Basham Brothers Missing, 1942

Basham Brothers Missing in Action It must have been bad enough having one son go missing in action, but it must have been almost unbearable having two.  This article featured in the Bromley & District Times local newspaper, reporting on two brothers who were reported missing after the fall of Singapore in 1942. The brothers were the sons of Benjamin and Rose Basham of Bromley.  Bennett Thomas Basham was married to Constance Elsie (of Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk) who was living with his mother during the war. Both brothers were members…

Bromley High Street

Bromley High Street Written by Pam Preedy. Bromley High Street has been constantly changing through time. Shops come; shops go, reflecting changing tastes, fashions and time. The market started life in 1205, granted by King John at the manor of Bromley and became a feature of Bromley life. I remember it; a busy market at Station Road car park by Bromley North Station. In 2012 it was relocated to the High Street. The Glades changed the landscape behind the High Street and opened on 22nd October, 1991. When it was…

Ronald Frederick Leonard Tong

Pilot Officer Awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross  Pilot Officer R.F.L. Tong Among a number of awards approved by the King is the Distinguished Flying Cross to Pilot Officer Roland Frederick Leonard Tong, Royal Air Force, Volunteer Reserve, No. 57 Squadron. Born in Bromley in 1917, he is the son of Mr and Mrs P.C. Tong, S, Upper Park Road, and an Old Boy of the county School, Hayes Lane. Afterwards he was on the staff of the West Minister Bank (Lower Sloane Street branch).  He enlisted in June 1940, and…

A Romp through the History of Bromley

A romp through the history of Bromley Written by Pam Preedy. On 15th December, 1922, the Bromley and District Times announced that a Mammoth’s tooth, about five feet long, had been discovered in a gravel pit at Green-Street-Green. It seems quite amazing that mammoths were roaming over our local landscape until the end of the Ice Age over 12,000 years ago.  Perhaps early people living in Bromley would go out to hunt one of these huge mammals, or an early species of rhinoceros and hippopotamus. Throughout human history people must…

Night’s Heavy Blitz – April 1941

Night’s Heavy Blitz – April 1941 This report describes the aftermath of a heavy night of bombing on the town of Bromley in Kent on 16th April 1941. Due to government censorship of newspapers at the time, no exact location is given, other than a South-East residential location, but we now know this location to be Bromley, St Peter’s and St Pauls’ as the parish church which was destroyed, and the furniture depository being Dunn’s of Bromley which was located on Market Square. Heavy Bombs and Incendiaries in a residential…

Arthur James Smith

Presumed Killed Lieutenant A.J. Smith In June 1940, Mrs Smith, 58 Freeland Road, Bromley, received news that her husband, Lieutenant A.J. Smith, The Buffs, was missing, believed killed.  He was serving in France in May of that year, and when last seen was wounded. A communication has now been received by Mrs Smith stating that her husband is presumed to have been killed in action in May 1940. Lieutenant Smith, the son of Mr. W. Smith, 28 north Road, Bromley, served in the last warm and was wounded.  In 9123…

W. J. Bennett, Acting Leading Seaman

Missing Acting Leading Seaman W. J. Bennett  Acting Leading-Seaman W.J. Bennett, who has been posted missing, is the son of Mr and Mrs Bennett, 41 Gundolph Road, Bromley. He joined the Royal Navy after leaving the Royal Naval School, Greenwich, and was at Singapore when the Japanese captured that place.  Every endeavour is being made to ascertain what has happened to him and others left behind at Singapore. They may be prisoners of war.  Mr and Mrs Bennett have had a letter from the British Red Cross Society and Order…

Wedding of Hook & Ryan

Flight-Lieut Hook, RAF and Miss Ryan Flight-Lieutenant Robin Hook, RAF, only son of Mr and Mrs E.M. Hook, of The Croft, Beaconsfield Road, Bickley, was married on Monday at the Parish Church of St Jude, Mapperley, Nottingham, to Miss Mazie Doreen Ryan, only daughter of Mr and Mrs W. Ashwood Ryan, of Mapperley. The bridegroom, who took part in one of the first raids on Berlin, had as best man Flight-Lieutenant Eric Randall, D.F.C., his comrade in many raids over Germany. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. H. Taylor,…

Women’s Home Defence, 1942

Chance to Learn to Shoot “No Drills, No Red Tape, No Uniform” The announcement that a unit of the Women’s Home Defence is being formed in Bromley has aroused considerable interest among women over a wide area. The Women’s Home Defence is a voluntary movement started by women, and is sponsored by Dr. Edith Summerskill, M.P.  The Bromley organiser is Miss R.G. Cottrell, 6 Orchard Road. Seen by a Kentish time reporter, Miss Cottrell said she had already received about a dozen letters and cards from women who wrote in…

Bromley Warship Week, March 1942

Inaugurated by Admiral Sir Edward Evans “Time for all Hands on Deck” Everyone must make greater sacrifices. Bromley had raised £320,492 (up to noon Wednesday) towards the objective of £400,000 to adopt HMS Broke, the famous ship with which the name distinguished sailor and Artic explorer, Admiral Sir Edward Evans, K.C.B., D.S.O, LL.D (Evans of the Broke), is and always will be associated. On the opening day (Saturday) the Mayor (Councillor H. Lynch-Watson, J.P.) was able to set the indicator at the six-figure sum of £209,516; the figures on Monday…