Athel Russell Harwood

Born in January 1863, died 25th March 1943. He left £17,723 6s. 5d. in his will (£750,000 in 2015 money).

He built two houses on the glebe lands, opposite the post office (which became the telephone exchange), and called them Athelstan and Thrushcross. He sold Athelstan and lived in Thrushcross until his death.

He gave £100 to the local Horticultural Society and another £100 to the Mitcham Cricket Club.

In the 1911 census, he was listed as being a collector to the gas company, and lived with his wife Caroline, aged 43 and daughter Kathleen, 22. In addition they had a live-in domestic servant, Nellie Howe, aged 16.

From 1926, his address in the electoral registers is 308 London Road.

He was the first annual subscriber to the Wilson Hospital. In the Mitcham Tooting Advertiser of 29th March 1943, Colonel Stephen Chart, the chairman of the hospital said that Mr Harwood had left £2,000 to the hospital subject to the payment of 10 shillings per week for life to one of his wife’s relatives.

According to this historic inflation calculator, £2,000 in 1943 is the equivalent of £84,000 in 2015.


A photograph of 1887 shows him as captain of the fire brigade.


He also suggested the planting of trees for the coronation of King George VI in 1936 and gave £50 towards the cost. The road King George VI Avenue, leading from the Blue House Bridge to the entrance of the Wilson Hospital, was completed in 1937.


Sources:

1. Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.
Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England © Crown copyright.

2. Ancestry.com. Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Surrey Electoral Registers. Surrey History Centre, Woking, Surrey, England.

3. Source: Mitcham Histories 12 : Church Street and Whitford Lane, page 108
NB: Montague has the spelling Thrushcroft for his house instead of Thrushcross as in the electoral registers etc.

4. Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 29th March 1943 page 1

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