December 2018 – Bulletin 208
Mitcham County Grammar School for Girls – Jane Smith (née Stark)
More on the Berkeley 100 – Rosemary Turner
Windsor Floors Co (continued) – Tony Scott
Peace Souvenir and programme of Merton festivities, 1919 – David Haunton
Fields Unsown: Where are they now? – Attic Theatre Company
More ‘bits and pieces’ – Hilary Nethersole
and much more
Programme December 2018 – April 2019 2
From our postbag (1): Mitcham County Grammar School for Girls – Jane Smith (née Stark) 3
Walking tour of Kingston 4
Visit to Kneller Hall 5
‘Merton Priory- a new chapter!’ 6
More on the Berkeley 100 – Rosemary Turner 7
Local History Workshops:
31 August: Liberty and Morris workers; Faramus of Boulogne; priory area; Liberty jargon;
Wandle walk; James Lackington; bus photos; Foote burial; Roger of Salisbury 8
19 October: Merton WW1 Committees; Berkeley Grill; was Morden church Puritan?;
WW1 attestation; Batchelor’s maps 10
Windsor Floors Co. (continued) – Tony Scott 11
Peace Souvenir and programme of Merton festivities, 1919 – David Haunton 12
Fields Unsown: Where are they now? – Attic Theatre Company 14
Hot off the press! Our Convict Son 15
From our postbag (2): More ‘bits and pieces’ – Hilary Nethersole 16
VICE PRESIDENT: Judith Goodman
Chair: Keith Penny
BULLETIN No. 208 DECEMBER 2018
see page 12
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 2
PROGRAMME DECEMBER 2018 – APRIL 2019
Saturday 8 December 2018 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
‘Puppetry: from Punch to Warhorse’
An illustrated talk by Dr Chris Abbott
Saturday 12 January 2019 2.30pm Short talks St James’ Church Hall, Merton
including: Pyl Brook finds; Shannon Corner; Dr Isaac Wilson; Priory Foundation; Postboxes
Saturday 9 February 2019 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
An illustrated talk by Sarah Gould, LBM Heritage
Thursday 28 February Annual Lunch (see enclosed booking form)
Saturday 9 March 2019 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
‘Wimbledon Salvation Army’
An illustrated talk by Richard Smart, an Executive of the Army
Saturday 13 April 2019 2.30pm St James’ Church Hall, Merton
‘History of Sutton Villages’
An illustrated talk by local historian John Phillips
Note also our Local History Workshops at Wandle Industrial Museum, London Road
2.30pm on Fridays 25 January, 15 March 2019. All Members are welcome
COMMITTEE MEMBERS 2018-2019
MHS is bound by the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Please see the MHS website regarding how
this concerns your personal data. Under these new GDRP rules we will normally only publish addresses
and telephone numbers of individuals if they so request. Contact details for our Secretary, Bulletin Editor
and Publications Secretary appear elsewhere within this issue.
Chair: Mr Keith Penny
Vice Chair: Dr Tony Scott
Hon Secretary Mrs Rosemary Turner (& Membership)
Hon Treasurer: Mrs Janet Holdsworth
Elected Members: Mr David Haunton (Bulletin Editor), Mr Peter Hopkins (Publications Secretary), Mr
David Luff (Safety & Membership), Mr Alan Martyn, Mrs Bea Oliver (Programme),
Mr Stephen Wright
Hon Examiner: Mr Robin Darbyshire.
The minutes of the AGM and the statement of accounts will be enclosed with the September Bulletin.
The Chair’s Report 2017-2018 will be printed in full in the March Bulletin.
St James’ Church Hall is in
Martin Way, next to the church
(officially in Beaford Grove).
Buses 164 and 413 stop in
Martin Way (in both directions)
The church has a tiny car
park, but parking in adjacent
streets is free.
Visitors are welcome to attend our talks. Entry £2.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 3
FROM OUR POSTBAG (1):
JANE SMITH (née STARK) recalls her time at
MITCHAM COUNTY GRAMMAR SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
I enjoyed Keith Penny’s reports to the Local History Workshop (Bulletin 207, September 2018) and in particular,
his mention of Cranmer School. I was there from 1959-1965 when it was still Mitcham County Grammar School
for Girls. The photograph in the article shows the imposing portico which I remember very well, especially as
pupils were not allowed to go through the main entrance. We either had to use the doors at the end of each wing
or skulk through the toilets/cloakrooms. This feature can be found in the design of other schools, for example,
the Southern Grammar School for Girls in Portsmouth had a slightly smaller porch but theirs was decorated
with figures and the civic motto.
In front of the school there was a small rock garden and pond, with benches which only sixth-formers were
allowed to use! The huge cedar tree in the photo was a feature of the school grounds and was still there when I
last visited in 2000. By the time I joined, the school was 30 years old and the number of pupils had out-grown
its size. Our first year were siphoned off into ‘the hut’ at the back of the site and, by the time I left, a new
assembly hall and gym had been bolted on to the front and can just be seen on the right of the photo. We also
used a second hut for school dinners.
Although surrounded on two sides by housing and on one by the local cottage hospital (The Wilson), the school’s
best feature had to be its spacious grounds with netball courts and hockey pitches and, in the summer, tennis
courts and cricket pitches. Mitcham Grammar never made it to its fortieth anniversary. In the late 1960s, the
destruction of grammar schools meant that it was amalgamated with Rowan Road Secondary School, a similarly
designed school in Mitcham. Nothing was ever the same again though and when I visited, it had become Cranmer
Middle School [now Cranmer Primary School]. To me, it was a great loss.
Lastly, I would be very interested to hear from anyone else who went to Mitcham Grammar. Especially if you
know what happened to all the Honours Boards which were displayed around the walls of the original assembly
hall. (Jane can be contacted via email@example.com)
HAVE YOU PAID?
Subscriptions for 2018-19 are now overdue. Please note that this will be the last issue to reach you if
we do not receive your payment before the March Bulletin. A membership form was enclosed with the
Current rates are: Individual member £12, Additional member in same household £5
Full-time Student £5, Overseas member £15
Cheques are payable to Merton Historical Society and should be sent with completed forms to our
Would members who pay by Standing Order kindly check their bank statements to see that they have been
paid, as we have had problems in the past with some banks.
This attractive drawing of the building was found on the school’s website, www.cranmer.merton.sch.uk.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 4
WALKING TOUR OF KINGSTON
Kingston, or ‘the king’s estate’, has 5,000 years of habitation, and its documentary history goes back to the
Council held by King Egbert in 858. A two-hour tour on 15 August, led by MHS member Charlotte Morrison,
started with ten walkers outside the parish church. Little that is Norman remains in the present church of All
Saints (to this visitor, expensively re-ordered but with little attention to liturgical purpose), but there are many
memorials to Kingstonians. One small one, just initials, is to Cesar Picton, a boy brought from Senegal in 1769
who grew up in a local family. He became a local character whose girth increased along with the prosperity of
his coal merchant’s business. In the churchyard the Saxon church of St Mary’s is remembered; it collapsed in
1730 when graves were dug too close to the walls.
The town’s history is advertised in several places, by two murals, and on the extraordinary early 20th-century
stucco-work on the black and white façade of the former Boots shop (now a Jack Wills shop) in the Market
Place, where there are images of Henry III, Edward III and Elizabeth I, along with the seven Saxon kings
allegedly crowned at Kingston (there is evidence for two of these). The Saxon kings are also recalled by the
so-called Coronation Stone near the Guildhall. On the shop front and elsewhere in the town is an emblem of
three fish, to commemorate the three fisheries noted in the Domesday Book. Nearby shops showed evidence of
Tudor origins, whilst the former Nuttall’s, once a restaurant and ballroom, was in Italian renaissance style. The
Italian style was also employed in the 1840s for the Market House, where a gilded statue of Queen Anne looks
out over the market place, first recorded in the 1130s and once the venue for football matches that eventually
had to be banned.
Kingston’s reputation as a retailing centre took the tour to another
remarkable façade, that of Bentall’s department store. The architect,
Maurice Webb, was told to make it look like Hampton Court, and in
part it does, though with art deco lamps. Mr Webb also designed the
circular Guildhall of 1935 (outside which we by chance encountered a
gentleman whom Charlotte introduced as the mayor, Councillor Thay
Thayalan (right)). A more recent retailer, John Lewis, was obliged to
incorporate the remains of a cellar and part of the original Kingston
Bridge into one side of their
new store. This first bridge
was a wooden structure, and a brick toll bridge, cased in stone, was
opened in 1828 by the Duchess of Clarence. At that time it was the
nearest Thames crossing to London Bridge; it has twice been widened
on the downstream side. The railway too has a bridge, but it was a late
arrival, for the main line passed by at Surbiton. Kingston does have a
medieval bridge, not over the Thames, but over the Hogsmill river, a
twelfth-century structure with Victorian parapets (left).
Charlotte reminded us of Kingston’s industrial and
commercial past: the importance of transport by boat and
by horse-drawn coach; the several breweries, of which
only the Eagle building remains; and the tannery, whose
smell was remembered from the 1960s by one of the
walkers. The tour ended on what had been the London
road, with the 1989 street feature of leaning phone boxes,
Out of Order by David Mach (right, photograph from
the Internet), past a forbidding police station dated 1864
and the William Cleaves almshouses of 1668, to finish
at the Lovekyn chantry chapel of 1309/52.
William of Wykeham, bishop, and founder of Winchester College and New College, Oxford, is commemorated
on the site of his riverside palace, which he never visited, but such is the fickleness of fame that a later Kingston
resident has probably become more widely known: before he gained fame, if not fortune, as the trade mark
for His Master’s Voice records, Nipper lived over the present Lloyds Bank. His name lives on in Nipper Alley,
next to the Wetherspoon’s pub to which this writer adjourned after an enjoyable tour that was pleasantly and
Unattributed photographs by David Luff
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 5
Visit to KNELLER HALL
On a street of 1930s houses and two bus routes, the Royal Military School of Music occupies Kneller Hall,
an 1850s building on the site of a country house near Twickenham once owned by Sir Godfrey Kneller, court
painter. Incorporating earlier wings by Philip Hardwick, it was built to accommodate a government-funded
teacher training college. When that venture failed, the premises became in 1857 a school for training Army
bandsmen, after Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, had been so appalled by the noise made when different
regimental bands combined in performance that he decided that there must be some standardisation; evidence
of this is in the two large tuning forks in the museum, copies of which were sent out to bands to ensure at least
a common pitch for instruments.
The MHS group of eight assembled at the guardroom, whose doorway is surmounted by a nameplate from
Kneller Hall, an ex-GWR locomotive withdrawn for scrapping in 1964. While our guide, Esther Mann, was
introducing herself, military voices preceded the arrival of a squad being drilled in marching and turning.
These Phase Two students already had musical qualifications and had done their basic training, but their drill
needed to be as good as their playing. The students must have skill in playing at least two kinds of instrument,
a requirement that dates from the days of the Royal Artillery band of 1762, whose members had to be ‘doublehanded’.
String players, for example, are required at investitures. Musicians also have to be trained in at least
one other Army role, usually that of medical support service.
Group photographs lined the entrance hall of the museum; upstairs, in the chapel (a room originally furnished
for the teachers’ college), were individual memorials, of musical directors and military commanders, the latter
always superior in rank to the musicians. Perhaps the most familiar name was that of Lt-Col. Trevor Sharpe,
who arranged and conducted the music that accompanies the final credits of Dad’s Army; our guide told us that
he had been offered one-off or per-performance royalties and had wisely chosen the second option. The chapel
has high galleries and an organ, for it is important for the students to understand how to organise and play music
within a church-and-state service.
The museum contained many examples of military band instruments, including some
of the specially designed State trumpets, one of the bugles sounded at the charge of the
Light Brigade, another rather battered one said
to be a survivor of Waterloo (below), as well as
obsolete curiosities such as the serpent (left) and the
ophicleide (right), members of the cornett family
Photographs courtesy of the Friends of Army Music, website www.armymusicfriends.co.uk
Another reminder of changing times was the display of banners from regimental bands that no longer existed.
Uniforms filled one display, those of the Life Guards unchanged in style for over 300 years. Players in that band
have only six months’ training in performing on horseback.
The museum showed that military music had been missionary as well as traditional: in the days before cheap
recordings, Army bands in parks and at the seaside were an important means of spreading classical-style music
among a wide audience. Now, the mission of the Corps of Army Music is to be ‘the public face of the Army
… around the globe, where its specialist musical abilities cross international languages and cultures’. Museum
pictures from Kosovo and Afghanistan showed musicians mixing and engaging with local populations. Though
the bugle is no longer the normal means of giving orders and regulating the military day, students at Kneller
Hall still rehearse and perform these calls handed down from their forebears.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 6
‘MERTON PRIORY- A NEW CHAPTER!’
On Saturday 13 October, some 30 members and visitors heard an entertaining talk by John Hawks, vice-Chair
of Merton Priory Trust, updating us on the current state and future plans for the Chapter House. The punning
title is John’s own, for which he was forgiven. By 2000, the Chapter House was effectively closed, unlabelled
and invisible under the A24 road, the few windows having been replaced by solid materials, due to vandals
frequently breaking the glass. The Chapter House foundations themselves were covered in sand to protect
them and surrounded by a stockade of heavy logs to deter climbers. Merton Priory Trust was founded in 2003
to improve this state of affairs, using volunteers to open the site on occasion, and to encourage transfer of
ownership of the site to Merton Council. The Trust developed a plan in which Phase 1 was to replace the south
wall by a glass one, to flood the site with light and enable its use as a performance space, combined with a new
entrance and permanent toilets. This is almost complete, apart from connecting the drainage of the seven new
toilets, dependent upon a legal agreement currently in the hands of solicitors. Phase 2 envisages internal paving,
and converting the outside space into a ‘monastic’ garden stocked with the healing plants to be expected in a
medieval monastery. (Interestingly, Sainsbury’s developer had had to purchase no fewer than 60 parcels of land
from their owners, such was the fragmentation of the site since the Dissolution.)
John had been encouraged by Dave Saxby, the archaeologist, to search the piles of loose stones remaining after
the last ‘dig’ and remove any showing signs of carving. This truck-load of material was distributed around the
Chapter House site to give a faint idea of the grandeur of the original priory buildings. A variety of open days,
craft demonstrations, drama productions, art exhibitions, religious events and many school visits have been
held. John never said ‘No’ to any applicant, including a gentleman who parked a van on site for a while. The
drama Dracula was thus memorable, as the audience leaving the play were confronted by the van – advertising
the Blood Transfusion service! There is now a set of displays interpreting the remains of Merton Priory, owing
some ideas to Cyril Maidment’s recent exhibition in the Wimbledon Museum.
John enumerated some of the difficulties encountered and overcome over the last 30-odd years: the transfer
of title to the Chapter House to Merton Council took seven years, while Sainsbury’s worked mainly through
contractors, so there were many cases of ‘our sub-contractor will talk to your sub-contractor’ and consequent
delay. However, there were some high points. Hoping for some money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Trust
joined the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership Scheme (comprising some 28 projects) but then discovered
the need for ‘matching funds’, which of course they did not have. Merton Borough Council came to the rescue,
releasing the odd million pounds supplied by Sainsbury’s in lieu of the heritage centre they had promised but
not actually built. Thus Merton Priory Trust had found ‘matching funds’ for the entire Living Wandle Scheme.
They also persuaded Marcus Beale
Architects to work on Phase 1 entirely pro
bono. One cheering discovery is that the
Colour House, recently examined in some
detail, proves to have been built with the
same materials, in the same pattern, as the
precinct wall, and has deeper foundations
than expected for an 18th-century building.
The lower part is now thought to be much
earlier, dating from the time of the priory.
The Trust has made a 15-minute video for
schools, entitled Merton Priory History
Unearthed, available via the ‘MP TV’
button on the www.mertonpriory.org
website. (The technology failed on the
day, but we will try again in the January
meeting.) Meanwhile, here are two stills
from the sequence that places a visitor in
the superstore car-park (laid over the north
wall of the church) and then imagines
the priory rising into place to show what
you would have seen, from the same
viewpoint, six or seven hundred years ago.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 7
ROSEMARY TURNER follows up with
MORE ON THE BERKELEY 100
I have been continuing to research the people that appear on the picture of the first 100 members. The Directory
shows that 29 out of the 100 did not continue as members. The Secretary explains why people left and the
steps taken by the Society to reduce the number of people leaving. This could be for a range of reasons – other
than they could not live without drink. Seven of these were single women, so they could have got married or
gone into service. Often the ladies just had initials so it was difficult to find them on the census in Mitcham, or
elsewhere. Where there were couples it was easier to assume that I had found the right people.
It always amazes me what people give as a place of birth on the census. In this case there was a large number of
‘Sry’ (Surrey); possibly their family moved around and if they did not have their birth certificate they may not
remember, but maybe they just did not want to say or bother. It also depends who is filling in the form (mothers
can be much more dependable than fathers for places). On later censuses they often include the location. At
this time Surrey extended up to the river, so a number of them are from what is referred to as Metropolitan
Surrey which includes areas such as Clapham and Battersea. Some of the people came from distant fields and
often their partners came from somewhere the other end of England and I always wonder how they met up; but
people travelled a long way in search for work.
The average age of the 100 is in their twenties, which surprised me.
I found 49 of the 100 on the census: their occupations were fairly evenly spread, although I only found one
person in service, as I said above it was difficult to locate the single females. There were eight people in market
gardening, five in transport, nine factory workers, two teachers, three white collar workers, seven shop owners/
workers, eight labourers and six miscellaneous others.
When I mentioned the article at the December workshop I discovered that some of the names from the 100
were known to Keith through his war tribunals. John M Leather still gave his occupation as nurseryman florist
but in Keith’s book Justice to Men and Country he was also a JP and was on the committee for the Tribunals. In
some cases people from the 100 were employers speaking for their employees. Eg. John Marsh Pitt appeared
representing his sons, asking that they be excused on religious grounds, and then later when the age for
conscription was increased, he appeared on his own behalf. Another was no.85 Charles Sayers; I got side-tracked
researching him and another member no.46 Sydney Jackson. I mentioned what I had found at a workshop and
the report turned into another article.
Nos.74 & 75 Edward & Jane Powell’s address is transcribed on the census
as ‘Benedict Inn’, Church St. This did not sound right for a teetotaller. It is
just a squiggle on the entry but his later address is ‘Benedict Villa’ and his
occupation is Builder. The address also has an Albert E Tapping, nephew
aged 14, general labourer, Mitcham. I think that this is no.91 Ed A Tapping.
He is also living with them on the previous census aged 5.
Edward Powell gives his place of birth as Banbury in Oxfordshire. The
census also lists a niece, single aged 9, as a butler – obviously not right but the
enumerator has scribbled over the writing so it is difficult to read, but I realised that it was Banbury, her place of
birth which had been put in the wrong column, as had the entry below for a nephew, Fred Penfold. The 100 also
includes two of Edward’s brothers together with their wives, nos.76 & 77 Reuben & Harriett Powell, and nos.78
& 79 James & Ellen Powell, where both brothers are also from Banbury. Reuben is a factory labourer and James
is a carman. The brothers both live in Bath Road. The name Powell has appeared in Mitcham records for many
years so maybe the family are drawn there by relatives. (Another thing for a researcher to get side-tracked on.)
There were several varnish, paint and flooring firms in the area, with several members working in these factories.
No.62 Stephen Nicholas, varnish maker, is also living in Bath Road, while no.93 Edmund James Upson was a
colour mixer, no.13 George Blackman a floor cloth printer and no.15 John Bright a floor cloth rubber. Some of
the other occupations listed on the census could also link to these firms, including no.37 Thos Henty who was
a foreman platelayer. Several others are listed as foreman, carman, factory labourer.
I mentioned several gardeners in my previous article, Lemuel Allen, C W Benger, J M Leather, and Fred L Mizen.
There was also no.23 Thos Creswell, who on the 1891 census is living with two daughters who were firework
makers. A wife is not mentioned but he does not say he is a widow, so she could have just been elsewhere on
the night that the census was taken. Other gardeners are no.24 Edward Ellesley, no.48 Henry Thomas Jahrns
and no.58 Chas Maynard.
There is still plenty to do and then it is on to the Members Directory.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 8
LOCAL HISTORY WORKSHOPS
Friday 31 August 2018. Six present – Keith Penny in the chair
. Peter Hopkins said that David Luff had mentioned that the first person to do screen
printing at Liberty was a Basil Girling or Curling. They wondered whether he was
a relative to Ernie Girling (right), who was an MHS Committee member when they
first joined the Committee some 30 years ago. Coincidently Ernie’s daughter Judy
had ordered some publications so Peter emailed her to ask. She said that Ernie was
always called Basil or Baz at Liberty. She had a copy of
a 1935 photo of the staff there including Ernie and his
uncle Harry Harding. She also sent a
photo (left) of Harry’s father, her great
grandfather Charlie Harding, who was a
master carpenter at the William Morris
works at Merton Abbey. Ernie was an
artist and she sent a photo (right) of his
painting of the waterwheel. David also
has a copy of the 1935 photo together with
a list of the names of the people shown.
We have received a family history enquiry
from someone who had read Lionel
Green’s article on ‘Faramus of Boulogne’
in Bulletin 162 (2007). Faramus held an estate in Carshalton and
c.1145 he gave to Merton priory the advowson of the church there.
The second prior of the priory witnessed a charter c.1166 by which
Faramus granted land in Balham to the abbey of Bec. Those agreeing to and witnessing the grant included
Faramus’s two brothers and a Hugh de Besevill and his wife and their sons William and Robert. The Besevills
also held an estate in Carshalton and others elsewhere, which had formerly been held by Faramus’s father.
The correspondent wondered if we have any local evidence to confirm that Hugh de Besevill’s wife was
a sister of Faramus. He has gathered a lot of research pointing to this but nothing to confirm it. Keith had
responded but Peter has passed the enquiry to a friend in Carshalton hoping he may be able to add something.
Robert Besevill inherited most of his parents’ Carshalton estate, which passed to his daughter Maud, wife
of William de Colville, in whose family it remained for at least three generations, though Maud’s cousin,
Robert II de Besevill, also held lands here in 1200. A grand-daughter of one of the Roberts, Joan, married
William Ambesas, who in 1318 had obtained the other Carshalton estate formerly held by Faramus.
In his draft introduction to the forthcoming publication on Gilbert and the founding of Merton priory, Peter
had suggested that the original site chosen for the priory was in the vicinity of the parish church. He had been
wondering how the site compared with the later site by the Wandle. He had overlaid the former precinct area
onto an early OS map of the area and was surprised to see that the area between Church Lane and Watery
Lane is a similar size.
. David Luff has bought a BBC sound effect record which had the sound of trains in a goods yard in Wimbledon.
He had attended a talk about Elys of Wimbledon and has documents relating to his sister’s apprenticeship
there in the 1960s. They had to wear a uniform and there was a list of rules. The speaker is coming to MHS:
it was suggested that David do an article for the Bulletin following the talk. Keith said that he should include
some of the rules that workers had to agree to as they made for fascinating reading.
David mentioned that researchers coming across terms relating to Liberty’s are misunderstanding them.
When he worked there the workers gave names to things and techniques used and unless you worked there
you would have no idea of their meaning. It was suggested that David did a list of these for the Bulletin.
. Rosemary Turner had picked up a leaflet called Wandle Vistas at Pollards Hill library. It included Pollards
Hill, Mitcham Common, Wimbledon Park and the St Marks Road Car Park, which seemed strange until it
was pointed out that it is multi-storey. Peter had noticed that the Museum had their copy of the H M Ellis
drawing of the Wandle on display. Rosemary never has found out where the original is.
Rosemary had been alerted to the developer’s threat to Elizabeth Crisp’s wooden house in Commonside
East, a Grade II listed building. The planning application is to convert the front to move the front door to
one side (on the right) and add a line of windows across the front.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 9
. Norma Cox had written up details of the 2018 MHS Wandle walk, and the Wandle Industrial Museum
has published the article in a special Wandle Edition of their Bulletin, issue 100. On the walk she had been
shocked to see the changes at Goat Bridge, where a new building site was in progress. The new housing is
very close to Crieff Villas in Mitcham Green. There had been building at Hackbridge and many new dwellings
are now on the Felnex site, once the site of the Hackbridge Cable Co.
The Primrose, the publication of the Friends of Fairlynch and Budleigh Salterton, had an article about James
Lackington. He built the Temple Methodist Church in Budleigh Salterton on the site of the first church. A Blue
Plaque has been mounted at the church entrance. The article noted that MHS has published an abridged edition
of his autobiography as Local History Notes 24 (£2.40 + p&p to members!), as he lived in Spring House Merton
and his wife Dorcas is buried in St Mary Merton churchyard. Her memorial has an interesting inscription.
Norma’s article on Pitters has been published in the newsletter of the Surrey Industrial History Group. She
has been researching Jack Bailey, Pharmacist, but hasn’t found anything yet, though she had been surprised
to find a drug store mentioned in a Kelly’s Directory, as she didn’t think there would be any in those days.
The type of things that they sold is unknown.
Norma said that there is a site in Scotland www.historicenvironment.scot/archives-and-research which lists
all their ancient monuments. She asked if there was an equivalent in England. It was suggested that she
look at Historic England or using an OS ref search the NMR, National Monuments Record.
. Judith Goodman had been sent two more bus photos from
unknown sources, by Mr P Hodgins of Stanmore. One was a view
of Merton bus garage in May 1937 during a strike (right). The
other (left) showed a line of buses thought
to be on Derby Day 1937. It was taken
from above and it was not known which
road the buses were on and whether they
were in the Epsom area or in Morden.
Those present were unable to help.
Judith had a copy of the local Guardian
article about the cricket pavilion. There is
a lot of confusion about what is going to
happen if planning permission for the Burn Bullock goes ahead. She said an article in the Bulletin in 2006
refuted the date of 1685 as the start of cricket on the green. An alternative date of 1710 was quoted.
. Keith Penny showed a photo (right) that had
been sent to the Society of the burial of William
Edward Foote, which took place in 1941 at
Merton Parish Church. The photo did not look
like the churchyard, even to those who knew the
area well, and in the background there appeared
to be a tall chimney. Nevertheless, the records
held at the church confirmed the date of burial.
Keith had also been looking at the ODNB entry
for Roger, bishop of Salisbury, who appeared in
records relating to Merton priory. He was in part
responsible for Gilbert, the founder, gaining his
charter. Although he did pay attention to his diocese, he was primarily a state official, who was left in charge
when the king was absent. It is thought that the term ‘exchequer’ as a means of accounting was first used by
him, and the great pipe rolls records began during his time at the king’s treasury. He was not very popular
in his own time: William of Malmesbury wrote of ‘envious hatred engendered by his excessive power.’ He
built castles at Sherborne, Malmesbury and Devizes and acquired a large number of churches and estates.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 10
Friday 19 October 2018. Seven present – Rosemary Turner in the chair
. Judith Goodman brought a photocopy of the Wimbledon Borough News of 26 July 1919. It detailed and
praised the work done for the war effort both by voluntary committees and by the Urban District Council of
Merton and Morden. In Raynes Park a Volunteer force was raised immediately war was declared, and the
Council’s recruiting drive produced 700 men. The local military tribunal, which decided on appeals against
conscription, and the committee that adjudicated on pensions were commended, as were committees that
managed food control and rationing, and coal distribution. A ladies’ committee had organised the relief of
distress among wives and families of servicemen, and yet another committee had encouraged war savings and
loans. A particular administrative achievement had been the completion in 1915 of the national registration
of every man and woman aged between 15 and 65, a task completed with the voluntary help of school
teachers. As required by national government, the council began planning for post-war reconstruction with
a housing scheme; available housing had not kept pace with the increase of population during the war years.
Mr Mountifield, the clerk to the council, bore much of the load, but it was also noted that the same people
were to be found on several different committees. Keith Penny remarked that a similar publication about
Mitcham had appeared in late 1918. As footnote to this item, Keith said that he had just read of a clergyman
who in 1914 had discouraged the singing of hymns whose words or tunes were German; however, at the
1918 Mitcham thanksgiving service, the closing hymn was the very German Now thank we all our God.
. David Haunton circulated a copy of the 1919 Peace Souvenir for Merton
(article pp.12-13), which included national articles as well as details of local
celebrations, even down to the names of entrants in children’s races. A full copy
of this publication is accessible on our website at http://mertonhistoricalsociety.
org.uk/peace-souvenir-and-programme-of-merton-festivities-1919. From the
Second World War, he had obtained articles and drawings from The Berkeley
Grill, a 1941 humorous monthly magazine, produced by the Merton and Morden
Auxiliary Fire Service. (Sample cover right) (Article to follow)
. After Peter Hopkins’ article in our September Bulletin about the east window in St Lawrence’s church, he
had been told by John Pile of an article in the 2018 edition of the Archaeological Journal called ‘Propaganda
in Stone: Medieval Style in 17th Century Anglican Churches’. The author, Dr Tom McNeill, was interested
in a group of 17th-century churches that deployed motifs from the 14th-century Decorated style, notably in
window tracery, which is exactly what there is in Morden. Rather than opt for the Perpendicular style, which
had arisen in the period leading up to the Reformation, and was therefore seen as Catholic and Papal in origin,
some church leaders considered the earlier style to be preferable, to suggest that the Church of England was a
return to a purer, pre-papal past. John Pile had noticed that the history pages of the St Lawrence website state
that ‘By the 1630s, the Garths were Puritans, and St Lawrence church was rebuilt in Protestant style.’ Peter
had always assumed that the style of the church and the subject-matter of the east window would indicate
at least a low-church tradition, if not a full-blown 17th-century Puritanism. Peter had looked for some clues
in contemporary wills.
The will of the lord of the manor at the time of the building work at St Lawrence’s, Richard Garth II, had
little religious content, but that of William Booth, the vicar that Garth appointed, written in 1669 and proved
1670, began with a very long and very evangelical statement of faith. John Pile pointed out references to
Garth in Mitcham Histories 4 (pp. 90-91), because Garth’s other executor was Richard Farrand or Farrant,
of Mitcham, described with Booth as ‘my loving brethren in lawe’, having married another Garth sister.
Eric Montague noted that Farrant’s father’s will ‘demonstrates a dislike of ceremony and, quite possibly,
a disposition towards Puritanism’, whilst Richard Farrant was appointed sheriff of Surrey during the
Commonwealth. Eric Montague concluded that ‘It would seem that both Richard Farrant and his nephew
George Garth II were amongst the moderates, siding with Parliament, but maintaining as low a profile as
possible.’ This picture of Richard Garth II and his rector William Booth as low-profile Parliamentarians,
probably with Puritan leanings, seems to fit. So, the work done at St Lawrence was unlikely to have been
part of the Laudian measures to emphasise the sacrament of the altar but, as our stained glass expert suggests,
one which focused on the centrality of the word of God – a tradition maintained today in the parish.
Peter asked about another of Morden’s manorial lords, having received an email asking for the name of Gilliat
Edward Hatfeild’s fiancée. She was thought to have died in a fire – possibly on the night before her wedding.
Peter had not found anything about her in Bill Rudd’s records, and wondered if she was yet another local
myth. Madeline said she had heard about the engagement, probably from her grandmother who worked for
Hatfeild, but she had no other information.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 11
Dates of next Workshops: Fridays 25 January 2019, 15 March 2019.
2.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum. All are welcome.
A friend who was hoping to find support to prevent further noisy concerts in Morden Park wondered whether
there were restrictive conditions attached to the sale of the park by G E Hatfeild to the local Council. Peter
had again consulted Bill Rudd’s files and found a copy of the will (which made no mention of Morden Park
though it went into great detail about the bequest of Morden Hall Park to the National Trust, with many
restrictions). Bill had also photocopied and transcribed an obituary in the local paper, which mentioned
Hatfeild’s offer to sell the ‘golf course’ to the Council, an offer which he extended when War broke out.
. Madeline Healey brought medal
ribbons from her grandmother’s
cousin. One of the medals dated
back to the Afghan campaign of the
1870s. She also showed documents
relating to her grandfather’s
attesting in 1915 (below & right)
and his later transfer to the Army
reserve, after which he served in
South Africa and India.
. Rosemary Turner showed a map
from the Batchelor’s Leisure Guide
series, ten inches to the mile, and
produced in the late 1960s and
early 1970s. She had asked for
information from the archivist at
Batchelor’s, who was unable to
help. The printer was no longer
in business. Rosemary had asked
Ordnance Survey for advice.
WINDSOR FLOORS CO. (Continued)
Tony Scott writes:
Having lived in this area all my life, the current 98 London Road, Mitcham is at most 20 years old, and comprises
a block of flats called Marsh House. Both Rita and I recall that in our youth the site had a large concrete forecourt
with a 2 or 3 storey building, and probably a yard at the rear accessed from Crusoe Road. It looked a bit rundown
and had a sign on the front of the building which read ‘Windsor Construction Co’.
During the 1950s I attended St Boniface Catholic Church in Tooting; I clearly remember that a ‘leading light’ of
volunteers in the congregation was Miss Windsor. Her address was given as 98 London Road, Mitcham. Miss
Windsor was probably in her 50s. I never heard of any other member of the Windsor family, but it is possible
that she lived with an elderly parent. Thus the origin of the name Windsor is nothing to do with location, it was
the proprietor’s name.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 12
DAVID HAUNTON comments on the
and Programme of Merton Festivities, 1919
Though hostilities ceased with the Armistice on 11 November 1918, the official end of the Great War only
occurred when the peace agreement between the Allies and the Central Powers was signed on 28 June 1919.
The British government decided to mark the occasion with an official Peace Celebration and Victory Parade
on Saturday 19 July 1919, which was declared a Bank Holiday.
Each local authority was then responsible for arranging and publicising their own festivities. Seeing a likely
market, Cassell’s the publishers advertised in local papers throughout the land,1 ‘for the attention of Peace
Celebration Committees’, that they had available a ‘Peace Souvenir, suitable for a Programme of Festivities’,
incorporating a short history of the war and half-tone portraits of the leaders. Committees were urged to ‘Write
for a specimen to Cassell’s General Press, La Belle Sauvage, London EC4.’ (Their address preserved the name
of a famous pub whose premises they had taken over 60 years before – it is mentioned in Dickens’s Pickwick
Papers and in Scott’s Kenilworth.)
Quite a number of local authorities took up the offer, among them Bolton, Clevedon-on-Sea, Derby, Ebbw Vale,
Knaresborough, Lanark, Warrington2 – and Merton. The Souvenir was printed on fairly good quality paper, with
a patriotic front cover featuring flags of the Allies, a portrait of King George V and small outlines of warships,
but no guns. The basic design could be amended, as Warrington’s version features the town arms in place of
the King, while the price (two old pence) could be in either a header or a footer, in figures or in words, and the
name of the local printing firm could be variously placed. The local firm is invariably named as the publisher, not
Cassell’s, presumably being the supplier of the local information and advertisements contained within. Each local
authority seems to have ordered and paid for a batch of local copies, which they then offered for sale to the public.
Through the kindness of Mr Terry Clark, of Topeka, Kansas, USA, we have been given a copy of the Merton
example (see p.1). Local information comprises the Programme of Festivities on the centre-fold, and several
pages of advertisements for local businesses. This all appears to have been printed by Cassell’s, interspersed
with Cassell’s own Story of the War, words and music of the National Anthem and collections of interesting
facts and dates. In the Merton Souvenir, the local printer has added a locally-devised four-page insert on much
poorer quality paper (and has managed to mis-collate it).
Merton’s Programme (and it is Merton only, despite having been united with Morden in the Urban District in
1913 (see Bulletin 195, p.10)) comprised a children’s sports afternoon, held in a meadow ‘kindly loaned by Mr
T Berkshire, Esq.’ and followed by prizes and ‘cakes and lemonade’. There was a fancy dress carnival in the
evening, with prizes for the best decorated bicycles and the most original costumes, and a carnival procession
from the Council Offices to the Sports Field, where music from a military band entertained (‘a number of dances
may be arranged’), until a monster bonfire and fireworks display terminated the celebrations. The Sports Field was
‘near the Botsford Road Schools, Raynes Park’, part of the farm occupied by Wimbledon Park Dairy, opposite
where Wimbledon Chase station is now. The local printer, J B Blackmore, of Merton High Street, obviously
hoped to boost sales with his insert, as it listed the names of all the children (with schools where appropriate)
entered for all the races in the sports. This may indicate that he had some financial interest in the Souvenir.
The Wimbledon Boro’ News for 26 July 1919 gave a rather jaundiced report of Wimbledon’s peace celebration
effort (poor procession, badly organised, wrong time of day, etc.) while too much rain caused the closing
fireworks on the Common to be postponed until the following Monday – but the public were not informed until
they arrived at the Common on the Saturday evening, and were consequently unhappy. By contrast the Merton
carnival was praised (in a much shorter article) for its organisation, with the emphasis on the children in the
afternoon, the colourful evening procession with a band and people enjoying themselves. Pincott Road was
adjudged ‘the most highly decorated street in the district’. On the Sports Field, the crowd was good-humoured
under their umbrellas, ‘songsters broke into song’, a good community spirit was evident, the fireworks were
cheered and ‘a good time was had’ as the ‘monster bonfire’ closed the proceedings. Despite the same rain.
The Local Businesses
The local paper gave the procession route in detail – from the Council offices eastward to Merton High Street,
down Pincott Road, then High Path, across Morden Road, down Milner Road and then westwards all the way
along Kingston Road to pass the junction with Downs Road, returning down Chestnut Road and Bushey Road
to the Sports Field (a distance of nearly two miles). Not surprisingly, the local adverts are for shops along or
near the route. Ten are for businesses in Merton, eight in Merton Park, two in Wimbledon (both quite close to
the route), and five in Raynes Park, on the corner of Kingston Road.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 13
There is an interesting mix of trades among those 25 businesses. They include four butchers (three of them
competing on one page), three chemists, three grocery and provision merchants, two laundries, and one
representative each of confectioner, fish & poultry supplier, dairy, draper, boots and shoes maker, undertaker,
furniture maker, (the) printer, newsagent, cycle agent, garage for motor repairs, a firm of window cleaners, and
an electric lamp factory. In 1919 telephones are unfamiliar; only six shops give a phone number, one of them
placing the figures in front of the exchange name.
Apart from the last one, all of these enterprises are those of individual men and women. This is more evident
when we look at the length of time they were trading, using street directories.3 Of the 25 businesses, 14 had
been around in 1910, but only four in 1900. However, 16 of the 1919 group were still going in 1930, and 10 of
those soldiered on into 1940. Two shops were in existence in the same premises for the whole 40-year period
1900-1940, these being Edward Knox, undertaker, 91 Merton High Street, and Henry Cook & Son, butchers,
109 Merton High Street (presumably they were run by two generations of the same families). Four of the firms
were in business for 30 years, seven for 20 years and eight for at least 10 years. Conversely, four shops (or
their proprietors) lasted for less than ten years. The overall average is
about 22 years – ie. one person’s time in charge? Of course, none of
the firms survive today: the only physical reminder of their presence is
the tiled frontage of Rollo, the butcher of Merton Park Parade (right).
The language of the advertisements often appeals. The butchers are all either ‘high-class’ or ‘family’ (or both),
George Porter urges ‘Buy your furniture of the actual Makers’, while T H Woodman, general and fancy draper,
claims ‘Hosiery and Corsets A Speciality’ and Edward Knox, Undertaker, Funeral Carriage and Motor Proprietor,
assures one of Personal Supervision and promises that ‘Orders by Phone or Post receive Prompt Attention’.
More cheerfully, confectioner A T Palmer offers ‘Ices made to Order, 8/- per quart’.
The Magnet Laundry, Ltd, ‘Under New Management’, does ‘High-Class Work of Every Description’, and their
‘cars call on receipt of postcard’ (at that date letters were still delivered two or three times a day, sometimes
more frequently). Not to be outdone, the Victoria Laundry claims ‘Regular Collections and Deliveries’ while
‘Flannels and Fine Lingerie [are] Carefully and Specially Treated’.
Harry Whitbourn, cycle agent and repairer, also offers gramaphones (sic) and perambulator repairs. H. Simmonds,
Grocer and Provisions, stocks ‘all bottled beers of the best brands’, while Archibald & Co., ‘Good & Reliable
Boots & Shoes’, helpfully note that they are ‘3 Doors from Haydon’s Road’. One pharmacist, J H Price-Bond,
MPS of Merton, assures us he is a chemist by examination, and mentions, among his other services, ‘teeth skilfully
extracted’, while another, W W Talbot of Raynes Park, prefers to highlight his experience ‘For 30 years manager
of Starkies, Strand’, and the third, S Moreton-Thomas of Merton Park, emphasises his photographic expertise.
There are two single-page adverts, each illustrated with a
photograph; one, naturally, is Mr Berkshire’s Wimbledon Park
Dairy, with a picture of contented cows; the other is on the back
cover, featuring Fennel’s Fish and Poultry Stores, in Kingston
Road, ‘opposite Rutlish Schools’, with a classic front-of-shop
photograph (left), advertising ‘Fish direct from the coast daily’. A
new venture, the Stores say that ‘A trial [is] solicited’, promising
‘All orders promptly executed’.
P r e s u m a b l y m o s t
advertisements were composed
in something of a hurry – there is a lot of white space in them, and a fairly
random mixture of lines of text in capitals and lower case, with individual
lines varying wildly between LARGE and SMALL within the same advert.
Newton’s the newsagents manage to cram in a block of 13 lines of what they
evidently thought was poetry in smallish type between 11 lines of text of varied
sizes. The only design that shows some prior thought is that for the Notable
Electric Company of Merton Park (right), which may well have been produced
previously, and professionally, for use in newspapers and magazines.
1 Numerous examples of these advertisements can be seen on the British Newspapers Archive website.
2 These few were easily visible via Google, 08 August 2018. There are probably many more. The
Knaresborough example is held by the Imperial War Museum.
3 Trim’s Street Directory for 1900, Kelly’s Street Directories for 1910/1911, 1930 and 1940
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 14
FIELDS UNSOWN: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Members may recall that in 2014 the Attic Theatre Company produced Fields
Unsown, a play about Morden Hall and its Auxiliary Military Hospital during the
First World War. The Company subsequently mounted an exhibition in the Stable
Block at Morden Hall to show their research. There is an excellent website about
this research at www.fieldsunsown.com. Here we print four story boards from
the exhibition, which do not appear on the website, but which follow four people
linked with Morden Hall (three local, one not) through the war. Permission to
reproduce them has been kindly granted by Louise Monaghan (text) and Harriet
de Winton (design). The script of the play is published as Fields Unsown by
Catherine Harvey and Louise Monaghan (2014, Playdead Press, £9-99).
PRE WAR – 1914
William Williams is 31 years old. His father died when William was a baby, and his mother, Sarah Madeline,
married Abram Clark, the Head Stockman to Gilliat Edward Hatfeild. He first served an apprenticeship at
Harrods, but now works at Morden Hall Park with his stepfather as a carpenter. At haymaking and harvest times
he helps on the farm alongside all the other men. In August 1914, William is married with two small children,
but he signs up in 1914 before conscription begins and goes to train at Chatham
Ella Chapple is 18 years old, having recently left Roedean School. She has been in England for just four
years, having moved here from New Zealand. Her father is the MP William Chapple, her mother is from a rich
family in San Francisco and her older sisters, Louisa and Nelca, are 22 and 20 respectively.
George Everard Frankham is 29 years old and works as a gardener at Morden Hall. He lives at the Lodge, in
the grounds, and works with James Field and Henry Alderman. In August 1914 he has been married to Harriett
for two months.
Rachel Stratton has just had her third birthday and lives with her parents, Ethel and Douglas Stratton. They had
their wedding reception at Morden Hall in 1909 because Ethel’s father is Henry Alderman, the Head Gardener
of Morden Hall. Rachel enjoys coming to visit her grandparents and playing in the grounds.
William Williams has joined the Royal Engineers. When they came to send him to France, they found there
were two men too many on the roll. As his name began with a W, he was at the end of the list, so he and another
man were sent to South Africa, where he has been detailed to build bridges. He writes from Durban to his wife,
Ede, ‘I have eaten more fruit here than I did in my life … 9 weeks tomorrow since I left Chatham and it seems
9 years…I have not heard anything about moving from here yet and I am not anxious to, unless it is for blighty..I
hope dear old mum is not worrying about me.’
Ella Chapple is working as a VAD [Voluntary Aid Detachment, or civilian nurse] at Morden Hall. Her sister
Nelca is a VAD at Morden Grange, just down the road, and Louisa is also working as a nurse, in Brighton. The
Morden Hall matron is rather strict. Ella’s father, William Chapple MP, is advancing the cause of the Nurses
Registration Bill in Parliament, and the matrons do not approve!
George Everard Frankham signed up on 9 December 1915, six months before conscription for married men
began. He is serving as a private with the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment in France. His friend
James Field, also a gardener at Morden Hall, has similarly signed up. James has been posted to France, too,
but he has been wounded, so now he has been transferred to the Labour Corps.
Rachel Stratton is five now. Her grandmother, Mary Sophia Alderman, died a month after the war began,
and her parents are working in the Ministry of Agriculture in the north of England, so Rachel has been sent to
stay with her grandfather at Morden Hall. She enjoys playing imaginary games around the stables, the river
and the little waterfall. The thing she enjoys most is going into the shed to watch her grandfather engaged in
the mysteries of potting and repotting plants.
William Williams is now a long way from home, in Bangalore, India. His wife, Ede, and his two daughters
and son are living in Keeper’s Lodge on the Mitcham boundary of the Hatfeild Estate. They are better fed than
many during the war, because they keep chickens and rabbits and grow their own fruit and vegetables in the
garden. The children catch sticklebacks, frogs and toads in the brook with their nets, but they always return
them to the water. Mr Hatfeild sometimes walks down the river and stops to talk to them.
WW1 Hospital Bed in the exhibition (photo David Haunton)
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 15
Ella Chapple is still at Morden Hall. Her sister Louisa has gone to
work as a nurse in France, but has been ill and is coming home to
London. Aged 20, Ella has seen physical injuries and psychological
trauma she never expected to encounter in her life. Lots of the men
are suffering from shellshock, and some have lost the ability to speak.
Frederick Mott, a doctor from the Maudsley hospital, is trying new
experimental treatments instead of electrotherapy. The men must be
distracted from their trauma and encouraged to take part in gardening
and other activities – even knitting!
George Everard Frankham received a gunshot wound on 27 March
1918. He has been sent back to England to be nursed at the London
Hospital. He will not return to the front.
Rachel Stratton is six now. She still plays in the grounds of the Hall,
and sees the soldiers who walk in the orchards and punt down the
river. Recently a soldier who had lost his voice when he was on the
battlefields got it back after a dream and everybody had a big breakfast
party to celebrate.
AFTER THE WAR
William Williams returned to his wife and children and, following his step-father’s retirement, succeeded him
as Farm Bailiff for Mr Hatfeild. In 1996 William’s daughter wrote down her memories of Morden Hall during
the First World War and her daughter, Madeline Healey, who still lives in Merton, shared her family’s story.
Ella Chapple travelled extensively after the War, visiting her sisters in Canada and Hong Kong, and taking
a cruise to South Africa. In October 1930, aged 34, she married Charles Eric Bodington Sinclair. They were
married for 40 years and Ella and her sisters spent their later years living very close to each other in Sussex.
Ella died in 1971, a year after Charles, aged 75.
George Everard Frankham was honourably discharged from the army on 1 November 1918, ten days before
Armistice Day. He returned to Morden and lived again at the Lodge with Harriett. He continued to work as a
gardener at Morden Hall. In 1919 George Frankham received the Silver War Badge, which was awarded to all
servicemen honourably discharged from service due to wounds or sickness.
Rachel Stratton (now known as Ray) married Dominic Kane in 1932 and had five children and twentyfive
grandchildren. She died in November 2001 aged 90 years old, having lived to see the births of her great
grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. 80 years after the war, Ray wrote down her memories of her visits
to Morden Hall during the First World War. Her children include Tony Kane, who still lives in Merton, and his
sister Sheila Holden, who provided us [ie. Attic Theatre Company] with Ray’s family tree.
[See p.11 for William Williams’ Certified Copy of Attestation and a photo of him]
HOT OFF THE PRESS!
OUR CONVICT SON: Harold Brewster 1895-1958: A Merton Objector to Conscription
Studies in Merton History 10: by Keith Penny
In March and April 1916 Harold Brewster, a surveyor’s assistant employed
by Merton and Morden Council, argued his case in front of two tribunals
that no earthly court had a right to come between a man and his conscience.
His conscientious objection was to the undertaking of all forms of military
service. Resisting conscription exposed him to the hostility of the majority of
the population and to the penalties, short of death, that military and civil rule
In this 48-page study, illustrated by 13 photographs and several document
extracts, Keith describes Harold Brewster’s wartime experiences as a
conscientious objector, his early days in Merton and his life after the war was
Price: £3.75, Members: £3.00, + £1.25 postage.
Available at meetings or from our Publications Secretary.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 208 – DECEMBER 2018 – PAGE 16
FROM OUR POSTBAG (2):
HILARY NETHERSOLE has found
MORE ‘BITS AND PIECES’
Following her brief article on Sunday School in the June Bulletin, Hilary
was surprised (actually ‘amazed’) to be contacted by Holy Cross Church,
who asked to reprint the article in their parish magazine. We must now
thank Hilary again, for she has recently sent us a few more (re-)discoveries.
These include a number of Sunday School attendance stamps (below),
which prompted the memory for her that ‘each time we moved up to the
next stage we were awarded a different colour badge’. This was a cross
surrounded by the letters HCSS.
Other finds included this charming card
for Mothering Sunday (not Mother’s
Day) (above), typical of the period, a late
1950s view of West Barnes Lane, where
Hilary’s house is just out of sight in the
distance (Frith copyright, not illustrated),
and a 1957 funeral bill from Fredk W
Paine, (detail, below), to remind us of our
recent excellent visit, and which may also
stimulate some discussion of inflation
among our readers.
Letters and contributions for the Bulletin should be sent to
the Hon. Editor by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this Bulletin are those
of the contributors concerned and not necessarily those of the Society or its Officers.
website: www.mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk email: email@example.com
Printed by Peter Hopkins