Tag Archives: Harding

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.

Sources

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

Rumbold Farm

1867 OS map

Farm house and land off west side of Carshalton Road, on part of what is now the Willow Lane industrial estate. Also known as Rumbold’s Farm or Rumbold Castle, it dated back to the 17th century.

As reported in the London Evening Standard – Saturday 16 February 1861, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which had been established in 1852, used its Samaritan Fund to obtain for convalescing children

the renovating influence of sea and country air, and in a large measure the committee were indebted for the opportunity of doing this to the kindness of two friends of the charity, one of whom, at Brighton, undertakes the entire cost of the Home which she has established there, whilst Lady Harding receives the children at a moderate charge of Rumbold’s Farm, Mitcham, a home founded by and still under her management.

The archivists at Great Ormond Street Hospital said that from 1869, the Hospital for Sick Children had its own convalescent home at Cromwell house in Highgate, but prior to that, after opening in 1852, they used the Mitcham home run by Lady Harding and another private home in Brighton. From 1927-83 the hospital had a larger ‘Country Branch’ further out in Surrey at Tadworth Court, which continues to operate today as a charitable trust providing respite care services for children.

Morning Post – Monday 22 July 1861 via British Newspaper Archive

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 28 March 1885 – via British Newspaper Archive

Text of ad:

OLD RUMBOLD FARM, opposite Mitcham Junction Station. Mitcham Common.—For Sale, useful old Building Materials, 12,000 plain tiles, window sashes. six cucumber frames, large copper and furnace, large kitchener, 5-ft. wide, nearly new; also capital American cooking range. 4-ft. wide, nearly new, pump with lead pipe, taps attached, with apparatus for supplying bath or high service, quantity of firewood, &c.

Tom Francis took a photo of the farmhouse, which can be seen on Merton Memories.

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