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.

Langdale Avenue

A cul-de-sac road, off of London Road north of the telephone exchange, with its southern, closed end at the Cold Blows footpath.

Houses are numbered from the London Road end, odd on the left (1 to 95) and even on the right (2 to 84). In 2019, a Royal Mail postcode lookup shows 87 addresses, and 4 postcodes, CR4 4AE/F/G/J. Some houses have been converted into flats.

The name comes from the Langdale family who owned Elmwood (previously called The Firs), an 18th century house, sold in 1822. Albert Road, Elmwood Road, Langdale Avenue and Whitford Gardens are all built on the site of the Elmwwod estate. The family were related to Marmaduke Langdale, who fought on the Royalist side in the English Civil War.

In this 1910 OS map, the terraces have houses numbered odd from 1 to 11, then after a narrow alleyway 13 to 19, and are the only houses shown on this side of the road.

1910 OS map

The 1911 street directory shows the occupants:

1, Frederick Arthur LOOSLEY
3, Edward James WILLIS
5, Alfred Albert Henry COOPER
7, Raymond REED
9, Rev. Wallace PERRY, B.A.
11, Mrs ACOCKS
15, John William MOORE
17, James HARDING
19, Frederick HAZELL

Next is a pair of semi-detached houses numbered 21 and 23. Then is a terrace of four houses, numbered 25 to 33, after which is a public footpath leading to Commonside West.

Land at the rear of Newton House was developed as a pair of semi-detached houses as numbers 49 and 51, according to planning permission MIT1986, which was granted retrospectively on 27th March 1953.

Next are two more pairs of semi-detached houses, numbered 53 and 55, 57 and 59. After this are terraces, divided by small alleyways: 63 to 67, 69 to 75, 77 to 81, 83 to 95 which is at the end of the road next to the Cold Blows path.

Number 93 on the left has the builder initials H.H. in the gable, and number 95 has the year 1907.


On the right hand side, from the London Road end, is an alleyway that still has cobblestones on the footpath at its entrance. Then there is a terrace, numbered 2 to 12, and in 1911 the occupants were:

2, Frederick James CHARMAN
4, George D.N. FORD
6, Thomas HARRIS
8, Miss CLAYTON
10, John William COULSON
12, John Hunter RIGDEN

(Number 6 was also called Iveldene in the 1935 Mitcham Cricket Club yearbook.)

The 1910 OS map showed a gap between these houses and Elmwood Road, after which is a terrace that curves right with the road. The houses are currently numbered 22 to 34, but originally they had names as shown in the 1911 directory:

The Lees, Walter HOGG
St Brelades, Walter ATTWOOD
Woodlands, John McLennon JONES
Moss Dale, Louis BRIGDEN
St. Leonards, Henry MOYCE
Chamonix, William Arthur GREGORY
Glenroy, Walter Edgar WARNER

There are no more houses shown on this side of the road on the 1910 map.

From a postcard dated 1916. Houses currently numbered, from right to left, 22 to 34, with the junction with Elmwood Road out of shot on the right. These houses had names at the time of this photo.

1953 OS map

Next is a terrace of six houses numbered 38 to 48. The 1937 electoral register 38 as occupied by John Kentish and Alice Mary HARVEY, with John Kentish junior and Lawrence Reginald Harvey. J.K. Harvey had the chemists at the Fair Green up to 1966.

Then there is a terrace of ten houses from 50 to 68, followed by a pair of semi-detached houses numbered 70 and 72, then a terrace of six houses numbered 74 to 84, which is the end of the road at the Cold Blows footpath.


From the minutes of the Croydon Rural District Council
Volume IX 1903 – 1904
7th May 1903
page 72

No. 2506, Harding, J., 12 houses, Langdale Avenue, Mitcham

From the minutes of the Mitcham Urban District Council
Highways, New Streets and Buildings, and Lighting Committee
Tuesday, 8th June, 1926
Page 120

Plans submitted for approval

No. 808
Applicant: Mr. Isaac Wilson, The Hut, Commonside East
Nature and Situation:

Amended layout for five houses, Langdale Avenue (for subsidy)


World War 1 Connections
Private W Bassett

Private V W Jones

News Articles

1921 suicide in Langdale Avenue explained

Lamp Explodes

A gas street lamp in Langdale Avenue, Mitcham, exploded on Thursday last week – startling people in nearby homes. A jet of flame flared from a broken pipe until Gas Board engineers arrived. Firemen stood by.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 5th June, 1959, page 1.


Occupants in 1925

2, Miss E. ELLIOTT (school)
3, Ernest Edward JONES
5, Alfred Albert Henry COOPER
7, Hugh CLAYSON
9, Donald HADFIELD
11, Mrs DODD
13, Henry George RUSSELL
15, William James BIGSBY
17, William ANSTEY
19, William Bernard FARADAY
21, Charles Henry PARSLOW
23, Albert George WELLS
The Bungalow, Raymond Edgar REID

4, Edwin George CARD
6, Frederick G. CULMER
8, Misses A.R. & C.C. CLAYTON
10, Thomas FRANCIS
12 Charles E. JENNER
… here is Elmwood Road
The Lees, M. ALLSOP
St. Brelades, Walter Charles BATCHELOR
Woodland, Samuel MICHIE
Moss Dale, Robert WALLS
32, Frederick Richard CANN
34, James Alexander CORMACK
36, John Kentish HARVEY
38, Bodwin SELIER
40, Mrs MILLER
42, Mrs L.E. BEACON
44, John Stuart CAPBELL
46, Alfred John KNIGHT
48, Philip HARDING
50, Mrs COOPER


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


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