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1940s Society Shop >  Activities >  The 1940's Society

The 1940's Society

Regular meetings and a newsletter make the society a must for 40's enthusiasts.


The Society

The 1940's Society hold regular meetings with lectures and discussions on different aspects of the 1940's. Despite the Home Front being of particular interest to subscribers, subjects vary widely and have included lectures on French escape lines and the Russian Front. Regular film evenings are also popular with classic wartime films and propaganda shorts being shown.

Meetings are informal and friendly with refreshments and cakes always proving to be popular.

The Society also produces a regular magazine which includes up to date information and news & views for those interested in 1940's issues. This magazine is no longer produced in printed form but but is distributed electronically by email and is free to anyone who suscribes. Please fill in the form at the bottom of this page to subscribe.


I am always interested to hear from individuals or groups who have specialist knowledge and would be able to give an informal talk or lecture to our members. Please Contact me if you can help.

Meetings take place at Otford Village Memorial Hall, Otford, Near Sevenoaks, Kent and start at 8pm.
19 May 2017

The Nations Health in WW2
by Carol Harris


What was the effect on the health of the nation of the Second World War. Did nutrition improve? What was the effect of rationing? What was shelter cough and how did it spread? What was the effect of poor sanitation in crowded shelters? How did the nation change after the war?
These and many more questions will be answered by Carol in this in-depth look at an often ignored subject.


Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
21 July 2017

Crime in the Second World War
by Penny Legg!


Was There Crime in the Second World War?
At a time of national emergency, the average person could be forgiven for thinking that crime rates would go down as everyone tried to help the war effort. However, the reality was that criminals saw the war as an opportunity to exploit the emergency conditions and those with a previously unblemished reputation found themselves tempted off the straight and narrow.

Penny Legg, author of a new book on the subject, shows how and why crime was committed during the Second World War and what became of those Spivs, Scoundrels, Rogues and Worse who strayed into the underworld.

Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
29 September 2017

'From Cradle to Grave.' Creating the British Welfare State in the 1940s.
by Alan Williams


Much of what we think of as the modern welfare state, for example the National Health Service, Social Security and a commitment to full employment, has its recent origins in World War Two and was created in the late 1940s. In this talk Alan will explore the background to the creation of the welfare state and why the war acted as an agent of such significant social policy change.

Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
24 November 2017

Blood & Bandages by Liz Coward
Liz Coward will be talking about the Royal Army Medical Corp during WW2 and in particular the role of William Earle who was a member of the RAMC mostly through the Italian campaign. A book about William Earle who is now 102 and written by Liz was published earier this year.

Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
26 January 2018

The history and restoration of the paddle steamer ‘Medway Queen’ by Pat and Mark Bathurst of the Medway Queen Preservation Society.

Paddle Steamer Medway Queen was built by the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company of Troon Scotland in 1924, for the New Medway Steam Packet Company of Rochester and is the last of the estuary paddle steamers that were built to take passengers on day trips on the Thames and Medway Estuaries, calling at locations such as Southend, Clacton-on-Sea, Herne Bay and Margate. At the outbreak of the Second World War she was commissioned into the Royal Navy and became a minesweeper As HMS Medway Queen she was now armed with a twelve pound gun and two Lewis guns. On the 27th of May 1940 she was ordered to the beaches of Dunkirk “to embark some troops that would be waiting there”. During the following days the Medway Queen rescued in excess of 7,000 men, completing seven trips – a record for a ship below the size of a destroyer. At the start of her final return to England, with almost 500 French troops on board, she sustained significant damage in a collision. After the war she was refitted and then returned for several years to her peacetime role. With lottery and European funding the vessel is currently being restored. The talk this evening will explore the history of this unique vessel.

Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
30 March 2018

Kent at War 1939-1941 by Bob Ogley

During the Second World War Kent was the county closest to occupied Europe with many of the population living closer to France than to London. Well-known local Kent historian Bob Ogley will explore some of the major events and effects of the war on Kent, a county that was on the ‘front line’ of the war and experienced many of its effects at first hand.

Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
25 May 2018

Speaker to be confirmed



Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
27 July 2018

Speaker to be confirmed



Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
28 September 2018

Speaker to be confirmed



Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3
30 November 2018

Speaker to be confirmed



Come along to what will be an informative and thought provoking evening.
8pm at Otford Memorial Hall near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3

Free subscription to the 1940s Society bi-monthly magazine

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