Category Archives: Hawley

29 September 1939 – National Registration Day

Eighty years ago on 29th September, in the first month of the Second World War, every one in the country was recorded on a form, issued and completed to each household, and the data was used to create National Identity cards. The form recorded the address, first and last name, gender, marital status, date of birth, and occupation.

The completed records give us a snapshot of who was living in the villages at the beginning of the war and often mentions what war work they undertook, although anyone who is still living has their record blacked out.

There is a “Cosy Tea Rooms” near Gostelow’s Butchers, and at Ship Meadows (where Longmarsh View was constructed after the war), had a group of showmen and their families staying on it along with several public works contractors.

At St John’s Jerusalem, Sir Stephen’s wife Lady Bridget and their daughter Miranda were at home, with a parlourmaid, housemaid, kitchenmaid and cook, and some other visitors including children. Sir Stephen himself is recorded as being at the BBC at Langham Place, alongwith four other colleagues, and was described as Controller BBC (Public Relations).

Strangely there is another entry for St John’s, after Cedar Lawn, which shows Miranda again as well as 15 blanked out entries. At Cedar Lawn, which is where Cedar Drive was built, the owner, Miss Russell, formerly of St John’s, had two ladies living with her who were described as “Official Helpers for Evacuated Children”.

At the top of Devon Road, at Hill Cottage, there are 28 blacked out records, so presumably there were 28 evacuees billeted at the house (which is boggling as the house is not that big….), and other houses in Devon Road do have large numbers of blanked out entries, which may mean that there were a large number of evacuees billeted with residents,

In Hawley, the Bull Hotel (now the Hawley Kitchen) had a number of fitters (armament workers) staying, and at Hawley Manor Mrs Mabel Temple Johnson, described as an invalid lived with her daughter Rosemary Wright, a maid, a lady’s maid as well as two more Official Helpers with Evacuated Children, although apparently not a large number of evacuated children.

The Vicar Caryl Sampson, was living at the Vicarage with his housekeeper, and was also described as Billeting Officer for Sutton at Hone, and seems to have had some evacuees living with him.

1912 – Two September weddings but only one actually happened

On Wednesday 4th September 1912, at the Dartford Wesleyan Church, Miss Ellen May Squire of Tyneholme, Hawley, got married. Whilst Ellen (or Helen according to the 1911 census) was born in Erith, her father Thomas Firth Squire was born in Gateshead, and his wife Jane was born in Northumberland, The family had been living in Lewisham in 1901, so had not lived in the parish for very long.

In the same edition of the Dartford Express, on Friday 6th September, there was this item

The following week there appeared this letter in the Dartford Express

So village gossip could spread far and wide. It seems likely that the author of the letter is Fanny Taylor, who was 24 at the time, and was probably thought to be the intended bride.

Christmas 1912 – Dartford’s shops advertise their wares

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.

Turners Grocery Store
Note the comment about opening Cash Railway – some of us still remember Kerr’s and its cash railway mechanism
Alcohol has always been important
This is the local Panto, with an interesting note about buses for patrons.
Phillips Toy Shop was a big feature of my childhood, and I loved looking in their windows, especially at the dolls prams
Horrell & Goff – an interesting combination of businesses
G.M. Hare seems to be offering Xmas trees to their customers
Note the emphasis on both ‘home’ and colonial meat, the development of refrigerated ships meant that meat could be imported from across the world.

Women Vote! – 14th December 1918

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.

1916 – Hawley’s disabled soldier – Frank Wynn Chapman

The Dartford Express – November 10th 1916

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.

The Myrtles today

Update:

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.

1915 – the Conservative Party in Sutton at Hone

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

1915 – Hawley cyclist’s accident in Crayford

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.

1915 – Death of Hawley resident Thomas Webster

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.

Hawley Terrace is the row of houses to the right on this picture

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.

Wide Awake Dartford

wide-awake-dartford-journal

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.

September 1932

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.

January 1933

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.

February 1933

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.

March 1933

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.

April 1933

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.

May 1933

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.

June 1933

Monday 5th – Whit-Monday. Scouts’ Jamboree at St John’s Park, Sutton-at-Hone
Saturday 24th – Alexandra Rose Day

July 1933

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).

October 1933

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.

January 1934

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.

March 1934
Friday 2nd – County Council Elections

April 1934

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.

wide-awake-dartford-1934

Remembering the men who fell at the Battle of the Somme

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