Related Memorials

The Mitcham War Memorial stands on Lower Green for all to see, a visible and public reminder of the sacrifice of those who fell in the Great war.  Other more private spaces would become the home of memorials seen only by church congregations, school pupils and staff, work colleagues, fellow clubmates or society members.  Not all of these memorials have survived, but it is still possible to find names from the Mitcham War Memorial appearing in unexpected places.

Of the Churches in Mitcham, the most important are Christ Church Colliers Wood, St. Barnabas Gorringe Park, St. Mark Mitcham and the Parish Church of St.Peter and St. Paul (CofE) Mitcham.  Without these memorials, identification of many of the 587 names on the Mitcham War Memorial would be a far more difficult task.

Full lists of names on some of Mitcham’s memorials have recently been made available via the search facility of the Imperial War Museum’s “war memorial register” which previously existed as the UK National Inventory of War Memorials (UKNIWM).  In some instances, the name lists at the IWM appear to be have been derived from a survey of war memorials conducted in Merton by A.P. Whitehead in 1988 and contain the same errors.

The large “Roll of Honour” board in Christ Church carried 180 names, See http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12450 & http://www.christchurchsw19.org.uk/introduction_history.html

Enquiries made last year at Christ Church, Colliers Wood, revealed the news that this memorial is sadly no longer in situ and its status is unknown.  What is still in situ at Christ Church is a smaller memorial in the form of an oak lectern dedicated to the memory of five members of the choir,  see http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12451 Those named include Leonard Martin, Percy James Gibbons and Leonard Henry (Harry) Hall (no CWGC entry).

The “Roll of Honour” with 150 names at St. Mark Mitcham and the Jackson Family Memorial are believed to be still in situ: see http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12452 http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12454 For photos see here: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2805661 & http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2805697 

Among the names at St. Mark Mitcham is that of my grandfather’s cousin Samuel George Burge who left a wife and child.

The “roll of honour” with 72 names and other individual memorials to 2lt M H Clift and Lt. E.H. Pinches at St.Barnabas are believed to be still in situ. See http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12447

There was no “roll of honour” at the parish Church of St.Peter and St. Paul, but the church has a painted timber triptych, with doors, that is dedicated to the fallen of the Great War. See http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12322  photo

The Parish Church is also home to three individual memorial plaques. Those of D. W. Drewett, Sgt. F. Parker and Captain Blount. See: http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12321 http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12317 http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12319

A lost memorial to the Church’s bell ringers is thought to have existed in the bellfry, they included Douglas Walter Drewitt and Benjamin Arthur Morris See: https://halfmuffled.wordpress.com/the-towers-and-men/g-w/mitcham-st-peter-and-st-paul/

One memorial that was perilously close to being last was originally erected in memory of those who had died at the Holborn Military Hospital. When the old Holborn workhouse buildings were demolished the weather beaten memorial was rescued by the Merton Historical Society and placed in safe storage by the London Borough of Merton.  Among the names are:  Walter Bowers, Albert Edward Cousens and Albert Edward Baker (?).  See here for a photo of the memorial: http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/view/49502#prettyPhoto

One notable school memorial was/is at Rutlish School http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/name/28038  The original buildings were at the corner of Kingston Road and what was Station Road (now Rutlish Road) close to the old Merton Park railway station. The “Merton Memories Photographic Archive” has a photograph of the memorial in its original state: http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/view/35621#prettyPhoto  Among the 96 names are those of William Richard AnglissClifford Alexander Blazdell, Hubert William Evans, John William Hyde Harrison, Lionel Russell and Frank William Wells.

Another school just outside Mitcham was the Haydons Road Boys School near South Wimbledon. The School’s “Roll of Honour” listed 550 old boys serving with H.M. forces. One hundred and forty nine are recorded as casualties on the exisiting memorial. See http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/names/listing/12468 & http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/collections/war/32653#prettyPhoto  Among those named is George Henry Keep.

Outside of Mitcham is ALL SAINTS CHURCH of  Hackbridge and Beddington Corner, the names of six men on the Mitcham War Memorial also appear here:  brothers James and John Beckley, Frank Henn, Albert Gordon Hobart, Albert Frederick Muggeridge, and Richard Wheeler.

Outside of Mitcham is St. Mary’s Church at Summerstown, an area off Garratt Lane between Tooting and Earlsfield.  It might be unexpected, but three individuals with family ties to this area and whose names appear on the Mitcham War Memorial also appear on the splendid memorial within St.Mary’s. Geoff Simmons heads a vibrant community project that has been bringing war time stories to life again as a tribute to 182 men.  Those of Percy Harrison and Frederick Sizmur Buckland have already appeared, that of Walter Tappin has yet to be told. See:  https://summerstown182.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/lavender-and-gunpowder/  https://summerstown182.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/frederick-sizmur-buckland/

The memorial that was thought to have either existed or was planned for the Chief office of the WANDSWORTH WIMBLEDON & EPSOM/ DISTRICT GAS CO. at Fairfield Street, Wandsworth is described here: http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12494) The image taken from the Wandgas magazine of Aug. 1924 p.9. includes the names of Victor Claud Willis, George Edward Towers, Richard Wheeler, Sidney Charles Bowdery, Jack Coldham, Albert William Cooper, William Edward Harraway, John Griffin Roberts, and Walter Henry Webb.

The memorial to the 19th Battalion of the London Regiment at St. Pancras Church which was originally erected in the Drill Hall of the 19th London Regt. names 1069 individuals and includes those of RSM Arthur Frederick Ridout and Pte. George Joseph Senyard.

2nd Lt. Cecil Bertie Gedge, a barrister and member of the MCC before the War. Left a widow and child. His name appears on the memorial to MCC members at Lords Cricket ground. See http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/11563 & http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Middlesex/LordsWW1.html and also at Stedham Church, http://ww1memorials.midhurstu3a.org.uk/lieutenant-cecil-bertie-gedge/

The above is not an exhaustive list and additions will be continue to appear below. But one catalogue which is complete is a record of the official commonwealth war graves in the Church Road cemetery, the graveyard of the Parish church of St. Peter & St.Paul. Details, together with photographs, can be found here: https://mitchamhistorynotes.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/parish-church-ww1-graves/