Equipped with modern conveniences, yet still retaining the fine old characteristics of the period, and enjoying a quiet and rural position. Containing 11 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 staircases, lounge, handsome billiard room, 3 reception rooms, complete offices; garage and 3 cottages, glasshouses, other outbuildings; well established gardens, meadowland, orchard and spinney, in all over 19 acres. Own electric light, company's water. Telephone. Possession of house.
To be sold by auction at the St James' Estate Rooms, 20 St James Square, SW1 on Tuesday November 21st, at 2.30pm (unless previously sold). Solicitor H N Pholcox esq, 7 Trinity Street, Borough SE1....."
[Reports of the auction in the Times for 22/23 November suggest it was not sold, which is probably why Dr Salter gifted it to the Borough of Bermondsey]
Mr Norman T Baynes, for complainant, said the parties were married at Brondsbury in September 1909, and there were 3 children. They first lived at Harrow, where the husband was a jeweller. The wife was an expert worker of a knitting machine, and ultimately defendant started manufacturing underwear on an extensive scale at Hither Green, where he employed a number of girls to operate knitting machines. At one time he was making £60 profit weekly. In 1922 the parties purchased a house at Longfield. The husband was now in financial difficulty. Trouble between the parties became acute in 1923, and since then defendant has been guilty of repeated acts of cruelty towards his wife. On May 15th, on account of defendant's cruelty, the wife lefet the house at Longfield and went to live with her mother at Chesham, Berks.
Gertrude Lena Hensman said the first act of cruelty was in November 1923. Her husband kicked her while she was sitting in a chair because she complained that he came home late. He purchased a motor car about that time. On March 4th 1924, defendant gave her a black eye without any cause at all.
The Chairman: No quarrel?
Complainant: I do not quarrel. She added that she continued to live with defendant until May, but then, on account of his cruelty, she went to live with her sister at Dulwich.
Answering further questions, complainant said that her husband ill treated her almost every other day. On one occasion he got hold of her and banged her head against the wall. On May 10th he punched her on the mouth, causing it to bleed, because she would not consent to go to Australia with him. Once he set fire to a newspaper which she was reading, and at another time set fire to a table cloth. He also smashed crockery, furniture, and a manicure set, and other things belonging to her he put in the copper. The house was in her name.
Herbert Henry Meddick, Longfield, Hartley, a neighbour, said on one occasion he saw complainant with her face badly discoloured. On several occasions he had noticed tht she had been ill treated. She seemed to be in fear of her life. Witness and his wife met complainant on the road one night. She said she was frightened to go into the house.
Clifford Henry Hensman, the eldest son, said he was living with his mother at Chesham. Last Christmas night, on returning from a party, his father tried to throttle his mother and hit witness about the face. He used to kick her legs and make her cry.
Defendant, who admitted certain acts of cruelty, said friction was caused in the first place through a relative of his wife who was interned during the war, and for whom he held goods and money. The knitting business had failed and he was a bankrupt. He disagreed with his wife, who was of German origin, on the bringing up of the children. A good deal of trouble was caused by his wife, trying to instil into the minds of the children ideas he did not approve of. When his wife left the house she sent three men to take away the furniture. Some money he had in a wardrobe was also taken. He had found a purchaser for the property at Longfield and his wife would get the money from that after a mortgage had been paid. He was working as a farm labourer and was paid 8d an hour.
The Bench granted the wife a separation and custody of the children, and ordered the defendant to pay 15 shillings (75p) a week.
The Chairman said if the circumstances changed it was open to either of the parties to apply to the court for a vacation of the order.
[John Henry Hensman (1887-1955) married Gertrude Lena Reckin (1885-1955) in 1909. In 1911 they were living at 42 Bolton Road, Wealdstone. In spite of what is said in this case, she was not German having been born in Kilburn to German parents. By 1931 she was back living in Wealdstone]
An inquiry into the application of the Gravesend Corporation to supply electricity to certain outlying parishes in the neighbourhood of the borough was held in the Town Hall yesterday (Thursday) by Colonel Ekin, on behalf of the Electricity Commissioners.
It was also asked that certain powers of the Kent Electric Power Company and the West Kent Electric Company be revoked.
The proposed added area of supply was the parishes of Darenth, Fawkham, Hartley, Horton Kirby, Longfield, Southfleet, Stone and Swanscombe in the rural District of Dartford; and the parishes of Chalk, Denton, Ifield, Meopham and Nurstead and part of the parish of Cobham in the Rural District of Strood.
There was opposition from various quarters and in some cases protective clauses being asked for.
The Dartford Urban District Council asked for Stone to be included in their area of supply..... (list of representatives, several councillors said to be present too)...
Mr Montgomery (KC for Gravesend BC and Dartford UDC) stated that Gravesend's application was made in the first instance, and covered the parish of Stone. If the enquiry felt that Dartford could deal equally well with Stone, Gravesend would be content that Stone should be left out of the proposed area. The present supply of the Gravesend Corporation was to the Borough and the Urban District of Northfleet. It was proposed that the charges for supply to the added districts should be the same as in Gravesend itself.
With regard to the Kent Power Company and the West Kent Electric Power Company Limited, Mr Montgomery said they had done nothing in the two areas for over 20 years, and only laid down mains after the Corporation gave notice of their intention to apply for an order. Gravesend had had applications for supply from Greenhithe, Swanscombe, Meopham and Denton.
With the possible exception of Stone, he thought the consumers desired a supply from Gravesend. The power companies were supplying Chatham at 7½d per unit for lighting and 3d for power, and they advertised their intention to supply Swanscombe that the same price. The Gravesend Corporation had a flat rate, which was the same as the Companies' flat rate, with one exception - lighting 7d, power 3d, heating and cooking 2d. Then they had an alternative, which they called the two rate - 2¾d during the daytime and 8d on the peak hours. The next alternative was the fixed price rate, which gave advantages to a consumer. There was also the rateable value charge - one fortieth of the net rateable value of the property per quarter, with supply at ¾d per unit.
The Town Clerk stated that the Gravesend Electricity Undertaking began in 1902. It had made progress and had been extended from time to time. The number of consumers had steadily increased and the profits of the undertaking had kept pace with the improvement. In round figures the profit was £10,000 a year at the present time. The added areas had been included because the Corporation was satisfied there was a demand, and they could meet it without any additional outlay on plant at present. Swanscombe had a population of 10,000, might be described as a growing industrial area, and while these proceedings were doing on had blossomed out into an urban district. He had known for many years that Swanscombe was badly in want of an electricity supply. A canvas was made, and he was surprised to find the strong feeling existing in Swanscombe. They were welcomed with open arms, particularly when they said they were prepared to give a supply cheaper than the Kent Company was prepared to give. Denton was urban in character, would grow, and in the natural order of events would come into Gravesend. "They are nobody's child at present" he remarked.
Mr Henderson: Am I to understand now that Stone is not part of your application?
The Town Clerk: Gravesend is quite prepared, with the approval of the Commissioners to let Stone go into the Dartford area, or to take it in itself.
To a further question he said: My application at the present moment to the Commissioners is for Stone. Dartford is also applying for Stone.
Mr (Craig) Henderson (KC for Kent Electric Power Company) said 5 cement companies were supplied by the company he represented, and that distribution mains were laid in various parts of the area applied for.
The Town Clerk: I am not particuarly concerned about your distribution mains as about a cheap supply for the people.
When Mr Henderson said: "My powers have to be revoked you mean?" The Town Clerk replied "I think you thoroughly deserve it."
Asked if they have the consent of Swanscombe, the Town Clerk said "As an urban council".
Mr Henderson: It is a letter from the clerk not in the form of a resolution by the council.
The Town Clerk said the clerk of the Swanscombe Council could be called.
Questioned by Mr (H St John) Raikes (KC for Dartford RDC) on the point of providing a "prompt supply", the Town Clerk said personally he should not object to a reasonable limitation of time with regard to the rural parishes. He should say 10 years for the compulsory laying of mains, but it would depend on circumstances, and 8 or 7 years might be right for some districts.
The Chairman remarked that in certain orders there were revocation clauses, and if mains were not laid in certain parishes within say 3 years, the power of the order would be revoked.
Mr Raikes said he asked for a limit of 5 years, and for Stone 2 years.
Mr C F McInnes (Borough Electrical Engineer) and Mr Edwards (Engineer of the Dartford UDC Electrical Works) gave evidence.
The inspector said he had been under the impression that Stone was withdrawn from the Gravesend order.
Mr Montgomery said it was considered that if Dartford was going to supply Stone, Gravesend should withdraw it. If the Commissioners did not think Dartford was the right place to supply Stone, the Gravesend application stood. It was a friendly arrangement.
Mr Henderson stated that apprently there was a resolution by the Swanscombe Parish Council givin sanction, but the Gravesend application had by a further resolution, there was formal opposition to the order unless the Gravesend Corporation were willing to insert a clause agreeing to the parish being able to generate its own electricity after a period of 10 or 15 years if desired.
Mr Montgomery: in the meantime it has become an Urban District that has approved of the scheme.
Some amusement was caused by a sotto voce remark that it became an Urban District Council on April 1st.
[ Gravesend Borough Council were applying for their municipal company to supply electricity to outlying parishes, including Hartley. They were opposed by the West Kent Electricity Company, in whose area Hartley was. However it does look like an attempt by Gravesend to empire build as it came out in the enquiry that they did not intend to do the works for many years yet. The council lost and West Kent's electricity reached Hartley in 1932.]
In small, well timbered park; in excellent condition and well fitted. Chestnut Avenue Drive with lodge. 300 feet above sea.
Lounge, hall, 3 reception, 12 bed and dressing rooms, each with lavatory basins, 2 bathrooms, domestic offices, electric light, central heating, independent hot water system, company's water.
Outbuildings, garage, chauffeur's rooms, beautifully kept park like grounds. Orchard, kitchen garden, tennis court with pavilion, farmery, pasture and arable.
Freehold for sale privately or by auction later, at a bargain price, with 22 or 76 acres.
[Also in Times 3.8.1926]"
Mr H B Sewell was the Coroner, and Mr H Bond was elected foreman of the jury.
Outlining the story of the accident, the coroner suggested that eh jury migh wish to adjourn after hearing what evidence was available. There were not witnesses present who had acutally seen the collision, as teh two men involved with the deceased in the occurrence were in Bromley Cottage hospital and one of them at least had said he remembered nothing of the accident.
Evidence of identification was given by Mrs Matilda Backhouse, The Woodlands, Hartley, Kingsdown, who said her husband had had this motor cycle for about 4 months and knew the road well.
William Alfred Hawes, head lad at Grays Farm, said the accident happened about half or three-quarters of a mile from the farm, at a very nasty bend.
Replying to a juryman, he said there was practically no view at all at the bend. He had himself had a narrow escape there about 5 weeks ago when he was riding a horse and a motor car came round the bend, knocking him and the horse right round.
William Grayland, 14 Morat Street, Brixton, said he was cycling along Grays Lane with several members of a club, and when about 200 yards from the bend a motor cycle passed him with a pillion rider on it. He could not say definitely, but he thought the speed was about 36 mph, although it was difficult to guess and he might have overestimated it. He passed a remark about it at the time that he thought the cyclist was going fast. He heard no sound of a collision, but when he reached the bend he found deceased lying just behind his machine on his near side of the road. On the other side of the road were the other cyclist and the pillion rider lying on the ground but in a sitting position on the cycle. They were both unconscious. Backhosue was still breathing. He knocked at two or three cottages for help but got no response, and someone summoned an ambulance. The surface of the road at this point was quite good.
Frank William Austin, New Cross, corroborated this evidence up to a point, but estimated the speed of the motor cyclist with the pillion rider at 20 mph. About 4 yards separated the two cycles.
Replying to a juryman, witness said the machine ridden by Backhouse was nearest Westerham Hill and the other one on the Knockholt side, but made no answer to a suggestion that the machines might have bounced backward after the accident.
PC Parris said the width of the road at this spot was 14 feet. The cycle ridden by the two injured men was 6 feet from its near side, and there were skid marks from a point where the road was 12ft 4in wide, commencing 4ft 4in from the offside and running 43ft 4½in up the incline and finishing 6ft from the near side.
The coroner: Your suggestion is that the accident took place 6 feet from the near side of the man going towards Westerham Hill? - Yes
It would be 8ft from the other man's near side? - Yes.
So they were getting near the centre of the road when the impact took place? - Yes. there is no clear view of the road at that point. The hedge hangs 2 feet over the road.
There was no skid mark on the deceased's side? - None.
Did you see the damage to the respective machines? - They were both as if they had hit absolutely head on.
So that with a very little more they would have cleared? They did not come on wheel to wheel? - The front mudguard of deceased's machine was bent right down on the wheel.
Which rider would be on the rise? - The deceased on the rise, going down.
PC Tough, Westerham Hill, said he was cycling from Knockholt, when he met Mr H S Moore of Cutham Grange, with two injured men in his car and advised him to take them to Bromley Hospital. He had since learned that the driver was Frank Arthur Buron of East Dulwich, and the pillion rider Charles Arthur John Norman of Peckham Grove. He then met Mr Hawkins, of Scotts Lodge, with the deceased in his car, and he ahd the body brought to the Three Horse Shoes. He had since seen the driver (Burton), who was suffering from concussion and remembered nothing after entering Grays Lane, and the other man remembered nothing at all.
Replying to the coroner, witness said the rider Burton appeared to have been trying to avoid Backhouse.
Dr Henrietta Broderick expressed the opinion that deceased had been thrown from his cycle and his head had come in contact with the ground, causing fracture of base of the skull. His left jaw was fractured, and he had a compound fracture of the right thigh.
The coroner said he did not think it was necessary to adjourn the inquest, but it was for the jury to decide. There was no suggestion of criminal negligence, and it was difficult to get the exact speed, as the two witnesses had differed on that point.
A juryman said he thought the fact that the cycle skidded 43 feet going uphill showed they were going at a good speed.
Another juryman said he was there to protest against this tremendous fast driving.
The coroner said they must keep to this particular case. The only object of an adjournment woudl be to see whether they could get that they were driving at an excessive speed. They had been told that the inured men remembered nothing about it, and they were sure not to say they were going at an excessive speed.
A juryman: Was it a Club on trials?
PC Tough: No.
Mr Bond: Is there anything to be gained by an adjournment?
A juryman: It's quite clear to my mind.
The jury, having agreed on a verdict of 'Death by Misadventure,' Mr Sewell expressed sympathy with the widow and relatives.
Mr Bond said no words cold express what the jury felt in this matter, and on their behalf he epxressed sympathy with Mr Backhouse and other relatives. Referring to the question raise dby Mr Gorham (speed of motorcycles in the village), Mr Bond said the whole of the jury protested against the excessive speed at which motorcyclists tore through the village and along the lanes. They were all right all the time the police were in view, but the moment they got out of police range they went like mad and cared for nobody or anything. When the police were not there the roads were unsafe for man, woman or child. the jury considered something should be done but did not know what.
A juryman suggested that there should be a danger signal at this bend.
Mr Bond went on to remark that if anyone saw a hedge which required trimming they had only to bring it to the notice of the Parish Council and it would be attended to.
[ Ernest Backhouse lived at Woodlands, Ash Road, his wife continued to live there until about 1930.]
It was stated that defendant, an under gardener, left the employ of the association in June and refused to leave the cottage held under a service tenancy.
Miss Cooke said, as an act of grace, she gave defendant 3 weeks' notice instead of one.
Defendant said the plaintiff was not the owner of the property.
Witness said she had given the cottage to the diocese and the gift would be accepted when vacant possession could be obtained. So far the property was still hers. It was true defendant came from Manchester to work at Hartley, and it was no matter of hardship for plaintiff, who was losing no rent.
His Honour: It seems a great pity that defendant left Manchester.
Defendant: I quite agree with you sir.
His Honour said defendant had no sort of claim to the cottage.
The Rev Father Hoare said he was in charge of the church by order of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Southwark, during the great strike. There was a very great scandal existing in the parish, and Miss Davies Cooke _______
His Honour: Oh, I am not going into that. It is nothing to do with the case.
Witness: Then may I have an adjournment.
His Honour: Yes. But the man cannot continue in the house, and if the bishop wishes, let him communicate with the court. It is very undesirable for this court to have anything to do with troubles of this or any other church.
The case was adjourned until the November court.
[ There is clearly more to this case which is only hinted at here. The paper of 26.11.1926 said the possession order was made, it was said the problem was the clergyman at the earlier hearing didn't represent the bishop.]
[ Mr Walklate is mentioned a number of times in the All Saints Parish Magazine of 1923-1924.]
The action arose out of a collision between the plaintiff's steam waggon and defendant's lorry, damage being done to the amount claimed.
William Russell of Rochester, said on July 15th 1926, he was driving a steam waggon along Watling Street towards Crayford, and was going about 7mph. A motor lorry, coming in the same direction as private motor, passed in the opposite direction. The lorry struck the cabin of the steam waggon in passing. It was not true that he turned out of his course - he kept on a straight one. The mark of wheels pointed out after the accident was not witness's.
In reply to Mr Goff witness denied that he swerved out.
Alfred Culley, mate to last witness, said they were about 18 inches from the kerb, and teh other lorry cut in and caught their cab. He turned too sharply as he passed. If he had kept straight on he would have had plenty of room. Russell did not swerve at all. There was plenty of room for defendant to pass.
William Sale of Hartley, said he was travelling along Watling Street, and as he was going to pass a steam waggon he gave warning, but driver of the steam waggon swerved out. After he had passed he glanced round and saw plaintiff signalling to him, and he stopped and went back. He did not feel any impact, and showed plaintiff how his wheel marks came out, and thought it was because there was a bad patch in the road. His own wheel marks shewed a straight course. It was not because he cut in, but because plaintiff turned out.
Judgement was given for plaintiff."
Mr H L Tatham defended.
PC Weeks 769M, said that on October 27th, outside New Cross Gate station, he was assisting pedestrians to cross the road, and was on the tram track wehn defendant's car was about 100 yards off. Witness signalled to him to stop, but he made no attempt to do so, and came on at from 10 - 15 mph, nearly knocking down a lady. Witness shouted to defendant to stop, and he looked round, but kept going, and witness took the number of the car.
Cross examined: There was not a stationary tram car ahead of defendant, who could not help seeing him, although he might as he said, have had his eyes on the people on the pavement.
Harry Wing, 133 St Donatts Road, New Cross, said he saw the officer in the centre of the road, with his hand up.
Flora Young, 6 Eddystone Road, Crofton Park, said the car ran between witness and her mother in law when the constable's hand was extended. The officer called out "Stop" but the driver went on.
Kate Young, 6 Eddystone Road, gave similar evidence. She said defendant seemed to have slowed up, but went on. It was a miracle that she and her daughter in law were not both knocked down.
Defendant, giving evidence, said he had driven for 18 to 20 years without accident. On this occasion he was driving a lady to Denmark Hill Hospital, and was going carefully on account of her condition. He slowed down on seeing the women, and did not see the officer at the time. The constable did not have his hand up as witness passed, and did not call to him to stop. As witness passed, he said "Sorry, constable," and passed on. He had a clear road.
Guy Sinclair Fielden, Greenlands, Longfield, said he was taking his wife to hospital. Defendant drove carefully. The first he saw of the constable was when he "appeared from nowhere," and beckoned two ladies across right under the nose of the car. The constable did not call upon defendant to stop, but said, "What are you doing?" as they passed.
Mr McKenna dismissed the first summons, and on the second fined defendant 30 shillings with 15s 6d costs, the licence not to be endorsed.”
Mr Goff, who appeared for the council, said the defendant appealed to the Ministry of Health, who upheld the decision of the council.
Mr Leslie V Sargent, Sanitary Inspector to the Rural District Council, gave formal evidence.
The defendant: Why have they made this closing order?
The witness: Because the house was unfit for habitation.
Can I make it fit for habitation? - It is not possible.
Yet my family and I have lived there for 5 years without ill effects? - I don't know.
The clerk: You cannot get behind the closing order.
Alderman Mitchell: You appealed to the Ministry of Health, and they upheld the council's decision.
The defendant: Is it a rule when you make a closing order that it is necessary for you to find other accommodation?
Alderman Mitchell: I am not here to answer questions.
The Sanitary Inpsector said it was not the rule to find alternative accommodation.
The defendant said that when he first went to the place, he put up a temporary building, and afterwards built something better.
The Inspector: I know you built a shack there.
Alderman Mitchell: We have nothing to do with all these questions. The closing order says you have to get out.
The defendant: Where am I to go?
Alderman Mitchell: I don't know.
The bench made an order for the defendant to quit in 21 days.”
The prosecutor Gray said that packets of cigarettes had been obtained from an automatic cigarette machine at his store by the use of metal discs instead of sixpenny pieces, and he set a trap to find who was guilty of the practice. He marked a number of packets of cigarettes and placed them in the machine as a means of finding out what coins were put in the machine in exchange. He identified a packet of Players cigarettes produced as one of the packets he had put in the machine.
Mrs Gray, wife of the former witness, said she watched the machine on the Sunday evening, and on examining it first early in the evening found two sixpences, and on examining it again at 8.30 she found discs.
In answer to Mr Goff the witness said she had not seen the defendant in the shop.
Police Sergeant Nicholls said that in consequence of information received he went ot Hartley Constitutional Club on the evening of April 15th and interviewed Caller, who on being asked if he had any cigarettes on him, produced a packet of Players. Asked where he had got the packet, he replied "At the Club." The witness made enquiries and acertained that the defendant had purchased a packet of Gold Flake cigarettes at the club. Defendant then said he had got a packet of Black Cat cigarettes at the club, and the other at the Hartley Stores, having put sixpence into the machine for it. The packet was identified by Mr Gray as one of those which he had marked and put into the machine.
The defendant, in evidence, said he went to Gray's shop at 10 minutes to seven and put sixpence into the slot of the cigarette machine, and got the packet of Player's cigarettes.
The defendant was fined 20 shillings.”
The case was a running down act at Longfield, the collision being between a pedal cycle and defendant's motor lorry. Plaintiff was coming out of Merton Avenue in the direction of Longfield, and came into collision with the lorry, which was going towards Hartley.
Plaintiff said on January 4th he was cycling towards Hoseland Hill on the left hand side of the road, which was quite dry. As he got to the end of the road he saw a lorry, and as he got to it it branched off from the bank. Witness had his right wrist injured, and he was off work some 3 months. In reply to Mr Goff, witness said he had done watchmaking for years, and had just done two clocks for the KEC (=Kent Education Committee?). He had earned £14 in one week. He had done road making, indeed, anything he could get.
Dr Marsden said he attended to defendant, who had a broken wrist; he had had nothing to do with him before.
William Sale described how plaintiff came into his lorry, struck the mudguard and struck the fence, and witness stopped and got out to see to plaintiff. The Avenue was not a made up road, but a landway; there was a bank 4 feet high, and a slope down to the road.
His honour gave judgement for the defendant, saying there was no evidence of neglect on behalf of defendant.”
[We have met both parties before in previous court cases.]
In the first Mr Williams, husband of the plaintiff, said he excavated some flints on his wife's property at Hartley in 1926, and in January last sold some to defendant. When the bill was sent in he received a letter from defendant from which he gathered that something had been said about the ownership of the flints. He asked Mr Edmed if someone had told him the flints were not his to sell, and he replied that they had. he made out the bill in his own name subsequently to that.
Mr Goff, for the defence, claimed that the plaintiff did not in fact sell the flints.
His honour said the evidence was unsatisfactory. The goods were said to have been sold by the plaintiff, but he was not satisfied they were, and the bill was made out in Mr Williams's name. Judgement would be for the defendant.
The defendant Strickson did not appear.
Mr Williams repeated his evidence in the last case, and replying to his Honour said the doubt as to his wife's ownership arose when someone went to see one of the purchasers of flints and said they belonged to a bank which held a mortgage.
Mr Puckridge, for plaintiff, claimed that as the flints were excavated and lying on the ground at the time the mortgage was executed, they were not affected by the mortgage.
His honour remarked that the point was open to doubt, and he would require to have it fully argued before agreeing.
In the third case Mr Puckridge, a solicitor, went into the witness box and said he acted for Mrs Williams at the purchase of the property and the execution of the mortgage. It was within his knowledge that Mr Williams did the business on behalf of his wife, and often signed his own name.
Mr Goff said Liverpool and Martins Bank, who held the mortgage, were of opinion that the case was trivial and did not wish to go on with it, but they were joined as third party. They did not wish to claim the flints sold.
Mr Lynds said he treated with mr Williams for the purchase of his flints and the bills were made out in Mr Williams's name. He had heard the property was Mrs Williams's.
Mr Puckridge said Mr Lynds had been asked if he knew he was receiving stolen property, and advised not to pay Mr Williams as he might have to pay again. He felt assured that on another occasion he would be able to convince his honour that when the flints were dug up prior to the mortgage they were separated from the freehold.
His honour said he was now satisfied that the plaintiff in the cases was the owner of the property, and in view of the fact that the bank did not make any claim for the flints sold, judgement would be against Messrs Strickson and Lynds”
[ This is a complicated county court case as to whether Bruce Williams was entitled to sell flints from land owned by his wife Edyth at Gorsewood Road and Hartley Wood. The defendants appear to be concerned that if they paid Mr Williams, they might receive another bill for the same from Mrs Williams or her mortgage lender, if they claimed her husband didn't have the right to sell them. The bank would ultimately foreclose on Mrs Williams in 1930.]
Dr Sells, who lived at Longfield, Fawkham, Kent, lost several of his fingers on either hand as a result of his x-ray work. He commenced his duties at St Thomas's hospital, and later went as a clinical assistant to the Royal Eye Hospital, Southwark.
In the South African War he was attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps as an X-ray expert. For that work he received the Queen's medal and three clasps and the king's medal and 2 clasps.
For his extensive work as medical officer during an investigateion regarding sleeping sickness, he was thanked by the Ugandan Government."
The house was occupied by Captain Flear, headmaster of St Michael's School, Hartley (Kent) who was awakened by smoke and fumes to find the house already ablaze. He immediately warned two members of the school staff sleeping in the house and the three made a hurried exit. In a short time nothing remained but two brick built fireplaces and chimneys and a heap of ashes.
[ The St Michael's School referred to was probably the future RC School in Woodland Avenue, which was a private school before the nuns from Alderney took it over during the war.
Captain Walter Howard Flear (1894-1951) had only become headmaster in 1929, having been an assistant master in Gunnersbury Preparatory School from 1921-1929. He was awarded the military cross in WW1 for "conspicuous gallantry in action. Although himself wounded he succeeded in rescuing another wounded officer and in crossing 150 yards of open ground under heavy fire with a water carrying company" (London Gazette 13.2.1917). The London Gazette of 1.5.1928 records that he retired from the East Staffs regiment and was paid a gratuity, so he may have used that to buy the school in Hartley.]