Tag Archives: Ravensbury Grove

Kenneth Robert Marsh, RAF

Kenneth Robert Marsh was born 27th May 1925.

He joined the RAF towards the end of WWII and was trained as a tail gunner for Lancaster bombers. The war ended and he did not use his skills. Born in Mitcham, he lived in Ravensbury Court, Ravensbury Grove since the 1950s and died in 2016 aged 89. He is shown in the photo below in the second row back and second from right.

In this photo, he is top left.

Lance Corporal Frederick Rexstrew

Frderick Rexstrew, was born 19 May 1914.

He married, aged 26, on 13th June 1940 to Gladys Ayling, 24, of 7 Ravensbury Cottages, Morden Road, Mitcham, at the parish church of Beddington. He was a soldier living at 47 Bute Gardens West in Beddington. His father, Henry Marshall Rexstrew, was deceased. Gladys Ayling’s father, Albert William Ayling, was a cowman. Source: Ancestry.com. Sutton, Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1940, London Borough of Sutton; Sutton, London, England; Reference Number: 2813/1/5.

The 1939 register shows Frederick Rexstrew as a Motor Driver, Baker’s Roundsman, and he lived with his mother Alice, housewife, and brother George R., born 29 Sept 1918, foreman stock keeper, munitions. Source: The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/1318E

The 1939 register shows Gladys Ayling as working as a newsagent assistant, her mother Katie was listed as a housewife. Source: The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/1374B

The Ravensbury Cottages were on a part of the road called Ravensbury Grove, which later was renamed Hatfeild Close, as shown in this 1953 OS map.

1953 OS map

Hatfeild Close was named after Gilliat Hatfeild, the owner of the nearby Morden Hall (house and gardens now owned by the National Trust).

Frederick Rexstrew was a Lance Corporal, service number 179420 with the 253 (Airborne) Composite Company Royal Army Service Corps.

He died on 20th September, 1944, and was re-interred at Arnhem Oosterbeek Cemetery, grave 29. C. 8. Source: Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

He was an air dispatcher on a Stirling IV LJ829 aircraft with RAF Squadron 190. All crewmembers were killed when the aircraft crashed in Doorwerth. Source : Harrington Museum – Aircraft lost on Allied Force’s Special Duty Operations & Associated Roll of Honour, page 382. Note that this pdf is 3 megabytes and has 583 pages.

A memorial to all the RAF crew and air despatchers like Frederick Rexstrew is in a side street in Doorwerth:

“Here, during the Battle of Arnhem, Stirling LJ928 crashed on 21 september 1944, after having been hit by fire from enemy fighters, killing the crew and the air despatchers. This memorial is not only to commemorate these men, but to remember all those of the Royal Air Force who flew between 17th and 25th September 1944 over this area. Flying on low level through German anti aircraft fire and attacking enemy fighters, they towed gliders and dropped supplies for the men of the 1st British Airborne Division.
During those days 229 crew members and air despatchers from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa lost their lives in a brave attempt to help the men on the ground.”

In his will, his address was 7 Ravensbury Cottages, Mitcham, Surrey and he left £215 5s. to his widow Gladys. Source: Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

See also the ParaData website.


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

Ravensbury Villas

The 1925 street directory describes the properties on the south side of Morden Road, heading west, away from the London Road.

Ravensbury terrace :
1, Mrs HIGGINS
2, Ernest NICHOLAS
3, Mrs. Annie OAKES, shopkeeper
4, Ernest TAMPLIN

Ravensbury tavern, George Thomas DEEPROSE

..here is Ravensbury grove

Ravensbury villas
1, George EDWARDS
2, William WOODCOCK & Son, decorators
3, John George ATKINSON
4, Thomas GREEN, cycle repairer

here is bridge over River Wandle ….

This 1910 OS map shows a terrace of 4 houses just past Ravensbury Grove.

1910 OS map

This terrace can be seen in this clip from a Merton Memories photo, which looks east along the Morden Road. On the left is the Ravensbury Tavern pub.

clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_​TomFrancis_​A13, copyright London Borough of Merton.

Although the Merton Memories webpage says the photo is around 1900, the name of the licensee of the pub can be seen as John Dent, who was licensee to 1876.


News Articles
From the Surrey Advertiser, Saturday 11th April 1874, via the British Newspaper Archives

At Nominal Reserves.— Mitcham, Surrey.

—Nineteen Villa Residences and Cottages, in the road, Mitcham, a most healthy locality, five minutes’ walk from the railway station.

MR. S. WALKER will Sell by Auction, at the Mart, on MONDAY, April 13, twelve for one, Nineteen Leasehold Villas and Cottages, known as Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, Ravensbury villas, term 91 years, ground rent £4 year each, estimated value £25 a year each ; eight Cottages, Nos. 2 to 16 (even numbers). Ravensbury grove, term 90 years, ground rent £20, producing £125 16s. per annum; and seven Cottages in Ravensbury-road, estimated to produce £80 a year, together with an improved ground rent of £3 10s. per annum, secured in seven adjoining cottages.

May be viewed, and particulars and conditions of sale obtained of R. Miller, Esq., Solicitor. 6, Copthall-court, E.C ; of Mr. John Wade, House Agent, Lower-green, Mitcham ; and the Auctioneer’s Offices, 61, Coleman-street, Bank, E.C.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 15 April 1876

MITCHAM.
A Troublesome Fellow.

— At the Croydon Police Court, Monday, George Jones, of Ravensbury Villas, Mitcham, was charged with being drunk and creating a disturbance on Sunday morning.—P.c. 183 stated that at half past 12 o’clock on Sunday morning he was on duty in Merton-lane, when he heard a great noise, apparently that of lot of females screaming. As he was proceeding towards the spot, he was met by woman about forty years of age, who begged of him for God’s sake to come. When he got near the spot, he found the prisoner running away. He asked him what was the matter, and the prisoner replied, “Nothing.” Witness took him back, and found a man who was bleeding from a wound under the right eye. The man charged the prisoner with having assaulted him. Prisoner said, “All right, old pal! I shall square it with a sovereign in the morning.” Prisoner was very violent, and witness apprehended him to prevent further breach of the peace, which he thought was imminent. —Prisoner, in answer to the charge, alleged that the man referred to challenged him to fight, and struck him. The man afterwards came to him, and said he was sorry for having done so.The constable said the man referred to did not formally charge the prisoner with having assaulted him, he said he was unwilling to lose a day’s work. The prisoner, witness added, was a great source of trouble to the police at Mitcham.—The prisoner was bound over in the sum of £5 to keep the peace for three months, and was then discharged.


1911 Census for Private Albert Morgan.


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