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The Kent Family 1940
With her son
Arthur Edward McCullum Forrester
This photo was taken in 1939.
The writing on the back of the photo says "in the park", and we assume in Folkestone, Kent. However, looking at it closely it may well have been taken in Kingsnorth Gardens, Folkestone.
Mabel was age 46 and Arthur, her son age 22 when the photo was taken.
My thanks to Norman & his late sister Valda, my second cousins in Australia for this photo.
Arthur is sitting down & standing beside him is his brother Frederick William John.
The Canadian Connection
Alice Jane Shrubsole & four of her daughters aged 19, 21, 23 & 25 emigrated to Canada in 1924.
Her husband George Finn had committed suicide in 1922 & her first born had died in 1904 aged just 6 years old. A new start in a new country must have seemed like a lifeline for them.
I know that her sister Rosa Emma & husband Edwin Diwell had emigrated there in 1911 (although at some stage, as yet undiscovered when, they returned to England to live).
Her other sister Sarah Ann (Sally) with husband James John Gardner & children also emigrated there in 1911 & remained there. One of their sons Louis came back to fight in WW1 & sadly died at Vimy Ridge 12 April 1917
Some more of the Bassett Family
Charles Frederick Fagg 1896 -
Gordon Harry Fagg 1913 -
Top middle -
Bottom middle -
Thomas P Fagg 1901 -
Edward R Fagg 1895 -
The Kennett Family -
James & Margaret Kennett
With 6 of their 7 children -
Percy, Horace, Emily, Ernest,
Albert & Frederick
James Kennett & his wife Margaret
With his sister Caroline (my gt gmother)
Albert Kennett b1869 (James’ son) & Emily b1872
A Shrubsole branch of the tree
This family lived and worked at Gain Hill Farm during the 1930’s & 1940’s
The one opposite is George Henry Shrubsole
& his wife
Maragaret Ellen Apps 1871-
My thanks to John P Smith, grandson of George & Margaret Shrubsole, for letting me have copies of the lovely photos of the family, & also for letting me publish here:
“A Weekend at Gain Hill”.
The above photograph shows how the house looked in May 2007. It was quite a shock to see what happened to the two original old farm cottages; they have now undergone some major changes, and are barely recognizable. The cottage to the right was the home of the Shrubsole family. My mother was the youngest daughter of the Shrubsole's seven children and this was her family home until 1935 when she and my father were married.
My first memories of Gain Hill were around 1940. At that time my mother's father, her sister Rose and her brother Percy were still living there. My father owned a motor car and we would often visit the family on week-
It was towards the end of May 1941 when I started school, about two weeks after my fifth birthday. The Second World War had already been in progress for over a year, and the Battle of Britain was raging over London and South East England. Where we lived in Wateringbury was only two miles south of the R.A.F. Fighter Base at West Malling, and the airfield soon became a prime target for the German's nightly bombing raids. It was fair to say that life at that time was quite frightening. Whenever possible my mother would try to get away but as I was at school it would sometimes only be for a weekend or when we were on school holidays. The place she like to visit most of all was to her family home at Gain Hill. It would take about two hours to get there on two different buses. We would leave home early in the morning and go into the bus station in Maidstone, and then catch another bus out through Yalding to Collier Street.
After getting off the bus at Crow Plain, it was about a fifteen minute walk along the lanes. As soon as I could I would run off along the lane with mother calling after me to stop, or keep out of the grass but of course I would pretend not to hear. The lanes were quite narrow with high hedges and deep ditches on either side. About halfway the lane joined another lane by a bridge where water ran under the road. I liked to throw little stones into the water and watch the ripples. Sometimes I might be lucky and see a small animal running along the bank; it was all great fun. When my mother caught up she would tell me off for not listening to her, and for the rest of the journey I was made to walk like a gentleman (as she would say). My darling mother never did understand that I was only good at two things; one was running, the other being naughty.
We walked on up the little hill past a few old cottages, and soon we came to the little dirt track on the left where we had to turn. This little track led into a small farm area that we knew as Gain Hill. On the right was open grassland where sheep grazed and sometimes baby lambs would be jumping about. Usually there were one or two haystacks nearby, which in Winter would be used as feed or bedding for the animals. On the left were several low open sided sheds with thatched roofs where the big hay wagons were kept. Further along on the left we come to some trees growing around an old pond that was fenced off. I was always told not to go near the water because of the snakes, and for once in my life I did as I was told. Next to the pond was the little garden gate that usually hung partly open, as if saying come in, you are welcome.
We walked through the gate onto a rough uneven path that had large stones and parts of house bricks sticking up all over the place. It was not a good path for running on as I remember. I would stop to admire the large Pampas grass that grew in the corner of the garden; it's large tall white feather like flowers always fascinated me. They looked like the tail feathers of some giant bird. By now mother had usually spotted her father working in the garden, “Hello Daddy” she calls out. He looks up and waves. We walk on down the path towards the two cottages; theirs was the one on the right where we all meet at the back door. Mother gives her father a hug and a kiss, I am invited to also give my granddad a kiss, reluctantly I do so, his large bushy and very prickly moustache was never very inviting. At this point Auntie Rose appears from somewhere inside the house & I anxiously look around for my cousin Beryl. “Give Auntie Rose a kiss” my mother orders. “Hello Auntie Rose” I say standing on tip toe to give her a quick peck on the cheek. She smiles, then turns to go back inside, and we follow her in.
Within ten minutes we are all having a welcome drink and some of Auntie Rose's buns. I like her buns as she always managed to slightly burn the tops and bottoms giving them a special taste. I liked my mother's cakes and buns too but they never had that special burnt taste that I liked. I guess that I was a picky little so and so, never satisfied mother would often say.
After our refreshments it was out to play with Beryl; we had good fun running around the farm. There were lots of places to run and hide from each other and play tag. Sometimes we would go with Granddad when he fed the animals. For most of the time we got on very well together without any problems. However now and then we did have our little disagreements, which was usually my fault over the rope swing. It hung from one of the lower branches of the big old Oak tree in the garden, next to the shed where Uncle Perce kept his little Morris eight car, and yes, I must confess I did rather dominate when it came to that swing. Sometimes my mother had to settle things by giving me a smack but it never made much difference, despite my affection for my little cousin.
(How I wish I could say sorry, but sadly Beryl died 1997 aged 60 years. R.I.P Dear cousin.)
The the inside of the cottage was just as exciting as the outside, with so many wonderful things to look at, a bit like being in a modern day antique shop. The red brick floors were well worn from age and endless scrubbing; a few well worn rugs were placed in the doorways and around the fireplace. A long wooden handled copper warming pan hung on the wall over the sofa and endless well polished brass items were placed around the fireplace. Large dome shaped glass cases that contained stuffed birds dotted the room; my favourite one was an Owl holding a mouse in one of its claws in a woodland setting. Dozens of old family photos hung on the walls. Everywhere I looked there was something different that attracted my attention. Everything was well polished making it plain for all to see, that Auntie Rose did a good job of taking care of the home. Gain Hill was such a nice place to visit I can now understand why my mother always wanted to go back there whenever she could.
Grandmother Shrubsole had died before I was born but her cacti collection lived on, and still flourished in their fancy pots that stood on the wide sitting room window sill. I was always interested in their shapes, and how their needles formed geometric patterns, while others had long tails that hung down all around the pot. Above the cacti, and hanging from a hook in the ceiling was the cage of Joey the yellow canary. When he decided to sing all conversation had to stop, it was so loud that he often had to be covered up to keep him quiet. I can still hear him as he tried to compete with the Grandmother clock as it marked the passing hours with its rapid ringing sounds.
Life at Gain Hill was very primitive. No gas or electricity, only candles and oil lamps for lighting, and coal fires for heating and cooking. Although they did have a rather unusual three burner oil stove, which also had an oven. The only other one that I have ever seen like it is here in Australia, in the pioneer museum nearby in the Adelaide hills town of Birdwood. All the water came from a well in the garden, and had to be pumped up by hand. I can remember seeing Granddad carrying two buckets at a time with the aid of a yoke, a wooden devise that fitted across his shoulders with metal chains to hang the buckets on.
After tea Uncle Perce would put on his Home Guard uniform and go out and join the other Home Guards on night patrols. Later in the evening as it started to get dark Auntie Rose would light the big oil lamp, and put it in the middle of the round table. I thought the lamp was quite magical; its cut glass oil container would cast fancy patterned shadows on the walls and ceiling, as we sat and did drawing or colouring before bedtime. Sometimes my mother would say that if I was good we could listen to the music from the little wind-
Just for a few hours we could almost forget that the war was raging only a few miles away. Then the unthinkable happened. On our next visit we found that a Search Light and Gun Battery had been installed in the meadow next to our farm. From then on Gain Hill also had its share of bombs dropping all around, making holes in the meadow and nearby orchards. For the next few years we just had to put up with whatever the Germans decided to send.
Grandmother & Grandfather Shrubsole now rest next to each other in the churchyard at Collier Street.
Written by John P Smith
7th March 2009
The Shrubsole & Devereese Connection
The bride & groom at
St Saviour’s Church
Folkestone, Kent, England
The parents of the bride & groom
Another branch of the Shrubsole tree
This branch has Peter Shrubsole, son of Thomas Shrubsole & Maria Matcham.
Peter was famous in Folkestone for being the first motor bus driver,
with plenty of pictures of him to be found in Folkestone history books
Peter Shrubsole, the first motor bus driver in Folkestone in 1902
& a couple more of Peter below.
The wedding of Peter John West & Ethel Kate White.
The second photo is Peter John West, Ethel Kate White & Ethel’s father Alfred White; the little girl being Roasalie Eileen Shrubsole & we are not sure who the young lad at the back with the cap on is, suspect he may be a brother to Ethel.
Caroline Shrubsole & Alfred Tucker
This one taken on their wedding day 3rd October 1936
A branch of the Shrubsole Tree
& the Cumberland Connection
Harry Shrubsole 1885 -
Harry Lorraine 1915-
Jeannie, Harry & Caroline
Daniel Cook 1911 -
This photo of the Arc de Triomphe with British Soldiers was taken during the liberation of of France in WWII, so about August 1944. We also believe Daniel Cook to be among the soldiers but can’t as yet pinpoint him.