Category Archives: WW1

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.

Edward Pullen gets MBE in 1961 but missed DCM in 1916

Local man in the Honours’ List

A MITCHAM First World War hero was made an M.B.E. in the New Year Honours. He is 64-year-old Mr. Edward Charles Pullen, Framfield Road, who will be given the award by the Queen.

He gets it for public service in the Inland Revenue Department — he is a staff officer at Somerset House.

His meeting with the Queen will make up for a disappointment he had in 1916 when he should have received the D.C.M. from King George the Fifth. When the investiture date arrived Mr. Pullen had influenza.

Mr. Pullen said this week: “This rather goes to make up for it”

WOUNDED

He earned the D.C.M. during the Battle of the Somme while serving with the Northamptonshire Regiment. His company was trying to win a German strongpoint at Thiepval.

All the officers were wounded or killed and Mr. Pullen, then a sergeant, took charge. Although himself seriously wounded, he led his men to capture the outpost and held it until they were relieved next day.

Between 1919 and 1929 he played for the Wanderers, forerunners of Tooting and Mitcham United.

Mr. Pullen retires in April when he reaches 65.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January, 1961

His MBE award was published in the London Gazette on 27 December 1960 in supplement 42231, page 8906.

His DCM award was reported in the London Gazette of 24 November 1916 in supplement 29837, page 11559.

13537 E. C. Pullen, North’n R.

For conspicuous gallantry in action.

He assumed command of and led his company with great courage and initiative, capturing an enemy strong point. He was severely wounded.

Anti-German Riots after sinking of the Lusitania

Anti-German riots broke out on the evening of Wednesday 12th May, 1915, in Tooting and the next day in Mitcham, in response to the sinking of the ship Lusitania.

ANTI-GERMAN RIOTS

Bakers’ Windows Broken

Several Arrests

The scenes of violence which have marked the public feeling against enemy aliens which has been aroused as a result of the Lusitania crime broke out in the neighbourhood on Wednesday evening. At Tooting Broadway a crowd commenced to assemble about 8 o’clock, but for some time it reached very large dimensions. Towards nine o’clock the gathering became more dense, and it was obvious that the baker’s shop owned by Mr P. Jung was in danger of assault. The police, who were reinforced, did their utmost to keep the crowd on the move, and prevented any congregating immediately outside the shop. Meanwhile Mr Jung closed his business as a precautionary measure, but this move was only greeted with jeers. Shortly before ten o’clock a loud crash of glass told that at least one missile had found the mark, a success which was boisterously cheered. The police continued to force the crowd to the opposite side of the road, but the passing of the trams enabled the mob to make some advances, which, however, were fortunately checked.

Every now and again more glass was smashed, and eventually there was very little left of the huge plate-glass windows which have helped to make Mr Jung’s shop such an attractive place of business. When the police did actually see a person throwing he was promptly arrested. Some ugly rushes were the result, and it is a matter for congratulation that no very serious conflicts occurred between the police and the public.

While the guardians of the law were straining every endeavour to cope with the crowd at the Broadway, now numbering some 2,000, a few persons commenced paying attention to the Hygienic Bakery, owned by a German, and situated further down the High-street, opposite the “Mercury” Offices. The roller shutters were lowered, but some spirits more determined than the rest wrenched them away from their fastenings, and with considerable noise they fell to the ground. Without loss of time a brick was hurled at the window with an accuracy of aim somewhat remarkable for a member of the fair sex, who made the claim of having drawn first blood. Other bricks and stones followed in quick succession with more or less precision, and one windows had hardly a particle of glass left in.

THE “SPECIALS” ARRIVE

At about 11 o’clock a strong contingent of special constables appeared on the scene, and were accorded a very mixed reception. The Tooting section was strengthened by a force from Mitcham, numbering about 70, under Inspector G.J. Poston. They were divided into sections, and did most useful work in helping the regular police to disperse the crowds.

Other shops were attacked in Garratt-lane, and all suffered in a like manner and to a similar extent. Police remained on guard all night and the next day, and as soons as carpenters could be procured the premises were boarded up, and in some cases the German traders packed up their goods and chattels and cleared off with all possible despatch.

ANTI-GERMAN DEMONSTRATIONS AT MITCHAM

Early last evening a crowd, which gradually swelled until about 8 o’clock, when it numbered several hundred persons, assembled at the Fair Green for the purpose of expressing indignation at the recent murders on the high seas.

Proceeding in the direction of the Parade, the crowd halted in front of the jeweller’s shop tenanted by Mr J. B. Rompel, a naturalised German.

Their attitude was distinctly menacing, and but for the prescence of a large force of Special Constabulary they would, no doubt, have vented their feelings in no unmistakeable manner. After some jeering and hooting the police dispersed the crowd.

With the exception of one man, whose head was cut with a stone, no damage or injury took place.

Source: Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, Friday, 14th May, 1915, page 4.

A photo of special constable recruited during the First World War is on Merton Memories.

Rose Nursery

Weatherboarded cottage in Tramway Path.

There are two photos of this cottage on the City of London ‘Collage’ collection, both with the year of 1977, so perhaps it was demolished after that.

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1977 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1977 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

From the 1911 commercial directory:

Arthur George & Ephraim SIMMONS, florists, Tramway path, Lower Mitcham

The 1915 street directory names the cottage:

Tramway Path, from London Road, Lower Mitcham

George THOMPSON, florist (Station Nursery)
Ephraim SIMMONS, florist (Rose Nursery)

The cottage is shown on this 1953 OS map:

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

An area in the south ward called Simmons’ Land was recorded in UDC minutes of 1917 as being of 13 acres. This land was used for allotments during the war. From the minutes of the Mitcham Urban District council, volume III, 1917 to 1918, 19th June, 1917, page 52.

Agnes Clarrissa Simmons, the daughter of Arthur George Simmons, married Private Percy John Hale in February 1916. She lived with her parents in Elmwood Road.


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


Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Urban District Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Harold Francis Bidder D.S.O.

Lt. Col. Harold Francis Bidder, D.S.O. (1917), M.A., F.S.A.

Second son of George P. Bidder, Q.C., of Ravensbury Park, Mitcham.
Born 1875; educated St. Paul’s and Trinity College Cambridge.
Married in 1918 to Vivian, eldest daughter of late H. M. Rush, of
Edinburgh; 2 sons, 1 daughter.

Barrister at Lincoln’s Inn 1899.

Joined 9th Battalion, Royal Sussex regiment in 1899, and served in South African War 1899-1902 and in Great War 1914-19 in France.
Lt. Col. Machine Gun corps 1917

Associate member of Chartered Surveyors’ Institute,
J.P. (1926) Surrey.

1 Brick court, Temple, E.C.4 (Central 1687) ;
The Malt House, Nettlebed, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon (Nettlebed 260).

Source: Kelly’s Handbook to the Titled, Landed & Official Classes, 1952 from Find My Past (subscription required)

According to Eric Montague in his book Mitcham Histories : 10 Ravensbury, pages 42-3, among his interests was archaeology, and he started the excavation of the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Ravensbury in 1891. He continued with this after WW1 and finished it in 1922.

He became the first president of the Merton and Morden Historical Society when it was formed in 1951, a position he held for 20 years until his death at the age of 92.

WW1 Recruits from Church Road

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

Arn AITKEN of 77 Church Road, aged 25 Years, Baker. Volunteered on 7 February 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

A E ALLAN of 333 Church Road, Merton, aged 18 Years 6 Months, Beltmaker. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 1 March 1916 to the Machine Gun Corps (training Centre).

A H ANGLISS of 128 Church Road, aged 18 Years, Munition Worker. Joined on 29 January 1916 to the East Surrey Regiment.

M BATEMAN of 233 Church Road, aged 30 Years, Fireworks Maker. Volunteered on 26 November 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (10th Batn).

C BATT of 361 Church Road, aged 31 Years 4 Months, Labourer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 10 December 1915 to the Dep Lab Comp.

A G BEARD of 4 Abbey Terrace, Church Road, aged 22 Years 6 Months, Foreman. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 28 February 1916 to the East Surrey Regiment (4th Batn).

T BEVAN of 18 Church Road, aged 40 Years 3 Months, Gardener. Conscripted on 11 December 1915 to the 301st Labour Coy (5th Batn).

O L BIRCH of 36 Church Road, aged 25 Years 5 Months, Slaughterer. Conscripted on 28 February 1916 to the Royal Horse & Field Artillery.

D J BISHOP of 229 Church Road, aged 24 Years 11 Months, Printer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Royal Engineers.

E H BLAKE of 114 Church Road, aged 28 Years, Packer. Conscripted on 18 July 1917 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment (3rd Batn).

Vic BROADBRIDGE of 82 Church Street, aged 19 Years, Labourer. Volunteered on 12 February 1915 to the Royal Engineers (sapper).

F J BULGAR of 223 Church Road, aged 20 Years 10 Months, Fitters Mate. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 21 February 1916 to the Royal Engineers.

T BURGESS of 73 Church Road, aged 34 Years 8 Months, Painter. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 12 December 1915 to the Royal Engineers.

G W CARR of 7 Horathon* Cottages, Church Road, aged 39 Years 7 Months, Brick Maker. Volunteered on 6 February 1915 to the Military Mounted Police Corps. * could be Hawthorn?

G S CARTER of 62 Church Street, aged 20 Years 1 Months, Apprentice. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 31 January 1916 to the East Surrey Regiment (3rd Batn).

H W CARTER of 62 Church Road, aged 25 Years, Paper Ruler. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 27 January 1916 to the East Surrey Regiment (10th Batn).

T S CARTER of 62 Church Road, aged 22 Years 11 Months, Clerk. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 14 January 1916 to the Huntingdonshire Cyclists (2/1st Batn).

E C CRESSWELL of 1 Benedict Cottages, Church Road, aged 26 Years, Labourer. Conscripted on 26 July 1917 to the Middlesex Regiment (5th Batn).

H W ELLINGHAM of 124 Church Road, aged 30 Years 5 Months, Labourer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 9 December 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (11th Batn).

F A FOX of 118 Church Road, aged 33 Years, Collector. Conscripted on 11 December 1916 to the Royal Field Artillery (no 7 Res Bdge).

A S FROST of 174 Church Road, aged 37 Years 9 Months, Dairy Man. Conscripted on 1 June 1917 to the Royal Engineers (training Depot).

John FRY of 223 Church Road, aged 24 Years 4 Months, Groom. Volunteered on 9 February 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

G H GARNER of 227 Church Road, aged 25 Years 9 Months, Gardener. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment (3rd Batn).

W B GILBERT of 177 Church Road, aged 23 Years 7 Months, Varnisher. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 9 December 1915 to the Royal Fusiliers (16th Batn).

T. HAWKINS of 215 Church Road, Merton, aged 29 Years 11 Months, Locomotive Driver. Volunteered on 16 January 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

H HILLIARD of 201 Church Road, aged 19 Years, Labourer. Volunteered on 20 September 1915 to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

A T HOARE of 67 Church Road, aged 28 Years 11 Months, Drayman. Conscripted on 14 February 1917 to the Army Service Corps (ht).

W HOPE of 14 Lime Villa, Church Road, aged 18 Years 5 Months, Gardener. Conscripted on 19 March 1917 to the 25th Training Reserve Batn.

G HUNT of 101 Church Road, aged 23 Years, Spreader. Conscripted on 13 March 1917 to the Royal Horse & Field Artillery (no 4).

Arth Willm JESSOP of 53 Church Road, aged 24 Years, Painter. Volunteered on 12 January 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment.

W KILLICK of 103 Church Road, aged 36 Years, Carman. Conscripted on 18 June 1917 to the Army Vetinary Corps.

G KING of 19 Church Road, aged 18 Years, Clerk. Conscripted on 30 September 1916 to the 22nd Training Reserve Batn.

W LANGRIDGE of 110 Church Road, aged 23 Years, Belt Maker. Conscripted on 11 December 1915 to the Middlesex Regiment (5th Batn).

G LAWFORD of The Bull Church Road Mitcham, aged 35 Years 11 Months, Publican. Conscripted on 1 March 1917 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment (labour Coy).

G R MARSH of 146 Church Road, aged 19 Years 6 Months, Stableman. Volunteered on 1 June 1915 to the Army Veterinary Corps.

H T MARSH of 146 Church Road, aged 32 Years 1 Months, Distiller. Conscripted on 28 February 1916 to the Royal Fusiliers (6th Batn).

T W MARSH of 146 Church Road, aged 18 Years 1 Months, Servant. Conscripted on 30 May 1916 to the 103rd Training Reserve Batn.

G MCMULLEN of 11 Church Street, aged 18 Years 1 Months, Fitters Mate. Conscripted on 15 February 1917 to the 29th Training Reserve Batn.

E E MOUNT of 116 Church Road, aged 18 Years, Colour Mixer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 21 February 1916 to the East Surrey Regiment (11th Batn).

J H L MOUNT of 132 Church Road, aged 27 Years 1 Months, Fitter. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Army Ordinance Corps.

A F MUGGERIDGE of Benedict Terrace, Church Road, aged 25 Years, Balata Worker. Conscripted on 9 December 1915 to the East Kent Regiment (3rd Batn).

C O’DOHERTY of 60 Church Road, aged 33 Years, Metal-worker. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (10th Batn).

A O PARSONS of 235 Church Road, aged 30 Years 9 Months, Shoe Repairer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (3/5th Batn).

F A PARSONS of 217 Church Road, aged 22 Years 10 Months, Belt Maker. Conscripted on 8 April 1916 to the Norfolk Regiment (3rd Batn).

A T PENEGAR of 223 Church Road, aged 18 Years, Munitions. Conscripted on 1 August 1916 to the 22nd Training Reserve Batn.

R S PHILLIPS of 137 Church Road, aged 31 Years 9 Months, Bricklayer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 6 December 1915 to the Royal Engineers.

A PUTLAND of 221 Church Road, aged 28 Years, Warehouseman. Conscripted on 2 March 1917 to the Middlesex Regiment (29th Batn).

A E QUIN of 247 Church Road, aged 33 Years 6 Months, Packer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 4 December 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (3rd Batn).

G ROBINS of 55 Church Road, aged 31 Years 8 Months, Barman. Conscripted on 12 December 1915 to the 301st Labour Coy (5th Batn).

H SANDWICK of 168 Church Road, aged 26 Years, Carpenter. Conscripted on 10 February 1916 to the Royal Engineers.

E SAVAGE of 30 Box Tree Cottages, Church Road, aged 35 Years 4 Months, Carman. Conscripted on 10 December 1916 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment (Labour Coy).

W R SEARS of 376 Church Rd Merton, aged 25 Years 3 Months, Iron Worker. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 16 February 1916 to the Durham Light Infantry (5th Batn).

A F SIMPSON of 79 Church Road Mitcham, aged 29 Years 6 Months, Fitter. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Army Ordinance Corps.

J T SIMPSON of 130 Church Road Mitcham, aged 29 Years 11 Months, Fitter. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Army Ordinance Corps.

C STACEY of 255 Church Road, aged 39 Years 11 Months, Carman. Conscripted on 11 December 1915 to the Royal Sussex Regiment (4th Batn).

James Bruce STEVENS of 209 Church Road, aged 18 Years, Firework Maker. Volunteered on 19 February 1920 to the East Surrey Regiment.

V G STOKES of 40 Church Street, Mitcham, aged 19 Years 1 Months, Labourer. Volunteered on 15 June 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment.

W STROUD of 33 Church Road, aged 33 Years, Carman. Conscripted on 7 November 1916 to the No 1 Reserve Horse Transport.

H STRUDWICK of 168 Church Road, aged 26 Years, Carpenter. Conscripted on 10 February 1916 to the East Kent Regiment (3rd Batn).

A E TAPPING of 6 Handene Cottage, Church Road, aged 37 Years 6 Months, Bricklayer. Volunteered on 9 January 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment.

W W TEDDER of 127 Church Road, aged 39 Years, Grave Digger. Conscripted on 11 December 1916 to the Royal Fusiliers (6th Batn).

J TULLICK of 379 Church Rd Merton SW, aged 18 Years 10 Months, Varnish Maker. Joined on 1 June 1915 to the Royal Fusiliers.

J T A WARD of 75 Church Road, aged 18 Years, Labourer. Conscripted on 15 May 1917 to the 18th Training Reserve Batn.

J H WEIGHT of 140 Church Road, aged 30 Years, Leather Worker. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 12 December 1915 to the Middlesex Regiment (27th Batn).

S WELLER of 86 Church Road, aged 27 Years 4 Months, Bricklayer. Volunteered on 3 November 1915 to the Royal Engineers.

T WEST of 341 Church Road, aged 19 Years 3 Months, Gas Fitter. Volunteered on 19 May 1915 to the Royal Engineers (sapper).