In August 1903 Dartford Rural District Council was asked to approve the change of name of Frog Lane to Devon Road. However there does seem to have been some confusion about the new name.
The Wellcome Institute has digitised its archive and library and anyone can access the collection online. Amongst the books available online are the Medical Officers’ Reports for Dartford Rural District Council, and these reports contain a variety of statistics on health, births and deaths, vaccinations, housing and food safety.
The housing reports after 1950 contain information about the demolition of housing, including properties in Sutton at Hone, Hawley, South Darenth and Horton Kirby.
In the 1950 report, the only local properties demolished were 5,7 and 9 Devon Road, Sutton at Hone
In the 1952 report, the only local properties demolished were Nos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Burnt House Lane, Hawley.
In the 1953 report the only properties demolished were the Mill House, South Darenth, and The Old Gills, South Darenth. Additionally, it was agreed that 42 Main Road, Sutton at Hone would not be used for human habitation.
1954 – Flint Cottage, Old Gills, South Darenth was demolished.
1955 – 48 and 50 Main Road, Sutton at Hone were demolished.
1956 – 2 Main Road, Sutton at Hone was demolished
1957 – Spring Villa, Hawley, 30, 40 & 44 Main Road, Sutton at Hone and 1-4 Days Cottages, Horton Kirby were all issued with demolition orders. 1 – 10 Sharps Row, Horton Kirby had a closure order issued, and 5 Giffords Cottages, South Darenth would no longer be let out.
In 1958, Paddock View, Hawley was demolished in May, and Cedar Lawn Cottage, Sutton at Hone and Well Cottage, Dean Bottom were issued with demolition notices.
1959 saw a number of demolished buildings: a bungalow at the rear of Cromwell Villas, Sutton at Hone; Well Cottage, Dean Bottom; Russell House and 1 & 9 Sharps Row, Horton Kirby and Spring Villa, Hawley Road, Hawley.
1960 saw Cedar Lawn Cottage, Devon Road, Sutton at Hone; 2-8 and 10 Sharps Row, Horton Kirby demolished. Closure orders were issued for 38, 40, 42 and 44 Main Road Sutton at Hone and 2 Poplar Cottages, Horton Kirby.
1961 – 1-4 Days Cottages The Street, Horton Kirby were demolished
1962 – 5 & 6 Days Cottages, The Street and 1 – 8 Kemps Cottages in Horton Kirby were demolished.
1966 – Houses demolished or closed: 5 Giffords Cottage, Horton Road, South Darenth; 1-4 Lombard Cottages, Horton Kirby and 50 Main Road, Sutton at Hone
1967 – Houses demolished or closed: 224 to 230 (even) Main Road, Sutton at Hone
1968 – Houses demolished or closed: 1-4 Bank Houses, Hawley Road, Hawley
1969 – Houses demolished or closed: 50 Main Road, Sutton at Hone
1972 – Demolished – 284 to 306 Main Road, Sutton at Hone
The vicarage gardens were developed by the Reverend John Hallam Hotham, and he was reputed to have used old stone work from the church remodelling in his garden landscaping.
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 to and completed by 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, along with 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.
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.
George Haydon was born in 8th March, 1889 at 1 Ship Lane, Sutton at Hone, and was baptised at St John’s on 26th May 1899, and was the son of Ernest and his wife Elizabeth (nee House). The couple had moved to Sutton at Hone from Berkshire in 1880, and lived at 1 Ship Lane with their children, and Edward was described as working in the paper mill in 1881
George and his siblings would have attended Sutton at Hone school, and what he did after school is unclear. His passage to America has not been traced but seems to have been before the 1911 census. His sister Alice would follow him and arrived in Boston in August 1911.
George and his brother Cecil both served during World War 1 as they are listed on the Absent Voters list for Sutton at Hone. George was listed as being a Private in 8th (Res) Grenadiers, and Cecil was a Gunner in the Royal Horse Artillery.
In June 1919 after discharge from the army, George sailed back to Chicago, and on his papers he is described as being single and a chef. It seems he stayed in the US.
Edward lived in the village for the rest of his life, dying at 7 Ship Lane in 1941, and Elizabeth had died in 1924.
When I spotted this advert in the Dartford Express, I did not initially take much notice of the term Certified Midwife, but it was quite significant. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the medical establishment was keen regulate the training and practise of midwifery, and the 1902 Midwives Act outlawed uncertified and untrained midwives, although it was possible to be certified without formal training. It’s unclear what form of training Eliza Robey had, but she would not have been able to advertise for work without the certification. The fee of 10/6d may well have been beyond the means of some of the villagers, but perhaps she accepted payment in installments.
Eliza Robey and her husband James first appeared in the district in the 1871 census. Eliza was born in Oxford in about 1848, and her husband James was born in 1843 at Discot, and worked at the railway as a pumping engine driver. By the 1891 census, the couple had moved to 22 St John’s Terrace, Sutton at Hone. In the 1911 census, the couple are described as living at The Street (now Main Road), and Eliza states that she is a Certified Midwife. The 1918 electoral roll showed that the couple still lived at Andrus Cottage.
James Robey died in May 1919, and was buried in St John’s churchyard, and Eliza moved away to Lambeth at some point, and she died there in November 1927, but was buried with her husband in the churchyard. The couple had no children.
This postcard is probably from about 1910 or so, when the Hibbert family ran the pub and had the saddlery. During the Great War, Carl Hibbert went back into the Army, and five of his sons served in the army.
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.
Thirty three former Boy Scouts and Leaders of the Sutton-at-Hone Boy Scouts Troop served during World War One, and three former Boy Scouts lost their lives and are commemorated on the War Memorial.
Thanks to an article published in the Dartford Chronicle on 7th February 1919, we know the names of all those former Boy Scouts who served during the Great War.
H. J . Kadwill – Scoutmaster – Jack Kadwill founded the Scout Troop, was the village Schoolmaster, a parish councillor, and lived in the School House by the School. When teachers were allowed to join up, he joined the London Regiment and was a 2nd Lieutentant, 1/13 Brigade
T. Elliott – Assistant Scoutmaster
S. M. Smith – Assistant Scoutmaster
B. Elliott – believed to be Bertie Elliott, the brother of Charles and William Elliott, who were both killed in the Great War and are commemorated on the Sutton at Hone War Memorial. Bertie served with the Army Ordnance Corps.
B. Turner – awarded the Military Medal
Arthur Charles Trimmer – lived at Alexander’s Cottages, Sutton at Hone and served in the Machine Gun Corps as a Private, No. 145389
George Mantle (Mantell in the 1911 census) – lived at 4 Ship Lane, Sutton at Hone and served with the 1/5th Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment as a Private, No. 240461
Hugh Taylor – lived at Lane Cottages, and served as a Gunner with the A/116 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, No.71209
Harold Smith – Killed in Action
Thomas Ovenden – Killed in Action
H. Smith – Wounded twice
Hector Ovenden – brother of Thomas Ovenden, and lived at Cromwell Villas, Sutton at Hone. Hector joined the Navy in 1915, at the age of 15, and served until 1920 when he was invalided out (possibly with TB).
Mornington Hibbert -Both Hibbert brothers were the sons of Carl Hibbert, landlord of The Greyhound, Sutton at Hone, and Carl and all his seven sons served during the Great War. Mornington served as a Signaller with the Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery at the Signalling Training Centre
Leonard Hibbert – youngest son of Carl Hibbert, born in 1901, no record of where he served has been traced.
George Gunner – Returned Prisoner of War – served with the Northumberland Fusiliers, and his family lived at The Stores, Lower Sutton.
Harry Stubbs – lived at 4 Fair View, Ash Road, Hawley, before he joined up he had worked for J. & E. Hall in Dartford. After joining up (probably in 1915), he served with the King’s Royal Rifles and went to the Western Front in March 1916. Harry had become Lance-Corporal, but was wounded by a shell in early December 1916, and had an arm amputated that Christmas Eve in a hospital in France.
(Harry) Basil Packman – lived at Cromwell Villas, Sutton at Hone, and signed up for service on 8th August 1918 at the age of 22, and had been working as a tool fitter at Vickers in Dartford. Harry served with the 26th Battalion, Tank Regiment as a Private, No. 311086
Leslie Thorne – lived at Crown House, served with the Royal Field Artillery, 121 Brigade, as a Driver, No. 234273
Thomas L. Dancer – Tom lived at 24 St John’s Terrace, Sutton at Hone and was a nurseryman when he enlisted in 1916. Tom was finally called up in 1917 and served as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery in India and Mesopotamia, and was released in October 1919.
Frank Mantle (Mantell in the 1911 census) – lived at 4 Ship Lane and served with the Rifle Brigade, as a Private, No. S/31674
Harry Acton – lived in Ship Lane and served with the 9th Royal Sussex Regiment, as a Private, No. 19375
Arthur Wright – Killed in Action
Tom Relph – lived at East Hill, South Darenth, and enlisted on 27 December 1917, just after his 18th birthday. Tom was a ‘fitter and turner apprentice’ before the war, and joined the Royal Flying Corp to be an Air Mechanic.
Nelson Yeatman – Nelson lived at Victoria House, Hawley, and enlisted on 12 February 1918, and served with the Royal Air Force, before he had enlisted he had been working as an Engineer.
During the absence of Scoutmaster Kadwill, the troop ‘carried on’ under Acting Scoutmaster Thompson.
The article notes that as Sutton at Hone was the oldest troop in the district, they had become the Senior Troop of the new Dartford District, which had been formed in 1918, from the old Central North Kent district (which had included Gravesend, Sidcup, Erith, Bexleyheath).