Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west; the county shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone. Canterbury Cathedral in Kent has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, since the Reformation. Prior to that it was built by Catholics, dating back to the conversion of England to Catholicism by Saint Augustine that began in the 6th century. Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury; the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald Pole. Rochester Cathedral is in Kent, in Medway, it is the second-oldest cathedral in England, with Canterbury Cathedral being the oldest. Between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates it from mainland Europe, Kent has seen both diplomacy and conflict, ranging from the Leeds Castle peace talks of 1978 and 2004 to the Battle of Britain in World War II.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history. France can be seen in fine weather from Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover. Hills in the form of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge span the length of the county and in the series of valleys in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles; because of its relative abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent is known as "The Garden of England". Kent's economy is diversified. In northwest Kent industries include extraction of aggregate building materials and scientific research. Coal mining has played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent makes Kent a high-income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The High Weald; the name Kent is believed to be of British Celtic origin and was known in Old English as Cent, Cent lond, Centrice.
In Latin sources Kent is mentioned as Canticum. The meaning is explained by some researchers as "coastal district," or "corner-land, land on the edge". If so, the name could be etymologically related to the placename Cantabria a Celtiberian-speaking coastal region in pre-Roman Iberia, today a province of Spain; the area has been occupied since the Palaeolithic era, as attested by finds from the quarries at Swanscombe. The Medway megaliths were built during the Neolithic era. There is a rich sequence of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman era occupation, as indicated by finds and features such as the Ringlemere gold cup and the Roman villas of the Darent valley; the modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook". This describes the eastern part of the current county area as coastal district. Julius Caesar had described the area as um, or home of the Cantiaci in 51 BC; the extreme west of the modern county was by the time of Roman Britain occupied by Iron Age tribes, known as the Regnenses.
Caesar wrote that the people of Kent are'by far the most civilised inhabitants of Britain'. East Kent became a kingdom of the Jutes during the 5th century and was known as Cantia from about 730 and recorded as Cent in 835; the early medieval inhabitants of the county were known as the Kent people. These people regarded the city of Canterbury as their capital. In 597, Pope Gregory I appointed the religious missionary as the first Archbishop of Canterbury. In the previous year, Augustine converted the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity; the Diocese of Canterbury became England's first Episcopal See with first cathedral and has since remained England's centre of Christianity. The second designated English cathedral was in Kent at Rochester Cathedral. In the 11th century, the people of Kent adopted the motto Invicta, meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered"; this naming followed the invasion of Britain by William of Normandy. The Kent people's continued resistance against the Normans led to Kent's designation as a semi-autonomous county palatine in 1067.
Under the nominal rule of William's half-brother Odo of Bayeux, the county was granted similar powers to those granted in the areas bordering Wales and Scotland. Kent was traditionally partitioned into East and West Kent, into lathes and hundreds; the traditional border of East and West Kent was the Medway. Men and women from east of the Medway are Men of Kent, those from the west are Kentishmen or Kentish Maids. During the medieval and early modern period, Kent played a major role in several of England's most notable rebellions, including the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, led by Wat Tyler,Jack Cade's Kent rebellion of 1450, Wyatt's Rebellion of 1554 against Queen Mary I; the Royal Navy first used the River Medway in 1547. By the reign of Elizabeth I a small dockyard had been established at Chatham. By 1618, storehouses, a ropewalk, a drydock, houses for officials had
South East England
South East England is the most populous of the nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Berkshire, East Sussex, the Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire and West Sussex; as with the other regions of England, apart from Greater London, the south east has no elected government. It is the third largest region of England, with an area of 19,096 km2, is the most populous with a total population of over eight and a half million; the headquarters of the region's governmental bodies are in Guildford, the region contains seven cities: Brighton and Hove, Chichester, Portsmouth and Winchester, though other major settlements include Reading and Milton Keynes. Its proximity to London and connections to several national motorways have led to South East England becoming an economic hub, with the largest economy in the country outside the capital, it is the location of Gatwick Airport, the UK's second-busiest airport, its coastline along the English Channel provides numerous ferry crossings to mainland Europe.
The region is known for its countryside, which includes the North Downs and the Chiltern Hills as well as two national parks: the New Forest and the South Downs. The River Thames flows through the region and its basin is known as the Thames Valley, it is the location of a number of internationally known places of interest, such as HMS Victory in Portsmouth, Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, Thorpe Park and RHS Wisley in Surrey, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Windsor Castle in Berkshire, Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, Brighton Pier and Hammerwood Park in East Sussex, Wakehurst Place in West Sussex. The region has many universities. South East England is host to various sporting events, including the annual Henley Royal Regatta, Royal Ascot and The Derby, sporting venues include Wentworth Golf Club and Brands Hatch; some of the events of the 2012 Summer Olympics were held in the south east, including the rowing at Eton Dorney and part of the cycling road race in the Surrey Hills.
At Eartham Pit, Boxgrove near Halnaker in West Sussex in December 1993, the oldest human remains in the UK – a tibia bone and a pair of lower incisor teeth – were found. An Acheulean hand axe was found. Bones of a Megalosaurus were found at a slate quarry at Stonesfield in Oxfordshire and named in 1824: it is now at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. In 1822 an Iguanodon was found at Whitemans Green near West Sussex; the Meonhill Vineyard, near Old Winchester Hill in east Hampshire on the South Downs south of West Meon on the A32, was the site of where the Romano-British grew Roman grapes. The Ridgeway runs through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and is Britain's oldest road; the post office at Shipton-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire, in the Cotswolds, is the oldest still in use in England, built in 1845. The first British Grand Prix was held in 1926 at Brooklands, the world's first purpose-built motor circuit built in 1907 by Sir Hugh F. Locke-King, the land owner. Much of the Battle of Britain was fought in this region in Kent.
RAF Bomber Command was based at High Wycombe. RAF Medmenham at Danesfield House, west of Marlow in Buckinghamshire, was important for aerial reconnaissance. Operation Corona, based at RAF Kingsdown, was implemented to confuse German night fighters with native German-speakers, coordinated by the RAF Y Service. Bletchley Park in north Buckinghamshire was the principal Allied centre for codebreaking; the Colossus computer, arguably the world's first, began working on Lorentz codes on 5 February 1944, with Colossus 2 working from June 1944. The site was chosen, among other reasons, because it is at the junction of the Varsity Line and the West Coast Main Line; the Harwell computer, now at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley, was built in 1949 and is believed to be the oldest working digital computer in the world. John Wallis of Kent, introduced the symbol for infinity, the standard notation for powers of numbers in 1656. Thomas Bayes was an important statistician from Tunbridge Wells. Sir David N. Payne at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre invented the erbium-doped fibre amplifier, a type of optical amplifier, in the mid-1980s, which became essential for the internet.
Henry Moseley at Oxford in 1913 discovered his Moseley's law of X-ray spectra of chemical elements that enabled him to be the first to assign the correct atomic number to elements in periodic table. Carbon fibre was invented in 1963 at the RAE in Farnborough by a team led by William Watt; the Apollo LCG space-suit cooling system originated from work done at RAE Farnborough in the early 1960s. Donald Watts Davies, who went to grammar school in Portsmouth, took over from Alan Turing in developing Britain's early computers, invented packet switching in the late 1960s at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. Packet-switching was taken up by the Americans to form the ARPANET. The
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status; the NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK. As with other emergency services, the public access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers. In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, as part of community provision of services such as community first responders. Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations.
Paramedics are seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service. Public ambulance services across the UK are required by law to respond to four types of requests for care, which are: Emergency calls Doctor's urgent admission requests High dependency and urgent inter-hospital transfers Major incidentsAmbulance trusts and services may undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts, although these contracts are fulfilled by private and voluntary providers; the National Health Service Act 1946 gave county and borough councils a statutory responsibility to provide an emergency ambulance service, although they could contract a voluntary ambulance service to provide this, with many contracting the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance or another local provider.
The last St John Division, to be so contracted is reputed to have been at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, where the two-bay ambulance garage can still be seen at the branch headquarters. The Regional Ambulance Officers’ Committee reported in 1979 that “There was considerable local variation in the quality of the service provided in relation to vehicles and equipment. Most Services were administered by Local Authorities through their Medical Officer of Health and his Ambulance Officer, a few were under the aegis of the Fire Service, whilst others relied upon agency methods for the provision of part or all of their services.” The 142 existing ambulance services were transferred by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 from local authority to central government control in 1974, consolidated into 53 services under regional or area health authorities. This led to the formation of predominantly county based ambulance services, which merged up and changed responsibilities until 2006, when there were 31 NHS ambulance trusts in England.
The June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health led to the merging of the 31 trusts into 13 organisations in England, plus one organisation each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Following further changes as part of the NHS foundation trust pathway, this has further reduced to 10 ambulance service trusts in England, plus the Isle of Wight which has its own provision. Following the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of the ambulance services in each area passed from central government control into the hands of regional clinical commissioning groups; the commissioners in each region are responsible for contracting with a suitable organisation to provide ambulance services within their geographical territory. The primary provider for each area is held by a public NHS body, of which there are 11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries. In England there are now ten NHS ambulance trusts, as well as an ambulance service on the Isle of Wight, run directly by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, with boundaries following those of the former regional government offices.
The ten trusts are: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust London Ambulance Service NHS Trust North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS TrustThe English ambulance trusts are represented by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, with the Scottish and Northern Irish providers all associate members. On the 14 November 2018 West Midlands Ambulance Service became the UK's first university-ambulance trust; the service was operated before reorganisation in 1974 by the St Andrews’ Ambulance Association under contract to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Scottish Ambulance Service is a Special Health Board that provides ambulance services throughout whole of Scotland, on behalf of the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
Due to the remote nature of many areas of Scotland compared to the other Home Nations, the Scottish Ambulance Service has Britain's only publi
Earl of Leicester
Earl of Leicester is a title, created seven times. The first title was granted during the 12th century in the Peerage of England; the current title is in the Peerage of the United Kingdom and was created in 1837. The title was first created for Robert de Beaumont, but he nearly always used his French title of Count of Meulan. Three generations of his descendants, all named Robert, called themselves Earls of Leicester; the Beaumont male line ended with the death of the 4th Earl. His property was split between his two sisters, with Simon IV de Montfort, the son of the eldest sister, acquiring Leicester and the rights to the earldom. However, Simon IV de Montfort was never formally recognized as earl, due to the antipathy between France and England at that time, his second son, Simon V de Montfort, did succeed in taking possession of the earldom and its associated properties. He is the Simon de Montfort who became so prominent during the reign of Henry III, he was killed at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, his lands and titles were forfeited.
In 1267 the title was created a second time and granted to the king's youngest son, Edmund Crouchback. In 1276 he became Earl of Lancaster, the titles became united. Crouchback's son Thomas lost the earldom when he was executed for treason in 1322, but a few years it was restored to his younger brother Henry. Henry's son Henry of Grosmont left only two daughters, his estate was divided between them, the eldest daughter Matilda receiving the earldom, held by her husband William V of Holland. Matilda, soon died, the title passed to John of Gaunt, husband of her younger sister, created Duke of Lancaster. Both the dukedom and the earldom were inherited by John of Gaunt's son, Henry Bolingbroke, both titles ceased to exist when Henry usurped the throne, as the titles "merged into the crown"; the properties associated with the earldom became part of what was called the Duchy of Lancaster. In 1564 the earldom was again created for Robert Dudley. Since Dudley died without heirs, the title became extinct at his death.
The title was again created in 1618 for his nephew. Prior to being granted the earldom Robert Sidney was granted the subsidiary title of Viscount Lisle on 4 May 1605; the Sidneys retained the titles until the death of the seventh Earl in 1743, when the titles again became extinct. The title of earl was recreated for Thomas Coke, but it became extinct when he, died without heirs; the title was again bestowed upon George Townshend, 16th Baron Ferrers of Chartley and 8th Baron Compton, eldest son and heir apparent of George Townshend, 4th Viscount Townshend the first Marquess Townshend. Townshend was a female-line great-great-great-grandson of Lady Lucy Sydney, daughter of the second Earl of the 1618 creation; the earldom became extinct yet again upon the death of his son, the third Marquess and second Earl, in 1855. The Coke family is descended from the noted judge and politician Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice from 1613 to 1616. Through his son Henry Coke, his great-great-great-grandson Thomas Coke was a landowner and patron of arts.
In 1728 he was raised to the Peerage of Great Britain as Baron Lovel, of Minster Lovel in the County of Oxford, in 1744 he was created Viscount Coke, of Holkham in the County of Norfolk, Earl of Leicester in the Peerage of Great Britain. Lord Leicester began the construction of Holkham Hall in Norfolk, he married 19th Baroness de Clifford. Their only child Edward Coke, Viscount Coke, predeceased both his parents, without issue. Lord Leicester's titles became extinct on his death in 1759 while the barony of de Clifford fell into abeyance on Lady de Clifford's death in 1775; the Coke estates were passed on to the late Earl's nephew Wenman Coke. Born Wenman Roberts, he was the son of Philip Roberts and Anne, sister of Lord Leicester, assumed the surname of Coke in lieu of Roberts, his son Thomas Coke was noted agriculturalist. Known as "Coke of Norfolk", he sat as a Member of Parliament for many years but is best remembered for his interest in agricultural improvements and is seen as one of the instigators of the British Agricultural Revolution.
In 1837 the titles held by his great-uncle were revived when Coke was raised to the Peerage of the United Kingdom as Viscount Coke and Earl of Leicester, of Holkham in the County of Norfolk. This was despite the fact that the 1784 creation of the earldom held by the Townshend family was still extant. Lord Leicester was succeeded by his eldest son from the second Earl, he served as Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk for sixty years and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1873. On his death in 1909 the titles passed to the third Earl, he was a colonel in the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards and served as Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk. He was succeeded by the fourth Earl, he was Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk. When he died the titles passed to his son, the fifth Earl, he was an Extra Equerry to both George VI and Elizabeth II. He was succeeded by his first cousin, the sixth Earl, he was the son of the Hon. Arthur G
Sir Philip Sidney was an English poet, courtier and soldier, remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age. His works include Astrophel and Stella, The Defence of Poesy, The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia. Born at Penshurst Place, Kent, he was the eldest son of Lady Mary Dudley, his mother was the eldest daughter of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, the sister of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. His younger brother, Robert Sidney was a statesman and patron of the arts, was created Earl of Leicester in 1618, his younger sister, married Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke and was a writer and literary patron. Sidney dedicated the Arcadia, to her. After her brother's death, Mary reworked the Arcadia, which became known as The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia. Philip was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. In 1572, at the age of 18, he was elected to Parliament as a Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and in the same year travelled to France as part of the embassy to negotiate a marriage between Elizabeth I and the Duc D'Alençon.
He spent the next several years in mainland Europe, moving through Germany, Poland, the Kingdom of Hungary and Austria. On these travels, he met a number of politicians. Returning to England in 1575, Sidney met Penelope Devereux. Although much younger, she would inspire his famous sonnet sequence of the 1580s, Astrophel and Stella, her father, Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, was said to have planned to marry his daughter to Sidney, but he died in 1576 and this did not occur. In England, Sidney occupied himself with politics and art, he defended his father's administration of Ireland in a lengthy document. More he quarrelled with Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford because of Sidney's opposition to the French marriage of Elizabeth to the much younger Alençon, which de Vere championed. In the aftermath of this episode, Sidney challenged de Vere to a duel, he wrote a lengthy letter to the Queen detailing the foolishness of the French marriage. Characteristically, Elizabeth bristled at his presumption, Sidney prudently retired from court.
During a 1577 diplomatic visit to Prague, Sidney secretly visited the exiled Jesuit priest Edmund Campion. Sidney in 1584 was MP for Kent; that same year Penelope Devereux was married against her will, to Lord Rich. Sidney was knighted in 1583. An early arrangement to marry Anne Cecil, daughter of Sir William Cecil and eventual wife of de Vere, had fallen through in 1571. In 1583, he married 16-year-old daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham. In the same year, he made a visit to Oxford University with Giordano Bruno, the polymath known for his cosmological theories, such as affirming Copernicus at a time when many others did not, speculating that the stars were other suns with planets, among other ideas, who subsequently dedicated two books to Sidney. In 1585 the couple had one daughter, who married married Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland, in March 1599 and died without issue in 1614, his artistic contacts were more significant for his lasting fame. During his absence from court, he wrote Astrophel and Stella and the first draft of The Arcadia and The Defence of Poesy.
Somewhat earlier, he had met Edmund Spenser. Other literary contacts included membership, along with his friends and fellow poets Fulke Greville, Edward Dyer, Edmund Spenser and Gabriel Harvey, of the'Areopagus', a humanist endeavour to classicise English verse. Both through his family heritage and his personal experience, Sidney was a keenly militant Protestant. In the 1570s, he had persuaded John Casimir to consider proposals for a united Protestant effort against the Roman Catholic Church and Spain. In the early 1580s, he argued unsuccessfully for an assault on Spain itself. Promoted General of Horse in 1583, his enthusiasm for the Protestant struggle was given a free rein when he was appointed governor of Flushing in the Netherlands in 1585. In the Netherlands, he urged boldness on his superior, his uncle the Earl of Leicester, he conducted a successful raid on Spanish forces near Axel in July, 1586. That year, he joined Sir John Norris in the Battle of Zutphen, fighting for the Protestant cause against the Spanish.
During the battle, he was shot in the thigh and died of gangrene 26 days at the age of 31. One account says this death was heroic. Sidney noticed that one of his men was not armored, he put off his thigh armor on the grounds. As he lay dying, Sidney composed a song to be sung by his deathbed. According to the story, while lying wounded he gave his water to another wounded soldier, saying, "Thy necessity is yet greater than mine"; this became the most famous story about Sir Philip, intended to illustrate his noble and gallant character. It inspired evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith to formulate a problem in signalling theory, known as the Sir Philip Sidney game. Sidney's body was returned to London and interred in the Old St. Paul's Cathedral on 16 February 1587; the grave and monument were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. A modern monument in the crypt lists his among the important graves lost. During his own lifetime, but more after his death
Leigh spelled Lyghe, is a village and a civil parish located in the Sevenoaks district of Kent, England. It is located three miles west of Tonbridge. There is a large village green; the parish church is dedicated to St Mary. The name of the village derives from the Old English leah, clearing. Leigh is thought to have grown from a hamlet. Much of the land around the village was acquired in the 14th century by Sir John de Pulteney, owner of nearby Penshurst Place. In 1533, the estate passed to the Sidney family who retained ownership of most of this land until the early 20th century; the village grew in the 19th century when the Baily and Morley families built many of the distinctive buildings present today, including Hall Place and Old Lodges, The Square, Forge Square and School Master's House. The Tonbridge to Redhill railway was built in 1842 to the south of the village, bringing further growth in population. Leigh is administered by Kent County Council, it falls within the UK parliamentary constituency of Malling.
The parish of Leigh includes the hamlet of Charcott as well as the areas of Powder Mills and Moorden. The Fleur De Lis is the only public house in the village itself, although the Plough Inn is located to the east of the village on Powder Mill Lane; the Fleur De Lis was built as cottages by Thomas Baily in 1855, but was bought by a local brewery and Company, in 1870. Leigh railway station is on the Redhill to Tonbridge line and is located to the south of the village centre, it opened as "Leigh Halt" in 1911 but has been named "Leigh" since 1969. The former Penshurst Airfield was located to the south of Charcott, it operated as a military airfield, between 1916–36 and 1940-46. The last remaining buildings were removed in 1991; the present parish church building was built in the 13th century, although a church is believed to have stood in a similar position for over a thousand years. It occupies the highest point of the village; the church was reconstructed in the 19th century by two architects, George Devey and Charles Baily, employed by the Lay Rector and the Parish the two parties being responsible for different parts of the building.
The two architects used different types of stone to reconstruct the building. October 1926 Air Union Blériot 155 crash, within Leigh parish Leigh Parish Council website Village notes Check for villages starting with L St Mary's church Leigh & District Historical Society Leigh during the Second World War Leigh barrier
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service for the administrative county of Kent and the unitary authority area of Medway, covering a geographical area south of London, to the coast and including major shipping routes via the Thames and Medway rivers. The total coastline covered is 225 km; the FRS provides emergency cover to a population of nearly 2 million. The area meets the boundaries of the London Fire Brigade to the north of the county, Surrey to the north west and East Sussex to the south west of Kent; the first fire brigade appeared in Kent in 1802 when the Kent Fire Office formed an insurance brigade in Deptford. In the same year, separately from insurance companies, Hythe became the first town in Kent to set up its own fire brigade, followed by Ashford in 1826. By the 20th century, it was quite fashionable for local authorities to have their own fire brigades. Maidstone had seen the formation of its borough fire brigade in 1901 when the Royal Insurance Company provided a new Shand Mason horse-drawn steam fire engine, named The Queen.
This company had taken over the Kent Fire Office in the same year disbanding their own brigade. Things became competitive between individual town and village brigades, in many instances, each one trying to outdo its neighbour. In 1910, Bromley became the first town in Kent to house motorised fire engines, with two new Merryweather vehicles being stationed there; until 1938, the provision of a fire brigade was a discretionary power, there were a few local authorities that regarded it as an unnecessary expense. However, due to the threat of war, Parliament enacted the Fire Brigades Act 1938 and made it a duty and so created over 1,600 individual fire authorities across the nation, it was these local brigades and the Auxiliary Fire Service – formed in 1938 – that valiantly coped with the consequences of the Battle of Britain and much of The Blitz. In August 1941, local brigades and the AFS were absorbed into one organisation called The National Fire Service, it was in 1941 that the current Headquarters house The Godlands was requisitioned for war-time use by the National Fire Service and it has remained with the fire service since.
World War II brought dark days indeed for Kent fire-fighters. Fire-fighting has been and will always be a dangerous occupation, the Roll of Honour 1899-1990, compiled by Geoffrey Cooper, an ex-Kent fire-fighter, details the deaths of Kent fire-fighters while on duty. Of the 122'Kent' names listed, 15 were pre-1939, 16 were post-1939 and 91 died during World War II. Nationally, well over 1,000 fire-fighters died during World War II, with stories of fire stations and the water supplies needed for fire-fighting being targeted by German bombers, to maximise the damage caused by incendiary bombs; the last death on duty of a Kent fire-fighter was in 1990. The fire service was returned to local authority control on 1 April 1948 under the Fire Services Act 1947, with responsibility in England and Wales being given to the 146 counties and county boroughs of the day; the County of Kent and the City and County Borough of Canterbury combined to form Kent Fire Brigade, taking over 79 fire stations from the National Fire Service.
Subsequent local government reorganisations have had their effect upon the brigade, most in 1965 when eight fire stations in the northwest of the county were transferred to the newly created Greater London area. Further reorganisation in 1974 saw Canterbury lose its county borough status and the fire brigade became the exclusive responsibility of Kent County Council. In 1998, the structure of local government changed again and Kent combined with the new Medway Towns unitary authority for fire brigade provision. On 1 October 2003, Kent Fire Brigade was renamed Kent Fire and Rescue Service to better reflect the requirements demanded of it for many years; these changes were reflected nationally by the enactment of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 which came into effect on 1 October 2004. In the spring of 2011, Kent Fire and Rescue underwent changes to its structure, these included restructuring from three divisions to 5 area groups: North Kent, East Kent, West Kent, South Kent and Mid Kent.
Each group consists of a number of clusters, which are made up of a number of certain stations where resources are locally managed. The Letter prefix for each division was dropped in the station call sign, for instance Swanley, under the old system was named as Station S31 the S standing for South Division, now it is just Station 31. Water Tender: P1 Rescue Pump Ladder: R3/P1 Rescue Pump Platform: R1 Aerial Ladder Platform: A1 Turntable Ladder: A1 Swift Water Rescue Unit + Inshore Rescue Boat: B1 Command Support Unit: C1 Fire Fogging Unit: M1 Animal Rescue Unit: R2 Line Rescue Unit: R2 Water Carrier: W1 Water Management Unit: W1 General Purpose Vehicle: T1/T2/T3 General Purpose Vehicle + Breathing Apparatus Support Unit: T1 Light 4x4 Vehicle + All Terrain Vehicle: T1 Personnel Carrier Vehicle: T1/T2 Prime Mover + High Volume Pump: T8 Prime Mover + High Volume Hose Layer: T9 Prime Mover + Incident Command & Control Unit: T1 Prime Mover + Incident Support Unit T4 Detection, Identification, & Monitoring: H8 Incident Response Unit: H9 Prime Mover + Mass Decontamination Disrobe: T9 Search & Rescue Dog Unit: R9 General Purpose Vehicle: T1 Prime Mover: T5/T6/T7/T8/T9Pods: Module 1 - Technical Search Equipment Module 2 - Heavy Transport, Confined Space & Hot Cutting Module 3 - Breaching & Breaking Equipment Module 4 - Multi Pu