Tag Archives: Church Road

Mortuary Chapel in parish churchyard

In 1882, the parish church’s burial ground was enlarged and a mortuary chapel was built by Crockett at a cost of £1,761, as referred to in an advertised tender in the Surrey Mirror. (Adjusted for inflation, this was the equivalent of around £200,000 today.)

An entrance from Church Road was made, opposite the post office (later 71 Church Road). A path from this entrance led to a circular path in front the chapel.

The new burial ground was consecrated on 15th January 1883 by the Bishop of Rochester.

This 1910 Ordnance Survey map shows the entrance to the chapel as being opposite the letter box on the west side of Church Road. Another building is shown north east of the chapel, along the wall with Miles Road. The entrance that is there today is not shown and it is not known whether this building was related to the mortuary chapel.

1910 OS map


When Mitcham became part of the London Borough of Merton in 1965, the Coroner decided that autopsies and inquests would be performed at Battersea for both Merton and Wandsworth. This decision was recorded in the minutes of the Parks, Cemeteries and Allotments Committee dated 26th May 1965:

612. Mitcham and Wimbledon Mortuaries

The Director of Parks reported

(i) that following the reorganisation of the London boroughs, H.M. Coroner had decided that as from the 1st April, 1965, he will hold all inquests for both the London boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth at the Battersea Coroner’s Court and that consequently all autopsies on bodies will be carried out at the Battersea Mortuary; and

(ii) that no request has been made to use the Wimbledon and Mitcham mortuaries which had been kept in readiness since the 1st April in case local funeral directors wish to use them as Chapels of Rest, and

(iii) that consequently there seemed to be no necessity to keep the mortuaries available particularly as some financial arrangements would have to be agreed with the London Borough of Wandsworth for bodies admitted to the Battersea Mortuary from this borough.

Source: Minutes of proceedings of the council and committees, London Borough of Merton Council Minutes, 1965-66, volume 2, part 1.

Today, nothing is left of the chapel building, although the circular path remains. It is currently not known when it was demolished.

Photo taken 26th April 2017 of plot where mortuary chapel once stood.

Measurements made using the online map show the length of 45 feet along its east-west side, and its depth of 30 feet along its north-south side.

Inquests were held at the Mortuary Chapel. Here are links to some newspaper articles that reported them.

1895 Death from pleurisy
1910 Miss Ellen Peerless, of the Ship Laundry


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


Minutes of meetings held by the London Borough of Merton are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

1926 : Lower Mitcham Schoolboys’ Novel Jazz Band at Christmas

THE DUSTMEN’S CART SYMPHONY.

Schoolboys’ Novel Jazz Band.

“The Bath Road Symphony,” a musical medley descriptive of life in one of the poorest quarters of Mitcham, London, was publicly performed for the first time by Lower Mitcham schoolboys, whose instruments were made up of things found in the dustmen’s carts.

The boys were dressed as dustmen, and the instruments were old saucepans, knives and forks, combs, biscuit tins, pieces of bamboo, curtain rods cut into the form whistles, glass jam jars, and a bass drum made out of galvanised iron bath.

For Christmas Gifts.

The youthful conductor beat time with soup ladle, and, it is said, really excellent music was produced from the extraordinary assortment of instruments. The medley was arranged by Mr H. C. Toller, one of the masters.

Mr F. C. Stone, the headmaster, arranged the concert to provide Christmas cheer for the 350 boys school, of whom, he said, had never received a Christmas present in their lives.

In addition to the symphony orchestra, there was a boys’ mouth organ band, which played popular songs like experts, and bone duets by other boys.

Source: Dundee Evening Telegraph – Thursday 16 December 1926 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

260 Church Road

Single storey factory on east side of Church Road on north side of corner with Hawthorn Avenue.

From comments on the Mitcham History Group on Facebook, it was originally part of a paint and varnish factory and later was occupied by Ashbourne Surgical during the 1980s, Adroit engineering, Catlin engineering, joiners and printers.

Planning permission 16/P2971 submitted 31st August 2016 to demolish it and build a block of flats.

On this 1952 OS map, the building is shown as Scientific Instrument Works.

1952 OS map

1952 OS map

aerial view of factory

aerial view of factory


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

Church Path

Road to south of Church Road, opposite parish church. On the west corner is a disused building called La Sport Community Centre. It was originally built around 1937 as the Church Road Welfare Centre.

1953-os-map-church-path-left

1953 OS map

On the west side of the road, leading south from Church Road are two terraces of houses : John’s Place and Maple Terrace.

At the southern end of the road there is a footpath, of the same name, that heads south east towards London Road, where it is a road again, with houses on its north side.

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

1945 : Memories of 40 years in signal boxes at Mitcham Junction

From the Mitcham Advertiser, Thursday 11th October, 1945, page 1.

FIFTY YEARS ON RAILWAY

Golden Wedding Memories of Old Mitcham

Fifty years on the Southern Railway, and forty of them spent in signal boxes at and about Mitcham Junction, is the record of Mr. Arthur G. Funnell, of 32a, Mitcham Garden Village.

Yesterday (Wednesday) he and Mrs. Funnell celebrated their golden wedding.
Mr. Funnell reminded “The Advertiser” reporter that he signalled Queen Victoria’s funeral train through Mitcham Junction on its way from Gosport to Victoria. He also signalled the only royal train that ever was on the branch Croydon-Whnbledon line. It had on board the late King Edward (then Prince of Wales) and no less a person than the Kaiser of Germany. They had been to a review of troops on Wimbledon Common and were on their way to the Crystal Palace. The late Mr. W. Martin was stationmaster at Old Mitcham at that time.

“There was a big crowd of people all along the embankment of Mitcham Common when Queen Victoria’s train went through.” Mr. Funnell said, “and not a few to see Kaiser Bill go by.”

Mr. Funnell served under seven stationmasters at Mitcham Junction. “We had plenty of celebrated people round us in those days.” he sold. “The golf course on the Common, then in its prime, attracted everybody who was anybody in London. Including five Prime Ministers, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald and Mr. Winston Churchill, who, however, came before he rose to that high rank. Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley was as good a player as any of them, and better than most. It was said.”

All sorts of queer things happened at Mitcham Junction, or thereabouts, during Mr. Funnell’s reign as signalman. A big barrel of red powder belonging to a local paint firm rolled off the platform one day in front or a non-stop train, which smashed it literally to dust. The engine, the driver and fireman, most of the passengers, a good length of the train and half the station were painted red and for half an hour a red mist hung about over a wide area, like a sunset reluctant to come to an end.

Mr. Funnell’s initiative led to the capture of several wrongdoers. From his lighthouse early one morning he saw several men being chased across the railway and the Common. He promptly telephoned the station staff, who bagged one.

On another occasion, going off night duty, he saw two sacks partly hidden near the station. He informed the police. Officers dressed as porters got into the brake van when the first train rolled into the Junction, and were not surprised to see two men soon follow them with the sacks. But the men were surprised when the “porters” grabbed them.

Mr. and Mrs. Funnell’s own home in Love Lane was broken into. They lived in it for forty years, till they were bombed out. The garden there was one of the sights of the village, for Mr. Funnell is a good gardener, with a passion for flowers. He has cultivated an allotment on the railway embankment at Mitcham Junction for over fifty years. The housebreaker in Love Lane was captured by Mr. Funnell himself, after a chase into Western Road. He happened to reach home as the intruder was leaving, with two watches and other articles.

“I began my railway life on the old London, Brighton and South Coast Railway,” Mr. Funnell said. He was born at Littlehampton and is now 74. Mrs. Funnell. who is 75, is a native of Mitcham. She was born in Church Road, and remembers the village when it was mainly a vast garden, glowing in the Summertime with all the colours of the rainbow.

Like all good Mitchamers, the whole family are interested in cricket. Mr. Funnell played regularly in the railway men’s team. His younger son, Bombardier George Funnell, is an excellent bat in the Mitcham first eleven. Mrs. Funnell still helps with the teas in the pavilion.

Lance-Corporal Arthur Ernest Funnell, of the Military Police, is their other son, and a married daughter lives at Worthing.

After being bombed from Love Lane, Mr. and Mrs. Funnell were bombed from the Garden Village for a time. The Garden Villagers were naturally among the first to congratulate them on their golden wedding day.

“We were married at Mitcham Parish Church by the late Canon Wilson.” said Mrs. Funnell.“ on the same day that Tom Richardson, the great fast bowler, was married at Beddington. In fact, we used the same carriage.”

Mr. Funnell retired from the railway eleven years ago. He looks back on his past at the Junction as the most colourful patch in his history. They were happy and pleasant days to him. When “The Advertiser” reporter left the house Mrs Funnell was making the golden wedding cake.

“Sometimes I still fancy I can hear old George Sawyer calling out the names of the stations.” said Mr. Funnell. George had a voice like Stentor himself. The late Sir Cato Worsfold declared that at The Hall Place, a mile away, he could hear George calling so plainly that every word was distinct.

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).

Homewood Road

Road off west side of Church Road, now forms part of Phipps Bridge Road.

1910 OS Map

1910 OS Map

1952 OS Map

1952 OS Map

World War 1 Connections
Stoker 2nd Class James Munt

Private Andrew Ohlson

Private William Henry Page

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

C F CHALLIS of 6 Homewood Road, aged 36 Years, Tobacco Blender. Conscripted on 3 January 1917 to the Army Ordinance Corps.

J COLLISON of 22 Homewood Road, aged 26 Years 4 Months, Dustman. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 5 June 1916 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment.

T E GRAHAM of 12 Homewood Road, aged 40 Years 1 Months, Carman. Volunteered on 2 June 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

F JELLEY of 24 Homewood Road, aged 35 Years, Dustman. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 7 June 1916 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment.

J F PEARCE of 18 Homewood Road, aged 30 Years, Dustman. Conscripted on 7 June 1916 to the Royal Garrison Artillery (no 1 Depot).

S J PICKETT of 14 Homewood Road, aged 39 Years 1 Months, Labourer. Conscripted on 9 May 1916 to the Labour Centre.


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