Tag Archives: Fountain Road

Corporal William Henry Harding, D.C.M.

William Henry Harding was born on 5th November 1892 and was baptised on the 1st January 1893, at the Mitcham parish church in Church Road. His parents were William Henry and Phoebe Harding, living in Fountain Road.

The 1901 census shows their address as 43 Fountain Road, and the occupants were:

William H Harding, Head, aged 33, born 1868, flower seller
Pheoby Harding, Wife, aged 27, born 1874, flower seller
William H Harding, Son, aged 8, born 1893
Leonard Harding, Son, aged 9, born 1892

He joined the Army on 22nd October 1908, becoming a private in the 1st East Surreys, 3rd Battalion (Special Reserve). His service number was L/9806. He had said he was 18 years old, but was nearer 16. The Surrey Recruitment Registers show that physically he was 5 ft 3 and three-quarter inches tall, weighed 9 stone, and had grey eyes and brown hair.

He was stationed in Dublin, Ireland, when WW1 started.

Corporal W.H. Harding was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his outstanding bravery. He went into noman’s land and rescued his officer, 2nd Lt. Wilfrid Allen Davis. Cpl W.H. Harding was wounded but although he got him back, Lt. Davis subsequently died.

The entry in the London Gazette reads:

For conspicuous gallantry on “Hill 60,” when he beat off the enemy’s assault by throwing hand grenades, freely exposing himself though the trench was being heavily bombed.

Lt-Gen Sir John Roberts presented the medals.

Cpl W.H. Harding was also awarded the British War Medal, 1914 Star and Victory Medal.

He was discharged 22nd August 1917.

He died in 1954, aged 61.


Ancestry.com. Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1912
Ancestry.com. British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
Surrey Recruitment Registers 1908-1933
London Gazette, Publication date: 29 June 1915 Supplement:29212 Page:6379

1962 Slum Clearance Scheme

from the Mitcham News & Mercury, 25th May, 1962, page 1:

Mitcham’s ambitious slum clearance scheme


It may start next year, say council

Hundreds of Mitcham people are likely to have to leave their homes soon when Mitcham Council go ahead with a large scale slum clearance scheme.

About 140 dwellings, scattered in many parts of the town, are included in the scheme, which will possibly get under way early next year.

Split into five groups the dwellings included in the scheme are in Phipps Bridge Road, Blue House Cottages, Fountain Place, Prussia Place, Nursery Road, Gladstone Road, Sibthorp Road, Fountain Road and Western Road.


Compulsory purchase of many of the properties is inevitable. Thousands of pounds will be involved in the acquisition.

Some of the dwellings, however, are at present vacant.

The Borough Engineer, Mr J.W. Turner, has advised the council’s housing committee to split the slum clearance scheme into two phases.

He thinks that the Gladstone Road, Sibthorp Road, Fountain Road and Western Road areas – forming part of an area which should, he feels, be considered with the council’s redevelopment of the Town Centre – should be deferred until further progress has been made on the the town centre proposals.

If the housing committee do leave these areas it would mean that only 54 dwellings would be immediately affected.


It is not possible to say yet the date the scheme will start. Various legal channels have to be gone through and there is also a possibility that many local residents, affected by the scheme, will object to the Minister of Housing and Local Government. This may mean a series of local inquiries.

The sites in Fountain Place, Prussia Place and Nursery Road are the only ones included in the scheme which will be re-developed for residential use.

The other sites will be used for roads, redevelopment of the town centre and one for a school site.

Fountain Road

Road that was demolished in mid 1970s to make way for the ‘Quadrant’ housing estate, Sadlers Close. It was off the Western Road and connected to the end of Sibthorp Road. At the corner of Fountain Road and Western Road was the Fountain pub.

Houses were numbered odd on the left side of the road, as seen from the Western Road end, and even on the right.

1953 OS map

clip from 1962 photo on Merton Memories, copyright London Borough of Merton. On the left is the Fountain pub on the corner with Western Road.

The road included Trotts Yard.

1910 OS Map

1910 OS Map

Occupants from street directories


From Merton Lane to Sibthorpe Road


Walter Lancaster, contractor
Mrs. C. Howe, wood dealer


Chas. Stevens, wardrobe dealer
Mrs. E. Ballard, shopkeeper


From Western Road to Sibthorp Road


23, Mrs. Mary Prestridge, shopkeeper


14, Mrs. A. Ellis, shopkeeper
36, James Elliott, marine store keeper
52, Mrs. Eliza Ballard, shopkeeper


from Western Road to Sibthorpe Road


9, Walter SMITH
11, John HOLMES
13, Walter HILLS
15, Harry COLE
17, Alfred LAVENDER
23, John BAXALL
25, William ELMER
27, James S BATES
29, Arthur WILDE
31, Mrs MOORE
33, William BAXALL
35, George Thomas YEATES
37, Mrs Anna SMITH
39, Alfred LAY
41, Frank CHAMBERS
43, George RUSSELL
45, William SALLIS
47, Mrs LAY
53, Henry BLAKE
55, William BUTCHER


52, E. BALLARD, grocer
50, Mrs RONALD
48, Bert BALLARD
46, Robert William BALL
44, Harry GARDNER
42, Joseph GARDNER
38, Edward GROOM
36, James ELLIOTT, marine store dealer
30, George Frederick SHEPHERD
28, William George SALLIS
26, Charles F. HUTTON
24, Henry FISHER
22, Mrs HILLS
20, William WILKES
18, George ELLIOTT
14, Frederick MILES
12, Frank BROWN
12, James ELLIOTT
10, Josiah SMITH
8, Alfred FLETCHER
2, Mrs KING

World War 1 Connections

Private Charles BONE
Driver William Thomas CHALLIS
Private David James ELLIOTT
Private John GARDNER
Lance Corporal Isaiah LEMON

Street party in Fountain Road for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953. Photo kindly provided by Jason via the Mitcham History Facebook Group

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

1888 Death of Mrs Weedon


Sudden Death.—

Wednesday morning Mary Weedon, aged 61, wife of William Weedon, a labourer, of 19, Fountain-road, was found dead in bed. The deceased, it is understood, had been suffering lately from bronchitis, but appeared no worse than usual on Tuesday night. The husband, who is very old man and imbecile, sat downstairs in his armchair all night and could give no explanation of the matter.

On Mrs. Murphy, who lives in the same house, taking the deceased up cup of tea at about 7.30 she found her apparently dead. She at once fetched Dr. Love, who found life extinct, and ordered the body removed to the mortuary, there to await an inquest.

The poor old man was found to be in a terribly dirty and neglected condition, and was removed to the Croydon Infirmary.

Weedon is one of the oldest inhabitants of Mitcham, and was was one of the old men who a few years ago were taken day after day to London to attend at the High Court as witnesses in the protracted law suit respecting common rights at Beddington Corner.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 27 October 1888 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1902 Inspector Rabbett’s Report to the Parochial Committee

From the minutes of the Croydon Rural District Council
Volume 8
1902 to 1903
Mitcham Parochial
29th April 1902
pages 66 and 67


—Inspector Rabbets reported that since the last meeting, he had paid 250 visits to premises of which, 27 were primary inspections. Four visits had been made to slaughterhouses, three to dairies and cow-sheds, and four to piggeries.

Nuisances had been abated at 1 to 4, Rosemary Cottages ; ” Nursery Cottage,” and No. 6, Nursery Road ; 17, Fountain Road ; Blume’s Factory ; 6 and 7, Manor Villas ; 3, 4, and 7, Upper Green ; and 1 to 8, Bridge Road.

The drains of 14 houses had been primarily tested, and 12 tests had been applied to drains in course of re-construction. Two patients had been removed to hospital, and two houses had been disinfected.

The nuisance arising from all accumulation of filth and stagnant water at Orchard Pit, Westfields, was being abated, and the wooden pigsty would become disused as soon as the concrete one, now being constructed, was completed.

Trotts Yard

Adjoining no. 10 Fountain Road, as referred to in these council minutes

From the minutes of the
Housing Committee
7th January 1969


– Acquisition of houses and land

— The Town Clerk submitted the District Valuer’s report on the terms negotiated for the acquisition of the following houses and land included in the Borough of Mitcham (Fountain Road Area Clearance Areas Nos. 1-9) Compulsory Purchase Order, 1963:

No. 12, Fountain Road;
Nos. 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 and 40, Western Road:
Trotts Yard adjoining No. 10, Fountain Road.

Recommended — That, subject to the Finance Committee making the necessary financial provision, the terms provisionally agreed by the District Valuer be approved and that the houses and land in question be acquired in accordance therewith.

Source: Minutes of Proceedings of the Council and committees, London Borough of Merton, Volume 5 1968-69, page 1199

Minutes of meetings held by the London Borough of Merton are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.