The Story of King Street

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There are a few interesting and tragic stories involving King Street. The following excerpt is taken from the diary of Inspector Rush, a local policeman.

 

On the 12th May 1941 the local area was subjected to a large aerial attack. "At 0258 hrs eight H.E. bombs all believed to be 250 kg (two of them being unexploded) and about 50 1 kg I.Bs fell amongst houses in King Street and on a field at Walton Hall Farm.

 

Four persons killed, Mary Hood, Charles Hall, unnamed female child Hall aged 1 days, and Elizabeth Lyon. 10 persons seriously injured and 7 slightly injured. 8 houses demolished, others damaged in King Street, Maidstone Road, etc. 280 separate premises damaged."

 

The Lyon family

The Lyon family lived at No. 44 King Street from the early 1900s, William John Lyon and Elizabeth Lyon (nee. Woods) had 5 sons and 1 daughter.

The daughter Florence was married to Frederick P Olphert, Frederick served in the Royal Engineers and died in 1918 in Singapore.

William and Elizabeth’s oldest son was William Lyon, he was a fireman and emigrated to Canada in 1910 when he was 21. He joined the British Expeditionary Force in 1918 and sadly died in India in 1921.

Harry Lyon is believed to have served as a driver in the Royal Horse Artillery in WW1 and was later employed by the council as a horse keeper.

Horace Lyon was born in 1892 and served in WW1 as a driver in the Royal Field Artillery, he was killed at Ypres on 4 May 1915.

Another son, Frank Lyon joined the Royal Navy during WW1 serving on several ships, he left the service in 1927.

The youngest brother also joined the Royal Navy in 1916 and served for 12 years.

In May 1941 King Street was bombed, tragically Elizabeth was killed whilst sleeping in No. 44, she had already lost two sons and a son in law through military conflict.

The Hall/Hood family -

 

The Hood family lived at No. 61 King Street, the parents George and Mary had 5 children - Maurice, Stephen, Emma, Evelyn, and Florence.  Florence was married to Charles Hall, a Private serving in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment.  

Florence had a baby girl named Mary on 10th May 1941, Charles was given leave to be there for the birth of his daughter.  Tragically Charles, his 1-day old daughter Mary, and Florence's mother Mary were killed in the bombing on 12th May 1941.

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King Street in the aftermath of the bombing. Photos courtesy of John Michael Smith.