Memorial to men killed in blast
A memorial service to three men from Chilham who lost their lives in the Great Explosion of 1916 will be held on Sunday.
Held at Old Wives Lees Village Hall, the event will commemorate the 101st anniversary of the tragic blast, which killed 116 men in Uplees, near Faversham.
The service will be hosted by the Chilham Remembrance Group, which will present plaques to the residents of the last homes where the three men from the village lived.
The disaster is the biggest catastrophe in the British explosives industry.
Len Budd, chairman of the group, said: “This is not a very well known event and has been shrouded in mystery since the day it happened.
“Only after 100 years has the official report into the cause of the explosion been published.
“Basically the cause of the explosion was a combination of unsafe storage of TNT next to ammonium nitrate and loose sparks from an adjacent boiler house. The sparks set fire to some sacks left outside a wooden shed housing the explosives, and the fire eventually reached the explosives, with the devastating result.”
Fifteen tonnes of TNT and 150 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded. It was so powerful that windows shattered 15 miles away across the Thames estuary in Southend.
The service will start at the village hall at 2pm.
Teneka Walford before the charity haircut