As the Centenary unfolds, a range of newspaper and other records will appear here to give an idea of how the war was revealed at home primarily focused on Kent for our purposes .... fairly random. If you have other snippets to share, please let us know using the dedicated email account:
About the time the "Race to the Sea" began, joining up this front to the English Channel to the north. Thereby avoiding outflanking by both sides. Both sides also 'dug in' to establish a 'stable front' based on entrenched positions. From now on, trench warfare was the defining characteristic of warfare in France/Flanders.
[Reported in South Eastern Gazette 3rd October 1914] GREENSTREET, RUDE AWAKENING. Before Captain Hooper (in the chair) and other Magistrates at the Faversham Country Petty Sessions on Thursday [1st October], Mary Pearce, of no fixed abode, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Greenstreet on the previous day, and also with breaking two panes of glass, value 14/0, at the same time and place. She pleaded guilty. Police constable Hogg said that about 5pm on the 30th September he was called to a disturbance at Greenstreet Hill, and on arriving there he found prisoner drunk and using filthy language. That morning he charged her with breaking two panes of glass, when she said that some boys threw stones at her. She ran into a passage and broke the windows. Winifred Amelia Hodges stated that prisoner ran up the passage at the side of her house, and when she (witness) came out to see what was the matter, prisoner raised her hand to strike her. Witness turned to go indoors, and prisoner then broke the windows. Prisoner said she had a drop of drink, and was fast asleep “when the stones came on.” She went to Mrs. Hodges’ house because she understood one of the boys lived there. Superintendent Lawrence said there were 54 convictions against defendant, 42 of which were for drunkenness. For the first offence prisoner was fined 15/0 and 6/0 costs, or fourteen days’ hard labour, and for the second 10/0 and 6/0 costs, and 14/0 damages, or fourteen days’ hard labour, the sentences to run consecutively.
Reported in Church Times of 2nd October 1914: "LOCUM TENENS wanted for Rector called up on military duty. Small parish.- Send full particulars, terms, and references, Goodenough, World's End, Greenstreet, Sittingbourne."
It is not unusual for Lucerne (Lewson) Street to be identified as part of either Greenstreet or Teynham. The Rev. Leonard William Victor Goodenough M.A. (rector of Norton) - is recorded in 1914 (and 1918) as living in Worlds End, Lucerne Street. The 1911 Census tells us he was born in Valletta, Malta, c.1866. At that time he is recorded as a Clerk in Holy Orders living in the Vicarage in Kineton, Warwickshire. He died on 1st October 1920 at home in Worlds End, when his personal effects amounted to £14,048 10s. 10d. [Beneficiary was Frederick Crauford Goodenough, esquire.]
The Rev. Goodenough had earlier exhorted a rally in Greenstreet Hill to meet the challenge of war and volunteer. So, he was following his convictions when he enlisted as a Chaplain (British Military Mission), on 25th April 1915, to join the Italian Expeditionary Force serving in Egypt.
His story is well described at the time of his untimely death through a stroke. [Reported Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 09 October 1920]
DEATH OF THE RECTOR OF NORTON. SERVED AS CHAPLAIN THROUGHOUT THE GREAT WAR.
"We regret to record the death of the Rev. Leonard William Victor Goodenough, Rector of Norton, near Faversham, who passed away on Friday morning last from the effects of a stroke with which he was seized on the previous Monday. Mr. Goodenough, who was the eldest son of the late Commander J.G. Goodenough, C.B., C.M.G., R.N., was born in 1865 and was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, where he took his M.A. degree in 1888, proceeding M.A. in 1891. For 18 years he was Rector of Kineton, Warwickshire, and in 1912 on the death of the Rev. W.G. Heritage he was appointed to the Rectory of Norton. Owing to the wife of the preceding Rector wishing to remain in her old home the new Rector, who was a bachelor, purchased some cottages at World's End, Lucerne Street, and converted these into a residence for himself. As this was situate in the parish of Teynham Mr. Goodenough was in reality a parishioner of the Vicar of Teynham.
Mr. Goodenough was chaplain to the Warwickshire Yeomanry and mobilised with his regiment on the outbreak of the war. In 1915 he went to Egypt as chaplain to a mounted brigade and served in that throughout 1916 including the Sennusi campaign. In 1917 he was invalided home after a severe attack of pari typhoid, but subsequently he served on the staff at Rome and Versailles, where his intimate knowledge of Italian and French was of great service. He was present when peace was signed by the Germans at Versailles in 1919 and was demobilised shortly afterwards. he was Guardian and Rural District Councillor for the parish of Stone and took a great interest in local affairs. He was a keen financier and was taking a great interest in the question of the payment of tithe by the clergy. He was greatly respected by his parishioners, and his loss is deeply deplored.
The funeral took place at Norton church on Monday afternoon. The service, which was choral, opened with the hymn "The King of Love my shepherd is" after which the Rev. W.A. Purton, Vicar of Teynham, recited the opening sentences and read the lesson. The hymn "Jesu, grant me this I pray" was subsequently sung, and as the cortege left the church the Nunc Dimittis was chanted. The service at the graveside was taken by the Rural Dean (Rev. A. Reeve), and at the close the hymn "We sing the praise of him who died" was sung.
The other clergy present in their robes were Rev. W. Hilton Simpson, Rev. S. N. Swain, Rev. F. H. Barnett, Rev. F. Perry (curate of Ospringe), Rev. T. Greenland (Newnham), Rev. A. Clark (Herne Hill), Rev. R.A. Kent (Doddington), Rev. A. W. McMichael, Rev. C.D.B. Somerville (Throwley), and Rev. T. J. Sewell (Lynsted).
The chief mourners were Mr. F.C. Goodenough (cousin), Mr. Pepys Cockerell, Mr. Sherwood Hale, Colonel Soltau Symonds, Mr. James, and Mr. A. W. Rickards.
Other present included Colonel and Mrs. J. F. Honeyball, Mrs. McDougall, Captain and Mrs. John Howard, Mrs. T. Foord Hilton, Mr. J. D. Maxted, Mr. W. R. Dixon and Mr. H. T. Bensted (Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Faversham Board of Guardians and Rural District Council), Mr. Lumley Webb (an old school friend), Colonel Gott, Mr. J. A. Gott, Mr. J. A. Gott, Mr. William French, Mr. Gambell, Rev. F. T. May (Vicar of Otterden).
Floral tributes were sent by Mrs. T. Foord Hilton, Mr. and Mrs. Gladwell and family, the members of Norton Working Party, the staff and children of Norton Church of England School, the Baroness Cermioff, and Mrs. McDougall.
The inscription on the coffin was as follows:- "Leonard William Victor Goodenough. Died 1st October, 1920. Aged 55 years."
Reported in the South Eastern Gazette on 3rd October 1914. ROYAL EAST KENT MOUNTED RIFLES. THE NEW RESERVE REGIMENT. About three weeks ago the authorities decided to form a Reserve Regiment of the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifled. The old regiment, having been embodied at the outbreak of the European War, is now rapidly becoming fit to undertake foreign service, for which it will no doubt be detailed. Mr. Alured Faunce de Laune, of Sharsted, Sittingbourne, made himself responsible for raising a squadron of the Reserve Regiment, and at once commenced active recruiting. On September 19th, 41 recruits joined the new regiment, and on the following Monday Mr. De Laune himself was commissioned and appointed to a command in the regiment. Since then the recruiting has been in the hands of the Hon. Secretary of the Local Recruiting Sub-Committee, and on Monday last 39 more young men presented themselves for examination at the Drill Hall, Sittingbourne, when an officer of the regiment was present. Of these 39 no less than 33 were accepted after the medical examination, and two others joined other branches of the service. Only four failed to pass the medical tests. Most of these young men joined the regiment at Strode Park, Herne, the same evening.
Below will be found the names of those who have already joined the regiment from this district:
Bapchild:- A.T. Gammon, C.C. Neeves, G.A. Wiles, and C.N. Yates.
Bobbing, Borden, and Key Street:- B. Dutnall, A E Hollis, H. Luckhurst, G.T. Payne, A.E. Pearson, and H.M. Tyman.
Greenstreet, Lynsted, and Teynham:- C. Barton, S.G. Clarke, H.S. Clarke, S. Cleaver, T. Holden, J.F. Laker, T.A. Ottaway, J. Ray, H.J. Read, G.L. Sattin, and H. Wildish.
Lower Halstow – Jack Beswick
Newington: S. Clout.
Sittingbourne: E. Back, A. Bolton, E. Bourne, LF Bowes, W. Burley, A. Castle, J. Chapel, H. Ealden,, W.L. Foord, HH Martin, D.R. Mears, B. Mills, H. Mills, W. Moore, C. Mountain, J. Pittock, F. Rose, H. Shipp, H. Stedman, and H. Williams.
....Recruiting is still proceeding and suitable young men are asked to give in their names to Mr.F.J. Parrett at 17 High street, Sittingbourne, and arrangements will be made for their enlistment providing they pass the medical examination. Already several names have been put down to form the third batch.
Reported in the Kent Messenger - 10th October 1914 - HORSES CAUSE NIGHT ALARM.- Early on Monday morning [5th October], some of the horses among the several hundred in the Sussex batteries lines at Sittingbourne broke loose and stampeded. The bugler of the stable guard sounded "Stables". This call was mistaken by the bugler of another guard for the "alarm," which he repeated. This was soon taken up all over the town, and in less than a quarter of an hour thousands of men had turned out. This mistake was soon discovered, and the men were dismissed.
Reported in the South Eastern Gazette - 13th October 1914 - "NATIONAL RELIEF FUND --- £55 FOR AN APPLE.
At Covent Garden Market on Wednesday [7th October] there was a sale of a collection of special fruits of abnormal size, on behalf of the National Relief Fund. A monster apple, a Peasgood's Nonsuch, given by Colonel J.F. Honeyball, of Teynham, provided the excitement of the day. After a prolonged contest between Messrs. Mash and Austin and G.Adam and Co., of Bond Street, the apple was secured by the latter firm for £55. The apple weighed 1lb. 15oz. and was 17 in. in circumference. Manchester's record of the previous day (£25 for an apple) was well beaten.
The total amount realised by the auction was £310, every penny of which was contributed by members of the fruit trade."
Reported in the South Eastern Gazette on 17th October 1914 - GREENSTREET. DEATH OF MR. JAMES PEENE.- On October 11th, The Hill, Greenstreet, James Peene, aged 72 years. The death took place on Sunday last of one of Greenstreet's oldest tradesmen, in the person of Mr. James Peene. The deceased gentleman, who was 72 year of age, and who, if he had lived to Thursday would have been 73 years old, had been in failing health for some time, and his demise was not unexpected. Mr. Peene was a native of Oare, near Faversham, and there he was apprenticed to the trade of a blacksmith an wheelwright. Over forty years ago he acquired the smith’s business at Lucerne Street, where he remained for eighteen years. About twenty two years ago he took over the business at Cellar hill, Greenstreet, and came to reside in the house where he died. The business at Lucerne Street, however, remained in the family, being carried on by the deceased gentleman’s only son, Mr. William Peene, until about four years ago when that business was sold, and Mr. William Peene came to Greenstreet to help his father. The late Mr. Peene was of a very quiet and reserved disposition, and took little part in public affairs. He leaves a widow [75 years old], Mr. and Mrs Peene had been married nearly fifty years. The funeral takes place this (Saturday) afternoon at Teynham Churchyard.
Reported in the South Eastern Gazette on 24th October: FAVERSHAM: BELGIAN REFUGEES. CRUELTY TO A COW. William Lee, no fixed abode, was sentenced to a month's hard labour at the County Police Court on Friday for cruelty to a cow at Teynham on the 13th inst.
Reported by South Eastern Gazette 20th October 1914 - [Poor Law] BOARD OF GUARDIANS. At the meeting of this Board on Wednesday (14th October 1914) an application by Messrs. F.B. Filmer and Co., of Greenstreet, for an allowance of an extra penny per found on meat supplied under their contract, subsequent to the outbreak of war, was refused. The Clerk pointed out that the Board had already refused to allow extra charges by other contractors. The applicants stated that owing to increased prices there had been considerable loss, but Mr. Henry Amos said that the class of meat supplied had gone up very little indeed. Mr. Videan remarked that if the market had fallen the contractor would have had the advantage. He didn't suppose the Board would have heard anything about that. A contract was a contract.
Reported in South Eastern Gazette 20th October 1914 - "FAVERSHAM – COUNTY COURT
At this Court on Friday (16th October), before his Honour Judge Shortt, Walter Neale, farm labourer, of Lynsted, sued Henry Bassant, of Monk’s Farm, Lynsted, for 16s. 3d. Plaintiff was in defendant’s employ for a month in the summer. His wage was 19s. a week, with a cottage, and he alleged that there was an agreement to pay him weekly 6d. an hour for any overtime he worked, in lieu of extras at Michaelmas. The overtime was not paid for, and he claimed for 19½ hours, also for beer money when haying, and for attention to a sow when farrowing. Defendant said he had never paid Michaelmas money or beer money for haying, though he believed the latter was the custom. Nothing was said about overtime when the plaintiff was engaged, and the 19s. was exclusive. With regard to the sow, she did not need any attention. Defendant’s son corroborated the statement that nothing was said about extras when the plaintiff was engaged. His Honour gave plaintiff judgement for 5s. in respect of the haying and attention to the sow."
Reported in the Dover Express on 16th October: Rear Admiral the Hon. Horace Lambert Alexander Hood, C.B., M.V.O., D.S.O., to be Admiral in command of the Dover Patrol.
17th October 1914: WILDASH - SEAGARS: Archibald Leonard Wildash (b 1889; parents John Henry Wildash) married Edith Mary Seagars (b 1893; parents John Seagars) in Lynsted.
Reported in South Eastern Gazette 24th October 1914 - "MARRIAGE, WILDASH – SEAGARS. On October 17th, at the Parish Church, Lynsted, by the Vicar (the Rev. T J Sewell), Archibald Leonard, youngest son of Mr. John Wildash, of Teynham, to Edith Mary, third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Seagars, of Lynsted.
A pretty wedding took place at Lynsted Parish Church on Saturday last, when Mr. Archibald Leonard Wildash, youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Wildash, of Teynham, was married to Miss Edith Mary Seagars, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Seagars, of Lynsted. Both the bride and bridegroom are well-known in the Lynsted and Teynham districts, and there was a large gathering of relatives and friends at the ceremony, which was conducted by the Vicar (the Rev. T.J. Sewell). The bride, who was given away by her father, was attended by four bridesmaids, the Misses Seagars (sister) and Wildash (niece), and the Misses Violet Champion and Aben, who are friends of the bride. Mr. P.E. Wildash, brother of the bridegroom was “best man”. Following the ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents. Subsequently the happy couple left for Thames Ditton, where the honeymoon is being spent. Mr. and Mrs. Wildash have been the recipients of many handsome and useful presents"
Reported in the Kent Messenger on 17th October 1914 - "A NEW CYCLIST BATTALION. Permission has now been received to raise a new Kent Cyclist Battalion, a depot for which has been formed at Canterbury, where all information concerning it may be obtained. Candidates for Imperial Service should be between the ages of 19 and 35, of good character and physique, and able to ride a bicycle. Old members of the Kent Cyclist Battalion are specially invited to re-join."
[Society Note: This was a second-line battalion. Their principal function was message carrying and reconnaissance. As the war changed from a mobile war to entrenchment, these personnel were often placed in trenches as normal privates - intended to hold positions. These troops are poorly documented although their war diaries do survive]
Reported by Kent Messenger - 17th October 1914 - The West Kent Yeomanry. Ready for Foreign Service. The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Yeomanry now consists of over 900 men, comprising two regiments, each containing three full squadrons. Five of the squadrons are at this moment eager to be sent abroad, and there would be no difficulty about the other if it were required for the same purpose.
There has been some misapprehension as to these regiments, but the real position is as follows:-
The first regiment having been brought up to full strength for foreign service, a reserve regiment was at once established, for the main purpose of providing drafts for the first as casualties occurred. The nucleus of the reserve regiment was formed of members of the first regiment who, for various reasons, were unable at the time to volunteer for service abroad, but it has since been brought up to full strength by recruiting and re-enlisting men expressly for foreign service, a number of these being excellent soldiers of no mean experience and very keen for the front. It now consists of three squadrons (two for foreign and one for home service), respectively commanded by Major the hon. E.J. Mills, D.S.O., Major Davison and Lieut.-Colonel F.S.W. Cornwallis; Colonel Lord Hythe being in supreme command, with Major Lord Camden as second. The home service squadron, under Colonel Cornwallis, has received orders this week to leave Maidstone to reinforce the troops nearer the coast.
Reported in the South Eastern Gazette 20th October 1914 - "SITTINGBOURNE. WOUNDED EXPECTED. The Sittingbourne Voluntary Aid Detachment is mobilised, and wounded Belgian soldiers have been expected here for some days. Trinity Hall has been converted into a temporary hospital and twenty beds have been secured at Gore Court. A house has also been taken as a Red Cross Hospital.
WOUNDED BELGIANS AT SITTINGBOURNE. A party of 25 wounded Belgian soldiers were brought by motor ambulances from Folkestone to Sittingbourne on Sunday Night (18th October), and were installed in Trinity Hall, which has been converted into a temporary."
FAVERSHAM. BELGIAN REFUGEES. Arrangements are being made for the reception of some Belgian refugees at Faversham. Vacant houses are being lent by the owners and furnished by the townspeople."
Private Arthur Richard MEDGETT (of Newnham), Killed in action, aged 24years 9 months
Reported in Kent Messenger 24th October 1914- Several Sittingbourne people are also mentioned in the despatches. These include Col. G.M.W. Macdonogh, of Lynsted (Headquarters' Staff).
[Society Note: Gazetted 8th October - there is often this lag between Despatches and report in newspapers like the Kent Messenger and The Times]
24th October 1914 - Marriage: BURDON - BROWNE: George Thomas Burdon (b 1881; parents name George Burdon) married Lucy Browne (b 1888; parents William Browne) in Lynsted.
Soldiers' stories of the last week of October (from 24th October) in the Trenches - published in the Daily Express, 23rd November 1914. Read this story.
Reported in The Times on 27th October 1914 - "BUCKINGHAM PALACE, October 26th. The King, attended by Major Clive Wigram, inspected the Home Counties Division and the South-Eastern Mounted Brigade at Sittingbourne and Canterbury today.
Colonel the Lord Harris (Aide-de-Camp to his Majesty) was also in attendance."
Reported in South Eastern Gazette 31st October 1914: GREENSTREET. MOTOR ACCIDENTS. About ten o’clock on Monday morning [26th October] last Mrs Carrier, the wife of Mr. Frederick Carrier, was cycling to Sittingbourne to see his Majesty the King, when she met with a nasty accident. She was leaving Greenstreet, and was cycling well on her right side of the road, when she was overtaken by a car belonging to Mr. A. Faunce de Laune, and driven by one of his chauffeurs (Foster). It is alleged that in passing the cyclist the car just caught the back wheel of the machine, and Mrs. Carrier was thrown in front of the car and rolled over and over, while the bicycle went under the wheels of the car, and was completely smashed. Mrs. Carrier was conveyed to her house by Mr. James French in his trop, where she received attention from Dr. Henderson. Although she had no bones broken she was very bruised and shaken, and she is suffering from concussion of the brain. Her face was also much damaged. We learn yesterday (Friday) morning that Mrs. Carrier is now making favourable progress. On Tuesday a woman of the tramp class was knocked down by a car in Greenstreet. She was somewhat badly injured, and was removed to Faversham Infirmary by two members of the local division of the St. Johns Ambulance Brigade.
Reported in South Eastern Gazette 27th October 1914 - SITTINGBOURNE. DEPARTURE OF TROOPS. The troops who have been in training in the Sittingbourne district for the past three months left this week for service abroad. On behalf of the Sittingbourne Urban Council, Mr. C.B. Harris (the Clerk) has written to the Brigadier-General expressing the gratification of the townspeople at the exemplary conduct of the troops who have been billeted in the houses, and wishing them good fortune and a safe return. Brigadier-General Clifford in reply, as expressed his gratitude to the inhabitants for the kind treatment which has been extended to the troops for which he thought the good behaviour of the mn had been largely responsible. Farewell services for the troops were held in most of the churches on Sunday, and after evensong at St. Michael's Church the Band of the 9th Middlesex performed a selection of sacred music.
Reported in The Times of 28th October 1914: "Bankruptcy Adjudications: Canterbury - Court, William (carrying on business under the style of Valentine Court and Son). The Greys, Lynsted, Kent, carrying on business at Preston street, Faversham, wine and spirit merchant (the surviving partner of the firm Valentine Court, deceased, and William Court). Also found in London Gazette: 27th October 1914, Issue 28953, Page 8710"
Reported in South Eastern Gazette, dated 1st September 1914 - "VICTORIOUS SHIPS AT SHEERNESS. DEAD GERMAN SAILORS LANDED. The passing to and fro of warships along the Nore Channel is an event of such familiar occurrence that the townspeople along the Sheerness Esplanade about noon on Saturday (31st October) mingled with those holiday makers who still remain, witnessed the return of H.M.S. Amethyst and the destroyer Laertes almost without realising that they were in the presence of a historic event. The coming into port of these two ships from the scene of action in the Blight of Heligoland had been announced by wireless to the Naval Authorities. The news spread quickly through the Naval Sub Depot, and into the Dockyard, and as the ships approached Garrison Point round after round of cheers were raised for the heroic victors aboard.
The Amethyst steamed slowly up the harbour, followed closely by the Laertes. Apparently the light cruiser had not sustained any great damage, but the Laertes had had one of her funnels badly holed near the deck. Both warships were under their own steam and answered their helm perfectly.
A number of German dead from the sea fight were landed at the Cornwallis jetty."
Actually covering the Battle of the Aisne beginning on 10th/11th September 1914. Transcribed here for background interest.
It should not come as a surprise that this Despatch emerged so late - this period of the War was extraordinarily uncertain and brutal. The Allies withdrew form some positions to consolidated their overall position in a series of actions from 3rd October onwards. Actions followed to try and outflank the German forces to the north. Both sides were worn down by repeated attempts to penetrate the defences facing them. These documents give an overview of the war as seen from the Front and described for the War Office. Transcribed here for background interest.
According to the "Report of the Battles Nomenclature Committee, 9th July 1920" (HMSO).
Four battles took place simultaneously during October-November 1914.
Boundary: the road Beuvry-Bethune.
- - - Battle of La Bassee, 10th October-2nd November 1914
Boundary: the line Estaires-Fournes.
- - - Battle of Armentieres, 13th October-2nd November 1914.
Boundary: the river Douve (which enters the Lys at Warneton).
- - - Battle of Messines, 12th October-2nd November 1914.
Boundary: the Comines-Ypres Canal.
- - - The Battle of Langemarch, 21st-24th October;
- - - The Battle of Gheluvelt, 29th-31st October;
- - - The Battle of Nonne Bosschen (4 miles east of Ypres), 11th November.
Boundary: Steenstraat (1 mile south-west of Bixschoote)-Bixschoote-southern edge of Houthulst Forest.