Lord Croft Watches over Gun Crew, 1941

Henry Page Croft, 1st Baron Croft was a decorated British soldier and a Conservative Party politician.  In 1940 Croft was appointed by Winston Churchill as Under-Secretary of State for War, a post he would hold until July 1945. In October 1941, Lord Croft visited Bromley and watched over a gun crew at work. Source: Bromley & District Times, 17th October 1941 (page 5)

Women’s War-time Services, 1941

Attractive procession in Bromley Second Week of Salvage Drive Representatives of many of the women’s war-time services took part in a ladies’ procession on Thursday, last week, to further the fortnight’s salvage campaign in Bromley, which technically closed on Saturday. —- A tableau in the Women’s Procession as it passed the Municipal Buildings, where the salute was appropriately taken by the Deputy-Mayor, Councillor Margaret Stafford Smith. Source: Bromley & District Times, 3rd October 1941 (page 5)

Captain Quentin B. Hurst: Killed in Action

Captain Quentin Hurst, the Rifle Brigade, previously reported as missing, is now known to have been killed in action on April 7, 1941. The only son of Judge and Lady Hurst, he was born in Manchester (which his father represented in Parliament for 16 years) in 1912 and educated at Marlborough.  He follows in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather, Sir Alfred Hopkinson, by winning a scholarship at Lincoln College, Oxford.  In 1932 he gained the Stanhope Historical Essay Prizes; in 1933 a first in history; in 1934 a second…

War Savings Campaign

Permanent Memorial for the Borough In the hour of peril People of Bromley earned the gratitude of the British nations Sustaining the valour of The Royal Air Force and Fortifying the cause of freedom by the gift of Spitfire Aircraft They shall mount up with wings as eagles Above we give a reproduction of the tablet sent down by the Ministry of Aircraft Production as an acknowledgment to the people of Bromley for their gift of a fighter aircraft. It is at present in the Mayor’s Parlour, but will no…

Cigarettes for Prisoners of War

Rooms at Rothwell, Sundridge Avenue are used five days a week by the workers, who number a hundred, most of whom are volunteers. Miss N.L. Spicer is the manager of the Centre with Miss Galloway, head storekeeper, and Mrs Ford Hutchinson, assistant storekeeper. Seen by a Kentish Times representative, Miss Spicer, who is the daughter of Mr Leonard Spicer, 20 Orchard Way, and the late Mrs Spicer gave some interesting particulars of the useful piece of war work tat is being done in bringing consolation to the brave men of…

Mrs Ethel Augusta Pond

Recognition for Bravery Red Cross Distinguished War Service Certificate The many friends of Mrs Ethel A. Pond, MBE, Commandant Kent 50 Voluntary Aid Detachment, will be delighted to hear that she has been awarded the British Red Cross Society’s Distinguished War Service Certificate or devotion to duty on the night of a severe raid in April. She went out with the mobile canteen serving tea and light refreshments to firemen and members of the Civil Defence Services in the midst of danger always, and at times under the arch of…

Bad Traffic Lights

It’s strange to imagine a world without traffic lights, as they have now become a necessity in keeping our busy roads safe and less chaotic.  Before traffic lights, police controlled the flow of traffic using hand signals.  The world’s first traffic light was installed in London in December 1868.  It as a gas-lit signal operated manually by a policeman.  Unfortunately this model had limited success, as less than a month later it exploded after it was implemented, injuring its operator. The more modern electric traffic light was developed in 1912…

Complaints about Food Waste, 1941

Looks like complaints about food waste is not a new phenomenon.  Although it seems comical now, this complaint printed in the Bromley & District newspaper in February 1941 shows a real disgust at the thought of people wasting their unwanted sandwiches! Coats Off I dunno. Some people don’t realise there is a war on. Three times a week somebody leaves a packet of fresh sandwiches in a public convenience in Sidcup.  On the floor, too – so they are to all intents spoiled. We journalists (hum!) like to weave stories…

Call out for local knitters to help with the war effort

It is amazing how history can repeat itself.  This article asking for knitters to help create woollen clothing for the Winter season in 1941 especially resonated with me as it reminded me of the recent plea for sewers across the country to help put together hospital scrubs for medical staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. It seems we have always been a nation willing to help his fellow man in times of national need. This small article appeared in the local Bromley & District newspaper.  I wonder what the take up…

Flying Officer Peter E.A. Loat

The Battle of Cape Matapan was a Second War engagement between British Imperial and Axis forces, fought from 27–29 March 1941. The cape is on the south-west coast of the Peloponnesian peninsula of Greece. Following the interception of Italian signals by the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park ships of the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy, under the command of the Royal Navy’s Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, intercepted and sank or severely damaged several ships of the Italian  Regia Marina under Squadron-Vice-Admiral Angelo Iachino. The opening…