Tag Archives: 1914

P.J. Clarke, newsagent and stationer

Newsagents that was at 323 London Road, Mitcham, according to this ad in 1952:

1952 ad

Text of ad:

MITcham 4886
Newsagent and Stationer

Books . Fancy Goods . Games
Lending Library

323, London Road, Mitcham

One minute from Cricket Green

From 1914 to 1941 this address was occupied by bookseller and newsagent Charles Edward SPENCE. No. 323 London Road was previously no. 5 Broadway, and was demolished when the road was widened.

1914 : Helmet maker gets into trouble

From the Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 21st August 1914

A helmet maker named William Tilley (42), of Sibthorpe-road, Mitcham, celebrated his sudden increase in business by getting drunk on Saturday. He was fined 5s. and 4s. costs by the Croydon Magistrates for being drunk and disorderly on the London-road, Mitcham. He said he worked for contractors who supplied the Government and the Metropolitan Police, and he wished he could be onboard ship with his son, “doing what they were doing for the war.”

There is a Charles T. TILLEY on a war memorial in St Mark’s church, Mitcham, and ‘C T TILLEY’ is inscribed on the Mitcham War Memorial, but no further details are known.

The 1910 electoral register has the following Tilleys:

George TILLEY : 2 Yew Villas, Leonard road, Lonesome
John TILLEY : 6 Victoria Terrace, Lansdell Road
Stephen TILLEY : Firework Road, Eastfields
William TILLEY : 11 Prussia Place

John Baptiste Rompel

From the Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 11th September, 1914

From the Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 11th September, 1914

Text of ad:

J.B. ROMPEL, watchmaker, jeweller, and optician,
3, Central Market, London Rd., Mitcham
(opposite old address)

JOIN OUR CLUB. Full particulars in application.

The Central Market was opposite the Parade, between Raleigh Gardens and Tom Francis’s shop London House.

He was listed in the 1915 commercial directory as a watch maker in the ‘high street’, London Road. The full name was given in the 1911 commercial directory. He is listed in the 1925 street directory as watchmaker at 3 Central Market. In electoral register of autumn 1926, this address was changed to 278 London Road, when that road was renumbered. His last entry at this address was in the 1934 electoral register. See also his ad in 1929 Where to shop in Mitcham.

From Ancestry:

He was born in Hessen Nassau, Prussia (Germany) on 13th September 1872, as Johannes Baptiste Rompel. His parents were Johann and Barbara Rompel. He was naturalised as a UK citizen in 1911.

He married Nellie Louise Court on 8th March, 1903, at the parish church. His wife was born in Oxford, and she lived at 12 High Street. Her father was William Court, confectioner. His father, deceased, Johann Carl Rompel, was a veterinary surgeon. John Rompel was living at 42 Kings Road, Mitcham, when he married.

John Rompel died on 26th December, 1935, aged 63, at Kingston hospital. His home address was 4 Melrose Avenue. He left £1,563 1s 9d. to his wife. Adjusted for inflation, this is equivalent to £100,000 in 2018.

His wife died on 19th March 1954, aged 74. She left £1,813 in her will, which is around £50,000 in 2018 values. Her probate record shows she was living at 4 Melrose Avenue, Mitcham, and died at Grange Nursing Home, Morden. She left her money to Cecil Howard Mason, departmental head.

In 1915, his shop was approached by an angry crowd protesting at the sinking of the Lusitania.


Early last evening a crowd, which gradually swelled until about 8 o’clock, when it
numbered several hundred persons, assembled at the Fair Green for the purpose of
expressing indignation at the recent murders on the high seas.

Proceeding in the direction of the Parade, the crowd halted in front of the jeweller’s
shop tenanted by Mr. J. B. Rompel, a naturalised German.

Their attitude was distinctly menacing, and but for the presence of a large force of
Special Constabulary they would, no doubt, have vented their feelings in no unmistakable manner. After some jeering and hooting the police dispersed the crowd.

With the exception of one man, whose head was cut with a stone, no damage or
injury took place.

Source: Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 14th May, 1915.

1914 : Whole Families Serving With The Colours

From the Daily Express, 5th September, 1914


Mrs Strange, the stewardess of the Princes Ladies’ Golf Club, Mitcham, whose husband is a naval pensioner now on duty at Devonport Barracks as a captain-steward, has six brothers, two brothers-in-law, and twelve first cousins in the navy. In addition, eight of her maternal uncles are naval pensioners. Her father, Thomas Rees, who is seventy-six years old, is a Crimean veteran. He wears five medals and three clasps, and her grandfather also fought in the Crimea.

One of Mrs Strange’s brothers is serving in the Highflyer, which sank the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse.

William Ellis draper in Gorringe Park Parade

This 1920 ad has W Ellis draper at number 5 Gorringe Park Parade. After renumbering, no. 5 Gorringe Park Parade became number 39 London Road. As it has a SW17 postcode, this address may be listed as Tooting, but this is in Mitcham, being south of the River Graveney, which was the boundary of the urban district of Mitcham.

1920 ad

1920 ad

In the 1914 directory, he is listed as William Ellis.

No entry for W Ellis in the 1938 directory.

In 2016 this is occupied by a minicab company.

Gorringe Park Parade

Parade of 14 shops, with flats above, originally numbered from 1 to 14 south of Grenfell Road and north of Inglemere Road, on the east side of London Road.

Occupants from directories
1914 Kelly Directory

Number Name Business
1 Arthur John Eacott grocer
2 George Henry Catton butcher
3 Stephen Gage greengrocer
4 Robert George oilman
5 William Ellis draper
6 Walter Rock baker
7 Albert Wilkins confectioner & post office
8 Chas. O. Gamble corn dealer
9 William James Sutton miller
11 David Davies dairy
13A J. Williamson clothier
13 Harry F. Tapping hairdresser
14 George Uridge dining rooms

Smith’s Terrace

Smith’s Terrace was a block of six shops and flats, on the west side of London Road, at the north corner of Bond Road. In the 1911 commercial directory, they were numbered sequentially from 1 to 6, from north to south. Numbers 1 & 2, and 5 & 6 were two-storey, with 3 & 4 in the centre having 3 storeys.

This clip shows ‘Smiths Terrace’ on a stone plaque in the centre building of the terrace.

Clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Streets_Lon_38-37, copyright London Borough of Merton

This OS map from 1911 shows the terrace on the left hand side of the London Road, which had tram lines. The Swan pub can be seen to the north. The ‘LB’ refers to a letter box which is mentioned in the street directory below.

1911 OS map

From the 1914 street directory, going south on the west side of London Road:


1 Frederick STANNET, grocer
2 William CHANCE, laundry
4 Thomas William MOSS
5 THOMPSON & Son, dairy
6 Mrs. Minnie McNAUGHTON, beer retailer

……. here is Bond rd ……

Number 6 Smith’s Terrace, on the corner with Bond Road, was The Ship pub up until the mid 1930s.

The 1915 directory has Frederick STANNETT, baker at 7 Station Parade and grocer at number 1.

After renumbering, the terrace became numbers 190 to 200, even, from north to south, with 200 at the corner, as summarised below:

Old number> New number
1 190
2 192
3 194
4 196
5 198
6 200

1950s view of Smiths Terrace from Elm Court in Armfield Crescent.

The ‘GP’ shown in this 1952 OS map is a ‘Guide Post’, or direction sign. In the clip above showing the plaque, this direction sign shows A217 straight ahead to Tooting and A216 to Streatham.

1952 OS map

Aerial photo from 1953:

1953 aerial photo from Britain From Above

These photos show parts of the terrace being demolished in the early 1970s.

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1973 photo looking south, with no. 200 on left. Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1973 photo showing no. 200 on left at corner with Bond Road. Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

As of March 2018, number 190 still stands, which was Eddowns car spares shop. It will probably be redeveloped as flats.

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