Tag Archives: Military Service Tribunals

Walter Mays Ltd.

The Abbey Cork Mills of Walter Mays Ltd was built on the site of William De Morgan’s pottery, Colliers Wood, in around 1890.

1950 OS map

Walter Carden-Mays born December 1865 in Camberwell. He married in 1888 and died on 21st January 1941 in Surrey. The ‘Carden’ part of the family name was dropped at some point, and his company was known as Walter Mays Ltd.

Listed in the 1925 street directory as Walter Mays Ltd. (Abbey Cork Works), 150 & 152 Byegrove Road.

1924 aerial photo. The site for Colliers wood underground station can be seen bottom right. The cork factory is on the left of the High Street.

1934 OS map rotated to show same view as aerial photo above


Ad from Flight Magazine of 1938 :

and directory listing from same:

WALTER MAYS, LTD., Abbey Cork Mills, London, S.W.19 (Liberty 3764).—” Everything in cork “; carburettor and oil indicator floats, gauge glass washers, gland packings, strut sealing corks, anti-vibration mats, composition cork jointing to D.T.D.219A, laminated and plain.

In an entry on Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History from 1939 about suppliers to the aircraft industry, cork joints to specification DTD 219A were widely used for petrol tank gaskets and packings.


The Stone Cottage of the Surrey Iron Railway stood on the Walter Mays Ltd site for over 150 years.


Mitcham Military Service Tribunals

As reported by the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 16th June 1916, an employer of a cork business in Colliers Wood, appealed for his son. Although not named, it is likely that the company was Walter Mays Ltd.

Exemption was asked for a skilled mechanic, by the owner of a cork manufacturing business in Colliers Wood. The employer said the man was very valuable in his present employment and he will be practically impossible to replace. A large proportion of their manufacturers were for government uses. He employed about 17 men of whom are only three were eligible. He pleaded that his son was capable of doing almost anything in the business and his departure might cause the closing down of the business.

Three months exemption.

In the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 2nd November 1917, the company and employee are named in an appeal.

Mr Walter Mays, cork manufacturer, of the Abbey Cork Works, High Street, Colliers Wood, asked for a exemption for Mr T.W.S. Cavey, age 41, B1, motor driver and mechanic, residing at Birdhurst Road, Colliers Wood.

Applicant: An exemption for so long as the man remained in his employment. He was engaged in delivering all Mr Mays’s important Government contract work. The average mileage was 250 miles a week.

Counc. Baker : I suppose it is all Government work that Mr Mays does?

Applicant: Oh, yes, it is most important.

The appeal was disallowed.

In the 1919 electoral register a Thomas William Sherrin CAVEY was living with his wife Florence Louisa in 28 Birdhurst Road. He died in 1950 as stated on the Find-A-Grave website, which also says he was a Music Hall performer known as Stirling Fred.


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

Jersey Road

Road east of Ipswich Road and south of Seeley Road.

1933 OS map

1933 OS map

Occupants listed in the 1915 street directory:

From Links Road to Seeley Road
4, Alfred George NORRIS
6, Frank Ewart MASSEY
12, Victor PENNECARD

World War 1 Connections

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

F H NICHOLLS of 16 Jersey Road, aged 28 Years 9 Months, Compositor. Conscripted on 4 February 1917 to the 110th Training Reserve Batn.

From the Military Service Tribunals:

Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 14th December, 1917
Mitcham Tribunal

Mr W. Chilcott, age 29 (C2), a paper traveller, of Jersey-road, Tooting Junction, said he had one child, and a happy event was expected shortly in the family. There was no one to look after the wife if he joined up. Applicant said he had left his late employers, and was now a lathe operator. He held an exemption certificate, made by his employers. He said he was passed for labour at home, and was willing to do that work if needed. He had been rejected previously. Applicant said he had noticed that some Tribunals had given men conditional exemption if they did work of national importance.

Three months’ exemption.



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

The Cottage Laundry

Laundry on Streatham Road, north of corner with Graham Avenue.

1911 OS Map

1911 OS Map

Listed in the 1911 commercial directory as:

S. L. Munday & Son, laundry, The Cottage laundry, Streatham road, Upper Mitcham

The size of the business can be seen when Mrs S.L. Munday goes to the Mitcham Military Service Tribunal as reported on 22nd February, 1918

Mrs. S. L. Munday, a widow, carrying on a laundry business, asked for exemption of her son, her manager. Owing to her age, it was impossible for her to carry on. She employed one hundred women, and had between three and four hundred customers. Her son’s health was not good. She had released eight men for military service, and had only appealed for this one. He was passed C8.

The Chairman: The position is exactly the same as last ?
—Yes.

Conditional exemption was granted.

The 1915 electoral register lists Selina Louisa MUNDAY living at Russelton, Graham Avenue.

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

Fernlea Road

Road at south eastern end of Graham Avenue and Graham Road, connecting to Sandy Lane. Twelve houses at the southern end of the road were called Colwin and Leighton Cottages.

1952 OS Map

1952 OS Map

possibly 1927

World War 1 Connections

Private Harold Edgar Carter

Private George Francis Drewett

Lance Corporal Percy Herbert Sellers

Able Seaman Clarence John Wharton

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

H E BATEMAN of 83 Fernlea Road, aged 18 Years 1 Months, Coalboy. Conscripted on 11 January 1917 to the 22nd Training Reserve Batn.

Harold G CARTER of 3 Fernlea Road. Conscripted on 25 February 1918 to the Royal Fusiliers (53rd Ysb).

A S EDWARDS of 79 Fernlea Road, aged 18 Years, Baker. Conscripted on 8 November 1916 to the Norfolk Regiment (2/6th Batn).

A W ELLIS of Llanberris Fernlea Road, aged 26 Years 11 Months, Printer. Conscripted on 12 December 1916 to the Royal Sussex Regiment (1/6th Batn).

C E HOAD of Snowdon Cott Fernlea Road, aged 17 Years 11 Months, Labourer. Conscripted on 2 April 1917 to the 30th Training Reserve Batn.

W H KIRKHAM of 35 Fernlea Road, aged 21 Years 9 Months, Barman. Volunteered on 8 June 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment.

J MORLEY of 57 Fernlea Road, aged 21 Years 2 Months, Labourer. Volunteered on 6 December 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (3rd Batn).

H C PETLEY of 83 Fernlea Road, aged 39 Years, Etcher. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Middlesex Regiment (25th Batn).

A TOURLE of 27 Fernlea Road, aged 25 Years 8 Months, Confectioner. Conscripted on 14 January 1916 to the 5th Labour Corps (301st Labour Co).

A E TRUCKELL of 47 Fernlea Rd, aged 30 Years, Grinder. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 12 December 1915 to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

H TURNER of 67 Fernlea Road, aged 17 Years 11 Months, Engineer. Conscripted on 28 October 1916 to the 21st Training Reserve Batn.

G WEBB of 17 Fernlea Road, aged 20 Years 2 Months, Machinist. Volunteered on 9 November 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (11th Batn).

C F WELLER of 39 Fernlea Road, aged 18 Years, Sawyer. Conscripted on 21 June 1916 to the Royal Sussex Regiment (3rd Batn).


From the Military Service Tribunals:

Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 30th November, 1917
Mitcham Tribunal

Mr A.W.C. Carter aged 41, married, Fernlea-road, Mitcham, a master builder, appealed on financial and business grounds. His staff consists of his young son, two discharged men and one man over 50 years of age. He was classified C1 and was a special constable. He has had total exemption so long as he resumed his present employment. He had seven children and a delicate wife. A certificate from the inspector of the Mitcham specials, stating that the applicant was very efficient in the discharge of his duties. Applicant said he did a great deal of sanitary work.

The Chairman : I suppose the position is as before? – Yes, sir.

Ald. Chart : About how many houses have you to attend to? – About a thousand, sir.

Three months’ exemption.


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

Garden Avenue

Road off eastern side of Streatham Road. South of Melrose Avenue and north of Elmhurst Avenue.

The road was marked out on this 1913 map, but no houses had been built yet. Planning application number 6310 in June 1913 by F.R. GOODALL was for 8 houses, and application number 6318 by A.C. BALLARD was also for 8 houses.

The 1915 street directory lists houses on side as numbered even from 2 to 80, and on the other side, odd numbers from 1 to 65.

undated postcard of Garden Avenue

1913 OS map

1913 OS map

1934 OS map

1934 OS map

World War 1 Connections
Private R E Chappell

Private G C Cobbold

Private Christopher Douglas Elphick

Rifleman Maurice Henry Gower

Lance Corporal Victor Lunn

Private George Joseph Senyard

Air Mechanic 1st Class Leslie Charles De Courcy Thompson

Private Eric Williams

From the Military Service Tribunals:

Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 22nd February, 1918
Mitcham Tribunal

Mr H.A. Mawe, age 36, C3, married, order clerk, of Garden-avenue, Mitcham, said he was in a delicate state of health. If taken from civil life he would be compelled to go into hospital. He had already been discharged from the Army.

Six months’ exemption.

S.L. Gaston, U.D.C. chairman and Mitcham Borough Mayor in 1938, lived at number 2.


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

Bond Road

Road running west from Western Road to London Road, south of the Swan.

The row of houses on the south side of Bond Road as you come in from the London Road, was called Cecil Terrace, which can be seen on this c.1900 photo on Merton Memories.

The 1918 Electoral Register shows these occupants of Cecil Terrace:

1, Ellen Mary Ann and Isaac VINCE
2, Clara Elizabeth VINCE
3, Ellen Louisa COX
4, Maria and Charles SURKITT
6, Mary Elizabeth and William Arthur SKIVENS
7, Jessie Ellen and Thomas William PAICE
8, Emma and Henry BARTLETT
9, Maud Lily and Frederick Charles GRAHAM
10, Ada Emily and James VINCE
11, Mabel and Henry Thomas JEEVES
13, Ada and Edward Joseph WALLIS
14, Maria and George WALLIS

The 1925 Street Directory shows that the houses in Cecil Terrace were numbered from 1 nearest the London Road junction. The location of the houses on the north west side of Bond Road is not given, but it could be assumed that Mortimer House was near where the junction with Mortimer Road is now. The occupants in 1918 were

House Names
Lavender House Anna and Henry FOWLER
Cavendish House Emily Ann WOOD
Mortimer House Bessie and John BRETT
Mortimer House Elsie and James Alfred RICE
Holborn Union Gas Works Kate Olive and John Emmanuel HUMPHREYS

1925 Street Directory

BOND ROAD, from 8 Rupert terrace, London Road, Upper Mitcham to Western Road

South side

1, Isaac VINCE
2, Frederick Samuel COUSINS
3, Mrs COX
4, Percy TAYLOR
5, Mrs READ
6, William Arthur SKIVENS
7, Thomas W PAICE
8, Harry BARTLETT, fodder salesman
9, Robert NOBLE
10, James VINCE
11, Charles Ellis JEEVES
12, Robert TOWNSEND
13, George WALLIS

North-west side

ALLEN, Son & Fielding, scrap iron merchants
Henry FOWLER, florist (Lavender House)
Miss WOOD, (Cornish house)
John BRETT, box repairer (Mortimer house)
John E. HUMPHREYS, (Holburn farm)


Newspaper Articles

Article Details Newspaper Date Page
Bottleneck photo Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 01/02/1951 1
Historical Note Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 01/02/1951 4
Improvements planned Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 22/07/1954 1
Housing Proposal Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette 07/02/1958 3

World War 1 Connections
Stoker 1st Class Robert Cox

Private John Humphreys

Private Edgar Vince

Private G Wallis

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

R S COX of 3 Bonds Road, aged 18 Years 1 Months, Fitters Mate. Conscripted on 5 January 1916 to the Northamptonshire Regiment (53rd Ysb).

W MITCHELL of 12 Bonds Road Surrey, aged 31 Years 1 Months, Carman. Volunteered on 19 April 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

E A RUDDICK of 6 Bonds Road Up Mitcham, aged 33 Years 2 Months, Blacksmith. Conscripted on 2 March 1917 to the 30th Infantry Labour Coy.

W A SKIVENS of 6 Bonds Road, aged 26 Years 8 Months, Labourer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Essex Regiment (14th Batn).

E VINCE of 1 Cecil Terrace Bonds Road, aged 35 Years 3 Months, Labourer. Conscripted on 25 January 1917 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment (3rd Batn). Note that the Register shows BINCE, but given the CWGC entry, this is more likely to be VINCE.

A S WALLIS of 14 Bonds Road, aged 25 Years 9 Months, Plumber. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 9 December 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (10th Batn).

C WALLIS of 14 Bonds Road, aged 30 Years 10 Months, Motor Driver. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Middlesex Regiment (6th Batn).

H WOOD of Cavendish House Bond Road, aged 24 Years 10 Months, Postman. Volunteered on 19 October 1915 to the Royal Garrison Artillery.


From the Military Service Tribunals:
Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 14th December, 1917
Mitcham Tribunal

Mr Moore, in appearing in the appeal for exemption for Mr H. Fowler of Bonds-road, Mitcham, said his client held an agriculture certificate.

Councillor Mizen : He can stand over until it is withdrawn.

The Tribunal decided to adjourn the case until the certificate was withdrawn.

Note the use of Bonds Road. The previous name was Bond’s Lane.


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

Norman Smee & Dodwell

Varnish company, established in 1896.

Miles Road

1949 ad from Grace's Guide

1949 ad from Grace’s Guide

MANUFACTURERS OF HIGH-CLASS VARNISHES for Coach Builders and Decorators, Railway Carriage and Locomotive Builders, and Ship Builders.

Special insulating Varnishes for electrical Purposes

Offices and Factory : MILES LANE, MITCHAM, SURREY.

Text of ad from Wireless World May 1918 (pdf)


From the Military Service Tribunals:
Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 20th April, 1917
SURREY APPEAL TRIBUNAL.

Mitcham Cases.

R. P. Dodwell, 31, single, varnish and paint manufacturer, works manager and chemist, whose case had been adjourned for medical examination, had been classified B1. It was claimed that it would be impossible to carry out orders, which were chiefly for war purposes, without his special knowledge. Twelve months ago he was given total exemption, and the Military Representative now appealed.

A further two months’ exemption was granted, and not final.


According to the 1961 Kelly’s directory, the company had moved to Croydon:

NORMAN, SMEE & DODWELL LTD
Union road, Croydon, Surrey
T N THOrnton Heath 8355;
Grams, “Decor. Croydon”; estab. 1896