Dymchurch cancelled till we’ve sorted Hitler

This part of the Goldings History is dedicated to the Boys and Staff that served their country in our time of crisis and in doing so
many of them gave the ultimate sacrifice, and not only in Goldings but also the Barnardo family.

We give the following numbers, brought up to date ,of our Old Boys, of whom we have heard, who are serving with the Forces.
United Kingdom 3489 Killed in Action 122 Prisoners of War 83
Canada 736 Missing 49
Australia 392 Prisoners of War 83
Total 4617

CAMP, 1939
"Oh, I do love to be beside the seaside." We all know the song and I think it is unanimously agreed that the song-writer put our
thoughts into words very clearly.
The last minute preparation finished we awoke bright and early on this glorious morning, Friday, 13!!! August, and before long
were gliding towards the silvery sea in the comfortable coach. Our hearts were so light, one might almost have imagined that we
were dreaming and this was our dream-ship sailing over the slumber seas. But it was time, our holiday had started. Yes, we were
now going through Tottenham, the Spurs supporters among the party expanded their chests quite two inches and had much to say
about Willie Hall and company. On we went, sinking and whistling, to be suddenly plunged into darkness, lit only by the lights of
the coaches and an occasional glimmer from a wall lamp. We were under the river, but after such noisy screeching we eventually
emerged into the sunshine again, this time country-side instead of factory-land. Here and there we spotted barrage balloons, of
course we were interested but did not allow their significance: to spoil our trip. Mile after mile of green fields and apple laden
orchards (what a pity we were travelling so fast), through Ash ford and on to Hythe, why, we were nearly there!
Out came the combs, one must look smart, after all, Doris or Joan might be there already. Another few miles and a cheer goes
up—look, there's the Tuck shop!
Before we had time to get the luggage off the coaches we were pounced upon by an old friend, none other than jovial Mr. Foster.
His party of working lads were going back the next day but dearly wanted to try out their football prowess against us. Never
refusing a challenge we played them that evening and won. As is usual at camp we were all very much at home within an hour or
so of our arrival and by nightfall Goldings had been completely forgotten.
Swimming and sunbathing, rounders, cricket on the sands, treasure hunts and early morning physical jerks to liven up the liver,
how glorious it all was, certainly Life with a capital L.
Of course, the sight of armoured cars and camouflaged aeroplanes certainly reminded us of the war, but somehow we did not take
that as being too serious—not at first. But all the time the war clouds had been rapidly drifting towards England until at last we
heard that our holiday must end sooner than we had expected. Fortunately we were able to have the outing to Folkestone before
we left, and here we spent a most enjoyable day, eating numerous ices and eventually trooping off to see Rudyard Kipling's
"Gunga Din" as portrayed by the stars of the celluloid world.
The happy day over we drove back to camp, here to pack prematurely for the return journey to Hertford, but though it meant the
end of our holiday there were many willing helpers and by nightfall we were ready for departure the next day.
A trifle sad maybe, but going back without so much as a grouse, knowing full well that in our small way we had a job of work to do,
the competition of the trenches and the black-out of the school. Just over a week later, one full of exceptionally hard but willing work
came the catastrophe we had been expecting—our country was at war! With the same equanimity that we accepted the curtailment of
our holiday we now face the future, ready always to do our bit whatever the consequences may be, a vow ever in our hearts—
"There'll always be an England."

John Horn recalls Click here

The boys were moved down to the basement area for safety from any bomb raids by the Nazi’s and the windows were “Blacked Out”
and taped in case of a bomb blast.

The football pitch’s were dug up and used for growing food 1939-40.

I’d like to quote an Old Boy,
Len Harpin “When we blacked out the
windows we had to stop as we ran out of
black paint!” Gas Mask’s were also issued
as the Government thought’s at the time
that gas maybe used like in the trench’s
in the First World War

Quote from another old boy “When the dog fights were being fought overhead (1940) we used to collect and save the spent cartridge
Shells and the compete with each other to see who had the most”
A lot of the staff were called up for War Service so those that remained had to cover for two jobs.
November 1940 tragedy struck the school,

HE was known to most of us as "Sam," and his full name sounds strange to us. Perhaps this is the measure of our affection for him.
He never was "official" and he never "talked big." He loved the simple things of life and, instead of pining, as many do, for larger
tasks and wider opportunities, he made sure that the job he had was well done. Luxury and wealth were never his, but who was
richer than he in the perfect love of wife and child and the affectionate appreciation of all he worked and lived with?
It was in November that Mr. Battell, anxious as always for the safety of the School, left his house during a particularly noisy evening.
Bombs seemed to be falling near, and he wanted to see if the School premises were safe. Unfortunately, one fell just outside his
house as he stood by the door and he had no chance of saving himself. How desperately sorry we all were. His constant cheerfulness
and unfaltering energy had made him so secure in all our hearts and everyone of us felt we had lost a friend. Perhaps these lines,
borrowed from an unknown, author, sum up our thoughts of him:

For twelve years Mr. Battell had served the School in different capacities, but his last year
as Bandmaster probably gave him the deepest joy, and the Band readily responded to his
enthusiasm. But whether it was at work or at play, at football or cricket, he was always
the same, a whole-hearted, unselfish leader.
To Mrs. Battell and to David we offer our deepest sympathy in the hope that the knowledge
they have of his place in our hearts will in some measure help to sustain them in their cruel loss.

"He was fallible and human,
Therefore loved and understood
By his fellow man and woman,
Both the good and not-so-good;
Kept his spirit undiminished,
Never let down on a friend,
Played the game till it was finished,
Lived a sportsman till the end."

Page Compiled January 2012

All images and text copyright © to Goldings Old Boys reunion members

Reg Purkis Story Click here

"ROLL out the barrel, we'll have a ... With a light heart I whistled the popular tune as I casually wandered down the stairs from my
bedroom, content in the knowledge that another night's patrol was over, quite a peaceful night, too!
Well, where was everyone? My whistling now at an end, the building seemed strangely silent and deserted. I wondered what was
wrong. For a moment I thought perhaps after all I was still asleep and this was part of a dream, but how could it be? I did not go to
bed when my patrol was finished!
Hastening my step, I passed along the passage, glancing as I went by into the pantries and Mr. Woodhouse's and Matron's offices;
they were all empty, as was the sorting-room a little further down. Something must be wrong. At last, reaching the back door, I went
outside, where I was immediately hailed by an excited voice crying, "Come on, don't hang around, the building is not safe!'
Pulling myself together from this nasty shock, I queried, "Why, what's wrong?' Back came the reply, "Haven't you heard.? There's an
unexploded bomb as big as this (at -this juncture, my informant, who probably had angling experiences, tried to stretch his arms to the
required length, but failing completely, paced out so many steps from the wall, repeating as he did so the words 'as this', and it's just
over there in the field." [Other people's bombs are always much bigger than one's own particular bomb—ED.]
Wow!!! With a bound I was soon following my friend -to the safety of the trenches.
Well, this was exciting, possibly the most thrilling moment in our lives since the war began. But with that phlegmatic imperturbability
so characteristic of our race, we were not unduly disturbed, in fact I have a shrewd suspicion there were several bright spirits who
welcomed this very sensitive visitor as a pleasant diversion from shop-life; after all, we did get two days' holiday on its account.
At last the expert came along and rendered it harmless, but though for nearly two days we had more than enough trouble almost on
our door-step, we shall all remember with pride that, precarious as our position had been, no one panicked.
Not a front-page story, maybe, but because of what happened our confidence to overcome even sterner difficulties is much
strengthened, and will ultimately help toward the nation's goal — VICTORY!! !
S. E. CHANNER. (March 1941 An extract from a Goldonian School Magazine)

Toys for Christmas were made using wood off the estate for other Barnardo Homes

WAR has spread its cruel fangs everywhere, even to the secluded spot of Goldings, but we still enjoy the festivity of Christmas.
On Monday morning in Christmas week, on the lips of numerous boys was the word "Leave." So off they trooped to various
railway and bus stations.
In the afternoon those boys who were less fortunate were entertained by Mr. Huntley, a conjurer from Hertford. He started the
programme off by doing a few tricks which made the boys' eyes open, and then finished the programme with ventriloquism. On
the Tuesday before Christmas Day we had leave down to Hertford, when I think most boys went to the pictures.
Wednesday, 25th December, was the day everyone was looking forward to. In the morning we had a Church Service, which was
very short. Then came dinner, which consisted of baked potatoes, brussels sprouts, pork and stuffing; for second course we had
Christmas pudding and custard, and the people of Hertford were very kind and gave us a shilling each. In the afternoon we had
pictures in the Gymnasium, the picture being "Submarine Patrol."
On Boxing Day we had another film called "What would you do chums?" Friday morning we entered shops. In the afternoon we
were treated, to the County Cinema to see "Margaret and George." Saturday we carried out our usual routine.
We were glad to see many Old Boys down here at Christmas-time.

Below we have reproduced from wartime “Goldonians” news and incidents to capture the mood at the time. The “Goldonian” was
the school magazine produced by our printers along with most of the printing for Barnardo’s. It came into being in 1927, and was
printed monthly, reflecting the news and progress that was being made at the school.

A. F. GATES, "once a boot repairer and now a sailor," was three thousand miles away when he wrote to Goldings in December.
He is very sorry to let us know that he cannot tell us where he is. We sincerely hope that his ship, the Dragon, will come safely
to port at the end of the conflict, and that Arthur will then tell us of his experiences.

At the time of writing, we have just said "Good-bye," for the time being, to Mr. J. H. D. Woodhouse, our Executive Officer. We
shall miss him very greatly for, in the two years he has been with us, he has proved an all-round leader in all our School activities.
He has been given a Commission in the R.A.F.V.R., and we are certain he will show his worth there. But we all hope that he will
soon return to us, when victory has been achieved and our cause has triumphed.
Meanwhile, the Rev. S. J. Sharpies has been appointed Deputy-Governor and Chaplain, and he and Mrs. Sharpies will be corning to
Goldi,ngs at the end of this month. Mr. E. A. Patch has been appointed Acting Executive Officer, and is already tackling this most
difficult job with enthusiasm.
I have been greatly cheered by the many letters we have received from Old Boys who are serving in the Forces, letters from Egypt,
West Africa, and even from Iceland. It sounds trite to say they are all proud to be doing their bit, but there really is no better way to
describe their attitude. To each of them and to all our Old Boys I send heartiest good wishes.

F. C. Macdonald