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Sunday, 3 August 2014

The WWI diaries of the war poet Siegfried Sassoon are published free online for the first time. The Workhouse. Children's Homes and Institutions

The WWI diaries of the war poet Siegfried Sassoon are published free on line for the first time. 

The 23 journals and two notebooks of poetry has been digitised by the Cambridge University Library and can now be read free of charge. This is the first time they have been made available to all.

There are 4,100-pages that describe life in the trenches, including the moment he was shot by a sniper at the Battle of Arras, and his description of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. They also contain pencil or ink sketches, notes on military briefings, and diagrams of the trenches.

The Diaries cover the war years when he was stationed on the Western Front and in Palestine after WWI up to 1927, and from 1931-32.


They can be found at Sasson Diaries Click on any Journal picture on the right of the page which opens the Journal and you can navigate through the pages.

Was one of you Ancestor's in the Workhouse?

You might be interested in The Workhouse  there is an amazing amount of information including photographs/plans and some indexes. The Workhouses include many in Kent such as Dartford, Bromley, Cudham and so forth.

Children's Homes and Institutions:

If your Ancestor or family were in a Children's Home or Institution The Children's Home site is worth looking at. It has many details of the different homes through out the Country including Kent. You can use the search facility to find them, such as the Home for Little Boys at Farningham, and the one at Hextable, Swanley.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Lloyd’s of London Captains Registers Index-Free online. LMA Welcomes Your Questions. Exhibition exploring Bexhill on Sea in the First World War for 2014. Tenterden Museum, Kent WWI Exhibition Friday 18th April to Sunday 5th October 2014

The Lloyd’s of London Captains Registers Index has been completed and is available free online.

The LMA’s longest running project (1992-2014) the indexing of the Lloyd’s of London Captains Registers, 1869-1911 has been completed. The Registers give details of the careers of 68,824 captains and/or mates and certificate number on vessels whose voyage details were transmitted to Lloyd's of London. They can give a considerable amount of information about individual captains and their careers.

The indexes give place and date of birth and certificate number. If you wish to see the Registers you can either see them at the London Metropolitan Archives or use their copying service to order them.

The details of the project and how to search the Indexes can be found at Lloyd's Captains Indexes 
an Information leaflet on the Captains Registers can be downloaded (pdf) at Information leaflet no:50


LMA Welcomes Your Questions!

Until November 2014 the LMA are seeking questions about workhouse and poor relief records. LMA receives around 25,000 enquiries a year but most of the answers are only seen by one or two people.


The LMA newsletter readers are to be given a chance to peek inside their email answering service by inviting enquiries on a particular topic. They will publish the most interesting questions and answers in the next newsletter

To find out more about how to submit questions go to LMA Questions If you wish to join the Mailing List details can be found at the bottom of the page at LMA Mailing List

Tenterden Museum, Tenterden, Kent WWI Exhibition Friday 18th April to Sunday 5th October 2014.

Memorabilia from the museum collection to complement a large display of artefacts found on the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres, on loan from a private collector.  There is also detailed information on a fallen soldier from each of the 10 villages surrounding Tenterden and 2 from the town of Tenterden.  The exhibition has many other rarely seen artefacts recovered over the years from the trenches. Tenterden Museum

Temporary exhibition exploring Bexhill on Sea in the First World War for 2014.
Bexhill Museum is holding an Exhibition from Monday 3 February until Sunday 7 December 2014 Exploring Bexhill’s contribution to the Great War, and discovering what life was like for soldiers, nurses, refugees and civilians in the resort, during the war. Bexhill on Sea






Monday, 28 July 2014

North West Kent Family History Society on facebook. The Society was represented at the Imperial War Museum preview day

North West Kent Family History Society on facebook:

You can also find the NWKFHS on facebook where you can find out what is happening in the Society and in the Family History world in general. 

The Society was represented at the Imperial War Museum  preview day of the reopening of the Imperial War Museum and the new First World War galleries which officially opens to the public on the 19th July 2014.

Our representatives was impressed with the Exhibition:

It is a very impressive exhibition and apart from the WW1 exhibition on the ground floor it also contains on the:  

First floor WW2 theme of "Family in Wartime" plus war story of "Supplying front line troops in Afghanistan.
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Second floor "Secret War, Peace and Security 1945 -2014
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Third Floor "Horrible Histories Spies" and whilst meant for children I found fascinating (not sure what that says about me!) plus art galleries depicting British art of WW1


Forth floor "The Holocaust
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Fifth floor Lord Ashcroft gallery "Extraordinary Heroes" the largest collection of Victoria and George Cross decorations and tells the stories of 250 people.


A very worthwhile and enjoyable visit which I would recommend".


For more information see the IWM Website



Sunday, 27 July 2014

NWKFHS, Cudham, Bromley, Kent, Documents. Society Meetings in August.

NWKFHS, Cudham Documents:

Following a successful Appeal launched by the Society for funds to purchase a number of documents and deeds relating to Cudham, Bromley, Kent the Society was able to purchase some 24 of the documents.


They cover various family names and give details of ownership from circa 1708 until the 1800's. The Society believes that they are an important collection of the history of the area that if possible should be preserved and available to all for research.

The Society Library & Resource Centre has arranged and is organising an open day at Summerhouse Drive on Wednesday 13th August, 2014 to provide Donors and Members the opportunity to see the documents. Details of the documents and the Open Day can be found at NWKFHS Cudham Documents

The documents will remain in Kent and be available for people to see and use them for research. The Society intends to Transcribe and Index the Documents.

Society Meetings in August:

 Bromley Branch: Saturday, 16th August 2014 Chris Jupp The start of World War I.

The main hall, Bromley Methodist Church, College Road, Bromley BR1.  There is free parking at the church, access is from College Rd. and from North St. Doors open at 9.45am. Visitors are welcome.

Dartford Branch: Saturday, 2nd August 2014 Graham Bandy Your Country Needs You! From Kitchener's volunteers to conscription in the Great War.

Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane, Dartford DA1 2LY. Doors open at 9.45am. Visitors are welcome.

Details can be found at NWKFHS Meetings Please check the Society Website before travelling to any meeting in case of any last minute changes.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Over 1,350 images now on NWKFHS flickr page free to view. Cray Community Festival, Sunday 6th July 2014. The white feather diaries. Folkestone commemorative arch to be unveiled on 4th August 2014

Over 1,350 images now on NWKFHS flickr page free to view.

There are now 1,350 images on the North West Kent Family History Society flickr site. They consists of documents such as Wills, Indentures, Post Cards from the early 1900's, Photographs and other items.

These are documents from the private collections/papers of Members of the Society who have agreed to allow the Society to place them on flickr. They are documents that would not normally be available to the public. As our Members have interests and families throughout the United Kingdom they cover the whole of the UK.

There are various categories broken down into regions, so why not have a look to see if there is something connected to your family history. They can be found at NWKFHS on flickr

Cray Community Festival, Sunday 6th July 2014

The NWKFHS will be at the Cray Community Festival being held at St Mary Cray Recreation Ground, Park Road, BR5 4AS  from 11am - 5pm. There are many activities being held on the day so why not come along and enjoy the day and visit the NWKFHS stand at the same time. 

Further details can be found at Cray Festival

The white feather diaries:

The White Feather Diaries is an online project using extracts from the writings of five Quakers during World War I,  it will serialise the diaries of conscientious objectors. Starts on August 4th 2014. More details can be found at White Feather Diaries


Folkestone commemorative arch to be unveiled on 4th August 2014:

HRH Prince Harry will be at the unveiling of a dramatic arch on the Leas in Folkestone to commemorate the town’s important links to WWI. The stainless arch, designed by Philip Gearing of Foster Gearing, is being erected on the Leas in memory all who passed through the port en route to or from the Western front from 1915 onwards.

Details can be found at Step Short

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Free NWKFHS emailinfoservice. BBC World War One At Home to tour UK. Exhibition - Your Country Calls. Folkestone Town Hall, Folkestone, Kent

Free emailinfoservice to keep you up to date with Society and Family History News.

The emailinfoservice offered by the Society is now open to all. It is a way of receiving up to date Society and other family history news. The service grew out of requests by Members at an AGM and is becoming more popular. There are now nearly 400 members who subscribe. 

If you would like to subscribe send an email to NWKFHS emailinfoservice stating you wish to subscribe.


You can also keep up to date with the Monthly Society Newsletter which can be found at NWKFHS Newsletters where in addition you can download and read Branch Newsletters. 

You can read and download all Society Journal from 1978 - 2008 for Free. They can be found at NWKFHS Journals (All links open in a new window)


Events in Kent.

BBC World War One At Home to tour UK: June 28 1914: Woolwich Great Get Together and Armed Forces Day.

Free event. The day consists of family-friendly events that includes hands-on activities, performances and interactive sessions designed to appeal to all ages. Visitors will be able to meet experts from Imperial War Museums to research their families’ connections to the war. IWM’s major digital centenary project, Lives of the First World War is an integral part of the tour.

More information can be found at BBC World War One and at the First World War Centenary Site (both sites open in a new window)

Exhibition - Your Country Calls: Enlistment to Embarkation. Folkestone Town Hall, 1-2 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, England, CT20 1DY:  24 June 2014 - 01 May 2015

The exhibition included items from the National Army Museum along with local artifacts and stories to explore how Folkestone became a gateway between Britain and the rest of Europe.

'Your Country Calls: Enlistment To Embarkation is in partnership with the National Army Museum, Step Short and Folkestone Town Council. There are accompanying talks, object handling sessions and live performances which explore how the First World War changed the world.


More details can be found at FolkestoneExhibition (opens in a new window)


Monday, 16 June 2014

NWKFHS Drop-in, Mottingham, Kent Library. 28 June 2014 at 10:00–16:00. Free downloadable WWI Guide. Change of Speaker for the Dartford Branch Meeting on 6th September 2014. Marriage Certificate Petition. Manorial Documents Conference – Saturday 12 July 2014, Chelmsford, Essex.

NWKFHS Free Drop-in, Mottingham, Kent Library. 28 June 2014 at 10:00–16:00.

North West Kent Family History Society is hosting a Free drop-in session at Mottingham, Kent Library. It is open to all so if you have hit a brick wall or perhaps researching your WW1 ancestors? Why not pop in to Mottingham library and see if we can help you.

You do not need to book just come along 28 June 2014 between 10:00–16:00

Mottingham Library (Facebook) 31 Mottingham Road, SE9 4QZ London, United Kingdom

Researching your WWI family? NWKFHS has a Free downoadable guide to WWI resources on the Internet.

This Free 13 page Guide (pdf) can be down loaded from NWKFHS WWI Centenary Page

Change of Speaker for the Dartford Branch Meeting on 6th September 2014.

Mr. Peter Daniel was due to give a talk on A history of Crayford's famous textile printers. Due to unavoidable circumstances this has had to be changed. Mr Colin Brown has kindly agreed to take his place on 6 September to speak about Ordnance Survey Ancient and Modern: A history of Ordnance Survey.

Details about the Branch can be found at Dartford Branch Meetings


There is a petition to have the name of the mother included in English and Welsh Marriage Certificates.
This has long been the case in Marriage Certificates in Scotland and Northern Ireland where both parents are named. How much easier our research would be had this been the case in the past in England and Wales. So far over 60,000 people have signed.

Signing the petition will help future family historians and recognise that the mother should be named and recognised.

If you would like to support this the petition can be found at Marriage Certificate Petition 


Manorial Documents Conference – Saturday 12 July 2014, Chelmsford, Essex.

Essex Records Office is holding a Conference:  Essex Through The Ages: Tracing The Past Using Manorial Documents. Saturday 12 July, 10.30am-3.30pm. Full details can be found at Essex Records Office You need to Book and there is a fee (£15 which includes Lunch).