Raymond Denham Poland
Person Male Born 11/11/1887 Died 14/10/1947
Master of the Worshipful Company of Skinners.
Andrew Behan has researched Poland, using Find A Grave, but taking his date of birth from the Civil Registration of Births Index: Raymond Denham Poland was born on 11 November 1887 at 16 St Thomas Street, Southwark, the elder son of John Poland, F.R.C.S. and Mary Roberts Poland née Denham. His father was a Consulting Surgeon. He was baptised on 10 December 1887 at the Church of St Peter upon Cornhill, London. The 1891 census shows him living with family at 4 St Thomas Street, Southwark. In 1901 he was admitted into St Peter's College, Westminster, otherwise known as Westminster School, whilst his family were shown on the census of that year living at 2 Mansfield Street, Marylebone. The family apparently moved in 1907 to The Homestead, Wilderness Avenue, Seal, Sevenoaks, Kent.
Having attained the age of 21 years he was, on 17 November 1908, admitted by patrimony into the Freedom of the City of London in the Worshipful Company of Skinners, his father having been a Freeman since his own admission on 14 February 1880. The 1910 edition of the City of London Year Book and Directory, lists him at 110 Queen Victoria Street, London and the 1911 census records him living with his family at Avenue Lodge, Wilderness Avenue, Seal, Sevenoaks where his occupation is recorded as a Clerk in Merchants Office. On 20 April 1914 he married Jean Stuart Young at St Michael's Parish Church Inveresk, Musselburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, (now East Lothian, Scotland) and they had both a son and a daughter. The electoral register for 1920 and 1922 shows them registered to vote in connection with their premises at 110 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4, but their place of abode was recorded at 'Inveresk' Tower Road, Orpington, Kent. He was apprenticed to the family business of P. R. Poland and Sons, the oldest fur trade house in London, and rose to become Managing Director.
He was chairman of the London Fur Trade Association in 1933 and in the same year was Master of the Worshipful Company of Skinners. He was keenly interested in all the works of the company, particularly on the educational side, was a member of the governing body of the Skinner’s schools and for several years was chairman of Judd School, Tonbridge. It was also in 1933 that he became a member of the Common Council for the Queenhithe Ward, and four years later was appointed chairman of the Law and City Courts Committee of the council.
Other of his interests were the Freeman School, Epping Forest, the Guildhall School of Music and the Town Planning and Port of London Health committees of the council. Soon after joining the council he became Managing Director of C. W. Martin & Sons Ltd. The army too played a part in his life. In 1907 he joined the Territorial Forces initially enlisting in the 7th (London Scottish) Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps, which in 1908 became the 14th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (London Scottish). In 1909 he transferred to the 27th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Inns of Court). The London Gazette shows that he received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 1 August 1918. The 1939 England and Wales Register shows him and his family living at Lords Spring Cottage, Godden Green, Sevenoaks where he had resided since 1924.
During World War Two while living in Devon and Somerset he did much welfare work, particularly occupational therapy for the troops, and it was while there that he organised an extensive salvage drive and raised enough money to buy a compass and a dinghy for a fighter aeroplane and a dinghy for a bomber.
Throughout his life he concerned himself with works for children. He founded the Seal Scout Troop in 1910 and was especially interested in what was then, the Sevenoaks Children’s Hip Hospital (now the Emily Jackson Care Home, Eardley Road, Sevenoaks) and the Dr. Barnardo’s Homes. When in 1945 he returned to his home in Godden Green, he obtained a pedlars licence from police that he might sell surplus fruit from his garden in aid of a children’s society. He was a keen gardener and it was a constant joy to him, after his retirement through ill health in 1944, that he was able to devote so much time to his garden. He died, aged 59 years, on 14 October 1947 at Guy's Hospital, Southwark and is buried in Row 16, Plot 15 within the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul's Church, Church Street, Seal, Sevenoaks, TN15 0AR. Probate was granted to his widow and his effects totalled £33,399-10s-7d.