Tag Archives: Mallaby-Deeley

Leonard Elphinston Brunel Homan

From the Norwood News – Friday 30 September 1938

Formerly a Keen Racing Man

Mr. Leonard Elphinstone Brunel Homan, a fellow director of Sir Abe Bailey in many South African mining companies, died on Wednesday at The Canons, Mitcham. Formerly a keen racing man, Mr. Homan was for many years judge of the Johannesburg Turf Club and raced in the Rand on an expensive scale.

He was a close friend of the late Sir Harry Mallaby Deeley, and a near neighbour.

He had taken little interest in Mitcham affairs, but at one time was associated with the old Mitcham Wanderers Athletic Club, of which he was president for a period. He was a fine figure of a man, standing over six feet. The funeral takes place to-day (Friday) at the Mitcham New Cemetery.

1945 : Memories of 40 years in signal boxes at Mitcham Junction

From the Mitcham Advertiser, Thursday 11th October, 1945, page 1.


Golden Wedding Memories of Old Mitcham

Fifty years on the Southern Railway, and forty of them spent in signal boxes at and about Mitcham Junction, is the record of Mr. Arthur G. Funnell, of 32a, Mitcham Garden Village.

Yesterday (Wednesday) he and Mrs. Funnell celebrated their golden wedding.
Mr. Funnell reminded “The Advertiser” reporter that he signalled Queen Victoria’s funeral train through Mitcham Junction on its way from Gosport to Victoria. He also signalled the only royal train that ever was on the branch Croydon-Whnbledon line. It had on board the late King Edward (then Prince of Wales) and no less a person than the Kaiser of Germany. They had been to a review of troops on Wimbledon Common and were on their way to the Crystal Palace. The late Mr. W. Martin was stationmaster at Old Mitcham at that time.

“There was a big crowd of people all along the embankment of Mitcham Common when Queen Victoria’s train went through.” Mr. Funnell said, “and not a few to see Kaiser Bill go by.”

Mr. Funnell served under seven stationmasters at Mitcham Junction. “We had plenty of celebrated people round us in those days.” he sold. “The golf course on the Common, then in its prime, attracted everybody who was anybody in London. Including five Prime Ministers, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald and Mr. Winston Churchill, who, however, came before he rose to that high rank. Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley was as good a player as any of them, and better than most. It was said.”

All sorts of queer things happened at Mitcham Junction, or thereabouts, during Mr. Funnell’s reign as signalman. A big barrel of red powder belonging to a local paint firm rolled off the platform one day in front or a non-stop train, which smashed it literally to dust. The engine, the driver and fireman, most of the passengers, a good length of the train and half the station were painted red and for half an hour a red mist hung about over a wide area, like a sunset reluctant to come to an end.

Mr. Funnell’s initiative led to the capture of several wrongdoers. From his lighthouse early one morning he saw several men being chased across the railway and the Common. He promptly telephoned the station staff, who bagged one.

On another occasion, going off night duty, he saw two sacks partly hidden near the station. He informed the police. Officers dressed as porters got into the brake van when the first train rolled into the Junction, and were not surprised to see two men soon follow them with the sacks. But the men were surprised when the “porters” grabbed them.

Mr. and Mrs. Funnell’s own home in Love Lane was broken into. They lived in it for forty years, till they were bombed out. The garden there was one of the sights of the village, for Mr. Funnell is a good gardener, with a passion for flowers. He has cultivated an allotment on the railway embankment at Mitcham Junction for over fifty years. The housebreaker in Love Lane was captured by Mr. Funnell himself, after a chase into Western Road. He happened to reach home as the intruder was leaving, with two watches and other articles.

“I began my railway life on the old London, Brighton and South Coast Railway,” Mr. Funnell said. He was born at Littlehampton and is now 74. Mrs. Funnell. who is 75, is a native of Mitcham. She was born in Church Road, and remembers the village when it was mainly a vast garden, glowing in the Summertime with all the colours of the rainbow.

Like all good Mitchamers, the whole family are interested in cricket. Mr. Funnell played regularly in the railway men’s team. His younger son, Bombardier George Funnell, is an excellent bat in the Mitcham first eleven. Mrs. Funnell still helps with the teas in the pavilion.

Lance-Corporal Arthur Ernest Funnell, of the Military Police, is their other son, and a married daughter lives at Worthing.

After being bombed from Love Lane, Mr. and Mrs. Funnell were bombed from the Garden Village for a time. The Garden Villagers were naturally among the first to congratulate them on their golden wedding day.

“We were married at Mitcham Parish Church by the late Canon Wilson.” said Mrs. Funnell.“ on the same day that Tom Richardson, the great fast bowler, was married at Beddington. In fact, we used the same carriage.”

Mr. Funnell retired from the railway eleven years ago. He looks back on his past at the Junction as the most colourful patch in his history. They were happy and pleasant days to him. When “The Advertiser” reporter left the house Mrs Funnell was making the golden wedding cake.

“Sometimes I still fancy I can hear old George Sawyer calling out the names of the stations.” said Mr. Funnell. George had a voice like Stentor himself. The late Sir Cato Worsfold declared that at The Hall Place, a mile away, he could hear George calling so plainly that every word was distinct.

Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley

From Wikipedia:

Sir Harry Deeley Mallaby-Deeley, 1st Baronet (27 October 1863, London – 4 February 1937, Cannes) was a British Conservative Party politician.

Harry Deeley was educated at Shrewsbury School and Trinity College, Cambridge. His brother was the theatrical producer Frank Curzon.

In 1913 he purchased the whole of the Duke of Bedford’s Covent Garden estate for £2m., having already been involved in the purchase of the Piccadilly Hotel and St. James’s Court, Buckingham Gate.

In 1922 he famously acquired control of the large estates of the cash-strapped Duke of Leinster during the latter’s lifetime. Fitzgerald had previously sold Mallaby-Deeley his reversionary rights to the estate for a notional consideration, not expecting, as a younger son, to inherit.

Deeley was elected Member of Parliament for Harrow in 1910 and for Willesden East in 1918, resigning in 1923. In 1922 he assumed the additional name of Mallaby, his mother’s maiden name, by deed poll and was created a baronet.

Although the wikipedia article cited stated he was founder and first president of the Prince’s Golf Club in Mitcham, it has been pointed out that this was not the case. The following has been provided to correct this error:

Prince’s Golf Club Mitcham was formed by members of the Prince’s Racquets and Tennis Club of Knightsbridge in 1891 with Robert Hippisley Cox the prime mover. The first President was Arthur Balfour M.P.

Mr Mallaby Deeley came rather later and in 1900 had risen to the position of chairman. The Prince’s Golf Club Company Limited was restructured, went into voluntary liquidation and the same day a new Prince’s Golf Club Company Limited was formed with Mallaby Deeley as controlling shareholder.

Source: information available at the National Archives

News Articles
From the British Newspaper Archive which require a subscription.

1937 Obituary

Sir H. Mallaby-Deeley

During the twelve years he sat in the House of Commons Sir Henry Mallaby-Deeley was content to be for the most part a silent member. He was a picturesque figure, and regular in his attendance, but his friends were always a little puzzled to understand why he cared to belong to an assembly in whose affairs he took little active part. His name came frequently before the public in connection with gigantic transactions in real property—among them the purchase of part of the Bedford estates, at a cost of about £2,000,000, and the Foundling Hospital site, most of which has since been re-acquired for preservation as a children’s playground. A much more surprising venture, and one having no relation with his other interests, was his opening of a shop in the Strand for the sale of men’s clothes at about half the prices then prevailing for readymade suits. As was to be expected in view of his lack of experience the enterprise was a commercial failure, and he admitted having lost about £60,000 during the two years it – was carried on. He claimed that the experiment was worth while for the sake of the stimulus it gave to others with a better knowledge of the trade to reduce their prices. Sir Henry was a keen golfer, and, among his many enterprises, he controlled the Prince’s course on Mitcham Common, now under municipal direction, as well as the Prince’s course at Sandwich.

Source: The Scotsman – Saturday 06 February 1937


Private Ceremony a Month Ago

It became known on Monday, says “The Times” that Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley, Bt., of Mitcham Court, Surrey, was married on December 9 to Miss Edith M. Shoebridge, his private secretary.

The arrangements were made so quietly that even the household staff at Mitcham Court were not aware that on the day when Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley left for the Continent Miss Shoebridge was going with him as his bride. The marriage took place by special privilege in the Bishop of Southwark’s private chapel at Bishop’s House. Kennington, the Bishop officiating.

Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley made the acquaintance of Miss Shoebridge a little more than a year ago. She had been private secretary to Lord Derby. Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley was first married in 1890 to Miss Joan Parson-Smith, who died In 1933. and has one son. He is well remembered In Chester as a son of a once prominent citizen, the late Wm. C. Deeley, a director of the Dee Oil Company. Saltnev. and a onetime chairman of the Chester Liberal party.

Source: Cheshire Observer – Saturday 11 January 1936



Lady Mallaby-Deeley, wife Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley. Bart., the financier and former Conservative M.P. lor Harrow and East Willesden, has died at Sir Harry’s Surrey home, Mitcham Court. She had been ill for only a week with bronchial pneumonia. Lady Mallaby-Deeley, who was formerly Miss Joan Parson-Smith and a member of a well-known Shrewsbury family, was married to Sir Harry 43 years ago. There are four children, two sons and two daughters.

Source: Gloucester Citizen – Wednesday 20 December 1933

SIR HARRY MALLABY-DEELEY Bart., of Mitcham Court, opposite Mitcham Cricket Green, and a Mitcham Conservator, is credited with one of the most important property purchases in London of recent years. Sir Harry has bought the whole of the interests of the Foundling Estates, Ltd., in the Foundling Hospital estate in Bloomsbury. The estate consists of 34 acres, exclusive of streets and squares, and the total price is stated to be in the neighbourhood of £1,750,000.

Sir Harry and Lady Mallaby-Deeley left for the south of France on Saturday. For more than 25 years Sir Harry has been one of the most striking figures in London finance.

In 1924, Sir Harry handed over to the public Prince’s Golf Club, Mitcham. He has given large amounts to charity, notably £15,000 to the London Hospital. He was Unionist Member for Harrow, 1910-18, and for East Willesden, 1918-22: He was made a baronet in 1922. One of his most famous deals was with the Bedford estate in the Strand a number of years ago now.

Source : Mitcham News and Mercury, 14th April 1933




The campaign in the Harrow Division of Middlsex was followed with considerable interest by Mitcham because the fact that the Conservative candidate was Mr. H. Mallaby-Deeley, ot Mitcham Court. opponent was Mr. Percy Harris, a well known London Liberal, and the fight was a very keen one. Polling took place on Monday, and the result was declared about two o’clock on Tuesday as follows :

Mallaby-Deeley (C.) ...,. 16,761 
Harris (L.) ............. 13,575 

Conservative majority ... 3,186

This was a Conservative gain, the turnover of votes amounting to less than 3,602. The new member is a director of the Norwich Union Life Insurance Society, a governor of the Whitgift Foundation, Croydon, and Chairman of the Mitcham Common Conservators, and one of the principals of Princes Golf Club.

Though there are more popular men at Mitcham than Mr. Mallaby-Deeley, there are none more striking in their personality or more keen in a business capacity. It is not expected that his Parliamentary duties will interfere to any great extent with his work Chairman of the Board of Conservators.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 29 January 1910

From the Surrey Coats of Arms:

MALLABY-DEELEY Sir Harry Mallaby Mallaby-Deeley, 1st Bart., JP, MA, LL.M (Cantab), of Mitcham Court, (1863-1937), was
created Baronet 1922. The title expired on the death, 1962, of his grandson Sir Anthony Meyrick Mallaby-Deeley, 3rd Bart., of Slater’s Oak,
Arms: Quarterly, 1 and 4, Sable a chevron engrailed Ermine between in chief two fleurs-de-lys and in base a crescent Or (Deeley);
2 and 3, Or a bunch of nettles Proper and a chief Sable (Mallaby).
Crests: 1, A sinister cubit arm in armour gauntleted holding in the hand a dagger point downwards Proper pommel and hilt Or
between two spurs Gold (Deeley); 2, Issuant from clouds Proper a demi Pegasus Argent winged and charged on the shoulder with a fleur-de-lys Azure.
Motto: Quod Deus vult. (BP99)

Motto means What God Wills.

From Debretts Peerage of 1923:

M.P., 1st Baronet, second son of the late W. Clarke Deeley, of Curzon Park, Chester, by Elizabeth, da. of Joseph Mallaby, of Loxley Hall, Staffordshire ; b. Oct. 27th, 1863; ed. at Shrewsbury Sch., and at Trin. Coll., Camb. (B.A. Honours in Law and LL.B. 1885, M.A. and LL. M. 1888); is Lord of the Manors of Ravensbury, Biggin and Tamworth, a Member of the Inner Temple, a J.P. for Surrey, a Director of Norwich Union Life Insurance So., a Gov. of Roy. Agricultural So. of England, a Member of Committee of Roy. Orphan Asylum, Chm. of Board of Conservators of Mitcham Common, and patron of five livings; sat as M.P. for Harrow Div. of Middlesex (Co.C) Jan. 1910 to Nov. 1918; elected for E. Div. of Willesden Dec. 1918 and Nov. (C) 1922; assumed by deed poll (enrolled in College of Arms) 1922, the additional surname of Mallaby: m. 1890, Joan, third da. of J. Parson-Smith, J-P-, of Abbotsmead, near Shrewsbury, and has issue.

Seats — Mitcham Court, Surrey; Elgars, Bexhill, Sussex.
Clubs – Carlton, Wellington, Surrey; Magistrates’; United Empire; Royal Automobile.

SON living — GUY MEYRICK MALLABY, b. May 23rd, 1897 ; ed. at Trin. Coll, Camb,, and at R.M.C.; Lieut. 5th Dragoon Guards : m. 1920, Marjorie Constance Lucy, only da. of James E. Peat, of Cranmers, Mitcham, Surrey.