Friday, April 19th, 2024

Do you know someone who ‘did their bit’ during the second world war? Otford history groups want to hear their stories

BACK IN TIME: The 1940s Society and the Otford and District Historical Society would like to hear about Otford memories and family connections to the second world war.

Rather like the ‘Poppies around the Pond’ in 2018 that honoured the Fallen from the First World War, the organisations are trying to find out as much information as possible about those from the village who fought during the Second World War. Eight Otford men sacrificed their lives, and they would like to know more about each man’s story.

However, they also seek to highlight all those from the village who entered the Forces and ‘did their bit’ – where all too frequently that ‘bit’ involved incredible tenacity and bravery.

These individual stories deserve to be told on ‘VE Day 75’ and preserved for future generations. So, if you know of, or are related to, a service man with local connections get in touch with The 1940s Society and the Otford and District Historical Society through The Otford Parish Office.

Similarly, they would like to hear about the whole ‘sweep’ of the conflict as it impacted locally – not just those in the forces, but also the hard-working men and women who kept the war-factories open, the hospitals operational and local farms running throughout the years of turmoil. Was your dad or uncle an ARP warden, a police officer, a firemen, or in the Home Guard? Perhaps your mum or aunt was a ‘Land Girl’, or you remember the war through the eyes of a child, or as an evacuee.

If you think you have a story to tell, please leave your name and contact details at the Parish Office (in the Otford Heritage Centre next to the village school) and they will get in touch.

OTFORD OAST WI: The next meeting will be held at 9.30am on Thursday, 20 February in Otford Memorial Hall. A talk will be given by Caroline Alexander on The History of Ladybird Books. New members are welcome, the first meeting is free. For further information email:

GIRL GIIDES AND GIRL SCOUTS around the world have celebrated World Thinking Day on 22 February annually since 1926. It is a day to connect with their worldwide sisters and enjoy being part of an organisation with 10 million global members. Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers, Trefoil and Leaders from Kemsing and Otford District will be marking the day on Saturday 22 February with a local walk, finishing at Otford village green where the WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scout) flag will be flying. If you were once a Rainbow, Brownie, Guide, Ranger or Leader you are invited to go along and join them at 11am on The Green when they will be renewing their Girlguiding promise. They would love to see you or follow them on social media using the hashtags #WTD2020 #Our Hands.

FAIR FEAST 2020 is on Shrove Tuesday 25 February between 7.30 – 9.30pm. Fair Feast is held at Otford Methodist Church and consists of pancakes and other refreshments and a quiz, with prizes for those on the winning table. Admission is by ticket (£7, students £3.50) and they may be bought now, although payment need not be made until the night. Tables seat eight people but everyone is welcome and reservations may be made for any number from one upwards. To reserve places contact Glen Cable by calling 01732 457842 or email:

All ticket receipts and any donations are donated to All We Can, the Methodist relief fund, to support work in an area of great need. This year, All We Can suggest that the money raised by Fair Feast 2020 will be used to support communities in Ethiopia which have been affected by their rapidly changing climate making it increasingly difficult to grow crops and earn a living.

All We Can are supporting vulnerable families in those communities with crops that are better adapted to the climate, as well as arranging, as necessary, training in farming and business management.

TONBRIDGE & MALLING RAMBLERS offer a short walk around Knole Park on Wednesday 15 March starting at 11am. Meet and park in the main Knole NT car park, £5 for non-members, car share if possible (TN15 0RP, TQ538543). Good paths and tracks. Followed by lunch or coffee in the National Trust cafe. Toilets near the start. Dogs on short leads. This is a circular walk with an estimated finish time of 12:30pm. For more info call: 01732 220477 or 07850 562527.

The Otford village news is compiled by Kay Drake. If you have any news or events you would like her to consider for the My Sevenoaks Community village column you can email her at:


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