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Richmond WW1 Diary 29 August 1916

The funeral of Mrs Christmas An article in the Richmond & Twickenham Times recorded the funeral of Mrs Christmas of 2 St John’s Cottages, Kew. Alice Christmas had been working out of the Acton Garage for the London General Omnibus Company when she was killed in an omnibus accident in Fulham. Her funeral was attended by 32…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 31 May 1916

Battle of Jutland The Battle of Jutland was fought between the British and German fleets off the coast of Denmark in May 1916. It was the only large naval battle of the war and British losses were sudden and spectacular. And, despite Germany claiming a victory, the German fleet was also severely compromised. East Sheen resident,…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 10 May 1916

Conscientious Objectors sent to France In May 1916 the British government took dramatic action to try and break the conscientious objectors movement. Some 50 men were transported to France, 35 of them under the threat of a death sentence. On arrival the men were put on duty in Non Combatant Corps. On 10 May 1916,…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 26 June 1915

Suspected German imprisoned On 26 June 1915 the Richmond Herald ran an article about the sentencing of a German national as an Enemy Alien. Heinrich Pretyfelder, known as Henry Jay Pretyfeld, was a commercial traveller of West Park Road, Kew. Born in Germany, he had lived in the US since the age of 16 and…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 8 June 1915

In the edition of 14 June 1915, the Herald announced that William Henry Johnston VC had been killed in action on 8 June. As a Captain in the Royal Engineers, on 14 September 1914, at Missy on the River Aisne in France, William crossed the river seven times in a raft under constant fire to…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 8 May 1915

Richmond women join the war effort The lives of many women changed dramatically during the war. The Suffragette movement had gained momentum before war began and its supporters and opponents continued to be publicly active, though efforts of both parties were now firmly focussed towards helping with war work. The absence of men opened up…

Allan Barr leading his troops in Peronne

WW1 stories from the ladies of Kew

In February 2015, staff from the Museum of Richmond joined residents from Abbeyfield’s Palmer House in Kew for a reminiscence session. Using objects from the museum’s WWI collection and recordings of popular songs, we shared some of the stories recovered as part of the HLF-funded Richmond at Home and at War project. The visit prompted…