In every city, town and village this decade was dominated by the Great War which raged from 1914 to 1918. Challock was no exception. 11 men gave their lives and a further 48 served for varying periods. It is difficult to assess the effect this would have had on such a small community. In one case it appears that 6 members of the same family served and 1 of these died. Their names are commemorated in plaques in the Parish Church and the Memorial Hall. We have tried to give as much information as possible on each of those who made the supreme sacrifice and this information can be found under the “Lest we forget” pages on the main village website We are, of course, aware that there are differences between the plaques in the church and the memorial hall. For the purpose of this history we have combined the information and worked on the combination. As far as the Great War is concerned we have the problem of the passing of time. We are talking to as many people as possible who have knowledge of these times so that we can record any information for future generations. If you can help in any way, please contact us.
Two brasses in the Parish Church have dates in this decade. One reads: Rev William Henry Vicar 1919. The other reads: Henry William Lyall 1915 son of one time vicar of Challock and one whose gaeity and kindness of heart will be long remembered.
A Forgotten Gravestone
Pictures kindly supplied by Fred Hams
In a small piece of woodland by the side of the lane leading to the Gliding Club there is a gravestone, inscribed, as far as I am able to discern, In loving memory of Rosa Earl, Wife of George Earl of Challock. Died the 4th day of the 4th month 1911 aged 66. Also of George Earl, died on the 20th day of the 7th month 1921 aged 80. From the 1901 census we find that George was born about 1842 in Stowing and Rosa about 1845 in Hastingleigh. They had a son Sidney born about 1887 in Dunkirk (Kent), and a daughter Kate born about 1885 also in Dunkirk. In 1901 we learn they were living at Little Paddock Farm. George is listed as a General Labourer and Sidney as an agricultural Labourer. At one time there were four stones witht the other three believed to be graves of the Merricks. At one time there had been a small wooden chapel in front of where the last gravestone now stands.
1918 Land & Property Sales
Pictures kindly supplied by Hugh Potter
The poem which follows is a potted history,in it’s own right, of Challock around 1917 listing many of the people and places of that time. My thanks to Hugh Potter for the copy of the poem and background information. Some villagers may recall that this was printed in the Forester a little while ago with an explanation that it followed a phone call from a Mr Johnson of Crowborough . The poem had been passed to him by his wife’s aunt who was the daughter of Leonard Winter. The poem was written by his wife’s grandfather. It seems that Leonard Winter was living in the Village Chapel with his wife and two small children. He had been sent from Ashford as he was suffering from TB and it was hoped that the Challock fresh air would be beneficial. He was 33 and sadly died four years later.
At the top of a hill in the County of Kent
A village called Challock you’d find if you went;
Midway between Ashford and Faversham ‘tis found
Where nature in all her beauty doth bound.
The village, though small, can boast of its Green
Surrounding its borders quaint houses are seen,
And although the people but number two-fifty
They tell us they are both healthy and thrifty.
The Church is not near to the village Green
As so often the case in the country is seen;
But three quarters of a mile through a shady lane
A view of the Church you then do gain.
The village school, though somewhat small,
Is large enough for the children all,
Who go there day by day to learn
Their lessons well and wrong to spurn.
Miss Stock, the mistress, who is in charge
Helps there, the childrens’ minds to enlarge
When in the playground shines the sun.
The Society of Friends have a Mission Hall
And a hearty welcome extends to all,
To come and meet with them in praise
To God our Father on all First Days.
An Adult School is held on Thursday each week
Where the Bible is studied for its lessons to seek.
They meet in a room at a house in the Paddock
And also have Lectures and even sell Haddock.
The Village smith of course you’ll find Shoeing horses of every kind.
And when he is not using his hammer
He is cutting mens’ hair, three for a tanner.
The Village builder is Mr. Austen
If it’s a house you want or a coffin,
To him you go with your request,
Tell him you’ll pay, then he’ll do his best.
The three brothers Chapman make the bread,
Of which the people in the Village are fed.
And if you require a cake or a tart
They will also bring this in their pony and cart.
For butcher’s meat, I am sorry to say,
The shop is nigh three miles away.
But he comes from Charing twice a week
To bring the meat you want to eat.
Then there is the General Shop
If it’s a pound of tea or a bottle of pop,
All sorts of goods you there can buy
And courteously served by Mrs Guy.
The pillar box is here to be found
Which the postman empties when he’s done his round,
And if stamps or orders you require
Just step inside and be the buyer.
For daily papers you have to depend
On a lad whom Mrs Guy doth send.
To a shop in Charing for them he goes
Whether its fine or whether it snows.
Then there is Mr Headley who lives at the Bays,
Where visitors are welcome and spend happy days.
A Railway Carriage is in the garden, though an unusual sight,
But it’s used for sleeping in the summer at night.
The policeman too, I must also mention,
His name is Potter and he had retired on his Pension,
But through the War has once again
To his duties returned without disdain.
There are folk in the Village whom I must just mention
And call by name and draw your attention.
There’s a Shepherd, an Earl, and also a Queen,
A Woodcock and White, a Brown and a Green.
Much more one could say of real interest,
But as I am leaving I must leave the rest.
For some other pen who perchance may write
When of Good old Challock they catch a sight.
A poem by L E Winter - August 1917