Runaway horse and van

A Southern Railway Motor Driver, Arthur George Aldridge was my 4th cousin 2x removed. He was born 21 Dec 1893 in Dover to Arthur George Aldridge and Harriet Kingsland. He enlisted in the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 2nd Battalion on 6 Mar 1911 and later served in the Labour Corps – 583rd Home Service Supply completing his service on 22 Feb 1919. On 23 Jun 1919 he married Gladys Margerita Hawkins ant they had three daughters.

Arthur had an interesting day on 8 Feb 1935 as the Dover Express reported:

On Tuesday afternoon, about 4 o’clock a horse attached to a Southern Railway four-wheeled van, bolted from the Priory Station yard. The driver, Mr. A. J. Aldridge, of 34, George Street, was engaged in fitting a new bridle to the horse, when it bolted down Folkestone Road into Biggin Street, round the corner by the Gas Office and past a tram-car outside Messrs. Timothy Whites. When it got to Market Square it slipped and slithered across the road into the gutter by Orange Motor Garage. Mr. W. Weir, of 19, Castle Avenue, held the horse’s head down, and when assistance arrived the horse was released from the van. The driver arrived shortly afterwards and took it back to the stables. Its only injury was about two inches of skin out of its leg.

Market Square Dover

Market Square, Dover 2012
by Eluveitie,

Arthur still worked in this job in Sep 1939, so I guess he didn’t get in too much trouble for the incident. Arthur may have told this story often over the years until his death on 16 Feb 1970.

Dover Express 31 August 1934

Tram cars at Buckland Bridge – Dover Express 31 August 1934

Arthur was also in the paper on 17 Feb 1911, he had been gambling with Jesse Willis, 26, Sidney Gage, 18, George Dunkling, 18, Charles Dunkling, 18, Davis Davis, 18, and himself at 17. This was the usual Sunday gambling that the police were trying to put a stop to and took place at Noah’s Ark Road. They were in a field near Fever Hospital playing cards and had a cap with 2/7 in it. He was fined 5s and had a week for payment or he would have to spend seven days in prison.

See Arthur on Lives of the First World War


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