A block of flats in Southborough holds a sad link to the past. Hythe Close, which was built in the 1960s, was named as a tribute to the men of Southborough and High Brooms of the 1st/3rd Kent Field Company, Royal Engineers who lost their lives when their ship HMS Hythe was sunk during the First World War.
On October 28 1915 the troopship HMS Sarnia steamed away from the shore of the Dardanelles after disembarking her troops and collided with the Hythe, which sank in just ten minutes.
This accidental collision saw 154 of her 275 man crew drown. Of those who drowned, 129 were from the 1st/3rd Kent Field Company, Royal Engineers from Tunbridge Wells, Southborough and the surrounding area. The men on board were mainly Territorials; few had fought before and their backgrounds included plumbers, firemen and land workers.
In the 1960s, flats were constructed on Hythe Close and London Road and a large plaque was erected on the side of the Hythe Close block to recognise the disaster and pay tribute to those who lost their lives.