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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Holywell School - Day Trip to Ferques

Children from Pioneer and Challenger classes (years 5 & 6) left Holywell school early this morning for a day trip to our twinned French village of Ferques, courtesy of Upchurch Twinning Group.

A write-up of the days activities hopefully to follow soon.

Upchurch Matters

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Upchurch at War in October 1914 by David Wood

Holywell headmaster Mr Maltravers pictured here with the whole school also
served as a constable during World War One. Photo Mike Gunnill.
The main news of the month concerned two missing Upchurch men who had joined up to fight in the war. A piece in the Upchurch village magazine dated October 1914 read:

‘Whilst we naturally fear the worst, we feel that men who die like this, die a glorious death. They die that we may live in safety. Therefore, toll for the brave.’

The first of these named Henry Mason had served as Chief Stoker aboard H.M.S Hogue and died aged 41 when his vessel was sunk by a German torpedo on September 22nd, 1914. Born in Horton, Buckinghamshire, he worked as a packer before the war. He is remembered on the Chatham Memorial. The second fatality, Ernie Carter, who served as a Private in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, also died on September 22nd, 1914 when his ship H.M.S Aboukir was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the North Sea. Born in Rainham, he is remembered on the Chatham, Rainham and Upchurch War Memorials.

Ernie Carter is commemorated on a plaque
inside St. Mary's Church, Upchurch.
The village magazine reported that Albert Crowhurst and Fred Anderson had joined up and had both quickly become corporals in the army. The magazine also had a hint of optimism about the war with a piece that read:

‘No one knew what war really meant; now we know, and the knowledge brings with it the determination to fight on till we can gain an honourable and lasting peace.’

Every day the tenor bell in the church rang out a message of intercession to signal people to break off from their daily activities to remember and pray for those fighting in the war. In later years it also rang out when news of fatalities was received.

With security in the village a priority a force of 22 special constables patrolled the village to protect property and to be alert for possible German spies. The force included Percy Betts, Stuart Mercer, Fred Blewitt and Wilfred Baker who all later died in the war after joining up. Alf Giles, George Whitnell, Edward Crowhurst, George Richens, Charles Witherden, Cecil Bishop, William Ball, Tom Wraight and Holywell headmaster Mr Maltravers also served as constables. All these men had to take an oath before beginning their duties.

While men from the village fought in the war villagers collected money for the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association while children at Holywell School brought donations for the Belgian Refugees Fund. By the end of October they had raised 15/1d. An entry in the school diary by Mr Maltravers dated October 21st 1914 stated that the pupils were being given special lessons about the war.

At a meeting in the school room the Parochial Working Party discussed fund raising on behalf of soldiers, sailors and the Belgians. They agreed to meet in the Church Institute every Wednesday afternoon at 2-30 and in the evening at 6 0’ clock. At the first meeting Mrs Champion handed over 13/- profit which had been made previously.

Upchurch Parish Council met on Monday October 26th and those attending included chairman Len Harvey, Charles Bishop, Bill Hales, James Holloway and Bill Wickenden. They mainly discussed a letter received from Milton Rural District Council with regard to the election of a County War Relief Representative and the provision of a urinal on the allotments which they unanimously agreed upon.

The Harvest Festival held on October 16th became the main social event of the month. Sermons in the church were given by Reverend J A Finch from Bredhurst and by Upchurch lay readers Mr James Holloway from Ham Green and Mr George Marsh from Forge Lane. A range of of fruit and vegetables were put on display in the church which included top class fruit from James Holloway and Wakeley Brothers. Flowers, vegetables and 70 pounds of jam were also on display. Collections at the church amounted to £4/9/0d, later distributed to St Bart’s Hospital and to the Belgians.

David Wood.
The bellringers had a shortage of ringers in October as Mr Jarrett had joined up and gone away to fight in the war while Mr Hyland from Wetham Green who had previously played a big part in the organisation could not continue. The group received a boost when Mr Marsh from Forge Lane joined as a new bellringer. The organisation held a supper at the end of the month at which Mr Maltravers, the headmaster of Holywell School, played the National Anthem of each of the allied nations to conclude the evening.

As October came to an end people continued their daily lives in the village but had come to realise that the war would last much longer than most had originally anticipated and prepared themselves for more casualties amongst those men from Upchurch who had joined up to fight for King and Country.

About David:
David Wood was born and raised in Upchurch and is able to write from personal experience about many people and aspects of the village and of changes that have taken place over the years making ‘Memories of Upchurch’ a very readable book and a detailed historical study of the village. David's book ‘Memories of Upchurch’ is available direct from David at: or from us here at Upchurch Matters. Price £12 + £3.50 postage and packing.

David Wood

Monday, 29 September 2014

World's Biggest Coffee Morning at Upchurch Village Hall - Amount Raised

Laura and I have finished counting and had a quick check on our text to donate page and the total so far from 2.5 hours of cake eating and tea drinking on Friday is......


What a fantastic effort by all of you! Thank you all so much for all of your help and support. We couldn't have done it without you.

To everybody who came early on Friday to help set up, those who stayed late to help us tidy up the mess, and everyone who donated raffle prizes, sold raffle tickets (bought raffle tickets!) made cakes and came along to join us for the morning - we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Macmillan have been in touch and were really pleased with the event and loved the liveliness and community spirit of the whole morning which is fantastic news.

We are so happy that people from Upchurch came along and supported us. It really did mean a lot.

See you again next year!

Sarah Fielder, Laura Grigg

Virgin Media Scam

Reference: All 10

A new Scam has emerged with the callers stating they are from Virgin Media.

They state that there is a problem with your line and ask you to go on to your computer so they can access it.

Virgin have been contacted and state they do not make such 'phone calls'.

The people carrying out the Scam are very very convincing but it is a Scam so please

do not fall for it

For more information on crime prevention visit:

Kent Police Neighbourhood Watch

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Upchurch Scout Group AGM - Come along and find out what we've been up to

Dear Beaver, Cubs, Scouts & Parents,

This year’s AGM will take place on Monday 6th October 2014.

It will be held at Drakes Lodge (The Scout Hut) at 6pm.

Please come along and support your young people and their leaders in this annual event.

You can find out what the sections have been up to and how the Upchurch Scout Group is doing as a whole.

Thank you for your time in advance.

Kind Regards
Upchurch Scout Group
Tel: 01634 373313