Tag Archives: 1918

Douglas Walter Drewett

From Commonwealth War Grave Commision: Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Drewett, of “Ravensbury,” Mitcham; husband of Margaret Rose Drewett, of “Montrose,” Upper Green, Mitcham, Surrey.

Private Drewett, no. S/22909, died 3rd October 1918, aged 35. He was with the Cameron Highlanders 1st Bn. He is buried in Grand-Seraucourt British Cemetery.

There is an inscription for him on a family gravestone n the parish churchyard.

Lower Mitcham School

Now Benedict Primary School, Benedict Road.

Described in the 1918 street directory :

Lower Mitcham, Church road, built in 1897, for 280 boys, 280 girls & 320 infants & enlarged in 1913 for 380 boys, 880 girls & 320 infants; John D. Clarke, master; Miss Annie Roes, mistress; Miss Ellen Smith, infants’ mistress

1899, Mr Harber, Headmaster
1899, Mr Hossack, Assistant Master
1918, Mr John D. Clarke, Headmaster
1918, Miss Annie Roes, Mistress
1918, Miss Ellen Smith, Infants’ Mistress
1926, Mr H. C. Toller, master
1926, Mr F. C. Stone, headmaster
1933, Miss White, Teacher

Newspaper Articles

1899 School Board Report

1910 Antipodean Visitors

1920 Twin Towns

1924 Comedy of School Vacancy

1926 Novel Jazz Band at Christmas

1933 Seaside holiday for Explosion children

Merton Memories Photos

Az Nu Engineering Co Ltd

261 Church Road

Aircraft component manufacturer.

Flight Magazine
29th November, 1917
Page 1268

New Companies Registered

AZ-NU Engineering Co. Ltd.
261 Church Road, Mitcham

Capital £12,000, in 10,000 preference and 2,000 ordinary shares of £1 each. Metal workers, manufacturers of aircraft and component parts, &c. First directors: C. Baynes, A. E. Heath, C. I. S. Fouracres and A. Greenless.

In the 1918 Directory of Manufacturers in Engineering and Allied Trades on Grace’s Guide, Baynes & Partners, Ltd. is listed as (late Aznu Engineering Co.), at 261, Church Road, Mitcham, Surrey. Phone : 1551. T /A : Radsparks, Mitcham.

In a Mitcham Urban District Council meeting of 27th November, 1917, the company’s application to keep its petroleum licence was approved. The company was referred to as previously London Sheet Metal Works.

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

Bond Road

Road running west from Western Road to London Road, south of the Swan.

The row of houses on the south side of Bond Road as you come in from the London Road, was called Cecil Terrace, which can be seen on this c.1900 photo on Merton Memories.

The 1918 Electoral Register shows these occupants of Cecil Terrace:

1, Ellen Mary Ann and Isaac VINCE
2, Clara Elizabeth VINCE
3, Ellen Louisa COX
4, Maria and Charles SURKITT
6, Mary Elizabeth and William Arthur SKIVENS
7, Jessie Ellen and Thomas William PAICE
8, Emma and Henry BARTLETT
9, Maud Lily and Frederick Charles GRAHAM
10, Ada Emily and James VINCE
11, Mabel and Henry Thomas JEEVES
13, Ada and Edward Joseph WALLIS
14, Maria and George WALLIS

The 1925 Street Directory shows that the houses in Cecil Terrace were numbered from 1 nearest the London Road junction. The location of the houses on the north west side of Bond Road is not given, but it could be assumed that Mortimer House was near where the junction with Mortimer Road is now. The occupants in 1918 were

House Names
Lavender House Anna and Henry FOWLER
Cavendish House Emily Ann WOOD
Mortimer House Bessie and John BRETT
Mortimer House Elsie and James Alfred RICE
Holborn Union Gas Works Kate Olive and John Emmanuel HUMPHREYS

1925 Street Directory

BOND ROAD, from 8 Rupert terrace, London Road, Upper Mitcham to Western Road

South side

1, Isaac VINCE
2, Frederick Samuel COUSINS
3, Mrs COX
4, Percy TAYLOR
5, Mrs READ
6, William Arthur SKIVENS
7, Thomas W PAICE
8, Harry BARTLETT, fodder salesman
9, Robert NOBLE
10, James VINCE
11, Charles Ellis JEEVES
12, Robert TOWNSEND
13, George WALLIS

North-west side

ALLEN, Son & Fielding, scrap iron merchants
Henry FOWLER, florist (Lavender House)
Miss WOOD, (Cornish house)
John BRETT, box repairer (Mortimer house)
John E. HUMPHREYS, (Holburn farm)

Newspaper Articles

Article Details Newspaper Date Page
Bottleneck photo Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 01/02/1951 1
Historical Note Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 01/02/1951 4
Improvements planned Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 22/07/1954 1
Housing Proposal Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette 07/02/1958 3

World War 1 Connections
Stoker 1st Class Robert Cox

Private John Humphreys

Private Edgar Vince

Private G Wallis

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

R S COX of 3 Bonds Road, aged 18 Years 1 Months, Fitters Mate. Conscripted on 5 January 1916 to the Northamptonshire Regiment (53rd Ysb).

W MITCHELL of 12 Bonds Road Surrey, aged 31 Years 1 Months, Carman. Volunteered on 19 April 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

E A RUDDICK of 6 Bonds Road Up Mitcham, aged 33 Years 2 Months, Blacksmith. Conscripted on 2 March 1917 to the 30th Infantry Labour Coy.

W A SKIVENS of 6 Bonds Road, aged 26 Years 8 Months, Labourer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Essex Regiment (14th Batn).

E VINCE of 1 Cecil Terrace Bonds Road, aged 35 Years 3 Months, Labourer. Conscripted on 25 January 1917 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment (3rd Batn). Note that the Register shows BINCE, but given the CWGC entry, this is more likely to be VINCE.

A S WALLIS of 14 Bonds Road, aged 25 Years 9 Months, Plumber. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 9 December 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (10th Batn).

C WALLIS of 14 Bonds Road, aged 30 Years 10 Months, Motor Driver. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Middlesex Regiment (6th Batn).

H WOOD of Cavendish House Bond Road, aged 24 Years 10 Months, Postman. Volunteered on 19 October 1915 to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

From the Military Service Tribunals:
Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 14th December, 1917
Mitcham Tribunal

Mr Moore, in appearing in the appeal for exemption for Mr H. Fowler of Bonds-road, Mitcham, said his client held an agriculture certificate.

Councillor Mizen : He can stand over until it is withdrawn.

The Tribunal decided to adjourn the case until the certificate was withdrawn.

Note the use of Bonds Road. The previous name was Bond’s Lane.

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

Private Walter Bowers

Born in Chichester, Sussex, he enlisted at Kingston-on-thames, Surrey.

From the Army Cyclist Corps he transferred to the Labour Corps, service number 662161


Rank: Private
Service No: 4
Date of Death: 08/11/1918
Regiment/Service: East Surrey Regiment 3rd Bn. transf. to (662161) Labour Corps
Grave Reference: Z. 323.

Bowers W

He died in the Mitcham Military Hospital (the Holborn Union Workhouse on Western Road) and his name is on the memorial.

His name is on the south face of the Mitcham War Memorial

See list of WW1 graves in the Parish Church.

1918 Manhole rescue awards

From the News of the World, 27th January 1918

Sir Arthur Spurgeon yesterday, as chairman of Croydon County Bench, handed certificates of the Carnegie Heroes Fund and £10 each to Shoeing-smith Thomas Gleed, of Peckham; John Lemon, of Merton; and P.c. Davies, of Mitcham. Lemon and Davies took their award in the form of War Bonds.

In October last, at Mitcham, a man named Alfred Simmons was overcome by gas when cleaning sewers. Lemon, his mate, went down to his rescue, and was also overcome. Gleed then descended, but was forced back by the fumes. Ignoring a doctor’s warning, he went down again, and was brought up unconscious. Lemon, in the meanwhile, had regained consciousness, and was saved by grasping a lowered rope. P.c. Davies then went down, but was hauled up in an unconscious condition. He, however, made a second attempt, and succeeded in getting a rope round Simmons’ body. Simmons was brought up unconscious but survived.

19180127 NotW


George Richard BATSON 1899 – 1918

These notes have been kindly supplied by Peter Hannah

George Richard Batson was the older brother of Ernest Albert Batson (1904- 1974), who married Annie Elizabeth Hannah.

Ernest’s son Ronald (1933-2014) was given George’s 1st World War medals following his fathers death in 1974. Following Ron’s death, I was asked to look into the details of George and the following information is what I have found. The hope was to find a living relative of the Batson family to pass the medals onto. This has proved difficult and the medals are presently with Ron’s widow Anne.

His name was George Richard Batson and he was born in the last quarter of 1899, the exact date is unknown. By the 1911 Census he was 11 years of age and one of 9 children of Henry & Flora, however 3 of his siblings had already died and a fourth was to follow, all under the age of 5. This left 3 sisters and his youngest brother Ern.

When the 1st World War broke out the family were living in Blackshaw Rd, Tooting, not far from where St George’s Hospital is. However, although George must have signed up locally, when he became old enough, he was at some point transferred to the 7th Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment. On the 10th April 1918 aged 18 he signed his informal Will, presumably before departing for France.

Where his Regiment was posted in France and where he was is not known but towards the end of August 1918 the Second Battles of the Somme and Arras 1918, the advance into Flanders and the Battles of the Hindenburg Line where underway. Sometime towards the end of August he was injured on the battlefield, so it’s feasible that he may have been involved in one of these battles. He was hospitalised in France for 8 days and was then repatriated to the University War Hospital in Southampton where he died of his wounds on the 5th September 1918 aged 19. His Death Certificate made grim reading as it would appear that he had his left leg amputated in France following multiple gun shot wounds. The Death Certificate goes on to confirm that gangrene set in and it also mentioned “gas” so it’s possible that he may have suffered a gas attack at the time he was shot.

George was buried in Wandsworth Cemetery where his name appears on the Remembrance Wall, although there is no Commonwealth War Graves Headstone for him, he is buried in the ground in front of the wall.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission