Tag Archives: Albert Road

1921 suicide in Langdale Avenue explained

9th June 1921 from Pall Mall Gazette

DEAD BODY IN FOOTWAY TRAGIC DISCOVERY AT MITCHAM.

The dead body well-dressed man, with a revolver by his side, was discovered early to-day in the footway of Langdale-avenue, Mitcham. The revolver was a large six-chambered one, with four full cartridges and two spent ones. The dead man has since been recognised as a former resident of Albert-road, Mitcham. Revolver shots were heard late last night, but no notice was taken of them the time.

Source: Pall Mall Gazette – Thursday 09 June 1921 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

This death was then explained at the inquest, when the suicide note of the dead man was read out:

EXPLANATORY LETTER POLICE.

Suicide’s Precaution “To Save Mystery.”

“My Brain Is Gone.”

A long letter addressed to the police was read at the inquest on the man named Hunt who was found shot the street Mitcham. In this he said –

To save any mystery, I am Percy John Hunt, late of Lynn Road, Balham.

If you make inquiries at Langdale Avenue, Mitcham, or Lynn Road, Balham, you may find out the whereabouts of my wife.

She deserted me last year after thirty years of married life, and is now touring, I believe, with the eldest daughter on the music-hall stage. Since my wife left me I have felt fit for nothing. She seemed to obsess the whole of being, and, try as I would, I could not shake it off. Only by drinking in the day time have I been able to carry on. My nights have been hell. I am doing this now to save something else, as wife may tell you.

Mrs Hunt said she certainly believed that his idea was “to do me as well as himself.”

She last saw her husband on January 19, but had written often since. A recent letter to their daughter asked for money, and she sent £4.

In reply to the Coroner (Mr Nightingale), Mrs. Hunt said her husband must have reached the end of his resources. He had sold up the home and lived on the proceeds. He had been drinking terribly. She had had a fearful life the last few years.

She was living in Lynn Road, Balham, and her husband’s address was Elmhurst Mansions, Clapham.

They lived formerly in Albert Road. Mitcham, within view of the spot where the body was found.

From a farewell letter addressed to the wife the Coroner quoted the following sentences :— It has taken something bring me to this — a strong, healthy man of 50. My brain has gone. l am no good.

A verdict of “Suicide while of unsound mind” was returned.

Source: Dundee Evening Telegraph – Monday 13 June 1921 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Elmwood Road

Road off east side of London Road, next to the telephone exchange. It leads to Langdale Avenue.

Named after Elmwood, an 18th century house, as shown in this 1894 map:

1894 OS map

1894 OS map

Montague, in his Mitcham Histories : 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane, page 107, said that Elmwood was demolished in 1905. The Parade of shops was then built in London Road.

Elmwood Road is presumed to have been built some time after this.

From the minutes of the Croydon Rural District council, Volume XII 1906 to 1907
Highways and New Streets and Buildings, Page 33, application no. 3869 by W.F. Bubb was approved for a house and stable in Elmwood Road

Initially there were 3 villas built on the north side of the road, named
Glenholme, Great Tey and St. Agnes. The occupants from the 1918 census were:

Glenholme
Mary Ann RICHMAN
Robert RICHMAN

Great Tey

Emily BUBB
Selina Louise BUBB

St. Agnes

Agnes Clarissa HALE
Arthur George SIMMONS
Lillie Ann SIMMONS

1910 OS map

1910 OS map

This 1953 map names Glenholme and there are houses numbered even, 8, 6, 4 and 2. Great Tey could be number 8, with St Agnes number 6. The semi-detached houses are 4 and 2.

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

Glenholme and Great Tey have since been demolished.


Google Streetview from 2009.


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


Minutes of meetings held by the Croydon Rural District Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.