Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Battle of the Somme – 100 years on, local men who fell

The Battle of the Somme started on 1st July 1916, and the first day is notorious for the number of men who died or were wounded on the first day, making it the worse day in the British Army’s history.

The following men are from Horton Kirby and South Darenth, and they died during this battle, which lasted from 1st July to 18th November 1918

Bombardier Robert Leonard Couchman, Royal Field Infantry, 58th Battery, 35th Brigade. attd. “X” 7th Trench Mortar Battery.

Robert died on the first day of the battle, and is described as killed in action, at the age of 27 and was buried at Citadel New Military Cemetery, Fricourt.

Robert was a regular soldier and was in the Royal Field Artillery by 1911.  His parents and his siblings were living at Franks Farm Cottages, Horton Kirby, and his father was described as a Cowman in 1911.

Rifleman Percy Allen Bean, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 17th Battalion

Percy died on the 2nd July, the second day of the battle, and was also killed in action, and is buried at Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’Avoue.

Percy was born in 1895 in Horton Kirby, the son of John and Elizabeth Bean, and the second of six boys. By 1911 the family were living at 3 Drays Cottages, Horton Kirby, where his father John was working as a horseman on a farm, Percy was working as a farm labourer, and his brothers Leonard and Lionel were working at the paper mill.

Percy enlisted on 22 November 1915 at Bromley, and gave his address as 6 Bexley Cottages, stating that he was a carpenter (working for Mr Fox, a builder in Horton Kirby), and he was 22 years  and 10 months old.  He went out to the front in France in April 1916, so did not serve for long.

Three of Percy’s brothers also served during the Great War, Lionel served as a stoker in the navy, Reginald was a rifleman in the Rifle Brigade and Lionel served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps before being invalided out.

Newsletter No. 118 – June 2016

The May meeting was all about Richard III, a King who has recently become more famous for where he was buried than what happened in his reign. Toni Mount gave us an excellent explanation of Richard’s complicated family background, how he came to be on the throne, and what happened during his brief 3 year reign, with lots of slides

Our next meeting will be on Monday 13th June at 8pm in the Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall (next to the Village Hall) and our speaker will be Christoph Bull, who will be talking to us on “Our Thames from Dartford to Grain”.

Future 2016 meetings:
11th July Restoring Reynolds Place, Horton Kirby – Laurence Hatfield
12th September The Darenth Villages – Rod Shelton
14th November AGM, a short talk by Terry Moyle and the Cheese & Wine Evening

As ever, our publications and other items are available at all our meetings. We have recently received a grant from the Parish Council, and the Walking Tour of the parish is going to be updated and reprinted

We look forward to seeing you on Monday 13th June at 8pm in the Jubilee Hall viagra est une pilule.

St Mary’s Church Summer Fete
Saturday, 25th June at 2pm
At Court Lodge

Other Local History Society events :

Swanley History Group meets at White Oak Indoor Bowls Club, Garrolds Close, off Hilda May Avenue, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7BF. Doors open 7.15 p.m for 7.30 p.m. Visitors £2.00. For information contact Terry Morris 07884493894 or
Tuesday, 5th July – Stephen de Winton & Sarah Lewis – Sutton at Hone & Hawley during WW1

Farningham & Eynsford Local History Society at Eynsford Village Hall – 7.30pm for 8.00pm.
Friday, 1 July Somme 100 – A Concert to Remember, from 5pm. Performance 7-9pm with a short interval. Pay Bar. Display of First World War memorabilia

Hextable Heritage Society – Meetings are held in the Heritage Centre, College Road, then Dawson Drive into Crawfords. 7.15 for 7.30pm start. Visitors £2.00. .
Thursday, 14 July – Brian Wates Visit to Rowhill Grange
Thursday, 11 August – Steve Hookins Somme 100, To Wilhem, with love

Dartford Historical & Antiquarian Society – – at The Mick Jagger Centre, The Grammar School (boys), Shepherds Lane, Dartford, at 7.45 pm (doors open 7.30 pm).
Friday, 15 September – Sue Threader The Rochester Bridge Trust