First World War Project

Home News - August 1917

map of the passchendaele theatre of war 1917Another change of theatre map (right), laying out the area to the east of Ypres below Passchendaele - trenches corrected to 1st October 1917 (click map for enlarged image - 15Mb).

The war was still very much at stalemate across the Western Front. The Allies determined to break the German hold over Passchedaele (Passendale) standing over the beleaguered Ypres (Ieper). This phase of the war proved enormously costly to the Allies and their soldiers drawn from across the globe. The Battle of Passchendaele opened on 31st July and continued through to 6th September 1917. It was not long before news of this ill-fated struggle emerged in local press.

The largest losses borne by Creekside parishes during August fell not to Lynsted - thankfully spared - but to all the other parts of the Creekside Cluster during the period of the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres).

On July 31, in conjunction with the French operating on the left of the line, the British attacked on a front of over fifteen miles, from La Basse Ville, on the River Lys, to Steenstraete, on the River Yser. The French captured the village of Steenstraete, and rapidly penetrated the German defences to a depth of nearly two miles. They continued their attack beyond their original objectives, and captured Bixschoote and the enemy's positions to the south-east and west of the village on a front of nearly two and a half miles. A hostile counter-attack was successfully repulsed. In the centre and left centre British divisions penetrated the enemy's positions to a depth of two miles, and secured the crossings of the River Steenbeek, which constituted their final objectives. In the course of their attack the British stormed two powerful defensive systems, and carried by assault the villages of Verlorenhoek, Frezenberk, St. Julien and Pilkem, as well as many strongly defended farms, woods and organised localities. Further south, in the right centre of the British attack, after gaining the whole of their first objectives which included the village of Hooke and Sanctuary Wood, the British fought their way forward against a very obstinate resistance from the enemy in the difficult country in the neighbourhood, where heavy fighting took place, the British penetrated the enemy's defences to a depth of about a mile. A number of powerful counter-attacks were successfully repulsed. On the extreme right, south of the Zillebeke-Zandervoorde road, the British gained the whole of their objectives early in the day, capturing the villages of La Basse Ville and Hollebeke. On August 1, the British were forced back slightly in two areas, St. Julien and the Ypres-Roulers Railway, but they successfully held all the main positions captured on the high ground between St. Julien and Westhoek.

2nd August, the Battle of Pilckem Ridge ended. Followed, on 15th, by the opening up of the Battle of Hill 70 (Lens) that lasted until 25th August. The following day, 16th August, the Battle of Langemarck (Ypres) begins. On 20th August, the "Second Offensive Battle" of Verdun began.

At Sea

During 1917, through the competing navies, there continued the desire to disrupt and strangle supplies to fighting forces and demoralise home populations. 1917 saw significant losses of shipping that included civilian and hospital shipping following the earlier German implementation of a policy of "unrestricted submarine warfare". The German strategy made significant hardship for the civilian population at home. 2nd August saw the German commerce raider "Seeadler" wrecked on Mopelia Island (Pacific). 3rd August, a mutiny broke out in the German Fleet at Wilhelmshaven.

In the air

On 21st August, the German airship "L.23" was destroyed over the North Sea. The earlier shock experienced with daylight aeroplane raids on London and elsewhere came to an end with the last daylight raid taking place on 22nd August. On the morning of August 22, bombs were dropped from 10 enemy aeroplanes at Margate, at Dover and Ramsgate At Dover and Ramsgate 11 persons were killed and 13 injured. Three of the raiders were brought down. One of the enemy pilots was rescued. A strong German squadron, which was waiting to protect the raiders on their return, was attached and lost five machines.

The Royal Naval Air Service made a series of successful raids as follows:- On August 16 many tons of bombs were dropped on the following military objectives: Ostend railway station and sidings, Thourout railway station and junction, and Ghistelles aerodrome. Several fires were observed. Attacks were also made by gunfire from the air on Engel and Uytkerke aerodromes and on road transports. All machines returned safely. On the night of August 16-17 Thourout railway station and junction were bombed. Many tons of bombs wee dropped on the objective. All machines returned safely. On the night of August 18-19 bombs were dropped on St. Pierre station and sidings, Ghent; Thourout station and dump; and Bruges docks. A bombing raid was also carried out on August 19 on Snelleghem aerodrome, where a direct hit was made on a large shed. on their return our machines were attacked by hostile aircraft, which were beaten off with the help of a Royal Flying Corps patrol. One enemy machine was shot down out of control; all machines returned safely. (Army and Navy Gazette, 25th August 1917)

What about the end of the War?

Even facing an uncertain future, some measures were setting out how a "Peace" might look. On 18th August, the British, French, and Italian Governments concluded a provisional arrangement with regard to future policy in Asia Minor. Anticipating that their respective 'spheres of influence' would be restored in due course once the 'German problem' was resolved. Closer to home, on 21st August, the Ministry of Reconstruction is formed.

Statistics - Growth of the Royal Army Chaplains' Department

The correlation between the growth of British armed forces and casualties was mirrored in the speed with which chaplains grew in number throughout the war.

Denomination August, 1914 August, 1915 August, 1916 August, 1917 August, 1918 August, 1919
Church of England
Roman Catholic
United Board
Welsh Calvinist
Salvation Army

The Chaplains serving at home and abroad on 11th November, 1918, were distributed as follows:-

Denomination At Home Stations France and Flanders Mediterranean Force Mesopotamia, including Bombay, and Hospital Ships East Africa Elsewhere Abroad Italy Total
In Egypt, including Hospital Ships Salonika
Church of England 709 878 134 93 62 30 21 58 1,985
Presbyterian 75 161 19 22 11 6 8 302
Roman Catholic 78 389 54 45 38 2 13 32 649
Wesleyan 60 127 20 14 17 6 12 256
United Board 60 126 19 13 15 1 4 12 256
Welsh Calvinist 4 5 1 10
Jewish 4 8 3 1 16
Salvation Army 4 1 5
Total 989 1,698 251 189 143 33 50 122 3,475#

#Includes unfilled vacancies of the Imperial Establishment, but excludes all Colonial Chaplains, and Chaplains engaged locally at foreign stations and not granted Imperial commissions. Territorial Force Chaplains are included if mobilized, but not otherwise.

1st August: The Second Day in The Third Battle of Ypres - the village of Passchendaele, following the opening up of an attack on Pilkem Ridge.

Pope Benedict XV sends a Note urging Peace

On 1st August, Pope Benedict XV sent a Note to the belligerent Governments appealing for peace. Faced with great suffering and the horror of the war he felt compelled to appeal for a return to peace. The Note did not have any influence on the policies of Nations.

"From the beginning of our pontificate, amidst the horrors of the terrible storm which has fallen on Europe, we have sought three things above all: to preserve complete impartiality in relation to all the belligerents, as is appropriate to he who is the common father and who loves all his children with equal affection; to endeavour constantly to do all the most possible good, without personal exceptions and without national or religious distinctions, a duty which the universal law of charity, as well as the supreme spiritual office entrusted to us by Christ, dictates to us; and lastly, to engage in an assiduous commitment, as our peacemaking mission equally demands, to leave nothing undone within our power which could assist in hastening the end of this calamity by trying to lead the peoples and their heads to more moderate forms of counsel, to the calm deliberations of peace, of a 'just and lasting peace'.
Whoever has followed our work during the three unhappy years which have just elapsed has been able to recognise that we have always remained faithful to the intention of absolute impartiality and to doing good, and thus we have never ceased to exhort the belligerent peoples and governments to become brothers once again, even though all that we have done to attain this most noble end has not always been made public.
At the end of the first year of war, in addressing to them the most forceful exhortations, we also identified the road to follow to achieve a peace which was lasting and dignified for all. Unfortunately, our appeal was not listened to: the war continued fiercely for another two years with all its horrors; it grew worse and indeed it extended by land, sea and even air, where on defenceless cities, on quiet villages, on their innocent inhabitants, there descended desolation and death. And now nobody can imagine for how long these shared evils will multiply and become worse, whether for a few more months, or even worse whether another six years will become added to these bloodstained three years. Will the civilised world, therefore, be reduced to a field of death? And will Europe, so glorious and flourishing, almost overwhelmed by a universal madness, rush to the abyss, to its true and authentic suicide?
In such a highly worrying state of affairs, in the face of such a grave threat, we, not for mere particular policies nor in response to the suggestion or interest of one of the belligerent parties, but moved solely by awareness of the supreme duty of the shared Father of the faithful, by the sighs of children who invoke our action and our peacemaking word, of the very voice of mankind and reason, raise once again the call for peace, and renew a warm appeal to those who hold in their hands the destiny of the nations.
But no longer to dwell upon the general, as the circumstances suggested to us in the past: we want now to descend to more concrete and practical proposals, and to invite the governments of the belligerent peoples to agree upon the following points, which appear to be the bases of a just and lasting peace, leaving to the same governments to apply them at a specific level and to complete them.
First of all, the fundamental point must be that for the material force of arms should be substituted the moral force of law; hence a just agreement by all for the simultaneous and reciprocal reduction of armaments, according to rules and guarantees to be established to the degree that is necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of public order in each State; then, instead of arms, the institution of arbitration, with its lofty peacemaking function, according to standards to be agreed upon, with sanctions to be decided against a State which refuses either to submit international questions to arbitration or to accept the decisions of such arbitration.
Once the supremacy of law has been established, let every obstacle to the ways of communication between peoples be removed through the true freedom and common use of the seas. This would, on the one hand, remove very many reasons for conflict, and, on the other, open up new sources of prosperity and progress for all.
With regard to the damage and costs of war, we do not see any other path than that of the general rule of an entire and mutual remission, justified, for that matter, by the immense benefits of disarmament; and this is even more the case because one cannot understand the continuance of so much slaughter solely for reasons of an economic character.
If in some cases special reasons are in opposition to this, these should be considered with justice and fairness.
But these peaceful agreements, with the immense advantages that flow from them, are not possible without the mutual return of territories which are presently occupied. Therefore, with regard to Germany, there should be a total evacuation both of Belgium, with the guarantee of her full political, military and economic independence in relation to any power, and also of French territory; from the party on the other side there should be equal return of the German colonies.
With regard to territorial questions, such as those, for example, which cause strife between Italy and Austria, and between Germany and France, there is ground for hope that in consideration of the immense advantages of a lasting peace with disarmament, the conflicting parties will examine such territorial questions in a conciliatory frame of mind, taking into account, so far as this is just and practicable, as we have said on other occasions, the aspirations of peoples, and co-ordinating, where this is possible, their own interests with those shared by the great human community.
The same spirit of equity and justice should guide the examination of all other territorial and political questions, specifically those relating to Armenia, the Balkan States, and the countries which make up the ancient Kingdom of Poland, whose noble historical traditions and the sufferings it has undergone in particular during the present war ought rightly to enlist the sympathies of the nations.
Such are the principal foundations upon which we believe the future reorganisation of peoples should rest. They are of a kind which would make impossible the recurrence of such conflicts and would pave the way for a solution to the economic question, which is so important for the future and the material welfare of all the belligerent States.
In presenting them to you, who in this tragic hour hold in your hands the destinies of the belligerent peoples, we are animated by the dear and precious hope that they will be accepted, and that as soon as possible the end of this terrible struggle will be reached, a struggle which every day, even more, appears to be a useless massacre. All recognise, for that matter, that on both sides the honour of arms is saved. Here, therefore, our prayer: welcome the paternal invitation that we address to you in the name of the divine Redeemer, the Prince of peace! Reflect upon your most grave responsibility in front of God and all men! Upon your reflections will depend the peace and joy of innumerable families, the lives of thousands of young people, the very happiness of the peoples, which you have the absolute duty to secure. May the Lord inspire you in decisions which conform to His most holy will, and ensure that you, deserving the applause of the current age, will equally ensure that in future generations you will bear the name of peacemakers.
We in the meanwhile, fervidly joining yourself in prayer and penitence to all the faithful souls who sigh in peace, implore from the Divine Spirit light and counsel."

Marriage of Miss Joan Selby

Reported in The Faversham and North East Kent News of 4th August 1917: "WEDDING. CAPTAIN S.C.DAWES AND MISS JOAN SELBY. The marriage took place last Wednesday afternoon [1st August] at Teynham Parish Church, of Captain Edwyn Sandys Dawes, Yeomanry elder son of Mr and Mrs William C. Dawes, of Mount Ephraim, Hernhill, and Miss Joan Prideaux Selby, only daughter of Dr Prideaux George Selby and Mrs. Selby, of Brusons, Teynham.
Owing to war conditions the wedding was a very quiet character. Indeed, the ceremony was not arranged until the latter part of last week when Captain Dawes, who has been on service abroad for more than a year, came home on brief furlough. In these circumstances, too, it was impossible to do other than issue a general invitation to friends, but notwithstanding the short notice and the extremely unpleasant weather which unfortunately prevailed, there was a numerous congregation to witness the happy event.
Outside the church a guard of honour was formed by some wounded soldiers from Glovers (V.A.D.) Hospital, Sittingbourne, where the bride has been rendering useful war service as a member of the staff.
The church had been beautifully decorated, and the service was choral, Miss Hylma Whittle being at the organ. The Rev. Dr. Springett, Rector of Pluckley, and an uncle of the bridegroom, officiated, assisted by the Rev. W.A. Purton, Vicar of Hernhill. "Soldier of Christ arise" and "O Perfect Love" were the hymns chosen, and a verse of the National Anthem was sung after the Blessing.
Dr. Selby gave away his daughter who wore a dress of white satin, and a veil of old Honiton lace, the latter being one of the wedding gifts from her parents. Another beautiful wedding gift she was wearing was a diamond pendant, given by Mr and Mrs Dawes. White lilies composed the bouquet she carried.
There were two bridesmaid - Miss Betty Dawes, sister of the bridegroom, whose dress was of a pale blue colour, and a younger girl, Miss Gwynneth Wise, cousin of the bride, who wore a white muslin frock and mob cap. They carried bouquets of pink carnations. Lieut. Mac Sheppard was the bridegroom's best man.
After the ceremony Dr and Mrs Selby received friends at Brusson's, where a marquee had been erected on the lawn. Among the company were Mrs Estty, Mrs Beaumont, Mrs Wise, Mrs Grey, Miss M. Selby, Mrs H Adamson, Colonel Dawes, Dr and Mrs Springett, Dr and Mrs Thoresby Jones, Mrs Adam, Mr Lobb, Baroness Forgeur, Mdlle Doreye, Major C Simpson, Mrs Milles-Lade, Dr and Mrs Alexander, the Misses Alexander, Mrs John Howard, and Mrs Julian. Some of the staff from Glovers Hospital (of which Mrs Selby was until recently Commandant), several of the wounded from that institution and a number of the servants on the Mount Ephraim estate were also entertained.
Later in the afternoon the bride and bridegroom left for London, the bride going away in a blue satin skirt with a blouse of pale pink crepe de chine, and a street coat of navy blue serge and a blue silk hat.

Pharmacist to the Front

Reported in the Faversham and North East Kent News of 4th August:- "GREENSTREET – The district has lost an energetic worker by the enlistment of Mr H A J Peasnall. As Scoutmaster, a sidesman at St. Andrew's Church, a member of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, an untiring promoter of flag days, and collections for comforts for prisoners of war and local men in the Forces, and in many other ways Mr. Peasnall has shown a splendid pubic spirit. It is hoped his loss is only a temporary one and that he will return to Greenstreet when the war is over." [Note: He lived a long life until 1953]

Three-year retrospective of the First World War

Published by the Army and Navy Gazette of 4th August 1917THREE YEARS OF THE WORLD WAR.
The appearance of this issue of our paper coincides with the end of the first three years of the war into which we entered in August, 1914; during that time we have, week in, week out, recorded the successes and the defeats which either side has claimed or has admitted; and the time seems opportune for reviewing briefly and perforce inadequately, the main points in the past three years of wearing struggle. The first twelvemonths of war constituted a period of holding on; during the second year we were engaged in adding to the strength of our Armies in the field, in providing huge stores of guns and munitions of war, and in proving our new men and our even more modern methods; while during the third period, during the last twelvemonths upon which we are able to look back with pride and gratitude, we have become convinced that ours are the better men, that we have perfected and supplied the better and the more abundant material, that we can conquer whenever we may choose to make our effort, and that the end, if not yet actually in sight, is no longer in doubt. Before the year 1914 had faded out in a bloody sunset we had learned and had taught our opponents that the war was to be no hurried drama such as Germany had hoped to witness and to play a leading part in; and the failure, bitter and absolute, of Germany's carefully worked out plan of campaign conveyed a cheering promise to the Western Allies of certain and ultimate victory.
The hopes then raised have been long in fulfilment. During those first twelve months there was desperate fighting on each front; the ranks of the belligerents on either side were joined by new Allies, and the second year of the war opened with Germany no nearer her goal than she had been before, but with the indubitable success to her credit of having beaten back the ill-provided Russians along their whole length of front, with the whole of Poland and the western portion of Russia overrun, but with the Russian line only bent and nowhere broken. And during that second year France was fighting and enduring as never before even in her splendid history, while the British new Armies, even more despised by the German militarist than were the old "Contemptibles," were gathering, training, and learned their trade in what Colborne called the best of schools – "fighting, and plenty of it." During the second twelve month, moreover, we experimented boldly hazardously and always bloodily in the endeavour to find out what system of tactics, of co-operation of arms, should be pursued in the new form of warfare which had come into practice. The result showed that of all those warring on the Western Front, the French and the British were the better fighters, and that the great preponderance of guns and munitions set up over against us was being gradually worn down and was all too slowly inkling to our side. During the third year now come to a close we have gained much ground at comparatively small cost, the enemy has virtually everywhere surrendered the initiative, and though Russia, exhausted and disrupted by the revolution through which she has just passed, has not proved able to play so great and so important a part as we had hoped, Germany's methods of warfare and of harassment of neutrals have provided us with one especial Ally upon which aid we confidently place great hopes.
And if at the beginning of the fourth year of war we look around, what do we find? The commerce of Germany and her Allies gone like the foolish visions of a dream, her coasts blockaded, hunger in her cities, her Fleets condemned to inaction – or suicide. Her colonies have been torn from her, and while she finds that in the study of land warfare alone she has omitted to reckon with the sea power, she finds that it is sea power which has enabled perhaps the most militarily-despised of her enemies to supplant her everywhere, to provide men and munitions for every conceivable theatre of war, to confront her or her Allies wheresoever they may venture to raise their standards. The way of these three years has been long, many of our best have fallen by the way, peace – when it comes – will have been bought at a great price, but the one thing that emerges from a consideration of the last six and thirty months Is that Germany is beaten, and that she is herself at long last beginning to realise that she has for ever lost all that she started so vaingloriously out to win."

† - Seventy Ninth Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 6th August 1917.

Lance Corporal, Frederick George CHAMP, 766148, "A" Company, 19th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment) (of Teynham)
Killed in Action: Aged 34
Memorial: Fosse No.10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-En-Gohelle
Theatre: France and Flanders
Died: Killed by stray shell while in a ration carrying party "in support".

† - Eightieth Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 9th August 1917.

Private, Charles William PRIEST, G/13615, 6th Battalion, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) (of Luddenham)
Killed in Action: aged 22
Memorial: Arras Memorial at Faubourg-D´Amiens Cemetery
Theatre: France and Flanders
Died: Participating in a Raid on German trench position

America embargo - control of shipping in and out of their ports

The Army and Navy Gazette of 11th August reported: "The United States is taking drastic action in order to tighten up the blockade, the result of which is that neutral vessels are held up at American ports unless they are able to give guarantees that cargoes will not find their way into Germany. No ship of any kind or nationality can now clear from an American port until it has been granted a licence by the Exports Council, as well as a letter of assurance from the British Embassy, without which, on the high seas, the ship is liable to be stopped by a British patrol and taken into a British port. But this double check has already been rendered imperative by a Prize Court decision in the case of one commodity, dried fruit, which forms part of the German Army ration. It is, therefore, necessary for Britain and America to establish the closest co-operation in the prosecution of the blockade, or it will be weakened by action on this side undoing action on the other. The contention of America is that she has as good a right to restrict her exports of national products by embargo as to restrict them by a tariff, and has so thoroughly convinced neutrals of her determination to control her trade with them that, as they require the food and raw materials which she has hitherto sent them they are announcing their willingness to come to terms with her. As the American embargo only came into force on July 15 this is quick work, but both sides are perfectly well aware of the United States' strong position, and that, therefore, reprisals would hurt neutrals themselves rather than her. Norway has offered to apportion at least a million of her tonnage for Allied use, and Holland is coming into line with a similar offer. In short, what America aims at is the Allied control of the world's shipping, and so for the enemy's sea-borne supplies. If all of them play the game a potent instrument will have been formed for shortening the war by weakening Germany's power of resistance."

Third Year of War for Faversham and District - 11th August 1917 Retrospective

The Faversham and North East Kent News carried a review in its 11th August 1917 issue.

Following again the course we have adopted in the previous two years, we mark the third anniversary of the war by presenting a brief chronological account of local efforts and happenings connected with it and also the roll of honour for the year.
The former, of course, by no means represents all that has been done in the town and district. It merely gives some of the outstanding events, behind which there has been going on all the time and is still going on, an immense amount of quiet work in support of war funds, the provision of comforts for men at the front, etc., etc.
The Roll of Honour, we regret is a lengthy one – longer than that for either of the previous years. It includes as many as a hundred and seven names – local men who have been killed in action or have died of wounds, or, as in one or two instances have died while under training at home. Among them are six men who were serving in our local Territorial Unit, the Kent Heavy Battery.
A particularly distressing circumstance is in which two sons in one family have been bereaved are Mr and Mrs C.W. Clinch, of Hernhill; Mr and Mrs Henry Baker, of Dunkirk; Mr and Mrs W.H. Dungey, of Faversham; Mr and Mrs Luckhurst, formerly of The Brents and now residing at Sittingbourne; and Mr and Mrs Fred Moore, formerly of Faversham and now in Canada.
With the two previous years rolls the number of local men who have gallantly given their lives for their country is brought up to close upon two hundred. We honour their memory.


- War Savings Associations were started in Faversham and the district. On Friday, the 4th, the second anniversary of the declaration of war was marked by a great demonstration gathering on the Market Place, addressed by the Mayor (Dr. S.R. Alexander), the Vice-Lieutenant of Kent (Lord Harris), Major G.C.H. Wheler, M.P., and Lieutenant-Colonel Gosset. Special services of intercession were also held on the 4th at the Parish Church.
Monday, the 7th, which under ordinary conditions would have been Bank Holiday was for the first time since the institution of the first Monday in August as a holiday passed as a working day, the holiday being postponed in order that the supply of munitions should not be interrupted. – On the 8th, the wounded at The Mount Hospital, together with some from Lees Court, were entertained in the grounds at The Mount by members of the V.A.D. and friends. On the following day a large number of soldiers (including some wounded) were also entertained in the grounds at Newgardens, Teynham, the residence of Colonel and Mrs Honeyball. On the 17th, there was a similar function at Homestall where Rev. J. Pullein Thompson, Rector of Luddenham, entertained the wounded from the Mount and Lees Court hospitals, together with the nursing staffs. – the 3rd Faversham Troop of Boy Scouts forwarded to The Mount Hospital £2 14s 0d. the sum realised by the sale of 1,800 medicine bottles which they had collected.
SEPTEMBER.- The Local Committee of the Kentish Prisoners of War Fund reported that for the year ending September 9th, £221 11s. 11½ had been expended on bread and other foodstuffs, clothing, cigarettes, etc. sent to men belonging to Faversham and district who were prisoners of war. The receipts amounted to £400(?) 6s.5½d leaving a balance of £184 14s. 6d. – On the 15th, 132 more wounded men from the Front were detrained at Faversham and removed to local hospitals. One man, a Canadian, died at The Mount a few hours after admission and was buried with military honours at the Borough Cemetery on the 19th. – The Town Council registered the local Belgian Relief and prisoners of War Funds under the War Charities Act.- Captain Gerard Prideaux Selby, R.A.M.C., eldest son of Dr and Mrs Selby, of Teynham, was killed on the 20th while attending to the wounded at the capture of Thiepval.
OCTOBER.- Gifts for the harvest festivals as the churches in the town and district included a large number of eggs, which were forwarded to the Mayoress for the National Egg Collection for the Wounded.-Friday, the 13th, was a Flag Day in the town and district in aid of the Vice-Lieutenant's Fund to provide comforts for Kentish Prisoners of War, and Kentish Men at the Front. The receipts amounted to about £150.
NOVEMBER.- A framed roll of honour containing the names of Faversham men who had taken up arms in the War was placed in the porch at the Parish Church.-The death occurred on the 5th of Mr. C.L. Watson-Smith, who had been acting as Military Representative at the Borough (Military Service) Tribunal. He was succeeded in that position by Dr Herdman Porter.- Ada Decker, 17, a munition worker, fell and expired while on her way to the factory at Harty Ferry. – Faversham Boy Scouts started the collection of waste paper to be sold on behalf of The Mount Hospital and the National Relief Fund.-The Rev. A.B. Cole left a curacy at Teynham to proceed to the front for chaplaincy duty.
DECEMBER.- General P.D. Jeffreys, C.B., inspected the Faversham Volunteers on Sunday afternoon, the 3rd.- A representative committee of ladies was appointed at Faversham with the object of the further promotion of War Savings Associations.-Mr. H. Kitto, commanding the Faversham Unit of the Kent Volunteer Regiment was gazetted Lieutenant.
JANUARY.- The Town Council had under consideration the Cultivation of Lands Order for the increase of the food supply. They decided to hire additional land for allotments and issued circulars to householders requesting the cultivation of their gardens with some food producing crop.- Lieutenant-Colonel E.G. Harrison, D.S.O., inspected the Faversham Volunteers on Monday, 21st.
FEBRUARY.- On the 7th a Volunteer Recruiting Concert was held at the Drill Hall. The Mayor presided and Colonel Lord Harris and General Jeffreys made earnest appeals for more members in order to raise the Faversham half-company to a full Company. By a whist drive at Belmont over £10 was raised for St. Dunstans Hostel for blinded soldiers and sailors.- The Town Council subscribed £500 and the Rural District Council £2,000 to the "Victory" War Loan.
MARCH.- The Faversham Volunteer Corps offered to find labour for the digging of the gardens and allotments of absent soldiers.- A unique khaki service was held at Boughton Weslyan Church on Sunday, the 18th, Lieutenant-Colonel Boulter, O.C. of the 2/8 Essex stationed in the neighbourhood, read the lessons and the Band of the Battalion, accompanied the hymns.- A house to house canvass for National Service volunteers was carried out in the town.
APRIL.- The Essex Cycle Battalion left Boughton. – At the prize distributions at the Faversham elementary schools the majority of the prizes were given in the form of war savings books.- On the 20th, the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack were flown together at the Town Hall in celebration of "America" Day, to mark America's entry into the war on the side of the Allies.
MAY.-A Faversham tradesman was fired for selling potatoes at a price exceeding the maximum fixed by the Food Controller.- The troops of the Royal Defence Corps and other premises occupied by them in the town and went into huts which had been erected for them nearer the locality of their duties.- A new appeal was made by the Committee of the local Belgians Refugees' Relief Fund.- It was decided that the teas at the summer treats of the Sunday Schools in Faversham should be on a limited scale, the use of bread being dispensed with. Some of the schools required the children to bring their own food and made small money grants in lieu. On the 24th (Empire Day) the Mayor addressed a meeting on the Market Place on the need of Food Economy as a factor in the winning of the war.
JUNE.- Lord Harris had a considerable acreage of Belmont Park team ploughed for the cultivation of cereals. On the 9th the sum of £21 14s. 10d was raised by a Flag Day collection for the Salvation Army's war work.- At a meeting on the Market Place on the 26th, under the auspices of the Worker's Union, protests were made against food profiteering, and a resolution passed urging the Government to take immediate action to secure complete control of the food supply.- On the 28th, a sum of over £60 was raised by a sale of work at Eastling, organised by the Eastling Red Cross Work Party to provide funds for the continuance of its work.- During the 12 months ending June over 6,300 eggs were received by the Mayoress and forwarded to the Headquarters of the National Egg Collection for the wounded.
JULY.- The Town Council arranged for the use of a number of buildings at different points in the town to which in the event of an air raid in the daytime people who were some distance from their homes could go for shelter. The Education Committee also made arrangements for the safety of children at the schools.- Saturday, the 14th (France's National Fete Day) was a Flag Day on behalf of the French Red Cross. The receipts in Faversham and district amounted to about £140.- Over a thousand munition workers and their friends had a social gathering in Grove House meadow. A similar gathering had been held in June. Proceeds went to the Children's Holiday Fund and Mrs Walter Gillett's Knitting Guild for supplying woollen comforts to men in Kentish Regiments at the front.- Over 60 of the wounded at Lees Court were on Saturday, the 14th, taken for an outing to Herne Bay, the trip being arranged by the employees of Messrs. Shepherd Neame Ltd.- A tablet was erected in Faversham Parish Church to Captain T.L. Crosse and Lieut. R.G. Crosse, sons of the Vicar and Mrs Crosse, who died in France in July, 1916.



Bunce, John Frederick, Sub-Lieut., Royal Division, Howe Brigade.
Boorman, Albert Edward, Guard Ship.- Gamble, Robert John, H.M.S. Vanguard.- Luckhurst, Clarence, and Luckhurst, William, H.M.S. Vanguard (brothers, formerly of The Brents).- Madame, John, H.M.S. Vanguard.- Oman, Albert, H.M.S. Vanguard.- Payne, Frank John, H.M.S. Vanguard.- Saunders, William Harris, H.M.S. Mantis.

{Creekside men, missing from this list:-
Atkins, Ernest Bolton, H.M.S. Vanguard (Newnham);
Baker, Thomas, E.19 Submarine (Teynham);
Eason, Daniel Edward, H.M.S. Cheerful (Teynham)}

Cornford, William, 2nd Lieut., Royal West Kent Regiment.
Gosset, Rene Frankland, Captain East Yorkshire Regiment.
Selby, Gerard Prideaux, Royal Army Medical Corps {Teynham}.
NCOs AND MEN (Faversham men unless otherwise mentioned; curly brackets {} if they also appear in Creekside records).
Abbott, Ernest Walter, Buffs {Luddenham}. – Arnold, Charles, R.F.A. (Throwley).
Baker, Bert, Kent Heavy Battery R.G.A.
Baker, Edward R.E., and Baker, William, London Queens (Dunkirk), brothers.
Baker, Daniel Thomas, R.F.A. (Luddenham).
Bennett, Sidney Gordon, Buffs.
Bingham, F.J., Buffs (Davington).
Branchett, Alfred Philip (Boughton).
Broad, Nelson, A.S.C. (Graveney).
Brooker, E.A. ,Royal Garrison Artillery.
Brown, Arthur, Canadians.
Brunger, John William, R.A.M.C. (Ospringe).
Buffee, Sidney, Essex Regiment.
Chambers, William George, Kent Heavy Battery, R.G.A.
Champ, William, Kings Royal Rifles.
Chapman, Henry Mercer, Munster Fusiliers (Newnham)
Clarke, George, West Kent Regiment.
Clackett, William John, West Kent Regiment.
Clements, Alfred Thomas, R.A.M.C.
Clinch, Thomas, R.E.K.M.R. attached Buffs and Clinch, Harold, Royal Fusiliers (Hernhill), brothers.
Cobb, Percy, R.A.M.C. (Throwley).
Coleman, Richard, Lancashire Regiment.
Cooper, Edward Herbert, Buffs (Four Oaks){Luddenham}.
Cornelius, Joseph, R.F.A.
Courts, Charles Francis, Buffs.
Croucher, Frederick S., Buffs (Ospringe).
Dungey, William, London Scottish, and Dungey, George, Irish Fusiliers, brothers.
Evans, Charlie, Buffs.
Fairbrace, Frederick, R.G.A.
Feakins, William Henry, Middlesex Regiment (Four Oaks) {Luddenham}.
Filmer, Harry (Newnham).
Foster, Frank, Household Brigade (Dunkirk).
Foster, William Percy, Sussex Regiment (Uplees){Oare}.
Forster, Percy, Buffs (Doddington).
Fryer, Sidney John, Buffs (Sheldwich).
Gambrill, Charles, Middlesex Regiment (Selling).
Gambrill, William, Household Brigade (Lynsted).
Godfrey, Charles, Kent Heavy Battery, R.G.A.
Gordon, George Thomas, West Kent Regiment.
Gore, Frederick Edward, Sussex Regiment.
Gurr, Alfred Ernest, R.G.A.
Hare, Sidney, Buffs (Throwley).
Harlow, George, Buffs (Dunkirk).
Harrison, Herbert, Buffs (Otterden).
Hawkins, James, Sussex Regiment (Selling).
Head, Percy, Middlesex Regiment (Selling).
Higgins, Harry Victor, Buffs (Doddington).
Hodge, William Henry, Canadians (Teynham).
Hollands, Frederick Thomas, Buffs (Greenstreet){Lynsted}.
Horton, Percy James, Rifle Brigade.
Hunt, James William, Buffs.
Ing, Alfred George, Buffs.
Jemmett, George William Ewart, Canadians (formerly of The Brents).
Knight, Frank, R.E.K.M.R. attached The Buffs (Newnham).
Lines, Albert George, Machine Gun Corps.- Lippingwell, Alfred, Canadians.
Mann, William (Newnham).- Millen, Albert, Surrey Regiment (Boughton).
Millgate, William, Buffs.
Mills, Frank, West Kent Regiment (Wychling).
Murton, Frank, Australians.
Moore, Alfred and Moore, James, Canadians, brothers.
Nicholls, Philip, Kent Heavy Battery, R.G.A.
Packman, A.J., Army Service Corps (Sheldwich).
Page, Alfred Thomas, Kent Heavy Battery, R.G.A.
Pearson, Albert Charles, Buffs.
Percival, Frederick, R.F.A. (Boughton).
Philpot, George, Training Reserves (Herne Hill).
Pope, W.J., Oxford and Bucks L.I. (Ospringe).
Pullen, Sydney James, Rifle Brigade (Doddington).
Pullen, Stanley George, Rifle Brigade.
Rabbeth, George William, West Kent Regiment.
Raines, Sidney Mark, Royal Fusiliers (Boughton).
Ralph, Albert, Buffs (Boughton).
Ralph, Harry, Essex Regiment.
Read, John Henry, Buffs.
Rickard, Frank, Sussex Regiment.
Rochester, William, Buffs.
Ruane, Bert, Buffs.
Shilling, William George, Buffs (Throwley).
Shrubsall, William Richard, Buffs (The Brents).
Spillett, F.J., Buffs (Stallisfield).
Smith, Archibald, Australians (Eastling),
Smith, Clarence W., Buffs (Boughton).
Smith, Henry, Canadians (Teynham).
Thomas, William Walter, Rifle Brigade.
Uden, Ernest George, Buffs.
Wise, Harold, Canadians.
Wraight, George Frederick, Liverpool Regiment.
Wyborn, William Aubrey, 3rd West Lancs., R.F.A.

To those included in the above list have to be added four Faversham men whose deaths have been reported within the last few days, namely Private Sidney George Lewis, Canadian Forces, Private Ernest Charles Caryer, Welsh Fusiliers, Private William Charles Johnson, Royal Fusiliers, and Gunner Thomas Edward Hart, Royal Garrison Artillery (K.H.B.).
[All Faversham men.]


The following war honours have been awarded during the year to local men:-
Captain the Hon. George St. Vincent Harris.
Chaplain the Rev William Telfer.
Sub-Lieutenant John Frederick Bunce, R.N.V.R. (posthumously).
Lieut. E.W. Crust, Berkshire Regiment, previously awarded Military Medal.
Company-Sergeant-Major Harry Davison, Scotts Guards (R.S.M. attached Gordon highlanders), previously awarded Military Medal.
Quarter-Master-Sergeant William H. Kempster, Royal Field Artillery. Previously awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Corporal Percy Hawkins (Throwley)
Corporal W.F. Taylor, Royal Field Artillery (Throwley)
Private Jack Hinks, Canadian Expeditionary Force
Bombardier Frederick Beaumont, R.G.A. (Kent Heavy Battery).
Private Ernest William Cutcliffe, Manchester Regiment.
Lance Corporal E.G. Champion, East Surrey Regiment (Lynsted)
Private Frank Murton, Australian Expeditionary Force (since killed in action).
Sapper W.S. Joiner, Royal Engineers.
Private William Robert Pearson, Welsh Regiment.
Battery Quarter Master Sergeant Sydney Jacob, R.G.A. (Kent Heavy Battery).
Bomber William Jemmett, Royal Garrison Artillery (T.F.)
Corporal S.A. Smith (Hernhill), previously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
Captain George Wheler, and Lieut. Hordern.

Local Airman 'downed' - survived

Valentine George AustenReported in both the Faversham and North East Kent News and East Kent Gazette of 11th August 1917 – "AIRMAN REPORTED MISSING. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Valentine G. Austen, R.N., son of Mr. and Mrs. George Austen, of Nichol Farm, Teynham, is officially reported missing. He is a particularly promising airman, and one of our youngest, being only 18 years of age."

The next month, on 8th September, the newspaper added:- "LOCAL WAR ITEMS – FLIGHT SUB-LIEUT. AUSTEN A PRISONER - A letter, which was dropped from a German aeroplane and picked up in France, has been received by Mr. George Austen, of Teynham, from his son, Flight Sub-Lieutenant Val. G. Austen, R.N., who was reported missing on the 29th of July last. The young officer is wounded and a prisoner of war. He is only 18 and one of our youngest airmen. He is a particularly good pilot, and an enthusiastic flyer, so that it will be a real grief to him to be boxed up in Germany 'til the end of the war."

[Society Note: Valentine George Austen lived until February 1989 when he was 90 years old.
He was first certificated as a pilot on a Beatty-Wright Biplane at The Beatty School, Hendon, on 18th August 1916. His certificate was No. 3366.]

† - Eighty First Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 18th August 1917.

Private, Leonard Charles JARVIS (of Doddington), Died of Wounds aged 19
Theatre: France and Flanders
Memorial: Dozinghem Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Plot 4, Row I, Grave 6
Serving In: 1st Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was shot around the abdomen on August 18th and died of his wounds at No. 47 Casualty Clearing Station the same day

† - Eighty Second Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 21st August 1917.

Private, Albert E SLINGSBY  (of Newnham), Killed in Action aged 21
Theatre: France and Flanders
Memorial: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Serving In: 1/19th Battalion, London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles). Died during a Relief Action south of Ypres-Roulers Railway

† - Eighty Third Loss in the Kingsdown with Creekside Benefice - 23rd August 1917.

Lance Corporal, Reuben READER (of Teynham), Killed in Action aged 22
Theatre: France and Flanders
Memorial: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Serving in: 1/18th Battalion, London Regiment (London Irish Rifles). Died in support action at Bellewarde Ridge, under attack and counter attack in the Ypres Salient.

Pride In County Formations


An editorial from the Kent & Sussex Courier dated 24th August 1917THE GLORIOUS WEST KENTS. NOT LOST A TRENCH YET. In recent issue we published under the above heading an account written from the Front of "just one of those small affairs" in which the West Kents are continuously engaged. It will be remembered that the incident described was one in which two local officers distinguished themselves, and were awarded the Military Cross, viz., Lieutenant Bull and Lieutenant Scott Martin. The West Kents have had another similar experience, just sixteen days later than the one recently described, and an officer contributes the following account of it to the "Daily Telegraph":-

We had come into the front line the night before, and for most of the day in question things were reasonably quiet, although, in addition to the usual attention from minenwerfer and gratatenwerfer, there was some artillery activity. Then at six p.m. a heavy bombardment began. That explained the artillery activity. The Boche had been registering on our trenches, and in consequence his shooting was now unpleasantly accurate. For about twenty minutes we at Battalion Headquarters were in touch with the Companies in the front line, but then the wires went. The Brigade wire held for a few minutes more, and the artillery wire for a little longer still. The whole lot went within half an hour, but we had had time to ask for artillery support. Our dug-out must have been one of the points registered, as such a rain of shells descended in its immediate vicinity that egress was almost impossible. Hour after hour the barrage continued, slackening occasionally for a moment, but then breaking out more savagely than ever. It was essential that we should get news of the Companies in front, so we despatched a series of orderlies in parties, at intervals of about a quarter of an hour, to work their way up through the barrage. To cut a long story short, what happened was this: The Boche put up an effective artillery barrage from six p.m. to nine p.m., and then attacked. He hoped, no doubt, that our morale would be so shaken that the occupation of our trenches would be easy. he succeeded only in driving in our posts from the saps in front, and in gaining a footing in the extreme left of our position. All the rest of the line held. The moment the barrage lifted the parapet was manned, and the enemy was driven back by rifle and machine gun fire, with very heavy casualties.
The left of our Battalion line was the critical point. Here our trenches jutted out to within a few yards of those of the enemy, and the ground behind was held only by a series of posts. He had concentrated his main attack on this spot. He drove in the saps and got fifty yards of the trench, but all the rest held, and it is certain that he lost at least 200 men. If we had given way, it is possible that he would have scored a considerable success, and penetrated deeply. It was absolutely necessary, for the safety of the whole line, that the Boche should be evicted from the few positions he had won. That night two of the lost saps were recaptured by the usual method of bombing up them, but more could not be accomplished at the moment. On the following night, by the initiative, energy and organisation of a Company Commander already mentioned (now D.S.O. and M.C.), the Boche was driven from all the saps on his front, and the dispositions on the right were the same as before the attack. On the left, an enveloping movement over the top had to be abandoned owing to the lightness of the night. The enemy's machine gun fire was too hot. There followed a trench bombing attack of the fiercest description, which lasted for over an hour and a half. Eventually the Boche was driven out everywhere, leaving some dead, and indications that many more had been wounded. At the last the flight of the enemy was so precipitous that more than twenty rifles were left behind, and much equipment. We also captured a machine gun.
In the twenty-four hours during which the enemy had possession of the left of our line he had put in great work, for he had dug out and joined up this portion of the trench to his own line, and had turned it into a strong point. We had captured a few prisoners. The German high command was apparently much dissatisfied at the previous failure of their troops to take and hold this bit of line, which they had only lost for the first time a few weeks before. On the present occasion the orders were that it must be reoccupied at all costs. As a Battalion we were extraordinarily weak in numbers at this time, but we managed to hold our own against odds of more than 4 to 1. Perhaps the tradition of the Regiment has something to do with it. It is the special pride of the West Kents that they have never yet lost a trench in this war. It is not an easy record to keep up, but we don't mean to lose it.

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