Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 28 November 2002



Sad story
FROM Pennsylvania, USA, comes one of the saddest stories I have ever read while writing articles for "Memories." It comes from the great-granddaughter of a man who was a sergeant major in the Machine Gun Corps and had a family in Chart Road, Folkestone in the 1920s.

Linda Buchinsky, who made contact by e-mail, is basically appealing to someone to "give back to my father his family!"

Linda explains: "I am the granddaughter of Trooper Eric Albert Hill, the son of Albert Thomas Hill and Gertrude Harriett Hill (nee Willey.)

"When grandfather Eric was born, on March 23, 1920, the home address was listed as 38 Chart Road, Folkestone.

"On October 10, 1941. grandfather Eric was killed in a motor accident in Pottern Road, Devizes, when \ my father, Anthony Eric Hill, was four weeks of age, ' leaving my grandmother Patricia a widow.

Widow married GI
"Eric Hill was a trooper in the Royal Armoured Corps. They lived at Gorse Hill, Swindon. A passenger in the vehicle with my grandfather at the time of the accident was Trooper Brocklebank, who is believed to live in Swindon.

"My grandmother married an American GI in 1945 and went to the States to live." And then follows the sad bit of the story.

"When my father arrived here in the States at the age of four he was told by his stepfather never to
speak of the Hill family again. He destroyed any and all pictures and documents relating to the Hills - and my father was forced to assume the stepfather's name.

"But the stepfather never legally adopted my father, who goes under the name of Anthony Thomas Majusiak, and he is not considered an American citizen. He is not able to get a passport and cannot receive a social security retirement pension until the entire mess can be cleared up with the authorities here," Linda writes.

"Because my father's family was so cruelly taken from him, first by the accident that took his father's life, then by his step-father, I would very much like to find any family member, or perhaps someone who may have been friends with any of the above mentioned people.

"I would dearly like to give my father back the family he so sadly lost over 58 years ago. Any help will be greatly appreciated!"

"My father doesn't even know what his family looks like! He was only four when he was brought to the States and his stepfather destroyed everything related to the Hills. He wasn't a very nice man to my father."

Both great-grandfather Albert, born in New Swindon in 1891, and his wife Gertrude, who died in 1951 aged 60, are buried with grandfather Eric in Whitworth Road Cemetery, Swindon.

And Linda Buchinsky, of 620 West Green Street, West Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 18202 / USA, adds:

"I am desperately trying to find anyone who knew the family or are related to my family with hopes that somebody, somewhere has pictures of them."

Linda's e-mail address is
ARTHUR T Farley who has links with the Romney Marsh but currently lives in Germany, sent me an interesting panoramic photo showing how the sea froze at Lydd-on-Sea (Lade) nearly 40 years ago, thinking it would be of special interest to readers, and I hope to include it in Memories soon.

Mr Farley, a regular Folkestone Herald subscriber for many years, lived in the St Mary's area from 1950 onwards and attended Southlands School, New Romney.
Memories reader Mrs Joyce Heasman (nee Cory), of Geraldine Road, Cheriton showed me these two pictures of Folkestone hotel workers who used to keep fit by having long work-outs at the old polo ground, now the cricket ground, before starting their normal work at 7am!

This was around 1936/7. Encouraged by their employers they would take part in a range of activities from as early as 5am!

Mrs Heasman's daughter, Mrs Rita Polly, who works part-time for the Folkestone Herald, told me the photograph of a sack race features her uncle, the late William 'Bill' Rickwood, who was a waiter, second from the right. He was her

Queen Victoria’s grandson the Kaiser inspects troops

"I QnOTHE Herald published a four page sup-plement on art paper of photographs of the visit to Folkestone of the Kaiser who, mounted on horse-back, and particularly prominent on his white charger which he rode at the funeral of Queen Victoria, his grandmother. Wearing a gleaming military helmet he headed a grand military parade together with Field Marshall Lord Roberts, heroic British leader in the Boer War, There were six interesting photographs, taken during a south-westerly gale, of the procession and the impressive March Past at Shorncliffe Camp when the Kaiser inspected the Royal Dragoons, more than a thousand of them on parade. On a more sombre note a Herald reader was calling for something to be done to "save" East Cliff, pointing to the unwholesome sewage outfall, evil-smelling market gardens, 'a wilderness of thistles and nettles, the Isolation Hospital and brickfields - not to mention a planned refuse destructor and 'rows of cottages in the latest form of sanitary ugliness.' It seemed as though everyone's hand was against the area, if were not for the grand vista of cliffs and the sea, he wrote.

Lifeboat team looks back on century of life-saving

>«q(>qFOR A HUNDRED years the men of Dungeness had manned their lifeboat and the women helped launch it - and this century of service was commemorated by the Herald with a picture feature on the life-savers of the remote and notorious headland, with its shelving and constantly shifting shingle beach, which could make launching the boat a tricky operation. Photos included a classic view of men and women heaving on ropes to launch the lifeboat - at times making up a force 37 strong -and portraits of coxswain George Tart and first mechanic A.J. Oilier. Another local celebration involved a different life-saving team- Folkestone Pool Lifesaving Club which, in its first year had 500 members and was holding its first dinner. At Chilham Road, Cheriton Arthur Philpott, 66, who started work on horse buses, was due to retire after 50 years in public transport. As a boy he drove a Tommy Clayson horse-drawn vehicle at Sandgate, later went into partnership with his own norse>bus and ended up driving on the Folkestone to London run for the East Kent bus company. During the Second World War he had a lucky escape when his vehicle was machine-gunned while driving from London to Dover.
Laundry protest at smelly refuse destructor scheme

a 00*7 A LAUNDRY was objecting to a plan i/i for a refuse destructor 300ft from its Hythe premises. The council's health medical officer was satisfied, in view of prevailing winds, that it would be of no detriment to the business, but the Ministry of Health was notified of the objection. A new pulpit was dedicated at Sandgate parish church, the gift of the family of Mr and Mrs C.B, Master, of Shakespeare House, Sandgate, to mark their Golden Wedding. Alderman R.G. Wood was elected mayor of Folkestone for the fifth time. The same week distinguished soldier Brigadier-General George C. Cunningham was elected mayor of Hythe. Lord Folkestone gifted patronage of Christ Church to the Archbishop of Canterbury and gave £1,000 towards a new vicarage in Manor Road. The Herald printed an old picture of the old Cheriton Arch Station - forerunner of the Central Station — taken 47 years before, a time when there were no houses in view from the station, according to the caption. A Brussels Express steam locomotive headed a train that was arriving when the picture was taken.
Parliament and part-timers blamed by striking firemen

A Q-y-ySTRIKING firemen from Folkestone •L*7/ /joined with their colleagues in Ashford in picketing that town's fire station and 'A' Division HQ because senior fire brigade officers were operating a control there. A spokesmen said they were also considering what to do about retained stations across the Romney Marsh. Blame for the strike could be divided equally between the Government and the 'part-timers,' declared the strikers' spokesman. At Hawkinge 'havef«-go' fire fighters claimed they were available to answer emergency calls and were capable of getting to fires in minutes with a Landrover, but the authorities were refusing to let them use vital equipment. Kent Fire Brigade, they said, refused to let them use hoses and standpipes necessary for connection to fire hydrants. Meanwhile a fireman with the Folkestone brigade who died the previous year trying to rescue people trapped in Dover's ill-fated Crypt Restaurant where six people died, was awarded the Queen's Commendation for bravery. Three fellow firemen also involved in fighting the fire were similarly honoured. Traders in the Old High Street were offering a reward to help stop bizarre attacks on the “Witches Coven."

If anyone should have any a better picture than any on this page, or think I should add one they have, please email me at the following address:-