Tag Archives: 1943

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