Norland Nurses at Hothfield Manor

What can you tell us?

By Chris Rogers

The following messages have been received in connection with Norland Nurses based at Hothfield Place at the beginning of WW2, but can you add any more information please?

As a former resident of Charing, I now live in Gloucestershire but a friend in Charing sends me the Parish magazine.

I was interested to see Hothfield now has a thriving history society. In the days when I was involved with Charing History Society, we could never find anyone who knew anything about it – the same went for Cale Hill and Surrenden! We did quite a lot of research for exhibitions but it was not easy to find as they were demolished so long ago.

I am writing to ask if you have discovered the book “A Spoonful of Sugar” by Brenda Ashford – I am sure you have – but she wrote in 2012 about her being billeted at Hothfield Place from 1939 to 1940. Chapter 5 is very detailed in how she, as a Norland Nanny, went there with “Bethnal Babies” before moving on to Devon as they were right in the line of fire. As they left the Army moved in! She describes in detail life in this huge house and the estate in the Autumn and winter of 1939/40.

Also I  have a postcard of the waterfall at Hothfield, April 30th 1907. It has an interesting message to someone at Challock!  If you would like it I would be pleased to send it to you – I expect you have a growing collection of postcards and photos. Charing has hundreds – they have recently been digitised. 

Best Wishes to you and your History Society,

Margaret Stocker

and: "the Norland nurses were evacuated to Hothfield Place in 1939. Lord Hothfield kindly agreed to this dispatch from Pembridge Square to his regency mansion. 44 children and 75 adults in all. They set up a school in the billiards room before decamping once more to Bideford in Devon in 1940/41.    Jill"


This page was added by Chris Rogers on 07/07/2019.

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