Tag Archives: 1912

Alfred Ernest Gardner & Son, House Furnishers, 23-25 Commonside West

Furniture dealer that was at 23-25 Commonside West, near the Windmill pub.

1934 ad which states that the firm was established in 1845

In the 1896 directory, Thomas Gardner is listed as furniture dealer & shopkeeper, Common Side west.

1936 clip from Tom Francis photo of Albert Ernest Gardner’s furniture stores, from Merton Memories phot reference Mit_​2_​10-11 copyright London Borough of Merton.

In the 1912 directory, Alfd. E. Gardner, Common side west, is listed as a manager of the Zion Congregational School. In the 1938 commercial directory the address is given as 25 Commonside West.

Gunner Robert Reader

Robert Reader enlisted in at Scotton Camp near Catterick in Yorkshire (now called the Catterick Garrison).

He was a gunner with the Territorial Force Battalion, 372nd Battery, Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery Regiment, service number 636288.

He died on 21st January 1918 in Mesopotamia, and is buried at the Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, plot I row A grave 6, in Iraq.

His name is on the north side of the Mitcham War Memorial on Lower Green West.

Commonwealth War Grave Commission casualty record

His age isn’t shown on his grave details, but a Robert Reader, aged 29, was married to Amy Stacey, aged 30, on 17th November 1912, at the parish church in Church Road. His address at that time was number 4 Lewis Road, and hers was at number 2.

Assuming this is the same Robert Reader, then he died at the age of 35.

Waterloo Place

Waterloo Place was a row of 3 houses on the west side of London Road, near to where Dennis Reeve Close is now.

The 1912 street directory lists the properties from north to south:

Here is Crusoe Road …

Thomas TAYLOR (Carlingford)
F. & G. MIZEN, market gardeners
Mrs Ruth PARRISH, tobacconist

Manor View:
5, Henry HISTED
4, James GARDNER
3, Edward TANNER
2, William J MEECH, confectioner
1, Mrs George TAYLOR, poultry dealer

Waterloo Place:
1, Figg’s Marsh hand laundry
2, William HARRISON
3, William LAMB

Ellis JEEVES, carman (2 Thanet cottages)
David GODDARD (2 Poplar cottages)
Herbert DODD, carpenter (1 Poplar cottages)
Edward FULLER, florist (The Poplars)

Eveline Villas:

The OS map of 1911 shows a single house on the south side of Crusoe Road at the corner of London Road, and this may have been Carlingford. Then there are no buildings until Tamworth Farm, in occupation by F & G Mizen. Then there are two separate buildings, presumed to be John Elmer and Mrs Ruth Parrish.

Then there are 3 pairs of houses, and this is assumed to be Manor View, which are numbered 6 down to 1. South of this is a row of 3 houses, and this is assumed to be Waterloo Place.

Combined OS map of 1911 and the street directory of 1912

1912 : Mitcham Fire Brigade get a Merryweather Fire Engine

From the minutes of the Mitcham Parish Council on 30th July 1912:

To the Fire Brigade Committee,


I beg to report that the Demonstration of the New Petrol Motor Fire Engine, carried out by the Brigade on July 27th under the instructions of Messrs. Merryweather’s representative, was satisfactory in every way, both as regards augmenting the amount of pressure of water available in the mains and also for river work, together with deep suction lifts (see attached figures of tests.)

In view of meeting the capabilities of the new engine I would suggest that additional hose and extra stand-pipes be carried to enable the Brigade to collect the water from a few hydrants when necessary.

It is a pleasure to state that from a practical point of view the Council now possess one of the best combinations of machinery for fire protection that is possible to obtain.

Yours obediently,

A.L. JENNER, Superintendent

clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Public_Services_7-4 copyright London Borough of Merton

The tests referred to in the minutes above showed that mains pressure, from street hydrants, was 50 lbs per square inch but at the hoses this was reduced to at worse 33 lbs. The new fire engine though brought the pressure up to 200 lbs. When drawing from the river Wandle, with a 10ft. vertical suction lift, 120 to 200 lbs pf pressure was achieved.

It was proposed by Mr J.M. Leather, and seconded by Mr A. Dendy, that the Council write to the Metropolitan water Board to draw their attention to the low pressure in the mains.

The Fire Brigade Committee recommended that the current steam fire engine be sold, with adverts placed in the “West Sussex Gazette”, “The Fireman” and other suitable papers.

Mr E.E. Mizen proposed that an additional £20 be added to the fire brigade budget for the new hose and stand-pipes suggested by the superintendent. He noted that this would bring said budget up to £290.

The Clerk reported that after the demonstration, the members of the Council, the two Fire Brigades and the Superintendents of several of the neighbouring Brigades, were entertained with a substantial meal at the Vestry Hall.

In the report to the Finance Committee, a cheque for £224 15s. was paid to Merryweather & Son for the motor engine.

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Parish Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Mitcham Rifle Club before 1914

BRIGHTON RAILWAY v. MITCHAM. Won by Brighton. Scores : Brighton Railway.—P. Jackson, 99; F. Nightingale, 98; P. Bates, 97; C. Streeter, 96; E. Fox, 96; G. Burt, 94 ; G. Clayton, 94; J. Fox, 93—total, 767. Mitcham Railway.— A. Dalziel, 96; J. Baker, 95 ; J. Rompel, 92; A. Baker, 91; S. Chart, 88; J. White, 88; W. Tullett, 87; H. White, 87—total, 724.

Source: Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 24 February 1912 from the British Newspaper Archive


At Mitcham. Scores :
Mitcham. — L. W. Munday, 97; H. W. White, 96; J. B. Rompel, 96; J. A. Baker, 95 ; J. D. Clarke, 95; A. Dalziel, 95; J. White, 93; R. Robinson, 93. Total, 760.

“Old Boys.” – C. W. Hall, 100; D. Mc- Kerchar, 99; L. E. Hall, 97 ; L. Jones, 95; R. K. Batstone, 95; R. E. English, 94; G. L. Bailey, 91; A. Brown, 83. Total, 754.

Source: Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 06 April 1912 from the British Newspaper Archive


— Won by “W” Division Police. Scores : Police.—P.c Baker. 85; P.s. Blacklaws, 92; P.c. Wilson, 93; P.c. Talbot, 99; P.c. Cleaver, 94; P.c. Wilkie. 100; P.c. Alder, 93; P.c. Jackson, 92. Total, 750.

Mitcham — Mr. Guyatt, 84; Mr. J. White, 81; Mr. J. B. Rompel, 86; Mr. J. A. Baker, 90; Mr. A. Jenner. 92; Mr. Philpot, 92; Mr. J. White, 84; Mr. S. Chart, 82. Total, 691.


— Won by Addiscombe.

Addiscombe. — G. Foster, 95; A. F. Knight, 93; W. E. Harvey, 96; A. Dixon, 99; H. C. Pressland, 97; A. Cotterell, 94; T. Hooker, 95; F. C. Burgess, Si. Total. 763.

Mitcham. — Philpot , 93; Munday, 97; A. Jenner. 90; J. B. Rompel. 89: J. A. Baker, S. Chart, 85; G. Wyatt, 85; J. White, 94. Total, 704.

Source: Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 28 October 1911 from the British Newspaper Archive

Arnold Road

Arnold Road is off the west side of London Road, south and parallel to Finborough Road. All properties in this road have the same postcode, SW17 9HU. Although in Mitcham, this road has a Tooting postcode as post was originally delivered from the Lower Tooting post office.

There were 20 large houses, or villas, that were built sometime before 1880. They were each converted into 2 self-contained flats, according to planning application MER456/75, which was granted in January 1976.

This OS map of 1894 shows five linked semi-detached houses on both sides of the road.

1894 OS map

These 20 houses were numbered sequentially from 1 to 10 on each side.

They were built before 1880, as occupants are shown in that year’s directory :

(Note that this directory doesn’t say which side of the road these houses are on, and so it has been deduced from later directories.)


1, John Frederick BUCCLEUGH
2, James Henry COLLINGWOOD
3, Samuel BENIAMS
5, William ANCELL
8, Frederick GRITTEN
9, Samuel PRENTICE
10, William JONES


3, John YOUNG
5, Miss OWEN
6, Frank MULLINS
Fairlight Villa, Mrs TOHLER
9, George TYLER

The 1891 street directory describes the road as from the western end to the Mitcham Road, as that part of London Road was called at the time.


10, Miss Mary JONES
9, W.G. ROLFE (Hazeldene)
4, John YOUNG
3, Theo George SCHOMBURG
2, James Henry COLLINGWOOD

(Note that there were no entries for 1, 6, 7 and 8)


2, Horace Godbold DARBY
4, Miss TURNER
5, Henry CHATAWAY (Waltair)
7, J. HOLMAN (Fairlight villa)
8, Mrs. OSWIN (Brooklyn)
9, H.W.TAYLOR (Wraxall)
10, Edward HORSEY

(Note that there were no entries for 1 and 6)

The 1894 street directory shows more houses occupied and gives more house names.


10, Miss Mary JONES
9, W.G. ROLFE (Hazeldene)
8, Mrs KNIGHT (Glynavon)
7, Mrs PRITCHARD (Avondale)
6, Mrs Mary DAVIS
4, Mrs SHEAR (Defoe)
3, Theo George SCHOMBURG
Ernest THOMPSON (Cwmbrook)

(Note that a number is not shown for Cwmbrook, which could be either 2 or 1)


1, Thomas R. KNIGHT
2, Charles A. BURNE
3, Leonard A. NEWSOM
4, Claude Albert MILLARD
5, Charles FISHER (Waltair)
7, Thomas Edward B. SWALLOW (Fairlight)
8, Joseph Wallis HEWETT (Brooklyn)
9, Mrs H.W. TAYLOR (Wraxall)
10, Spencer SOAN
Mrs Elizabeth TAYLOR, cow keeper

(cowkeeper Mrs Taylor is likely to be the same at Crusoe Dairy Farm, at the western end of Arnold Road)

In the 1912 street directory, the houses have been renumbered even on the north side and odd on the south, from London Road. Except one, the house names are no longer shown.


2, James Edward WHEELER
4, David Scott WILLIAMSON
6, Robert Arthur SIMMONS
8, Mrs Edgley
10, Henry Claude TAYLOR
12, Henry THOMPSON
14, George THOMAS
16, Richard FRYER
20, Charles P. LOWS


1, Thomas R. KNIGHT
5, Charles MILLISH
7, Harry George ROUSE
9, Mrs MOORE
11, Cyrus COOMBS
13, Sydney Adolphus CURRY
15, Joseph Wallis HEWETT (Brooklyn)
17, William SEAGER
19, Thomas TAYLOR, cowkeeper

This OS map from 1951 shows the numbering of the houses as they are today.

1951 OS map

The map shows the addition of another house on the north side, numbered 2A/2B, and a garage on the south side, the front of which can be seen in this 1952 photo:

clip from 1952 photo on Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_Streets_Lon_38-40

Lex Garages Ltd., was listed in the 1954 phone book as at 66 London Road, telephone MIT 3951.

In the 1971 phone book it was the Monza Garage service station, which sold Lada cars at some point, with telephone numbers 01-648 9559 and 4091.

At the same address, in the warehouse at the back of the garage was Bearmach (London) Ltd., exporter of motor components, telephone 01-648 9654. This company employed me for £20 a week as a summer job in 1973. The job included taking Land Rover spares out of their boxes and putting them into Bearmach boxes for sale abroad.

This warehouse was redeveloped in 2016 into 4 town houses called Tota Mews, according to planning application 16/P0833, which was granted in May that year. The townhouses have their entrances in Arnold Road, with their rear gardens and garages backing onto Swains Road.

In 2020, the garage site on the London Road is a Halfords Autocentre.

World War 1 Connections

Trooper Leslie Seymour EDGLEY

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

A ELMS of 7 Arnold Road, Tooting Junction, aged 24 Years 9 Months, Painter. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Army Service Corps (K Coy).

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Edward Snell Crewes

Grocer and sub-postmaster of Upper Mitcham from after 1901 to 1932. Listed in the 1930 commercial directory as

Crewes Edwd. Snell, grocer & sub-postmaster, 19 Upper grn. east. T N 0840

early 20th century view of ES Crewes's shop and postoffice

early 20th century view of ES Crewes’s shop and postoffice

Edward Snell Crewes was originally from Cornwall, as he points out in a letter about eggs from that county he was selling at the post office.

In the 1901 census, he was listed as a grocer and they were living in the parish of Tong, in Bradford, Yorkshire. They had a daughter aged 2, called Millicent M. A public family tree on Ancestry says that Millicent Marjorie Crewes died in 1904 in Epsom.

In the 1911 census, he was shown as being 43 and having been born in about 1868 in Truro, Cornwall. His wife Lydia, also 43, was born in Mount Hawke, Cornwall and their son Stanley M B aged 15 also lived with them at the post office. He was born in Bradford, Yorkshire.

He died 29th May 1932, and left £4,381 13s. 1d. to his wife. The probate entry on Ancestry shows his middle name as Ivell.

His wife Lydia, nee Bennett, died 1947.

World War 1 Connections
Gunner Stanley Maxwell Crewes

Related News Articles


—We are sorry to learn that Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Crewes, of the Upper Mitcham Post Office, have this week sustained a bereavement which is unusually sad owing the circumstances related below. On Monday Mr. Harry Bennetts, Mount Hawke, Cornwall, Mrs. Crewes’ brother, died at his home there after being ill for some time from a disease know as miner’s phthisis,” which he contracted in South Africa. Mr. Bennetts was an experienced miner, having worked in the mines of Montana and Idaho, United States, for two different periods, and in the gold mines in South Africa. Last December while working at the Raudfontein South Gold Mine, Krugersdorp. there was an explosion of gelatine which caused the death of four miners by asphyxia, and Mr. Bennetts made a effort to rescue a number of native workers who had been overcome by the fumes. He descended to a depth of 200-ft. under circumstances which called for the greatest courage, and as a result his heroic action was reported the King, who, as stated, awarded him the Edward Medal. About three weeks ago he returned to his home in Cornwall broken in health, and although he had a fine physique, he succumbed to the disease which is the bane of all miners. No doubt it was made worse by his experiences in the mine after the explosion. An Interesting point is that neither the deceased nor his relatives were aware that the medal for bravery had been awarded him, and it is supposed that the medal must have been sent to his last known address in South Africa. Probably it is now on its way back to England. Mr. Crewes brought the facts to the notice of King George in a letter that be wrote to him on Tuesday.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 28 May 1910 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

To the Editor of the West Briton


— About three years ago you published letter of mine drawing the attention of farmers and dealers to the bad condition of new-laid eggs that were being for warded the Metropolis. To my great regret I must again write to tell your agricultural readers the very undesirable fact that large numbers of eggs which are absolutely rotten are being packed in cases labelled “English New-laid Eggs,” and sent in this direction from the delectable Duchy. One customer of mine to-day brought back three bad eggs she had out of ten, and several others have also expressed their disgust at my selling them as new-laid eggs. If sellers and senders in Cornwall could realise the damaging effect these things have and retail business in this part the country, they would be more careful and considerate, and not take money for new-laid eggs unless the eggs can honestly bear that designation. I appeal their sense justice, and ask them not pack eggs they have discovered in secluded spots on their hedges, without caring how long they have been laid.

Of late, eggs coming from Russia have been more reliable than those purchased from Cornwall, and at much less money. For the future I shall have to carefully examine all the Cornish eggs I sell. Being a Cornishman myself, I am very jealous of the good name of my native county. Trusting that the writing of this letter will have beneficial results.

Yours truly. E SNELL CREWES,
Post Office,
Upper Mitcham, S.W.

Source: West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser – Thursday 27 June 1912 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)