Britain 2011 - Day 26


From Lowestoft we drove south until we met the M25 and then continued south towards Maidstone. At least that was the plan, but a lorry driver decided to test out the armour-steel barrier between the north and south lanes on the M25 and much to his surprise found that they were strong enough to overturn his car transporter. So that mess held us up for nearly an hour. Our destination in Maidstone was the cemetery and in particular the Commonwealth War Graves section. Here lies a small number of New Zealanders. Mostly RAF who were shot down nearby, but there also lies one soldier - the first New Zealand soldier to die from enemy action - Private Ian HOLMS.

Maidstone Cemetery

The map of Maidstone Cemetery. the Commonwealth War Graves section, labelled CC, is in the rear.
(click on photo for larger version)
General view of the War Graves, Section CC.
The Cross of Sacrifice at Maidstone Cemetery. Note the flax bushes amongst the NZ headstones.
Row of NZ headstones (with red poppies). The closest headstone is that of Private Holms.

All Saints Church, Hollingbourne

From Maidstone it is a short drive under the Eurostar railway line and up the hill to Hollingbourne. Here Private Holms and the 22 Battalion were stationed for a few weeks in late 1940 just in case Hitler managed to cross the Channel. He didn't so the New Zealand Division was sent off to the twin disasters of Greece and Crete. The loss of Private HOLMS was also recorded at All Saints Church, Hollingbourne, where the Battalion regularly attended Church Parade.

Pathway leading across the fields to the Church - a path that many of the 22 Battlion would have trodden.
The entrance to All Saints Church.
Side view of the church..
General interior view, with the Hollingbourne Roll of Honour and Servicemen's memorial between the pillars.
The Servicemen's Memorial, including a kneeler remembering the 22 Battalion.

The NZ flag over the side entrance to the church. The original was presented to the parish by Lt Col Leslie ANDREW, CO of 22 Battalinon.

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Last updated: 19/06/2017