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.
This article appeared in the Dartford Express on 10th November 1916, but unfortunately I have not yet managed to work out the identity of the soldier. The Myrtles, which is now 2 semi detached houses, seems to have had a number of lodgers, as John Tingle, who is commemorated on the Sutton at Hone War Memorial and in the Farningham Homes for Little Boys Roll of Honour, also lived at the Myrtles.
Rood Ashton House was the family home of the Long family, near West Ashton, Wiltshire. During the Great War it was a convalescent home for wounded soldiers and sailors.
Thanks to Malcolm Scott looking further back in the census records than I had done, the Chapman family has been found in the 1891 census, living at the Myrtles.
Charles and his (blind) wife Ellen, were living at The Myrtles with their son William, but they had two other sons, Charles (who died in 1900), and Frank Winn, our disabled soldier.
Frank Winn was born on 10th August 1874, and joined the Welsh Fusiliers in January 1890, and served 21 years with the regiment, serving in Crete, Malta, Egypt, China and India, and finally left in April 1911.
On 29th August 1914, Frank having been working as a messenger, re-enlisted on 29th August 1914 in London, and served briefly on the Western Front before being taken prisoner, and then repatriated back to England in a prisoner exchange. Frank was discharged from the army as being unfit for military service on 28th June 1915. His wounds were described as being a gun shot wound to his right leg, and his right arm and his left hand had been amputated. In December 1916 he was awarded a Silver War Badge.
His bride was Ellen Elizabeth Braithwaite, and they married in late 1916. After spending time in Wiltshire, the couple moved to Birkbeck Avenue, Ealing, and Frank died there in 1949.
The brother who was working at Eynsford Paper Mill, was William Michael, who had married Ellen Sarah Gibson at St John’s in 1899. The couple had a daughter, Violet Kathleen, who married in 1930 to Cecil Roberts, and the couple were living in the High Street, Dartford, where Cecil ran a hairdresser’s salon.
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
The Dartford Chronicle of the 9th April 1915 told of an accident that happened to Alfred Outram, aged 28, of 3 Claremont Cottages, Hawley. Alfred was cycling along High Street, Crayford, towards Dartford, when his front wheel struck a small stone, Alfred was thrown and in falling dislocated his right knee and fractured his right leg.
No doctor was available, but Nurse Hartley and Mr William Bond, both members of the Red Cross Society, and Alfred was then removed to the Dartford Infirmary by the Police.
This accident probably had a life changing affect for Alfred, as it seems he did not get called up for military service during World War One, as he is listed on the Electoral Roll for 1918, rather than on the Absent Voters list (which shows all the men eligible to vote but serving in the military). It is likely that his broken leg meant he was classed as medically unfit to serve.
By 1939 Civil Registration Register, Alfred is living with his wife and two children at Elm Close, Dartford, and was working as a Coke Plant attendant at a gas works.
The importance of the local paper has declined in our digital world. It was in the 19th century the main source for all news unless you bought a national daily paper, and as they were expensive, most people did not buy them. In the 20th century, cheaper daily papers were being published (the Daily Mail had started in 1896, the Daily Express in 1900 and the Daily Mirror in 1903) but the local paper was still the main source of local news, and so family notices for weddings and funerals could be very detailed. Wedding announcements usually gave details of employment, and for some there are even lists of presents. For funerals, there is often some autobiographical detail, as well as a list of those who attended (and their relationship to the deceased) and who sent flowers. These can be useful if you are tracing your family tree.
During the Great War, there did not seem to be that many local notices, probably because there were restrictions on paper, but on 15th February 1915 the Dartford Chronicle noted the death and funeral of Thomas Webster, which gives the date of the formation of two local organisations.
Thomas Webster, of 5 Hawley Terrace, had died the previous Thursday (4th February) after a very painful illness that lasted five months. Mr Webster was 56 years old and had worked for the past 19 years at the local paper mills of Messrs T.H. Saunders & Co. For over fifteen years he had held the secretaryship of the Sutton at Hone Friendly Society and was a most energetic member of the local football and carnival committees since the year of their formation, 1906.
The funeral took place on Monday 7th February at St. John the Baptist, Sutton at Hone, and the service was taken by the Vicar, Rev A. E. Bourne, the chief mourners were the widow, Mrs Eliza Webster, his daughter Mary (Mrs C. Carpenter) and sons William Webster and Albert Webster, Mrs P Ward (niece), Miss L. Hollands (sister-in-law), Miss M. Webster (sister), Mr & Mrs B. Hollands (brother and sister-in-law), Mr & Mrs F. Hollands (brother and sister-in-law), and Mrs T. Williams (cousin).
Thomas Webster was born in Wrotham in 1858, the son of Thomas and Mary Webster (nee West), and was by 1881 working in a paper mill as a paper maker cutter. He married Eliza Hollands in 1884, and by 1896 the family had moved to Hawley, and in 1901 they were living at 8 Mill Road, and by 1911, they were living at 5 Hawley Terrace.
Dartford Borough Council published a monthly journal with articles and local news between 1932 and 1934. Copies of these journals can be found in Dartford Library, and are an interesting mix of news about local people, events and village developments. The items below refer to Sutton-at-Hone and Hawley.
For twelve hours Dartford Fire Brigade were dealing with a stack fire at Hollands Farm, Hawley, and brought some 30 lengths of hose into use.
Steps are being taken to form a section of the Legion of Frontiersmen at Dartford, Lieut. C. F. Camburn, of Hawley, being the prime mover.
The Rev. W.E. Bott, M.A., who has been appointed Vicar of Sutton-at-Hone, has been Vicar of Christ Church, Erith, for between six and seven years.
Dartford & District Scouts’ Association are celebrating the quarter century of Scouting by holding a “Scout Week” commencing on Saturday, May 27th, and concluding on Whit-Monday, June 5th, with their Annual Jamboree at Sutton.
The Rev. W.E. Bott, Vicar-designate of Sutton-at-Hone, is to receive a presentation from his parishioners and friends in Erith, and has received a white stole from scholars of Christ Church Sunday School.
Sutton-at-Hone Parish Council have not jumped at the idea of joining a federation of Parish Councils in the Dartford Rural District Council’s area, and postponed consideration of the matter for further details; whilst Longfield Parish Council have definitely declined to participate.
Monday 3rd – Election Day – for Dartford Urban District Council and Dartford Rural District Council
Sunday 9th – Summer Time commences
The Rev. W.E. Bott was instituted to the living of Sutton-at-Hone by the Bishop of Rochester, who said he went to Sutton with the general assent of the parishioners, and carrying the goodwill and affection of his former parishioners at Erith.
After enquiry it has been decided by the Rural Council to retain the sub fire stations at Hawley, Sutton Village and Horton Kirby subject to the firemen attached thereto making themselves efficient.
Monday 5th – Whit-Monday. Scouts’ Jamboree at St John’s Park, Sutton-at-Hone
Saturday 24th – Alexandra Rose Day
The Scout week arranged by Dartford & District Scouts’ Association was a triumph of organisation, and the boys had a happy time in the camp at Sutton Park (otherwise known as St John Jerusalem).
Miss Dorothy Bott, only daughter of the Vicar of Sutton-at-Hone, was married to Mr W. J. Moore, of Grimsby, the ceremony being performed by the bride’s father, the Rev. W. E. Bott.
Sir Stephen Tallents, of St. Johns, Sutton-at-Hone, has been appointed by the Postmaster-General to the role of the Public Relations Officer at the General Post Office.
Sutton-at-Hone Friendly Society, which shared out 16s 6d to each of its 144 members, has now entered on its 69th year.
Sutton-at-Hone Parish Council, faced with an expenditure of between one and two thousand pounds for playing fields at Hextable and Hawley, are enquiring how it is that Horton Kirby can make their recreation ground self-supporting.
Friday 2nd – County Council Elections
Sutton-at-Hone Parish Council have agreed to certain street lamps in their area being set back to allow the passage of double deck ‘buses on condition that the cost is borne by the Transport Board.
Application has been made to Kent County Council to divide Sutton-at-Hone into three wards – Swanley Junction, Swanley Village and Hextable.
The Battle of the Somme started on 1st July 1916, and the first day is notorious for the number of men who died or were wounded on the first day, making it the worse day in the British Army’s history.
The following men are from Sutton at Hone and Hawley, and they died during this battle, which lasted from 1st July to 18th November 1918
3rd July – Corporal Henry K Smith, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
13th July – Private Arthur Mankey, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
17th July – C.S.M. Francis (Frank) Neave Reynolds, York and Lancaster Regiment
29th July – Sergeant Charles Elliott, Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment)
11th August – Private Thomas Harold Ovenden, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
15th September – Private Leonard Willett, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
3rd October – Rifleman Arthur Owen Mayne, King’s Royal Rifle Corps
15th November – Private George William Mayne, Northumberland Fusiliers
The Red Cross has recently completed uploading all their WWI VAD record cards to their website, and have made them searchable. Whilst I have not yet found anyone from Sutton at Hone, there is a VAD from Hawley.
Miss Ellen Tamar Wingrove, of 1 Royal Road, Hawley, became a Head Cook in the 5th December 1917, with a salary of £45 per annum, and served until the 27th May 1918. Ellen was Head Cook at Canadian Special Hospital (tubercular), Lenham, where the Canadian Army had taken over the Kent Sanatorium, which had been built in 1914.
The war diaries of this hospital are available online, and the entry for 3rd December states that Major Hart had been in London where he had arranged tentage and VAD women cooks. On 4th December twenty bell tents were received for use as personnel accommodation.
On 5th December, the war diary notes that Head V.A.D. Cook reported for duty ( a day before nursing staff), and that all personnel accommodation had been moved from the hospital buildings to the bell tents. So Ellen Wingrove and all other staff, would have lived in tents in the grounds of the hospital. There is no specific comment about Ellen’s departure, and I have not yet read through all the diary, but the weather is noted daily, and there are comments about air raid warnings at night, as well as regular entertainment for the patients.
Ellen Wingrove was born on 21 June 1882, the daughter of John and Isabel Wingrove, and by the 1891 census, the family were living at Spring Gardens, Franks Lane, and her father was described as a butcher. in 1901, Ellen had gone into domestic service, and was a maid at Riverside, working for Hawthorn Brown (a paper maker) and his family. In 1911, Ellen and her mother Isabel were in Edmondton, visiting an uncle.
The 1939 Civil Register tells us that Ellen was living at 110 Tufnell Park Road , Islington, London, and she is described as Hospital Nurse & Caterer, and Ellen died on 2 November 1970 at 8 Church Lane, London, N8
The War Memorial lists three men who were lost during the evacuation of Dunkirk in May and June 1940
Douglas John Macpherson was born in Hawley, joined the Royal Navy in 1926, and married in November 1934 at St John’s to Florence Amy Docksee, and the couple had two children. At the time of his death, Douglas’s family were living in Bexley.
Douglas was serving on HMS Boadicea, which had been in Chatham for a refit since the beginning of May 1940, and on the 9th June HMS Boadicea set sail for Le Havre, France to assist in the evacuation of British troops. On the 10th June, the warship was severely damaged by Junkers Ju 87 “Stuka” dive bombers that knocked out her engines and boilers. Douglas was an Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class, and so was probably killed during the raid. He was buried at Alverstock Cemetery, Gosport.
Richard Swaffer was serving as a Driver in the Royal Army Service Corps, and died during the retreat, his date of death is given as between 31st May and 1st June 1940. He is buried in the De Panne Communal Cemetery in France.
Donald Eastburn Waterman was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 140 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, having been a member of the Honorable Artillery Company before the war. His father was Bertie Waterman, a well known Dartford Auctioneer, who lived in Wilmington (Donald is commemorated on the Wilmington War Memorial), and his mother helped raise funds for a Comfort Fund for troops in Wilmington. Donald was married, and he and his wife Chloe were living in Sutton at Hone in 1939.
Donald died between the 28th and the 31st of May and is buried in Dunkirk Town Cemetery. His death was not confirmed until October 1940.