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


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.

New Local Publications

Horton Kirby & South Darenth Local History Society’s latest publication is a history of the parish during the Great War, and commemorates the men who feature on the War Memorial in St. Mary’s Church.  It also features the men from the Farningham Homes for Little Boys who are named in the Homes Roll of Honour, which is also kept in St Mary’s Church.

Copies of the book cost £6, and are available in the Horton Kirby Parish Office, or contact sarahvlewis@yahoo.com

The Swanley History Group has recently published this guide to the men listed on the Swanley War Memorial.  There are 105 men named on the Memorial, which is now situated in front of St Mary’s Church.

For details of how to purchase a copy (£8), please go to https://swanleyhistorygroup.weebly.com/

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

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.