Arthur Bellringer

Corproal Bellringer Councillor’s Son Missing at Singapore Corporal Arthur Bellringer R.A.S.C.. second son of Councillor Mrs Bellringer, of West Wickham, is officially reported missing at Singapore.  The official intimation, however, gives some ground for hoping that he is a prisoner of war. On April 20 – several days after the War Office message – Mrs Bellringer received a letter from her son.  It was dated January 10 and stated: “We are still at sea, but only for one more day; in fact, when this letter is posted you will know…

Rector of West Wickham Leaving: 1942

Rev. Charles A. S. Page was the Rector of West Wickham for nearly 12 years, before he moved onto Hawkinge near Folkstone.  When he moved had been recently widowed, and his only son Squadron Leader Harry Charles Shaw Page, had been reported as missing (this report was mentioned earlier in the same newspaper, page 5) Rector Leaving Rev. C.A.S. Page Coing to Hawkinge Speech at Church Meeting The Rev. C.A.S. Page, D.S.O., M.C., Rector of West Wickham for nearly 12 years, has accepted the offer of the living of Hawkinge,…

Squadron Leader Henry Charles Shaw Page

Henry Charles Shaw Page (known as Harry) was the only son of West Wickham Rector Charles Alexander Shaw Page and Beatrice Ellen Page, ; and husband to Nancy Mary Heather Page, of Retford, Nottinghamshire. Having served in the Middlesex Regiment, he later joined Squadron 61 of the RAF. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1941 for his part in numerous raids over Germany and was promoted to Squadron Leader that same year. Sadly after being reported as missing, he was later found to have died on 31st January 1942,…

F/O Harold Sydney Mellows

Flying Officer H.S. Mellows West Wickham Rotarians stood in silence at their meeting on Monday in tribute to the memory of a fellow-member, Flying Officer H.S. Mellows, M.B.Ch., R.AF.V.R, M.O., physician and surgeon, who was killed on active service. Past-resident the Rev. W.A.M. Parker, speaking at the request of the president (Mr C.D. Norman) said, “It is the first time that a death in this way has invaded the ranks of the West Wickham Rotary Club, but we feel that it was a glorious way for our friend to end…

British Restaurant opens in West Wickham – WW2

I chose this one because my mother and Grandmother volunteered there British Restaurant A British restaurant was opened in Glebe Way, West Wickham, on Wednesday.  The Mayor of Beckenham, (Alderman W.J. Sampson, J.P.), and Wickham members of the Borough Council attended the opening ceremony. The restaurant faces the new fire station and takes in three or four empty shops in this long row of pre-war shops and flats in tenanted.  The Municipal restaurant, by the way, is to be known as “The Yew Tree.”  Apparently it is named after the tuckshop…

Harry Charles Shaw Page

Promotion for Rector’s Son Squadron Leader Page Flight Lieutenant Harry Charles Shaw Page, D.F.C., only son of Lieutenant-Colonel and Mrs Page, of West Wickham Rectory, has been gazetted squadron leader in the R.A.F. He has taken part in numerous raids on Germany and was in the first flight over Hamburg. Source: Bromley & District Times, 12th September 1941 (page 5)

Flying Officer Ross James

Roll of Honour MISSING. Hero who raided Berlin A fortnight ago we announced that the Distinguished Flying Cross had been awarded to Flying Officer Ross James, R.A.F., son of Mr and Mrs H.J. James, of 20 The Mead, West Wickham. Since then official intimation has been received that Flying Officer James is missing after operations over Germany. This popular young officer, who is only 27, had taken part in more than thirty raids over Germany including Berlin, and he had flown “Flying Fortresses” across the Atlantic. He belonged to the…

Communal Kitchens coming to Beckenham – WW2

Communal kitchens were created in the 1940’s, during the Second World War, to help people who had been either bombed out of their homes, run out of ration coupons or otherwise needed help.   These community feeding centres were named ‘British Restaurants’ by the, then, Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.   Set up by the Ministry of Food, the centres were run by the local government or volunteers.  Both my mother and grandmother helped at the British Restaurant which operated in West Wickham, Kent. Meals were sold at a set price of 9d…

Refugee Wedding: Pittock-Buss to Gross

Geoffrey Pittock-Buss was born in Croydon in 1919, the son of civil servant James John Adam Pittock-Buss (1885–1962) and Marion May Battishall (1881–1961), who was a professional singer. He attended Whitgift School in South Croydon between 1931-35, before starting a career in journalism and publishing. He set up the New Vision Publishing Company and in 1944 published Vera Brittain’s “Seeds of Chaos: What Mass Bombing Really Means” for the Bombing Restriction Committee. He edited or worked on local newspapers in Kent and south London as well as The Illustrated London…

Heroes of the A.F.S. – Five Young Men Killed on Service

On the 19th March 1941, five local firemen lost their lives whilst on duty during the London bombings. The London Fire Brigade had been under intense pressure from the many fires caused by enemy bombs and had to frequently call in reinforcements from outlying areas.  It was on this fated night at West Ham that the Coney Hall Auxillary Fire Service was called to action.  On convey to a fire in Silvertown their truck was obliterated by a land-mine explosion, killing five of its crew. (Charles) Wesley Drew, Dennis Gerald…