First World War Project
Home News - December 1914
More local men are lost and newspapers report on the "Invasion of Kent by Germany....."
Continental weather slows military movement in France and Flanders alongside the increasing dependence on entrenched positions. But casualties continue from shell barrages, sniping and local engagements. Those who relied on newspapers for information about the war were given a taste of what it might be like if Kent were invaded as a consequence of a lack of urgency from the "manhood of Kent". This coincided with the very real bombardment of the North East of England...
December sees two casualties in our Kingsdown and Creekside Parochial Parish - one from Lynsted Parish, the other from Newnham Parish. It was clear by now that the War was not going to end by Christmas (or even Easter). A much longer period of war was now being contemplated. More injured men are being cared for at home, in part by Voluntary Aid Detachments established in most large towns and all cities. The increased costs associated with injured servicemen led to many more calls for public donations and fund-raising (see below). You can follow the progress of the European and other theatres through our transcriptions of the relevant London Gazette Despatches from "The Front" which can be found in the left-hand column of this page.
At home, there were real fears of attack all along the east coast. The fear was realised this month as German cruisers bombard the coast around Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool. This very real attack took place a few days after the melodramatic 'mock report' on a supposed invasion of Kent in our own local newspapers. (see Artefacts - "Invasion of Kent!").
Theft of Hop Poles - Greenstreet
|Faversham and North East Kent News of 5th December 1914|
|OLD MAN'S THEFT AT GREENSTREET. SPECIAL CONSTABLE'S VIGILANCE: "Reuben French, an old man living at Greenstreet was charged at the Faversham Country Police Court on Wednesday (before E. Chambers, Esq), with stealing a quantity of hop poles, value 9d., the property of Mr. James French on December 1st.
Albert Ernest Ferris, of Woodthorpe, Lynsted, stated he was a special constable and was on duty at Greenstreet on Tuesday night. At about ten minutes past ten he saw the prisoner proceeding towards his home with what appeared to be a bundle of poles. A few minutes later he returned up the street and went towards Mr. James French's hop-garden in about two minutes he returned with the hop poles produced. Witness followed him and stopped him at the passage where he lived and asked him where he got the poles from. He replied "Up in the hop-garden. Witness then asked him if anyone had given him permission to take them and he said "No, I can take them back." Witness took possession of the poles and later on handed prisoner over to P.C. Hogg.
P.C. Hogg stated that when he charged prisoner he replied "All right, that's the last place I worked."
Mr James French, Jr., of New House Farm, Greenstreet, son of the prosecutor, valued the poles produced at 9d. and stated that they had missed a fair number of poles lately from the hop-garden.
Prisoner was remanded in custody to the Petty Sessions on the following day."
….. Petty Session Report …. "He had no excuse to offer. All he could say, he said, was that he took the poles, but he knew nothing about what had been taken before.
In reply to the Chairman, prisoner said he was 68 years of age.
Supt Lawrence said prisoner had been living alone and seemed to have been getting his living anyhow. In June last he was before the Court for stealing coal, and was bound over for six months, which period had not yet expired.
The Chairman suggested to the old man that the best thing he could do was to into the Workhouse where he would be properly fed and clothed, and would be able to keep out of trouble.
Prisoner expressed his readiness to go into the House, and on the understanding that he did so the Bench bound him over for a further six months.
Crime at Home continues - Reuben French
|South Eastern Gazette of 8th December 1914|
|FAVERSHAM COUNTY POLICE COURT. At this Court on Thursday [3rd December], Reuben French, 68, who had been living alone at Greenstreet, was charged on remand and pleaded guilty to stealing a quantity of hop poles, value 9d., the property of Mr. James French, at Greenstreet, on December 1st. It was mentioned that in June last the prisoner was bound over for stealing coal. The magistrates decided to bind the old man over again on the understanding that he went into the workhouse. He expressed his readiness to go there.|
Announced: D.C.M. Awarded to Greenstreet man - Corporal Bradford
|East Kent Gazette of 9th January 1915|
GREENSTREET. POSTMAN SOLDIER GAINS DISTINCTION.- The many friends of Corporal Bradford, of the Highland Light Infantry (who in civil life is attached to the Greenstreet Post Office), will be pleased to learn that he has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, for services rendered in action at the Front, on December 3rd inst."
An expanded Report appeared in the issue of 6th February: "At the Battle of Mons the Corporal was in the trenches for 62 hours at a stretch, under heavy fire; but it is for work done on November 14th, when the Germans were defeated near Ypres, that he has, more especially, been awarded the coveted honour. He had a very narrow escape then while on patrol duty, and, later, nearly the whole of a trench from which he was firing, was blown up by shell fire. Bradford was buried by the fall of earth, and the three men next to him were blown to pieces. The two officers were also killed.
Chimney Spark sets thatched cottages alight in Teynham
|South Eastern Gazette of 8th December 1914|
|COTTAGE FIRE AT TEYNHAM. Early on Friday [4th December] afternoon a fire, caused by a spark from a chimney alighting on the thatched roof, broke out at a pair of cottages at Barrow Green, Teynham. Fanned by the gale of wind that was blowing the flames quickly spread, and in a few minutes both cottages were ablaze. The Sittingbourne Fire Brigade were summoned, and with Captain Peters in charge, and the steamer, they were soon on the scene. But by the time the brigade arrived, so quickly had the fire done its work, both cottages were burned out, only the walls remaining. One of the cottages had been vacated only on the previous day, and the other cottage was occupied by a family named Hopkins, Some of the furniture was saved. The cottages were hired by Mr. H.T. Bensted, of Teynham Court, for his employees. The total damage was £200.|
Official Order to restrict potential spy activities
|Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald of 5th December 1914|
|DEFENCE TACTICS. LATEST ORDERS TO SECURE PUBLIC SAFETY. The new order for the defence of the realm and the protection of British citizens is issued. It takes the form of a third supplement to the "London Gazette." and was issued on Monday night. The order states:-
"The ordinary avocations of life will be interfered with as little as may be permitted by the exigencies of the measures required to be taken for securing the public safety and the defence of the realm, and ordinary civil offences will be dealt with by the civil tribunals in the ordinary course of law."
The order further indicates that the severest penalties will be imposed upon all classes of people who without authority are found in the possession of searchlights, semaphores, wireless instruments, false passports, or literature containing false statements. The regulations cover the gamut of possible offence which may endanger the safety of the loyal citizen.
Over-optimistic views on the duration of the War threatens recruitment
|South Eastern Gazette of 8th December 1914|
|THE DURATION OF THE WAR. The probable duration of the war is a topic which is being much discussed at the present time. Latterly there has been a revival of the optimism which was so much in evidence during the first few weeks of the conflict, and dogmatic assertions are frequently heard to the effect that next spring will see the signing of peace between the Allies and the German and Austrian Governments. This sort of talk is much to be deprecated; firstly, because there is insufficient ground for a belief that the war is within measurable distance of coming to an end; and, secondly, because such idle assertions are calculated to cause grave injury to the recruiting campaign. That Germany will be crushed eventually there is, happily, but little doubt, but before that day arrives the full fighting strength of the Empire will have been put to a severe test. Many more men are needed for our new armies; the earlier they can be put into the field the sooner will final victory be achieved. What is more likely than anything else to lengthen the war is the easy conversion that the Germans are on the point of relaxation and will be unable to keep up the struggle for many more months. We cannot better state the true position than by quoting two passages from a recent narrative from the Eye-witness who is with the headquarters of our Expeditionary Force. After describing the recent extremely sever fighting near Ypres the writer says: "The fact that the situation has now been relieved is no reason for assuming that the enemy has abandoned his intention to press through to the sea; and the same task lies before the British Army of maintaining its share in the struggle until the nation in arms shall come to our support."
Then at the end of his narrative the writer tells us that the war is "going to be one of exhaustion" and that "after the regular armies of the belligerents have done their work it will be upon the measures taken to prepare and utilise the raw material of the manhood of the countries concerned that final success will depend. This implies trained men - hundreds of thousands of trained and disciplined men.
|South Eastern Gazette of 8th December 1914|
|KENT VOLUNTARY AID DETACHMENTS. - THE APPEAL FOR FUNDS. We would again direct the attention of our readers to the appeal which is being made for funds on behalf of the Kent voluntary Aid Detachments. In view of the fact that the Kent V.A.D. Hospitals, now accommodating 2,500 wounded, will be regularly used for all kinds of troops, including Territorials, the amount estimated to be required for the current year's work is £25,000 at least. Between £17,000 and £18,000 is still needed. It is earnestly to be hoped that the public of Kent will not allow the work of the Hospitals to be crippled for want of funds. All who can possibly afford to do so should give something, and give it at once. In another part of this paper we publish the complete list of subscriptions to date.|
Wife not competent to buy "non-necessaries"....so husband not liable for payment
|South Eastern Gazette of 15th December 1914|
|FAVERSHAM. COUNTY COURT. At the Faversham County Court on Friday [11th December], his Honour Judge Shortt refused to give judgment in a claim by G. Thurston Clarke, house furnisher, against E.G. Boorman, farm labourer, of Oare. The claim was for £1 19s. 2d. Balance of account. The goods, it appeared, included a gramophone at two guineas, and were ordered by the defendant's wife. His Honour disallowed the claim on the ground that a labourer's wife, while having implied authority to order necessaries, had no implied authority to order such a thing as a two guinea gramophone, which was not a necessity.|
Men Serving from the Creekside cluster - newspapers list
A list of serving men (Navy and Army) from our Creekside Cluster was carried by the Faversham and North East Kent News on three dates - 12th December 1914 (Norton, Lynsted and Teynham); 2nd January 1915 (Davington and Oare); and 6th February (Newnham and Doddington). That full list is reproduced below and on January 1915.
Recognising the risks of epidemic by creating isolation hospitals
|The Times of 26th December 1914|
|FEVER HOSPITAL FOR SOLDIERS.
The efficiency of the preventive measures of the Royal Army Medical Corps against epidemic disease has been abundantly proved, as the smallness of the number of cases of typhoid fever and dysentery in the Army shows. Nevertheless, it was fully recognized in September last that a fever hospital for the exclusive use of the troops would be necessary at home to meet possible emergencies. It was also recognized that a fully equipped pathological laboratory should be in readiness.
An offer of civilian help to meet these needs was therefore at once accepted by Sir Alfred Keogh and his staff, who, together with Sir Frederick Treves, have given the project every possible assistance, and a committee, of which Queen Alexandra is president, was formed to make the necessary arrangements. Suitable hospital accommodation has now been provided for about 150 acute cases, and, in order to reduce the danger from convalescent carriers to a minimum, the hut system is being installed on a scale sufficiently large to enable a practically unlimited number of convalescents to come under observation, if the need for this should arise.
The use of the necessary house and grounds has been placed at the disposal of the committee by the trustees of Addington Park, the property of the late Mr. F.A. English, and the expenses of the undertaking have been mainly provided by the War Office, supplemented by contributions from the Red Cross, and from private individuals. The hospital was opened for the reception of patients on December 13.
Naval bombardment of Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby - 17th December
|Daily Express of 17th December 1914|
|GERMAN NAVAL RAID ON THE ENGLISH COAST. SCARBOROUGH, WHITBY, AND THE HARTLEPOOLS BOMBARDED BY BATTLE CRUISERS: ESCAPE OF THE ENEMY'S FORCE. - HUNDREDS KILLED AND WOUNDED - FULL ADMIRALTY ACCOUNT (9.20p.m.). The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following announcement:- This morning a German cruiser force made a demonstration on the Yorkshire coast in the course of which they shelled Hartlepool, Whitby, and Scarborough [See right: Illustrated London News photo]. A number of their fastest ships were employed for this purpose, and they remained about an hour on the coast. They were engaged by the patrol vessels on the spot.
As soon as the presence of the enemy was reported, a British patrolling squadron endeavoured to cut them off. On being sighted by British vessels, the Germans retired at full speed, and, favoured by the mist, succeeded in making good their escape. The losses on both sides are small, but full reports have not yet been received.
The Admiralty take the opportunity of pointing out that demonstrations of this character against fortified towns or commercial ports, though not difficult to accomplish, provided that a certain amount of risk is accepted, are devoid of military significance.
They may cause some loss of life among the civil population and some damage to private property, which is much to be regretted; but they must not in any circumstances be allowed to modify the general naval policy which is being pursued.
THE NEW ARMY UNDER FIRE. 11.35 p.m. The following statement has been received from the War Office for publication:-
At 8 p.m. to-day three enemy ships were sighted off Hartlepool. At 8.15 they began the bombardment. The ships appeared to be two battle cruisers and one armoured cruiser.
The land batteries replied, and are reported to have hit and damaged the enemy. At 8.50 the firing ceased and the enemy steamed away.
None of our guns were touched. One shell fell into the Royal Engineers' lines, and several in the lines of the 18th (Service) Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry, the casualties among the troops amounting to seven killed and fourteen wounded.
Some damage was done to the town and the gas works were set on fire. During the bombardment, especially in West Hartlepool, the people crossed in the streets, and approximately twenty-two were killed and fifty wounded.
At the same time a battle cruiser and an armoured cruiser appeared off Scarborough and fired about fifty shots, which caused considerable damage, and thirteen casualties are reported.
At Whitby two battle cruisers fired some shots, doing damage to buildings, and the following casualties are reported: Two killed, two wounded.
At all three places there was an entire absence of panic, and the demeanour of the people was everything that could be desired.
A Review of the Impact of War on ordinary lives on the Kent Coast
|The Times of 18th December 1914|
ENGLAND IN TIME OF WAR. [PART] IV.- THE COAST OF KENT. – FROM DOVER TO THE NORTH FORELAND. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS.
KENTISH RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES.
This is not the time or place, even were it permissible, to discuss the measures proposed, or the local regulations actually enforced, by the civil and military authorities. It is interesting, however,, to observe that the problems with which the local emergency committees have to deal are in many cases complicated, not only by the peculiar privileges and liberties vested in the burghers of the ancient towns and limbs of the Cinque Ports, but by a certain absence of coordination between the measures contemplated respectively by the Home Office, by the Admiralty, and by the War Office. And, behind and above all these, an elusive and perplexing factor, lurks the mysterious, medieval shadow of the Chief Constable of Kent. The plain citizen, anxious above all to be helpful in war time and to do the duty which lies nearest to his hand, frequently finds himself lost in the fog of official instructions which refer to restricted, specified, prohibited, and proclaimed areas, to the treatment of aliens therein, and many other complex matters, especially as those instructions have a desultory manner of their own in coming to hand, and often appear to reach those concerned solely by the good grace of Providence.
EFFECT ON INDUSTRIES.
The war has produced little or no economic distress on the coast of Kent; on the contrary, there is a very lively business boom, and a certain deficiency of labour, in many of the sea-coast towns. Certain places (especially Folkestone) whose livelihood is mainly derived from the business of boarding-houses and pleasure-boats for summer visitors were seriously affected when the war broke out, but they have since more than recovered their losses by the entertainment of well-to-do Belgian refugees and by the billeting and supplying of the Territorials and other troops in their districts. At Deal and Sandwich even those trades which in other parts of the country have felt the effect of the war, such as jewellers and photographers, have done good business with the "absent-minded beggar" and the girl he proposes to leave behind him. So great has been the rush for photographs in this district that certain special constables engaged in this trade have been relieved from duty for six weeks at a time as a matter of public urgency.
EMPLOYMENT OF REFUGEES.
In the opinion of many with whom I have discussed the problem of farm labour, as well as the dearth of women workers in certain local industries, it would seem feasible to introduce remedial measures by closer consultation and cooperation between the Belgian Refugees Committee and the Local Government Board and Labour Exchanges. Amongst the working-class refugees who are now being compulsorily directed inland by the authorities, to enjoy the hospitality of our provincial towns, there are undoubtedly many who would prefer to remain and to find work in or near the seaboard, and who might reasonably be permitted to do so, to the general advantage of all concerned. In one case for instance, which occurred recently at Deal, several Belgians who were doing good work for an Admiralty contract in a sprat-packing factory, able and only too willing to support their families in this way, have been sent to live in enforced idleness in the wilds of Lancashire. In a pathetic letter addressed to a member of the Refugees Committee, this little group of exiles have begged to be permitted to return to Deal and to the dignity of labour.
† - Third Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 19th December, nr. Armentières, France
Charles Alfred TOLHURST (of Lynsted with Kingsdown), Killed in action, aged 30 years
† - Fourth Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 25th December, nr. Radinghem, France
Walter George Smith (of Newnham), Killed in action, aged 25 years
Air Raids become a feature for those in the Home Front - Sheerness and Southend
Marriage on 26th December 1914: CROUCHER - WILLIAMSON: Frederick William Croucher (b 1890; parents Abram Croucher) married Rose Ethel Williamson (b 1889; parents Alfred George Williamson) in Lynsted.
Soldiers in trouble for theft - Faversham and Sittingbourne Courts
|Faversham and North East Kent News of c.26th December 1914|
FAVERSHAM POLICE COURT. At the Borough Police Court on Saturday, James Hayward and George Byrd, of the 3rd West Lancashire Brigade, R.F.A., which is billeted in the town, were charged with stealing of chicken and a duck, value 6s., the property of William George Marsh, landlord of the Abbey Tavern, Faversham, on December 24th. The chicken and duck, it appeared, were missed about 9.30 p.m. from the scullery at the Abbey Tavern, where they had been left hanging. The police were informed, and as a result of inquiries by P.C.s Burgess and Bowsher the prisoners were apprehended at one o'clock on Christmas morning at their billets, the duck being produced by Byrd and the chicken by Hayward. The birds were subsequently identified by the owner. When charged with the theft Byrd replied "We were both together." Hayward made no reply. P.C. Bowsher stated in evidence that both men looked as though they had been drinking. The Magistrates, taking into account that prisoners had been drinking, and apparently had not premeditated the theft, also the fact that they would be dealt with by the military authorities, decided, after some deliberation, to dismiss the case.
SITTINGBOURNE PETTY SESSIONS. ROYAL MARINE'S BAD CHARACTER.- At the Sittingbourne Petty Sessions on Monday, Ernest Herbert Williams, alias Cullum, a private in the R.M.L.I., stationed at Chatham, was charged with fraudulently obtaining a quantity of bread, cakes, biscuits and chocolates from Mr. Cramp, baker, and with obtaining lodgings by false pretences from Mrs. Mary Hains, at Rainham. Prisoner came to Rainham on December 11th and represented himself as a sergeant in the Royal Marines, though he was only wearing one stripe. He said his father was an officer, and that he (prisoner) had been wounded at Antwerp. He was stated to have walked with a limp, but when spoken to by Sergt. Ashton, who ordered him to take off his bandage, it was found there was nothing the matter with the leg. An officer in Court said prisoner only enlisted on November 10th, and he was not entitled to the stripe he was wearing or the ribbon of the medal of the Royal Humane Society. Supt. Crowhurst said he had taken the prisoner's finger prints and sent them to Scotland Yard. By this means it was found that he had been convicted at Bristol and Dover for theft, and four other convictions had been recorded against him.- Pleading guilty, prisoner was sentenced to three months' hard labour.
ARTEFACTS - Background Records...................
Winter of December/January (Reuter)
In the region of Ypres our artillery effectively returned the fire of the enemy, and succeeded in making very good practice on the German trenches.
From the Lys to the Oise: In the region of La Boiselle our troops seized a trench after violent fighting.
North-east of Soissons, on Spur 132, our troops repulsed yesterday a German attack. Then they attacked in their turn and carried two lines of trenches of the enemy on a front of about 1,000 yards, extending towards the east the trenches captured on January 3, and ensuring for us the complete possession of Spur 132.
On the Aisne and in Champagne as far as Rheims there have been artillery duels. From Rheims to the Argonne our artillery bombarded the first line of the enemy's trenches and the shelters of the reserves.
North of Perches, after having beaten back the counter-attacks reported yesterday evening, we made progress and captured a line of 220 yards of trenches.
To the north of Beausejour the enemy made stubborn endeavours to retake the little fort which he had lost. His counter-attacks were each made with two battalions, the second one in close formation.. Both attacks were repulsed after having been very severely punished.
In the Argonne there were some slight engagements. Our front was maintained. Between the Meuse and the Moselle the day was calm. In the Vosges there was a heavy fall of snow. Some shells fell on Old Thann and on Hill 425.- Reuter. Reported in the Daily Express on 12 January 1915
|South Eastern Gazette of 8th and 22nd December 1914|
IF THE GERMANS CAME TO KENT. What might happen in the Event of Invasion. - THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNPREPAREDNESS.
Suppose the Germans favoured greatly by circumstances (as they would need to be) succeeded in defeating our Fleet in the North Sea an thereby obtained command of the English Channel. This would give them the opportunity for putting into effect one of the different schemes for an invasion of England on which the best brains in their Navy and Army command have been concentrated for years past. It cannot be doubted that one of these schemes contemplates a landing on the shores of Kent by reason of the important strategical position of the county in relation to London. An invading army on the Kent coast would be within a few days march of the capital of the British Empire!
SACK OF RAMSGATE AND MARGATE
The first thing undertaken by the invaders as a preliminary to commencing the march for London would be to sack the coast towns of Ramsgate and Margate. Already the population of these towns, or the great bulk of it, would have fled in panic, or at least would as could be carried. The work of movements as they could carry. The work of movements of the defending army would thus be hampered, for all the roads in Thanet for the time being would be choked. It is certain that with the invading army established at Ebbsfleet, nothing could be done to save either of the two towns named. They would fall an easy prey to the Germans, and everything of value to the invaders would be mercilessly commandeered. Any hesitation even, on the part of the inhabitants remaining, to hand over goods or money on demand would be punished by rifle shots or bayonet thrusts, and nether sex nor age would be spared by troops stained with the blood of the women and girls - and even children - of Belgium. In the London papers on the following day we should see paragraphs such as this:
or we might read something like the following:-
BOMBARDMENT OF CANTERBURY.
Commencing their advance towards London, the invaders would probably make for Canterbury, having seized the main road leading to that place from Ramsgate, and also that from Sandwich, which place they would doubtless have occupied previously. The Ashford an Ramsgate branch railway line would also be in their possession, though they would be unable to make any use of this owing to the lines having been destroyed by the defending troops on falling back the previous day. Nearing Canterbury the enemy would find our troops in increased numbers and strongly entrenched, with artillery placed in commanding positions. They would commence a terrific battle, starting with a furious cannonade. The German artillery would be directed not only against the troops opposed to them, but also against the city of Canterbury in their rear, and the Cathedral would be chosen as a special target. The famous Bell Harry Tower would soon be in ruins, the shrine of Thomas a Becket wrecked, the whole roof from one end of the sacred place to the other in flames. And the more stubborn the resistance of the still insufficient force of the defending troops, the more complete would be the destruction of the Cathedral rising majestically behind their positions and of other property within reach of the German guns. Civilians hurrying through the streets in order to escape from the city would be killed by fragments of "Black Marias" and failing masonry; sick people - men, women and children - would be burnt to death in their beds through their homes being set alight by bursting shells.
The situation would be put in a communiqué issued by the Press Bureau in London in some such words as these:-
[Follow-up "report" delayed to 22nd December – perhaps because of the real attack on Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool? - A very good account of this shelling of the North East Coast can be read on this excellent website - www.naval-history.net]"
Published by South Eastern Gazette on 22nd December 1914: "IN CASE OF INVASION. Some weeks have elapsed since instructions in respect to the civil population in the event of a landing of an enemy force on our shores were forwarded by the Home Office to the Lords-Lieutenant of certain counties which were considered to be directly affected. There is not the slightest doubt that Kent is one of these counties, but what action has been taken in Kent up to the present? The public still remain entirely in the dark as to what course they should follow should a German raiding force effect a landing on the shores of the county. We do not hesitate to say that this is most deplorable. It is true that what are called Emergency Committees have been formed, but these committees have been told to observe secrecy with regard to their instructions. Why is secrecy necessary? Surely to avoid hopeless confusion in a sudden emergency the public should be plainly told beforehand what they are expected to do. This course appears to have been wisely adopted in other countries. In Lincolnshire, for instance, information has been circulated through the medium of the police. Failing special military instructions to the contrary being issued hereafter, the inhabitants of villages and districts immediately affected by an attempted invasion are advised to stay by their homes, farms, or villages, and as far as possible carry on their usual vocation. Nothing, it is pointed out, could be more harmful or dangerous than a general movement in the nature of a flight under the influence of panic on the part of women, children, or old people. Any movement ordered by the military will be properly controlled, ordered, and directed by the police, and nothing else should be attempted. Further, it is pointed out that it is of the utmost importance that the movements of troops and artillery should not be hampered by the presence of numbers of civilians on the roads. Any person leaving the district should avoid the roads required by the military forces of the Crown. These will be, as far as possible, indicated to them by the police. Finally, it is urged that every man of proper age and physique should enlist in the Regular Army or Territorials. If not of proper age and physique, it is suggested that he should join the nearest Volunteer Training Corps. In Norfolk, where instructions have been issued to civilians on similar lines, the public are prudently advised that the contingency of an invasion, or an attempt at invasion, is "no more likely to occur at the present time than in the earlier stages of the war and is still, happily, a remote one; but at the same time the Government are of opinion that every precaution should be adopted." We strongly urge that what has been done in Lincolnshire and Norfolk should also be done in Kent. The authorities should take the public into their confidence; unless this is done, if an emergency should suddenly arise, disaster will be the inevitable result. It does not seem to be fully realised in official quarters in Kent what a valuable instrument the Volunteer Training Corps, consisting of active, drilled men, would assuredly prove, if it became necessary to get women and children away from a particular district, to keep roads required by the military forces of the Crown unimpeded, and to destroy any property that might be useful to an invading force. In fact, in their whole conception of what is due from them to the public the Kent authorities at present seem to be grievously at fault, and it is not at all surprising that the feeling in the coast districts in particular should, as Mr. Ronald McNeill, M.P., testifies, be one of "dissatisfaction and misgiving."
|Faversham and North East Kent News of 12th December 1914|
LOCAL MEN ON ACTIVE SERVICE
James Saunders, Private, Army Service Corps; Gerard P. Selby (M.B. Oxon), Lieutenant, R.A.M.C.; R.P. Selby, Sub-Lieut, R.N.; --------- Shufflebotham, A.B.; F.E. Smith, stoker; Reginald Lewis Smith, trooper, East Kent Yeomanry; George Thomas Swan, chief stoker.
2nd January 1915
16th January 1915
6th February 1915