The memorial on Lower Green, Mitcham, is representative of the tens of thousands erected across Britain when the Nation came to terms with the human cost of the war. Private grief found an outlet in public remembrance. Away from public gaze memorials were erected in places of worship, education, work, clubs and societies. The Related Memorials pages of this blog has been undated today to reflect the relationship between Mitcham’s many memorials.
The situation at Christ Church, Colliers Wood, is to be regretted, but at least their small memorial to choir members survives, and will be the subject of a future post.
THEY SHALL WALK IN WHITE/ FOR THEY ARE WORTHY/ (NAMES)/ A SOMETIME FELLOW CHORISTER, THANKFUL FOR THEIR FRIENDSHIP,/ IS HUMBLY HOPING TO MEET THEM AGAIN./ EASTER 1921.
This image taken from the Aug. 1924 p.9 ‘Wandgas Magazine’ of the planned (?) memorial to 85 workers of the Wandsworth Wimbledon and Epsom District Gas Company gives recognition to nine men named on the Mitcham War Memorial. * (see footnote 1)
The Related Memorials page makes reference to the following men whose names appear at Lower Green:
Leonard Henry (Harry) Hall – no CWGC entry
Albert Edward Baker ** (see footnote 2)
Footnote 1: The IWM are currently reviewing the status of this memorial. If it existed post-war it would have been in the Central Offices of the works that would much later become the “Wandsworth Holder Station”, part of South Eastern Gas (SEGAS) under nationalisation. It so happens I had a student job there in the early 1970s and have a vague memory of seeing something like this in one of the wooden panelled office rooms on the upper floor of the central offices.
Footnote 2: Although the name of Albert Edward Baker has been added to this list, it is the name “BAKER A. F.” which appears on the Mitcham War Memorial and was recorded in A.P. Whitehead’s 1988 survey which itself appears to be the basis of data held by the IWM memorial register. To date, no plausible candidate for “BAKER A. F.” has ever been found. In contrast Albert Edward Baker is known to have died in what was the Holborn Military Hospital, Mitcham, and was buried in Chruch Road Cemetery and has an official CWGC headstone. One possible explanation for this discrepancy is that a letter “E” has been confused with a letter “F” in a past renovation of the memorial. The last known major renovation of the memorial took place in the 1960s after four decades of exposure to the elements and the corrosive London atmosphere in the era before the “Clean Air Acts”.