Tag Archives: Holborn Union Workhouse

1908 : Crimean veteran’s funeral

Croydon’s Weekly Standard – Saturday 10 October 1908


The funeral took place at Mitcham of George Green, seventy-four, a Crimean veteran who fought at the Alma and Inkerman, and before Sebastopol. Green had been eight years in Holborn Union Workhouse at Mitcham. He was in receipt of a special compassionate pension from Chelsea Hospital, and when he had an opportunity of leaving he refused.

The old soldier was given a military funeral. The coffin was borne on a gun-carriage, and escorted by detachments of the Grenadiers, Scots, and Coldstream Guards. The rear was brought up by twelve veterans, inmates of the workhouse.

They lined up as his body left the grounds, six on each side, and each old man stood with his hand raised to the salute as the coffin passed.

Ludlow Brothers Ltd.

Birmingham based company that was listed in the 1930 and 1938 commercial directories as Ludlow Bros (1913) Ltd., galvanized holloware manufacturers, Western Road, telephone number MITcham 0848. Listed as Ludlow Bros. Ltd. in the 1954 telephone book.

Note that ‘Hollow-ware’ refers to buckets etc.

A credit note offered for sale on eBay, dated 1943, shows its address as 132 Western Road, which was part of the former Holborn Union workhouse at the corner of Bond Road. The site in 2019 is occupied by Asda.

credit note extract Ludlow Bros dated February 1943

According to Graces Guide to British Industrial History, the company was founded privately in 1868 and became public in 1913, hence that year in its name in the directories. At the time of the credit note, the ‘1913’ was typed over, suggesting that the company name had changed but stationery hadn’t yet been changed.

Holborn Military Hospital

The Holborn Union Workhouse was taken over as a Military Hospital in 1916:

From the Mitcham Advertiser, 4th August, 1916:


We understand that the War Office has taken over the Holborn Institution, Western Road, for the purpose of using it as a hospital for wounded soldiers. It is suggested that the present inmates will be transferred to the Workhouse at Belmont.

1893 OS map

From “Mitcham Histories No. 14 ‘Upper Mitcham and Western Road'” by E.N. Montague of the Merton Historical Society, page  94:

In 1919, after the last of the soldiers had left, a memorial tablet was set in the wall to the right of the main gate, and unveiled by Lady Worsfold of Hall Place. The inscription read “Holborn Military Hospital, Mitcham 1916-1919. To the glory of God and Sacred to the memory of those who gave Their lives in the Great War”, and listed the names of 22 men and one nursing sister who had died there. When what remained of the former workhouse reception building was being removed by demolition contractors in the late 1960s the memorial was salvaged by the writer, and taken into safekeeping by Merton Historical Society.

This memorial tablet is now in storage in the custody of Merton Local Studies Centre. The names that can be worked out from the photo on Merton Memories (see below) are:

Merton Memories Photos

Memorial stone
Entrance in Western Road

News Articles

From the Belfast Telegraph – Monday 09 September 1918, via the British Newspaper Archives, which requires a subscription.


At Marlborough Street Police Court, London, Sydney Moore (32), automobile engineer, giving an address at Manchester, was charged on remand with obtaining £150 from George Godfrey by false pretences. Godfrey, a private in a Reserve Garrison Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, at present an inmate of the Mitcham Military Hospital. It was stated that, seeing an advertisement in a daily paper headed “Urgent Work of National Importance,” he replied to it, and received an answer that if he ordered a tractor plough for land work this would be considered work of national importance, and his release from the Army could be obtained through the Ministry of National Service. He sent a cheque for £150 for a tractor, but had not received it or the return of his money, nor had he heard anything as to his being released.

The advertisement was issued by a firm in Regent Street. Evidence was given that the Ministry of National Service knew nothing of the firm and that the company’s paid-up capital was £2, its nominal capital being £5,000.
The accused was remanded.

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