At the February meeting, Elizabeth Finn took as her subject ‘The Thompson Brothers of Kippington: a story of the First World War’. This was not just the story of a family, but of the various means by which the information about them was collected starting from a single photograph of three young men in First World War uniform. The photo was one of 600 glass plate negatives found in the shop formerly used by photographer Essenhigh Corke. He advertised in the Sevenoaks Chronicle free photographs of service men and women – the resulting 600 included service people from 60 regiments.

From the uniforms and badges, the speaker found the regiments of these brothers, and their names and other information were found from census returns, ‘Ancestry’ website, The Times, London Gazette, Kippington Parish records and magazines and regimental histories.

All three brothers survived the war and were decorated for gallantry. Also on one of the glass negatives was the photo of one of their sisters who was a VAD nurse at Cornwall Hall, Sevenoaks.

At the end of the meeting it transpired that several members of that family were in the audience.

Adrienne Rogers
27 February 2016

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