Christmas 1914 – Fund raising carol singers

From the Dartford Express – 1st January 1915

Wesleyan Carol Party

The Sutton-at-Hone Carol Party, under the direction of Mr Saker, had another very successful season according to the secretary, Miss Bowers.

The Carol Party were entertained on the first evening, at the end of their journey, by Mr & Mrs A. Saggs at Hawley, and on the last evening at Mr & Mrs James Salmon’s at Riverside House, South Darenth. The total amount collected was £4, and is for the soldiers in the trenches, and all were delighted at the result, and considered themselves well recompensed for their effort.

The Carol Party was composed of:
Mrs Saker
Miss Doris Blackman (of St John’s Terrace, Sutton-at-Hone)
Miss E. Davis
Miss N. Evered
Miss H. Griffen
Miss Lily Henry (of Progression Place, Sutton-at-Hone)
Miss Mabel Packman (of Cromwell Villas, Sutton-at-Hone)
Miss Bertha Salmon (daughter of Mr & Mrs J. Salmon)
Miss N. Trimmer
Mr B. (or Herbert) Blackman  (of St John’s Terrace, Sutton-at-Hone)
Mr A. Davis
Mr T. Davies
Mr J. Smith
Stanley & J. Saker

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.

A Sutton Scout Troop Wedding in 1920

Local papers would often feature the local weddings, giving lots of details about the happy couple, including career details, as well as detailed descriptions of the service, clothing and wedding presents, and can make fascinating reading as they are so different to weddings today.

On the 31st July 1920, a marriage took place at St John the Baptist Church of Mr Victor Thompson (of St John’s Terrace, Sutton-at-Hone) and  Miss Marian King (of The Bakery). Victor Thompson had been acting Scoutmaster for the Sutton Scout Troop whilst Mr Kadwill had served as an officer during the Great War.

The service was officiated by the Rev. A. E. Bourne, and it was described as a choral service (I am not sure this meant there were hymns sung or that the choir performed), and the Vicar spoke “with great appreciation” of the work the couple had done in the parish.

The bride was dressed in a soft blue gown, with matching hat, and carried a sheaf of lilies (very fashionable in the 1920s).  The two bridesmaids, Miss Thompson and Miss Coulson, wore champagne colienne (i think it is a type of silk) dresses and black hats, and carried bouquets of pale pink carnations.

There was a large congregation, including many Girls Friendly Society friends and members of the local Scout Troop.  When the couple left the church  the 1st Sutton-at-Hone Troop of Boy Scouts formed a guard of honour. After a reception, the couple motored to Hastings for their honeymoon.

There was a list of wedding presents was shown in the local paper, and here is a selection:
Bride to Bridegroom – gold watch
Bridegroom to Bride – gold chain and pendant
Bride’s father and mother – cheque
Bridegroom’s mother – oak biscuit barrel and house linen
Bridegroom’s father – china cabinet
Bridegroom’s sister – cruet
Bridegroom’s grandmother – silver cream jug
Members of the G.F.S. – silver cake stand
Fellow workers at Messrs J. & E. Hall, Ltd – 8 day clock
Members of Sutton-at-Hone Tennis Club – glass and silver inkstand

The 1939 Civil Registration register, taken in September 1939, shows that the happy couple were living at Alexandra Cottages, Ship Lane, and Victor is described as being “Charge Hand, Engine Machine Shop”, and both Victor and Marion are both described as being First Aid Service Vol.

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.

1917 – Local boy wins a scholarship to Dartford Grammar School

In July 1917, the local paper, the Dartford Chronicle, shows that Edwin Francis Hughes, a pupil at Sutton at Hone Church School had been awarded a Kent Education Committee scholarship, and would be starting in the Autumn term.  This is also noted in the school log on 23rd July 1917.

In the 1911 census, Edwin is living with his parents Edwin and Flora, and his older sister Dorothy, at 7 Barfield Terrace.  His father’s occupation was described as an ironmonger’s fitter.  It is possible that that his father was working for Garrett’s.

The 1939 Civil Registration Registration shows that Edwin was still living at Barfield Terracce (no.3) with his wife Doris (nee Shuter) who he had married in 1933.  He is shown as being a carpenter and joiner as well as “First Aid Section Works” as war work.

Wide Awake Dartford


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.


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


A Hawley VAD in World War One

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

Road Names of Sutton at Hone

Whilst some of the road names within the village are self explanatory, such as Main Road and Church Road, other roads are named after long lost buildings and people associated with the parish.

Russell Place – named after the Russell family who lived at St John’s Jersualem in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Smythe Road – named after Sir Thomas Smythe, who lived at Sutton Place and is buried at St John’s, with a magnificent memorial

Hotham Close – named after the Rev John Hallam Hotham, who was Vicar from 1837 to 1881.

Barfield – this estate was built on a field called Barfield (and there is Barfield Terrace on the Main Road, which runs parallel with to Barfield)

Barton Road – possibly named for Florence Barton, a former teacher at the village School

Tallent Close – named after Sir Stephen Tallent, who lived at St John’s Jersualem

Cedar Drive – this estate was built on the site of a house called Cedar Lawn

Keith Avenue – this road was named after the builder’s nephew when the Rectory Estate was developed.

One hundred years of British Summertime

British Summertime was introduced to Britain on Sunday 21st May 1916, after a bill was passed in Parliament on 17th May 1916.

William Willett, who lived in Bromley, and was a builder by profession, had been promoting the idea of daylight saving to make the most of the daylight from April to September from 1907. Whilst he was not the first person to have the idea, he spent a lot of time trying to get the idea taken up in Great Britain.  When reading local papers of the late 1900s and early 1910s you will often see letters from William Willett promoting his ideas.

It was not until World War One, when it became vital to save coal, the main fuel for both industry and households, that the idea was passed by Parliament, as a part of the Defence of the Realm Act (often referred to as DORA).  Ironically, Germany also implemented Daylight Saving in April 1916.

William Willett never saw his idea finally get taken up, as he had died in March 1915, over a year before the implementation.  William Willett is remembered in Petts Wood, where there is a memorial sundial and the Daylight Inn is named in his honour.

An editorial in the Sevenoaks edition of the Kent Messenger on 20th May 1916, reminds its readers that if they forget to put their clocks on an hour, they will arrive at church an hour late for the service and may miss the service altogether, or perhaps be too late for the collection.

It goes on to explain that the aim of the act is to reduce the number of hours that artificial lighting is needed and so save a very large amount of coal that can be used elsewhere for the war effort.