An Invitation to a Memorial Service for Bridget Aurea Lambarde, Tuesday 5 March

We are pleased to have organised a memorial to a local nurse who served throughout the war on the hundredth anniversary of her death during the influenza pandemic. Bridget Aurea Teresa Lambarde (known as Aurea), is buried in a wargrave with a private memorial in the churchyard at St Mary’s Riverhead.

Aurea had served with the Kent Reserve Voluntary Aid Detachment and was commandant at St John’s VAD Hospital from October 1914 until July 1915.

Aurea Lambarde

Aurea was born in 1889 in Ireland and was the elder daughter of Major William Gore Lambarde. William Lambarde was the last owner of Bradbourne House and estate in Sevenoaks, whic was sold in 1927. Lambarde Road in Sevenoaks is named after the family.

She died from pneumonia whilst serving at the Royal Naval Hospital, Portland in Dorset. The inscription on her grave reads

‘In loving memory of Bridget Aurea Teresa Lambarde, elder daughter of William Gore and Florence Lambarde of Bradbourne Hall, Riverhead, who died March 5th A.D. 1919 aged 29 years’.

As a commandant at one of the town’s VAD hospitals Aurea oversaw arrangements for the arrival of the first wounded men and Belgian refugees who began to arrive in Kent from October 1914. She would have been well known locally and often wrote to the Sevenoaks Chronicle to appeal for funds and support for the hospital and her efforts.

Aurea died in the influenza epidemic that had begun in late 1918.

The short service to remember Aura will take place on the centenary fo her death at 10.00 on Tuesday 5 March and those attending are asked to arrive for 9.50.

Sevenoaks Mayor, Cllr Roderick Hogarth, will be attending along with Riverhead Parish Councillor, Martin Denton.

Prayers will be offered by Daphne Harrison of St Mary’s church.

We hope that local residents will be able to join us to rememebr Aurea and all women who served with the local Voluntary Aid Detachment and British Red Cross during the Great War.

 

 

Great War Medal Reunited with a Sevenoaks Family

Last week we were able to reunite a Great Great Nephew of Gunner Robert Jappe with one of his medals.
Robert Jappe was born in Argentina in 1896. His widowed mother had returned to the U.K. in 1901 with her six sons and settled at Watson’s Villas in the St John’s area of Sevenoaks.
Robert enlisted at Woolwich with the 93rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery and served on the Western Front from October 1915. He was killed on 17 July 1917 and is buried at the Canada Farm Cemetery, Belgium.
Shane Jappe at the war memorial standing to the left of his uncle’s name
Robert’s nephew, Shane, had previously been in contact with historian Matt Ball, who has been able to purchase Robert’s  1914-15 Star at auction.
Matt had recently been invited to attend the national service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey and had taken Gunner Jappe’s medal with him to the service.
Shane recently contacted Matt again and the pair met up with Shane’s wife and father-in-law at the War Memorial, where Matt was able to hand over the medal, which Shane’s father-in-law purchased as a gift for him and Matt also presented a signed copy of his first book.
Both Shane and Matt are keen to hear from anyone connected to the Jappe family, especially anyone who may have Robert’s other medals (The Victory and the British War medals) and the Memorial Plaque that would have been sent to his next of kin.

New Beacon Pupil’s Letter to Sevenoaks Soldier

Young people across Sevenoaks have been invited to send letters to those who served in The Great War as part of this month’s centenary commemoration. In a collaboration between Sevenoaks Town Council, the Sevenoaks WW1 project, and MySevenoaksCommunity, a bespoke poppy post box was created by local carpenter Terry Malone and placed in the foyer of the Stag Theatre.

We’ve had a terrific response from young people in the town and all of the letters received will be scanned and uploaded to the Sevenoaks Town Council website as well as our own.

We’re very pleased to print below one of the first letters, from Samuel Tansley aged 11, a pupil at the New Beacon School.

Before the war, Siegfried Sassoon and his brother, Hamo, were pupils at the New Beacon, along with the sons of the Rector of St Nicholas, Guy and Kingsley Rooker. The sons of the Vicar of St Mary, Kippington, Piers, Austen and Sidney Thompson, were fellow pupils. All of those boys, apart from Hamo who was killed at Gallipoli in 1915, survived. In total there were 37 casualties amongst the School’s former pupils. Samuel Tansley decided to write to one of them: Alan George Livesey of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Dear 2nd Lt Alan George Hilton Livesey

My name is Samuel. I have written to you to thank you for your sacrifices and exploits during the Great War. Like you did, I attend the New Beacon School in Sevenoaks. Unlike you, I have never seen the horrors of a battlefield, the brutal clamour of war, the cruelty of man set against man, under instructions to kill. I have known the fear and the crippling dread of an unknown and horrible death.

What I do know is peace and freedom and a life lived under free skies and friendly times. I know when I wake up, that I will have a good day because you suffered so many bad days for your country, your family, and your friends and for the children of the future, like me.

When you were at school, you played football, like me. You studied hard and went to university, earned a degree and started your career. But then the war came and you did your duty. They found your body at the edge of the German trenches, you had died leading your men into action, a hero. Your short life will be remembered by me and by others. We are truly grateful that you stood up and walked into No Man’s Land with such courage until you couldn’t walk any further. You were twenty six years old when you died.

I hope that you found some comfort amongst your fellow soldiers and knew how your sacrifice would be remembered. Perhaps you would never have imagined that a boy from your old school writing to you 100 years after you fought your last battle. I am writing your name at the top of my letter because your story spoke to me. I hope that my words express my admiration and awe.

Congratulations to Samuel for his excellent letter. There’s still time to post entries and we look forward to posting more.