The Holborn Union Workhouse was taken over as a Military Hospital in 1916:
From the Mitcham Advertiser, 4th August, 1916:
WOUNDED SOLDIERS FOR MITCHAM.
We understand that the War Office has taken over the Holborn Institution, Western Road, for the purpose of using it as a hospital for wounded soldiers. It is suggested that the present inmates will be transferred to the Workhouse at Belmont.
From “Mitcham Histories No. 14 ‘Upper Mitcham and Western Road'” by E.N. Montague of the Merton Historical Society, page 94:
In 1919, after the last of the soldiers had left, a memorial tablet was set in the wall to the right of the main gate, and unveiled by Lady Worsfold of Hall Place. The inscription read “Holborn Military Hospital, Mitcham 1916-1919. To the glory of God and Sacred to the memory of those who gave Their lives in the Great War”, and listed the names of 22 men and one nursing sister who had died there. When what remained of the former workhouse reception building was being removed by demolition contractors in the late 1960s the memorial was salvaged by the writer, and taken into safekeeping by Merton Historical Society.
This memorial tablet is now in storage in the custody of Merton Local Studies Centre. The names that can be worked out from the photo on Merton Memories (see below) are:
- Private Charles AVERY
- Sapper Albert Edward BAKER
- Private W. BOWERS
- Corporal Francis B. LEWIS
- Private H.M. MAYBURY
- Private A. MORGAN
- Private Albert A. TAYLOR
- Sapper J.C. TICEHURST
- Driver A.T. TILLETT
Merton Memories Photos
From the Belfast Telegraph – Monday 09 September 1918, via the British Newspaper Archives, which requires a subscription.
NO SIGN OF THE TRACTOR.
At Marlborough Street Police Court, London, Sydney Moore (32), automobile engineer, giving an address at Manchester, was charged on remand with obtaining £150 from George Godfrey by false pretences. Godfrey, a private in a Reserve Garrison Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, at present an inmate of the Mitcham Military Hospital. It was stated that, seeing an advertisement in a daily paper headed “Urgent Work of National Importance,” he replied to it, and received an answer that if he ordered a tractor plough for land work this would be considered work of national importance, and his release from the Army could be obtained through the Ministry of National Service. He sent a cheque for £150 for a tractor, but had not received it or the return of his money, nor had he heard anything as to his being released.
The advertisement was issued by a firm in Regent Street. Evidence was given that the Ministry of National Service knew nothing of the firm and that the company’s paid-up capital was £2, its nominal capital being £5,000.
The accused was remanded.
Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.