Hayes (Kent) History

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Hayes (Kent) History

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DEVAS, Horace George
1852 – 1927
Copper Merchant, Bank Director, Hayes Parish Councillor

Horace Devas was the son of Charles Frederick Devas and was living at Pickhurst Manor, Hayes,  when he married in 1886 Edith Caroline Campbell (1862 – 1924). They lived first at Pickhurst and then at Hartfield built for them on the edge of Hayes Common. It was designed by the architect Alex Stenning. Horace paid £1500 for the land and his father contributed £7000 for the house which was built in a Tudor style.

 Like his father he was a copper merchant and was wealthy enough to employ eight servants.  He became a director of the Union Bank of London and continued in that position when the bank was merged into the National Provincial Bank.

In 1892 Horace Devas bought more land from Sir John Farnaby Lennard for £339 to build a lodge, stables and coach house. The estate now amounted to just over 21 acres. 

His three children Geoffrey, Marjorie Edith and Nancy Marion were born and lived with their parents at Hartfield until they married.  The eldest daughter Marjorie married Ralph Alexander Campbell, son of the 3rd Earl of Cawdor in 1914.  Her brother Geoffrey married Joan Campbell Bannerman in 1916.  He served with the Welsh Guards in the First World War and was awarded an MC  in 1918.  His sister Nancy served as a VAD Nurse at Oakley VAD Hospital, Bromley Common, from 1916 until her marriage to Captain Evelyn Hardy in June 1918.

Horace and his wife took a keen interest and were very involved with events in Hayes.  He was a Hayes Parish Councillor  from 1898 to 1910, a school manager and treasurer of the school.

Edith Devas was for many years President of the Hayes branch of the Mothers’ Union, took a special interest in the Parish library and in 1910 became President of the Hayes Branch of the Cottage Benefit Nursing Association.  

When they moved from Hartfield to Hildenborough, near Tonbridge, in 1920 there were many tributes to their outstanding work  for the community of Hayes.