Sort file:- Walmer, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 27 September, 2021.


Earliest 1800s

(Name to)

Cambridge Arms

Latest Jan 2013

(Name to)

42 (4 1881Census) Dover Road

Lower Walmer


01304 366677

Cambridge Arms circa 1900

Above kindly sent to me by David Wraight, showing the "Cambridge Arms" circa 1900.

Cambridge Arms 1900

Above photo, circa 1900-30, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Royal Marines outside the Cambridge Arms.

Royal Marines parading outside the "Cambridge Arms." date some time between 1900 and 1930.

Cambridge Arms 1952

Above photograph showing the "Cambridge Arms" in 1952.

Cambridge Arms ledger

Thompson & Son ledger. Creative Commons Licence.

Cambridge Arms

Above picture showing the Cambridge Arms when they were selling Walmer Ales and Stout.

Cambridge Arms in Walmer Cambridge Arms in Walmer Cambridge Arms sign in Walmer

Above photos by Paul Skelton, 26 July 2008.


Built mid 1800s and named after the first Duke, a son of George III, who visited Walmer Castle in 1839 as guest of the Lord Warden, the Duke of Wellington.

Changed name to the "Drum Major" in April 1971, but now called the "Cambridge Arms" again. I do not yet know when it reverted back but believe this was after the Royal Marines left Deal on 26 March 1996.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 23 July, 1869.


We regret to announce that a fatal carriage accident occurred at Castle Hill, last night, which had had a fatal termination, the life of a lady who was on a brief visit to Dover from Brighton having been sacrificed. From the particulars we have been able to glean it appeared that the lady in question, the wife of a gentleman named Clark, yesterday came to Dover from Brighton for the day, in company with her lady friend. They were met at the South-Eastern Railway station by a gentleman named Brooksby, a connection of one of the ladies, whom drove over from Walmer in a carriage  he had hired for the purpose. the vehicle belonging to Mr. Barnes, livery stable keeper, of the "Cambridge Arms," Lower Walmer, and was driven by a man in his employ. It appeared that after the ladies had arrived at Dover they expressed a desire to visit St. Margaret's at Cliff, and the fly was driven to that village; and it was while the party were returning to Dover that the accident occurred. From what is stated it seems that the driver of the fly, on descending the Castle Hill, neglected to put on the skid-pan, and it is supposed that in the course of the descent the dashing-board touched  the horse's hind quarters, for the animal started off at a rapid pace. Mrs. Clark, alarmed at the velocity of the vehicle, stood up in the carriage, and before the gentleman could prevent her, leaped out and fell upon the roadside. The other lady was about to follow, when Mr. Brooksby prevailed upon her to retain her sea, and himself jumped out to Mrs. Clark's assistance. Mr. F. Packham, jun., being on the hill, and hearing a noise, ran to see what was the matter, and found the horse galloping down the road. With great daring and presence of mind he seized hold of its head, and stopped the carriage in half a minute, after Mr. Brooksby had jumped from it. Mrs. Clark was found unconscious, though without external injuries, and she was conveyed at once to the "Imperial Hotel," where she was attended to by Dr. Parsons. Notwithstanding the most unremitting attention, however, the unfortunate lady expired at an early hour of this morning. The friends of the deceased lady, who is said to have left two young children, have been communicated with, and an enquiry into the circumstances of the unfortunate occurrence will be opened by the Borough Coroner, W. H. Payn, Esq., this evening. (Click here).

We are required to state that the horse and harness employed at the time of the accident were not the property of Mr. Barnes, but had been hired in Dover, for the journey to St. Margaret's, while the horse which had drawn the carriage from Dover was put up at stables, in order to be in readiness to convey Mr. Brooksby to Walmer again in the evening.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 6 January, 1900. 1d.


On the body of the chief diver, Leopold Christian Helfricht, was held before Dr. Hardman, Coroner, at the "Cambridge Arms," Walmer, on Friday afternoon, when the following were sworn on the Jury: Messrs T. Nash (foreman), J. P. Ansell, H. L. Simmons, W. D. Bushell, H. V. Rose, G. A. Cobb, F. J. Thompson, George Dickins, James Christy, R. A. Wilson, John W. G. Miller, John Mercer, and K. Kingsnorth.

The Jury having viewed the body, Dr. John Wood, Walmer, deposed that he went off to the tug to see the deceased, about 12.30 on Thursday. He was not, in his opinion, alive, and certainly not later on, after his having tried artificial respiration, which was also being applied at the time he arrived. Witness made efforts to restore life for about half an hour, without success. He gave his whole attention to the deceased. Everything possible was done to restore animation. The cause of death was drowning.

Bronke Garrels, captain of the tug Albatross, stated that he knew the deceased, who was 25 years of age. He was a diver, a German subject. Deceased was standing till the last on the deck of the Patrie.

The witness was unable to understand the questions, and the next witness was called.

Fritz Spruth said he was in charge of the salvage operations, on behalf of the Northern Salvage Company, of Hamburg, and the whole of the men were under his control. He had been at work for several weeks, and on Thursday the steamship was moved, after the preparation was completed. Witness was sent here to salve the ship, and when he judged it proper, he made an attempt to move her. He came alongside the ship at five o'clock in the morning, and the tugs were alongside, using their pumps. The Seeadler was posted at the fore part of the ship, to pull the ship ashore. It was then about nine o'clock. It was his intention to pull the ship further ashore, opposite to where she was lying. It did not strike witness that it was an operation that was perhaps dangerous. There were about seven men forward, as far as he could see, engineers and fireman working the four portable pumps. He suspended pumping operations while the ship was moving. The boilers of the Svitzer were only working the portable pumps on board. They had a boat alongside, with men in it. They always, whenever they did this work, had a boat alongside, to take the men off if necessary. They wanted about six men to attend the lines that were out, to keep the ship towards the shore. the boilers were on the bridge deck. From the time the vessel moved till she went down was not more than ten minutes. Witness remained on the funnel about an hour. He never saw the boat again. He saw several men in the water. He did not see the deceased in particular. There were two German and two Danish divers. Neither were doing any work. There were in their diving dresses except a helmet and the leads. Two had been working inside the ship, but two hours before. They were all on deck when the vessel sank. While they were pumping, the divers now and then had to go below to remove the grain from the pumps to prevent their getting choked, and he had sent the deceased down into the engine room to look after the water there previously, but he was on deck at the time of the accident. Divers had to stand by to shift the hose. They were obliged to have some men on board to attend to the lines that were attached to pull the vessel ashore. The portable boilers were placed on the bridge. They were aground up to the very minute while towing, and immediately after she was off, the stern-rope was broken, and the vessel sank. Witness was on the bridge of the Patria amidship. They had two tugs working fore and aft, and one amidships. They were bound to work on the flood tide, and the tide took the vessel at once into deep water. When the ship was aground, there were a lot of the crew in the fore-part of the ship, and as soon as she was swept off the ground, she took the tug with her, and commenced to settle a little, but not much. He thought, however, he would be able to tow the vessel ashore again stern on. He soon found that he could not control her, and called the men away from the forepart of the ship, and they jumped over into the boat that was tied alongside at the fore-part of the ship. He did not know then that she was going down, but finally he noticed that she went down within a couple of minutes. He sang out for the boat to keep away from the ship. He did not see whether deceased got into boat. He had himself to jump for his life, as the water came up so quick. He thought he had a very safe place on the bridge, but the water came up so high, that he had to jump, and run up to the top of the iron ladder on the funnel. There was no steam on board the vessel. Two portable pumps were worked by the Svitzer, and one each by the Seeadler and Albertross; but the two latter were disconnected when they began to tow. He could not saw what became of any of the men he saw in the water. A Deal boat took him off. He was there an hour, because they could not get him off. The tide was rushing over the ship, and he could not get down the ladder. He saw no one picked up, as he was on the fore part of the funnel, and the men were all aft. The Svitzer was alongside, but they could not get at him.

Thos Withers said he was an officer employed by the Trinity Service to look after the cargo during the time they were working to raise the ship, and bringing her to.

The Coroner: What have the trinity to do with the cargo? I can understand they have some object in seeing the wreck cleared from the fairway.

Witness did not know their object. He had been on board five weeks, and was on the Patria when she went down. He was seeing that none of the cargo was touched during the time they were salving the ship.

The Coroner: But where does the Receiver of Wreck come in, if the Trinity services look after the cargo?

Witness could not say. He knew they were going to move the steamship, and did not consider there was any danger when they first went off. He was walking the bridge when she moved. She did not settle down when she first came off. One tug pulled at the bow, and the other at the stern, to try and get her end on to the tide, and they got her too far, when the tide caught the starboard bow, and she paid her head right round. The Seeadler tried to pull her towards the shore, but could not hold her, and the ship went away, tug an all. The tug was absolutely useless then. Two tugs could not have held her - he did not know about three. Captain Spruth had full jurisdiction over the work. When once the tide took the bow they could not stop her, and she settled down forward and grounded, the water aft rushing forward and keeping her down. He heard captain Spruth shout to the men to get away from forward, and there was no one forward at the time. They all cleared away because she was filling when she went down forward. He then heard an explosion, as if something had burst with the rush of water coming in forward, and no sooner had he heard it than the vessel went down. He ran and jumped on board the tug lying alongside, and just got over the rail as the boilers became submerged. He believed that either some of the buklkheads burst, or something gave way in the vessel's bottom in the engine-room because she went down all of a sudden. There was no time for anything after she begun to fill forward. He saw four or five men in the water. The tug that was pumping was made fast alongside, and the Seeadler had to tow her away clear of the wreck. The tide was setting them on top of the vessel. The crew cut the stern ropes, but kept her fast forward, or she must have gone right on top of the wreck. The boatmen and crews got into the boats, and picked up all they could. Three or four were picked up by one boat. If they had not cropped away the stern ropes, the tug would have gone down. The vessel had been lying across the tide, and they could only work three-quarter tide, and they wanted to get her end on, so that they could lay alongside at any time. He did not think Capt. Spruth ought to have had more tugs on. He did not think the tide would catch the vessel on the starboard bow. He did not intend her to pay off, and catch the flood tide. He thought one tug at the stern and one at the bow would be sufficient, but her head went too far off. There was need for pumping after the ship was moving, as the water was coming in all the time.

The Coroner: Then was it a practical certainty that she would sink if in deep water.

Witness: The pumps pumped a great deal more out than would come into the ship.


From an email received 6 April 2020.

 Some considerable time ago my mother wrote a family history, garnered almost exclusively from the memories of her mother and other relations, in which she recorded the following information.

"Albert Ashby (1862-1903) Albert’s marriage was an unhappy one. His wife, Jenny, was very wayward and pleasure seeking. They went to Australia as did (his brother) William and seemed to fare better. When they returned to Britain they were able to buy a public house in Deal called "The Lord Walmer". Jenny passionately loved dancing and it is alleged she gave very generous change to her friends and relations so causing the business to run at a loss. She often went dancing without her husband and one night he forbade her to go out, but she defied him and when he had locked up he went out and lay on the beach. His body was picked up the next morning. His wife and daughter left hastily with all available money, insurance policies and grave papers and no one was able to trace them. Albert was buried in Deal in 1903 at the age of forty-two."

Emma Ashley (great grandniece of Albert Ashby).

P.S., There are both Ashby's and Ashley's in my family tree - my great grandparents are to blame!

(Some of the above recollections are slightly out, Albert Ashby actually first had the "Crispin" in Deal and died in 1905.)


From the Dover Mercury, Thursday 22 April, 2010.


By Steve Glover and Michael Rogers.

Cambridge Arms 1952

Above photo shows the Royal Marines march from the seafront into the barracks in 1952.

THE Cambridge Arms, in Dover Road, Walmer, apparently dates back to the early 1800s.

But the first documentary evidence of the building being used as licensed premises appeared in 1840 when Mr. E. T. S. Reader took a 63-year lease from the Leith Estate and ran it as a pub, before moving on to manage other public houses in the area.

The first mention of the pub by name came in 1858 when George Barnes, a Grocer and Cheesemonger by trade, became landlord of the Cambridge Arms.

The pub held a music hall licence and in 1861 singer, Harry Levy performed there. In May 1892, a fire broke out on the premises early one morning, resulting in the destruction of the building and damage to neighbouring properties.

With great irony perhaps, it was announced that, shortly after the pub had been rebuilt on the same site, smoking concerts were to be held there every Saturday.

In 1905, landlord Albert Ashby was found drowned in the sea, but no evidence could be offered at the inquest as to the circumstances surrounding his death.

The pub changed its name in April 1971 to the "Drum Major" and Bass Charrington's local artist Bill Pierce painted Drum Major Charles Bowden for the new sign.

In 1978, Kent cricketer Alan Ealham unveiled the pub's new first-floor restaurant and, in 1981, "27 year old proprietor" Ian Dunkerley (now owner of Dunkerley's restaurant) took over and advertised it as Walmer's Finer Diner.

Diane Tyrell was installed as new manager of the Cambridge Room restaurant in 1982 when it was re-opened by former Indian Test cricketer Dr Carl P Maras.

The Cambridge Arms reverted to its original name around 1994. It remains open to this day and is a popular live music venue, although its restaurant closed some time ago.

Do you think she was ready to be moved?

Yes. The divers had been round nearly a fortnight before, and since the gale they had surveyed the bottom of the ship.

A Juror: They could not see the bottom?

Not right on the ground. She was lying flat on the ground. The divers could not know what damage was done to the portion they could not get at.

Do you think it was something gave way in her bottom, that had been plugged, that caused her to go down so quickly?

No. As soon as I heard that explosion, I ran down and made a jump, and was no sooner on the tug, than the ship was under water.

Capt. Spruth, re-called, said he had been watching the tides for the last six weeks, and understood them. After long years as captain of a ship he could ascertain the force of the tide by observation. He did not know exactly, but it was almost four knots of speed at full tide. For a fortnight he had talked it over with an experienced pilot, Mr. Pearson, but he had nobody on board with him at the time to consult. The vessel was aground all the time, but perhaps came too far off with here stern and slipped off the ground, when the tide took her and she sank. He had a lead down forward, and she did not move off the ground till then. It was necessary for the third tug to be pumping while the ship was being moved. The two tugs were sufficiently powerful to hold the ship on the flood as soon as they had water enough under her bottom, but with the vessel only a couple of feet from the ground, no power in this world would have held this size ship. From his experience, she would have swept along with a dozen tugs, and the fore-part was higher then the after-part. The fore-part was filled with cargo, and they were pumping the after-part out, so that that portion came up. As soon as she had a little move in her, they took her round head to the stream, and tried to get her that way. They did not try to move her, entirely, but to keep her there until the water fell and left her there, and when in that position, they would have removed the cargo from the fore-hold, and pumped again. As soon as they had got her a little over the current. it took off the starboard bow, and she went off the ground, slipped off gradually, and went along with only the tug on the bow to hold her. His idea was to keep the ship up to the bank as far as possible, but the tide took hold of her, and swept her away. they wanted to run the vessel ashore stern forward to pump her out, and get at the grain and maize she had in the hold, and again plug her.

The Coroner: What can you do with her?

Witness; I am afraid she is lost now. She is in deep water, with water on top of the buklwarks, and I don't think there is any means of saving her.

In reply to further questions, witness said he had been engaged in salvage operations some years, and employed by a large salvage company engaged by large insurance companies. He did the best he could according to his experience. He did not think there was considerable risk to this tug, for as soon as she cut her lines she was clear of the wreck. He did not expect the vessel would sink so deep, and remained on the bridge deck till the water came up to the bridge. He did not think she was far enough into deep water to allow the ship to sink so low. He thought the strength of the current might very likely cause the ship to go as she did, and he considered he took all the precautions that could have been taken to prevent it. the tug he had on the stern parted its rope in bearing round to tow the stern of the ship off the shore with the ship against the tide. For a while he had no tug to tow, and the other pulled astern to pull the vessel on shore again. They did not work with double cables. there was always a risk of one of them parting cable, but they were very seldom parted their heavy cables. These were the most powerful tugs from Hamburg.

The Coroner said the Jury were called to decide by what means this man, who was a diver, employed in the salvage operations, met his death. The case, as presented to them primarily, was one of accidental death, and unless they were satisfied that there was culpable negligence, which would amount manslaughter on the part of some person responsible for the operations, it would be their duty to return a verdict of accidental death. the operations, as they knew, were under the command of Captain Spruth, and it appeared that he was employed by a large German salvage firm, and that he had had considerable experience in salvage operations for some time. He had been in charge for a number of weeks. He told them he had carefully studied the tides during that time, and taken the counsel of pilots and others, as to the strength of the tide, and the time for the operation and so on. Captain Spruth was assisted by divers and by tugs, which, as he told them, were all of a powerful description, and well fitted for the work. The preparations were made, apparently with care, and the whole thing went wrong at the last moment through the causes that had been explained. It had been stated in the dailies that the boat alongside was fouled by the rigging of the ship in going down, but there was no evidence of it before them. Captain Spruth was behind the funnel, and could see very little that occurred, at the moment of the sinking of the steamship, and Mr. Withers, who gave valuable evidence, did not seem to have noticed that. They had heard the Captain's explanation as to how the accident occurred. It was for them to determine whether there was any carelessness on the part of Captain Spruth, if it was to effect their verdict, of a very gross description, such as to amount to responsibility for the life of this man. He was bound to tell them he was unable to discover any carelessness of this sort. He did not profess to be able to say whether every possible precautions was used, but it seemed to him they could tell from the way in which the evidences were given that there was no gross neglect or anything that would bring the captain within the reach of the criminal law. He was a skilled man, and there was nothing to show that he did not exercise his skill in the proper way, or that the accident was avoidable. They were not there to decide whether Captain Spruth used every possible means within his power. The only question before them was whether he was so grossly careless as to become criminally responsible. On that he did not think they would have any difficulty. He did not wish his words to imply there was any want of due precaution on the part of the captain at all. He did not hesitate to say he had not discovered any, but he was bound to make clear to them the legal position that effected their verdict. If they agreed with the view he took their verdict would be one of accidental death. At the same time, if they wished to express an opinion by way of a rider, or add anything by which a loss of life of a similar character could be avoided, they were at liberty to make and representation.

A verdict of accidental death was returned.

We understand that Jack Adams, one of the survivors, has, since his emersion, been seriously ill.



Unfortunately this is another pub that closed in March 2013 and is currently for sale.


From the Dover Mercury, 14 March, 2013. 80p.


Cambridge Arms for sale

FOR Sale signs are now up out another Deal pub with the closure of The "Cambridge Arms" in Dover Road, opposite the Jubilee Gates of the former Royal Marine barracks.

According to The Pubs of Deal and Walmer (with Kingsdown and Mongeham) the original pub dates back to the early 1800s and in 1858 George Barnes, a grocer and cheesemonger by trade, became landlord. The comer building in those days had a music hall licence and in 1861 singer Harry Levy, described as a ‘Buffalo singer' gave a performance.

But disaster struck in May 1892 when fire broke out on the premises early one morning and the building was destroyed, with neighbouring properties also damaged.

With great irony perhaps it was announced that, shortly after the pub had been rebuilt on the same site, smoking concerts were to be held there every Saturday.

In April 1971 The "Cambridge Arms" name was changed to the "Drum Major" and Bass Charrington's local artist Bill Pierce painted Drum Major Charles Bowden, formerly of Deal, for the new sign.

In 1978 Kent cricketer Alan Ealham unveiled the pub's new first-floor restaurant and it was run by Ian Dunkerley, now owner of "Dunkerley's Hotel" and Restaurant, Beach Street, Deal.

He said: “I called it The Cambridge Room and we had a full French menu, written in French, which was probably a bit ahead of its time!

“I had a couple of good years there, made a living and the business taught me how to be careful with money. It was a good learning curve for me.”

The pub reverted to its original name about 1994 and became a music venue. Benches were placed outside facing Dover Road, with fencing too. Two front windows were converted to doors.


Just heard that it has reopened again at the start of June 2013, and reverted back to the "Drum Major" again.



READER Mr E T S 1800s+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

VERRIER Benjamin 1841+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

STEPHENSON Mr 1851+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

BARNES George 1858-71+ (also grocer and cheesemonger age 67 in 1871Census) Melville's 1858

BARNES Thomas 1874-82+ Post Office Directory 1874 (Fly proprietor The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers) (age 46 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

SUTTON Thomas 1891+ (age 61 in 1891Census)

ROBERTSON Charles William 1891+ Census

GODFREY Mrs to May/1892 (fire broke out destroying the building The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers)

Rebuilt by November 1894

CORBISHLY Thomas 1899-03+ Kelly's 1899Kelly's 1903

Last pub licensee had ASHBY Albert 1905+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

Last pub licensee had WRAIGHT Henry N 1910-14+ Post Office Directory 1913Deal library 1914

DAVISON Edward Fletcher 1915-32+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and RogersPost Office Directory 1918Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930

SPOONER James Spooner 1934-38+ Kelly's 1934Post Office Directory 1938

EDGECOMBE Mr R S 1948-49 Dec'd The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

EDGECOMBE Edith 1949-55+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

LENHAM Tom M 1962-66+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

STEVENS Peter & BOLDER Clarence 1970 (The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers Ex Marines)

Changed name to the "Drum Major"


JOHNSON Brian & DEVERILL Kevin Feb 1995 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

LEACH Paul 1995 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

LEACH Paul & BAKER Richard 1998 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

KENP John May 2000 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

KEMP John & JONES Angela July 2000 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

BRAMHALL Charles & Sharon 2002+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

ROBERTS Colin to Sept/2011

WILSON Dave Sept/2011-Jan/2013


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Deal library 1914Deal Library List 1914

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and RogersThe Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-