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Knole at war – stories of the estate workers

Discussion in 'Sevenoaks History' started by Sevenoaks Memorial, Mar 20, 2016. Replies: 0 | Views: 600

  1. Sevenoaks Memorial

    Sevenoaks Memorial New Member

    Knole, the imposing Sevenoaks seat of the Sackville West family, has long played a role in the life of the town and did so during the First World War. Lord Sackville served with the Army, seeing action in Gallipoli, Palestine, Egypt and France, while his wife was an ardent fundraiser for wartime charities, and daughter Vita worked with the local VAD. The estate also played a role as a military camp and training ground from 1914-1918. The house has always been an employer of local people and I wanted to investigate what impact the war had on the staff and the running of a great estate.

    In 1916, the Kent Messenger reported that before the war there had been 71 employees on the estate, now reduced to 52. The paper noted that when the Derby Scheme had been introduced, Lady Sackville ‘did her best to get all the employees to attest, and all within age did so’.

    [​IMG]Bombardier William Robert Copper

    Three of the men on the Sevenoaks War Memorial were employed at Knole before they enlisted. According to his obituary, William Robert Copper (1883-1917), a bombardier with 24th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, had worked at Knole for six years before joining the army. He was a keen…

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