Our regiment have this time occupied the reserve trenches, which means they have been doing fatigue work for the companies in the firing line, carrying ...
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Optimist in the Trenches

October 1915.More insight into life on the Front Line from Lance-Corporal John Gutteridge.  Letter printed in the Bromley & District Times.. "A few lines showing how we spent our time in the rest camp, which lays seven miles away from the firing line. We arrived back in camp at 1.30 a.m., on the 28th October. We did not march, the best part of us rolled back, as we had had a pretty rough time of it. One can just imagine ...
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They gave us a quiet day…

October 1915.They gave us a quiet day, so we guessed they had something special for us Another account of war from the letters of Lance-Corporal John Gutteridge to the Bromley & District Times. "Our regiment started out for the trenches on Friday, October 22nd, at 4 pm, arriving in the trenches at 7 pm to an easy time, but afterwards we found that we were in for a hard time. We had only been in the trenches a short time, ...
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I was very lucky

29th October, 1915 p2Another letter from Lance-Corporal John Gutteridge, this time to Mr Will Howard his former employer. Much of the letter repeats information about the Battle of Loos. "…They (the Germans) cannot look cold steel in the face for love or money; show them cold steel and they will run for miles. After our charge we came back, bringing the wounded on our arms, smoking as we walked back, as we had not a run left in us. They ...
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The Germans have been rather saucy lately

29th October, 1915 (page 2) THE OPTIMIST Lance-Corporal Gutteridge, of the 8th Battalion wrote: "Just a few lines from a dug out, behind the firing line. We are in the reserve trenches and having a jolly good time. Spring beds to lie on of a night, made of wire, very comfortable though, no fear of your bed made pinching the bed clothes, as we have not any. The Germans have been rather saucy lately. The have been giving us a ...
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I had a feeling that the Germans had no bullets made for me

15th October, 1915 In a further letter, written on the 8th of the present month, Lance-Corporal Gutteridge says:- "Our regiment has just returned from the trenches, and had a very peaceful time; a change from the bayonet scrap we had on the 26th of September, we coming our this time with a complete roll. The only danger we had was when we relieved the ---, and when we were relieved by the ---, as they (the Germans) have machine guns ...
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Serving on the Italian Frontier

Letter set to the Bromley & District Times from Gunner F Andrews, who was serving on the Italian frontier. With pleasure I write these few lines as to the life on the Italian frontier. We left Blighty in the early part of ___, and had a great reception en route. The country is principally cultivated for fruit – grapes, peaches, &c. – the climate being very suitable. The cultivation is mostly carried out by oxen, and they seem to do ...
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15th October 1915

"In a hurry to get the job over and get something to eat" "Dear Sir, - Thought perhaps you would like to have an account of some of the Bromley Boy’s doings, and how they covered themselves with glory. We are billeted in a factory, and on Saturday morning at 6 am we had orders to pack and get ready to march to the trenches. We started out at 6.30, and had not proceeded far before we came under shell ...
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Letters from the front: Harold Parker #2

Corporal Harold Parker, from the Royal West Kent Regiment wrote to his parents at West Wickham. This letter was printed later in 1917. An earlier letter can be read here > I am getting on fine here: am feeling a great deal better already. I expect in a week or two to have another eye, as the one I had in Germany was too small. I expect you have often wondered where I have been and what was the meaning ...
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Letter from the Front: Harold Parker #1

Taken from the Bromley & District Times on 9th March 1917, pg 6 Extracts from a letter from Corporal Harold Parker, the Royal West Kent Regiment writing to his parents at West Wickham. I expect you will be surprised when you hear I am in Switzerland; as you all may guess I am very pleased to be here, and a fine reception we had coming through the country. Of course, you know why it is I got here; all the ...
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Poetry from the Front Line

A Poem from G.R. SOLDIER’S LAMENT ON A DULL EVENING If this were June – sweet month of sun and roses – And all the woods were filled with singing birds, And I beside a streamlet dreamed and wandered, My soul entranced, my heart too full for words, I should rejoice, and sing aloud with rapture, With all the world then I should be at peace, An sweet content be mine that from my labours, If but one day, I ...
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Private L.W. Johnson

Taken from the Bromley & District Times, 25th December, 1917 (pg 3) I thought you might like to have a few lines from one of the Bromley boys, so have written a few lines about this country ...
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German Bullet Straight Through the Barrel

Chatty letters from Sergeant Sandle ...
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