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Hazel Basford

Hazel Basford

Member of Council

My introduction to archaeology was being taken as a small child by my father to Lullingstone which he visited regularly to view progress.  This was in the 1950s, so Lullingstone to me means an open site with chestnut and wire fencing and a finds hut.  I never want this image to fade from my memory!

Life took me elsewhere but my interest in history survived work, children, moves to Bedfordshire and Leicestershire. In 1980 we came back to Kent.  I joined the Society in about 1995 after meeting Terry Lawson, then a fellow student on a course at Kent University.  

In 2001 I helped found the East Kent Branch of the Western Front Association and a few years later Ian Coulson and his father came along to our meetings.  He later invited me to join the Council. 

I studied the work of Kent Voluntary Aid Detachments (VAD) in WW1 when auxiliary military hospitals were set up all over Kent and in 2005 was awarded an M.Phil by the University. 

I work two days a week as Archivist at the Powell-Cotton Museum at Quex Park where we have the extensive archive and collection of archaeology from the work of Antoinette Powell-Cotton at Minnis Bay – as well as the huge collection of natural history and ethnography her Father accumulated on his trips to Africa and Asia.

Since 2012 my husband and I have spent several weeks each year, with many others, helping to look after the Lochnagar Crater on the Somme.  This huge mine crater, blown on 1 July 1916, was bought 41 years ago by Richard Dunning and is one of the most visited sites on the Western Front.