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News |WorldWar I Wartime life


told in leers LETTERS from the front feature in an exhibition of WWI memorabilia on display at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, to mark the centenary of WWI. In TheirOwnWords: KentVoices


of the First World War is a major new exhibition produced by Kent County Council. The exhibition reflects wartime experiences of men and women of Kent using photographs, letters, postcards,war records and spoken histories. Mike Hill, KCC cabinet member


for community services, said: “This exhibition is a wonderful opportu- nity for people to find out the real impact of this cataclysmic conflict on people in Kent.” Among the exhibits are:


 The story of the Orchard family – only one of four brothers returned from the Front;


Air Raids – first-hand accounts of air raids; evacuation orders; and newspaper articles;  Hardships – letters to the Kent War Relief Fund by women whose husbandswere called up. The exhibition runs to the end of October. For more information about events to commemorate the war, visitwww.kent.gov.uk/WW1


downsmail.co.uk


Appeal to family of gardener lost in action


THE Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is appealing for information about a Maidstone rose specialist whoworked with its team before going towar.


The RBGE, which this month opened a wild poppy memorial meadow to mark the centenary of the start of the war, wants to know more about its 73 gardeners who went off towar. Walter Henry Morland, from Maidstone, was one of 20 killed in action. Little is known about Private Morland’s life, other than that he was born in Maidstone on February 15, 1881, and joined the RBGE in 1910, after training at Kew. While at Kew, he joined its guild – a social and support club for garden staff – and created the RGBE’s own guild in 1913. As its first secretary, the guild’s activities were temporarily sus- pended when Morland signed up to the 5th Royal Scots on September 14, but he agreed to write for the Kew Guild journal. It reported: “We had a clear letter from him a day or two previously,


Maidstone Services we offer:


• A vibrant Day Care Service in seven locations throughout the Borough in partnership with Golding Homes and the PCT


• If required, transport can be provided to the Day Care facilities on our fleet of mini-buses


• Community Foot Care Services in the home or at our nearest clinic.


• Community Bathing Service in the home for Maidstone & Malling


• Independent Living Support for those that need help with their housework, garden or shopping


• Volunteering opportunities • Advocacy Service for Maidstone & Malling • Disability Travel Vouchers on behalf of Maidstone Borough Council


• Computer Classes for the over 60’s • A list of local traders that have been recommended to us by older people


• Wheelchair Hire from our office in the town centre • The Goodman Centre for clients with Dementia • Information & advice for over 50’s in our office in Mill Street.


For more information on all our services, please feel free to contact us at: 7, Mill Street, Maidstone, Kent. ME15 6XW Between the hours of 10am-4pm Monday – Thursday, 10am-2pm Friday Or telephone us on 01622 753618 Or email: info@ageukmaidstone.org.uk Or visit our website: www.ageuk/maidstone.org.uk


12 Maidstone South August 2014


found his body.” Private Morland was 34. His


legacy – the RGBE Guild – cele- brated its 100th birthday last year. RBGE archivist Leonie Paterson


full of hope, and a promise to write his experiences for the journal. But alas, in less than two months our comrade had fallen. “He got safely through the terri-


ble landing on April 25, but did not return from a desperate assault on awood below Krithia on May 7. “For threeweeks no traces of him


could be found, and it was sup- posed he had been taken prisoner; then his chums, during an advance,


hopes Mr Morland’s family still live in Maidstone and will have more details about his life. She said: “Our library holds the 1921 War Service Roll to ‘preserve for all time the story of the loyalty of our garden staff’and there is a memorial in the grounds. However, at the outbreak of the Great War, the garden had 110 staff. Of the 88 male employees, 73 joined the forces and 20 lost their lives in action. “We are using the anniversary to appeal for information to get a deeper understanding of the gar- den’s own FirstWorldWar story.” The RBGE’sWar Service Roll can


be viewed atwww.rbge.org.uk and anyone with information about the gardeners can send contributions to commemorate@rbge.org.uk.


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