The Memorial Study (to cover all the memorials in the Borough) will result in a 6 volume set.

Volume 1, Windmill Hill Memorial, A-E is an A4 soft back, 400 pages, in full colour.  The biographies are preceded by sections on the memorial proposals 1917-1922 with several previously unpublished images.

Cost - £25 to include postage from:


The History Society


St John’s Catholic School,

Rochester Road,



DA12 2JW








Canvas, large sized, shoulder strap - £3 including post and packing. [proceeds to relevant charity]

The History Society at the school sought to commemorate the Great War and have done so through the production of a distinctive Tote Bag. Having created the basic design the students sought a company that would provide the necessary requisites and so the bag is made in Yorkshire using recycled cotton.

The bag is sturdy and suitable to carry books or shopping. The distinctive design makes it very relevant.





350 pages, softback, heavily illustrated. £10 including post and packing. [proceeds to relevant charity]


Joe Hoadley served in Reconnaissance with the 49th West Riding Division, The Polar Bears during World War 2. It is this connection that provides the title to the book. Joe was named after an uncle that was killed at Trones Wood during The Battle of the Somme in 1916. He himself would follow as a soldier in the North West European Campaign, 1944/1945.


Pre War Joe worked at the Cement Works and with war quickly found himself surviving with the Fire Service, being too young to enlist. He duly served in the Reconnaissance, landing at Juno Beach. His exploits until taken prisoner of war are fully covered in the book as are his family background and post War civilian career.


Joe is well known in Veterans’ Circles and still travels widely in France, Belgium and Holland.

He is a regular at the school and gives much time in explaining events of the recent past.

Joe has lived all his life in Swanscombe and the book is as much a local history as it is a life story.

The material was recorded at the school by the WorkSkills 6th Form Group.





The Society asks anyone who has information, memorabilia and artefacts relating to anyone on the many memorials to make contact.

The St John’s History Society comprises 100 plus students of all ages and both genders, all of whom attend St John’s Catholic School.  Based in Denton, to the east of Gravesend, the school has a population in excess of 1,200.

The History Society commemorates the centenary of  the Great War through this memorial study, through Battlefield Tours, guest speakers and exhibitions to name but a few of the activities.  We are assisted throughout by many distinguished historians -  Mr C Bull, Mr A White, Mr A Marshall, Mr T Larkin.

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