Tag Archives: 1928

Leading Aircraftsman Gregory James Ash

He was born 16th November 1904 and baptised on 15th January 1905 at St Crispin’s, Bermondsey. His parents were James Richard and Ellen Ash.

At 22, he married Elizabeth Harriett Burnett, 22, on the 23rd July 1927 at Christ Church, Bermondsey, Southwark. His father was a compositor.

It is likely that they then moved to Mitcham, as his name is shown on the electoral register in 1928 at 199 Manor Road, not far from its junction with Rowan Road and Wide Way.

In the 1939 Register, Gregory James Ash, born 16th November 1904, was a printing clerk, and lived at 199 Manor Road, Mitcham, with his wife Elizabeth Harriet Ash, housewife, born 28th December 1904, and their daughter Margaret, born 19th March 1931.

He served in the Base Signals Repair Unit of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, service number 1249162.

On 7th November 1944, he was onboard the ship HM Landing Ship Tank (LST) 420, with around 230 RAF personnel, when it was sunk by a mine outside Ostend, Belgium.

From the ww2Talk forum:

LST-420 left Dover on 7 November with a party of airmen, trucks and supplies for RAF personnel in Belgium. It was unable to enter the port of Ostend because of a severe storm and the captain decided to return to England. The ship was still within sight of Ostend when it hit a mine, split in two, and sank. Fourteen officers and 224 other ranks were lost. Only 31 were saved. It was the greatest loss of lives on a British landing craft during the war. Many of the casualties were buried at Ostend and at Blankenberge cemeteries in Belgium. Above the wreck today is a marker buoy “LST 420.”

He is buried in the Blankenberge Town Cemetery, West Flanders, Belgium. A photo of his grave can be seen on the Find A Grave website.

Commonwealth War Grave Commission casualty record.

W.E. Horsman, Son & Co., Iron Foundry in Eveline Road

William Ernest Horsman’s iron foundry that was at 34 Eveline Road, possibly between 1924 and 1938.

Photo taken 20th August 2109.

Listed in the 1924 commercial directory as W.E. Horsman & Co., general engineers.

In the 1930 commercial directory it is listed W.E. Horsman & Co., general engineers, Eveline Road, trading as “ Horseman, Ironfounders ; ” Telephone number MIT 1586. Note the spelling of Horseman with an ‘e’.

The foundry is listed in the 1938 directory as May’s Mitcham Foundry.

The use of ‘Son’ on the manhole cover shown above suggests that it was made between 1930 and 1938. The 1932 robbery refers to the offices of Messrs. W. E. Horsman, Son and Co., whereas the 1930 directory doesn’t mention ‘Son’.

From Ancestry.com, Stanley Bertram Horsman, foundry manager, was married on 9th February 1932 in Sutton. His father was named as William Ernest Horsman, occupation Ironfounder. Electoral registers show W.E. Horsman as living at 1 Greenhill, Sutton.


News Articles and Ads
Norwood News – Friday 12 February 1932

MITCHAM ROBBERY DAMAGE AND LOSS AT OFFICES

A daring robbery was successfully carried out early on Tuesday morning at the offices of Messrs. W. E. Horsman, Son and Co., iron founders and sanitary engineers, Eveline-roud. Mitcham. The front office door was forced with a jemmy, and evidently the thieves spent several hours ransacking the whole place. They attacked three safes, ripping the back out of one. Papers and documents were ruthlessly thrown all over the floors, and considerable damage done to the property. Thecentents of all three safes were emptied, and all the loose money and stamps taken away. All the workmen’s Health and Insurance cards are missing, also all the money in the hospital collection boxes.

Mr. Horsman told one of our reporters: “I don’t know whether my son’s wedding had anything to do with the robbery, but it was well known that my son, who is works manager, was being married on Tuesday. Possibly the thieves thought there might be more here, and we should not be so particular in removing things on such an occasion. We have proof that there were at least two men on the job. They must have spent hours about it. What a mess they left! It troubles me more, the damage and mess, than all the money they took. I should estimate the loss and damage at quite a hundred pounds. The collection boxes for the hospital and blind were broken open and the money taken. They found the key for the big safe, but the other two they broke open. It must have taken them hours to do that. From the appearance of the floor in my office, they attacked the safes in one corner, where a light would not be so easily seen from outside. What puzzles me is what good the workmen’s Insurance and Health cards will do them, unless they are negotiable. I understand the police have obtained some finger-prints.”

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer – Monday 14 October 1929

WANTED at once Iron Moulders, for jobbing shop: permanency for good men.—Write Horsman’s Foundry, Eveline Road, Mitcham.


The Sanitary Inspectors Report of June 4th, 1928, included complaints by local residents:

Several complaints have recently been made by residents in Eveline Crescent and Eveline Road of the nuisance from smoke and fumes from Messrs. Horsman’s Iron Foundry. I have kept observation on the works, and I find the fumes from the cupolas in which metals are heated are very strong. I have not seen much smoke, but, according to my reading of the new Smoke Act, these works are exempt from the operation of the Act.

Source: page 99, Mitcham Urban District Council minutes, volume XIV 1928-29.