Category Archives: WW2

Auxiliary Fire Service graves in London Road Cemetery

London Road Cemetery, Mitcham, CR4 3LA (Google map).

In the Commonwealth War Graves section, plot 14, of this cemetery there are three gravestones for Auxiliary Firemen who died at the Surrey Theatre, on 10th May 1941.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website doesn’t include the details of these graves in their list of the war graves at this cemetery, because, as commented below, they are not classed as full war graves. The three gravestones in plot 14 are shown below, the sequence being from left to right as viewed from the path, which leads from the entrance in Victoria Road.

E. G. Pepper, aged 32

E.F. Robinson, aged 35

C.A. Elliman, aged 37

A pdf plan of the the layout of this cemetery is available from Merton council’s website.

WW2 – Peter Pushman

From the CWGC:

Rank: Corporal
Service No: 1454610
Date of Death: 22/09/1944
Age: 28
Regiment/Service: South Staffordshire Regiment 2nd (Airborne) Bn.
Grave Reference: 22. A. 19.

Additional Information:
Son of Bert and Elizabeth Pushman; husband of Sarah Charlotte Pushman, of Sandford-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

The Mitcham News & Mercury, 17th November 1944 reported:

1944 November 17 Pushman death


Cp. Peter Pushman, second son of Mr. and Mrs. B. Pushman, of the old-established chimney sweeps in Mitcham. As reported in the “News and Mercury,” he was killed by a mortar bomb while with the Airborne troops at Arnhem.

In the 1930 Commercial Directory of Mitcham, Bert Pushman, chimney sweep, 113 Love Lane

WW2 – Charles Henry Hussey


Rank Private
Service No 6105871
Date of Death 15/10/1943
Age 37
Regiment/Service The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) 1/7th Bn.
Grave Reference III. O. 18.
Additional Information Son of Charles and Elizabeth Hussey, of Mitcham, Surrey; husband of Mary Hussey, of Mitcham.

From electoral registers:

1930 : 29 Sibthorpe Road
Charles Hussey
Elizabeth Hussey
Charles Henry Hussey
Mary Hussey

1931: 29 Sibthorpe Road
Charles Hussey
Elizabeth Hussey

1931 : 82 Sibthorpe Road
Charles Hussey
Mary Hussey

1939 : 82 Sibthorpe Road
Charles Hussey
Mary Hussey

Mitcham Foundry and Engineering Ltd.

Based at the James Estate, corner of Bond Road and Western Road.

From the Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 18th August 1955

He solved U-boat secret

When the Navy captured a German U-boat during the early part of the war, an underwater metal cutter with an entirely unknown type of valve was discovered inside it.

Admiralty experts were stumped. They wanted to use similar valves on equipment in our own submarines, but did not know how they were made. Naval engineers started to draw up plans and meanwhile one of the small valves was sent to the Mitcham Foundry and Engineering Company.

Mr. Robert Badcoe, one of the two partners at the foundry, studied the valve carefully. He decided, after a lot of thought, that he could make one, and set about it.

The valve took 64 operations and contained 13 different threads, but it was soon completed and sent back to the Admiralty. A few days later blueprints arrived at Mitcham telling Mr. Badcoe how the valve could be made!

Work at the foundry ranges from the manufacture of cheese and sweet moulds to the building of underwater television equipment and secret components for Harwell, the atomic research centre.

Originally a workhouse, and, in the first world war a hospital, the foundry lies back from the Western Road near Mitcham Fair Green.

At a very early age, Mr. Badcoe, who now lives in Worcester Park, was apprenticed to a Tooting firm of carburettor manufacturers. Steadily he built up an extensive knowledge of the motoring and light engineering trade.

For a number of years he acted as a second mechanic to a Maserati motor racing team in this country.

Later, when the firm closed, Mr. Badcoe decided to take over the foundry at Mitcham and with his father-in-law, Mr. George Langlands, as a partner, gradually built up the business.

Mr. Badcoe, now nearing 60, is a man who believes in facing emergencies only when they arise and his 35 hand-picked and skilled men follow in his footsteps. They still refuse to wear protective clothing for their faces and hands although they are continually dealing with white hot molten metal.

When the war started the factory immediately began to manufacture shells, aeroplane parts, fire-fighting apparatus and metal air valves for frogmen’s breathing units.

The firm once received an order from the Air Ministry for thousands of aircraft parts for which over 80 tons of lead had to be used.

It was stored on the floor of one of the workshops, and a few days later, when workmen reached the bottom of the pile, they found that the weight had caused it to sink about four feet into the ground.

A big order which the foundry is dealing with at present is a speciality and they have often been called upon to make such things as jewellers’ lathes for Hatton Garden merchants.

Mr. Badcoe and his team are now working on a special type of outboard propellor unit for a Commonwealth Government.

Each unit is made up of hundreds of different parts and often the men have had to make their own jigs and fixtures.

(photo) Mr. Badcoe’s son, Christopher, places a finished unit among the other equipment for an important contract.

Note that some online company check websites show this company as number 00245458 at 174 London Road, CR4 3LD, the engineering works at the rear of the Swan.

James Estate
132 Western Road

Castings, Engineering.

Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT

1945 Aerial Photos of open spaces under cultivation

In 1948 the Borough Engineer reported the size and location of recreation grounds and open spaces that were allotments for the Dig For Victory campaign in World War 2.

These aerial photos are from 1945.

Figges Marsh

Figges Marsh

The Canons and Lower Green East

The Canons and Lower Green East

Cranmer Green

Cranmer Green

Deer Park Gardens

Deer Park Gardens

Mount Road

Mount Road

Lewis Road

Lewis Road

Pollards Hill

Pollards Hill

News of the World Sportsground Pillbox

From the Archaelogy Data Service Defence of Britain Data Archive, the pillbox next to the running track on the News of the World Sports ground can be seen, although there are no further details about it.

From the 1950s Map the size of the pillbox is measured at 71 feet by 84 feet.

Pillbox NS length

Pillbox WE length

Google Earth Canons Pillbox

Annoyingly, the entry on the Archaeology Database shows it as being in New Malden.

The Defence of Britain

Location: New Malden

Condition: Removed

Description: 03/1992 Pillbox, no specification.

Source: Corrected Defence of Britain Records Click here for more details

EDOBID: e14458

Last Edited:

Images: None

Benninga Margarine Factory

Mortimer Road


Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT

Dutch company that set up factories in Hull and Mitcham during the 1930s to avoid import tariffs.

1965 Winding Up

At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Members of the above-named Company, duly convened and held at 20 Cannon Street, London E.C.4, on the 12th day of August 1965, the following Special Resolution was duly passed ; ” That the Company be wound up voluntarily, and that Mr. Peter Ewen, of 17 St. Helen’s Place, London E.C.3, and Mr. Stanley Shaw, of 13 Wood-cote Close, Kingston, Surrey, be and they are hereby appointed Liquidators of the Company for the purposes of such winding-up.”
A. J. Penfold, Secretary.

Merton Memories Photos
1938 delivery of equipment from Amsterdam via Hull
Undated, possibly of offices
Staff photo
Home Guard drilling at factory

Aerial photos of whole site before demolition

bing aerial-01

bing aerial-02

bing aerial-03

bing aerial-04

bing aerial-05

bing aerial-06

bing aerial-07

bing aerial-08

bing aerial-09

bing aerial-10

bing aerial-11

bing aerial-12

bing aerial-13

bing aerial-14

bing aerial-15

bing aerial-16

bing aerial-17

and of the ‘tunnel’
Benninga Tunnel 01

Benninga Tunnel 02

Benninga Tunnel 03

Benninga Tunnel 04