Tag Archives: 1940

Gunner Douglas Harold Allaway

In the 1939 Register, Douglas Harold Allaway, born 4th December 1918, was a sign fixer’s mate and lived at 67 Fleming Mead in Mitcham. Living with him was his mother Florence, born in 1893, and his sisters Margaret, born 6th February 1938; Winifred, born 25th January 1916, confectionary packer; Ellen, born 28th May 1920, a novelty cardboard box maker Joan, born 16th January 1925, a cardboard box maker.

Douglas Harold Allaway served as a gunner with the Royal Artillery, service number 1524793, with the Anti-Tank Regiment.

In 1940, as part of the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) he was wounded and captured. He was a Prisoner of War at Stalag 20A. This camp, also called Stalag XX-A, was in Torun, Poland.

British film actor Sam Kydd was also captured while in the B.E.F. and also was a POW at this camp.

His daughter said in October 2019:

My dad was captured 3 months into WW2, and was POW in Torun, Poland, Stalag XXA. He survived the war and had a shrapnel wound in shoulder.

He lived in Western Road with his mum and sisters & brothers.

He passed away 1981 in Chichester.

Eldertree Place

A cul-de-sac off Eldertree Way, with 16 houses, accessible by footpath only.

1952 OS map

The houses are numbered odd on its left side, from 1 to 15, and even on the right side from 2 to 16. Royal Mail website says the houses all have the postcode CR4 1AH.

Possibly built around 1930/1. There is an Electoral register for 1932, whose occupants were:

1, Arthur and Violet NEAL
3, Norman Henry and Emily STEVENSON
4, John and Constance Victoria TOWNSON
5, William and Margaretta THOMAS
6, George Albert and Florence Louisa BENNETT
7, Harry Henry and Harriet Eliza TIBBLES
8, Thomas James and Violet May CUMPPER
9, Alfred and Elizabeth TIMMS
10, Frederick and Ann Norah Ellen HOOK
11, Thomas Henry and Dorothy RICHARDSON
12, Alfred Herbert and Annie Rebecca FREEMAN
13, William and Catherine THURSTING
14, Reginald and Doris WOOD
15, George William and Laura Alice COOPER
16, William and Kate Leila THOMPSON


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

Manton Way

Manton Way was a short road off the west side of Galpins Road, where Berkshire Way is today.

From the 1939 register there were four houses and the OS map of 1940, shows two houses on either side of the road.

1940 OS map

Occupants in 1939
No. 1
William KNIGHT, 51, professional musician
Edith E. KNIGHT, 44, housewife
Marjorie E. KNIGHT, 16, dressmakers apprentice

No. 2
Ena Elsie LANE, 42, civil servant at the Ministry of Health

No. 3
Thomas BOLTON, 57, butcher
Annie BOLTON, 50, housewife
Robert BOLTON, 19, commercial artist
Nancy V. BOLTON, 16, switchboard operator

No. 4
Alfred William ALLEN, 45, scaffolder
Elsie May ALLEN, 45, housewife
Alfred Robert ALLEN, 14

After WW2, the Pollards Hill Golf Course was developed for housing and the roads were named after counties. Manton Way was extended westward and renamed Berkshire Way.

1954 OS map


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

Private Alfred Robert Allen

Alfred Robert Allen lived with his parents Alfred William and Elsie May Allen at 4 Manton Way, Mitcham. On his gravestone, his parents called him Bob:

In memory of Bob.
His smiling face is with us
Till we meet again,
Mum and dad

Manton Way was a short road, with only four houses at the time. It was off the west side of Galpins Road at the eastern end of the then Borough of Mitcham, with its boundary to Croydon. On the eastern side of Galpins Road were tennis courts and playing fields. At the southern end of Galpins Road was Mitcham Common.

Manton Way was at the edge of the Pollards Hill Golf course, and Bob Allen may well have crossed it on his way to Sherwood Park School, half a mile to the west.

Bob Allen died, aged 19, on 22nd January 1944, while serving with the 6th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment which took part in the landings at Salerno, in September 1943, in the Allied Invasion of Italy.


Sources

Commonwealth War Grave Commission:

Private
ALLEN, ALFRED ROBERT

Service Number 14280788

Died 22/01/1944

Aged 19

6th Bn.
Lincolnshire Regiment

Son of Alfred William and Elsie May Allen, of Mitcham. Surrey.

Ancestry.com. UK, Memorial Books WWI and WWII, 1914-1945.
Original data: Sayers, William Charles Berwick, ed. Croydon and the Second World War: The Official History of the War Work of the Borough and Its Citizens from 1939–1945, Together with the Croydon Roll of Honour. Croydon, England: The Croydon Corporation, 1949.

Lincoln Regiment

Born 29th October 1924, in Fulham. Lived at 387a London Road, Croydon. Educated Sherwood Park School, Mitcham. Clerk. Died in Italy, 22nd January 1944. Buried Military Cemetery, Minturno.

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

In his will he left £241 1s. 8d. to his mother Elsie May Allen.

The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/1376C

No. 4 Manton Way
Alfred William Allen, born 20th May 1894, (builders) scaffolder labourer.
Elsie May Allen, born 17th September 1894, housewife.

Maps

1940 OS map

1954 OS map

When the Pollards Hill Golf Course was developed for housing after WW2, Manton Way was extended and renamed Berkshire Way. Other roads in this development were named after counties.


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

Lance Corporal Frederick Rexstrew

Frderick Rexstrew, was born 19 May 1914.

He married, aged 26, on 13th June 1940 to Gladys Ayling, 24, of 7 Ravensbury Cottages, Morden Road, Mitcham, at the parish church of Beddington. He was a soldier living at 47 Bute Gardens West in Beddington. His father, Henry Marshall Rexstrew, was deceased. Gladys Ayling’s father, Albert William Ayling, was a cowman. Source: Ancestry.com. Sutton, Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1940, London Borough of Sutton; Sutton, London, England; Reference Number: 2813/1/5.

The 1939 register shows Frederick Rexstrew as a Motor Driver, Baker’s Roundsman, and he lived with his mother Alice, housewife, and brother George R., born 29 Sept 1918, foreman stock keeper, munitions. Source: The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/1318E

The 1939 register shows Gladys Ayling as working as a newsagent assistant, her mother Katie was listed as a housewife. Source: The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/1374B

The Ravensbury Cottages were on a part of the road called Ravensbury Grove, which later was renamed Hatfeild Close, as shown in this 1953 OS map.

1953 OS map

Hatfeild Close was named after Gilliat Hatfeild, the owner of the nearby Morden Hall (house and gardens now owned by the National Trust).

Frederick Rexstrew was a Lance Corporal, service number 179420 with the 253 (Airborne) Composite Company Royal Army Service Corps.

He died on 20th September, 1944, and was re-interred at Arnhem Oosterbeek Cemetery, grave 29. C. 8. Source: Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

He was an air dispatcher on a Stirling IV LJ829 aircraft with RAF Squadron 190. All crewmembers were killed when the aircraft crashed in Doorwerth. Source : Harrington Museum – Aircraft lost on Allied Force’s Special Duty Operations & Associated Roll of Honour, page 382. Note that this pdf is 3 megabytes and has 583 pages.

A memorial to all the RAF crew and air despatchers like Frederick Rexstrew is in a side street in Doorwerth:

“Here, during the Battle of Arnhem, Stirling LJ928 crashed on 21 september 1944, after having been hit by fire from enemy fighters, killing the crew and the air despatchers. This memorial is not only to commemorate these men, but to remember all those of the Royal Air Force who flew between 17th and 25th September 1944 over this area. Flying on low level through German anti aircraft fire and attacking enemy fighters, they towed gliders and dropped supplies for the men of the 1st British Airborne Division.
During those days 229 crew members and air despatchers from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa lost their lives in a brave attempt to help the men on the ground.”

In his will, his address was 7 Ravensbury Cottages, Mitcham, Surrey and he left £215 5s. to his widow Gladys. Source: Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

See also the ParaData website.


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

Cameo Cafe

Cafe/restaurant that was at 8 Upper Green East until 1940, then at 197 London Road.

1937 ad

In September 1940 the cafe was badly damaged from the bomb that destroyed the Mitcham Methodist Church. It was reopened at 197 London Road. Mrs Isobel POPAY ran the cafe from 1934 to 1942, when she died, aged 62. Source: Norwood News – Friday 22 May 1942, page 8.

This 1953 photo shows Mitcham Baths on right and further along, on the same side of the London Road, the block numbered 195 to 201. A ‘restaurant’ sign can be seen on the second from the far end property, this is number 197. This clip is from a Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_​Streets_​Lon_​38-47

An ad for an assistant cook in Norwood News – Friday 03 March 1961 showed its phone number was MIT 3359. The 1954 telephone directory shows it at 197 London Road. From around the mid-1980s to 2012 this shop was Ossie’s Taverna.

In a news item from the Norwood News – Friday 15 January 1932, the proprietor of the cafe was Mr Norton. The item was about an argument at a wedding reception that led to an assault, and went to court. From a comment on the Facebook Mitcham History Group, there was a function room upstairs that was used for wedding receptions etc.

1953 OS map showing the London Road. On the left hand side of the road is no. 224 ‘Day Nursery’, which is Eagle House. The block of 4 shops/flats north of the Public Baths shows No. 197 at the second from the far end. The entrance to the Baptist Church was built on in 1962/3.

An advert in the  Norwood News – Friday 19 February 1932 for a piano gives the address of the cafe as number 8 Upper Green East.


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

Methodist Church Upper Green East

The Methodist church at Upper Green East (south side), was destroyed by bombing in September 1940. It was not rebuilt.

1933 OS map shows the Methodist Church

A British Pathe newsreel, without commentary, is believed to show the bomb damage to the church. Shops and buildings across the road can be seen damaged by the blast as well.

1954 OS map shows the vacant plot where the church once was. It was later developed as Langdale Parade

The church was rebuilt on Cricket Green.