Archive for the ‘War’ Category

Bexleyheath’s War Memorial has been moved several times. Its original position from 1921 to 1953 was at the corner of Oaklands Road/Broadway. It lists the names of servicemen killed in both wars.

Bexleyheath Armistice Memorial Service 1937

George Arthur Overton lived at Hillcrest, 317 Broadway with his parents. The family had come to live in Bexleyheath from Great Yarmouth shortly after 1911. He enlisted in the Army and rose to Corporal of 1st/1st Norfolk Yeomanry. He was killed in Gallipoli on 5 December 1915, aged 22. [From Kate Holloway, relative of Mr Overton]

Walter William Printer was born in Dartford in 1896. By 1911 he was living in Smiths Cottages, Graham Road, Bexleyheath and working as a telegraph boy at the Post Office. He joined the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards on 26 November 1914. In November 1915 he was awarded the DCM for conspicuous gallantry in rescuing a wounded man while under fire from the Germans. The local newspaper reported that, while recovering in hospital from his wounds, “he has received a telegram from the Postmaster and staff of Bexley Heath congratulating him on the honour conferred upon him and expressing their admiration of his noble and plucky conduct”. Walter survived the war. He married and had children, and died in 1956. [From research by Trevor Tamsett, volunteer on Changing Times project]



This and more can be seen in the Exhibition pamphlet, which can be downloaded from this site or is available in a printed version.

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Bombs in the Broadway

On 18 April 1999 a 1,000lb unexploded German bomb was found during construction of the Broadway Square development. People were evacuated from their homes and the town centre was sealed off while a bomb disposal team dealt with it. According to the BBC News report, people in 70 homes would not leave.

Major Bob Tomkins, overseeing the operation, said: “Some residents are reluctant to leave their homes.

“While it might have been quite laudable in the 1940s with the great British Bulldog spirit, I don’t think it appropriate any more.”

A fragment of the bomb is displayed outside Sainsbury’s.

486 bombs fell on Bexleyheath in 1940 alone.

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