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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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/
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.