Wimbledon, Merton & Morden at War 1939-45

Wimbledon, Merton & Morden at War 1939-45

by Ruth Mansergh


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More than 350 bombs fell on Wimbledon during the Second World War, killing 150 residents and injuring a further 1,071. Around 12,000 houses were damaged and 810 destroyed.

Notable people discussed in this fascinating book include Ernest Leonard Harvey, who was onboard HMS Suffolk on the night Bismarck was spotted; Peter Walley, who died when he steered his crashing aircraft away from housing in the area; Pat Reid, Colditz Castle escapee; PoW Ernest Colman's "Wimbledon Variation"; casualties of the Burma-Thailand railway; and the members of the Mitcham Home Guard who were killed when a German parachute mine hit the Tower Creameries site on Wednesday, 16 April 1941 (after a relatively quiet couple of weeks).

This well-researched book also includes a list of the lost hospitals of Wimbledon, as well as war memorials in the London Borough of Merton – findings which have since been added to the Imperial War Museum's website, www.iwm.org.uk. It also provides an insight into factory worker jobs that have long-since bitten the dust. Tri-ang in South Wimbledon was a national by-word for toys – until it started making munitions for real. And, with the outbreak of war, Vortexion of The Broadway, Wimbledon - a manufacturer of public address amplifiers - found itself under the direction of the Government for war work.

Overall, this is a poignant testimony to the momentous efforts, bravery, self-sacrifice and determination of the people of Wimbledon during the Second World War, who sought to find normality in a reality so far removed from anything they had ever known.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473894549
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 02/07/2019
Series: Your Towns & Cities in World War Two Series
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Ruth Mansergh is a full-time mother of two who has worked as a journalist and as a freelance sub-editor/proofreader for publications including Financial Adviser and the Daily Mail. She was brought up in Cumbria, went to school in North Yorkshire, and has a degree in English with Social History from Leeds University. She has inherited her fathers keen interest in local history.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Be Prepared, Germany is Arming 1

Chapter 2 Evacuation 21

Chapter 3 Early Stages of the Second World War 28

Chapter 4 Air Raid Precautions 38

Chapter 5 Home Guard Operational from May 1940 45

Chapter 6 When Toys Gave Way to Real Munitions 49

Chapter 7 Captain William Sehermuly 57

Chapter 8 Calling All Workers 62

Chapter 9 The First Bombing of Wimbledon, 1940 68

Chapter 10 Peter Kenneth Walley 73

Chapter 11 The Blitz 77

Chapter 12 The Single Worst Night of Bombing 85

Chapter 13 The Tower Creameries, 1941 89

Chapter 14 The Sinking of HMS Hood 98

Chapter 15 Life Became Grim 103

Chapter 16 1942 and 1943 106

Chapter 17 1944 and the First Flying Bomb 109

Chapter 18 Happier Times with Brighter Prospects 123

Chapter 19 Lost Hospitals of the Second World War 126

Chapter 20 We Will Not Go to War 134

Chapter 21 Military Deception 136

Chapter 22 Women Remembered 139

Chapter 23 VC Winners 148

Chapter 24 Lord Dowding, the Airman who Saved Britain 155

Chapter 25 Major Malcolm Munthe 158

Appendix 163

Short Biographies from the Wartime Seas 163

Tracing Wimbledon, Morden and Merton Soldiers 168

Wimbledon War Memorials 172

St Mary's Church, Merton Park 177

King's College School 183

Morden Cemetery 185

Further Memorials 191

Firemen Remembered 216

Prisoners of War 218

Tennis Players and the Second World War 224

Bibliography 228

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