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A good sewer is a far nobler and a far holier thing ... than the most admired Madonna ever painted. Ruskin [1819-1900] Show headlines only
24 Oct
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Neighbourhood Plan
The Consultation Draft of the Bridge Neighbourhood Plan is being distributed to every house in the parish. It has been put together by a group of Parish Councillors and volunteers representing various organisations in the village. The aim of the Neighbourhood Plan is to formulate policies that will guide the development of Bridge over the next 16 years.

Please read the Plan and make comments on it. This is a consultation draft and all of it is open to discussion. Bear in mind the limitations on the scope of a Neighbourhood Plan;

  1. It can only influence matters within the parish boundary of Bridge. Developments in Canterbury, such as the Barton Park development, are outside its scope.
  2. Its policies must take account of the Canterbury District Local Plan. Bridge Neighbourhood Plan cannot put forward proposals that run contrary to Canterbury City Council’s policies, although it can adapt them to suit Bridge’s needs.

When you have read the Plan, please comment on it by writing your views in the enclosed booklet and returning it either to 1 High Street or Lynton House, 83 High Street, Bridge. You can also comment on line at by clicking here. Please include your name and address because anonymous contributions will not be taken into account. Responses must be received by Monday 15th December. Multiple responses from different members of households are very welcome. Additional forms can be downloaded by clicking here.

There will be an opportunity for you to discuss the draft Neighbourhood Plan with Committee members on Saturday 1st November from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm in Bridge Village hall, where there will be an exhibition.

The next step will be to revise the document, taking account of the comments from residents. A copy of the draft Plan has also been sent to Canterbury City Council. Once all the observations have been assessed, a final draft will be prepared and submitted to Canterbury City Council for independent examination. Once approved by the examiner, the Plan will be put to the village for approval at a referendum.

2 Oct
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750 miles to Le Ventoux

"Le Grand Depart"...A group of 24 people started on 13th Sep from Calais to St Omer ... and 5 of then with their transport vehicle carried on through la belle France - Pas de Calais... Champagne.... Burgundy to the Rhone Alps area - a total of 1,000km.

They climbed Mont Ventoux ("The Beast of Provence" - 6273 feet) on 25th Sep. All achieved great times with John Stevens 1hr 58 min, Rene Renault 2h10, Andy Gladin 2h12, Dom 3hrs, Nick Newman 3h45

The purpose of the exercise was to raise money for "re-cycle" - a charity which collects and refurbishes bicycles, spares and tools, then delivers them to Africa.

They are still collecting monies at the Red Lion and people can still donate.

21 Sep
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Another A2 Slip Road Crash

On Friday night (Sep 19), a van went over the top of the slip road, crashed through the signs and landed on its side in the wooded area beyond.

The van took out all but two of the red and white barriers. The barriers have now been replaced, the sign repaired and a new row of reflector posts installed.

19 Aug
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Flood Alleviation Works

Work is already underway in the Water Meadow to build a protective bank along the Nailbourne. Many other schemes have been considered and assessed for the Nailbourne and Little Stour - the works listed below affect Bridge directly. This list does not represent a commitment to complete the identified works this financial year. It is a means of outlining all work that has been considered on the Nailbourne and Little Stour that could result in a reduction in flood risk.

Some of the schemes outlined below have been identified as being short term and potentially deliverable this financial year (i.e. before the potential onset of flooding this winter). Other options are classed as medium term and will require further investigation into the technical feasibility. These medium term schemes are also likely to be subject to further funding constraints.

All options are assessed against economic, environmental and technical criteria.

ProblemPotential Solution/s
1River coming out of bank at Bourne Park Cottage Road east of culvert and flowing across land to flood Brewery Lane and add to "lake". Provide 0.5m+ clay bund beside road east of culvert to direct water to west of culvert and allow to ford across road and into new channel to connect to river main channel.
2 River coming out of bank from Bridge Place to Mill Lane and flowing across land to flood Brewery Lane and add to "lake". Raise bank on east side of river with bund / sheet piling
3 Large pond forms from groundwater springs added to from (1) & (2) which floods properties from the back at Brewery Lane & High Street Proposals at (1) & (2) should reduce effects plus provide 0.5m+ bund in field behind properties on both roads.
4 Mill Lane ford floods Brewery Lane and difficult to contain with sandbags and extra pumping. Provide floodgate to close ford. Will also need short lengths of wall at corner road and river (Bridgeford House side)
5 River when high percolates through bank at Bridgeford House and flows across garden to flood this and other properties Provide some form of impermeable protection to bank on river side
6 Capacity of culvert at High Street [the bridge at bus stop] inadequate causing backing up and flooding to properties and adding to problem in Brewery Lane. Provide permanent electric supply and submersible pumps (stored elsewhere) plus construct pipeline(s) across road.
Key
Works completedWorks underway Short term (before winter 14/15) Medium term (beyond winter 14/15)

Should there be any questions about these works, do feel free to contact Cllr. Alan Atkinson, 830629 and he will be happy to discuss the matter.

The funding for new flood alleviation schemes is allocated nationally, according to the costs and benefits that a scheme will deliver. Under the new partnership funding arrangements that have recently been introduced by DEFRA, many schemes will require financial contributions from external sources before they can go ahead.

15 Aug
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Bridge in Bloom 2014

Judges have been round the entire village, looking at hanging baskets, pots, tubs and window boxes. The winners of the 2014 contest have been announced:

Businesses
1st: Red Lion
2nd: White Horse
3rd: Plough and Harrow

Margaret Jones vase
Mansfield Court

Private householders
1st: Anchorage, Dering Road
2nd: 33 High Street
3rd: 1 The Close

8 Aug
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Cyclist Injured

Bridge High Street was closed briefly on Saturday July 26th , when a cyclist came off his bike and injured himself. One of the stallholders at the Farmers' Market administered first aid until the Police and Ambulance came.

He may have broken his hip and was taken to the William Harvey

His companions examine his bike and suggested that his chain locked up. No other vehicle was involved.

Update The cyclist is up and about now - nothing broken, just very bruised.

4 Aug
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Multi-car crash

At 11.30pm on Sunday night, a driver lost control of his car - smashing into three parked cars before ending up on his roof outside the church.

It would appear that the driver was over the alcohol limit and had had some kind of argument before leaping into his car and driving off at high speed before anyone could stop him.

The three damaged cars all belong to members of the same family. Two of the cars have been written off

According to the Kentish Gazette, Craig Wood, 19, of Whitfield has been charged with drink driving and is due before Canterbury Magistrates on August 28th

27 Jul
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Horticultural Society's Summer Show

The Nailbourne Horticultural Society's Summer Show held last Saturday 26th July in Bridge Village Hall was a great success, attracting a good number of visitors. The numbers of both exhibitors and exhibits were well up on recent years, particularly in the vegetable classes, and the hall itself looked a real picture. The main judges for the show were Clive and Dian Godden from Bekesbourne who were impressed by the number and quality of the exhibits and commented that it was the best show they had judged recently. Artist and local resident Barry Kirk was invited to judge the photography class and Pam Dobson had kindly judged the three garden classes.

The main prize winners were as follows:

Although closely fought, the Champion Cottage Gardener Cup (for most points in the vegetable section) went to Brenda and Trevor Wood who also won the Tankard for their collection of three vegetables.

The Anderson Cup for the Best Novice in the vegetable classes was won by John Robbins.

In the floral classes, again it was close, but the Silver Rose Trophy went to Linda and Peter Ellis whilst the Hawkins Cup for the Best Novice was presented to Jill Gillanders.

The Open Cup which was presented this year to the winner of a photograph entitled "Wildlife in the Garden" was won by Kathy Walder.

Raj and Rajini Dasan won the Sarah Louise Prestige Cup for floral art and were also joint winners with Kathy Walder of the Fremlins Challenge Cup presented for most points in the cookery classes. The Handicraft Plate was won by David and Penny Spencer who also won the Blee Cup for gaining most points overall in the Show and likewise, as a team, the Husband and Wife Cup.

In the garden categories, Linda and Peter Ellis won both the Pewter Tankard for the Best Kept Vegetable Garden with their wonderfully stocked and tended vegetable plot and the Silver Rose Bowl for the Most Picturesque Garden, again with a beautiful flower garden full of interest. Caroline Hollands was presented with the Silver Plate for the Prettiest Small Garden with her exquisite walled garden and she also won the Whitten Spencer Cup for the Chairman's Challenge Crocosmia (just about to flower!).

Thank you to all those who entered, helped with the organisation and setting up of the show, assisted on the day and to those who came along to view and enjoy the Show.

29 Jun
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Women's Institute Afternoon Tea

Bridge with Patrixbourne Women's Institute would like to thank everyone who came to their Afternoon Tea last Thursday, 26 June. We were so lucky to have ideal weather for the event which was a great success, not only because of the funds raised, but also because everyone enjoyed themselves and stayed to relax and chat in the garden.

Thank you to everyone who helped, contributed and came along to support us on the day.

26 Jun
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Picnic Benches Vandalised

Over the weekend one of the new picnic benches was deliberately destroyed and the second one was damaged.

They had only been put out after their winter break in the pavilion for a very few weeks. Both were fairly substantial and it took a lot of effort and determination to destroy them. Cllr. Terry Wilmshurst has made one good bench out of the less damaged one and bits of the other. The Parish Council has filed a report to the police and they have been to look at the damage. We hope they will step up patrols to the recreation ground.

If anyone has any reliable information we would be glad to have it.

26 Jun
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Tea Shop Now Open

Once again, the door to 96 High Street has opened for baked confectioneries, only this time, there's more: Florrie's Tea Room promises teas, coffees, home made cakes and fresh sandwiches.

Opening hours
  • Mon-Fri 8am to 4pm
  • Sat & Sun 10am to 3pm


15 Jun
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Duck Race 2014

A duck race was held on the Nailbourne after the village fête on Saturday, to raise funds for the Nailbourne Scout Group.

150 ducks raced and the winner was duck number 125 (The Fleming family) and in second place was duck number 94 (the Barbers). In last place was duck number 133.

Thank you to all who participated.

13 Jun
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Wildflower project

The wildflower project got some more help from the children of Bridge and Patrixbourne CEPC school, with planting of seeds.

7 May
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New Faces at the Plough and Harrow

Welcome to Ian and Elaine Rigden, who have taken over the reins at the Plough and Harrow. If the name "Rigden" sounds familiar, that's because it's an old brewing family. Rigdens was bought out by Fremlins - and later Whitbread. The Tesco in Faversham was converted from the Rigden maltings.

Although this is their first pub, they have boundless enthusiasm and have great plans to get the kitchen refurbished, following the flooding and start using local products for their fare. There will be themed evenings - e.g. Spanish nights, cheese & wine etc.

The very successful chess club has moved back to the Plough in Monday evenings, switching with the poker, which is now at the Red Lion.

As before, the upstairs room is available for functions and meetings

Moving to Bridge from Ashford, Ian's background is in computer software development and Elaine has been an office administrator in the public sector - for Royal Marsden NHS and in education - as well as the private sector, in the Hair and Beauty profession.

Let's give them all a hearty Bridge welcome and support them in running their first pub. We are incredibly fortune to have three excellent pubs in Bridge, but they can only survive if people use them. They are the original form of social networking.

7 May
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Flooding Information

The Little Stour, Nailbourne and Petham Bourne Flood Management Group has produced a briefing note. This was mentioned at the Annual Parish Meeting on 1st May and is available here for wider distribution.

It also contains a link to the flood grant scheme

15 Apr
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Chess Champions

Congratulations to Bridge Village Chess Club. The club, headed by FIDE Master Richard Eales, are East Kent and Thanet Chess League's champions for the fifth consecutive year.

They meet in The Red Lion most Mondays, from 7.30pm, and players of any standard will be made most welcome.

6 Feb
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Dayspring FC fixtures

Results so far Show

7/9/13AwayDeal Town RangersL2-0DayspringCanterbury and District League - Premier Division
14/9/13HomeDayspringW6-1Red ArrowCanterbury and District League - Premier Division
21/9/13AwayGolden ArrowAbandonedDayspringCanterbury Charity Cup
28/9/13HomeDayspringL3-7St. StephensCanterbury and District League - Premier Division
5/10/13HomeDayspringW6-1Burgess HodgsonCanterbury and District League - Premier Division
12/10/13HomeDayspringW6-3Deal Town Rangers
19/10/13AwayAshW0-5DayspringChallenge Trophy
26/10/13HomeDayspringW6-2FavershamFaversham Cup
2/11/13HomeDayspringL2-3BleanWhitstable Cup
16/11/13HomeDayspringL1-2Burgess Hodgson
23/11/13HomeDayspringD4-4Chilham
14/12/13AwayBurgess HodgsonL3-0Dayspring
4/1/14AwayFaversham UnitedL5-2Dayspring
22/2/14HomeDayspringvSturry
Full results and match reports can all be found here

9 Nov 2012
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Lest We Forget

The thirteen men of Bridge who died in the Great War 1914-18.

The inscription on the Bridge War Memorial reads:
To the glory of God
and in honourable memory
of the men of this parish
who fell in the Great War
1914-18.

"We lie in other lands
so that
you may live in peace."

Click on a name below to read more about him

D.K. Anderson MC. Captain The Buffs. Lieut. Col. M.G. Corps.

There is immediate confusion with this man in the military sources. They all agree on his name being Donald Knox Anderson and on his award of the MC [ Military Cross], but CWGC says he was Lieutenant Colonel of The Buffs [East Kent Regiment] and attached to the Staff HQ of the 61st Division with no mention of the Machine-Gun Corps at all. RH agrees with the inscription on the Memorial that he was Lieutenant Colonel of the Machine-Gun Corps and formerly Captain in The Buffs, whilst SD has two entries for this name, obviously not realising they are the same man. One says he was Temporary Lieutenant Colonel of The Buffs and served in the Divisional Machine-Gun Office, and the other says he was a Temporary Lieutenant in the Machine-Gun Corps. Perhaps the evidence of another source, relevant in this case, a publication called Officers Died in the Great War will settle the matter. Here he is recorded as Temporary Lieutenant Colonel of The Buffs and also a Divisional Machine-Gun officer.

A Lieutenant Colonel would usually be the commander of a Battalion, but, if he was only "Temporary", he probably did not actually do this job and served instead at the Divisional Staff HQ as a Machine-Gun Officer. Something else all the sources do agree on is the date of his death, 3rd December 1917, and CWGC adds that he is named on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval which means he has no known grave. This date and place put his death firmly in the British offensive known as the Battle of Cambrai from 20th November to 7th December 1917. It was a combined artillery, infantry and tank offensive on part of the formidable German Hindenberg Line, but the early success and territorial gains were cancelled out by German counter-attacks.

Turning to the 1891 census, we find George Knox Anderson, 36, Cement manufacturer, and his wife Mary, 28, living in Rochester with their four children Stuart Knox, 9, Phyllis, 6, Donald Knox, 4, and Colin Knox, 2, all born in Rochester. [The middle name Knox is not part of a double-barrelled surname, but the name, it seems, given to all male Andersons in this family.] There can be no doubt that the two Knox Andersons on the memorial were brothers.

In 1901, the parents were living at Hollywood House, Frindsbury, Rochester, but only Colin, 12, was with them. Eldest brother Stuart, 17, was away at Rugby School, Phyllis was at a Ladies' School in Folkestone, but of Donald I can find no trace. He would, almost certainly, have been away at a public school.

In 1911, Donald was 24, unmarried, 2nd Lieutenant in The Buffs, a visitor to Rev. Augustus Aylward and his wife at Enderby Vicarage, Leicestershire. He was, therefore, a career soldier who would have joined up very soon after leaving school which would have been about 1905 or 1906. Younger brother Colin had also joined up, but older brother Stuart was an Anglican clergyman living in Bristol.

A final piece of evidence about Donald comes from the Marriage Records. On 28th November 1914 a Donald Knox Anderson, giving his age as 28, married 19 year-old Mary Annabella Sandilands at St. Jude Church in South Kensington.

The reason why Donald and Colin are commemorated on the Bridge Memorial will become clear when we look at the next man on that Memorial, Colin Knox Anderson. Donald would, presumably, also be commemorated wherever his wife Mary was living at the time of his death, which is not known. Since he was 24 in the 1911 census, he would have been about 30 when he was killed.

C.K. Anderson Lieut. R.W.Kent Regt.

CWGC names him as Colin Knox Anderson, Lieutenant in the Queen's Own [Royal West Kent Regiment] 3rd Battalion, but attached to "A" Company of the 1st. Battalion. He died on 23rd August 1914, aged 26, and is buried in Hautrage Military Cemetery very near Mons in Belgium. [The Battle of Mons on 23rd August was the first major encounter of the war for British and Germans as the Allies tried to halt the invasion of Belgium.] It also adds that he was the son of George Knox Anderson and Mrs. Anderson of Bridge Hill House, Bridge, and was educated at Malvern College. SD only adds that he was Killed in Action, and RH, for some reason, gives the date of his death as the 22nd August.

I have written to the archivist at Malvern College who informs me that Colin was a pupil at that school from 1903 to 1908 and was soon after commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd. Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment. He was killed in action at Mons in August 1914 and is included in the Roll of Honour in Malvern College Chapel. The archivist assures me that his brother Donald did not attend Malvern College.

We have already named Colin in the census of 1891 and that of 1901, and in 1911 he was 23, unmarried, 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment a Visitor at his old school, Malvern College.

As we have seen with Donald, there was no apparent reason why either brother should be commemorated in Bridge until the vital piece of information given by CWGC. In 1911 their parents were still living in Hollywood House, Frindsbury, Rochester, but by 1914 they are named as Colin's next-of-kin and had moved to Bridge Hill House. They had been married 27 years and all four of their children were alive and well. The parents would naturally want to have their two sons commemorated in the place where they lived themselves.

F. Butler Pte. M.G.Corps.

CWGC names him as Frank Butler No.72588 Corporal 18th Battalion Machine-Gun Corps. Died 5th May 1918, aged 34, buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery. Son of John and Annie Butler, husband of Emily S. Butler of Nursery Cottage, Brogdale Rd., Faversham. Born Newnham.

SD and RH agree that he was a Corporal [despite the Memorial giving his rank as Private], he enlisted in Canterbury and was formerly No. 1831 in the Kent Cyclist Battalion.

The Marriage Records have a Frank Butler marrying Emily Sarah Croucher in Faversham in July 1904.

Niederzwehren Cemetery in central Germany was started in 1915 for Commonwealth, French, and Russian Prisoners of War and enemy civilians. Frank, therefore, died in German hands. After the war, in 1922 CWGC began moving all Commonwealth dead in Germany from smaller cemeteries and concentrating them in four big ones of which this was one. The French and Russians were also gathered together elsewhere. 1,500 Commonwealth soldiers were brought in to make a final total of 1,796 graves and memorials.

In the 1891 census, we find John Butler, 40, Agricultural Waggoner, born in Newnham, living in Stuppington Farm, Norton, near Faversham with his wife Annie, 37, and seven children: Henry, 15, Agricultural Labourer; James, 11, Scholar; Frederick, 9, Scholar; Frank, 6, Scholar; Ellen, 4; Albert, 2; and Charles, 1 month all born in Norton.

In 1901, Frank was still at home on Stuppington Farm aged 16 and a Carter on the Farm. His older brothers Henry and James had left home and there is no mention of little Charles, but a new youngest brother is there called George, aged 8.

In 1911, Frank's father, who was now a widower, aged 60 was still a Farm Labourer, living at the same Stuppington Farm with his daughter Ellen and her husband and two little girls. Meanwhile, Frank, 27, and his wife Emily Sarah, 27, born in Lenham Heath, were living at Fir Tree Cottages, Pedding, near Wingham. Frank was a Groom/Gardener and their two boys were Dennis Robert, 4, and Noel William, 2, both born in Newnham, near Faversham.

Two big questions remain: why is Frank commemorated on the Bridge Memorial, and why is he also to be found on the Nackington Memorial? He apparently has no connection with either parish unless, perhaps, he and his family moved into one of them when he took a new job between 1911 and his enlistment. According to CWGC, as we have seen, his wife Emily's address is given as Brogdale Rd., Faversham which is hard to reconcile with Frank working in Bridge or Nackington unless she moved there with the boys after the war and after Frank's death. If, however, he did have a job in one of them, the two parishes did have a common border to the east of Renville Farm and, if he lived on that border, it might have been difficult to decide to which parish he belonged.

H.Dutnall L.Cpl. R.W.Kent Regt.

CWGC says he was Henry Dutnall No. 19274 Lance Corporal in 11th Battalion Queen's Own [Royal West Kent Regiment]. He died on 26th July 1917 and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial to the Missing.

SD adds that he was born in Sittingbourne, enlisted in Canterbury and was Killed in Action. It also says he was formerly No. 2480 Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles. RH agrees and adds that the Mounted Rifles were a Yeomanry Regiment.

Henry is one of only two of the thirteen men whose Army Service Record has survived. This tells us that he was unmarried and living in Ash when he enlisted on 1st May 1915 for the duration of the war. He was 22, a Chauffeur and had been born in Borden, Sittingbourne. He joined a Territorial Force, the Mounted Rifles as a motor cyclist Despatch Rider. He was transferred to 2/1st Battalion Kent Cyclist Battalion No. 2445 on 8th March 1916, presumably still as a Despatch Rider, and one week later, on the 15th, he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Until the 3rd January 1917 all his service had been "at home" in England, but on that day he was sent to France and on 9th February he was posted as Lance Corporal in the 11th Battalion the Royal West Kent Regiment.

His next of kin were given as his father Charles Dutnall of Ash and, in due course, his wife Helene Dutnall with an address in Surbiton, Surrey. This address seems odd, but perhaps, when he went off to war, she moved in with relatives and this might also explain why, after his death, she had two different addresses in Portsmouth to the second of which his medal, plaque and scroll were sent. A curious letter to the Infantry Record Office is preserved in his Record. It was sent by his wife Helene on 2nd September 1917 to say that her father-in-law had told her that Henry was dead, and asking for confirmation of this and for information about pensions. It seems very odd that she had not been told of his death herself. Henry's body had not been recovered, but the Record confirms that he was Killed in Action. The place and date of his death indicate that he was killed during the truly dreadful British offensive known as the 3rd Battle of Ypres or the Battle of Passchendaele, or "The Battle of the Mud."

In the 1901 census Henry and his father Charles were living with Charles' mother in Oad St., Borden. She was Julia Dutnall, a widow of 71, born in Andover, and Charles, 36, and himself a widower, born in Borden, gave his occupation as Farmer. Henry was 7, born in Borden. To find out about Henry's mother, I checked the 1891 census and found Charles Dutnall, 26, Farm Labourer with his wife Catherine, 30, both born in Borden, living in Borden with his parents Henry, 67, Farmer, and Julia, 60. The Birth Records reveal that Henry was born in April 1893, but the Death Records show that Catherine died in that same April 1893. It is very likely that she died giving birth to her first and only child.

In the 1911 census Henry Dutnall, 17, a Chauffeur, and his father Charles, 46, a Farm Bailiff, were Boarders with Postman William Kemp and his wife in Guilton, Ash. The fact that he was a chauffeur before the war explains how he could become a motor cyclist Despatch Rider.

A final piece of evidence on Henry comes from the Marriage Records. In December 1916, at which time he was serving with the Kent Cyclist Battalion in England, Henry married Helene Tunnicliffe in Thanet only a few days before he was sent to France.

The big question still remains, why is he commemorated in Bridge? Since he was living in Ash in 1911 and was still there when he enlisted in 1915, and since his father was also in Ash at both these dates, there seems to be no logical reason why Bridge can claim him. Perhaps the explanation is that his father Charles got a new job and moved to Bridge soon after the war, but this would not explain the fact that Henry is commemorated on the Memorial in Ash as well. Given that he was 17 in the 1911 census, he would have been about 23 when he was killed.

C.S.Ford Pte. Gren. Guards.

CWGC has a Cecil Stanley Ford Private 13676 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. He died on 20th October 1914 and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial to the Missing.

SD agrees and adds that he was born in Bridge, enlisted in Canterbury and was Killed in Action. It also gives his rank correctly as Guardsman, not Private. RH adds nothing new.

The fact that he was killed in the Ypres Salient and the very early date of his death means that he fell in what was to be named the First Battle of Ypres. The German Schlieffen Plan was to deliver a massive right hook through Belgium and on to Paris, but the British and French were able to halt their advance on the River Marne in September 1914 and then to hang on to the last corner of Belgium at Ypres in mid-October, preventing German capture of the vital Channel Ports.

Cecil makes his first appearance in a census in 1891. Here we find William Ford, 37, a Carpenter, born in Bishopsbourne and his wife Jane, 37, born in Barham living at the Carpenter's shop, High St., Bridge. With them are their nine children, all born in Bridge: Amelia, 13; Ethel, 12; Edith, 10; Florence, 8; Louisa, 7; Herbert, 6, all six of them Scholars [ie at school]; Frederick, 3; Cecil, 2; Arthur, 8 months. Incidentally, this Frederick may well be the next man on the Memorial, F. J. Ford.

In 1901 the father, William, was still working as a Carpenter in High St., Bridge, but at a different premises. The five girls had left home leaving Herbert R., Frederick J., Cecil Stanley and Arthur S. with three more children, Anna D., 9, Lewis, 7, and Alice M., 6, all born in Bridge.

By 1911, Herbert and our Cecil had left home, but the other five were still with their parents now living at Park Villas, Union Rd., Bridge: Frederick, 24, Gardener; Arthur, 21, Groom; Annie, 19; Lewis, 18, Gardener; Alice, 16. William and Jane had been married 34 years and all their 12 children were alive and well. William was now a Carpenter and Builder.

In 1911 Cecil is nowhere to be found, but we can deduce that he had enlisted as a career soldier and had been posted somewhere. The fact that he was killed as early as October 1914 means he must have been a regular soldier in the Grenadier Guards when the war began because the army Britain sent over in August, The British Expeditionary Force [BEF], were all professional soldiers. He would have been about 25 when he was killed.

F.J.Ford Sergt. The Buffs.

CWGC has four F.J. Fords, but none of them a Sergeant and none in The Buffs. It does, however, have an F. Ford G/5774 Lance Sergeant in the 8th Battalion The Buffs. He died on 21st August 1916, aged 30, and is buried in La Neuville British Cemetery at Corbie.

SD agrees and adds the crucial information that he was born in Bridge which makes it certain that this is the man. It also says he was living, at the time of his enlistment, in Brede, Sussex, enlisted in Rye and Died of Wounds. This last phrase fits in with him being buried at Corbie since the cemetery lay behind the British lines near Albert on the Somme battlefield. The date of his death means he was mortally wounded in the second month of the Battle of the Somme. SD is the source that gives us his name simply as Fred.

Inexplicably, RH says bluntly of this man "No Trace" and makes an unconvincing suggestion as to his identity.

It is virtually impossible to escape the conclusion that this Fred Ford was the brother of the previous man, Cecil Stanley Ford. In the census of 1891, as we have seen, Cecil Stanley, 2, and Frederick, 3, both born in Bridge, were living in High St., Bridge with their parents and 7 siblings. In 1901, still living at home in High St., Bridge, Frederick J., aged 13, gave his occupation as Gardener. This is the only mention in a census or in the military sources of a middle name beginning with "J", apart from the inscription on the Memorial. The Baptismal Register for St. Peter's, Bridge, reveals that it stands for James.

By 1911 the family had moved to Park Villas, Union Rd., Bridge and Frederick was still a Gardener giving his age as 24. We do not know when he enlisted, but if he signed up in Sussex, he must have moved there for a new job sometime after 1911.

A.H.Foster Pte. Canadian Inf.

CWGC has eight A.H. Fosters, but they were all in British Regiments. It does, however, record an Arthur Harold Foster Private 784937 in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry [East Ontario Regiment] who died on 30th October 1917, aged 36, and is commemorated on the Ypres [Menin Gate] Memorial to the Missing.

SD does not mention him at all, perhaps because he was not in the British Army, and RH says bluntly, "No Trace" adding that, "There is no record of this man on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial." This is quite wrong. This memorial is "Virtual" because it does not exist in reality, but only on the internet, and it definitely does record Arthur Harold Foster died 30th October 1917. It is certainly odd, however, that the real Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge, which claims to name every Canadian serviceman lost in the Great War, with or without their own graves, has seven Fosters on it, but no A.H. Foster.

The date and place given by CWGC show that Arthur was killed in the latter stages of the dreadful Third Battle of Ypres or the Battle of Passchendaele which ended on 10th November after the Canadians had captured the ruins of the village and part of Passchendaele Ridge.

If Arthur was 36 when he died, he would have been born in 1881 or 82. The most likely candidate in the census of 1891 is an Arthur H. Foster, aged 9, born in Ripple, Dover. Living in Ripple Vale was the family of William Foster, 53, a Farmer, born in Ashford and his wife Emma, 51, born in Horsted, Sussex. Their five children were Emmaline, unmarried, 27, born in Ringmer, Sussex; Douglas E., unmarried, 23; Bertha C, 13; Ethel J., 11; Arthur H., 9, these last four all born in Ripple.

By 1901 William, 62, had retired and was "Living on own means", but the family were still in Ripple Vale Cottages. There were three siblings, Hilda, unmarried 32; Ethel J., 21; Arthur H., 19.

In 1911 William, 73, "Retired Farmer" and Emma, 71 had moved to The Grove, Barham. They had been married 48 years and had 6 of their 7 children still alive. With them were Ethel Jane, 31, unmarried, and Arthur Harold, 29, unmarried. This must mean that Arthur emigrated to Canada sometime after 1911. Presumably, a man who had no occupation at the age of 19 or at 29 and who was also unmarried would take the opportunity of making a new life broad.

The answer to the question why he is commemorated in Bridge is pure conjecture. It is possible, but unlikely, that he suddenly moved there himself before he emigrated. It is more likely that his parents moved there after 1911, despite their advanced ages. This is borne out by the Death Records of both parents. William died in Bridge in October 1915, aged 77, and Emma died in Bridge too, in September 1920, aged 80. Had they stayed in Barham, Arthur would appear on the Barham Memorial, but he does not.

W.C.Harvey Pte. E.Surrey Regt.

CWGC records William Charles Harvey Private 21379 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment.

He died on 25th September 1916 and was buried in Bray-sur-Somme Military Cemetery. Son of Mr. H. and Mrs. I. Harvey of High St., Bridge.

SD agrees and adds born in Royston, Hertfordshire, enlisted Canterbury, Died of Wounds. This is entirely consistent with him being buried at Bray-sur-Somme. He would have been badly wounded on or before 25th September in the midst of the British offensive, the Battle of the Somme, and taken back behind the lines to a Field Hospital near Albert, but he did not survive. RH says nothing new, but does make an odd mistake in assigning his death to 1915, not 1916.

The census of 1901 for Royston, Herts. records Harry Harvey, 34, Stableman/Groom, born in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, and his wife Isabell, 26, born in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. With them is their son William C., 3, born in Royston.

By 1911 the three Harveys were Servants living with retired Race Horse Trainer Richard George Sherrard and his two Race Horse Trading sons in Riverside House, Bridge. Henry Harvey, 46, was a Groom, his wife, 37, was the House Keeper and William Charles, 14, was an Errand Boy. William Charles was their only child and his connection with Bridge is clear. Seeing that he was 14 in the 1911 census, he would have been about 19 when he died.

F.C.Jones Pte. The Buffs.

In CWGC he is named as Frederick Charles Jones Private G/1377 in 2nd. Battalion The Buffs. He died on 12th May 1915, aged 24 and is commemorated on the Ypres [Menin Gate] Memorial to the Missing. Son of Mr. C.E. and Mrs. Mary Jones of Rosedale Villa, Bridge.

SD adds born and resided in Bridge, enlisted Ramsgate and was Killed in Action. RH agrees. From this it can be deduced that Frederick was killed in the 2nd Battle of Ypres which lasted from 22nd April to 25th May 1915. The Germans launched a full-scale attack to try to eliminate the Ypres Salient, capture the city and thrust southwards into France to seize the Channel Ports. They introduced two terrible new weapons in this offensive: poison gas and flame-throwers. The Salient was certainly squeezed in, but it did not break.

Frederick is the only other man out of the thirteen (along with Henry Dutnall) whose Service Record has survived. From it we learn that he was Single and a Gardener, living in Bridge when he enlisted in Ramsgate, aged 23 years and 1 month. He signed up for 3 years with the Colours as Private 1377 in The Buffs on 3rd September 1914. After training, he was posted to France on 24th April 1915 and was killed in action less than 3 weeks later on 12th May that year. His next-of-kin are named as his parents and his brothers all of Rosedale Villa, and his married sister Rose Lillian Harris of Holloway, London. His plaque and scroll were sent to his parents after the war, but his 1914-15 Star was sent to Miss Eva Hooker of Orchard Villa, Sturry. A scrap of a letter from her in which she acknowledges receipt of it survives too. It is tempting to assume that she was his sweetheart.

A good deal of this can be confirmed in the census documents. In 1901, in High St., Bridge, we find Charles E. Jones, 43, Retired Army Boot Contractor, born in Maidstone and his wife Mary, 45, born in Canterbury. Their five children were Rose L., 19, and Albert E., 12, both born in Canterbury; Frederick C., 9, George A., 6, and Arthur H., 2, all three born in Bridge.

By 1911, their father Charles Edward said he was living by Private Means and mother Mary declared that they had been married for 30 years and five of their seven children were alive and well. Rose Lillian was 29 and still at home unmarried; Albert Edward, 22, was a Dairyman; our Frederick Charles, 19, was an Assistant Gardener; George Alfred, 16, was an Apprentice Outfitter; Arthur Henry, 12, was at School. Their address was Rosedale Villa, Bridge, and it is possible, on the ground, to work out that this is the same house in which they were living in 1901.

A.J.Mann L.Cpl. E.Surrey Regt.

CWGC has Arthur John Mann Lance Corporal 18384 'B' Company 13th Battalion East Surrey Regiment. He died on 23rd. March 1918, aged 22, and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing. Son of Mrs. Emma Elizabeth Mann of 3, Brewery Lane, Bridge.

RH agrees and adds born in Bridge, enlisted in Kingston-on-Thames. SD says this too only adding that he was Killed in Action.

This evidence means that he went "missing presumed dead", and subsequently was confirmed as having been killed, in the huge offensive launched by the Germans in March 1918 along a broad section of the Western Front in a desperate attempt to win the war before the Americans could arrive in France in overwhelming numbers.

As he was 22 when he was killed, the first census in which he will appear is that of 1901. Here we find Emma Mann, 41, widow, Charwoman, born in Kearsney, Kent with her three sons Walter, 14, Post and Telegraph Boy; Charles, 11, both born Aldeburgh, Suffolk; Arthur 5, born in Bridge. They were living at 2, Brewery Lane, Bridge. One is immediately struck by the eldest boy's name, Walter, because W.C. Mann is the next name on the Memorial. The two might well be brothers.

By 1911, Emma and two of her boys had moved to No.3, Brewhouse Lane, which was the older version of this street name. Emma's second name is given as Elizabeth and she gave her birthplace as Ewell, Kent. Charles, now 21, was a Farm Labourer and Arthur John, 15, was an Apprentice Baker.

There can be no doubt that this is the correct Arthur John Mann and proves that he was born and brought up in Bridge. His enlistment in Kingston-upon-Thames is something of a puzzle unless, at some point after 1911 he had a job there, although Farm Labourers would not usually get work so far from home.

W.J.Mann Pte. Northd. Fus.

CWGC says he was Walter James Mann Private 1150 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. He died on 15th October 1914, aged 27, and was buried in the Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard at Laventie, to the west of Lille. Son of Emma Elizabeth Mann of 3, Brewery Lane, Bridge and the late Seth Mann. This clearly shows that the two soldiers, Arthur and Walter Mann, were brothers and gives us their father's name.

SD and RH add that he was born in Aldborough, Yorkshire, which is obviously wrong, and he enlisted in Canterbury. Only SD specifies that he was Killed in Action.

His very early death proves that he was a career soldier, not a wartime volunteer, because the army that Britain sent over in August 1914 were all professional soldiers. The German invasion of Belgium and northern France went sweeping past Lille and Walter would have fallen near there. The reason he enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers is not clear, but often a man joining up and expressing no particular preference for a specific Regiment would be assigned to one that, for whatever reason, was under-strength at the time.

To check Walter's first appearance in a census, we go back to 1891. Living in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, were Seth Mann, 34, born in Aldeburgh and his wife Emma E., 31, born in Ewell, Kent.

Seth's occupation is difficult to decipher because the page is faded and not very clearly written, but it could be Nautical Pilot. This would be entirely possible, given that Aldeburgh has a large harbour in the broad estuary of the River Alde. Their three children, all born in Aldeburgh, were Nellie M., 6; Walter J., 4; and Charles, 2.

When we dealt with Arthur in the census of 1901 (see previous entry) Walter was 14 and working as a Post Office and Telegraph Boy, but, by then Emma was a widow. The Death Records reveal that Seth Mann died in Bridge in April 1900 aged 44. So he had taken the family to Bridge sometime in the 1890's, but why a man working in his own home town as a Pilot should move to a land-locked Kent village is a mystery.

Walter is no longer at home in 1911 and the assumption that he must have been a career soldier to have been killed so early in the war is borne out when we find him in the census as Walter James Mann, 23, born in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, in the barracks of the 1st Battalion the Northumberland Fusiliers.

C.E.Perkins Chief P.O. HMS Aboukir.

In CWGC he is named as Charles Edward Perkins SS/105825 Royal Navy Stoker 1st Class on HMS Aboukir. He died on 22nd September 1914, aged 24, and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Son of Alfred and Mary Perkins of Derringstone Hill, Barham.

RH agrees with the Bridge Memorial that he was a Chief Petty Officer.

SD does not include him at all because he was a naval man, not a soldier.

The Naval Memorial at Chatham bears the names of over 8,300 seamen who died at sea in the Great War. The massive Memorial bears the inscription:

"In honour of the Navy and to the abiding memory
of these ranks and ratings of this port who laid down
their lives in the defence of the empire and have no
other grave than the sea."

Identical obelisks feature as Memorials in the other two manning ports of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth and Plymouth, and also act, like Chatham, as landmarks for shipping.

The register of the men named on the Chatham Memorial, kept in the Naval Chapel in the Garrison Church at Brompton Barracks, clearly states that he was a Stoker 1st Class.

In the first census where Charles would be included, 1901, his family appears living in Derringstone Street, Barham. His father, Alfred, was 42, an Engineer's Labourer, born in Northamptonshire, and his mother Mary was 39, a Laundress, born in Yorkshire. They had, in fact, lived all their married life in Derringstone. All six of their children had been born in Barham (presumably Derringstone): Henry, 20, a Brickmaker; Maude, 16, a Laundress; Alan, 14, a Gardener's Helper; our Charles, 10, at School; George, 7, at School; and baby Herbert, 2.

Their mother, Mary, died and was buried in St. John's, with her name entered in the Register as Minnie Perkins, in March 1909 aged 49. In 1911, Albert, aged 52, was a widower working as a Fitter's Labourer and still living in Derringstone. Only Herbert, aged 12 and at School, was still at home.

Charles, meanwhile, had joined the navy. He is listed as a Stoker, one of a small army of them, aboard HMS Lord Nelson in the Home Fleet. [HMS Lord Nelson was the last Royal Navy pre-Dreadnought battleship. She was launched in 1906 and completed in 1908. In 1914 she was the flagship of the Channel Fleet, but Charles was aboard HMS Aboukir by then.]

Given his complete credentials as a Barham man, it is no surprise that he is named on the Barham Memorial, but it makes it odd that he is included in Bridge as well unless, at some point after 1901, he had a job there until he enlisted. The earliest age for active service was 18 and he would have reached that age in about 1908. It seems he started as a Stoker and had reached 1st Class between then and the outbreak of war. It is possible that RH and the Bridge Memorial Committee were better informed than CWGC and knew that he had been promoted to Chief Petty Officer at the very beginning of the war.

The story of his death is dramatic. 3 British Armoured Cruisers, HMS Aboukir, HMS Hogue and HMS Cressy were sunk on 22nd September 1914 by a single U-Boat, U9, in the North Sea. The Admiralty were not expecting any enemy vessels in the area and the ships were not taking any precautions like zig-zagging. U9 fired one torpedo and hit HMS Aboukir amidships. She sank in 30 minutes. The other 2, assuming she had hit a mine, stopped to pick up survivors. HMS Hogue was hit by 2 torpedoes and sank in 15 minutes. HMS Cressy, realising what was happening, got under way. U9 fired 2 more and one hit. The strike was not fatal, but U9 fired the last of her 6 torpedoes to make sure. HMS Cressy sank in 15 minutes. U9's commander, Lieutenant Otto Weddigen was an overnight war-hero in Germany. [He was killed in action in another U-Boat in 1915.] In all, 837 seamen were rescued by nearby merchantmen and trawlers, but 1,459 men were lost including Chief Petty Officer Perkins.

C.H.Peirce L.Cpl. The Buffs.

CWGC only gives the initials C.H. and the same unusual spelling of the surname. He is recorded here as Private, not Lance Corporal, 5502 8th Battalion The Buffs. He died on 12th February 1916 and is buried in Menin Road South Military Cemetery in the Ypres Salient.

SD and RH agree, except in one respect: SD agrees with CWGC that he was a Private, but RH agrees with the Bridge Memorial that he was a Lance Corporal. Both give his full name as Charles Henry Peirce and add born Bishopsbourne, resided Bridge and enlisted Canterbury. SD states specifically Killed in Action.

Neither side was undertaking a major offensive at that time, but there were plenty of ways a man could be killed in the attrition of trench-warfare: shells, snipers, trench raids by both sides, wiring parties and patrols crawling around at night in No-Man's-Land, localised attacks by either side to gain more advantageous positions for their trenches.

In the census of 1891, at Crows Camp, Bishopsbourne, lived Anthony C. Peirce, 39, Farm Labourer, born Littlebourne and his wife Rosey, 37, born Bridge. With them were their seven children, all born in Bridge: Albert W., 15; Charlotte L., 12, Scholar; Frederick W., 9, Scholar; Rose H., 7, Scholar; George H., 5; Alfred J.W., 3; Charles H., 4 months.

By 1901, the family had moved to one of the four Bricknoggin Cottages beside the ford in Bridge, Three siblings had left home, but two more had been added, all born in Bridge: Frederick, 20, General Labourer; George H., 15, General Labourer; Alfred J., 13; our Charles H., 10; Martha M., 7; Robert A., 3.

By 1911, their mother, Rose, had died and Anthony Cornelius, 58, a widower, still a Farm Labourer had moved to 4, Primrose Alley, Bridge. With him were Alfred, 23, Farm Labourer; Charles, 20, Farm Labourer, but recorded as born in Bishopsbourne, not Bridge; Robert, 14, Farm Labourer.

Given that he was 20 in the 1911 census, we would have been about 25 when he was killed.

This research was carried out by local historian, Mark Joplin. He has also researched every name on the war memorials in Bekesbourne, Patrixbourne, Lower Hardres and Nackington. Please visit the church web site.

31 Oct
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~~~ Events ~~~
TOMORROW
Neighbourhood Plan Exhibition
Village Hall
Saturday, 1st November
10.00am - 1.00pm

Come and talk to committee member about the Neighbourhood Plan and give your feedback.

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LogoFarmers' Market
Red Lion
Saturday, 8th November
9.00am - 12 noon
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Bridge Village Fireworks
Church Meadow
Saturday, 8th November
5.30pm

Gates open 5.30pm for a 6-6.30pm start

Advance tickets from village stores and the school office. Family ticket £15; £6 for adults and £3 for children

Spectacular display, bonfire and a range of warming hot and cold food and drink.

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Logo Caring and Sharing
Monday, 10th November
7.30pm
The Bridge Benefice Caring & Sharing Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays in the month at 7.30 pm except for bank holidays and the school summer holidays.
~~~
For details of meetings and venues, contact the co-ordinator Peggy Pryer on 01227 832058 or by e-mail.
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Fish Scheme Coffee pop-in
Village Hall
Wednesday, 12th November
10.00am - 11.15am

The Annual General Meeting will take place during the Coffee Pop-In on Wednesday November 12th.

If you are eligible, do not forget to book a flu jab at your health centre.

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Parish Council Meeting
Village Hall
Thursday, 13th November
7.30pm

Women's Institute AGM
Village Hall
Tuesday, 18th November
7.30pm

The November meeting is the Annual Meeting when Officers and members

of the Committee are elected for the coming year.

After the business meeting, one of our members will give a short talk about her work with Jin Shin Jyutsu.

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LogoFarmers' Market
Red Lion
Saturday, 22nd November
9.00am - 12 noon
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Logo Caring and Sharing
Monday, 24th November
7.30pm
The Bridge Benefice Caring & Sharing Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays in the month at 7.30 pm except for bank holidays and the school summer holidays.
~~~
For details of meetings and venues, contact the co-ordinator Peggy Pryer on 01227 832058 or by e-mail.
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Horticultural Society
Village Hall
Tuesday, 2nd December
7.30pm

Our Social Evening is right at the beginning of December. This year

Jeff and Sylvia Wagner are going to entertain us with a Phantasmagoria

show entitled "A Garden Surprise". For those not "in the know", the

definition of Phantasmagoria is given as a type of magic-lantern show

in which rapidly moving images blend, change size etc as in a dream and,

in this case, accompanied by music. Intrigued? Then do join us on

Tuesday 2nd. As this is our Christmas meeting we will be serving light

refreshments after the entertainment. There will be a small admission

charge to include refreshments and, as always, all are welcome.

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31/10/2014 17:38:35