Launched 09/04/2011

Latest update

14/02/2022 05:19

Graveyard Memorial Inscriptions
Welcome to the Elham Historical Society database website. Feel free to browse and uncover the history of Elham. Our dedicated team of historians has recently finished recording the details on all the memorials in the graveyard. Our chairman Derek Boughton has overseen the operation, correlating the data and checking for errors. The results of their labours can be seen on the burials page.

Elham beat off stiff competition for the title of Kent Village of the year 2011 organised by Action with Communities in Rural Kent.

Censuses for outlying communities in the parish will be rolled out gradually. Check out the stats page for interesting facts and

trivia about the village. We still need your help so please send us any information relating to Elham that may be of interest.

Les Ames hits out
Les Ames in action

Elham resident Les Ames in action for England against the West Indies in 1939. He was one of the finer wicketkeeper - batsmen and played for Kent CCC.

Abbot's Fireside c 1450
Abbot's Fireside

The Abbot's Fireside is one of the older buildings in the village and probably dates back to the mid fifteenth century.

Audrey attends school
Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn (neé Rushton) lived in Orchard Cottage (Five Bells) for five years in her childhood (1935-1940) and attended the local village schools. She took ballet lessons and dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. I wonder what became of her?

George V Playing Field
George V Playing Field

Dave Lee opens Elham's brand new playground with a sensory garden and a pretty flower meadow created by the Play for Elham charity. 21st November 2010

Swing Riots of 1830
Swing Riots

The machine breaking that led to the riots of August 1830 onwards started in the Elham Parish, writes our historian Derek Boughton, who has made a lifetime's study of the subject.

Elham residents were prominent in the gangs that sought out the new fangled threshing machines and destroyed them. Some of them cost the not inconsiderable sum for the day of £100. Full Story

Sad Loss 1811

March 25, at his house in Eiham 'Mr. John Bowes, aged 75, whose loss is greatly lamented by his numerous friends and acquaintance. He belonged to the choir of psalm singers nearly 40 years, in which he always took an active part; he departed this life after a long and distressing illness, which he bore with the fortitude of a man and the resignation of a christian; he was distinguished for his uprightness and moderation, with a proper degree of firmness on all occasions which required it; sincere in his attachments and friendship, he observed that mild and conliatory demeanor towards all, that a loss so generally regretted will rarely occur. Kentish Gazette - Tuesday 02 April 1811

Tragic accident at Three Tuns 1802

Monday se’nnight as a daughter of Mr Rigden at the Three Tons in Elham, was standing near the fire, a spark flew upon her clothes, which immediately caught into a flame, and burnt her in so dreadful a manner that she died in the course of the day. K.G., 23 April 1802, 4d

Bill Green 1940

Sgt Bill Green had been part of the Battle of Britain for nine days when he was shot down by a German fighter. On 29 August, Mr Green was an inexperienced pilot flying at a height of 20,000ft above Deal in Kent. He said: "If you had said to me, 'Is there any chance there would be any aircraft in the sky that you haven't seen?' I would have said, 'No chance.' "But suddenly, a hole appeared in the bullet proof windscreen in front of me and I immediately started to get covered in glycol (engine antifreeze).

I realised I had to get out. I had got as far as taking the weight off my bottom and onto my feet when I was sucked out." The force with which Sgt Green rushed through the air ripped the boots off his feet. He pulled the rip cord of his parachute but nothing happened. As he plummeted to earth at 120mph, the 23-year-old's thoughts turned to his wife, Bertha. "I had only been married for about 12 weeks and I supposed I was seeking my end - for I was sure it was going to happen - through thoughts of my wife," he said. "I remember praying. I wasn't Christian at the time, I am now. "I remember saying, 'Please God open this bloody parachute' and quite magically the wind got under one of the folds with some vigour and kicked me back with a jolt. . "The quietude that hit me had more impact than any noise I've ever heard. and with that I thought, 'My god I'm alive.'"

He had joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force as an engine fitter in December 1936, and shortly before the outbreak of war, he trained as a pilot. Just 11 days before he was shot down above Kent, he flew a Hurricane for the first time. It was 20 August and Sgt Green had officially joined the Battle of Britain, one of the most crucial battles in British history. Nine days later, he was shot down. After his parachute finally opened, he landed on a farm in Elham. He said: "I sat in a field on my bottom and looked around. The field was full of thistles and cowpats and I thought, 'I've got to walk around this old trash in my stockinged feet'. "Then two blokes came out of the farmhouse with shotguns and realised I was English. "They helped me up and I couldn't stand because I'd been hit, without knowing it, in the leg. "They took me back to the farmhouse and gave me a cup of tea and that was the end of the Battle of Britain as far as I was concerned."

Mr Green continued to serve with the RAF, reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant. BBC video

What's in the database
11716 People
6513 Demography entries
2411 Events
1295 Marriages
415 Properties
418 Photographs
Completed projects ...
  • Properties 1841-1911
  • Demography records 1841-1911 (village only)
  • Cemetery & Graveyard burials
  • Memorial and graveyard inscriptions
Work in progress ...
  • Demography records 1841-1911 (parish)
  • Marriages within the Elham parish
  • Audio/verbal accounts by Elham residents
Coming soon ...
  • Mapping of all properties within the Elham parish
  • List of artefacts
Future projects ...
  • Audio village tour
  • Complete list of shops - past and present
What's new!
Michael Hayes
Doctor Who Producer
Arthur Frederick Broadbridge
Elham resident and diplomat
Charles Alfred Fortin
Elham assistant surgeon
William Lewis Cowley
Elham resident and author
George W Palmer
Graveyard burials
John Midgeley
Henry Clayson
STATS - Facts & Trivia
Windlass Cottage Title Deeds
Church Cottage history back to 1720
Anthony Eden
Prime Minister and Elham resident

Swing Riots
Les Ames in action
Audrey Hepburn

EHS Database

Swing Riots of 1830 recounted by Derek Boughton our local expert historian.

Les Ames for England v West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica 1930 or 1935. WK Ivan Barrow watches on.

Audrey Hepburn attended private schools in the village and dreamed of being a ballerina. I wonder what became of her?

What's in the database? Find the latest additions here.

1900 Alard Charles de Bourbel