Herbert & Walter Henry Amos

Herbert Amos 1887 – 1968
Walter Henry Amos 1885 – 1944

The two youngest sons of Joseph Amos, a well-known resident who ran a butcher shop in the village, Herbert and Walter both served in the army, though unfortunately their record of service no longer exists.

Joseph Amos opened his butchery on Bridge Street (as the road was known at the time) in the early 1880s. In 1916, the premises was named ‘The Chestnuts’. It still exists today opposite the Co-op on the corner of Church Hill.

At the time of the Great War, the business was a sizeable concern, consisting of a shop, a four-bedroomed dwelling, stables, garden, along with a slaughter house, cart lodge and pound for animals. The shop had an excellent reputation. According to the Dover Express, it stocked ‘a choice stock of the very finest meat and poultry’ supplied by a farmer from Womenswold, whose produce was ‘highly commended at the Canterbury Show’.

Joseph was at the centre of many aspects of village life, sitting before the War on the Parish Council for over twenty years. He ran the butcher’s with his wife Esther (née Bean). Each of the couple’s three sons became ‘butcher’s assistants’ from an early age.

By the time of the Great War, Joseph was disabled and his eldest son, Robert, was running much of the business, as well as acting as slaughterman. In his mid-thirties, Robert lived with his young family in Ivy Dene on Cox Hill. He did not serve in the military on account of a ‘conditional exception’ granted on several occasions by the Dover Tribunal. After the war, he moved into farming, taking out a tenancy at Diamond Farm (on Cox Hill), where he stayed until the late 1920s.

Walter (born 1885) had left Shepherdswell before the start of the War. In 1911, he worked as a railway clerk for the South East & Chatham Railway, lodging with a railworker’s family in Caterham (Surrey).

Herbert Charles, the youngest son (born 1887), was still working in the shop, though no longer living on the premises. In 1912, he married the 23-year-old Eva Hoare, who was employed as a domestic servant by Dr Bruce Payne at his home, Melville, just along Cox Hill. The couple set up home at 2 Hillside and by 1914 had had two young children.

The minutes of the Dover Tribunal indicate that Walter enlisted in late 1915/early 1916. Although his service record has not survived there is record of a Walter H. Amos serving in the Royal Engineers. Herbert joined up on 13th June 1916 and served for 3½ years, including the Middle East where he took part  in the campaigns in Mesopotamia and Palestine.

After the war, Herbert returned to the Shepherdswell to work in the butchery. After his father’s death in 1922, the business was officially in the name of Esther (now in her 70s) but with Herbert taking on most of the responsibility. When his mother died in 1925, he and Eva moved to The Chestnuts and ran the shop, with their children now becoming ‘butcher’s assistants’.

Herbert remained for many years a stalwart of the Shepherdswell cricket team, for which he had begun playing in his teenage years. After retiring, he spent his last years living at Melville, the former residence of Dr Bruce Payne, his wife’s employer.

Walter did not return to live in the village. He died in 1944 at the age of 59 in Woodbridge (Suffolk). 

[Sources: Dover Express, 21st December 1888, 8th March 1901, 13th April 1906 Dover Express, 18th March 1910, 19th May 1916, 27th July 1917, 9th January 1920, 11th August 1944.]