The earliest newspaper mention so far found on the British Newspaper Archives is from 25th May, 1717:
From Norwood News – Friday 17 January 1941, page 2
FIGGES MARSH KEEPER
Mr. A. E. Ball’s Death After Air Raid
MITCHAM Council employees were represented at the funeral, on Thursday, of Mr. Albert Edward Ball, who had been keeper at Figges Marsh recreation ground for many years. He died at Rectory-lane, Tooting, following an air raid, after making a good recovery from a long illness. He had previously been bombed out of Pitcairn-road, Mitcham.
Sixty years of age, he had been employed by Mitcham Council for nearly 20 years, and was a popular figure on Figges Marsh.
It was his great delight during his illness to receive letters from children who frequented the recreation ground before they were evacuated.
The loss of his only son four years ago told greatly on his health. He leaves a widow and two daughters.
His last wish was that his thanks should be conveyed to Dr. Lahiff for his kindness, and to his colleagues for their sympathy during his illness.
The funeral took place at Old Mitcham Cemetery, the arrangements being carried out by Mr. Albert Stringer, Mitcham.