The Dartford Express carried advertisements from a large number of local businesses, and although many businesses did not have special advertising at Christmas, some of them did, and they give an interesting insight in to what their customers bought at Christmas.
A General Election was called on the 14th November, three days after the Armistice, and this was to be the first election since the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed, which enabled all men over the age of 21 to vote and all women over the age of 30 to vote.
Before this Act was passed, many poorer men were excluded from voting as they had not owned land or rented property of a certain value in their constituency.
On Saturday 14th December, the local polling station opened, and voting took place. This was the first election when the voting took place on a single day, but the result was not declared until 28th December. This delay was caused by the need for the votes of the men overseas on military service to be included for each constituency.
The electoral voters lists for this election are invaluable for local historians, especially those researching the men who served in the Great War. All the constituencies had to compile “Absent Voter” lists which name all the local men who were away, giving their full names, addresses, as well as the name of their regiment (or ship), and service number.
Sutton at Hone’s ward, which covered Sutton, Hawley, Clement Street and Button Street, had 966 voters in total and there were 197 absent voters. Oddly, Sutton was not in the same parliamentary constituency as Dartford, instead it was in the Chislehurst constituency.
As we are about to have another general election, it seems appropriate to share an article about a political organisation based in Sutton at Hone.
An article in the Dartford Express on 5th February 1915 tells of the Annual Meeting of the Hope of Sutton Lodge, National Conservative League, which was held at the Ship Inn.
The National Conservative League was a part of the Conservative Party, and there were several other branches in North West Kent, including in Dartford. Sir William Hart-Dyke of Lullingstone Castle had been Grand Master of the organisation at the turn of the 20th century.
Whilst we do not have a great deal of detail about the meeting, we do get to find out who the officers of the company, and some details of membership. There had been a gain of 5 members during the past year, 3 members had resigned, four had died, and 12 new members had joined, with 126 members in total. The Secretary reported that about 20 of the members were serving in HM Forces, and 21 were serving as Special Constables in the parish.
At the start of the meeting, the following were officers of the Lodge.
Bro. A. Ayers (Master) – probably Alfred Ayers, of Elmea, Arnolds Lane, and a nurseryman
Bro. H. Partridge (Deputy Master)
Bro. G. W. Mayne (Secretary) –George Mayne, nurseryman, St John’s Terrace, Sutton at Hone
Bro. T. Poole (Warden) – Thomas Poole, domestic gardener, Hill Cottage Lodge, Sutton at Hone
Bro. A. O. Mayne (Warden) – Arthur Mayne, nurseryman, Clement Street
The following were elected as officers for the forthcoming year:
Bro. A. Ayers (Master)
Bro. A. Groom (Deputy Master) – Alfred Groom, Nurseryman, 1 Shirehall Road, Hawley
Bro. A. M. Fleet (Treasurer) – Algernon Fleet of Darenth Grange, local landowner
Bro. S. H. Ayers (Secretary) – Sydney Ayers, of Clement Street Nursery
Bro. T. Poole (Warden)
Bro. A. O. Mayne (Warden)
Delegates to Grand Lodge, Grand Council – Bro. A. Ayers and Bro. G. W. Mayne
Delegates to County Central Lodge – Bro. L. E. Impett (Leonard Impett, insurance agent, Clement Street) & Bro. E.H. Impett (Ernest Impett, nurseryman, The Ferneries, Clement Street)
Committee: Bros. E. Davis, W.Dimond (William Dimond, bootmaker, at Farningham Homes for Little Boys), F. Laurence, L. Impett, E. H. Impett, H. Mayne (Henry Mayne, nurseryman, Clement Street) & G.W. Mayne
This postcard recently appeared on Ebay, and so I had to purchase it.
I would be interested to know if this plaque still exists, or like so many of these, has disappeared over time.
The men listed:
Private Bertram Edgar Arney, No.2298. 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, died 1st May 1915, Gallipoli
Private Samuel Arney, No.2304, 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, died 25th April 1915, Gallipoli
Bertram and Samuel were brothers, both born in Wiltshire, and they were living at Gills in the 1901 census, where their father was working as an agricultural labourer. By 1911 both brothers had enlisted in the Lancashire Fusiliers.
Private Victor Alfred Brett, No.19936, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), “D” Coy. 10th Bn , died 27th April 1918, Flanders. Son of Frederick Richard and Bridget Brett, of 16 E.C. Cottages, Bean, Stone, Dartford.
Gunner F. T. Cherry, No.115003, Royal Field Artillery, 524th Howitzer Bt, died 10th February 1917, Iraq
Private Percy George Fry, No, 53051, Manchester Regiment 11th Bn, 19th May 1918, Pas de Calais, Son of Samson and Helen Fry, of 3, Whitbreads’ Cottages, Lanes End, nr. Dartford, Kent.
Brothers Cyril and Percy were born in Darenth, and their father was a head laundryman.
Rifleman Robert Julian Ludlow, No. S/25861, Rifle Brigade 12th Bn, died 30th January 1917, Belgium. Son of Mark and Fannny Ludlow, of High St., Bean; husband of Edith Pankhurst (formerly Ludlow), of Melbourne Cottage, Bean, Dartford, Kent.
William F Sanders
Gunner Edward Sawkins, No. 38042, Royal Garrison Artillery 2nd Siege Bty, died 17th January 1917, and buried at Lincoln (Newport) Cemetery. Son of John and Jane Elizabeth Sawkins, of Church Hill Cottage, Darenth, Dartford, Kent
Private Lewis Stoneham, No. CH/11705, Royal Marine Light Infantry, (RMR/B/868). H.M.S. “Hogue”. Died 22nd September 1914
Captain W. Gordon Summers, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) 7th Bn, died 28th December 1915 at Flanders. Son of Mrs. E. Summers, of Green Street Green, Dartford, Kent.
Gunner Albert Ledger, No. 180103, Royal Field Artillery 161st Bde, died 8th March 1921, and is buried in St Margaret’s Churchyard. Son of Mrs. A. Ledger, of 8, Stanley Cottages, Lancs End, Dartford.