Tag Archives: Gardeners Arms

Sapper Harold H. Taylor

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 29th September, 1944

Sapper Killed in France

Mitcham Newsagent for Fourteen Years

Sapper Harold H. Taylor (aged 41), of the Royal Engineers, who for fourteen years was a newsagent in London-road, Mitcham, was killed in action in France on September 10. His wife, who is living in Graham-road, received a letter from her husband written two days before his death.

Sapper Tayor joined the Army two years ago, and went to France about ten days after D-Day. He brought his family from Woodford to Mitcham fourteen years ago. There are four children.

His will gives his residence as 103 London Road, presumably above the newsagents shop.

Harold Henry TAYLOR of 103 London-road Mitcham Surrey died 10 September 1944 on war service. Administration Llandudno 30 January to Violet Grace May Taylor widow. Effects £173 16s. 9d.

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

The 1939 Register shows four occupants at this address:
Harold H. Taylor, born 4th April 1903, newsagent shop keeper
Violet G.M. Taylor, born 29th May, 1903, housewife (surname changed to Spall 13th September 1948)
Violet G. Taylor, born 3rd April 1927, at school
Henry P. Taylor, born 8th April 1937, under school age

1953 OS map

1973 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library

This clip from 1973 shows the newsagents at 103 on the left, the bicycle shop is no. 105, and the pub on the right, the Gardeners Arms, is no. 107.

It was a newsagent until possibly the 1980s. In 2019 the building still exists, but is part of the solicitors Pruveneers LLP, at 103-105 London Road.

From the Commonwealth War Grave Commission

Sapper
TAYLOR, HAROLD HENRY

Service Number 14243886

Died 10/09/1944

Aged 41

Royal Engineers

Son of Henry Thomas Taylor and Mary Jane Taylor; husband of Violet Grace May Taylor, of Forest Gate, Essex.


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

Gardeners Arms Pub Sign

The Gardeners Arms pub, 107 London Road, Mitcham, had a heraldic style sign hanging from a post in the centre of the wall on the upper floor. In November 2017, the sign couldn’t be found by the new landlord.

There are three photographs on Merton Memories, and none show a sign attached, for example, this one from 1989:

Clip from Merton Memories photo Mit_21_11-2 copyright London Borough of Merton.

This undated black an white photo shows flower baskets hanging from the wall:

Clip from Merton Memories photo Mit_21_11-1 copyright London Borough of Merton.

The late Eric Montague, of the Merton Historical Society, took a slide of 109 & 111 London Road in 1966, and this included the pub, which has no sign.

A 1973 photo on the Collage collection also doesn’t show the sign:

1973

The only photograph found so far showing the sign is from Google Street View, from 2008:-

The sign is blurred when zooming in, but what can be seen is shield with a blue background, a white chevron with two objects above and three or more below. The shield has two supporters, one of which may be a gardener. The Surrey Coats of Arms, online at the Surrey History centre website, have been searched for Mitcham arms, and none of these have a field of blue with a white chevron.

Street View of 2012 shows no sign:

2012