A potted history of KMH........
Following the First World War armistice signed on 11 November 1918, the residents of Kenley felt that a lasting memorial should be erected to commemorate all those local men who had served their Country. Fund-raising began in earnest and from a population of only 2,000, over £3,000 was raised towards the building of a “memorial hall”. Construction began in 1921 and the hall was formally opened on 8 April 1922, with an extension being added in 1923.
The land upon which the hall was built in 1921 was given by Colonel Sir Charles Morgan of Welcomes Road, Kenley in memory of his son, Lieutenant William Watkins Morgan who was killed in Gallipolli and who had no known grave. Inside the main hall, a memorial tablet was erected to honour the 21 Kenley men who had died during the conflict and a separate tablet was also erected in memory of Lieutenant William Watkins Morgan.
A formal deed dated 21 December 1921 made the Vicar and churchwardens of All Saints Parish Church the Trustees for the hall; the hall being held in trust by them for the community of Kenley at large.
The hall was well used by the local community until the 1939/1945 conflict, during which it was requisitioned by the War Department, being used as an ARP post and a troop rehabilitation centre until 1947, when it was then handed back to the Trustees.
No essential maintenance was carried out during the war years and further deterioration of the building continued over the next 30 years or so. The hall was almost derelict and was financially in debt. lt was about to be sold for development in May 1973, but by then a number of Kenley residents had decided that instead, the hall should be restored, and thereby saved for the community. Once again the residents of Kenley, together with local businesses, got behind the project and the hall was restored over the course of the next 2 years.
The Marchioness of Anglesey, whose grandfather was Sir Charles Morgan who had given the land for the hall, agreed to become Patron for the restoration of the hall.
The re-opening ceremony on 8 November 1975 was conducted by Group Captain Douglas Bader, later Sir Douglas Bader, who had been stationed at Kenley airfield for a period before World War 2. The hall was then again able to serve the community, who had twice now fought hard to raise funds for its building and its later restoration.