Tag Archives: 1924

Stoker 1st Class Frederick George Aimes

Frederick George Aimes was born on 20th March, 1901, in Brixton.

Working as a wood sawyer, he joined the Navy at 18 years old on 12th May 1919, serving on the Vivid II.

He married Ivy Ethel May Stone in 1924.

In 1934 he received the RN Long Service and Good conduct Medal.

He lived with his wife Ivy Ethel May at 4 Poplar Avenue, Mitcham, between 1930 and 1939.

1953 OS map

He joined HMS Hermes on 24th August 1939 and died when his ship was sunk by Japanese aircraft on 9th April 1942 in the Indian Ocean.

The sinking of HMS Hermes was reported in the Portsmouth Evening News – Friday 10 April 1942:

Portsmouth Evening News, 10th April, 1942, page 1.
Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

CRUISER CLAIM UNTRUE
Tokio Boasting

The aircraft carrier H.M.S. Hermes has been sunk ten miles off the coast of Ceylon. An Admiralty communique states that she was sunk by air attack and that a large proportion of her crew (complement 660) may have reached land.

It is known that an earlier Japanese claim to have sunk two cruisers is quite untrue.

The Hermes (10,850 tons) completed in 1924, was the first vessel specially designed as an aircraft carrier.

The Japanese are to-day laying claims to more successes in the Indian ocean. Tokio asserts that yesterday two cruisers, a destroyer, a patrol vessel, and six otherships were sunk while a third cruiser was damaged. The claims included 46 Allied aircraft shot down.

There is no confirmation of these claims.

The Admiralty communique states:- “The Board of Admiralty regrest to announce that the aircraft-carrier H.M.S. Hemes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, M.V.O., D.S.C., R.N.) has been sunk by Japanese air attack of the coast of Ceylon. No further details are known, but it is probable that a large proportion of the ship’s company of HMS Hermes have reached land, as she was only about ten miles off shore when she was sunk.

Sunk near Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was called then, the wreck of the ship has attracted divers. The website Dive Sri Lanka has accounts on 8 expeditions to the wreckage over a period from 2005 to 2014.

Sources
The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 1126
Service

General Register Office; United Kingdom; Volume: 2a; Page: 704
Marriage

Ancestry.com. UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 147
Long service medal.

Ancestry.com. Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 Reference: CC802/47/6Residence at Poplar Avenue

The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, London; Admiralty: Royal Navy Seamen’s Services Continuous Record (CR) Cards; Class: ADM 363; Piece: 437.
Service Record.

Commonwealth War Grave Commission

Service Number D/SS 120797

Died 09/04/1942

Aged 41

H.M.S. Hermes
Royal Navy

Son of George and Connie Aimes; husband of Ivy Ethel May Aimes, of Mitcham, Surrey.


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

Drina Strange

Drina Strange was the stage name of Alexandrina Marguerite Stringer.

Born in 1902 in Birmingham, she lived with her parents in 264 Links Road, and attended Links Secondary School for Girls. At 18 she was 6 foot 1 1/2 inches in height. She won a four year scholarship at the Trinity College of Music and she possessed a contralto voice of unusual range of power. On the 6th May 1922, at the end of the N.M.I.A. “Pageant and Revels of Merrie Mitcham, the All-Comrades suburb”, in front of a crowd of over a thousand, she sang Land of Hope and Glory, which she had not long before given at the Albert Hall.

(Source: Part 24 of the history of the North Mitcham Improvement Association (N.M.I.A.), and electoral registers).

Later that year a report said that was a new singer of unusual promise.

From the Middlesex County Times – Wednesday 22nd November 1922:

The contralto soloist, Miss Drina Strange, is a new singer of unusual promise. When her voice has reached maturity Miss Strange should make an enviable reputation. Her rendering of the solos in “A Tale of Old Japan” was a fine combination of thought and feeling. As an interpreter, with a keen sense of atmosphere, Miss Strange has remarkable gifts, and her talent in thin direction was revealed even more clearly in Elgar’s beautiful song, “Like to a Damask Rose,” for which she was encored. Her phrasing enunciation, tone-colour, and absorption in the spirit of her songs were some of the best features of an eventful evening.

She took her own life, aged 22, in 1924.

From the Daily Herald – Thursday 19th June 1924

TENSE SCENE AT AN INQUEST

DRAMATIC DEMAND BY A MOTHER

A SINGER’S END

“Can he go into the mortuary and see my daughter and see the ruin he has done?”

This dramatic question was put by a distracted mother at an inquest held at yesterday on a young singer who poisoned herself because her lover had proved “a fraud,” to quote the words of her father. It was to this person that the mother alluded.

The dead girl was Alexandrina Marguerite Stringer (22), known on the concert stage as Drina Strange. Her father, who was much distressed, stated that months ago his daughter introduced a young man to him.

“I saw he was a fraud at the first sight,” he went on, “and I warned her against him.” Later he heard from his daughter that he was married, and sent for and spoke to him. His daughter was much upset — it drove her mad.

The coroner here read letter from Miss Stringer — ‘Moga’ is the nickname of a friend :

“Moga knows all and still loves. I am ashamed and unhappy. Do not blame my lover for this, for I was unhappy before he crossed my path. He was my only star and light. Will my dear mother ever forgive me? I am unworthy to be beneath your honest roof. So here I die to win success in death. God forgive me. I am a vile creature. I die with love for my parents, and gratitude for their forgiveness, and, above all, please let my lover alone.— Good-bye; Dina.”

LETTER TO MAN’S WIFE

Sidney Kibby, Western-road, Southall, a clerk employed by the Maypole Dairy Co., replying to the coroner, said he knew he ought to have told Miss Stringer earlier that he was married. He had done wrong.

Why did you leave it until this girl’s 21st birthday? — I thought it the best thing to do then.
Having told her the facts you still continued take her out? — Yes.

Kibby produced a letter written by Miss Stringer to his wife, in which she said:-

“I feel I must apologise …. I realise I have done a wicked wrong, and how you have forgiven I cannot tell I hope you will restore the former love of your husband …. I swear I shall never see him again if only you will continue to give me your forgiveness. Dina Strange.

P.S. — If you care to be a friend of my mother’s she will always welcome you. She is one of the sweetest beings living. I hate myself bringing so much misery to her. Heartbroken. — D.S.”

The medical evidence was that Miss Stringer had taken salts of lemon. The doctor added that he found no trace that she had been interfered with.

In returning verdict of “Suicide during temporary insanity,” the coroner observed that the conduct of Kibby led to this poor girl taking her life, and he was responsible, if not legally, at any rate morally.

Miss Stringer’s father was escorted from the court by police officers and his son, and a police-sergeant escorted Kibby, who made a hurried exit.

Rural Way

Road off the eastern side of Streatham Road that runs towards the south east. It is next to the river Graveney, just within Mitcham, and its entrance is before Roe Bridge.

1949 OS map

The Royal Mail website shows 39 properties, all with the postcode of SW16 6PF. Even numbered houses are on the north side, with odd numbers on the south.

Possibly built in early 1920s.

Occupants shown in the 1925 street directory:-

Note that named houses are in brackets

NORTH SIDE

1, George SHORE
3, Robert MUDDLE
5, Reuben MUDDLE
(Fealdan), Mrs J. NISBET
(Pendennis), Henry DRAISEY
(Ivydene), Edward H. MURRAY
(The Nook), George SCAMMELL
(Eversdene), Arthur John G. BURTON
(Carrick), George C. PULLEN
(Wickham), Russell LUCY (timber agent)
(Rosedene), Henry William BEECHENER
(Avonhurst), Leslie MILLER

SOUTH SIDE

(The Snuggery), Mrs FEARON
4, William Fraser REYNOLDS
6, George C. COURTNEY
8, Eric P. RAY
(Camelot), Thomas F. CHAMBERS
(Padua), Francis GOBBI
14, Henry William HERRON
(Porlock), William MALLETT
(Newlyn), William John SALTER
(River Bank), Frank S. LANGHAM
(Lynton), Alfred MATTHEWS
(Brookside), Edgar YOUNG
(Burnside), John A. BAKER

Mortgages obtained from the Mitcham Urban District Council were available under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act. In 1924, three houses, Ivydene, The Nook and Carrick had loans on them for £565 against the market value of £630.

clip from Merton Memories phot, reference Mit_Streets_P_Will_56-1, possibly when road was first built as the road hasnt been made up and the pavements haven’t been cleared.

In 1927 a Saxon relic was sent to Mitcham Australia

From Norwood News – Saturday 18th June 1927, via the British Newspaper Archives.

MITCHAM, AUSTRALIA.
SCHOOLMISTRESS TO CONVEY GREETINGS.

The Mitcham school managers met on Monday night under the chairmanship of Ald. A. Mizen. It was reported that Miss A. D. Milne, mistress at Gorringe Park School, was visiting Australia, and the managers decided to ask her to convey a signed letter from them of cordial greetings from Mitcham, England, to Mitcham, Australia. The letter recalled that a flag was sent from Mitcham, Australia, to Mitcham, England, some years ago, and that more recently Mrs. Howard visited them in England, and conveyed fraternal greetings from Mitcham, Australia.

The chairman mentioned that Colonel Harold Bidder was sending to Mitcham, Australia, a relic from the Saxon burial grounds of Mitcham, England.

1924 : Fireman Aged 7

From the Belfast Telegraph – Tuesday 05 February 1924, via the British Newspaper Archives. which requires a subscription.

FIREMAN AGED SEVEN.
DRIVES MINIATURE TENDER.
REMARKABLE CAPACITY.

When Mitcham Fire Brigade turned out yesterday people in the streets were amused to see following at a long distance behind the engine a smaller fire tender complete in every detail pedalled by a very small boy fully equipped as a regular fireman. It was a model exact in every detail — just a third the size of the Mitcham motor tender and escape — made by Fireman A. Palmer Riley, of the Mitcham Brigade, for his 7-year-old son, Alexander, who is as keen as his father on fire engines and fire brigade work. This was young Alec’s first appearance with his wonderful machine.

His father, who is a master plumber and sanitary engineer at Collier’s Wood, later told a “Daily News” correspondent — “My son is a born fireman and runs after fire engines wherever be sees one. He continually worried me with questions, so in my spare time I made him an engine, or rather a tender for himself. I finished it on Saturday. It is an exact scale model of the Mitcham tender, minus the driving engine. It is made of wood, steel, and brass, the rod work being old gas tubing. A steel tank inside it will hold two gallons of water and what is called a first aid supply.

“A five foot escape is on top, two chemical extinguishers at the rear made out of salt tins, and a complete tool outfit and hose piping are carried. Two electric headlights and a searchlight and a resounding brass warning bell, all made by myself, are other main features.”

Alec wears a brass helmet and axe, also made by his father, and a full fireman’s uniform made by his mother. Mr. Riley is a remarkable fireman. He speaks French fluently, and understands modern Greek, Italian and Spanish. For years he travelled as a highly skilled craftsman in all the countries of Europe for big London firms.

From Ancestry.com:

1911 Census

Alexander Palmer Riley, aged 32, was living at 10 Park Road, Colliers Wood with his wife Alice Gertrude, 29, and their daughter Alice Eileen, aged 2. His occupation was listed as Plumber Gas and Hot Water Fitter.

Library and Museum of Freemasonry; London, England; Freemasonry Membership Registers

On 16th October 1917 he is listed as a Regimental Sergeant Major, residing at the Holborn Military Hospital.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations)

He died in 1962 leaving £2,664. His address was 2 Glebe Path, Mitcham.

See also report on a fire in 1932

Fair Green Bandstand

Built in 1924 and demolished in ????, the bandstand at the Fair Green was at the western end, across the road from the Nags Head pub.

photo taken possibly before the 1930s

From Mitcham Urban District minutes in July 1924, the bandstand was built by Messrs McFarlane, Mr Hann connected the drainage to the culvert, and Sayers & Son was awarded the contract to paint it with anti-corrosive paint, for £20 18s. The County of London Electric Supply Company was paid £28 16s. for the installation of lighting for the bandstand.

The nearby Zion Congregational chapel objected to a bandstand being built. The council responded that it would

do all in their power to endeavour to secure quietude during the hours of service at the Church.

Source: council minutes 9th May 1924, page 24.


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.

1924 Fracas at the Bucks Head

“SABINI BOYS” AGAIN.
ROWDY SCENE AT MITCHAM.

Arising out of fracas at The Buck’s Head, Mitcham, on the previous day, Ernest Charles Straney, thirty-four, of Lollard-Street Kennington; Edward Wiggins, twenty-six, of Brixton; and George Wiggins, twenty-five, of Lyndhurst-road, Chadwell Heath, were charged before the Croydon County Bench with having been disorderly and assaulting Major Poole, M.C., licensee of the house, Mr. S. G. Leney, manager, Police-sergeant Constable, and Police-constable Siviour. Blows with fists, kicking, and biting were alleged.

Mr. Stanley Smith, prosecuting, said that six men arrived in a taxi, and appeared be such a rough lot that the licensee asked a constable to stand by. Straney left the saloon bar and went into the dining-room, and began strumming the piano. As soon as he was asked to return to the bar, where the men had ordered drinks and smokes, the row started. Major Poole was injured on his right arm, which would have to be X-rayed.

Major Poole, in his evidence, said one of the men boasted of being a pugilist. Leney was struck violently on the face while carrying a pile of plates.

Police-constable Siviour and two other police witnesses said they drew their truncheons and used them, owing to the violence of the prisoners. Whilst struggling on the ground Siviour said he felt himself being overpowered and struck George Wiggins on the back of the head, which for a time made him unconscious. At the police station, where they were taken in a lorry, George Wiggins threatened to kill the witness, and added, “We are some of the Sabini Boys.”

Police Inspector Perkins, in asking for a remand, said that the men no doubt had come to Mitcham for a purpose, and the matter might turn out to be much more serious than appeared at the moment.

The Bench granted the application, and allowed bail to the prisoners in their own recognisances, with two sureties each of £20.

Source: Illustrated Police News – Thursday 22 May 1924 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

See also Peaky Blinders Fandom wiki web page.