Arthur Waterhouse was born in Wintle Cottages in Madan Road in 1915, the year of the first Zeppelin air-raid on London “...I got my call-up papers on top of a bus - he laughs at this - I was going home one afternoon to see my mum when I heard a motorbike coming along the road. The rider stopped the bus just outside the Bull Inn at Brasted and I heard him say ‘you’ve got a chap named Waterhouse on this bus, give him these papers’. I knew the conductor and he came running up the stairs and said ‘ere you are mate, it’s your ticket’.
I opened it up and there was a thin bit of paper that said ‘report to your nearest depot with all your kit and one blanket’. He said ‘where have you got to go?’ so I told him I had to report to the Drill Hall in Westerham. He said ‘oh dear, well if you’ve been called-up, you’d better go and tell them at work’.
I had to go back to the White Hart where I was working, and I couldn’t find the manager, but the manageress came out of the lounge so I said ‘I’m sorry Mrs Preston, but I’ve been called-up, I’ve got to go right away’.
The manageress just stood there and said ‘Oh dear, and we’ve got a dinner-party on tonight too’ - I just thought ‘I’ve got serious things to do, that’s your hard-luck’.
I went home and got my kit and my mother said ‘I’m coming with you’ but I said ‘oh no you’re not, you just stay here at home’. I went down to the Drill Hall and they were all turning up - they’d had their papers too, lots of them...