Toc H (an abbreviation of Talbot House) was styled as an “Every Man’s Club”, where all soldiers were welcome, regardless of rank.
Founded in 1915, by Neville Talbot, a then senior army chaplain, and the Reverend Philip Thomas Byard (Tubby) Clayton, it became a soldiers’ rest and recreation centre, with an aim to promote Christianity. It was named in memory of Neville’s brother Gilbert Talbot, who had been killed at Hooge in July 1915
Talbot House soon became known by its initials TH, and then by the radio signallers’ phonetic alphabet of the day as ‘Toc Aitch.’
Toc H Houses soon appeared in town across the country.
West Wickham News
Talk to Coney Hall Toc H
Captain T.H. Taylor, of the Canadian Royal Army Service Corps, speaking to members of Coney Hall Toc H on Friday, said that in his opinion the president of the United States, Mr Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the greatest man in the English-speaking world.
“In the United States,” said Captain Taylor, “there are 30 million people of German descent who go back not more than two generations to Germany. Despite that fact I do not have to remind you that from the time Britain declared war, President Roosevelt, in the beginning almost alone, was violently pro-British. It is a saga of courage to reflect on how that one man, because he was in a key position, single-handedly carried a nation which originally was isolationist in attitude along the paths which we ourselves were walking as belligerents.”
Of Mr Churchill, Captain Taylor said, “He is without doubt the right type to face up to Hitler; he can certainly talk his kind of language and I cannot forget that on the radio some time ago he asserted that if Hitler wanted to play rough, we would play rough, too.”