Page Updated ASH (Canterbury):- Thursday, 01 September, 2022.


Earliest 1887-


Open 2020+

43 Guilton


01304 812506


Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Volunteer Inn, Ash Volunteer Inn, Ash Volunteer Inn old sign, AshVolunteer Inn new sign, Ash

Above photos by Paul Skelton, 25 July 2009.

The pub sign, left is no longer displayed but was found leaning against a shed at the side of the house. The sign above, right was being displayed on the pub.

Volunteer sign 1987Volunteer sign 1991

Volunteer sign left, 1987. Sign right, July 1991

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Volunteer at Ash date unknown

Above shows Volunteer at Ash, date unknown

Volunteer at Ash circa 1990

Above shows Volunteer at Ash circa 1990

Volunteer at Ash, sky-shot

Above shows the Volunteer at Ash, sky-shot. John Ralph tells me the following:- The shed to the left rear of the pub was used by the AFS (Auxillary Fire Service) during WW2. The firemen played cards upstairs when on night duty. My father was a fireman and we lived in the far house of the pair called Hope Cottages at top right. The building at low middle right is the old blacksmith forge operated by my great uncle Jim Ralph and his mate Freddie Winton. Further right off the photo was the yard of Ralph's agricultural contractors run by my father Ernie Ralph and his brother Bill. At the far end of the pub garden was a sand pit where several gold items were unearthed from Saxon graves in the 1800s and are now in Liverpool and other museums.

Ash map 1896

Above map 1896.


Recently seen on Ebay (July 2018) the Tenancy Agreement between Russell's Gravesend Brewery Ltd. and Mr. J. Buckmaster, from 36 Cresswell Street, Fulham, S.W.6., dated 1st December 1925, stating that he will be taking over the "Volunteer" on the 3rd December 1925, for the yearly rent of 20.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 10 September 1887.




This being the annual licensing day, reports were received from Superintendents Kewell and Wood, who have joint jurisdiction in the district. Superintendent Kewell gave a list of publicans proceeded against during the past twelve months, and specially referred to the case of the "Volunteer" at Ash, kept by Stephen Buxley, who was committed for trial at the Assizes but ultimately acquitted on a charge of feloniously receiving part of a sheep. At the trial it was stated that twice during prohibited hours he sold beer to George Smith, the man convicted for stealing the sheep, who was an inhabitant of Ash, and well known to Buxley. The Bench intimated their intention of granting renewals of all existing licenses with the exception of Buxley's, which matter would stand over for consideration at the Dover Sessions.

Supt. Wood's report stated that all the houses had been well conducted during the past year. There were 15 public houses, and 9 beer houses. Four persons had been proceeded against for drunkenness, this being a decrease of 9 on the previous year.

Upon Mrs. Buxley appearing on behalf of her husband, the Bench retired and on returning into Court said there were peculiar circumstances connected with the case, which would be adjured for a fortnight to Dover, when they would require the attendance of her husband.

The Chairman intimated that the Bench intended to grant renewals of all existing licenses with one exception. They, however, cautioned those who had been convicted for offences against the licensing laws.


Dover Express, Friday 14 February 1936.



The following licences were fully transferred:— “Volunteer," Ash, from Mr. E. J. Locke to Mr. E. J. Ramsay.


From the Faversham Times and Mercury and North Kent Journal, Saturday 3 June 1939.


Canterbury Driver Heavily Fined.

Kenneth Harry Elvidge (21), a motor engineer, of Wincheap Street, Canterbury, was charged at the Wingham Petty Sessions, at Sandwich, on Thursday, with driving a motor car in a manner dangerous to the public at Brambling, on the Sandwich-Wingham Road on April 21st.

Mr. Ernest White (London) appeared for defendant, who pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Eric Weale, County prosecuting solicitor, said that on April 21st, at 10.30 p.m. defendant was driving a 16 h.p. Bentley motor car from Wingham to Canterbury and when coming round the bend by the “Volunteer” public house it was alleged that he skidded and travelled a distance of 99 feet, struck a bank which was covered by railings, went clean through those and down into the public house car park and there collided with two bicycles and two cars. The car finished up in the doorway of the public house and the door was picked up 48 feet down the road. As a result of the accident a passenger was thrown out and received fatal injuries (this was Sub-Lieutenant Frank Denne Adams, R.N.). It was a case of grossly dangerous driving. The road was not greasy, it was dry and therefore the skid must have been caused by defendant’s speed.

P.C. Moore (Canterbury) produced a plan of the scene of the accident.

In reply to Mr. White, witness said that he did not agree the white curve stopped at the beginning of the bend.

Mr. White: I suggest that the mark on the road was made by the exhaust pipe (produced) trailing on the ground?

Witness:- No, I am of the opinion that it was caused by the tyre.

In reply to Mr. Weale, witness said that the white line in the centre of the road went right round the bend.

Ethelbert Horace West, Corner House, Barnsole, Staple, said that he was riding a pedal vehicle past the “Volunteer” public house and the only other traffic he saw on the road was the car driven by defendant. It was going very fast; it was on its proper side of the road. He heard it start to skid as it got opposite him and then there was a crash.

In reply to Mr. White, witness said that he could not say when the sound of skidding might have been the exhaust pipe trailing on the ground.

Hilda Beaney, a maid at Cliftonville School, Margate, said that she was sitting in front of her father’s car, which was parked outside the “Volunteer” public house and was facing towards Canterbury. She saw lights in the windscreen of the car and heard a noise which at first she thought was an aeroplane. She glanced over her shoulder and saw a car coming along the green at a terrific speed. It hit the back of the car in which she was sitting and then crashed into the “Volunteer.”

In reply to Mr. White, witness said that she was first interviewed by the Police after the second hearing on the inquest.

Mr. White: Your car was back against the railings?


Percival John Cordrey, 11, Cambridge Terrace, Walmer, stated that he was sitting in his car in the car park outside the “Volunteer” at about 10.30 on the night in question, and he was facing towards Wingham. He had two small side-lights on. He started to reverse and saw lights of a car through the back window of a stationary car in front and then heard a crash immediately followed by a second crash as the car smashed into the “Volunteer.” No car could have been effected by the lights of the car.

In reply to Mr. White, witness said that his lights would not shine down the road up which defendant was driving.

P.C. Clayton said that he arrived at the scene of the accident at 10.50 p.m. and saw four motor vehicles on the car park. Defendant’s car was partly in the public house and a car wedged to the nearside running board of defendant’s car. There was another car on the Goodnestone end of the car park facing Goodnestone, which was damaged on the nearside and on the Canterbury side was Courdrey’s car. One of defendant’s passengers had been thrown out and he was dead and four people were injured. With the aid of torches witness took measurements to show the position of the cars and the pool of blood. The following day he went to the scene with other police officers and made other measurements. On the Wingham side of the “Volunteer,” 7 feet from the near side of the road was a skid mark extending for 99 feet until the bank was reached, on the Goodnestone side of the public house. The car must have gone through the railings on the bank and some of the railings were found in the car park. There was a skid mark on the car park for a distance of 24 feet and from the bank to the wall of the car park was a distance of some 15 feet. The width of the road opposite the “Volunteer” was 31 feet and where the skid commenced it was 18 feet wide. A white line extended the whole length of the road and there was also a white curb stone indicating the bend. The front window and porch of the public house were extensively damaged and 48 feet further on he found bits of the porch. At 11.30 p.m. defendant stated, “I was going towards Canterbury and I was trying to put on a pair of glasses. They blew back on to my face. I suddenly saw a car on my right when the lights were dipped and my main object was to get out of the way of it. I actually thought I was on a straight road and saw what I thought was the back of a car so I turned to my left. I temporarily lost consciousness. The car belongs to my father. I was not going at a great speed.” When told he would be reported defendant said “All I am concerned with is the people in hospital.”

Mr. White: he was perfectly sober?


The skid mark was about 2 feet or 3 feet wide?


If it had of been caused by the tyre you would have expected it to be wider?

Not necessarily.

The skid mark you saw did not go straight up to the mark made by the wheels of the car on the bank?

There were wheel marks more or less in line.

In reply to Mr. Weale, witness said that in his opinion no lights in the “Volunteer” car park could have appeared to have been on the right-hand side of the road to defendant.

This concluded the case for the prosecution.

Defendant, giving evidence, said that he was in his father’s business and attached to the Auxiliary Air Force, and had to go to Detling every Thursday evening and three Sundays in the month. It was vital for him to have a license so that he could get to Detling and also for carrying on business. The car he was driving on the night in question was a 1925 Bentley, and when it reached a speed of 45 miles per hour the gears whined. He had tinted glasses which he had put on before the accident occurred. He knew the road fairly well and when he last went along it there was a hedge and wall at the corner. His speed was just over 40 miles per hour, but under 45 miles per hour as the gears were not whining. It was a de-controlled road. He had two side-lights on and one headlight which was dipped. Ahead he saw lights which he took to be the lights of a car on his right-hand side. He suddenly saw the bend in front of him and applied his brakes. He went on to the grass verge and he felt something – go up in his face and he lost consciousness. He did not think he quite put the brake on as he only remembered taking his foot off the accelerator and going for the brake. The skid mark could not have been caused by him braking.

In reply to Mr. Weale, witness said that his father pointed out the exhaust pipe to him a fortnight after the accident, when witness came out of hospital. When he made the statement to the police he was rather vague about the glasses.

Mr. Weale: Would not the whine that the gears were making when the car was going over 45 miles per hour sound like the noise of an aeroplane which Miss Beaney heard?

You would only hear the whine if you were sitting above the gears.

The whole cause of the accident was the speed at which you were going round the corner?

I thought I was on a straight road.

James Walton, 10, York Road, Canterbury, said that he was in the car sitting next to defendant. He knew there was a whining noise from the gears if the car’s speed was over 45 miles per hour, but heard no whine on the night in question. His nose was bleeding and he did not see much of the events leading up to the accident.

William Thompson, Bramling Cottages, Bramling, said that he lived practically on the scene of the accident. He was chauffeur to Colonel Friend and had 27 years’ driving experience. He was in his house and went out when he heard the crash. Regarding the mark on the road the only way that could have been caused by the wheel was if the tyre was flat and the mark was made by the rim. He thought when he first saw the mark that it must have been caused by some part of the car becoming loose. The exhaust pipe (produced) might have caused the mark if it had been hanging down.

Lewis B. Elvidge motor engineer at Canterbury, and father of defendant, said that he had been in the motor business for about 36 years. He towed the car away at about midnight, the same night as the accident, and noticed the exhaust pipe had become loose and was trailing on the ground. He was of the definite opinion that the mark on the road was caused by the exhaust pipe.

Mr. White, addressing the Magistrates, said that the public house was at right angles to the road and there was nothing to indicate that it was a public house so that it might easily be taken for the lights of a car by some one coming up the road from Wingham. As regarding the prosecution’s allegations that the marks on the road were caused by defendant breaking whilst he was speeding, he asked the magistrates to accept the evidence of the defence that the mark was made by the exhaust pipe. He asked the magistrates to dismiss the case, but reminded then that if they decided defendant had not been as careful as her might have been they could reduce the charge to one of driving without care and attention.

After a retirement of twenty minutes, the Chairman said the Magistrates had decided to convict.

Superintendent Cash said the defendant had two previous convictions. On December 9th, 1936, at St. Augustine’s Petty Sessions, he was fined 10s. for having no light on a motor car, and at the Canterbury City Police Court on the 12th of this month, he was fined 3 and his license was endorsed for speeding.

Defendant was fined 15 and his license was suspended for one year. He was also ordered to pay two guineas towards the costs of the prosecution and 14s. witness’s costs.

Mr. White asked if the Magistrates could reconsider the question of suspending the license bearing in mind defendant was a member of the Auxiliary Air Force and had to get to Detling.

The Chairman: We have considered that. He must have been going very fast and even at 40 miles per hour that corner is not safe. I am afraid we cannot alter our decision.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 February, 1950.


On the application of Mr. J. W. Girling, a licence was granted to Thomas L. Gibbins, of the "Volunteer," Ash, who produced a petition signed by 120 persons, to extend the licensing hours to 8 a day, the same as Summer Time all year round. Additional monopoly value was 775.




CHANDLER William 1871+ (also market gardener age 44 in 1871Census)

BUXLEY Stephen 1882-91+ (age 54 in 1891Dover Express)

DAVIES John Edwin 1914-21 Post Office Directory 1914Dover Express

TAYLOR Amelia Gertrude (widow of above) Jan/1921 Dover Express

DAVIS Amelia Gertude to 2/Dec/1925 Dover Express

BUCKMASTER John Herbert William 3/Dec/1925-Nov/33 Dover Express

LOCKE Ernest John Nov/1933-Feb/36 Dover Express

RAMSAY Ernest J Feb/1936-38+ Dover Express

GIBBINS Thomas L 1950-53+ Dover Express

ROTTMAN Dennis J 1974+ Library archives 1974 Russell's Gravesend Brewery

SMITH Barbara & Len (year unknown)

BILLINGS ???? (year unknown)

SMITH ???? (not related to above but one) (year unknown)

HOWELL Richard & FARRANT Shirley to 2007

MEAD Gina & BEER Graham 2007-18+


Post Office Directory 1914From the Post Office Directory 1914

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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