Tag Archives: 1943

Flight Lieutenant Joseph Laurence Moore D.F.C.

Flight Lieutenant Joseph Lawrence Moore, service number 42071, served in 97 Squadron, R.A.F.

He died 25th June 1943, aged 22. He was piloting a Lancaster bomber (LM327-B) on a raid on Elberfeld, Wuppertal, Germany. His aircraft was shot down and all of the crew were killed.

From Norwood News – Friday 29 November 1940

Awarded the D.F.C.

Among the latest awards for bravery is that of Pilot-Officer Joseph Lawrence Moore of Mitcham, who has been granted the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Pilot-Officer Moore was born at Mitcham in 1921, and commissioned in the R.A.F. in May, 1939.

His parents now live at Ulverston, where he received his education at the local Grammar School.

In the London Gazette of 22nd November 1940, he is listed as being in 115 Squadron whgen he received his DFC award.

Commonwealth War Grave Commission casualty record, which says his parents were Thomas and Ella Oliver Moore, of Ulverston, Lancashire.

His parents were living at 10, High Street, Colliers Wood in 1921 according to the Electoral Register. At that time, Colliers Wood was part of the Mitcham Urban District.

See also the RAF Pathfinders website.

Ludlow Brothers Ltd.

Birmingham based company that was listed in the 1930 and 1938 commercial directories as Ludlow Bros (1913) Ltd., galvanized holloware manufacturers, Western Road, telephone number MITcham 0848. Listed as Ludlow Bros. Ltd. in the 1954 telephone book.

Note that ‘Hollow-ware’ refers to buckets etc.

A credit note offered for sale on eBay, dated 1943, shows its address as 132 Western Road, which was part of the former Holborn Union workhouse at the corner of Bond Road. The site in 2019 is occupied by Asda.

credit note extract Ludlow Bros dated February 1943

According to Graces Guide to British Industrial History, the company was founded privately in 1868 and became public in 1913, hence that year in its name in the directories. At the time of the credit note, the ‘1913’ was typed over, suggesting that the company name had changed but stationery hadn’t yet been changed.

Joseph Owen

Born 1880, Sheffield, Yorkshire.

Married 1908 to Susannah Young in Colchester.

In the 1911 census, Joseph Owen, aged 31, lived at 11 The Crescent, Westmead Road, Sutton, Surrey, with his wife Susannah, 31, and their son Arnold, 1. His occupation was civil engineer and surveyor with the London County Council.

A public family tree on Ancestry.com says that he went to Canada between 1912 and 1915 and worked for the Canadian Pacific Railways.

On his return he lived in Ashbourne Road, and took part in starting the North Mitcham Improvement Association in 1919, as told in its history, written by A.H. Bailey:

Mr Joseph Owen, of 89 Ashbourne Road, came to Mitcham in the early days of the war, from Canada; he had, however, lived in the neighbourhood before going abroad. He was one of the parents of the Association. He added to his great abilities as a civil engineer remarkable enterprise and push. To him, more than anyone else, was due the acquisition of land and erection of Halls for the Association.

An Electoral committee was formed, Mr Owen was nominated, the ward was canvassed as it had never been before for a local election and Mr Owen was returned on a poll of 838 against 428 for the party ticket. His majority considerably exceeded the total votes cast for a victor the previous April.

Mr Owen’s municipal career was brilliant; he became Chairman of the Highways Committee and remained in that office during the years that Mitcham developed at its greatest rate. He pressed for public baths and, but for him, Mitcham would not have had the public library when it did. Mitcham has its quota of ratepayers only; but Mr Owen resolved the problem by giving the site and half the cost, he also presented Sherwood Park Recreation Ground to the Council and endowed a bed at the hospital.

Incidentally it may be mentioned that the Library was largely Mrs Owen’s design. Mr Owen reached the Chair of the District Council and was a County Councillor. Mr Owen, who in his private capacity, was responsible for the building development of what are now the Long Thornton and Pollards Hill Wards. The Majestic Cinema was erected largely by the efforts of the first N.M.I.A. Councillor.

Later he took up residence at Pentlands, St Georges Road, Mitcham.

In 1926 he started the Tamworth Park Construction Company.

He put up the cost of the Mitcham Library, as reported in the West Sussex Gazette – Thursday 03 July 1930:-

LIBRARY GIFT.

By the munificence of Councillor Joseph Owen the “village” is to have a public library. He has given a site for one in London-road, opposite the Holborn Schools, and is willing to pay the cost of the building, less only the amount expected to be obtained from Government grant. The sketch plans, drawn up by a local firm, provide for a figure extension when required, even, perhaps, to the addition of a museum. Mitcham is changing so amazingly rapidly that a place for storing tangible hits of its history—in picture, photo, wood, metal, stone — is due in the interests of future generations.

In the 1939 register he lived at 20 Beeches Walk, Carshalton.

He died in 1943, as reported in the West Sussex Gazette – Thursday 4th February 1943

Death has claimed Mr. Joseph Owen former Chairman of Mitcham U.D. Council. He gave the borough its public library site, and. provided about half the cost of the building. Sherwood Park Recreation Ground was another gift. With Mrs. Owen, he endowed a bed in the Wilson Hospital. For a time Mr. Owen was a representative of Mitcham on Surrey Comity Council. He developed housing in Mitcham and was chiefly responsible for the town getting an up-to-date cinema theatre.

20 Beeches-walk, Carshalton, Surrey, died 21 January 1943 at Kingslea Nursing Home, Mulgrave Road, Sutton, Surrey.

Probate Llandudno 12 July to Susannah Owen widow and Arnold Courtney Owen, chartered civil engineer. Effects £8,760 1s. 1d.

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

Framfield Road

Framfield Road is off the west side of Streatham Road opposite The Driftway. It leads into St James’s Road. The reason for the name is unknown, however next to it is Uckfield Grove, and the town of Uckfield in Sussex has a town of Framfield two miles to the east of it.

Possibly built around 1928 as in that year mortgages were provided by the Mitcham Urban District Council, under the Small Dwellings Acquisitions Act, for houses valued at £625 each.

As approached from the Streatham Road end, the houses on the left are arranged in blocks of six, numbered odd from 1 to 107. On the right side the houses are numbered even from 2 to 88. Extra houses were built on plots near the St James’s Road end that had garages. A number of houses have since been divided into flats.

The Royal Mail website says that there three postcodes in use in this road, namely CR4 2AL, 2AU and 2AW.


News Items

From the Manchester Evening News – Monday 11th January 1943, via the British Newspaper Archive

Home Guard Fell in River At Night

While two Home Guards were patrolling on the Thames quayside at Wandsworth, one of them, William Edward Field (41), of Framfield Road, Mitcham, fell into the river in the darkness and was drowned.

At the Battersea inquest to-day the Coroner (Mr. Hervey Wyatt) recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said that Field’s companion, Ernest William Horsman, who climbed down a wire and made two unsuccessful rescue attempts, had every reason to congratulate himself on his fine effort to help his friend.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry for W.E. FIELD, he was in the 52nd County of London (Wandsworth Gas Co.) Battalion of the Home Guard. He was the son of Edward and Daisy Field, of Mitcham and husband of Elsie Catherine Field, of Mitcham. Although his grave is in the London Road Cemetery, it is not in the ‘War Graves’ section that has the graves of the local Home Guard that died in 1941. It is in plot 9, which is near the Victoria Road entrance.

Edward Pullen gets MBE in 1961 but missed DCM in 1916

Bryant Carton Co. Ltd.

320 – 360 Church Road
Merton, SW19

1952 OS map

According to the 1963 Borough of Mitcham List of Factories, it made cardboard boxes and was trading as The Metal Box Co. Ltd.

However a relative of one of the staff at the company in the post-WW2 period said they made printed metal trays and containers, see comment below.

This clip from Merton Memories photo of the newly built Phipps Bridge Estate in the mid 1960s shows the carton factory on the east side of Church Road.

clip from Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_​Buildings_​57-19, copyright London Borough of Merton.

News Articles

Norwood News – Friday 26 April 1929

LADDER TRAGEDY
CARPENTER FOUND AT BOTTOM.
SAD INQUEST STORY

An accidental fall at his work led to the death of Alfred Frederick Herbert Payn (41), carpenter, of Lyveden road, Tooting Junction. At the inquest on Tuesday at Mitcham, the widow, Mrs. Lilian Payn said her husband was subject to epileptic fits. He had them occasionally but invariably had a few days’ warning before hand, and stayed at home until he was better. He left home on Saturday, apparently in good health to go to his work at the Bryant Carton Works, Church-road, Mitcham.

WORKMATE’S STORY.

William Henry Drewett, of Seaton-road, Mitcham, said he was at the works on Saturday morning. He saw Payn going up a step-ladder to do a job. About three-quarters of an hour later witness heard some groaning, and found Payn lying on the floor at the bottom of the steps. He had evidently fallen down the ladder, and was holding a mallet and chisel in his hands.

Wm. Batty, the foreman, said they were building an extension to the factory. Payn was doing a bit of carpentry, and had to use a pair of steps for the purpose. Witness saw him start work that morning, and he appeared in good health. Drewett called witness’s attention to him lying un conscious at the bottom of the steps. Witness sent for the ambulance, and he was taken to Wilson Hospital.

LACERATED BRAIN.

Dr. Edith Bowie, of Streatham-road. Mitcham, said she was also on the staff of Wilson Hospital. She was there when Payn was admitted on Saturday morning. He had a bruise on the right side of the head and laceration of the brain, which had set up hemorrhage. Evidently the man had fallen on his head, for there was no other injury.

The Coroner : You could not tell whether he had a fit or not before? Dr. Bowie : No, not from what I saw.

The Coroner recorded a verdict of “Accidental death.”

Norwood News – Friday 13 August 1943

Brooker – Lord

A bride and bridegroom who first met while serving on a gun site in Scotland, with the A.T.S. and Royal Artillery respectively, were married on Saturday at Mitcham Parish Church, the Rev. G. S. Lubbock officiating.

They were Miss Eileen Joyce Lord, youngest daughter of Mrs. Lord and the late Mr. E. F. Lord, Church-road, Mitcham, and Bdr. Brian Cecil Brooker, R.A., eldest son of Mrs. Laross and the late Mr. Brooker, Chartram-road, South Norwood.

The bride was given away by Mr. T. Burnell, and looked charming in a gown of crepe, in a pastel shade of blue, with a navy hat and accessories. She carried a bouquet of pink and white carnations.

Her sister, Mrs. G. E. Button, acted as matron or honour, wearing a blue floral dress of crepe and a black hat. The bridegroom’s brother, Sgt. Victor Brooker, R.A., was best man.

A reception was held at the bride’s home. Before joining the A.T.S. she was a popular member of the staff of the Bryant Carton Manufacturing Company, where she had worked for seven years. Her late father was well known as a bus driver.


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

Sam Leney

Licensee of the Queen’s Head pub, Cricket Green, for 28 years.

Full name Samuel George Leney. His wife Winifred Anne Leney died in in 1958, aged 72.

Their son Samuel Robert Leney was a pilot in the RAF, and was killed in 1942:

Plt. Off. S. R. Leney, who was reported missing last March now presumed killed in action. His father is licensee of the Queen’s Head, Lower Green East, Mitcham.

Plt. Off. Leney was one of the airgunners of a Halifax which set out for action against the enemy and did not return. He was 23.

Source: Western Morning News – Thursday 11 February 1943 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required).

A profile of RAF pilot officer Sam Leney can be found on the website Archie – A pilot in RAF Bomber Command. He was remembered as the Surrey Clark Gable by his younger sister, as told in this 2012 interview in the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser.

See also the Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry.

Sydney Gaston

1937 mayor of Mitcham, full name Sydney Leonard Gaston.

Born 1882, died 18th March 1945. His wife, Constance Edith Gaston, died 22nd September, 1958, aged 74.

His son John Sydney Gaston, died 30th July 1943, aged 21. He was a pilot with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 102 Squadron. He is buried in Hamburg cemetery in Germany. Source: Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

In 1920 he was the first editor of the by the North Mitcham Improvement Association magazine The Sentinel. The May 1949 issue said about him that

He was a man of letters, a musician, an elecutionist and amateur actor, a gardener and a cook. His speciality as a cook was making cakes. He was a wise councillor and an orator. He became chairman of the U.D.C. and Mayor of the Borough, a County Councillor and Chairman of the Bench of Magistrates. No one went to 61 Melrose Avenue or, later 2 Garden Avenue for advice, on any subject under the sun, without being helped and impressed by his knowledge. Truly a guide, counsellor and friend.

To buy number 2 Garden Avenue, he borrowed £600 from the Mitcham Urban District Council in 1924 which provide loans under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act, 1899. R.M. Chart had valued the property at £810. Source: page 705, Volume IX, UDC Minutes, Finance and General Purposes Committee, 15th April, 1924.

Sydney Gaston became chairman of the Mitcham Magistrates in 1939 when Sir Isaac Wilson resigned from the position. Source : Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Friday 27 October 1939

SIR ISAAC WILSON RESIGNS CHAIRMANSHIP OF MITCHAM MAGISTRATES

Ald. Gaston The New Chairman

Sir Isaac H, Wilson, of The Birches, Mitcham Green, has retired from the position of chairman of the Mitcham magistrates, which he has held for several years.

The announcement was made by Alderman A. Mizen, the senior magistrate, at the opening of the Court in Mitcham Town Hall on Monday morning. The other magistrates present were Alderman S. L. Gaston, who has been chosen by his fellow magistrates to succeed Sir Isaac, Alderman J. Fitch, Mr. Harry Mount and Mrs. Ransom. Alderman Mizen said Sir Isaac resigned the chairmanship and also the deputy chairmanship at Croydon, at a meeting of the Bench on Friday. Alderman Gaston had been appointed to succeed him in both positions.

I congratulate my colleague on the honour that has come to him.” the alderman added. and we all feel sure that the business of the court will be conducted faithfully and well, as in the past, under his chairmanship.”

Mr. Ingle, Deputy Clerk, associated Mr. N. C. Gillett. the Clerk, and himself with what Alderman Mizen had said. While they regretted the loss of Sir Isaac Wilson they welcomed Alderman Gaston. Both had been members of the Bench for many years.

Mr. J. S. Stevens spoke similarly for the legal profession.

Alderman Gaston said they all regretted that Sir Isaac Wilson had found it necessary, through the passing of time, to give way to younger man. His shoes would be difficult to fill, but he (Alderman Gaston) would do his best.

Alderman Gaston then took the chair, Sir Isaac Wilson, who was not present, has not resigned his position as a magistrate. He is over seventy years of age.

Merton Memories Photos

1937
1938 crowning the May Queen
1938 presenting medal to fireman
1939 with wife


The Sentinel magazines by the North Mitcham Improvement Association are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.