Is this a Photo of Saunder’s Ness?

I came across this photo on the internet. Its caption? ‘The Isle of Dogs from Greenwich’. (I am sorry to say I cannot remember where the photo came from – it was a long time ago before I made it a habit of registering and crediting the source of all photos).

That it is an old photograph is obvious: the sail ships and paddle steamers mean the photo was almost certainly taken in the 19th century.

The riverside doesn’t look like the Island though; the gentle embankment sloping down to the river is unfamiliar – not at all like the high walls that we know today. However, the east side of the Island did not have high walls until the middle of the 1800s, their construction thanks to William Cubitt who needed to reduce the risk of flooding to his Cubitt Town development.

But, if it was the Isle of Dogs, where was it? I’ve come back to the photo time after time over the years, scoured over old maps comparing them to image – but I never figured it out …… until now, and quite by accident. While browsing through some old photos, I noticed a vaguely familar looking building and chimney in this c1855 photo:

click for full-sized version

Specifically:

What I thought was a chimney, on closer examination, turned out to have the distinctive shape of a lime kiln. Lime kilns were used to produce the form of lime called quicklime (calcium oxide), a key ingredient for the process of making cement. The ‘Lime Wharf’ is shown on this 1862 map:

Judging from the lines of the riverfront, the wall had not yet been built. The only straight lines, which hint at a wall, are in front of Seyssel Asphalte Co. and Lime Wharf. The short section of wall, the kiln and adjoining buildings look a lot like this section of the unidentified photo, but then viewed from futher north:

The similarities between the unidentified photo and the 1863 map are so great that it’s not difficult to label the photo…..

Missing from the photo is Cubitt Town Pier, which was built between the Boiler Works (owned by the Dudgeons) and Plough Wharf in 1857, which would make this photo earlier than that.

A ‘ness’ is a headland or promontory, and there are ample indications that the unidentified photo shows Saunders Ness, a name that features on the earliest maps of the Isle of Dogs. Thing is ….. I’ve no idea who Saunders was. Something else to spend years thinking about.

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Men of the Isle of Dogs Killed in Action During WWI

Around 6 million men were mobilised to serve in the British Army during WWI; the majority were born in Britain, but a significant number were from other countries around the British Empire.

700,000 of the combatants from the British Isles were killed during the conflict. The 1911 Census reported the population of the country at 53 million, approximately 26 million of whom were men. That works out at about 1 in 37 of the male population killed in action, the vast majority of whom were young men (the average age of those who died was in the mid-twenties). In 1918, there was barely a street in Britain that hadn’t lost at least one of its young, male residents – and of course this sad fact applied equally to the Isle of Dogs.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has endeavoured to record all known casualties during World Wars I and II (see https://www.cwgc.org/), reporting not only military details such as names, ranks, regiments and service numbers, but also the date and place of death and where the soldier was buried or in which memorial he is commemorated.

Additional notes tell of the next of kin of the deceased, who they were and where they lived. It is this information which allows us to form a more personal picture of those who died, and the families they left behind.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The CWGC records should not be assumed to be a complete and accurate list of Islanders killed in action during WWI.

For one thing, the details of the next of kin were gathered sometime after the war, in the early 1920s. The CWGC sent forms to known next of kin according to service records, asking them to supply up-to-date information, including current address. This might not have been the address of the family during the war, and some next of kin could not be located, or didn’t reply.

Also, I have come across tens of records and photos – in the Island History Trust Collection for example – belonging to casualties who are not even mentioned in the CWGC records (or, if they are mentioned, there is not enough information to identify them as Islanders). This article is not complete, in other words – I’d be more than happy to include information about others if you are missing someone.

With those provisos in mind, I am in this article attempting to say more about those who were killed. Who were the people and families behind the records, in the context of the Isle of Dogs in the 1910s?

It would take a book to cover everyone, so most attention is paid to one street – Stebondale Street – which I considered to be representative of other Island streets at the time. Casualties from other areas are covered in less detail in the final section of the article.

Stebondale Street

At the outbreak of WWI, Islanders were not well off, but work was plentiful and there was little poverty – compared to the rest of the East End in any event. Stebondale Street was a typical Cubitt Town street, lined with terraced housing built in the mid-1800s. In 1914 the street extended from Manchester Road in the south to Manchester Road in the east (left to right in this photo).

1920s (click for full sized image)

The street also had two chapels and a number of commercial businesses (virtually all the photos in this section are from the Island History Trust Collection – see http://www.islandhistory.co.uk/ for more information.)

Henry Koch, 1 Stebondale Street

No. 1. Henry Koch, Grocer
No. 3. Henry Smith, Greengrocer
No. 5. Sarah Fothergill, Oil Shop
No. 7. Henry Miller, Fishmonger
No. 26. William Inkpen, Plumber
No. 28. Arthur Juan, Confectioner

1912. Juan’s, 28 Stebondale Street

No. 56. Mary Ann Kidd, Baker
No. 57. Charles May, Chandler’s Shop

May’s. 57 Stebondale Street.

No. 58. John Bedford, Bootmaker
No. 59. Albert Leonard, Boot Repairer
No. 70. George Dickman, Cycle Maker
No. 72. Joseph Bowers, Chandler’s Shop
No. 88. Joe Leeds, Greengrocer

Joe Leeds, 88 Stebondale Street

No. 89. John Burgess, Chandler’s Shop
No. 90. Ernest May, Greengrocer
No. 95. Virtue Dawson, Chandler’s Shop
No. 97. Elizabeth Roberts, Chandler’s Shop
No. 99. George Sempers, Builder’s Arms Public House

1900s. Builder’s Arms pub, 99 Stebondale Street.

No. 101. Herbert William, Hairdresser
No. 108. William Porter, Chandler’s Shop
No. 112. Abraham Fothergill, Chandler’s Shop
No. 144. Elizabeth McCartney, Oil Shop
No. 144A. William Boyns Robert, Hairdresser

1910s. McCartney’s, 144 Stebondale Street

When WWI started, the government called for volunteers and, by January 1915, more than 1 million joined the armed forces voluntarily. Traditionally, British public opinion has always been against conscription. However, because more men were needed (it wasn’t ‘over by Christmas’ after all), conscription was introduced in January 1916. Conscription applied initially to single men aged 18-41, but this was later extended to include married and older men.

Many residents of Stebondale Street also volunteered for service, and proudly posed for family photos.

Three Chadwick brothers. Originally from Greenwich, they lived at 55 Stebondale Street.

1918. The Price family, of Stebondale Street, Isle of Dogs. John Lawrence Price (b. 1862); John Price (b.c1898), William (Will) Price (b.1901), and in front Jim Price (b.1908). John Lawrence kept a shop in Stebondale Street which was in the Marine Stores; later his son kept it on as a tobacconist and confectioner. Will Price worked at Cargo Fleet, Westferry Road. Photo: Ada Price

Charles Needham (right) was born in Rotherhithe and moved to the Isle of Dogs after his marriage to Caroline Batchelor, living at 83 Stebondale Street. He served with the Essex Regiment throughout WWI.

Stebondale Street was a regular Island street.

A street which saw 14 of its sons, husbands, fathers or brothers killed during WWI.

Approximately one death per ten families.

Addresses of WWI casualties (or their next of kin) according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Click for full-sized version.

Many of the men must have known each other in civilian life. They lived close to each other in a close knit community, most were baptised in Christ Church and went to Cubitt Town School. Their families worked in the same firms. Most also died and are commemorated close to each other in a small area of Northern France.

Herbert Munden, 9 Stebondale Street

Herbert Munden was born in late 1898 to Charles and Rose Munden, who lived at 13 Pier Street. The 1911 Census shows that Herbert had three brothers and three sisters at the time. Herbert, his two younger brothers and one sister were still at school (Cubitt Town School in Saunder’s Ness Road – then named Wharf Road), his dad and oldest brother were dock workers, while his two older sisters were sack menders (a rotten job which exploited in particular young women, more girls really).

By the outbreak of WWI, the Mundens lived at 9 Stebondale Street, and Herbert’s father had recently died. Herbert was too young to fight in 1914, but in Nov 1916, at the age of 17, he joined the 5th/6th Battalion of the Royal Scots. His enrolment papers described his profession as ‘biscuit maker’.

Due to his age, he can’t have been conscripted, but must have volunteered. In all likelihood he started as a part-time or territorial soldier, and it was only when he reached 18 that he would be allowed to fight. In February 1918, Herbert was transferred to the front line, shipping from Folkestone to Boulogne.

On 5th March, he ‘joined field’ as it was described in his military papers, being one of the many thousands who were reinforcing the British front lines in the north of France in anticipation of a large German attack. As part of their ‘Operation Michael’, the Germans launched an attack towards Amiens on April 4th, and Herbert was killed. He was 19. He’d been in France for two months, and at the front line for less than a month.

Herbert Munden is buried in Bienvillers Military Cemetery.

George Frederick Humphrey, 11 Stebondale Street

The Humphreys lived at 11 Stebondale Street, next door to the Mundens. Frederick (a worker in a dry dock) and Ada Humphrey had five children, the oldest of whom, George, was born in 1896. After attending Cubitt Town School, George became a ‘District Messenger’ (aka Telegram Boy).

George joined the army in January 1915, but it would be 1917 before he was shipped to France, by then a member of the Machine Gun Corps. His military medical records conclude with an entry on 25th July 1918: ‘Adm GSW Abdomen’ an abbreviated version of  ‘Admitted with gunshot wound to abdomen’. He died later that day.

Machine Gun Corps members at Vimy Ridge.

George Humphrey is buried in the British section of Verberie French National Cemetery.

William Alfred Love, 52 Stebondale Street

William Love was born in 1891, and was baptised in Christ Church. His baptism record shows that the family lived in Billson Street at the time, and that the profession of his father was ‘Woodmarker & Measurer’.

By 1911, mother Helen was a widow, and the family had moved around the corner to 52 Stebondale Street. The census of that year states that Helen was a forewoman in a varnish works. Daughter Dora (17) was a labeller in probably the same varnish works, daughter Grace (15) was a clerk in a jam factory, and the three youngest daughters – Jessie (11), Rosie (9) and Annie (7) – were all still at school. The only male in the household, William, was then 19 and was a tin plate worker in a paint works.

When WWI broke out, the Loves were living at 52 Stebondale Street. William signed up for the newly-formed 17th Battalion of the London Regiment, a territorial unit that was better known as the Poplar and Stepney Rifles. The battalion was trained at St. Albans and on 19th March 1915 they proceeded to Le Havre.

Men of the Poplar and Stepney Rifles, October 1916

William Love was killed on 29th October 1915, aged 24, and is buried in the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe.

Frederick Rechab Clews, 58 Stebondale Street

In 1911, the Clews family were living at 5 Pier Street. Father, Samuel (a carpenter and joiner), mother, Hannah, and son Frederick (an electric crane driver), aged 18, were all born in Staffordshire. Frederick’s siblings – Dorothy, William, Reginald, Daisy, Samuel Jr and Ellen – were all born on the Isle of Dogs and were still at school.

On the outbreak of WWI, Frederick enlisted in Woolwich and became a driver in the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, D Battery, 6nd Brigade. Final training was undertaken near Aldershot and the men proceeded to France, landing at Boulogne on 1st June 1915.

They quickly saw action, including at the Battle of Loos (September 1915) and at the Hohenzollern Redoubt (September to October 1915), two British Army actions which were tactical and strategic failures and which led to heavy loss of life. During this short period – 117 officers and 3237 men of Frederick Clew’s division were killed or wounded, including Frederick himself who was killed on 11th October 1915.

Battle of Loos

Action at the Hohenzollern Redoubt

The 1916 Index of Wills and Administrations reveals that his effects were left to his father, Samuel. According to this index, the Clews were still living in Pier Street in 1916. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Frederick Clews as of ’58 Stebondale Street, son of Mr. S.J. Clews, of 58 Stebondale Street, Cubitt Town, London’. The family must have moved home around the time of his death.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1916

George James Turner, 65 Stebondale Street

The Turner family lived at 65 Stebondale Street, close to its corner with Newcastle Street (now named Glengarnock Avenue). In the 1911 Census, the oldest son of the household, George Turner, is described as ‘one of the unemployed’. Father John worked at a paint factory at Storer’s Wharf, which would have been Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark, later the works of Pinchin Johnson & Co Ltd, Storer’s Wharf

Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark, Storer’s Wharf, 1920s

Despite the docks, and the connection of the Isle of Dogs with ships and shipbuilding, few Islanders went to sea. Islanders built ships, repaired ships, loaded and unloaded ships, but actually sailing on one was a different story altogether. An exception was George Turner – he joined the Royal Navy and became a stoker on HMS Formidable.

HMS Formidable

On 1st January 1915, while on Channel patrol off Portland Bill  H.M.S. Formidable was struck by a torpedo fired from the German submarine and began to list. 45 minutes later she was struck by a second torpedo. In the darkness and worsening weather conditions, it was difficult to get men and boats over the side. Two of the squadron’s light cruisers came alongside and managed to pick up some men, but in the end only 233 of the ship’s compliment of 547 men survived.

George Turner was among the dead; his mother, Hannah, was informed of his death on 5th January. He is commemorated at the Chatham Naval Memorial.

Chatham Memorial Register

Chatham Naval Memorial

Thomas J. Ballard, 71 Stebondale Street

Thomas Ballard was in his late 40s when WWI broke out, and was a labourer in a dry dock. He was married, and he and wife Fanny had six children: William (20), Thomas (18), Edwin (16), Harry (14), Fanny (12) and Jessie (9). The family lived at various times at both 54 and 71 Stebondale Street.

It is not clear if he volunteered or was conscripted, but in 1917 he was private in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. By this time he had turned 50 and probably, due to his age, he was not on the front line but was assigned to a ‘Home’ depot.

In October 1917 he was admitted to Parkhurst Military Hospital where he died on the 19th of that month. Was it an accident? Was he sick? There are no records of the cause of death that I could find, but I suspect it was the former as Thomas is listed as a WWI ‘casualty’ by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. He is named on the kerb wall of the WWI memorial at East London Cemetery in Plaistow.

War Memorial, East London Cemetery

Henry George Walker, 113 Stebondale Street

Henry George Walker was the son of Henry and Annie Walker of 113 Stebondale Street. According to the 1911 census, the household was made up of:

  • Henry Walker (43), Labourer Chemical Works
  • Annie Walker (43)
  • Annie Walker (21), Sack Maker
  • Joseph Walker (19), General Labourer
  • William Walker (17), Plumber’s Labourer
  • Henry Walker (14), Van Boy
  • George Walker (12), Ellen Walker (10), Charles Walker (8), Thomas Walker (6), Albert Walker (4), all still at school

Henry Jr. turned 18 in 1916, and enlisted in the army. Conscription had been introduced by this time, but he may also have volunteered. He became a private in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

It was his misfortune to be immediately engaged in the Battle of the Somme. This battle was intended to hasten a victory for the Allies and was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. The main battle raged from July to November 1916, and Henry was killed at its start (he died on 1st July).

Henry Walker’s body was never found, he was ‘missing, presumed dead’, along with more than 72,000 other men whose bodies were never found and are named on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

Thiepval Memorial

Frederick Edward Cooter, 137 Stebondale Street

Frederick Cooter (b1898) was the oldest of four children born to Leo (general labourer at a wharf) and Emily of 137 Stebondale Street. His siblings were Ada, Harry and Arthur.

Frederick joined the 1st Battalion of Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) of Infantry in March 1914, a few months before the outbreak of war. His service papers recorded his trade as ‘Dock Labourer’. His Battalion was mobilised and landed in France in August 1914, when Frederick was still only 17, and he did not join them at the front line until 26th November 1915.

During the Battle of Bazentin Ridge (14th to 17th July 1916) which was part of the Battle of the Somme, Frederick Cooter was reported – on 15th July – as “Missing, Death Presumed”.

The Battle of Bazentin Ridge

Frederick Cooter is remembered in the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 5 D and 6 D).

Thiepval Memorial

Joseph William Jeffery, 163 Stebondale Street

Joseph was born in 1877 to Joseph and Jane Jeffery of 44 Glengall Road, and was in his late 30s when WWI broke out. Possibly due to his age, he was posted to a Fortress Company of the Royal Engineers.

Glengall Road, 1910s

At the start of the war, there were 11 Fortress Companies at home and 15 overseas, all on coastal defence duties. Some were entirely for Electric Light (that is, searchlight) duty; others also had Works responsibilities. On mobilisation, men of the Territorial RE took over the home stations, releasing men for duty with the British Expeditionary Force – although not all regulars were withdrawn right away but were released gradually, their places being filled by men who were unfit for overseas service. Territorial troops also moved out to take over some of the overseas stations.

Joseph Jeffery died on 21st May 1919. Despite his death occurring well after the end of war, he is listed as a WWI ‘casualty’ by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and is named on the kerb wall of the WWI memorial at East London Cemetery in Plaistow.

Alfred Arthur Horsley, 167 Stebondale Street

Alfred was born in 1891, the first child of Arthur and Catherine Horsley of 2 Gaverick Street. 10 years later Alfred had four younger siblings, and the family had moved to nearby Claude Street.

Claude Street (post-WWI)

He married in 1913, and in 1915 Arthur and wife Kate were expecting a baby. When daughter Kate was baptised in Christ Church on 31st October 1915, Alfred’s profession was given as ‘Soldier’ on the baptism certificate.

Arthur was a Lance Corporal in the 11th Battalion of the Essex Regiment, and on 25th April 1917 he was killed in action. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial text states that he was the “Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Horsley, of 167, Stebondale St., Cubitt Town, Isle of Dogs; husband of A. A. Naylor (formerly Horsley), of 340, Manchester Rd., Cubitt Town, Isle of Dogs, London.” It appears that Alice had remarried by the time the CWGC prepared memorial texts directly after the war.

Arthur Horsley is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery.

Robert Cone Gosling, 173 Stebondale Street

Robert Cone Gosling was born on 7th August 1899 to Spencer Cone (a general labourer) and Louisa Gosling of 361 Grosvenor Buildings in Poplar. When he was three or four years’ old, the Goslings moved onto the Island, to 323 Manchester Road. A few years later they moved to 173 Stebondale Street.

Robert was about 15 when WWI broke out, but two years later he was a private in the 7th Battalion of the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment).

Robert Cone Gosling

His battalion was involved in The Second Battle of Bapaume which started on 21st August 1918, and on the 23rd he was killed.

Bapaume after its capture by British and New Zealand troops on 30th August 1918.

Robert Cone Gosling is buried at the Becourt Military Cemetery.

Grave of Robert Cone Gosling

Richard Justice, 185 Stebondale Street

Richard Justice was born in September 1889 and lived at 185 Stebondale Street. After leaving Cubitt Town school he was a general labourer for a while before joining the Royal Navy on 13th March 1908 (he signed up for 12 years).

According to his naval records (extract below), his “Wounds, Scars or Marks” included a number of tattoos:

  • 2 hands with glasses & ‘friendship’
  • 5 dots left arm
  • Anchor back of left hand
  • 5 dots right arm

Naval Records, Richard Justice

The records also show that he served on many different ships, the last of which was the destroyer HMS Recruit (launched in 1896).

HMS Recruit

With the outbreak of WWI, Recruit’s duties included anti-submarine and counter mining patrols. On 1st May 1915 Recruit was patrolling with sister ship Brazen in the Thames Estuary, when she was struck by a single torpedo fired by the German submarine. Recruit broke in two and sank quickly with the loss of 39 men. 4 officers and 22 crewmen were rescued.

Petty Officer Stoker Justice’s body was never recovered and he is commemorated at the Chatham Naval Memorial.

Alfred Cottage, 185 Stebondale Street

Alfred Cottage, born 6th November 1893, was one of a large family, who in 1901 lived at 241 Galbraith Street:

  • Father: Isaac (52), Boilermaker
  • Mother: Sarah (42)
  • Children: Isaac Jr (22), George (18), Charles (16), Sarah (11), Henry (9), Alfred (7), May (4), Eliza (1), Albert (1)

After father Isaac died, the family fell upon hard times, and Alfred spent some time at the Poplar Training School and also on the training ship, Exmouth.

Poplar Training School was a school and home in Brentwood for Poor Law children from Poplar, administered by the governors of Poplar Workhouse. Other records suggest his mother was a ‘resident’ of Poplar Workhouse at the time.

HMS Exmouth was loaned by the Admiralty for use as a training ship for poor boys. The cadets were often from families that had been placed in workhouses. (Exmouth House in Cahir Street is named after the ship).

Training Ship Exmouth

Alfred was admitted to the Exmouth on 22nd July 1908 when he was about 14 years’ old, and was discharged on 11th January 1910. His discharge notes indicated that he found work on the SS Oravia, an ocean-going liner based in Liverpool, “as DB [Deck Boy?] for £1 per month”.

The Oravia hit rocks off the Falkland Islands on 12th November 1912 while sailing from Liverpool to Callao in Peru (the ship regularly stopped over at Port Stanley). The crew and passengers were evacuated with the assistance of local boats, and there were no casualties, but the Oravia sank a few days later. It is unknown if Alfred Cottage was sailing with the ship at the time.

The Oravia shortly before sinking.

During WWI Alfred became a Private in the 1st/4th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment. Between 9th and 24th October, he was involved in the British Fourth Army’s effort to push elements of two German armies back from the Hindenburg support line, During this action, known as the ‘Pursuit to the Selle’, Alfred Cottage was killed (on 11th October 1918, just a month before the end of the war). He was buried at York Cemetery, Haspres.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission records describe Alfred as the ‘son of Mrs. S.E. Cottage of 185 Stebondale Street’. After the war his mother was a lodger of the Justice family, whose son was also killed in action (see above).

George James Lloyd, 197 Stebondale Street

George Lloyd was born in 1895 to James (dock labourer) and Sarah Anne Lloyd of 197 Stebondale Street. According to the 1911 census, George was a ‘soap maker’, which means he probably worked for Sapon Soaps in Wharf Road (later Saunder’s Ness Road), whose wharf was later occupied by Luralda’s.

During WWI George was a private in the 1st/20th Battalion of the London Regiment, and was killed on 21st May 1916 in The Battle for Vimy Ridge.

Vimy Ridge

De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour contains biographies of over 26,000 casualties of WWI and includes an entry for George.

George James Lloyd is commemorated at the Arras Memorial.


Casualties Across the Whole Island

Stebondale Street was no exception; families across the whole Island suffered as many losses. In the following maps – covering different areas of the Island, black flags indicate the homes of WWI casualties (or the homes of their next of kin).

It is certainly the case that more men were killed than those represented by a flag on the maps – and named in the following lists. Information provided by next of kin to the CWGC did not always say where they lived. In some cases the residence is given as just Millwall or Cubitt Town, and in some cases it is not given at all. And, as already mentioned, the addresses of the next kin were collected two or three years after the war, by which time some had moved home.

Cubitt Town South

Addresses of WWI military casualties (or their next of kin), south Cubitt Town. It’s an 1890 map, and the houses of casualties resident in East Ferry Road hadn’t been built yet.

CWGC has the following information for casualties related to these addresses. Each entry shows name, rank, unit,  date of death, age (if known), place of burial or commemoration, and additional notes. The list is sorted by street name (and Stebondale Street is included for the sake of completeness). Interesting, relevant photos are also included.

Gordon, William Clark / Serjeant / Royal Fusiliers, 13th Bn. / 14-Nov-1916 / 34 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of James Burnett Gordon and Isabella Clark Gordon, 3 Barque St.

Hipkins, Walter / Lance Corporal / Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 13th Coy. / 20-Jun-1917 / 21 / Roclincourt Military Cemetery, France / Son of Thomas and Jemima Hipkins, 11 Barque St.

Roclincourt Military Cemetery

Philpott, Samuel Reginald / Rifleman / Royal Irish Rifles, 1st Bn. / 02-Oct-1918 / 19 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Son of Mrs. Annie Littleton Philpott, 7 Billson St.

Membry, Samuel George / Private / Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 188th Coy. / 26-Feb-1918 / 19 / East London Cemetery, Plaistow / Son of Alice Frances Membry, 1 Brig St., and the late William C. Membry.

Beattie, Kenneth Parish / Gunner / Royal Field Artillery, B Bty. 291st Bde. / 29-Jun-1917 / 24 / Achiet-Le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, France / Son of William Parish Beattie, 7 College View.

Barber, V / Lance Corporal / Suffolk Regiment, 9th Bn. / 20-Nov-1917 / 25 / Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Plouich, France / Son of Janet E. Barber, 4 Douglas St.

Maskell, Joseph Harry / Private / Guards Machine Gun Regiment, 2nd Bn. / 18-Sep-1918 / 28 / Chapelle British Cemetery, Holnon, France / Son of Joseph and Amelia Maskell, 1 Charteris Terrace (now 224 East Ferry Rd.).

Dimelow, Edwin / Private / Highland Light Infantry, 18th (Glasgow Yeomanry) Bn. / 26-Mar-1918 / 31 / Pozieres Memorial, France / Son of Mrs. Frances Dimelow, 60 Mornington Rd., Wanstead; husband of Margaret Dimelow, 9 Charteris Terrace, East Ferry Road.

Index of Wills and Administration

Cole, William Charles / Private / London Regiment (London Irish Rifles), 18th Bn. / 31-Aug-1918 / 19 / Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery, France / Son of Lily Louisa Cole, 10 Charteris Terrace, East Ferry Road.

Knight, Albert Alfred / Rifleman / London Regiment, 1st/17th Bn. / 01-Oct-1916 / 37 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Brother of Mr. G. W. Knight, 200 East Ferry Rd.

Maher, John Edward / Private / The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 1st Bn. / 25-Sep-1915 / 32 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of the late John Edward and Catherine Maher; husband of Heneretta Jessie Maher, 1 Johnson St.

Soper, S / Private / Royal Berkshire Regiment, 1st Bn. / 15-Nov-1916 / 27 / Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France / Brother of Albert Soper, 4 Johnson St.

Hall, William / Private / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 11th Bn. / 15-Sep-1916 / 34 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Hall, 44 Manchester Rd.; husband of L. E. Hall, 14 Manchester Rd.

Powell, W / Private / London Regiment, 2nd/22nd Bn. / 31-Oct-1917 / 23 / Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel and Palestine / Son of Mrs. Powell, 18 Manchester Rd.

Hall, C / Private / Gloucestershire Regiment, 7th Bn. / 03-Feb-1917 / 35 / Amara War Cemetery, Iraq / Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Hall, 44 Manchester Rd.

Gordon, John Gray / Private / Royal Fusiliers, 2nd Bn. / Circa 11-Apr-1918 / 38 / Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium / Son of James and Isabella Gordon; husband of Jeannie Gordon, 20 Manchester Rd.

Hall, George Frank / Rifleman / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 10th Bn. / 30-Nov-1917 / 24 / Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France / Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Hall, 44 Manchester Rd.

Kentish, Harry / Private / London Regiment, 20th Bn. / 05-Apr-1918 / 22 / Martinsart British Cemetery, France / Son of Mrs. S. E. Kentish, 71 Manchester Rd.

Hubbard, Robert Danzy / Private / London Regiment, 1st/13th Kensington Bn. / 08-Oct-1916 / 26 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Henry and Susannah Hubbard, 75 Manchester Rd.

75 Manchester Rd and higher, 1910s

Tombs, Henry Ernest / Serjeant / Honourable Artillery Company, 1st Bn. / 23-Apr-1917 / 27 / Arras Memorial, France / Son of Mr. and Mrs. Tombs, 76 Manchester Rd.

Wombell, James Horace / Private / London Regiment (Prince of Wales’ Own Civil Service Rifles), A Coy. / 07-Oct-1916 / 21 / Warlencourt British Cemetery, France / Son of James and Amelia Wombell, 105 Manchester Rd.

Phillips, Frank / Sapper / Australian Engineers, 4th Field Coy. / 13-Dec-1916 / 45 / Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe, France / Son of Henry Phillips and the late Emma Phillips; husband of Florence E. Phillips, 141 Manchester Rd. Native of Mells, Frome, Somerset.

Coombe, Arthur Walter Heywood / Lance Corporal / Royal Engineers, 26th Field Coy. / 28-May-1918 / 23 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of Charles William Coombe, 156 Trafalgar Rd., East Greenwich; husband of Grace Coombe, 190 Manchester Rd.

Kay, Daniel Thomas / Rifleman / Rifle Brigade, 12th Bn. / 05-Dec-1918 / 21 / Vevey (St. Martin’S) Cemetery, Switzerland / Son of Mrs. Ellen Catherine Kay, 174 Manchester Rd.

Gordon, George / Able Seaman / Royal Navy, H.M.S. Natal. / 30-Dec-1915 / 21 / Chatham Naval Memorial / Son of Bessie May Dawson (formerly Gordon), 178 Manchester Rd.

HMS Natal. 421 people including sailors, women and children were killed when the ship’s ammunition store exploded in the Cromarty Firth. Natal’s captain was hosting a film show for officers, their wives and a local family at the time.

Watkins, William Ernest / Company Serjeant Major / The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 6th Bn. / 16-Oct-1918 / 38 / East London Cemetery, Plaistow / Husband of Marie G. Watkins, 200 Manchester Rd.

Hopkins, George Richard / Stoker 1st Class / Royal Navy, H.M.S. Ettrick. / 07-Jul-1917 / 24 / Chatham Naval Memorial / Husband of F. M. Hopkins, 202 Manchester Rd.

Downs, John Edward / Private / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 8th Bn. / 18-Jan-1916 / 32 / Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France / Husband of Emily Alice Downs, 235 Manchester Rd.

Bridge, Frank Arthur / Private / Devonshire Regiment, 2nd Bn. / 05-Sep-1917 / 18 / Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, France / Son of William and Elizabeth Bridge, 239 Manchester Rd.

Trois Arbres Cemetery

Oliver, Thomas / Private / Middlesex Regiment, 3rd Bn. / 27-Sep-1915 / 20 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of Fredrick and Eliza Oliver, 285 Manchester Rd.

The Oliver Family. Thomas Oliver is sitting between his parents in the front row.

Skeels, Reuben / Private / East Surrey Regiment, 12th Bn. / 21-Feb-1917 / 21 / Dickebusch New Military Cemetery / Son of Mrs. Jessie Maud Griffiths, 10 Newcastle St.

Reuben Skeels

Griffiths, William John Henry / Private / Lancashire Fusiliers, 18th Bn. / 20-Oct-1918 / 19 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Son of Mrs. Jessie Maud Griffiths, 10 Newcastle St.

Braithwaite, Arthur / Private / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 1st Bn. / 28-Oct-1914 / 29 / Le Touret Memorial, France / Brother of Maud Russell, 14 Newcastle St.

Lounton, Walter / Bugler / Somerset Light Infantry, 8th Bn. / 25-Aug-1916 / 21 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Mr. G. T. Lounton, 28 Newcastle St.

Ryan, Martin Patrick / Private / Royal Fusiliers, 13th Bn. / 14-Nov-1916 /  / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Ryan, 33 Newcastle St.

Brown, Bertie Joseph / Rifleman / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 18th Bn. / 22-Aug-1917 / 21 / Godewaersvelde British Cemetery, France / Son of Henry and Clara Brown, 8 Parsonage St.

Coats, George / Serjeant / Army Veterinary Corps, Depot / 11-Aug-1916 / 42 / Greenwich Cemetery / Only son of Elizabeth Coats, Dorchester, and the late Thomas Coats; husband of Maria Maud Coats, 1 Seyssel St.

Letton, David Robert / First Engineer / Mercantile Marine, S.S. Gravina (Liverpool) / 07-Feb-1917 / 70 / Tower Hill Memorial / Husband of Elisabeth Meriton Letton, 9 Seyssel St. Born at Deptford, London.

Elliott, John Frederick / Private / London Regiment, D Coy. 20th Bn. / 10-Jun-1915 / 18 / Fosse 7 Military Cemetery (Quality Street), Mazingarbe, France / Son of Frederick James and Ann Elizabeth Elliott, 13 Seyssel St.

Bruce, William Ernest / Sapper / Royal Engineers, 154th Field Coy. / 11-Sep-1916 / 26 / Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-Au-Bois, France / Son of Walter and Harriet Bruce; husband of Susan Grace Bruce, 18 Seyssel St.

Ryan, Arthur / Private / Suffolk Regiment, 7th Bn. / 30-Oct-1915 / 20 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of James and Jane Ryan, 2 Ship St.

McGeehan, Francis / Private / London Regiment, 1st/20th Bn. / 16-Jul-1916 / 18 / Arras Memorial, France / Son of Frank and Harriett Louise McGeehan, 10 Ship St.

Williams, George William / Private / Royal Berkshire Regiment, 1st Bn. / 15-May-1915 / 22 / Le Touret Memorial, France / Son of W. J. G. and Alice Martha Williams, 14 Ship St.

Parsons, William Joseph / Rifleman / London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles), 1st/9th Bn. / 09-Aug-1918 / 36 / Vis-En-Artois Memorial, France / Husband of Martha Emily Parsons, 32 Ship St.

William Joseph Parsons, shipwright, and Alex Wallis, both of No. 32 Ship Street, at work barge-breaking for Turner’s Shore off Ferry Street (Island History Trust)

Cubitt Town North

Addresses of WWI military casualties (or their next of kin), north Cubitt Town.

MacFaull, RL / Private, Middlesex Regiment, 3rd Bn.  / 12-Sep-1915 /  32 / R.E. Farm Cemetery, Belgium / Son of Robert MacFaull, Glasgow; husband of Norah MacFaull, 35 Chipka St.

Anderson, Henry John / Rifleman / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 4th Bn. / 22-Mar-1920 / 20 / Belgaum Government Cemetery, India / Son of George and Mary Ann Anderson, 39 Chipka St.

Harris, Robert Alfred Edward / Rifleman / Rifle Brigade, 10th Bn. / 19-Feb-1917 / 27 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of the late Robert and Jane Harris; husband of May Rose Harris, 5 Cold Harbour

Nunns, Henry / Serjeant / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 9th Bn. / 16-Oct-1917 / 19 / Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium / Son of Mrs. Emma Smith, 8A Davis St.

Bean, Alfred James / Rifleman / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 11th Bn. / 01-Dec-1917 / 30 / Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France / Brother of Mr. J. H. Bean, 2 East Ferry Rd.

Wood, James Edward George / Rifleman / Rifle Brigade, 8th Bn. / 02-Dec-1917 / 20 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Son of Mrs. Jane Wood, 7 East Ferry Rd.

Tyne Cot Memorial

Hitchins, Horace Arthur / Rifleman / London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), 1st/5th Bn. / 15-Apr-1918 / 19 / Arras Memorial, France / Son of James William and Jessie Hitchins, 53 East Ferry Rd.

Horace Arthur Hitchins

Madigan, Thomas / Master / Mercantile Marine, S.S. Joshua Nicholson. / 18-Mar-1917 / 50 / Tower Hill Memorial / Husband of Josephine Madigan, 83 East Ferry Rd.

Madigan, Thomas Fernando / Sailor / Mercantile Marine, S.S. Joshua Nicholson. / 18-Mar-1917 / 19 / Tower Hill Memorial / Son of Josephine Madigan, 83 East Ferry Rd., and the late Thomas Madigan. Born at Liverpool.

SS Joshua Nicholson. Torpedoed by U-70.

Wilson, Frank Thomas / Able Seaman / Royal Navy, H.M.S. Vindictive. / 10-May-1918 / 23 / Noordwijk General Cemetery, Netherlands / Son of William Henry and P. Wilson, 117 East Ferry Rd.

Rose, W / Private / King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 2nd 5th Bn. / 28-Mar-1918 / 25 / Gommecourt British Cemetery No.2, Hebuterne, France / Husband of Mrs. A. E. Rose, 117 East Ferry Rd.

Hisee, Charles Edward / Private / The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), C Coy. 1st Bn. / 30-Mar-1917 / 20 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Hisee, 44 Galbraith St.

Fricker, Albert Edward / Private / Hampshire Regiment, 1st Bn. / 24-Oct-1918 / 23 / Monchaux Communal Cemetery, France / Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Fricker, 49 Galbraith St.

Moore, Arthur Alfred / Private / Royal Fusiliers, 9th Bn. / 30-Nov-1917 / 24 / Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France / Husband of Mary L. Moore, 70 Galbraith St.

Gibson, Harold Young / Lance Corporal / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 1st Bn. / 09-Sep-1914 / 26 / Mons (Bergen) Communal Cemetery, Belgium / Son of Mr. J. Gibson, 6 Glengall Rd.

Mons (Bergen) Communal Cemetery

Hart, James / Private / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), G Coy. 6th Bn. / 17-Jul-1917 / 19 / Arras Memorial, France / Brother of Thomas Hart, 26 Glengall Rd.

Taylor, Thomas Edward / Driver / Royal Field Artillery, C Bty. 95th Bde. / 15-Oct-1917 / 33 / The Huts Cemetery, Belgium / Son of John and Annie Taylor; husband of Edith Lilian Taylor, 38 Glengall Rd.

Hircock, Peter William / Private / Essex Regiment, 4th Bn. / 27-Mar-1917 / 19 / Jerusalem Memorial, Israel and Palestine / Son of William Culy Hircock, and Hannah Amelia Hircock, 44 Glengall Rd.

Haite, William Nicholas / Rifleman / Rifle Brigade, 1st Bn. / 04-Nov-1914 / 22 / Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium / Son of Mrs. Mary Eliza Haite, 73 Glengall Rd.

Gwyther, Stanley Victor / Rifleman / London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), B Coy. 1st/5th Bn. / 01-Jul-1916 / 19 / Hebuterne Military Cemetery, France, France / Son of William and Elizabeth Gwyther, 4 Judkin St.

Hebuterne Cemetery

Smith, John William / Mess Room Steward / Mercantile Marine, S.S. Joshua Nicholson. / 18-Mar-1917 / 17 / Tower Hill Memorial / Son of Emily E. M. Smith, 5 Launch St. Born at Plumstead, London.

Stevens, Frederick George / Private / South Staffordshire Regiment, 4th Bn. / 21-Apr-1918 / 24 / Tournai Communal Cemetery Allied Extension, Belgium / Son of Andrew Alfred and Emily Louisa Stevens, 298 Manchester Rd.

Rickman, SJ / Corporal / London Regiment, 1st/22nd Bn. / 06-Jun-1917 / / Woods Cemetery, Belgium / Son of Mr. H. C. Rickman, 348 Manchester Rd.

Worsley, TJ / Private / London Regiment, 20th Bn. / 24-Dec-1916 / 19 / Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm), Belgium / Son of Edward and Mary Worsley, 324 Manchester Rd.

Worsley, EP / Private / Lincolnshire Regiment, D Coy. 7th Bn. / 30-May-1916 / 28 / Leytonstone (St. Patrick’s) Roman Catholic Cemetery / Son of Eduard and Mary Worsley, 324 Manchester Rd.

Dongworth, JT / Private / Royal Welsh Fusiliers, D Coy. 15th Bn. / 21-Dec-1915 / 22 / Merville Communal Cemetery, France / Son of James Thomas Dongworth, 392 Manchester Rd.

366-396 (R to L) Manchester Road

Baggs, William John / Private / East Surrey Regiment, 1st Bn. / 04-Oct-1917 / 20 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Son of William John and Martha Baggs, 398 Manchester Rd.

Leeds, JW / Serjeant / London Regiment, 2nd/20th Bn. / 27-Sep-1918 / / Grand Ravine British Cemetery, Havrincourt, France / Husband of Mrs. F. M. Leeds, 591 Manchester Rd.

Perry, Harry Richard / Rifleman / London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles), 2nd/11th Bn. / 23-May-1917 / 22 / Arras Memorial, France / Son of Mrs. Rosa Selina Perry, 1 Marshfield St.

Owen, Alec / Rifleman / London Regiment (The Rangers), 1st/12th Bn. / 08-May-1915 / 21 / Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium / Son of Mr. W. J. R. J. and Mrs. E. E. Owen, 13 Marshfield St.

Williams, Ernest Stott / Gunner / Royal Field Artillery, C Bty. 96th Bde. / 20-Dec-1915 / 36 / Longuenesse (St. Omer) S, Franceouvenir Cemetery / Son of Emanuel and Lucy Williams, 14 Marshfield St.; husband of Emily Amelia Williams, 25 Chipka St.

Longuenesse (St. Omer) S, Franceouvenir Cemetery

Honess, Albert Edward / Second Lieutenant / Middlesex Regiment, 21st Bn. / 09-Apr-1918 / 21 / Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium / Son of Mrs. Honess, 34 Plevna St.

Campbell, CH / Private / Essex Regiment, 9th Bn. / 12-Apr-1917 / / Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France / Son of Mr. W. Campbell, 37 Plevna St.

Whitear, Thomas Henry / Serjeant / London Regiment, 17th Bn. / 23-May-1915 / 23 / Woburn Abbey Cemetery, Cuinchy, France / Son of W. and Elizabeth Whitear, 39 Plevna St.

Woburn Abbey Cemetery, Cuinchy, France

Morgan, Alexander / Rifleman / Rifle Brigade, 3rd Bn. / 10-Mar-1916 / 17 / Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France / Son of Richard and Eliza Morgan, 26 Samuda St.

Webb, William George / Lance Corporal / Rifle Brigade, A Coy. 1st Bn. / 05-Jan-1921 / 34 / East London Cemetery, Plaistow / Son of William and Sarah Ann Webb, 3 Charles Terrace, Stewart St.

Charlton, JW / Private / Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 9th Coy. / 09-Apr-1917 / / Beaurains, France Road Cemetery, Beaurains, France / Son of Mr. N. Charlton, 7 Charles Terrace, Stewart Street.

Holman, William James / Private / The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 2nd Bn. / 01-Jul-1916 / 23 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Mrs. Caroline Gibson, 20 Stewart St.

Thomas, John Charles / Private / Middlesex Regiment, 1st Bn. / 15-Jul-1916 / 21 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Mrs. Caroline Gibson, 20 Stewart St.

Keat, Abraham / Private / The King’s (Liverpool Regiment), 2nd Bn. / 21-Oct-1915 / 30 / Delhi Memorial (India Gate), India / Son of William Keat, 28 Stewart St. (Buried Subhan Khwar Cem. No. I. 4.).

Covely, Joseph / Driver / Royal Field Artillery, Y 25th T.M. Bty. / 23-Jul-1918 / 25 / Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France / Husband of Roseatta Lilian Covely (nee Warren), 54 Stewart St.

Law, Edmund / Driver / Royal Field Artillery, 97th Bty. / 16-Apr-1915 / 19 / Helles Memorial, Turkey / Son of Mr. and Mrs. Law, 92 Stewart St.

Baker, Alfred Charles / Corporal / Rifle Brigade, 8th Bn. / 15-Oct-1917 / 26 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Son of Mr. W. T. and Mrs. E. R. Baker, 5 Strattondale St.

Oakley, R / Lance Bombardier / Royal Field Artillery, D Bty. 94th Bde. / 21-Mar-1918 / 22 / Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon, France / Son of Mrs. Sarah A. Oakley, 30 Strattondale St.

Morris, John / Private / Durham Light Infantry, 10th Bn. / 15-Oct-1917 / 19 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Son of Robert and Sarah Morris, 63 Strattondale St.

Morris Family, 1902. John William Morris is sitting on his father’s lap, centre front.

Mrs Sarah Jane  Morris, wearing a black sateen mourning blouse, made out of the lining of a man’s overcoat, for her son, John William Morris (Island History Trust)

North Millwall

Addresses of WWI military casualties (or their next of kin), north Millwall.

Brown, William James / Private / Hampshire Regiment, 2nd Bn. / 13-Aug-1915 / 20 / Helles Memorial, Turkey / Son of Mr. and Mrs. Brown, 4 Alpha Rd.

Tyler, WJ / Rifleman / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 7th Bn. / 13-Apr-1917 / 29 / Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France / Son of Louisa Annie Tyler, 5 Alpha Rd.; husband of Emily Springett (formerly Tyler), 144 Turner’s Rd., Burdett Rd., Bow.

Mead, Percival / Private / London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), 2nd/1st Bn. / 16-Jun-1917 / 23 / Arras Memorial, France /  Son of Mr. and Mrs. Mead, 6 Alpha Rd.

Warner, Charles William / Serjeant / Northumberland Fusiliers, 26th (Tyneside Irish) Bn. / 03-Sep-1917 / 32 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of John and Emily Warner, 60 Clarence St., Gravesend, Kent; husband of Elizabeth Yelland (formerly Warner), 7 Alpha Rd.

Tonge, George / Rifleman / London Regiment, 17th Bn. / 15-Sep-1916 / 20 / Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, France / Son of George and Louisa Tonge, 30 Alpha Rd.

Bensley, James Thomas / Rifleman / London Regiment, 1st/17th Bn. / 01-Oct-1916 / 17 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of James Charles and Eliza Elizabeth Bensley, 69 Alpha Rd.

67-83 Alpha Rd, c1910

McPherson, John David / Lance Corporal / Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 51st Bn. / Circa 09-Apr-1918 / 24 / Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium / Son of John and Annie McPherson; husband of Jane Mary McPherson, 69 Alpha Rd.

Clements, Robert Owen / Able Seaman / Royal Navy, H.M.S. Agamemnon / 07-Sep-1918 / 22 / East Mudros Military Cemetery, Greece / Son of Mr. R. J. and Mrs. A. E. Clements, 113 Alpha Rd. Born at Barrow Green, Sittingbourne, Kent.

Gillham, John William / Rifleman / West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), 1st/8th Bn. / 15-Nov-1917 / 28 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Son of William Gillham, 115 Alpha Rd., and the late Emma Gillham; husband of Thirsa Steel (formerly Gillham), 29 Manilla St.

Scatliffe, Harold / Lance Corporal / London Regiment, 17th Bn. / 29-Oct-1915 / 19 / Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos, France / Son of Henry Foster Scatliffe and Esther Scatliffe, 10 Byng St.

French, William Alfred / Stoker 1st Class / Royal Navy, H.M.S. Vanguard. / 09-Jul-1917 / 24 / Chatham Naval Memorial / Son of Sarah Elizabeth French, 6 Cuba St.

Fisher, John / Lance Corporal / Worcestershire Regiment, 9th Bn. / 20-Apr-1916 / 20 / Basra Memorial, Iraq / Son of Daniel and Margaret Fisher, 14 Cuba St.

Marlborough, George Robert / Deck Hand / Mercantile Marine, Steam Trawler T.W. Mould / 01-Dec-1918 / 45 / Tower Hill Memorial / Born at Gorleston. Father, Mr. R. Marlborough, 8 Havannah St.

Tower Hill Memorial

Gaskin, RW / Acting Bombardier / Royal Field Artillery, 156th Bde. / 24-Jul-1916 / 29 / Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe, France / Son of Robert Charles and Clara Gaskin of 35 Havannah St.; husband of Annie Gaskin of Poplar.

Robert Gaskin

Ellis, George William / Private / Essex Regiment, 9th Bn. / 14-Apr-1916 / 27 / Vermelles British Cemetery, France / Son of William Thomas and Alice Mary Ellis, 36 Havannah St.

Andrews, James Albert / Rifleman / Hampshire Regiment, 1st/8th Bn. / 19-Apr-1917 / 20 / Jerusalem Memorial, Israel and Palestine / Son of Mary Ann Andrews, 38 Havannah St., and the late James Thomas Andrews.

Simmonds, Arthur Fisher / Rifleman / Royal Irish Rifles, 1st Bn. / 31-Jul-1917 / 26 / Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium / Only son of Arthur and Mary Ann Simmonds, 42 Havannah St.

Burton, Thomas James / Private / Royal Sussex Regiment, 2nd Bn. / 30-Oct-1914 / 19 / Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium / Son of Thomas and Julia Ann Burton, 22 Janet St.

Martin, Robert Percy / Able Seaman / Royal Navy,  / 05-Jun-1916 / 18 / Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery / Son of Mrs. Alice Martin, 1 Malabar St.

Powell, FAH / Lance Corporal / Essex Regiment, 10th Bn. / 12-Aug-1917 / 25 / Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium / Husband of Louisa C. Powell, 39 Malabar St.

Fullagar, William Thomas / Leading Stoker / Royal Navy, H.M.S. Lilac. / 18-Aug-1915 / 29 / Chatham Naval Memorial / Son of William Thomas and Eliza Fullagar, 52 Malabar St. Native of Sittingbourne, Kent.

Malabar Street, 1906

Swaden, Charles George / Driver / Royal Field Artillery,  / 19-Dec-1918 / 23 / Janval Cemetery, Dieppe, France / Son of Mark and Amelia Jane Swaden, 8 Manilla St.

Attewell, Robert Frederick / Private / The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), 6th Bn. / 13-Oct-1915 / 18 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of James and Susan Attewell, 32 Manilla St.

Attewell, Henry / Private / Essex Regiment, 9th Bn. / 13-Aug-1916 /  / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of James Thomas and Susan Attewell, 32 Manilla Street

Prater, Alexander / Rifleman / Rifle Brigade, 2nd Bn. / 25-Aug-1916 / 24 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. J. Prater, 45 Manilla St.

Sharp, George Arthur / Private / Norfolk Regiment, 7th Bn. / 24-Aug-1918 / 18 / Vis-En-Artois Memorial, France / Son of Alfred and Minnie Susan Sharp, 53 Manilla St.

Evans, John Henry / Private / Royal Fusiliers, 2nd Bn. / 16-Sep-1916 / 20 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of John Henry Evans and M. Evans, 10 Maria St.

Tregidgo, FNW / Rifleman / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 20th Bn. / 04-May-1917 / 20 / Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery, Wancourt, France / Son of Nicholas and Ellen Tregidgo, 11 Maria St.

Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery

Bruce, S / Private / Royal Army Medical Corps,  / 06-Mar-1915 / 20 / City Of London And Tower Hamlets Cemetery / Son of Harry and Clara Bruce, 18 Mellish St.

Chambers, Arthur Edward / Lance Corporal / Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 6th Bn. / 18-Aug-1916 / 25 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Mr. and Mrs. Chambers, 92 Mellish St.; husband of E. E. Gilbertson (formerly Chambers), 40 Mellish St.

Hogberg, William / Donkeyman / Mercantile Marine, S.S. Joshua Nicholson / 18-Mar-1917 / 58 / Tower Hill Memorial / Son of the late Olaf and Anna Hogberg; husband of Julia Augusta Hogberg, 84 Mellish St. Born in Sweden.

Humphrey, Thomas Albert / Staff Serjeant / Army Service Corps,  / 03-Jun-1916 / 47 / City Of London And Tower Hamlets Cemetery / Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Son of John and Maria Humphrey; husband of Catherine Jane Humphrey, 98 Mellish St. Born in Kent.

Mellish Street, 1910s

Prout, William John / Private / Royal Marine Light Infantry, H.M.S. Swiftsure. / 29-Mar-1917 / 20 / Chatham Naval Memorial / Son of Thomas William and Isabella Prout, 86 Mellish St.

Connell, Frank / Lance Serjeant / King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 1st Bn. / 13-Aug-1915 / 32 / Helles Memorial, Turkey / Son of John Connell; husband of Annie Elizabeth Connell, 4 Montague Place (behind original City Arms).

Pope, William Henry / Private / North Staffordshire Regiment, 5th Bn. / 07-Jul-1917 / 19 / East London Cemetery, Plaistow / Son of Thomas Smerdon Pope and Rose Pope, 9 Strafford St.

Aldrick, Fred Johnson / Private / London Regiment, 1st/20th Bn. / 21-May-1916 / 18 / Arras Memorial, France / Son of Frances Ann Aldrick, 23 Strafford St., and the late Frederick Ernest Aldrick.

Kemp, Albert Alexander Percy / Private / Norfolk Regiment, 7th Bn. / 13-Oct-1915 / 20 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of Alfred George and Louisa Kemp, 36 Strafford St.

Hunter, Alfred / Private / Australian Infantry, A.I.F., 1st Bn. / 29-Mar-1915 / 26 / Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt / Son of James Edmund and Sarah Ann Hunter, 39 Strafford St.

Devine, Albert Edward William / Corporal / Army Veterinary Corps,  / 17-Jun-1915 / 22 / Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France / Son of William and Ellen Devine. of 28 Tooke St.

Bevan, WR / Private / Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 68th Coy. / 21-Sep-1917 / 21 / Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium / Husband of Elizabeth Major (formerly Bevan), 139 West Ferry Rd.

Overgage, George Edwin / Lance Corporal / South African Infantry, 2nd Regt. / 08-Oct-1918 / 28 / Beaurevoir Communal Cemetery British Extension, France / Son of George Edward and Mary Ann Overgage, “Moulsford,” 12 Alumhurst Rd., Westbourne, Bournmouth, husband of Agnes Crouch (formerly Overgage), 141 West Ferry Rd. Born in London.

Hardington, George / Rifleman / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 2nd Bn. / 10-Jul-1917 / 29 / Nieuport Memorial, Belgium / Son of James and Irene Hardington; husband of Margaret Hardington, 239 West Ferry Rd.

South Millwall

Addresses of WWI military casualties (or their next of kin), south Millwall.

Mee, Thomas Ernest / Gunner / Royal Field Artillery, 61st Bde. attd. 66th Bde. / 03-Aug-1917 / 19 / Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq / (Served as MEAD). Son of T. G. and Ada Mee, 1A British St.

Mee, George William / Private / Essex Regiment, 1st/6th Bn. / 23-Oct-1915 / 20 / Embarkation Pier Cemetery, Turkey / Served as MEAD. Son of Thomas George and Ada Mee, 1A British St.

Godley, Ernest Arthur / Lance Corporal / Norfolk Regiment, 7th Bn. / 13-Apr-1918 / 25 / Etaples Military Cemetery, France / Son of Arthur and Julia Godley, 15 British St.

O’Brien, James / Private / Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Bn. / 12-Oct-1916 / 21 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Alice O’Brien, 44 Cahir St., and the late Michael O’Brien.

Cook, Cornelius / Lance Corporal / Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 247th Coy. / 10-Jan-1918 / 24 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Son of Mrs. Rebecca Jane Cook, 8 Chapel House St.

Giles, SG / Driver / Royal Field Artillery, C Bty. 62nd Bde. / 18-Sep-1918 / 29 / Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, France / Son of Mrs. Martha Giles, 5 Crews St.

Blackabee, Charles Henry / Private / The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), C Coy. 7th Bn. / 02-Jul-1916 / 20 / Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France / Son of John and Sarah Ann Blackabee, 22A, Claude St.

Daours Communal Cemetery Extension

Gear, George William / Gunner / Royal Garrison Artillery, 234th Siege Bty. / 19-Feb-1918 / 22 / East London Cemetery, Plaistow / Son of Mrs. E. Gear, 12 Crews St.

Sharp, H / Driver / Royal Field Artillery, 20th Reserve Bty. / 02-Feb-1915 / 23 / Greenwich Cemetery / Son of Henry and Alice Sharp; husband of Mary Ann Tully (formerly Sharp), 20 Crews St.

Newland, William John Eagle / Petty Officer / Royal Navy, H.M.S. Lord Nelson. / 04-Mar-1915 / 39 / Chatham Naval Memorial / Brother of Mrs. A. Broom, 4 Deptford Ferry Rd.

Statton, Henry Edward / Lance Corporal / London Regiment (Post Office Rifles), 8th Bn. / 03-Mar-1919 / 29 / Janval Cemetery, Dieppe, France / Husband of Sarah Ann Statton, 8 Deptford Ferry Rd.

Marshall, Henry William Arthur / Private / London Regiment, 20th Bn. / 15-Oct-1916 / 19 / East London Cemetery, Plaistow / Son of John and Mary Marshall, 2 Devonshire Terrace

Fry, John James / Private / Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 39th Bn. / 22-Mar-1918 / 24 / Pozieres Memorial, France / Son of George and Agnes Fry, 3 Elizabeth Cottages

Davey, Walter / Private / London Regiment, 1st/20th Bn. / 01-Oct-1916 / 20 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Harry and Mary Jane Davey, 21 Gaverick St.

Trainer, Henry Francis Thomas / Private / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 1st Bn. / 10-Apr-1917 / 21 / Arras Memorial, France / Son of Henry Frederick Alexander Trainer and Mary Catherine Trainer, 9 Ingelheim Cottages.

Ingelheim Place

Coates, James John / Private / Royal Fusiliers, 32nd Bn. / 04-Oct-1916 / 27 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Hannah Maria Coates, 3 Ingelheim Place, and the late Francis William Coates; husband of Rose Maud Coates, 27 Ferry St.

Bell, Henry / Corporal / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 8th Bn. / 15-Oct-1918 / 25 / Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension, France / Husband of Louisa Beatrice Bell, 10 Ingelheim Cottages

Cline, Christopher / Rifleman / Rifle Brigade, D Coy. 8th Bn. / 10-Jul-1915 / 19 / St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France / Son of Frank and Clara Cline, 2 Laura Cottages

Deacon, FT / Private / The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), 1st Bn. / 15-Sep-1916 / 40 / Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France / Husband of Elizabeth Deacon, 8 Macquarie Way

Chilvers, Walter James / Rifleman / Rifle Brigade, 10th Bn. / 17-Dec-1916 / 23 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of Mr. F. W. and Mrs. M. J. Chilvers, 4 Silver Terrace.

Gamester, Robert Harold / Private / Wiltshire Regiment, 1st Bn / 24-Mar-1918 / 26 / Arras Memorial, France / Son of Richard and Eliza Gamester, 119 Hatherley Gardens, East Ham; husband of Emma Dorothy Gamester, 49 Thermopylae Gate.

Mott, Charles Robert / Private / Royal Marine Light Infantry, Chatham Bn. R.N. Div / 01-May-1915 / 19 / Chatham Naval Memorial / Son of William and Hannah Mott, 148 West Ferry Rd.

Aldis, F / Stoker 1st Class / Royal Navy, H.M.S. Cressy / 04-Oct-1914 / 23 / Leytonstone (St. Patrick’s) Roman Catholic Cemetery / Son of Frank and E. Aldis, 166 West Ferry Rd.

Cartwright, Alfred / Private / Gloucestershire Regiment, 8th Bn. / 23-Oct-1918 / 19 / Delsaux Farm Cemetery, Beugny, France / Son of Polly Cartwright, 172 West Ferry Rd., and the late Charles Cartwright.

Avis, William / Private / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 6th Bn. / 03-Jul-1916 / 21 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of John Avis, 176 West Ferry Rd.

Cogdell, Arthur Sidney / Private / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), C Coy. 7th Bn. / 01-Jul-1916 / 18 / Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France / Son of Henry and Mary Frances Cogdell, 184 West Ferry Rd.

Cogdell, William / Private / Hampshire Regiment, 2nd Bn. / 13-Aug-1915 / 20 / Helles Memorial, Turkey / Son of Mary F. Cogdell, 184 West Ferry Rd. and the late Henry Cogdell.

Unsworth, JW / Private / Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 60th Bn. / 29-Apr-1920 / 26 / Plumstead Cemetery / Husband of Mrs. Unsworth, 216 West Ferry Rd.

Westferry Road

Bontempi, Primus Jacobus / Fireman / Mercantile Marine, S.S. Sea Serpent (London) / 23-Mar-1916 / 33 / Tower Hill Memorial / (Served as LEWIS). Son of Pietro Bontempi, 228 West Ferry Rd., and the late Maria Bontempi.

Woodley, William / Private / Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 8th Bn. / 26-Sep-1915 / 20 / Loos Memorial, France / Son of William and Louisa Woodley, 243 West Ferry Rd.

Cox, Henry Robert / Corporal / King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 11th Bn. / 18-Sep-1917 / 26 / Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium / Husband of Matilda R. Cox, 263 West Ferry Rd.

Woodward, Albert / Corporal / Royal Garrison Artillery, 120th Siege Bty. / 21-Mar-1918 / 32 / Pozieres Memorial, France / Son of William and Jessie Woodward; husband of Emily Louise Woodward, 290 West Ferry Rd.

Geach, Charles John / Sergeant / Australian Infantry, A.I.F., 41st Bn. / 02-Jul-1917 / 22 / Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France / Son of Jeanie Weir Geach, 339 West Ferry Rd., and the late Charles Henry Geach.

Peake, Arthur Phillip / Gunner / Australian Field Artillery, 3rd A.F.A. Bde. / 25-Sep-1917 / 26 / Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium / Son of George Chester Peake and Sarah Agnes Peake, 373 West Ferry Rd.

Clark, George Malcolm / Private / Essex Regiment, D Coy. 10th Bn. / 20-Jul-1916 / 23 / Thiepval Memorial, France / Son of George R. and Mary Clark, 435 West Ferry Rd.

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Folly Wall

Yarrow, Stewart, Samuda – some of the greatest names in the history of iron and ship building on the Isle of Dogs – all at some time had their yards off Folly Wall, a narrow path along the river embankment (or ‘wall’) in the east of the Island.

1703

In 1753, Thomas Davers – son of a rear admiral in the Royal Navy (also named Thomas) – built a mock fortress on the river wall. Survey of London:

Thomas Davers, esquire, of the Middle Temple, acquired the copyhold of 1½ acres of the Osier Hope, a parcel of riverside land south of Blackwall, where he built, ‘at vast expense, a little fort . . . known by the name of Daver’s folly’.

It’s not clear why Davers built here; this was an isolated and marshy part of London, and a peculiar choice of location for what was to be his home. It also cost him a small fortune to construct the building, and – this cost having reduced him to poverty – he was forced to sell it not long after its completion. In 1767, Davers, who was generally considered to be not of sound mind, committed suicide, with some reports claiming that he did so by throwing himself into the Thames.

“The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politicks (sic), and Literature, for the Year 1767”, a publication that seemed to not completely believe in Davers’ claim to be the son of an admiral.

After completion of the folly, Davers had sold it to a Henry Annis, who obtained a license to serve alcohol, and who – after considerable reconstruction and extension – opened a tavern on the premises. It looked nothing like the mock fortress that Davers built; in fact there are no known images of Davers’ original creation.

Folly House Tavern

1804

Although an unsuitable location for a home which looked like a fort, it proved a succesful location for a tavern, perhaps because of its convenient location between Greenwich and Blackwall (Survey of London).

A New Picturesque Steamboat Companion, 1836

Folly House Tavern and area

Survey of London:

Additional buildings for the accommodation of ‘Friends and Customers’ were erected in the mid-1760s by William Mole, who also made use of the surrounding foreland as a garden. When the property was auctioned by Mole’s widow around 1788 it contained a variety of rooms ‘for the accommodation of genteel company’, an extensive pleasure- and kitchen-garden, a paved causeway, and a landing-place leading to a terrace of 186ft in front of the river.

During the first half of the 1800s, ship and iron building industries developed in this part of the Island, and in the 1850s new streets were constructed, including two streets named after major local firms: John Stewart’s iron works and Samuda’s shipbuilding yard. A new pub, the Prince of Wales was built on the riverfront in about 1859.

1860s

The Folly House Tavern profited from the extra business offered by the new firms in the area, but the success of one these firms led also to the demise of the tavern. Alfred Fernandez Yarrow opened his shipbuilding yard just south of the Folly House in 1866, and:

..took a lease of a barge-builder’s yard between the river and the Folly Wall which had been briefly occupied by Joseph Temple. Known as Hope Yard, this plot had a river frontage of only a little over 90ft and the further drawback that a right of way ran across it to the Folly House. The freehold of both the yard and the adjoining area on which the Folly House stood was purchased in 1875, however, and the residue of the lease of the public house was acquired soon after.
– Survey of London

The former tavern then served as offices for Yarrow’s business, with its front rooms used as drawing offices. The building was demolished in the 1880s.

Former Folly House Tavern in Yarrow’s

Former Folly House Tavern in Yarrow’s

Yarrow’s firm, which specialised in the manufacture of steam launches (fast torpedo boats in particular, later), was hugely successful and it acquired more and more land north and south of the original yard. After Joseph Samuda died in 1885, Yarrow bought part of his yard and absorbed it into his own, but even the much-expanded yard was not large enough, and in 1898 Yarrow’s moved to London Yard, a little further south.

Samuda’s Yard in 1860

Late 1860s, a period of great poverty on the Island, known as ‘The Distress’.

Further north along Folly Wall, just above the site of the Folly House, was John Stewart’s iron works (aka Blackwall Iron Works). The Folly Wall, still a public right of way, separated the firm’s main shed from the river.

Looking over Folly Wall from the river towards Stewart’s. The main wooden building was replaced by a brick building in the 1860s.

Later, when firms such as Stewarts made more use of their land to the east of Folly Wall, footbridges were built in order for workers to be able to move from one part of the yard to the other.

1880s, highlighting a footbridge over Folly Wall and the former Folly House Tavern.

In the following couple of decades, this inconvenience was eliminated when Folly Wall was largely subsumed by its bordering firms. By 1910, only a short section was still visible on maps, and most of this – the north-south section to the east of the storm pumping station – was no longer accessible to the public:

1910. Remaining section of Folly Wall

The Island’s inadequate drainage facilities meant that sewers were prone to flooding during heavy rain, backing up their contents into the cellars of buildings. To deal with this, the Metropolitan Board of Works – who amongst other things were responsible for London’s sewers and drains – built the storm pumping station in 1886.

1895. Left, the Prince of Wales pub. Right, the storm pumping station.

1910s (estimate). Looking south over the yard of iron merchants’ Blackmore, Gould & Co. and the Prince of Wales.

At the time of the previous photo, the Prince of Wales was reported to be in poor condition. Despite this, it still featured in photos taken as late as the 1930s.

1929-30. Prince of Wales’ football team, and the team from another pub. Is the bloke holding the blackboard standing in a hole?

1935. Party in the ‘garden’ of the Prince of Wales, celebrating the coronation of George VI. (Island History Trust)

In 1940 the pub was damaged beyond repair by German bombing. At this time, the road leading up from Stewart Street to the pub was also named Folly Wall, although it didn’t follow the original path.

The following photo and map reveal the extent of bombing damage to the area, with many empty areas and the tell-tale ‘footprints’ of prefabs (26-38 Stewart Street, for example). The Prince of Wales is missing its top floor. The area east of Stewart Street was badly damaged during The Blitz, but on 22nd July 1944 a V-1 flying bomb destroyed the few remaining buildings that were still in use.

c1945

Late 1940s. Folly Wall area.

1950s, Stewart Street. Folly Wall on the right. Photo: Christopher Dunchow

Early 1970s

Until the early 1970s, the land south of the former Prince of Wales was not been built upon. In 1974, new housing was built, Capstan Square, the first large private housing project on the Island. One or two contemporary newspaper reports tell of local hostility towards this development, with numerious incidents of vandalism aimed at the construction site. I’ve no idea if there was any truth in the reports.

By 1975, Rye Arc had closed down and their site demolished. Since then, housing has been built in developments with names such as River Barge Close, Ovex Close and New Union Wharf – all reflecting former local wharves and industry.

In 2019 there is no evidence of the original Folly Wall; only a road with that name which joins part of the original Folly Wall (at the site of the Prince of Wales pub) with Stewart Street.

If you superimpose an old map of Folly Wall on a satellite photo, it does appear that part of the road in Capstan Square almost follows its old path, but that is just a coincidence – the old path is no more.

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The Chimneys of the Isle of Dogs

The 1995 romantic film, ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep (oooh – she annoys me), is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Robert James Waller.

On the Island, we didn’t go in for that soft-focus, romantic stuff in green and lush surroundings (well, except perhaps while consuming a can of Carlsberg Special Brew over the Muddy, watching the sun set over Millwall Docks). Instead, I give you …. The Chimneys of the Isle of Dogs.

Etymology of the word, Chimney:

Middle English (denoting a fireplace or furnace): from Old French cheminee ‘chimney, fireplace’, from late Latin caminata, perhaps from camera caminata ‘room with a fireplace’, from Latin caminus ‘forge, furnace’, from Greek kaminos ‘oven’.

Chimneys are typically tall; sometimes this is to ensure that toxic or obnoxious fumes are emitted as high as possible into the air. For chimneys which emit furnace fumes, however, the height of the chimney plays an important role in increasing the ‘stack effect’. Wikipedia:

The stack effect or chimney effect is the movement of air into and out of buildings, chimneys, flue-gas stacks, or other containers, resulting from air buoyancy. Buoyancy occurs due to a difference in indoor-to-outdoor air density resulting from temperature and moisture differences. The result is either a positive or negative buoyancy force. The greater the thermal difference and the height of the structure, the greater the buoyancy force, and thus the stack effect. The stack effect helps drive natural ventilation, air infiltration, and fires (e.g. the Kaprun tunnel fire and King’s Cross underground station fire).

For many decades, the Isle of Dogs riverfront was filled with iron and other manufacturing firms, whose chimneys dominated the skyline.

Millwall, 1850s

Blackwall Iron Works

1866 launch of ironclad frigate, Northumberland at Millwall Iron Works (the site would later be occupied by Burrell’s).

The lead works and the area around them, viewed from Greenwich in the 1870s.

Cubitt Town from Greenwich in about 1900.

The lead works, and the area around them, from Greenwich in 1909.

Even after the decline of these industries on the Island, most firms were powered by steam, thus requiring an engine house with chimney. Early chimneys often remained standing long after they were made redundant. This 1950 map shows just how many chimneys could be found in a small area:

The two topmost chimneys in the map – both belonging to Morton’s – are shown in this 1930s photograph….

1930s, Morton’s. Photo: PLA Archive

The eastmost of the two Morton’s chimneys.

The chimney at Lenanton’s in the 1930s. Photo: PLA Archive.

Chimneys at Empire Works, opposite Malabar Street, in the 1930s. Photo: PLA Archive.

1920s (estimated). George Clark & Son’s, Broadway Works, Millwall Docks (off Alpha Road, site of later Tate & Lyle)

Stuart’s Granolithics of Tiller Road were manufacturers of artificial stone. Their works…

…included a 45ft-high chimney shaft, designed by Stock, Page & Stock, and built by the company’s own workmen. Constructed entirely of granolithic blocks and rising without any taper, it required a special licence from the LCC, waiving the normal requirement for chimneys to be of brickwork throughout with a taper of 2½in. in every 10ft. A four-square Classical tower with heavy rusticated detail, the shaft was an attempt to show that granolithic ‘could be rapidly and economically used for stonework of a decorative character’.
– Survey of London

Snowdon’s Wharf, 1930s. Photo: PLA

1929

Harbinger Road. Foremost chimney is probably the 1877-built chimney belonging to hydraulic power station in Millwall Docks

Saunder’s Ness Road, at the top of Seyssel Street. 1980s. The chimney was built by the chemical manufacturers Fox, Stockell & Company. From the 1950s, these premises were occupied by Apex Rubber Company Ltd and Borovitch Ltd (also known as Boropex Holdings), a rubber storage company.

Hawkins & Tipson, just after WWII.

Cumberland Oil Mills, next to the Newcastle Draw Dock on Saunders Ness Rd, were established in 1857. The works closed in 1964. The main warehouse was demolished following a fire in 1972 and a scrapyard occupied part of the site. The remaining buildings – chiefly a range of brick sheds and a chimney shaft were cleared away in the late 1980s for the Cumberland Mills residential development.

Cumberland Oil Mills (L) and Grosvernor Wharf (R)

Cumberland Oil Mills

By far the highest chimney – at 240 feet – was that belonging to the lead works, a chimney that was still functioning in the 1970s.

1920s. Lead works chimney from Westferry Road (close to Chapel House Street) looking over the office block of Matthew T. Shaw.

1930s. Photo: Margaret Monck

Just for a change – a photo taken *from* a chimney – in this case, in the lead works. Photo: Pat Jarvis

1970s. The chimneys of the lead works (by now named Associated Lead). Photo: Hugo Wilhare

1980s. Lead works chimney – almost the rest of the firm had been demolished by the time of this photograph.

1890s. Prince of Wales pub on the left. Stewart Street pumping station in the middle.

Just two Island chimneys still survive – one of them in truncated form. William Fairbairn’s Millwall Iron Works, constructed in the 1830s, included a 150 foot high chimney. Its stump has been preserved, and is now a feature of Burrell’s Wharf.

Burrell’s Wharf

The other remaining chimney was built in 1952 at the east end of Millwall Outer Dock for refuse incineration (including the destruction of old bank notes).

Incinerator Chimney

1977. Photo: Mick Lemmerman

The 100 feet high chimney is still very visible from the area around East Ferry Road near ASDA. You have to wander up Udine Road to find its base.

Undine Road

Undine Road

Photo: Gary O’Keefe

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Some Quality Images from Tim Brown’s ‘The East End in Colour 1980-1990’

Many moons ago, in 2013, I came across a large and wonderful set of photos on Flickr. In an album named ‘London Docklands’ were more than 1200 photos ‘showing some of the buildings lost & the changes made to the area’ (the album’s still on Flickr if you want to view it – click here).

The photos were all taken in the 1980s – a period of great change for East London, especially those parts next to the docks and the Thames. Unemployment had never been higher, the docks had just closed, there was a mass demolition of virtually all old dock and riverside buildings (mostly to make room for the development of expensive housing), and whole areas were being redeveloped.

That everything was being demolished was of not much concern to me, being barely an adult at the time. The docks and factories and warehouses were empty, ugly and stank of oil, so who cared about them? That’s what I thought then (mind you, it did irritate me that they were being replaced with homes that nobody I knew could afford).

In retrospect, it appears that this was a sentiment shared by many, even by fully grown-up people. The Glass Bridge, McDougall’s flour silo, the Walls, the sheds and warehouses of the West India and Millwall Docks, the Queen, Kingsbridge, Preston’s Road swing bridge, all the factories and warehouses along the river, and much, much more – all demolished in a short period of time – yet there are very few photos of this process.

As I write this, I am wondering why I find it important that the demolition and redevelopment should have been recorded at all. After all, what does it say about the importance of a place, or its original significance? What does it add to our understanding of its function? Objectively, not a lot. However, that nobody bothered to do so implies that it was not worthy, not interesting.

Well, not ‘nobody’ – some people understood the significance of what was being lost, and few more than the photographer behind ‘London Docklands’, who called himself Steve White. I sent him a mail to ask if our Facebook group – The Isle of Dogs – Then & Now – might reuse some of the photos, and he replied that we could, as long as we credited him. And so we did, using them in ‘Then & Now’ photos such as these two:

Later, while trawling the Flickr album for its rich source of photos to use in our Facebook group, I noticed that the name of the photographer had changed from Steve White to Tim Brown. My first thought – as weird as it is – was that Steve White had passed away, and that his Flickr page had been taken over by a relative named Tim Brown. Don’t ask me why I thought that, I must have been in a dark place at the time 🙂

Assuming that ‘Steve’s’ permission was still valid, I carried on re-using the photos, until I decided to contact Tim to see what had happened to Steve. It turned out that Steve White was a pseudonym, he didn’t exist, it had been Tim all along. I’ve not asked him why he did this – my name on Flickr at the time was ‘Old Gladiola’ and I don’t plan to explain that one either.

We remained in occasional touch, and not so long ago I learned from Tim that Chris Dorley-Brown – who had a hand in the David Granick book, The East End in Colour 1960-1980 (Hoxton Mini Press) – had seen his photos and had proposed to Hoxton Mini Press that they would be a good follow up to the Granick book.

One thing led to another, and now Tim has had many of his photos published in a book: The East End in Colour 1980-1990, published by Hoxton Mini Press.

The published photos are much-improved versions of those online – as Tim himself admits, he didn’t look after the originals too well, so some repair and corrections were necessary. Here are a few of those photos…..

The view from Canary Wharf DLR Station looking west, showing the start of the construction of the buildings around Canada Square.

The DLR junction at North Quay.

Heading east on the DLR from Limehouse. On the left is the former power station at Brunswick Wharf in Poplar. In the distance, Billingsgate Market.

Bow Creek 

High Road Leytonstone

Gillender Street, Bethnal Green

Liverpool Street Station

Liverpool Street

The East End in Colour 1980-1990 by Tim Brown is published by Hoxton Mini Press

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Fred. Olsen & Co. and the Millwall Docks

My thanks to John Bryant for bringing to my attention some photos he had received from Fred. Olsen & Co.; and also my thanks to Fred. Olsen & Co., especially their UK employee Annette Cassar who kindly went to the effort of asking the Oslo office if I might also use the photos.

Anyone living on the Isle of Dogs in and around the 1970s will not fail to recognise these long sheds in Millwall Docks, visible as they were from East Ferry Road and blocks of flats in the area…

Millwall Docks from Kelson House, 1980s

Photo: Jim Howe

J and K Sheds – as they were formally named by the PLA – were built in 1969 in collaboration with the Fred. Olsen & Co. shipping company.

1980s

The company was founded in Oslo in 1849 by three brothers, Fredrik Christian, Petter and Andreas Olsen. After losing 23 of their 44 ships during the First World War, the company rapidly rebuilt their fleet in the 1920s and expanded their activities into the Mediterranean and Canary Islands.

In 1937 they built new warehouses on the south quay of West India Import Dock for the unloading of their ships bringing fruit from the Canary Islands. At their request, the PLA renamed this section of south quay, Canary Wharf (click here for an article on its history).

A few years later, World War II started and the company again suffered great losses:

When Norway was attacked 9 April 1940 the ships of the Fred. Olsen Lines were spread over half the globe. Every vessel that was not actually in a Norwegian or enemy occupied port immediately went into allied war service. The war losses were large. By the end of the war in 1945, 28 ships had been lost, i.e. the half of  the shipping company’s fleet. The foreign activities during the war years were managed by Thomas Olsen.

– Fred. Olsen & Co. history (http://www.fredolsen.com)

Post-War reconstruction of their fleet included the building of fast ships with large refrigerated holds for meat, fish, fruit and dairy produce. Also an innovation at the time was that they were constructed for fully mechanized handling of palletised cargo.

We take pallets for granted these days, but these simple transporting aids – developed by the US military during World War II – had a revolutionary impact on dock operations as they allowed cargo to be (un)loaded far more quickly. Apart from the obvious cost savings, the speedier handling was particularly important for a company that was shipping fresh food products that needed to be kept cool. They also meant that far fewer men were needed to handle a ship’s cargo, which led to the redundancy of many dockworkers.

Canary Wharf, 1930s. Before the introduction of pallets – loading bananas into a train in the transit shed.

In the early 1960s, Fred. Olsen & Co. began discussions with the PLA about building new berths and warehouses which were better suited to the handling and storage of palletised cargo. One area being considered was the east quay of Millwall Inner Dock, close to East Ferry Road.

Circa 1960

At the time, this area consisted of a loose collection of sheds of various sizes which were becoming increasingly less suited to the handling of the cargo of large, modern ships.

1963. East Quay on the right. Click on photo for full size.

Also shown in the previous picture is the temporary barge bridge which provided pedestrians with a connection between the western and eastern halves of Glengall Grove. An iron swing bridge formerly crossed the Inner Dock at this point, making it possible to drive the full length of Glengall Grove.

In 1937, the PLA stated their intention to replace the bridge, but World War II interfered with these plans. After the War, the PLA – who had never been happy about the public crossing their land – began hinting that they wanted to end this possibility. Inevitably, this led to discussions between the PLA and Poplar Borough Council (who were strongly in favour of retaining the crossing), discussions which contributed to the delaying of redevelopment of the east quay. Survey of London:

A scheme for the redevelopment of the east-quay berths was approved in 1963, but deferred until the north- and west-quay works were complete and the question of the Glengall Grove right of way had been resolved.

The resolution, after considering different ideas (including even a tunnel under Millwall Docks), was a high-level footbridge. The proposed bridge appeared in early sketches of Fred. Olsen & Co.’s ideas for the new sheds.

Early ideas for the proposed new sheds on the east quay of Millwall Inner Dock. (Image from document provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

A later artist’s impression was based on actual plans, and thus shows more or less the bridge, berths and sheds that were eventually constructed.

(Image from document provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

The Glass Bridge – as the footbridge would quickly be named by Islanders – opened in 1964.

1964. Construction of Glass Bridge

P Berth – to the right of the Glass Bridge in the artist’s impression above – was the first berth to be constructed, in 1965-6, with the PLA meeting the cost of the berth and Fred. Olsen & Co. meeting part of the cost of the shed (and thereafter also paying rent and wharfage costs).

1967. P Berth and Shed are left of the Glass Bridge

Survey of London:

There were 11 manually operated 20ft-square sliding doors to each main elevation. Goods were transferred from ship to shed entirely by fork-lift truck, without quay cranes or tracks, one of the first such facilities anywhere. Fred Olsen Limited used the berth primarily for the Canary Islands fruit and tomato trade, previously centred at Canary Wharf.

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

The absence of quay cranes is very obvious in the following photograph of P Berth – compare it with the crane-filled M Berth on the other side of the Glass Bridge.

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

Every year since 1947, the city of Oslo has presented the people of London with a Christmas tree ‘as a token of Norwegian gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during the years 1940-45′. Naturally, with a Norwegian company operating out of the Millwall Docks, the tree was transported by Fred. Olsen & Co (for more details click here). On more than one occasion the tree was unloaded by Bill Howe, whose son Jim kindly let me use this photo…

Bill Howe (Photo courtesy of Jim Howe)

Business sign of Fred. Olsen & Co. (then registered in the UK as Fred Olsen Ltd.) at Millwall Docks

In 1968, Fred. Olsen & Co, turned their attention to J, K and M Berths, where they planned to build not only new sheds but also a passenger terminal (until that time, passengers’ facilities were to be found in P Shed).

The passenger trades in the North Sea have long traditions in Fred. Olsen Lines and was strengthened by the new sister ships “Braemar” and “Blenheim” in the beginning of the 1950ies. The two combined cargo, car and passenger vessels “Black Watch” and “Black Prince” for UK / Canary and ferry services in the North Sea came in 1966.  The latter was later developed into Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

– Fred. Olsen & Co. history (http://www.fredolsen.com)

Construction of K Shed – with demolition of former M Shed taking place in the background. (Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

Construction of J and K Sheds (top and bottom, respectively). Photo: Port of London Authority

The passenger terminal was one of the earliest designs of now well-known architect, Norman Foster, architect of (amongst many other buildings) 30 St. Mary Axe, aka ‘The Gherkin’.

1968 visualisation of passenger terminal.

One of the challenges for the design was that the passenger terminal was not to interfere with quay operations. To achieve this, the passenger and Customs halls were accommodated in a semi-circular aluminium tube which was raised on concrete columns above the quay.

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

(Photograph provided by Fred. Olsen & Co, Oslo)

Another innovative feature of the development, and probably indicative of Fred. Olsen & Co.’s company culture (as it would be called these days) is the office and dock workers’ amenity block. Survey of London:

The building was designed after consultation with the workforce to provide the best facilities for dock workers in the Port. Olsen also aimed to provide good architecture, and appointed Norman Foster Associates.

Office and amenity block.

The building was placed in the gap of 90ft between J and K Sheds. This caused no operational inconvenience as vehicles could drive through the sheds …. On the ground floor there were lockers, showers, a restaurant and a recreation room for 250 dockworkers; the first floor had offices for up to 80 staff.

The following photo shows the completed sheds and passenger terminal (just right of the Glass Bridge). It also shows that the demolition of Millwall Central Granary is taking place, which indicates that the photo was taken in 1970.

Completed Fred. Olsen & Co. sheds and passenger terminal

The Blenheim

The Blenheim (Photo: Pat Jarvis)

Dockers with not enough work to do were occasionally asked to don a wig and join the Olsen Line’s theatre dance group which provided entertainment to cruise passengers. (I might have made that bit up).

Less than 10 years after the opening of the new berths and sheds:

In 1976, financial difficulties, disappointing trade and labour problems caused Olsen to move to Southampton. The sheds were operated by the PLA as the Canary Islands Terminal until 1980.
– Survey of London

It was hardly surprising; more or less everybody knew that Millwall Docks would not be open for commercial shipping for much longer, and that larger ships would prefer to load and unload further down river. Fred. Olsen & Co. had no way of knowing what would happen to the area after the West India & Millwall Docks closed, but – seeing how the area has developed into a major financial centre with high land prices and every square foot being built upon – it is unimaginable that a shipping company could have continued doing business there. Southampton was also a better choice for a company wanting to develop its cruise business.

And, what happened to Fred. Olsen & Co.’s buildings?

The Passenger Terminal

The passenger terminal is derelict in the following photo. The lights of the Glass Bridge are burning, but much of the glass has been broken, and it would not be long before the bridge is closed and demolished. The much-praised passenger terminal, designed by Norman Foster just a few years earlier, was also demolished around the same time.

Circa 1980

1980s

J Shed

Survey of London:

J Shed (Olsen Shed 1) was refurbished and extended in 1984 by Maskell Warehousing. The value of the site increased to such an extent that the building was demolished and the site redeveloped as Harbour Exchange in 1987–8.

Photo montage of the interior of a former  Fred. Olsen & Co. shed (I am not sure which one, but it is possibly J Shed)

P Shed

The Glass Bridge had been closed by the time of the following photo, and the signboards state that ‘Olsen Sheds 2 and 3’ are part of the ‘Enterprise Zone’ and available for redevelopment.

1982. P Shed (L) and K Shed (R) Photo: Chris Hirst

Redevelopment, as is usual on the Isle of Dogs, meant demolition.

1980s. From left to right: J Shed, K Shed and the site of the demolished P Shed.

K Shed

In 1984–6 K Shed (Fred. Olsen & Co.’s Shed 2) was converted as the London Arena, aka London Docklands Arena.

London Arena

Even though it was paying a peppercorn rent to the LDDC, the London Arena struggled to make a profit and closed in 2005, to be demolished the following year – the disappearance of the last (albeit by now unrecognizable) remains of Fred. Olsen & Co.’s sheds.

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Where the Other Half Lived: the Isle of Dogs – Blackheath Connection

I went to school over the water: Roan School in Blackheath. The best way to get to school was to walk past Island Gardens, through the foot tunnel, past Cutty Sark and the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital, through Greenwich Park – with on the left the Maritime Museum and Royal Naval College, and on the right the Royal Observatory – and up the hill to Maze Hill.

My school route. The route is imposed on a map made in about 1950, just before a dry dock for the Cutty Sark was built next to the Foot Tunnel entrance in Greenwich. I first went to the school a couple of decades later. [Click for full-sized version of map]

I never appreciated at the time what a wonderful route it was, surrounded by history and architectural beauty. Mostly, I’d have my head down, in a rush to make sure I got to school before assembly started; it wasn’t uncommon for me to run the whole way, which didn’t seem to be any effort at all at that age. Other times, I might be pre-occupied with arguing with Mark Fairweather about something :). Mark lived in Galleon House and also went to Roan School, so we’d sometimes walk together.

Sights along the school route.

I exited the park at the gate opposite the corner of Maze Hill and Westcombe Park Road, a corner notable as the location of Vanbrugh Castle, a house designed and built in 1719 by architect and dramatist, John Vanbrugh. Vanbrugh is best known as the designer of the baroque houses Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard, but the house he built on Maze Hill, intended for his own use, was a gothic-style castle.

Vanbrugh Castle

In the centuries after Vanbrugh’s death in 1727, the castle had various owners. By the time of my twice-daily walks past it, it was a boarding school for children of RAF personnel. I don’t recall ever seeing any of the pupils, but was thankful that I didn’t have to go to a boarding school, especially one that looked so grim. It must have (had) fantastic views of the Isle of Dogs, though; views as wonderful as this one…..

Circa 1900. The Newcastle Arms (later renamed The Waterman’s Arms) is the white building on the left on the other side of the river.

In 1907, Vanbrugh Castle was purchased by wealthy oil merchant, Alexander Duckham for use as his family home. In 1920 he donated it to the RAF Benevolent Fund to be used as a school for the children of RAF personnel killed in service. As large as the building was, it was not designed to be used as a school, and only had one school room at first. This proved impractical and, eventually, lessons were held in the nearby Roan School, until a dedicated school wing was added to the castle in 1938 (just before all the pupils were evacuated due to the outbreak of WWII).

The school moved to Duke of Kent School in Ewhurst, Surrey in 1976. The house was then acquired by a group of four people for £100,000 and converted to four private flats. Yes,  you read that correctly, £100,000, or £25,000 per flat! I saw one of the flats for sale on the Internet recently, with an asking price of £2,500,000.

Judging from the state of the wall and garden, and the guard dog sign. Vanbrugh Castle was not occupied when this photo was taken.

Alexander Duckham was a local boy, born in Blackheath in 1877, to Millwall Dock Head Engineer, Frederic Eliot Duckham and Maud Mary McDougall of the well-known flour-making family. Already not short of a bob or two due to the wealth of his parents, Alexander Duckham, made a fortune in his own right after founding an oil company in circa 1899. Wikipedia:

Upon leaving university in 1899, Alexander Duckham, who had worked briefly for Fleming’s Oil Company, was encouraged by engineer Sir Alfred Yarrow, who lived nearby (Yarrow occupied Woodlands House in Mycenae Road, Westcombe Park for some years from 1896, close to the Duckham family home in Dartmouth Grove, Blackheath) to specialise in the study of lubrication, and was introduced to engineering firms with lubrication problems. Duckham established Alexander Duckham & Co in Millwall in 1899 … Early customers included car dealer and racing driver Selwyn Edge who called weekly at Duckham’s Millwall works for an oil change.

The company’s Millwall works were at Phoenix Wharf, just south of the Millwall Dock Entrance Lock and just north of Fleming’s Oil Company where Duckham had worked.

Millwall Dock Entrance Lock, c1900

This site would later be occupied by Montcalm House and Montrose House, built by the LCC in 1937/8.

Construction work at the former site of Duckham’s works at Phoenix Wharf, with the Millwall Dock Entrance Lock in the background. On the right, a footbridge, intended for use by pedestrians if the swing bridge was open.

North of the dock entrance, and shown on the map above, is Fenner’s Wharf, named for oil merchant and wharfinger, Nathaniel John Fenner. Fenner and civil engineer, Robert Fairlie, were the first to propose the construction of what would later be named the Millwall Docks. Survey of London:

The difficulties which Fenner had encountered in landing goods at his wharf at low water had made him aware of the advantage of enclosed non-tidal docks for wharfingers. Recognizing the potential of the empty land behind his wharf, in 1859 he asked Fairlie to draw up plans for its development. These evidently differed little from those later submitted to Parliament. They proposed a ‘canal’ across the Isle of Dogs, with an entrance basin at each end, and a central arm extending north towards the South Dock of the West India Docks … The intention was not to build on the wharves, but simply to let plots on building leases.

The intention to not build on the wharves, but instead to lease plots, remained the business model for the duration of Millwall Dock’s history, with various flour, timber and other shipping companies occupying sections of the docks at various times. Unfortunately for Fenner and Fairlie, they had little to do with the eventual realisation of the docks; other, more powerful and wealthier interests more or less ambushed their ideas and developed them further for their own benefit.

Fenner did alright for himself, though, his Island business interests continued to expand (paint manufacturing firm, Fenner & Alder was still operating on the Island as late as the 1950s.). Electoral registers of the 1880s reveal that Fenner was not only a business neighbour of Duckham in Millwall, the Fenners lived close-by too, at ‘The Cedars’ in Westcombe Park Road.

In fact, wherever you look in late 19th century electoral registers for the Isle of Dogs, you come across the names of factory or wharf owners whose home addresses are given as somewhere in Blackheath.

If you are wondering what Blackheath residents were doing in an Island electoral register, property owners formerly enjoyed ‘plural voting’, being eligible to vote not only at their place of residence, but also at the locations where they had business property. It was 1948 before this possibility – one that clearly benefited the wealthier – was abolished!

Extract from 1895 electoral register for the Millwall Polling District

The following two maps give an idea of just how many Island business owners lived in Blackheath around the end of the 19th century. The precise locations of the houses are not given (apart from Vanbrugh Castle); the reason for this is that the house name instead of number was sometimes provided, and many streets have since been renumbered. In too many cases it’s hard to figure out the location in today’s money, so I decided to indicate only the street involved.

Residences of Isle of Dogs business owners in Blackheath [click for full-sized version]

Residences of Isle of Dogs business owners in Blackheath [click for full-sized version]

Some of the names of the residents are immediately recognisable; many of the firms they founded were still doing business on the Isle of Dogs late into the 20th century, or were famous enough to be remembered in the names of buildings – names such as Lenanton, McDougall, Burrell and Yarrow….

John Lenanton & Son, Westferry Road from the river in the 1930s

McDougall’s, Millwall Docks in 1934

Burrell’s, Westferry Road in the 1920s

Samuel Cutler & Sons, Westferry Road in the 1930s

Yarrow’s Yard, Folly Wall in 1893

Other names are perhaps less well known:

  • David Tyson, owner of Tyson’s Cooperage at the end of British Street (renamed Harbinger Road), later the site of Mancell’s.
  • George Kelson, who worked at Samuda’s Wharf. It is doubtful that Kelson House is named after him. A kelson or keelson is the member which, particularly in a wooden boat, lies parallel with its keel but above the transverse members such as timbers, in order to provide the keel more stiffness. More likely this name was chosen to reflect the ‘scissor’ design of flats in Kelson House.
  • Charles Chittick, partner in, and later chairman of, Matthew T. Shaw & Co. of Westferry Road.
  • James Livingstone, owner of Livingstone Wharf in Ferry Street (in a section that was named Wharf Road at the time). The modern-day Livingstone Place is a reminder of the name.
  • George Davis, owner of the coconut works in Elizabeth Place off Westferry Road, now the site of Arethusa House.

Coconut Works, Elizabeth Place, Westferry Road, 1885

So…what was the attraction of Blackheath? In the 1800s, it was almost a new town, a bit like Milton Keynes, except with huge houses for rich people.  A beautiful place, actually…..

Woodlands House, Mycenae Road, former home of Sir Alfred Yarrow. The building was for many years a library, and is now a school.

Vanbrugh Park

St. German’s Place

St. John’s Park

I never noticed any of this when I went to the school in the area. I had no sense of the beauty of the place, no sense of the privilege to be able to live there, and no sense of the inequality between those who lived on the Island and those just a mile away over the water. They had no Sinfield’s, no Tremains, no Muddy and no Waterman’s – who’d want to live there anyway in such circumstances?

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