Tag Archives: Wilson Hospital

Husband and wife killed in air raid in firm’s basement in London

From Norwood News – Friday 17 January 1941, page 2

HUSBAND AND WIFE KILLED IN RAID
Took Shelter at Premises Bombed in London

Mr. and Mrs F. J. Roberts, Spencer-road, Mitcham, have been the victims of enemy action.

They were in the habit of sheltering in the basement of Mr. Roberts’ business premises in London, and when these were bombed, both Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were killed. Mr. Roberts was well-known and respected in Mitcham.

He was secretary of the penny-a-week collection scheme on behalf of Wilson Hospital, succeeding Mr. Allen, the founder. In this capacity Mr. Roberts rendered good service, and his efforts were much appreciated.

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission casualty record for Francis James Roberts, aged 46, his wife Mary Roberts, aged 48, and their son David Iowerth Roberts, aged 15, states that their address was at 19, Spencer Road, and that they died on 11th January 1941 in the premises of Elder & Fyffes, Bow Street. This company imported bananas, and was renamed the Fyffes Group in 1969, according to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.

The 1939 register shows that Mr F.J. Roberts was a Printing Dept Supervisor at the firm.

Albert Thomas Till, Medical Officer for Health at Mitcham

16th July 1936. Dr Till, with the Mayoress, Mrs Davies, at a ‘Welfare Centres ‘ garden party at Park Place. Clip from Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_​Hospitals_​4-1

In the 1935 Medical Directory he is listed as living at 43, Mitcham Park.

In 1924 he obtained his degree as Batchelor of Medicine / Batchelor of Surgery and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; and post-graduated with Dental Public Health in 1931 at the University of London. He was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Public Health, and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

He was the Medical Officer at the Mission Hospital in Mahamba, Swaziland; and the Resident Medical Officer at the Victoria Hospital in Damascus, Syria.

He authored Dental caries in native children, published in the South African Medical Journal in 1927; Some observations on influenza in 1933 and Liquid paraffin, a cause of loss of weight in children, in 1934, both in the Journal of State Medicine.

He was appointed Mitcham Medical Officer for Health in 1937.

Injured during bombing raid on 12th November, 1940, at 31 Mitcham Park, he died the same day at Wilson Hospital. He was 40 years old.

From Norwood News – Friday 15 November 1940, page 2:

Obituary
TRAGIC DEATH OF DR. TILL
Medical Officer of Health at Mitcham

THE tragic death of Dr. A. T. Till, Medical Officer of Health for Mitcham, has cut short a promising career at the comparatively early age of 40 years.

He was a native of South Africa, and came to Mitcham 3 1/2 years ago, when he was temporarily appointed for six months’ trial to succeed the late Dr. Fegen, who then was a part-time officer of health. By the end of his term, Dr. Till had given such complete satisfaction, that be was unanimously given the full-time post of medical officer. That he justified that confidence is recognised everywhere. Year by year he endeared himself more and more to the Council, his colleagues, and the ratepayers generally, and he came to be regarded as one of the most popular of Mitcham’s public servants. Unostentatious at all times, Dr. Till wielded a great influence throughout the borough, and improved the health services to a remarkable extent.

A prominent Council official paid him this tribute: “Dr. Till was a first-class officer,” he said. “Exceedingly capable, and most popular with the whole of the public services. Ever ready to give advice, it could be absolutely relied unon. The Council has lost one of its best and most conscientious officers.”

A sad coincidence is that normally he would have been on duty elsewhere on the night of his death, but he had arranged an exchange with a professional colleague. During the war period, Dr. Till had been in charge of the ambulance and first aid posts. In addition to his ordinary duties, and he worked unceasingly for the benefit of the public services.

The Mayor (Ald. E.J.D. Field) is calling a special meeting of the Council for to-morrow (Saturday) to pay tribute to Dr. Till’s memory, and to place on record an appreciation of his services.

Dr. Till leaves a widow and daughter to mourn their irreparable loss.

Commonwealth war Grave Commission casualty record.

In his will, he left £909 3s. 7d. to his widow Emily Annie Till (around £50,000 in 2019 values).

Sources:
Wellcome Trust; London, England; Collection: The Medical Directory, 1935; Reference: b21330724_i13766260

1933: Mitcham Boy Shot In Leg When After Rats

From the Mitcham News and Mercury, 20th of October 1933, page 1

Mitcham boy shot in leg

Accident When After Rats

Operation on Sunday

A number of lads were shooting rats with a small shotgun in Reader’s-yard, Lewis Road, Mitcham, on Saturday afternoon when George William Hutton (age 13), Lewis Cottages, Lewis Road, Mitcham, was accidentally shot in the right leg.

He told his parents, and his father at once took him to Wilson Cottage Hospital.

On Sunday the boy was operated upon at the hospital, and over 50 pellets were extricated from the leg.

He has since made satisfactory progress.

Mrs Hutton, the boy’s mother, told a “Mercury” reporter that her boy managed to crawl home with his leg bleeding, and his father carried him to hospital on the front of his bicycle.

“My boy told us it was not anybody’s fault,” she added. “The shooting was accidental while they were walking together in the yard. The shotgun belongs to one of the other boys and went off when they collided with each other.”

Sir Isaac Wilson : Death of a Benefactor of Mitcham

From The Mitcham News & Mercury, 29th September, 1944, page 4:

SIR ISAAC H. WILSON
Death of Benefactor of Mitcham

REGARDED WEALTH AS AN
OBLIGATION

Mitcham mourns the death at the age of 82 of Sir Isaac H Wilson, The Birches, The Cricket Green, a well-loved personality whose generosity has brought lasting benefits to the people of Mitcham.

Sir Isaac died on Tuesday in the Wilson Hospital, his £120,000 gift to the borough, which with Cumberland house and Mitcham Garden Village remain lasting testimonies to the spirit of a man to whom wealth was regarded as an obligation to the less fortunate rather than a privilege to himself.

In fifteen years his benefactions to the borough have been in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million pounds, but his greatness of heart was something not to be measured in terms of money. He was not a rich man who gave of his wealth has a salve to conscience. Certainly he felt it a duty to spend his money well, and the only return he asked was the increased happiness of the people. Although he has done more for Mitcham than any other man, he was loved for his own sake rather than for his gifts. He was simple kind and modest; he hated publicity, and did not care for constant reminders about the good he had done his adopted town.

QUIET DAILY VISITS

He liked a quiet life, and latterly since ill health had restricted his activities his greatest pleasure was to visit the Wilson Hospital and Cumberland House, a thing he did almost daily when his health permitted. He was the most welcome of all visitors at both places. There was no member of the staff who was not pleased to see the familiar figure coming up the drive, for if his step was slower of recent years, he had always a smile for his friends, and a happy twinkle in his eye.

Much has been written of Sir Isaac’s romantic rise from his obscure native village of Milton, Cumberland to a position of wealth and influence in the world. He was the youngest and only surviving member of a family of four brothers, sons of a yeoman farmer, who went out into the world to seek their fortunes in the building trade, and then spent the fruits of their labours on charity. They spent their youth working on their father’s farm, and later Sir Isaac became a draper’s apprentice.

BUILDING DEVELOPEMENT

He left the drapery business to join his brother, Joseph, in London where the two brothers developed large areas of Fulham, Mitcham and Tooting Junction. The other two brothers, Thomas and John, made fortunes building working class houses in Newcastle, and when they died Sir Isaac inherited several hundred thousand pounds.

The Wilson Hospital, the foundation stone of which was laid by his first wife, who was also a native of Cumberland, was Sir Isaac’s first benefaction to the borough. In November, 1928, it was opened by the Princess Royal. Later Sir Isaac enlarged the hospital adding two wings and installing up-to-date equipment.

THE GARDEN VILLAGE

On part of Cranmer green he built Mitcham Garden Village, the replica of his native Village, where the borough’s old inhabitants may live rent free. His next to gift to Mitcham was Cumberland House, the modern convalescent home at the rear of his own home which cost £60,000. This has been taken over by Surrey County Council. The cost of upholding the home by voluntary methods would have been an enormous charge on Mitcham, and Sir Isaac agreed that the best scheme was for the County Council to accept responsibility. Sir Isaac assured the future of the Wilson hospital by conveying to the trustees property in the district to the value of £45,000 as an endowment for the hospital. He also gave a home for the nurses.

Mitcham was not the only recipient of his generosity. His native village of Milton and neighbouring districts benefited by more than £20,000 from his generosity. This was spent on building cottages for the poor.

The death of his only daughter a considerable time ago was a great grief to Sir Isaac. Later he lost his wife, who, he said, had been the inspiration of the gift of the hospital. His only granddaughter, Mrs Black, lives on the Cricket Green, a few doors from Sir Isaac’s own home. Hs two grandsons are serving with the Forces.

CHURCHMAN AND CONSERVATIVE

For many years he played a prominent part in the town’s life. Earlier in his life he took an active interest in St. Barnabas Church where he was a churchwarden for some time. He was a staunch Conservative and for a time was president of the local Conservative and Constitutional Club. He was a keen educationalist as well as a Justice of the Peace until recently. For some time he was Chairman of the Mitcham Bench.

Formerly a member of Surrey County Council he was also a member of Mitcham Council until last year, when failing health caused him to relinquish many public posts.

In 1937 he became a Freeman of Mitcham, and in June, 1939, was knighted for political and public service in Mitcham.

Sir Isaac accepted honours gracefully, and continued his work in the same efficient and unassuming way.

A GREAT READER

For years Sir Isaac has been Mitcham’s best friend. He invested his money in the borough’s happiness, and both he and the people have drawn generous dividends. His figure, familiar to all who frequent the Green, will be sadly missed. He lived a simple life and of recent years rarelt went out of the borough.

His chief recreation was reading, and for the last ten years he has read little other than books about millionaires, successful businessman and industrialists, or men who, like himself, had risen from obscurity to a place in the world. Following The Fortunes of Lord Nuffield, Henry Ford, the Cadburys and others, he sought comparisons with his own success, and compared their manner of spending their fortune with his own.

The bombing of the Wilson Hospital, which was closed for some time, was a great blow to him, and the town will be glad that he lived to see it repaired and at work again.

Sir Isaac Wilson

Bryant Carton Co. Ltd.

320 – 360 Church Road
Merton, SW19

1952 OS map

According to the 1963 Borough of Mitcham List of Factories, it made cardboard boxes and was trading as The Metal Box Co. Ltd.

However a relative of one of the staff at the company in the post-WW2 period said they made printed metal trays and containers, see comment below.

This clip from Merton Memories photo of the newly built Phipps Bridge Estate in the mid 1960s shows the carton factory on the east side of Church Road.

clip from Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_​Buildings_​57-19, copyright London Borough of Merton.

News Articles

Norwood News – Friday 26 April 1929

LADDER TRAGEDY
CARPENTER FOUND AT BOTTOM.
SAD INQUEST STORY

An accidental fall at his work led to the death of Alfred Frederick Herbert Payn (41), carpenter, of Lyveden road, Tooting Junction. At the inquest on Tuesday at Mitcham, the widow, Mrs. Lilian Payn said her husband was subject to epileptic fits. He had them occasionally but invariably had a few days’ warning before hand, and stayed at home until he was better. He left home on Saturday, apparently in good health to go to his work at the Bryant Carton Works, Church-road, Mitcham.

WORKMATE’S STORY.

William Henry Drewett, of Seaton-road, Mitcham, said he was at the works on Saturday morning. He saw Payn going up a step-ladder to do a job. About three-quarters of an hour later witness heard some groaning, and found Payn lying on the floor at the bottom of the steps. He had evidently fallen down the ladder, and was holding a mallet and chisel in his hands.

Wm. Batty, the foreman, said they were building an extension to the factory. Payn was doing a bit of carpentry, and had to use a pair of steps for the purpose. Witness saw him start work that morning, and he appeared in good health. Drewett called witness’s attention to him lying un conscious at the bottom of the steps. Witness sent for the ambulance, and he was taken to Wilson Hospital.

LACERATED BRAIN.

Dr. Edith Bowie, of Streatham-road. Mitcham, said she was also on the staff of Wilson Hospital. She was there when Payn was admitted on Saturday morning. He had a bruise on the right side of the head and laceration of the brain, which had set up hemorrhage. Evidently the man had fallen on his head, for there was no other injury.

The Coroner : You could not tell whether he had a fit or not before? Dr. Bowie : No, not from what I saw.

The Coroner recorded a verdict of “Accidental death.”

Norwood News – Friday 13 August 1943

Brooker – Lord

A bride and bridegroom who first met while serving on a gun site in Scotland, with the A.T.S. and Royal Artillery respectively, were married on Saturday at Mitcham Parish Church, the Rev. G. S. Lubbock officiating.

They were Miss Eileen Joyce Lord, youngest daughter of Mrs. Lord and the late Mr. E. F. Lord, Church-road, Mitcham, and Bdr. Brian Cecil Brooker, R.A., eldest son of Mrs. Laross and the late Mr. Brooker, Chartram-road, South Norwood.

The bride was given away by Mr. T. Burnell, and looked charming in a gown of crepe, in a pastel shade of blue, with a navy hat and accessories. She carried a bouquet of pink and white carnations.

Her sister, Mrs. G. E. Button, acted as matron or honour, wearing a blue floral dress of crepe and a black hat. The bridegroom’s brother, Sgt. Victor Brooker, R.A., was best man.

A reception was held at the bride’s home. Before joining the A.T.S. she was a popular member of the staff of the Bryant Carton Manufacturing Company, where she had worked for seven years. Her late father was well known as a bus driver.


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

Doctor Henry Love

Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1857, he gained his Batchelor of Art and Batchelor of Medicine at Dublin University in 1878. He died in March 1934.

In the 1891 census, he is living in Mitcham with his wife Eliza Lea, who was also born in Dublin, at no. 3, Whitford Lane. Their eldest daughter, Eva Maud, aged 8, was born in Mitcham in 1883, so he would have moved from Ireland to Mitcham between 1878 and 1883.

In the 1885 Medical Directory his address is Ryde Cottage.

In the 1901 and 1911 censuses he is living at Elm Lodge. The electoral registers shows he was at Elm Lodge until 1923, when he moved to Avoca, until 1933. He was in hospital June 1933, and died the following year.

He contributed “Procidentia, complete Rupture of Cervix Uteri, occurring in Twin Labour,” to the Lancet, in 1882. In 1891 he wrote for the Lancet, “Rupture of the Uterus during Parturition”.

Merton Memories photo at the Woodlands Maternity Clinic in 1920.

News Articles

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 16th June 1933

DR. Henry LOVE

Satisfactory Progress
after operation

We are pleased to be able to state that Dr. Henry Love is making satisfactory progress in his serious illness. He is still a patient in Wilson Cottage Hospital, and the operation he has undergone has proved successful.

Dr. Love is 77 years of age, and everybody wishes him a speedy recovery and many more years of public service.


His death was reported in March 1934:

Believed to have been the oldest doctor in practice in Surrey, Dr. Henry Love, of Commonside, East Mitcham, has died, aged 77.

Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer – Saturday 17 March 1934 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

In the 1912 directory Henry Love M.B., L.R.C.S.I., Lower Green east, is listed as a manager of the Zion Congregational School.

20/11/1952 : Three men burnt at Mitcham Smelting Works

THREE MEN BURNT

Three men sustained burns on the face when a paraffin pressure burner exploded at the premises of Mitcham Smelting Works, Redhouse Road, Beddington, on Thursday.

The injured men. Mr. A. O. Steptoe, Eastfields Road, Mitcham, and two others, were allowed to go home after treatment at Wilson Hospital.
Mitcham.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 20th November, 1952, page 1