Thursday, April 08, 2010

Visit to East Malling

A couple of weeks ago I bought some items on Ebay and as the seller was based in Kent decided to pick them up in person to save on postage.
This lead us to visit the historic country village of East Malling a few miles outside Maidstone.

As junior was not in tow for a change, (he was at Centre Parcs running riot with his cousin for the weekend!), we were able to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the village and a very tasty lunch at the traditional King and Queen pub.

Opposite the pub is a small green with a well tended war memorial and behind that the impressive looking church of St James the Great which dates back to the 1100's.

Unfortunately once again, as often seems to be the case nowadays in Kent, the church was locked so we were not able to take a look inside. A shame but it seems the days when a church's door was always open are sadly long gone.
We settled for a look around outside the church which threw up some things of interest.....

I wonder whether Mrs Baker did really live to the ripe old age of 105? They were prone to a bit of exaggeration in those days!

There are a handful of war graves in the cemetery from both the First and Second World Wars. It is good to see that even though Private Fowler died in 1918, he is still remembered today.

I came across a memorial to Captain Frederick Andrewes Larking of the Submarine Miners R.E. who died of typhoid in Gosport, Hampshire on 26th May 1893 age 32.

I had never heard of a Submarine Miner before so decided to do some digging around.....

The Submarine Miners were a specialist division of the Royal Engineers formed in April 1871 and tasked with laying underwater mines in British harbour entrances to prevent unwanted incursions by enemy vessels.

A depot for the Submarine Miners was established in Chatham in 1877 and the service continued to expand. By 1886 there were nine companies based around the UK and also in Bermuda, Halifax (Canada), Malta and Hong Kong.

The Submarine Mining Service was eventually transferred to the Royal Navy in 1905.

Please feel free to leave a comment. They are always welcome. If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also like....

Milton Church, Gravesend - Porcupines & Masons

The White Cross of Shoreham, Kent

Tracing the Family Tree in Chelsfield, Kent

Day Trip to Rochester


  1. Your East Malling war memorial is unusual, I think. Slim and not very tall, you might miss it from the street. Yet it has something elaborate on top that I cannot quite see from the photo. Is it some sort of gothic architectural element?

    I am teaching a subject next semester called The Art and Architecture of World War One. So if there are interesting paintings, sculptures or other war memorials, I'd love to know about them.

  2. Hi Hels - thanks for your comment. The style of the memorial in East Malling is indeed unusual. At the top of the monument are some carved figures.

    Practically every town and village in Kent has a war memorial. They were mostly erected in 1920.

    I have a number of war memorial pictures on Flickr and will PM you details on Blogcatalog. You are welcome to use any you find interesting for your teaching next semester.


  3. Hi Glen, Paul here, coming in via Real Bloggers United - my wife and I lived in Kent , in Tunbridge Wells for a couple of years back in the late 90s - our only regret was we never spent enough time exploring the beautiful surrounding area - too much time spent commuting in and out of london I'm afraid - look forward to reading more!

  4. Another interesting post, thanks. East Malling's a charming village (not a description often used of Maidstone, though.....)

  5. What a stunning post Glen! People often ask why I have moved to kent and this is why. It is absolutely beautiful and I really love the history and all the little towns!

  6. Great to see eBay leading to a good day out. Graveyards are always interesting places. 105 is a ripe old age. Good post as per. Thanks, Phil.