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Author Topic: The Hop Pickers War Memorial, Five Oak Green  (Read 678 times)

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The Hop Pickers War Memorial, Five Oak Green
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 22:14:47 »

For the Little Hoppers Hospital, (The ex Rose and Crown) in front of which the memorial was built, see: http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=20258.0

Each year brought an increasing usefulness to the Rose and Crown, till in 1914 came the war with Germany. During those four dread years many pickers gave their lives. In 1915 the widow of one of them gave Father Wilson a pound in his memory. Shortly afterwards Mr. Charles Saunders, an undergraduate who had done invaluable work for two seasons, was killed in France. In his field book he had left directions that, in the event of his death, any back pay due to him was to go to the mission. To this sum his mother added a most generous donation and in this way the hop-pickers' War Memorial Fund was started. It was enthusiastically supported by the pickers who at once began contributing to it and collecting for it.

Seven years were to elapse before the necessary five or six hundred pounds were raised. The Architect, Mr. Hake, generously gave his talented services, but the rising building costs disappointingly postponed its completion. Eventually the whole of the courtyard was paved with bricks and a loggia built on three of its sides, including an entrance from the road. The roofs were tiled to match that of the old building. The bricks pillars were coloured white. When finished it suggested Italy and grapes rather than Kent and hops, but its arcades had the severely practical purpose of affording shelter in bad weather. In one of these was an open fire-place, so comforting on cold September evenings. Above it an oak tablet bore the names of the pickers* who had died on active service.

Over the entrance was a moulded plaster panel, since replaced by a wooden one, on which, between clusters of hops, was inscribed:

In Happy Memory of Old Friends,
Who loved hopping and who loved this place
very dearly,
Who gave their lives for Old England
and for us, 1914-1918.
Lord all pitying, Jesu blest,
Grant them Thine Eternal Rest

The Memorial was blessed by the Bishop of Stepney, Dr. Henry Mosley, at the beginning of the hopping of 1925, in the presence of a great crowd of pickers whose pennies had helped to build it.

* Not only pickers, but also men associated with the church mission.

From Pull No More Poles. J G W Farley. The Faith Press. 1962. p 48-49.

For more details of the memorial see: http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/16273

Those listed on the oak tablet over the fire-place.


Charles Fabian Saunders.
Born 20th January 1895. Son of Edward Saunders F. R. S. and M Agnes Saunders of St Ann's, Reigate, Surrey.
Second Lieutenant "C" Coy, 7th Battalion The Northampton Regiment. Killed at Guillemont on the 18th August 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.
Buried at Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France. Plot l. Row F. Grave 37,

Louis Francis Bisaney.
Born 9th June 1885. Son of Mr L F and Mrs E Bisaney of Kingston-on-Thames. Emigrated to Canada just before the outbreak of war.
4th Battalion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment. Killed 16th June 1917.
Buried at La Targette British Cemetery, Neuville-St-Vaast, France.

Albert Agambar.
Son of Benjamin and Eliza Agambar of 101 Devonshire Street, Mile End, London.
Lance Corporal, 13th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Killed 6th April 1918. Age 23.
Commemorated on panel 19-21, Pozieres Memorial.

Jonas Willoughby.

Richard Bull.
Son of Mrs Elizabeth Bull of 8 Market Street, Stepney.
Private 13th Battalion Essex Regiment. Died 13th November 1916. Aged 21.
Buried at Serre Road Cemetery No. 2. Plot 1 Row D Grave 3.

John Lowe.

Joseph Harvey.

Reverend Benjamin Corrie Ruck-Keene.
Chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class.
Born St Johns Vicarage, Withyham, Sussex. Son of The Reverend Edmund Ralph Ruck-Keene.
Ruck-Keene had been a curate at St James the Great in Bethnal Green prior to beginning his service with the Army Chaplains Department on 10th January 1917.
Attached to 8th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. Killed in action 26th September 1917 near Passchendaele during the 3rd Battle of Ypres, when a shell hit the regimental aid post.
Buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery West-Valaandern, Belgium. Plot l Row F Grave 37.

Alfred Charles Sambrook.
Private First Battalion Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry. Died 14th September 1914.
Commemorated at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial Seine-et-Marne, France.
      (Entry provisional but highly likely.)

Robert Williams.

William Phillips.

Harry William Bradly Burkett.
Son of Harry Burkett of 56, Fulham Road, London. Died 14th April 1918, age 23.
Buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery extension, Nord France.

 

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