Tag Archives: Three Kings

1944 : A War Prisoner’s Story

From the Mitcham News & Mercury from 13th October, 1944

GIVES COMFORT TO FRIENDS

You have Nothing to
Worry About

UNIQUE MEETING AT TOWN HALL

Mothers and wives of Mitcham men who have been Prisoners of War in Germany, some of them for over five years, crowded round Sergeant Maurice Malfin, Commonside East, Mitcham, when he attended a meeting of the Borough’s Prisoner-of-War Relatives’ Association at the Town Hall, on Saturday. They were eager to get news of life in the prison camps and were glad of the opportunity of talking to a man who had so recently been an inmate of one.

The story of how Sergeant Malfin returned to this country after being in German prison camps for five years has already been told in the “News and Mercury.” Then he sent a message to cheer the relatives of men who are still out there. on Saturday he repeated it.

“If you have relatives in Germany or Poland, you have nothing to worry about. They are all doing reasonably well,” he told the Association.

He had to answer many questions about the food in the camps. That the men were well fed was due entirely to the Red Cross, he said.

“Since January, 1941, with the exception of three weeks, I have received a Red Cross food parcel every week,” he said. “In addition, we got plenty of potatoes by fair means or foul, mostly foul. The Germans did not give us much food, and without the Red Cross we should have been sunk.”

He compared his own camp, 21D, which is still the home of several Mitcham men, with Mitcham Common. It housed 15,000, and took an hour to walk round it. It was a good camp and had a first-class library containing thousands of books.

Replying to a question about examinations, Sergeant Malfin said the men could sit for any examination they like, and a number had qualified for various professions while in the camp. Sports, games and theatricals were organised.

“You should see some of the Tommy girls on the stage out yonder. You could not tell the difference between them and West-End chorus beauties except that they are a bit skinny around the back,” he said.

He paid tribute to the Poles, who, he said, had often risked their lives to give them food.

The chairman (Alderman J. R. Beaumont) received a cheque for £27 and 3s. from Mr H. A. Penny, raised by a competition at the “Three Kings” Hotel. Mrs Walls handed him £1 15s.

After the meeting women whose menfolk are still in Stalag 21 D showed photographs of their sons and husbands and asked if he could identify them. Sergeant Malfin recognised Private Harry Powell, whose home is in Langdale Avenue, Mitcham, and who had been a prisoner for over four years. Although he did not know Rifleman Cyril E. King, Swains Road, Tooting Junction, he picked out another man on the photograph, who turned out to be one of Cyril’s chums.

1932 Death of Mrs Poluski

From the Norwood News – Friday 29 January 1932, from the British Newspaper Archive, which requires a subscription.

A FAMOUS VARIETY STAR

Death of Mrs. Will Poluski

HER KINDNESS TO ALL

Mitcham has lost a famous resident by the death of Mrs. Harriet Poluski, widow of the late Mr. Will Poluski, one of the famous Poluski Brothers, comedians. Mrs. Poluski lived with her son, Mr. Sam Poluski, manager of the Three Kings Hotel, Mitcham Common, Mrs. Poluski being the licensee.

She had been ill for some time, and on Monday week went into Wilson Hospital for an operation. This was supposed to have been successful, and Mrs. Poluski was expected to get well again. It came as a great shock to her relatives when she suddenly collapsed and died on Friday morning. Her age was 72. — While living at Mitcham Mrs. Poluski had endeared herself to a large circle of friends. She was a very affable lady, and, in the words of a friend, was a “dear old soul.” Everybody who knew her spoke highly of her wonderful traits of sympathy, generosity and optimism. Her death will be mourned generally, and particularly by her local acquaintances, to many of whom she was a fairy godmother.

STAR OF FORMER DAYS.

As Nettie Waite, comedienne, Mrs. Poluski was well known on the variety stage more than thirty years ago — a star of former days.

She and her husband had been married nearly fifty years when Mr. Poluski died, about eight years ago. This was two years after the death of his partner-brother, Sam, had brought to a close a famous musical hall partnership lasting nearly half-a-century.

Mrs. Poluski leaves one son, Mr. Sam Poluski, of the Three Kings, and two daughters. Her other son, Mr. Will Poluski, jun., who was Miss Rosie Lloyd’s husband, died about two years ago while on a stage tour in South Africa. His death, following closely on that of his father, was a big blow to the mother.

The two daughters, who are well known in the stage world, are Miss Winifred Ward, the comedienne, and Mrs. Lottie McNaughton, wife of Mr. Gus McNaughton, the talented comedian.

Mrs. Poluski’a grand-daughter — Miss Winifred Ward’s daughter — is Miss Polly Ward, who for a time was one of the “Trix Sisters,” and who also appeared with the Co-optimists.

THE FUNERAL.

The funeral of Mrs. Poluski took place on Tuesday at Lambeth Cemetery, Tooting, her remains being laid to rest in the same grave as that of her husband.

The Rev. W. K. Roberts, Vicar of St Mark’s, Mitcham, conducted the services both at the Three Kings and the graveside.

Handsome wreaths were sent by the following: Sam, Winnie and Lottie (son and daughters); Jack, Bino, and Lottie (grandchildren); Gus, Ted and Bob (sons-in-law); Rosie Lloyd (daughter-in-law)l Sam F. Poluski (nephew); Gertie (niece); Mrs George Le Clerq, Brother George and family. Sister Emmie and Niece Em???y. Misses Rose and Peggy Hamilton, Mollie Melvin. A.F. Page, Mr and Mrs Peat, Mr and Mrs Townsend and family; Croydon District Licensed Victuallers’ Association. Bee Low, E.J. Eidman and family, The Plough (Sutton). Mrs Brown (Beehive). Mr and Mrs Percy Goodyer, Mr and Mrs Tyler and family. Mr and Mrs Harry Lovatt, Mr and Mrs Singfield Mitcham Conservative Club; Arthur and Mabel Le Clerq.

A few friends, Cecil, Jack, and E Rubber. Mr and Mrs Jones (King’s Arms, Mitcham). Mrs Godfrey and family (Nags Head). Mr and Mrs J.W. Moore and Lorna. Mrs James, W. Payne, Binnie and Leo Boys of the Brighton Cruising Club. Major and Mrs Poole (Buck’s Head, Mitcham). Brothers of the Order of Druids; Fred Griffiths and family; Staff of the Three Kings; Mr Keith B. Harris, Lloyd family, Mrs S. Hartley and Doris; boys of the Three Kings public bar; Miss Clare Romaine. H.E. and S.F. Fowkes. Mr and Mrs W. Laing. Mrs and Mrs Donn. Ruby (Three Kings). Mr and Mrs Brown (florist). Mr and Percy Mayhew; Hengler family. Kathleen Blunden. Mr and Mrs T. Witherden. Mr and Mrs Batchelor; Mitcham Athletic Club. Mrs J. Boxall, Bob and Jennie Leonard, etc.

Messrs W.P. Mellhuish and Sons, Mitcham and Tooting, were the undertakers.