The district to the North of the Kings Road was formerly known as Little Chelsea, and remained a rural hamlet until about 1860...
Old Earl's Court or Food for London
Earl's Court Village was centred around the old Manor House which was owned by a tenant farmer who ran the market gardens on this part of the Gunter estate. The area was well known for prodviding food to the growing metropolis. In 1825, William Cobbett described in detail the cornfields of Earl's Court. The old Manor House stood on a site beside Earl's Court station. Opposite, on the east side of Earl's Court Lane (now Road) stood the Georgian mansion, Earl's Court House, which had been built in the 18th century by Sir John Hunter (1728-1793), the founder of scientific surgery. His museum is in the Royal College of Surgeons of England. It had a large walled garden (taking in what is now the whole of Barkston Gardens), within which Hunter kept his private zoo. In 1870, the house, which for a time had become a lunatic asylum for young ladies, was the residence of Captain Robert Gunter, who was responsible for the area we know today.
The American Exhibition of 1887, featuring William Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, was one of the first to be held at Earl's Court, and exhibitions continued until 1914 when the site was requisitioned for Government service. The buildings remained empty until 1937 when the present exhibition centre, the largest indoor stadium and exhibition hall to be built in Europe at that time was opened.
A prominent landmark of the Earl's Court Exhibition was the forerunner of the London Eye, the Great Wheel, erected in 1894, and a popular attraction until 1907.
Earl's Court Underground Station was opened in 1871 and was originally intended to aid the transport of produce from the local market gardens to the City.
Earl's Court was the first station in the world to install a public escalator, opening on 4 October 1911. These escalators were of the shunt variety where passengers stepped off them sideways.
The local area has long been associated with London Underground with the main LT engineering works at Lillie Bridge by Earl's Court Station. From 1905 to 2000, the power station in Lots Road generated much of the "electrolisation" used by the underground system.
As well as the escalator, Earl's Court has also given the world the "rawlplug" - invented by George Rawlings of Rawlings Bros garage in Ashburn Mews, moving in 1921 to Cromwell Road as The Rawlplug Co. Ltd.
The first supermarket in Britain - .The Premier supermarket - opened in Earl’s Court in 1951.
Theatres in the Local Area
Theatres in the local area include the Finborough Theatre and the recently built Chelsea Theatre at World's End. The Man in the Moon Theatre was one of London's better known fringe theatres from 1981 until its closure in September 2002.
Other theatres included the Chelsea Palace Theatre at 232-242 Kings Road, opened in 1903 and finally closed in 1957. This 2500 seat venue played host to such great performers as Sir George Robey, Vesta Tilley, Wee Georgie Wood, Gracie Fields, and Sir Harry Lauder.
The dancer and teacher Margaret Morris planned a new theatre for dance in the King's Road to designs by the eminent architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, although lack of funding prevented its execution.
Closer to the Finborough Theatre in spirit was the New Boltons Theatre in Drayton Gardens which presented new writing in the late 1940s under the direction of Peter Cotes.
The streets around Lots Road, Kings Road and Cheyne Walk were once the site of Cremorne Gardens, one of London's principal summer pleasure summer resorts until its closure in 1877. It covered sixteen acres and included a theatre, a circus, an outdoor orchestra, grottoes and a dance hall.
In the summer of 1845, numerous balloon ascents were made from Cremorne Gardens by a Mr and Mrs Green. A later attempt by a Mr de Groot resulted in disaster as the machine fell to ground around the Sydney Street area, killing its unfortunate occupant (who is buried in Brompton Cemetery).
Nineteenth Century Development
Until the development in the 1860s, the area was entirely rural, with villages at Earl's Court and Little Chelsea, and the intervening land occupied by market gardens, grassland and paddocks, although a gravel pit was recorded in the area in 1753. Indeed, the first train halt at Earl's Court was instituted in order to allow local farmers to load their produce onto the trains. The legacy of the areas market garden past continues to this day in Brompton Cemetery where, as it has remained an enclosed piece of land, asparagus and other food crops can occasionally be seen growing. As George Godwin, the architect of much of the redevelopment, recalled in 1875, "We remember an old friend who used to say the adjacent field [now Thistle Grove] was never without a hare and that he had out of the window counted six brace of partridge rise from the Boltons".
The redevelopment of some sixty acres stretching from Earl's Court Road area was undertaken by the famous West End confectioners, the Gunter Brothers. Most of the land in this area belonged to the Gunter family. James Gunter, the famous Berkeley Square confectioner, began buying land in the area in 1801 until his death in 1819. His son, Robert, began development in the 1840s. After Robert's death in 1852, his sons, Robert, born in 1831, and James, born in 1833, continued the expansion of the development into the Redcliffe Estate area.
Gunter Grove is named after them, while Edith Grove was named after Captain Robert Gunters daughter, Edith, who died of scarlet fever at the age of eight. Many of the family are buried in Brompton Cemetery.
The biography of Captain Robert Gunter shows how many of the local streets were named. After serving as a young officer in the Dragoon Guards in the Crimea, Robert Gunter settled in Yorkshire at Wetherby Grange in the village of Collingham, near Knaresborough. He married Miss Jane Benyon of Gledhow Hall, and was elected to parliament for the Barkston division of Yorkshire, and hunted with the Bramham Moor Hunt. The word Redcliffe is thought to have been used as George Godwin, the principal architect, had recently completed designing a church in the Redcliffe area of Bristol.
The layout of the roads on the Redcliffe Estate was submitted in 1864 by the builders William Corbett (1831-1889) from London and Alexander McClymont (1828-1897), born in Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland, to the Metropolitan Board of Works who approved them almost immediately. The building began in Cathcart Road in 1864. By 1882, of approximately 82 acres of the Redcliffe Estate, there has been built 11000 houses, three churches (St Luke, Redcliffe Gardens, St Mary, The Boltons and St Jude, Courtfield Gardens), approximately ninety mews properties and five public houses (the Finborough Arms, the Coleherne Arms, the Ifield Arms, the Redcliffe Arms and the Hollywood Arms). The majority of the buildings were constructed by Corbett and McClymont who, in 1878, were declared bankrupt with debts of £1.25 million, a phenomenal sum for the period.
The architects for much of this development were the brothers George and Henry Godwin. George Godwin was the founder and editor of the leading architectural magazine of the time, The Builder. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery.
Finborough Road derives its name from the Pettiward family who also owned several properties in the local area. Finborough Hall in the village of Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, was their country seat in Suffolk.
The word Finborough is Anglo-Saxon, thought to have derived either from Fynbarow, meaning a burial barrow in the Fens, or fineborga, meaning Fenn as a marsh and Burgh or Borg as a small town, ie. the town of the Fen, or Fentown. More prosaically, the word Brompton is derived from Broom Farm.
Ifield Road was originally known as Honey Lane, a name that still survives as the name of a building across the road from the Finborough Arms. The name Ifield comes from the village of Ifield in Sussex, probably because Corbett and McClymonts solictors brother was the vicar there. Until 1909, the section of Ifield Road north of Adrian Mews was known as Adrian Terrace. Ifield Road was, to some extent, the poor relation of the Redcliffe development in that it was the only street with predominantly working and lower middle class residents, possibly because the upper classes did not wish to live so close to the cemetery.
Ifield Road was the scene of a smallpox epidemic in 1881. The outbreak had important epidemiological consequences, due to the detailed case studies made under the direction of Thomas Orme Dudfield, Medical Officer for Kensington from 1871 to 1908, which went someway to proving that the spread of the disease was not caused by the proximity of the Fulham Smallpox Hospital, built in 1876-77.
The Local Area in Literature and Film
Samuel Beckett lived in the area for much of the 1930s, and the area is referred to a great deal in his 1938 novel Murphy. It is at the lower end of Edith Grove that Murphy and his mistress Celia first met:
"It was on the street, the previous midsummer's night, the sun being then in the Crab, that she met Murphy. She had turned out of Edith Grove into Cremorne Road, intending to refresh herself with a smell of the Reach and then return by Lot's Road, when chancing to glance to her right she saw, motionless in the mouth of Stadium Street, considering alternately the sky and a sheet of paper, a man. Murphy."
In 2004, the Finborough Theatre commissioned a new play on the Finborough Road murder of 1922, Lullabies of Broadmoor by Steve Hennessy.
A Day in the Life by John Lennon and Paul McCartney from The Beatles 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was inspired by the death of Tara Browne, the heir to the Guinness fortune, and friend of the Beatles, who, on 18 December 1966, drove his Lotus Elan into the back of a parked lorry in Redcliffe Square. Browne was driving with his girlfriend, model Suki Poiter, through South Kensington in the early hours at high speed (some reports say in excess of 170 km/h). He ignored or failed to see a traffic light and proceeded through an intersection, colliding with a parked lorry. He was likely killed instantly. Poiter was not injured. John Lennon said: "I didn't copy the accident. Tara didn't blow his mind out. But it was in my mind when I was writing that verse. The details of the accident in the song — not noticing traffic lights and a crowd forming at the scene — were similarly part of the fiction."
“I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph.
He blew his mind out in a car
He didn't notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They'd seen his face before
Nobody was really sureIf he was from the House of Lords.”
Redcliffe Square is mentioned in A Fairly Honourable Defeat by Iris Murdoch (2001), A Second Legacy by Joanna Trollope and Dorian: An Imitation by Will Self (2004).
Redcliffe Gardens is mentioned in The Early Life and Adventures of Sylvia Scarlett by Compton Mackenzie (1918): "So shall I. Here we are in Redcliffe Gardens. Damned big house and only myself and my sister to live in it. Live there like two needles in a haystack. ..."
Novelist Arnold Bennett lived in the area in the 1890's and it is mentioned in many of his works - while his The Roll Call (1918) features Redcliffe Gardens and the Redcliffe Arms.
In film, Kensington Mansions in Trebovir Road was the home of Catherine Deneuve in Roman Polanski's 1965 thriller, Repulsion, which was largely filmed around South Kensington. Dr Hirsch's surgery, played by Peter Finch, in John Schlesinger's Sunday Bloody Sunday is also located in Earl's Court. Much of the movie An American Werewolf in London was filmed in the local area with The Princess Beatrice Hospital on the corner of Finborough Road and Old Brompton Road appearing as the hospital, while Redcliffe Square was used to film the metamophosis scene, and Jenny Agutter's flat was at No 66 Redcliffe Square. Brompton Cemetery has featured extensively as a television and film location including the recent remake of Sherlock Holmes, the arthouse horror Afraid of the Dark, Goldeneye and David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.
Some of the streets near the Finborough Theatre and their residents. The page begins with Finborough Road and Ifield Road, and therafter in alphabetical order.
No 1 - Charles William Sherborn (1831-1912), etcher and engraver, died at 1 Finborough Road on 10 February 1912. The National Portrait Gallery has a large archive of his work. He was particularly known for his designs for bookplates.
No 2 from 1869-77 - Arthur Hughes (1832-1915), the first occupier of the house. Pre-Raphaelite painter and the original illustrator of (among other books) Tom Brown's Schooldays.
The family were also friends with the Reverend Charles L. Dodgson, better known as the creator of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll. These are some letters Dodgson wrote to Hughes' young daughters:
My dear Agnes,--You lazy thing! What? I'm to divide the kisses myself, am I? Indeed I won't take the trouble to do anything of the sort! But I'll tell you how to do it.First, you must take four of the kisses, and--and that reminds me of a very curious thing that happened to me at half-past four yesterday. Three visitors came knocking at my door, begging me to let them in. And when I opened the door, who do you think they were? You'll never guess. Why, they were three cats! Wasn't it curious? However, they all looked so cross and disagreeable that I took up the first thing I could lay my hand on (which happened to be the rolling-pin) and knocked them all down as flat as pan-cakes! "If you come knocking at my door," I said, "I shall come knocking at your heads." That was fair, wasn't it? Yours affectionately, Lewis Carroll.
My dear Agnes,--About the cats, you know. Of course I didn't leave them lying flat on the ground like dried flowers: no, I picked them up, and I was as kind as I could be to them. I lent them the portfolio for a bed--they wouldn't have been comfortable in a real bed, you know: they were too thin—but they were quite happy between the sheets of blotting-paper--and each of them had a pen-wiper for a pillow. Well, then I went to bed: but first I lent them the three dinner-bells, to ring if they wanted anything in the night.You know I have three dinner-bells--the first (which is the largest) is rung when dinner is nearly ready; the second (which is rather larger) is rung when it is quite ready; and the third (which is as large as the other two put together) is rung all the time I am at dinner. Well, I told them they might ring if they happened to want anything--and, as they rang al the bells all night, I suppose they did want something or other, only I was too sleepy to attend to them.In the morning I gave them some rat-tail jelly and buttered mice for breakfast, and they were as discontented as they could be. They wanted some boiled pelican, but of course I knew it wouldn't be good for them. So all I said was "Go to Number Two, Finborough Road, and ask for Agnes Hughes, and if it's really good for you, she'll give you some." Then I shook hands with them all, and wished them all goodbye, and drove them up the chimney. They seemed very sorry to go, and they took the bells and the portfolio with them. I didn't find this out till after they had gone, and then I was sorry too, and wished for them back again. What do I mean by "them"? Never mind.How are Arthur, and Amy, and Emily? Do they still go up and down Finborough Road, and teach the cats to be kind to mice? I'm very fond of all the cats in Finborough Road.Give them my love. Who do I mean by "them"? Never mind.Your affectionate friend, Lewis Carroll.
My dear Amy,--How are you getting on, I wonder, with guessing those puzzles from "Wonderland"? If you think you've found out any of the answers, you may send them to me; and if they're wrong, I won't tell you they're right!You asked me after those three cats. Ah! The dear creatures! Do you know, ever since that night they first came, they have never left me? Isn't it kind of them? Tell Agnes this. She will be interested to hear it. And they are so kind and thoughtful! Do you know, when I had gone out for a walk the other day, they got all my books out of the bookcase, and opened them on the floor, to be ready for me to read. They opened them all at page 50, because they thought that would be a nice useful page to begin at. It was rather unfortunate, though: because they took my bottle of gum, and tried to gum pictures upon the ceiling (which they thought would please me), and by accident they spilt a quantity of it all over the books. So when they were shut up and put by, the leaves all stuck together, and I can never read page 50 again in any of them!However, they meant it very kindly, so I wasn't angry. I gave them each a spoonful of ink as a treat; but they were ungrateful for that, and made dreadful faces. But, ofcourse, as it was given them as a treat, they had to drink it. One of them has turned black since: it was a white cat to begin with.Give my love to any children you happen to meet. Also I send two kisses and a half, for you to divide with Agnes, Emily, and Godfrey. Mind you divide them fairly.Yours affectionately, C.L. Dodgson.
No 2 and No 3 in ???? - Albert Goodwin (1845-1932), English painter. He studied with Hughes and Ford Madox Brown in the early 1860's, who predicted that his pupil would become "one of the greatest landscape painters of the age". He painted many works at 2 and at No 3 Finborough Road.
No 7 from 1875-83 - Richard Doyle (1824-1883), one of the finest artists of Punch until he resigned in 1850 in protest at their treatment of Roman Catholics. A regular guest at his home in Finborough Road was his young nephew, Arthur - the future Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.
No 7 in 1892 - Tone' Hippolyte Paul Bayetto was born on 28 May 1892 at 7 FInborough Road, the son of Hippolyte and Rosalie Lemair Bayetto. The family then moved out of London to Eastcote, Middlesex. He worked as a racing driver and motor engineer for Fiat, and also worked in India. He started flying in 1913 and joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915, fighting in France with 66 Squadron. During an exhibition flight on 28 September 1918, the wings of his Sopwith Dolphin folded back at 200 feet and he dived into the ground at 750mph, dying instantly. He was 26 years old. He is buried in Ruislip Parish Church alongside his mother and father.
No 13, upstairs flat in 1907 - Ruby Young, murder witness.
No 13a (basement flat) in 1922 - Gertrude Yates also known as Olive Young, murder victim.
No 17 in ?? - Mary Eliza Bakewell Gaunt (1861-1942). Born in Indigo, Victoria, Australia, where her father worked as a magistrate in the gold fields, Gaunt was a self-supporting writer of fiction and non-fiction who insisted on an image of female independence. She was one of the first women to enrol at the University of Melbourne in 1881. She made her first voyage to England and India in 1890, an occasion which encouraged her to turn some of her life experiences into fiction. Her first novel, Dave's Sweetheart, was published in 1894 in London, the year she also married Dr. Hubert Miller, who encouraged her writing. During the next few years she published several more romances set in Australia and gained a popular following in that nation. But when Dr. Miller died unexpectedly in 1900, leaving Gaunt childless and with only a small inheritance, she turned to writing to support herself, moving to London where she lodged at first in two rooms in a 'dull and stony street' in Kensington. Her subsequent books included a number of romances and adventures, and tales of her travels including Alone in West Africa and A Woman Alone in China.
No 17, first floor flat in 1948 - George Epson, murderer.
No 20 First World War - Henry William Abbott and his wife Rosa H. Abbott.Stoker 1st Class Henry William Abbott, H.M.S. "Vanguard", Royal Navy, was killed on on Monday, July 9th 1917 at the age of 27 when H.M.S. Vanguard suddenly blew up in Scapa Flow, taking over 800 of her crew down with her. He is commemorated at Chatham Naval Memorial. Two other members of the parish - Robert Chessex and Oscar Gait - were also killed in the same disaster.
No 41 in 1912 - Ernest James Moore, First Wireless Operator of the RMS Olympic. A sister ship to the Titanic, Olympic was the largest passenger ship in the world from 1911 to 1913, except for the brief life of the Titanic. The Olympic received a distress call from the Titanic as she sank, but was 500 miles away and unable to assist. Moore's diary including details of the distress call from the Titanic was recently auctioned and signed " E J Moore, 41 Finborough Rd South Kensington".
No 51 from 1873-93 - Algernon Graves, art historian.
No 56a - David Toguri (1933-1997), dancer, choreographer and theatre director.
No 58 - Robert Arthur Wilson (1884-1979), artist, was born in Co. Durham and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. He then studied at the Academie Julian in Paris. He showed at the Royal Academy, Paris Salon and with the Society of Graphic Artists. He had a number of solo exhibitions. The British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum hold examples of his work.
No 67 - Lieutenant Frederick Arthur Dudley Redfern, Imperial South Persian Rifles, was born on 5 August 1882 at 67 Finborough Road. His parents were Frederick William Redfern, a cloth merchant, and Lydia Mary (nee Brown). He was educated at Elstow School from 1898 to 1899 and was a member of the school cricket XI. He worked for Lynch Bros, London (Shipping Agents) and was sent out to Persia between 1904 and 1910 as their representative. He learnt Persian, Arabic and French. He married Elizabeth Annie Richardson (Elsie) in 1912 in Leire. They had 2 children, the elder died in 1915. He was mobilised into the Royal Engineers, Motor Cycle Section in 1916 and applied to the Army to make use of his Persian experience. He rose rapidly to Acting Sergeant. Whilst in transit, as part of Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, he was transferred to the South Persian Rifles in 1917 as a temporary Second Lieutenant. He was posted to Basra where he was taken ill during reconnaissance work and died in Basra hospital of heatstroke on 15 July 1917 at the age of 34. He is buried in Basra Cemetery, Iraq. This information courtesy of Roll-of-Honour.com © 2001 Martin Edwards
No 86 in 1899 - Amy and John Hopkins, husband and wife, appeared at West London Police Court on 15 August 1899 charged with running a brothel from their home. John was arraigned on charges of living off immoral earnings, despite having a full time job as a supervisor at the Earl's Court Exhibition. The couple were found guilty and sentenced to six weeks imprisonment or £15 fine for Amy and three months' hard labour for John. Three young child prostitutes were rescued from the house and sent to industrial schools.
No 92 First World War - Edward and Emily King. Their son, Lance Corporal Thomas William King, was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War section on this page.
No 114 in 1901 - David Mitchell and his family. He was employed in 1901 as an Assistant Verger and Gardener, but also had a conviction for stealing for which he was convicted in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in 1872. "David Mitchell of Cheltenham, Coachman. Age 40. Cause of Commitment: Stealing a horse rug, one strap & 2 chains the property of Rob Chapman his master at Prestbury on the 30th April 1872. Also stealing four bottles of ale, a Can and two pounds weight of Sugar, the property of one Stephens Bartholomew his master at Cheltenham on 15th of September 1872. Tried 16th October 1872. Event of Trial: Guilty. Sentence passed: One month hard labour."
No 118 - The Finborough Arms (the building including the Finborough Theatre). See The Finborough Arms
No 121 - Antonia de Sancha. (Born September 14, 1961). An actress best known for her affair with Heritage Minister and Conservative Member of Parliament David Mellor, mainly conducted from her Finborough Road flat. She subsequently sold the story of her affair with Mellor for £30,000. Mellor resigned from the government in September 1992 as a result.
No 131 Finborough Road in 1879 - Sir Alfred Scott Scott-Gatty KCVO KCVO, KJStJ, FSA (1847-1918), Composer and Garter King-of Arms, and organiser of various major Royal cermonial events including the coronoation of King George V. His sister was Juliana Horatia Ewing (nee Gatty) (1841-1885), who also lived here, prior to her marriage and again in the 1880's, who was an extremely popular children's author. Many of her books are available free online.
No 138 in the 1860's, and No 158 in 1881 - Kenyon Charles Shiercliffe Parker (1841-1904), barrister. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 18 January 1860, and was called to the Bar as a Barrister-at-Law on 17 November 1862. He was a member of chambers at 13 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, WC. He was appointed an examiner of the High Court of Justice in February 1884.
No 178 in ?? - Jack Cox (1914-2007), British artist.
No 192 during the 2000's - Mohammmed Ramzi, one of the London bombers of 21 July 2005.
Other sometime residents of the Finborough Road included actor Simon Callow; Emily Steel, Olive Young's maid at the time of her murder in 1922; Jane Leeves, actress, best known for playing Daphne on TV’s Frasier; and Toranoske Masayas Nishigawa, "Analytical Chemist of the City of Hiroshima, in the Empire of Japan, but at present of Finborough Road in the county of Middlesex" who was granted a British patent on August 31st 1876 for his "Invention of improvements in machinery or apparatus for manufacturing ice."
No 16 First World War - Harry George and Mary Ann Porter. Their son Private Henry Walter Porter of D Company, 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, was killed in action on 28 March 1915 at the age of 20. He is buried at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium.
No 75 First World War - George and Mary Bird. Their son Lance Corporal P. G. W. Bird of Unit: No. 1 Special Company, Royal Engineers, died of wounds on 23 August 1917 at the age of 19. He is buried in Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery, Belgium.No 75 in 1934 - Thomas William Kimpton (killed 1934), a valet, born in Portsea, Portsmouth, in 1864. He married twice - to Ann Hamblin at St James Church, Milton, Portsmouth, in 1889, and, following her death, to Amy Louisa Flood in 1918. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery.
The Kensington News and West London Times - Friday March 23 1934
Shocking Accident in Cromwell RoadStrange Request From Coroner's Jury
"While on his way to a levee at St. James's Palace on Tuesday, March 13th, Jeoffrey Charles Phillip Lawrence, a second lieutenant in the Somerset Light Infantry, knocked down and fatally injured Thomas William Kimpton of Ifield road, North Kensington, who was crossing Cromwell road. At the Inquest on Friday, Mrs Amy Louisa Kimpton gave evidence of identification. Gertrude Rellie of Langham, bucks, said she was driving along Cromwell road going towards Brompton Oratory. She had been following another motor car for practically a mile. She was going about 25 miles an hour. The car in front would probably be going from 30 to 32 miles an hour. There was a big car stationary slightly forward from the refuge. There was also a taxi in line with the refuge. A third car pulled out of Marloes road or from the kerb, right in front of the car in front of her. The next thing she saw was a man flying up in the air. Dr. Thomas Chapman, of St Mary Abbots Hospital, said that Kimpton was dead when admitted. Death was due to a fractured skull. Captain Harold Knowling, of Marloes Road, Kensington, said Kimpton was his valet. On Tuesday March 13th, he was following a few yards behind him. They were coming from his flat in Marloes Road, Kimpton was crossing over Cromwell Road by the refuge. He saw him look to the right, where a small car was coming along. "I took another pace, and then found I could not get across comfortably before the car. I stepped back. Kimpton walked on, and he suddenly saw the motor car was on him, and he stopped. If he had proceeded on he could have got across in time. The car hit him and he was flung upwards, skimmed the front of the car, turned a somersault and fell down beside the car on the left side of his head." The car was not going less than 40 miles an hour. Jeoffrey Lawrence, the driver of the car, said he was driving along about 30 miles an hour on his way to St. James's Palace where he was to attend the levee. He saw two men step off the pavement, crossing from the left to the right. He sounded his horn and put on his brakes. He was about 10 yards away. One of the pedestrians stepped back and the other continued. He thought he sounded his horn again, then the other man appeared to hesitate, and his impression was that he took a pace back. "I tried to go behind him and then, when he went backwards, I tried to go in front." After he had hit him he pulled up in about ten yards in the middle of the road. The Coroner, addressing the jury, said it was one of the cases that often happened, where a horn was sounded too close to a pedestrian, and he took a pace back and hesitated. "This is not the first I have had to-day," he added. Returning a verdict of "Accidental death," the foreman of the jury said: "We do not think there is any negligence, but we leave it to you to lecture the driver." The Coroner: That is not very satisfactory. Do you find there was any negligence? The foreman: No, we do not agree to any negligence."
No 78 First World War - George Barsby and his wife, Ethel May Barsby. Geoege was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War section on this page.
No 91 First World War - Thomas Frederick Horne and Eliza Horne. The Horne family lost two sons in the same year of the First World War – Stoker 2nd Class George Horne, Royal Navy, of H.M.S. "Princess Irene" was killed on 27 May 1915 at the age of 20; and Rifleman Henry James Horne of the 12th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, was killed in action on 25 September 1915 at the age of 28. He is buried in Aubers Ridge British Cemetery, Aubers, France.
No 91 First World War - George Richards. His son, George Henry Richards, a theological student, enlisted in the Australian Army in September 1915 as an ambulance driver. He survived the war and returned to Australia in March 1918.
No 92 basement flat in 1975 - Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the UK 1997-2007, sharing with Charles Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, future Lord Chancellor and later the first Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.
No 93 First World War - Henry Russell Barton and his wife Elizabeth. Their son was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War section on this page.
No 105 First World War - E. C. Wood and his wife Gertrude Annie Wood. Private E. C. Wood of the 10th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own), died on 26 November 1917, aged 33. He is buried in Guildford (Stoke) Old Cemetery, Surrey, England.
No 113 on 2 April 1911 - The census return for 1911 provides a good indication of the type of residents in Ifield Road at that time:
Martha Irgam Crane. A 62 year old widow from Newcastle Upon Tyne was the Lodging House Keeper.
And her lodgers:
Henry Edwin Thomas Sims. A 43 year old widower, occupied as a Postman, born in Hammersmith, London.
And his children:
Dorothy Grace Sims. Age 16. No Occupation. Born Chelsea, London.
Arthur Edwin Ernest Sims. A 14 year old schoolboy. Born Chelsea, London.
Mabel Emily Sims. A 11 year old schoolgirl. Born Chelsea, London.
Henry Jack Sims. A 10 year old schoolboy. Born Chelsea, London.
Thomas Young. A 45 year old General Packer, born in Birmingham.His wife, Louisa Young, age 49, born in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
And their son, Thomas Henry Young, a 16 year old clerk, born in Chelsea, London
Maurice Edwin Ross Jewell. A 28 year old restaurant chef, born in Stratton, Cornwall.
His wife, Bessie Kate Jewell, a 26 year old housewife from Weymouth, Dorset.
His mother, Mrs Elizabeth Ann Jewell, aged 64 of no occupation, born in Holsworthy, Dover, Kent.
And a visitor - Arthur Warner, a 29 year old male nurse-valet, born in Bennington, Nottinghamshire.
No 144 First World War - Mrs. Florence Phillips. Her son Private Henry William Phillips M.M. of the 9th Battalion of the Welsh Regiment was killed in action on 7 July 1916 during the attack on Contalmaison (itself part of the Battle of the Somme) at the age of 20. He lived in Wales at Glanwern, Felinfach, before the war, and enlisted at Aberystwyth. He took part in the opening day of the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915, and his Division fought continuously for the entire first week of the Battle of the Somme - being in the second wave of the attack on Ovillers-La Boiselle, capturing the village at heavy cost, on the 1 July 1916. He was awarded the Military Medal.
No 138 FIrst World War - Frederick and Catherine Cooke. Their son, Lance Corporal C. Cooke of 1st Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) died on 24 March 1915 at the age of 27. He is buried at Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France.No 142 First World War - Edward Peter and Selina Jury. Their son Serjeant Frederick Thomas David Jury of "A" Company. 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, was died on 31 July 1917 at the start of the Third Battle of Ypres at the age of 29. He originally enlisted in the army in December 1908. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
Other residents of Ifield Road have included Jonathan Cecil, actor; and Henry and Mary Wilson whose son Private J. H. Wilson of the 24th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry was killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele on 6 November 1917 at the age of 22. He is buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium.Bolton Gardens
Her eldest son, Henry Percy Bence-Trower, born 24 April 1877, died at school at Charterhouse at the age of 15 in 1892.
She lost two sons in the First World War on successive days:
Second Lieutenant Alfred Bence-Trower, 1st Battalion, Scots Guards. Born 10 August 1880 at 7 Stanhope Street, Hyde Park Gardens, London. Educated at Charterhouse. He, was killed in action on 29 May 1918, aged 37. He is buried in St Amand British Cemetery, Somme, France. He is also commeorated in Thorington Parish Church, Suffolk, where his original battlefield cross is on display.
Major Edward Bence-Trower MC [Military Cross], 5th Battalion, South Wales Borderers. Born 16 March 1891 at 11 Bolton Gardens. Educated at Charterhouse. He was posted missing, presumed killed in action, on 30 May 1918 at Romigny, France, aged 27. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial.
No 11 from 1863-98 - Sir Robert Rawlinson, civil engineer. He was the Engineering Sanitary Commissioner to the Army in the East from 1850 to 1876, covering the Crimean War. He also co-founded the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health. Buried in Brompton Cemetery.
No 16 from 1879-98 - Madame Emma Albani (Mrs Ernest Gye) (1847-1930), French Canadian operatic soprano.No 21 from 1861-63 - Samuel Carter Hall (1800-1889), Irish-born editor of The Art Journal from 1839 to 1880.
No 22 from 1900-04 - Brandon Thomas, actor and playwright. Author of Charley's Aunt. Buried in Brompton Cemetery.
No 24 from 1877-84 - Sir W.S. Gilbert (1836-1911), dramatist and librettist of the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. Built the Garrick Theatre.
No 24a until 1976 - Novelist and politician Jeffrey Archer.
No 27 from 1892-1902 - F.C. Burnand, playwright, editor of Punch and librettist of Cox and Box with Sir Arthur Sullivan.
No 28 from 1860-63 - Dr Benjamin Golding (1793 -1863). Founded Charing Cross Hospital and Medical School in 1818. Buried in Brompton Cemetery.
George Godwin, architect of The Finborough Arms.
Sir Julian Ridsdale CBE, former Conservative MP, and his wife Lady Ridsdale who was Ian Fleming's original inspiration for Miss Moneypenny. She was the Chairperson of the Conservative Wives Association from 1978 to 1991.
Former Northern Ireland minister Michael Alison. His home was bombed unsuccessfully by the IRA.
Pop singer Holly Vallance.
No 31 from 1897/8-1904 - Robert Kerr, architect, and author of The Gentlemans House; or, How to Plan English Residences, from the Parsonage to the Palace.
No 32 in 1881 - Alexander McClymont (1828-1897), builder of the local area (see Little Chelsea section above).
No 62 from 1861-91 - Thomas and Frank Verity, architects. Thomas Verity was the architect of the Comedy Theatre and the Criterion Theatre. Around 1900, Thomas was joined by his son, Frank, and the famous Pavilion at Lords Cricket Ground was a product of their partnership.
No 7 First World War - Alfred Frederick Boyce and his wife Kate. Their son was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
No 6 from before 1901 to after 1917 - Henry Ribstein who was killed during the First World War and family. See Little Chelsea at War.
No 21 from January 1935 for a few months before his return to Swansea - Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), poet.
Flat 3, No 123 from before 1968-1987 - Emlyn Williams (1905-1987), Welsh actor-dramatist.
No 58 from 1887-88 - John Butler Yeats and his family including poet W.B. Yeats (1865-1939).
No 67 from 1945-1980 - Hattie Jacques, actress and star of the Carry On films - "You may not realise it but I was once a weak man", says Kenneth Williams' terrified Doctor Tinkle to Hattie Jacques. "Once a week's enough for any man", she purrs back.
Earl's Court Square
No 21 was for many years the headquarters of the Poetry Society.
No 25 Wetherby Mansions First World War - Mrs Lowe, widow of Rev. E. J. Lowe, of Stallingborough Vicarage, Lincolnshire. The only son of Mrs Lowe and the youngest son of Rev Lowe was was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
No 36 from 1890 - Frank Gielgud, father of John Gielgud.
Also, Syd Barrett (1946-2006), singer-songwriter, guitarist and painter, and founding member of psychedelic/progressive rock band Pink Floyd.
Barrett was active as a rock musician for about seven years, recording two albums
No 19 pre-First World War – singer Paul Draper (brother of the renowned monologue performer Ruth Draper) and his wife Muriel “created one of the celebrated most salons of its moment. There they were hosts to the musicians, artists and writers of the time, Casals, Thibaud, Kochanski, the young Arthur Rubinstein, the Flonzaley Quartet, and other makers of music joining with such listeners as Henry James, Sargent, and older friends to make the night music of Edith Grove one of the envied pleasures of London’s high Bohemia”. (from Ruth Draper - A Memoir by Morton Dauwen Zabel).
No 80 in 1919 - Paul Fripp (1890-1945). Photographer. "On 19 February 1919, Fripp resumed his studies at the Royal College of Art, he lived in Chelsea, initially in small 'bedsits' and later in an unfurnished flat at 80 Edith Grove. The artist Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893-1975) rented the flat below them. Even though the flat was small, it had a tiny sink inside a cramped cupboard which Fripp used as a darkroom, while his wife washed up in a bowl on a lid over the bath!"
No 88 pre-First World War - D.S. MacColl, Keeper of the Tate Gallery (1906 - 1911) Having originally studied for the church, MacColl became interested in art after meeting artists and writers living near his home in Kensington. He eventually abandoned his theological studies to teach art history and went on to work as a critic for the influential Saturday Review. He was perhaps an unlikely choice for Keeper of a national collection in that he had become renowned for his fierce attacks on the art establishment, not only criticizing the Royal Academy, but also Henry Tate's Collection and the pictures of the Chantrey Bequest, which had become part of the Tate's Collection. However his astute scholarly mind and willingness to stand up for his beliefs made him invaluable to the Tate in its early years. He strengthened the Collection on many fronts: re-hanging the Galleries to show the existing Collection at its best, strengthening the holdings of Pre-Raphaelite work and drawing up a list of desirable additions to the Collection including works by Wilson Steer, Augustus John, and Walter Sickert.
No 102 in the 1960's - Three young musicians sharing a flat here in the 1960's were Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones...The Roling Stones.
Other residents have included:Joan Collins and Anthony Newley, and Frances De La Tour.
A blue plaque marks the house of Alexander Mackendrick (1912-1993), film director, responsible for such Ealing classics as Whisky Galore! (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1951), Mandy (1952) and The Ladykillers (1955).
38 Hereford House First World War - Alick Edward Friend, born 1864 in Hawkhurst, Kent, married Harriet Rolfe of Aston Clinton, Bucks, in Deceber 1892. They had six children, all born In the local area. Their eldest son was Private Edward Thomas Friend, 2nd Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company, who was killed in action on 15 May 1917, aged 22. London. Buried in Arras Cemetery, France.
No 34 from 1934 to 1937 - Samuel Beckett, author
No 9 from 1857-80 - Robert Fortune (1812-1880), biologist. Famed for his adventure-filled plant hunting expeditions to China. His most significant legacy was the transfer of tea plants from China to India. From a gardeners perspective, he is credited with introducing over 120 new species to Europe.
No 10 in 2001 - Has been purchased by former disc jockey Chris Evans, and then singer George Michael.
No 27 - Lady Henry Irving (the estranged wife of the first actor to be knighted, Sir Henry Irving) and their sons H.B. Irving and Lawrence Irving, both actors. Lawrence wrote the definitive biography of his father. On May 29th 1914, he and his young wife, actress Mabel Hackney, returning from a successful tour of Canada, drowned in the Empress of Ireland disaster. The Empress of Ireland, a passenger liner, collided with a Norwegian collier, the Storstad, in the St Lawrence River en route from Montreal, and sank in 14 minutes. 1012 people died. "In some ways it was a more horrifying disaster than either the Titanic or Lusitania, because it happened at 2 am when most passengers were asleep, with little or no time to escape. The Empress of Ireland still holds the record for the largest number of passengers lost on a liner in peacetime(840)"
Other residents have included:
Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran.
Pop star David Bowie and his supermodel wife Iman.
Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent designer Tom Ford.
Comedian Rowan Atkinson.
No 7 in 1904 - Frank Gielgud, and his sons, Val Gielgud and Sir John Gielgud who wrote in An Actor and His Time: "The house where I was born, in April 1904, was steep and chilly. It stood in the Old Brompton Road in South Kensington."
1948-1970's - Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948-), composer.
No 14 - John Ireland (1879-1962), composer.
No 36 First World War - Alfred and Nellie Weeks. Their son was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
No 45 from 1978-1981 - John Lydon aka "Johnny Rotten" of The Sex Pistols
No 42 First World War - William James and Mary L. Harter. Their son was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
No 87 from 1877-80 - Richard Popplewell Pullan. Architect and author. His many works include the succinctly titled Byzantine Architecture.
No 5 First World War - Sir William Lennox Napier, 3rd Baronet, and his wife, Lady Mabel E. G. Napier. William Napier was killed in action in the First World War.
No 14 from 1870-72 - Arthur Orton of Wapping, also known as Sir Roger Charles D. Tichborne, the infamous Tichborne Claimant.
No 14 - Frank Dobson (1886-1963), sculptor.
No 48 in 1958 - Peter Cotes (1912-1998), theatre director and brother to the film directors, John and Roy Boulting. He was Artistic Director of two club theatres similar to the Finborough Theatre - the New Lindsay Theatre in Notting Hill which he ran from 1946 to 1948, and the New Boltons Theatre in Drayton Gardens which he reopened in 1950. He was possibly best known as the first director of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap in the West End.
The Little Boltons
No 32 from 1866-74 - Osbert Salvin, orthonologist. He was the first European to record observing a quetzal, pronounced it "unequalled for splendour among the birds of the New World", and promptly shot it. During the course of the next three decades, thousands of quetzal plumes crossed the Atlantic to fill the specimen cabinets of European collectors and adorn the fashionable milliners shops of Paris, Amsterdam and London. Salvin redeemed himself by authoring the awesome 40-volume tome Biologia Centrali Americana which provided virtually a complete catalogue of neotropical species.
No. 60 Coleherne Court from 1979-1981 - Diana, Princess of Wales (1960-1997). Another resident of Coleherne Court was Sophie Rhys Jones, now Countess of Wessex.
In 1994, Elizabeth Hurley was mugged in The Little Boltons by a street gang of female teenagers brandishing a kitchen knife.
Sometime residents of Little Chelsea included Sir Bartholomew Shower, a well-known lawyer, in 1693; Edward Fowler, Bishop of Gloucester, in 1709; Sir William Dawes, Bishop of Chester, and subsequently Archbishop of York; Sir Edward Ward, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, in 1697; Robert Boyle (1627-1691), philsopher, alchemist, scientist and inventor of Boyle's Law; the philsopher Anthony Ashley Cooper, the third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713), who bought a house in Little Chelsea to escape the "Great Smoak" of London; Edward Hyde, third Earl of Clarendon who died there in 1724; the infamous General Sir John Cope, "a little dressy, finical man" who was routed at the Battle of Prestonpans during Bonnie Prince Charlie's 1745 Jacobite rising and inspired the song Hey, Johnnie Cope.
No. 74 from January-February 1921 – Ivor Gurney, composer and poet.
Garden Lodge, 1 Logan Place - Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), singer and songwriter, lived and died here.
Netherton Grove (formerly Victoria Grove)
No 6 from 1890-98 - Arnold Bennett, novelist (1867-1931). Shortly after moving to London from the Potteries, Bennett lived as a paying guest in the house of Frederick Marriott, a teacher of art at Goldsmith's College. It was in this house that he wrote his first novel, A Man from the North, and began his classic Anna of the Five Towns. Margaret Drabble in her biography of Bennett describes the move as "a move of great significance...This was a cultured household, with musical evenings, improvised theatricals and constant talk of art". As Bennett himself said:"I began to revolve, dazzled, im a circle of painters and musicians who, without the least affectation, spelt Art with the majuscule". In his novel, The Old Wives Tale, his character Cyril Povey lives in the same street.
6a Nevern Place in the early 1930s - Home of Vera Brittain (1893–1970), writer, feminist and pacifist, author of Testament of Youth, lived here with her family including husband Sir George Edward Gordon Catlin (1896–1979), political scientist and philosopher, and their children, John Brittain-Catlin (1927-1987) and politician Shirley Williams (1930- ), originally a Labour Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister, she was one of the co-founders of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981, and served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, In 2001–2004. Winifred Hoiltby (1898-1935), novelist and author of South Riding, also lived with the family during this period. The family – including Holtby – later moved to 19 Glebe Place, Chelsea.
No 1 from c. 1890's-1910's - The Compton family included actor/manager Edward Compton; his wife, Virginia Bateman, who was a distinguished member of the acting profession, and their children: the actresses Viola Compton and Fay Compton (1894- 1978) and the novelist Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972). Fay Compton's first husband, Harry Gabriel Pelissier, usually known as H.G. Pelissier (1874-1913), a theatrical producer, composer and satirist, best known for Pelissier's Follies, died at 1 Nevern Square, Earls Court, London, on 25 September 1913, aged just 39, from cirrhosis of the liver. The son of Pelissier and Fay Compton, Anthony Pelissier, later became a successful producer and director in his own right
Old Brompton Road
No 261 until 2008 - The Coleherne Arms was arguably the most famous gay pub in the UK. Freddie Mercurey and Rudolf Nureyev were frequenters in the 1980s; it was namechecked in the song Hanging Around by The Stranglers and was later referenced in Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City book, Babycakes. It was also infamous for being the stalking grounds of three separate serial killers: Dennis Nilsen, Michael Lupo and Colin Ireland. It has now been renamed The Pembroke.
No 189 from 1874-87 - Jenny Lind, "The Swedish Nightingale", singer.
No 48 from Christmas 1933 to early 1934 - Samuel Beckett, author
No 96 and 106 - Sir Henry Cole. Instigator and organiser of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Founded the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal College of Music and also invented Christmas cards.
?? in 1911 - Sir Roger Casement (1864-1916), Irish patriot.
No 6 First World War - Lt. Colonel Charles William Henry Sealy, widower of Helena Louisa Sealy (nee Harris). Their son was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
No 11 from 1870-1901 - John Butler, architect to the Metropolitan Police, and his son, John Dixon Butler, who lived there until 1907 and succeeded him to the same position.
No 53 - Sydney Monckton Copeman (1862-1947), developer of the vaccine for smallpox.
No 82 in 1881 - William Bayes ( 1823-1882), Physician and Writer. Educated at University College, London. Founded London School of Homeopathy on 15 December 1876.
No 98 First World War - Dr. Howard Douglas Stewart and Helen Stewart. Their son Second Lieutenant Alan Dundas Stewart, 9th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Killed 19 September 1915, age 21. Buried in Rimboval Cemetery, France.
No 134, fourth floor flat before the Second World War - The family home of Peter Ustinov, (1921-2004), Academy Award-winning actor, writer, dramatist and raconteur.Born Peter Alexander von Ustinov, his father, Jona von Ustinov was of Russian and German descent, and had served as a German fighter pilot in the First World War, worked as a press officer at the German Embassy in London in the 1930's, and was a reporter for a German news agency. In 1935, he began working for MI5 and became a British citizen. Peter Wright mentions in his book Spycatcher that he was possibly the spy known as U35. Ustinov says in his autobiography that his father hosted secret meetings of senior British and German officials at their home in Redcliffe Gardens.
Other residents have included Anthony Bartlett (1913-1999), born in Redcliffe Gardens, the last man in the world to hold the position of Gentiluomo, Gentleman at Arms to the Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishops of Westminster. He was awarded the OBE in 1991 and was also a Knight of St Gregory and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
No 6 First World War - Wallace James and Eva Champion. Their son was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
No 14 - Alexander McClymont, builder of the local area.
No 22 - William Corbett, builder of the local area.
No 29 in 1940's - Garnet Ruskin Wolseley, ARWA (1884-1967). Garnet Ruskin Wolseley, painter, was born in London on 24th May 1884, the son of Rev.
Robert W Wolseley who was first cousin of the distinguished British Soldier Field Marshall Lord Wolseley. He was related to John Ruskin on his Mother's side. He trained at the Slade School of Art where he received the Slade Scholarship, Painting Prizes 1902-03 and The Gold Medal. From 1908-13 he worked in Newlyn, Cornwall, alongside Harold and Laura Knight, Harold Harvey and Stanhope Forbes. During this period he began exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy, the New English Art Club and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. He enrolled in the Navy during the First World War and served in the Sea Plane Carriers in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea. On return to civilian life, he began to paint society portraits in addition to his flower painting and landscape work. He married Joan Trevelyan in 1937 and had three children. He moved briefly to Snowdonia where he specialised in mountain landscapes but following his wife's death in 1943, he moved to live near her family home in Somerset.
No 64 from 1883-94 - Herbert Gribble, architect. Designed Brompton Oratory.
No ?? - Hugh Grant, film actor.
No ?? - Sir J.C. Squire (1884-1958), journalist, dramatist and poet. Born in Plymouth, Squire was for a long period the literary editor of The New Statesman.
From 1919 to 1934, he edited The London Mercury, becoming the unofficial leader of the Georgian movement of poetry, in succession to Edward Marsh. In the latter phase of the Georgian movement, its members were sometimes known as the "Squirearchy". As a reader for the publishers Macmillan, he was responsible for recommending the publication of Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm. He also brought James Elroy Flecker's Hassan to the London stage. He edited a number of anthologies, of which his best known were his Selections from Modern Poets (1921 and 1924). He was also an acclaimed parodist. His Collected Poems, edited by Sir John Betjeman, appeared in 1959.
Bolton's Studios - Artists working there included Theodore Roussel (1847-1926). Artist and etcher. He lived for many years in Chelsea where he became a friend of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903); Anna Nordgren (1847-1916). Swedish figure and landscape painter. Nordgren was active as an exhibitor between 1885 and 1901, showing at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Society of Women Artists, New Gallery, New English Art Club and Society of British Artists; and, from 1889-91, - Alfred Ezra Sassoon (1861-1895), sculptor, and the father of poet Siegfried Sassoon.
No 20 First World War - Gladys M. Watson. Her husband, Lieutenant Charles Challinor Watson,"A" Battery, 21st Brigade Royal Field Artillery was killed in action 1 June 1917, aged 28. He was the son of Charles and Mary Edith Watson, of Woodview, Leake, Staffordshire. Buried in No 10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-en-Gohelle, France.
No 22 during the 1990's - In separate flats, film actors Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant
No 24 from 1888-91 - Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925), author of She and King Solomon's Mines.
No 28 from 1921-23 - Hazel Hunkins-Hallinan (1890-1982). American suffragist and journalist.
No 31 in 1895 - Sir Robert George Crookshank Hamilton (1836-1895) died at 31 Redcliffe Square on 22 April 1895. Born in Shetland, he was a holder of many government posts including Under-Secretary of Ireland from 1883-1886. He was appointed Governor of Tasmania in 1887-1893, actively supporting Australian federation.
No 32 First World War - Frederick Charles and Anna Sasse, and their daughter Valentine Joan Downes (nee Sasse).
Their son Captain Frederick Hugh Sasse was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
Their son-in-law Captain Gilbert George Downes was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
Another son, Cecil Duncan Sasse became a Australian war hero. Born in 1886, he emigrated to Australia where he worked as a woolbroker in Sydney. He enlisted as a Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force in August 1914, embarking in October 1914. He was promoted to Major in August 1915 and Lieutenant-Colonel in April 1918.
He played a major role in the Battle of Lone Pine in Gallipoli in August 1915. A pivotal trench section was even named after him - "Sappe's Sap". He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order - "For conspicuous gallantry and determination durring the attack on Lone Pine, Gallipoli Peninsula, on the 6th-7th August, 1915, when he led several bayonet charges on trenches occupied by the enemy, resulting in substantial gains. Captain Sasse was wounded three times, but remained on duty." On 9 August, he played a major role in the action which led to his comrade Captain Shout being awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
"The 1st Battalion had relieved the 7th on the morning of 9 August, at a section known as Sasse's Sap. Captain Cecil Duncan Sasse (later Lieutenant Colonel) DSO & Bar., of the 4th Battalion had captured a section of the enemy's trench, but when the 1st arrived the enemy had reoccupied a large area of the captured trench.
Shout and Sasse enlisted the aid of eight volunteers and following Sasse's plan of attack that had previously been successful they charged down the trench with Shout bombing and Sasse shooting.
The eight volunteers then built a barricade as each section of trench was secured; all went well and Shout - who was reportedly enjoying the fight - was preparing for the final dash of the day to capture just one more section of the trench.
Lighting three bombs Shout set off down the trench and had hurled two before the third went off prematurely blowing off his hand and severely injuring his face and body. Shout continued to direct the attack, then murmured "good old First Brigade, well done!" before he lost consciousness through loss of blood, and died from his wounds at sea onboard HMHS Neuralia on 11 August, 1915."
Sasse was later awarded a bar to his DSO "For conspicuous gallantry in the attack on Chuignolles and Chuignes on 23rd August, 1918. In face of exceedingly heavy fire he brought his battalion through to the final objective with extraordinarily few casualties, and succeeded in capturing several hundred prisoners, and some field guns. He then advanced an additional mile, captured Fontaine les Cappy, and skilfully protected his new position. The brilliant success of his battalion was due to his splendid leadership". He survived the war, and died in 1934.
The 2005 ANZAC Day poster shows Australian troops in Turkish trenches at Lone Pine. The AIF 1st Brigade captured these trenches on 6 August 1915. The soldier on the left is Captain Sasse.
No 58 in 1915 - John and Rosabel Caroline Gell. Their son, Private John Gell, 4th Battalion, Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force, was killed in action at
Lone Pine, Gallipoli, between 6 - 9 August 1915, aged 27. Born in Manchester and raised on the Isle of Man, he emigrated to Australia at the age of 26 and worked as a "motor driver" in Sydney before enlisting in September 1914. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, Turkey.
No 68 in 1907 - Agnes Mary Clerke (1842 –1907) died at 68 Redcliffe Square on 20 January 1907. An astronomer and writer, born in Ireland. She achieved a worldwide reputation in 1885 on the appearance of her exhaustive treatise, A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century. In 1892 she was awarded the Actonian Prize by the Royal Institution. In 1903, with Lady Huggins, she was elected an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society, a rank previously held only by two other women, Caroline Herschel and Mary Somerville. The lunar crater Clerke is named after her.
?? - Peter Jones, founder of the department store in Sloane Square.
?? Basement Flat – Peggy Ramsay, renowned theatrical literary agent.
?? - Herbert Davis Richter (1874-1955). Artist who worked in many mediums; oil, water-colour and pastel. scenes in Buckingham Palace and also the homes of many society figures of his day, in addition to scenes in his own homes in Redcliffe Square and Hungerford.
?? from 1970-77 - Robert Lowell (1917–1977). Generally considered to be among the greatest American poets of the twentieth century. Winner of the Pulitzer
Prize for poetry in 1947 and 1974, and the National Book Award for poetry in 1960. Seamus Heaney gave the address at his memorial service at St. Luke's Church, Redcliffe Square, on 5 October 1977.
?? from 1925-1929 - Sir Arthur Bliss (1891-1975). Composer and Master of the Queen's Music.
?? Artists Studio shortly before the First World War - John Hall Thorpe (1874-1947). A leading Australian woodcut artist of the early twentieth century.
No 5 13 November 1934 - January 1935 - Dylan Thomas, poet.
No 6 First World War - James and Henriette Hunt. Their son Private Frederick George Hunt, 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on 18 July 1916 at the age of 24. He is buried in St Sever Cemetery, Rouen.
No 10 from 1873-80 - Austin Dobson (1840-1921), poet and biographer of Hogarth, Steele, Goldsmith, Horace Walpole, Richardson and Fanny Burney.. "The poems of Austin Dobson...with their old-world quality and delicate feeling" Siegfried Sassoon
No 14 in 1872 - Cyril Edward Power was born at 14 Redcliffe Street on 17 December 1872. He worked as an architect at the Ministry of Works under Sir Richard Allington and was involved with the design and construction of the General Post Office, King Edward VII Building and also the Post Office at the corner of Exhibition Road and Imperial College. In 1912, he published his three-volume work: History of English Medieval Architecture, mainly illustrated with his own pen and ink drawings. He designed and executed the War Memorial for the Great Western Railway at Paddington, London. He was also a well-known artist, partcuarly known for his posters for the London Underground.
10 from 1869-91 - Samuel John Carter, artist, and his son, Howard Carter, discoverer of the tomb of Tutankhamen.
South Bolton Gardens
No 8 was occupied as a studio from 1906-31 - Sir William Orpen (1878-1931), Irish-born portrait painter and Official British War Artist during the First World War; also, from 1907-09, Sir Hugh Lane (1875-1915), Irish art collector and critic who founded Dublin's Gallery of Modern Art, later renamed in his honour. He drowned when the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915.
No 45 First World War - Mrs. Elizabeth Lucy James. Her son, Private Frank James, was killed in action in the First World War. See Little Chelsea at War.
No 3 from 1878-80 - General Sir William Butler (1838-1910) and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Butler (1850-1933), military painter. Sir William Butler, an Irish Catholic, fought in Canada, the First Ashanti War, the Zulu War, Egypt and the Sudan. In 1898, he was Commander-in-Chief in South Africa. From December 1898 until February 1899, he acted as High Commissioner for South Africa, and expressed views on the subject of the probabilities of war which were not welcome to the government in Westminster, who were then doing their best to provoke the Second Boer War. He was consequently ordered home, where he held the Aldershot command for a brief period in 1900 to 1901, and then the Western District until 1905. He was also an author, and a supporter of Irish Home Rule.
His wife, Lady Elizabeth, was the sister of the poet Alice Meynell, and one of the nation's leading painters of military scenes. Her Calling the Roll After an Engagement, Crimea (1874) was so popular that crowds had to be held back to protect it, and it was eventually bought by Queen Victoria. Other military scenes which followed included Quatre Bras (1875), the moving Balaclava (1876) and the much reproduced Scotland for Ever (1881). In 1879, she failed by two votes to be elected to the Royal Academy.
No 4 from 1937-40 - F.R.S. Yorke (1906-1962), modern domestic architect, author of The Modern House.
No 11 from 1856-89 - J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps (1820-1889), bibliophile and Shakespearean scholar.
No 21 from 1930-41/3 - Sir Charles Wheeler KCVO (1892-1974), sculptor and President of the Royal Academy from 1956 until 1966. His best known sculptures include the western fountain figures in Trafalgar Square.
No 14 from 1931-58 - Sir Charles Petrie (1895-1977), historical author.
Pop star Madonna bought a house in Tregunter Road, but never moved in.
At 2 Granville House on 15 November 1911 - Kathleen [Kay] Walsh (1911-2005), actress, was born. Best known for her roles in Noel Coward's films In Which We Serve and This Happy Breed, she was also married to film director David Lean. She died in 2005 at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Fulham Road.
No 28 in 1880 - Smith Spencer Wigg, barrister, died at No 28 on 21 April 1880 at the age 78.
World's End Estate
After the Profumo Affair of 1963 - Christine Keeler
Murder Most Foul
On 16 April 1765, Mr James House Knight returning to his home in Walham Green from a trip to London was robbed and murdered on the Fulham Road near Little Chelsea. A reward of fifty pounds was offered for the conviction of his murderers.
On 7 July, two Chelsea pensioners were charged with the murder on the evidence of their accomplice, another Chelsea pensioner. The accused were found guilty, hanged and gibbeted (tarred and hung in chains) - one in Walnut Tree Walk, now Redcliffe Gardens.
The bodies of the felons remained gibbeted for some years. They were eventually removed when, late one night, two drunk clergyman hung their cabdriver (who they felt had been driving too slowly), up next to the gibbetted corpse. The next morning, his screams for help had a predictable effect on passers-by
Murder in the Finborough Road
Finborough Road itself has seen two murders in modern times.
The 1948 Murder
In 1948, in the first floor flat at 17 Finborough Road, George Epson, a 41 year old recently widowed engineer, killed Winifred Mulholland, a prostitute he had picked up in Piccadilly Circus. According to his subsequent statement to the police, she stole nine pounds from him. They fought, and he hit her with such force that she staggered back, hitting her head on the mantelpiece so hard it killed her. He kept the body in the bedroom for a couple of days, and then, on the night of 5 May 1948, threw it over the balcony into the basement area where it was found next morning. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, but was reprieved as Parliament had imposed a year ban on capital punishment as part of a debate on its future.
Ruby Young Should Be Hung
At the turn of the century, one of the upstairs rooms at 13 Finborough Road was the home and business premises of upper class prostitute Ruby Young. In 1907, she was the star witness for the prosecution at the trial of her former lover, Robert Wood, for the murder of Emily Dimmock, also known as Phyllis, also a prostitute, in Camden Town. To the great delight of everyone who had not bothered to read the evidence, Wood was acquitted, mainly through the efforts of the legendary barrister Sir Edward Marshall Hall. The case was the first in British legal history where a defendant had spoken for himself in the witness box and been acquitted. There was great ill feeling towards Ruby Young and her testimony, and she had to be smuggled from the Old Bailey in the clothes of one of the courts charwomen, as a mob screamed "Ruby Young/Should be hung". She decided not to return to 13 Finborough Road, and fled to the country. The murder of Phyllis Dimmock, which remained unsolved, was later the subject for a play Somebody Knows by John van Druten.
The Pantry Boy and the Toff
In 1922, in the basement flat of the same house, 13a Finborough Road, one of the most infamous murders of the interwar period was committed by Ronald True - the murder of Gertrude Yates, a prostitute who worked under the name Olive Young,
Ronald True was born in 1892, the illegitimate son of a sixteen year old spinster and a youth of seventeen. His mother eventually married well, and True was educated at public school. He was employed in a string of disastrous short term jobs in New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and China (where he became a morphia addict), as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, from which he was invalided out in 1916 after crashing three aeroplanes; as a test pilot and flying instructor in the United States; and as the assistant manager of a mine in Ghana. As his drug addiction and mental illness became worse, he became a con artist, using his good manners and public school accent to swindle his way around the country.
Gertrude Yates (who used the business name of Olive Young) was a 25 year old former shop girl in a West End fur store who worked as a prostitute (although she preferred to use the term, "a lady with male friends") from her basement flat in the Finborough Road. She had made enough money, not only to pay the 43 shillings a week rent on her flat, but to furnish it with "sateen weeping Pierrot dolls, shiny pot reminders of daytrips to seaside resorts, and sequinned greetings cards that were too pretty to throw away" and employ a daily maid, Emily Steel, who also lived in Finborough Road.
True had first spent the night with Olive on Saturday, 18 February 1922. She found her new client rather peculiar and frightening and, after discovering five pounds missing from her handbag after his departure, decided that she wanted nothing more to do with him.
During the next twelve days, True made many attempts to arrange another meeting with Olive, but she avoided his calls and phone calls.
At the same time, the True family, realising that he was by now dangerously insane, were trying to trace him in an attempt to get him into long-term treatment for his mental illness.
Late at night on Sunday, 5 March 1922, True turned up unannounced at 13a Finborough Road. Olive Young had been out on a trip to Piccadilly Circus and had just got the tube home to Earl's Court, arriving home around 11pm.
It is impossible to explain what made her change her mind and let him in. But she did, and let him stay the night.
The next morning, Olive Young's maid let herself in to the flat as normal, and met True on his way out. He murmured "Don't disturb Miss Young. We were late last night, and she is in a deep sleep", and left.
Some time later, the maid opened the bathroom door and found the body of her mistress. She had been battered to death with a rolling pin. Most of her jewellery and trinkets were missing, and even a pile of shillings to feed the gas meter and a half-crown and some pennies to pay the milkman had been stolen.
Later that night, True was arrested in a box at the Hammersmith Palace in King Street where he was watching a music hall show.
His subsequent trial at the Old Bailey lasted five days, and he was sentenced to death.
The crime would probably have faded into oblivion, but for the fact that five days before True's trial, Henry Jacoby, an 18 year old pantry boy in Spencer's Hotel in Portman Square, had also been sentenced to death for the murder of one of the hotels guests, the 65 year old Lady White.
Whilst finding Jacoby guilty, the jury made a strong recommendation for mercy, and the day before his sentence was due to be carried out, a petition for his reprieve signed by several hundred people including two members of the jury that convicted him, was handed in at the Home Office. Edward Shortt, the Liberal Home Secretary, refused his appeal, and Jacoby was executed.
The next day, after examination by medical experts declared that Ronald True was insane, the Home Secretary reprieved True from his death sentence and committed him to Broadmoor Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
There was a massive public outcry, fanned by the popular press. The popular perception was that there was one law for the middle class True, saved from the scaffold for the death of a prostitute; and another for the working class killer of a titled lady. Whilst not entirely borne out by the facts, the scandal was exacerbated by the fact that, whilst not insane or mentally deficient, Jacoby was undoubtedly an immature simpleton. The scandal led to a parliamentary committee to examine the law relating to insanity which, however, left the the M'Naghten Rules of 1843 unchanged. The M'Naghten Rules state that every accused person is presumed sane until the contrary is proved to the jurys satisfaction, and that it must be shown that the accused must be "labouring under such a defect of reason from disease of the mind as to not to know the nature and quality of his act, or, if he did know it, that he did not know that what he was doing was wrong."
Even the hangman, John Ellis, was profoundly affected by Jacoby's sentence. Ellis himself committed suicide ten years later, and it has been argued frequently that the execution of Henry Jacoby had a permanent effect on Ellis mind. In an interview, he said "I saw t'poor lad the day before his death. He was nobbut a child. It was t'most harrowing sight I ever saw in my life. And I had to kill him the next day."
Ronald True died in Broadmoor in 1951, aged 60. In Broadmoor, he was a major figure in organising entertainment for the inmates, alongside the conductor of the hospital band, Richard Prince, the killer of actor William Terriss at the Adelphi Theatre Stage Door in 1897.
A new play on the True and Prince cases, Lullabies of Broadmoor, specially commissioned for the Finborough Theatre was performed in January 2004.
Innocent Man Shot by Police
From BBC News on 14 January 1983 –
"A man has been critically injured in a police ambush in a west London street in what may be a case of mistaken identity.
Witnesses said marksmen surrounded a car in a traffic jam in Pembroke Road in Earl's Court and opened fire.
The driver was shot several times in the head and body.
Scotland Yard said the ambush was part of an operation to recapture escaped prisoner David Martin who absconded from custody at Marlborough Street magistrates' court last month where he was due to face a charge of attempting to murder a police officer. The man is being cared for in the intensive care unit at St Stephen's Hospital in Fulham Road, Chelsea.
Two other people, a woman and a man, were passengers in the car.
The man ran off after the shooting.
The woman was taken to hospital by police officers for the treatment of what are believed to be minor injuries."
The man shot in the ambush was later named as Stephen Waldorf. Film editor Mr Waldorf, 26, had no direct connection to David Martin. But police believed his female passenger, Sue Stephens, to be Mr Martin's girlfriend. Two officers, John Jardine and Peter Finch, stood trial for attempted murder and attempted wounding but were cleared of all charges in October 1983. The pair remained in the police force but were barred from firearm duties. Stephen Waldorf made a full recovery and eventually received £150,000 compensation. David Martin was recaptured soon after the shooting but hanged himself in jail in 1984 before his trial.
The dead of the First World War listed on the Memorial at St Luke's Church, Redcliffe Gardens, built by George Godwin in 1872, with extra information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and other sources. For other local residents who died in the First World War, see Local Residents.
Midshipman Ian D. Alderson, H.M.S “Conqueror”
Midshipman D. I. Alderson, H.M.S. "Conqueror.", Royal Navy, who died on 15 December 1917. Buried in Tickhill (St. Mary) Churchyard, Doncaster, Yorkshire.
Private Frederick Alger, 20th Machine Gun Company
Private Frederick Alger, 20th Machine Gun Company (Infantry). Killed in action on 2 April 1917, aged 25. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Alger of South Kensington, London. Buried in H.A.C. Cemetery, Ecoust-St-Mien, France.
Corporal Philip H Barber, Royal Scots Greys
Lance Corporal Philip Henry Barber, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) who was killed in action on 16 May 1915. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Frederick Barrett, 13th London Regiment
Private Frederick Robert Barrett, 13th Kensington Battalion, London Regiment, who was killed in action on 9 April 1917 in the Battle of Arras, aged 36. Son of William and Harriet Barrett of Ramsgate, Kent. He is buried in Wancourt British Cemetery, France.
Gunner George Barsby, H.M.S. “Cressy”
Able Seaman George Barsby, H.M.S. "Cressy.", Royal Navy, killed in action age 29 on 22 September 1914. HMS Cressy was sunk by a German submarine, U9, in the North Sea. Commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial.
Henry R. Barton, Royal Field Artillery
Sergeant Henry Russell Barton, 40th Division Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery, died on 18 June 1916, aged 39. He has previously served in the Boer War. Son of Henry and Sarah Barton of Cuffley, Herts. Buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.
William Beckett, King's Royal Rifles Corps
Rifleman William Beckett, 2nd Battalion King's Royal Rifles Corps. Killed in action on 30 March 1918, aged 21. Son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Beckett, of 244, Desborough Road, High Wycombe, Bucks. Buried in Buffs Road Cemetery, Wieltje, Flanders.
Corporal William Henry Beckett, 3rd Battalion, King's Royal Rifles Corps. Killed in action on 9 May 1915, probably at the Second Battle of Ypres. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Flanders.
Lieutenant Alfred Bence-Trower, 1st Battalion, Scots Guards
Second Lieutenant Alfred Bence-Trower, 1st Battalion, Scots Guards. Born 10 August 1880 at 7 Stanhope Street, Hyde Park Gardens, London. Educated at Charterhouse. He, was killed in action on 29 May 1918, aged 37. He is buried in St Amand British Cemetery, Somme, France. He is also commeorated in Thorington Parish Church, Suffolk, where his original battlefield cross is on display. And also see Local Residents under the Bolton Gardens entry.
Walter Blunt, 17th Middlesex Regiment
Private Walter Blunt, 17th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. Killed in action at theBattle of the Somme, 28 July 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Alfred F. Boyce, 28th Middlesex Regiment
Private Alfred Frederick Boyce, The Duke of Cambridge's (2nd Battalion), Middlesex Regiment, died of wounds on Saturday, 29 July 1916, age 28, during the Battle of the Somme. Buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery, France.
Lieutenant Robert S. Bullock, 27th Punjabis
Lieutenant Robert Stanley Bullock, 27th Punjabis, Indian Army. Killed in action on 17 April 1916, aged 27. Commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.
Private Robert H. Burgess DCM, 18th Battalion. Canadian Infantry
Private Robert H Burgess DCM, 15th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment), killed in action on 15 September 1916 in the Battle of the Somme. Buried in Sunken Road Cemetery, Contalmaison, France.
Private Lionel W. Champion, 1/23rd London Regiment
Private Lionel Wallace Champion, 23rd Battalion, London Regiment, who was killed in action on 7 June 1917 at the age of 23. He is buried in Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Ypres, Belgium.
Edward Charles, 18th London Regiment
No record found. 18th London Regiment was also known as the London Irish Rifles. Lieutenant Thomond (sic, usually known as "Toony") Edward O’Bryen Horsford , 2nd Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince Of Wales's Own). Died of wounds at the age of 22 on Sunday, 14 March 1915, probably from wounds received at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle on Friday, 12 March 1915. Son of the late Frederick O'Bryen Horsford and Cecilia Benvenuta Horsford of "Summerhill", Camberley, Surrey. Cecilia Benvenuta Horsford was the daughter of Victorian actor William Charles Macready. Buried in Estaires Communal Cemetery, France. Information updated with thanks to Martin Horsford.
Captain Guy Chichester, 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Captain Robert Guy Incledon Chichester, 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry, was killed in action leading his regiment into battle at the First Battle of Ypres on 13 November 1914. He was the son of the late Rev. Richard Chichester, of Drewsteignton, Devon; and married to Edith Chichester, of Fairlie, Ayrshire. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium, and Drewsteignton Church, Devon. Chichester's ancestors included Sir John Chichester, knighted after the Siege of Calais in 1348 and present at the Barrle of Poitiers in 1356, and Sir John Chichester who fought at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Sergeant Alexander Chilcott, Norfolk Regiment
Serjeant Alexander Chilcott, 35th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action in the Battle of the Somme on 11 August 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorared on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
2nd Lieutenant Lyonel L. Clark, Royal Horse Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps
Second Lieutenant Lyonel Latimer Clark, 60th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, previously Leicestershire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery. Killed in action on 2 August 1916, aged 18. He was the only son of Lyonel E. and Annie Jane Clark of "Briarholme", Bourne End, Bucks. Buried in Beaumetz Communal Cemetery, Cartigny, Somme, France.
Clark's Moraine-Saulnier BB "518" was shot down from an altitude of 11,000 feet on 2 August 1916, south of Peronne on the Somme, killing him and 22 year old Sergeant Alexander Walker. There is debate as to whether this was due to German anti-aircraft fire or whether this was the 13th victory of Leutnant Kurt Wintgens (1894-1916) who claimed 19 victories before he was himself shot down on 25 September 1916 by French ace Alfred Heurtaux.
Captain Lionel F.A. Cochran, 72nd Punjabis attached 92nd Punjabis
Captain Lionel Francis Abingdon Cochran, 72nd Punjabis attached 92nd Punjabis, Indian Army. Died on 4 February 1915, aged 32. Born in Edinburgh. Son of Colonel Francis Cochran, 1st Hampshire Regiment, and Mrs. Cochran, daughter of Abingdon Compton, Judge, Indian Civil Service. Buried in Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Thomas H. Coppard, 7th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Private Thomas H. Coppard, 7th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, killed in action at the Battle of Loos on 13 October 1915, aged 28. Husband of Rosa Pratt (formerly Coppard), of 52 North Street, Clapham, London. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
Rifleman W.S. Crane, 1st Rifle Brigade
Rifleman William Samuel Crane, 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade. Killed in action on 20 August 1918, aged 39. Husband of Ada Elizabeth Crane of 125 Midhurst Road, West Ealing, London. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
Private Frank Craner, London Irish Rifles
Private Frank Craner, 2nd/18th Battalion, London Regiment (London Irish Rifles). Died on 11 March 1917. Buried in Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece.
2nd Lieutenant Roger G. Dawson, 3rd Northants
2nd Lieutenant Roger Graham Dawson, 3rd Battalion attached 6th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action on 18 September 1918. Son of John and Maude Dawson; Husband of Beatrice T. Dawson of 18 Kensington Court Place, Kensington, London. Buried in Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.
2nd Lieutenant Dallas Le Doux-Veitch, Royal Sussex Regiment
Second Lieutenant Dallas Gerard Le Doux-Veitch, 3rd Battalion attached 7th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action during the Battle of the Some on 4 August 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Theipval Memorial, Somme, France.
The following extract is taken from the Battalion War Diary of the 7th Royal Sussex for 4 August 1916, held at the Public Record Office in WO95/1856:
"'At 3 A.M. received orders to send one Company over to RATION trench to get in touch with 8th Royal Fusiliers and work up to the right; also one Platoon to attack strong point on the right, after this had been captured they were to work down RATION and get in touch with A. Company. A. Company went too much to the left, but reached RATION trench finding the Buffs already there. Col. Cope [O.C. Buffs] ordered A Coy. to push forward and take the ridge, which they reached without any difficulty, but were heavily counter attacked and obliged to fall back to RATION trench. The Platoon on the right came under heavy Machine Gun fire and were not able to capture the strong point. Later in the day orders were received for two Companies to attack the right of RATION trench in conjuction with attack of 9th Royal Fusiliers. Two Platoons werre again to attack strong point on right from POZIERS trench. B. and D. Companies attacked across the open but lost direction, some however reached their objective and got in touch with 9th Royal Fusiliers.
The two Platoons of C. Company were unable to capture Strong point, owing to heavy Machine Gun fire. The result of this operation was that practically the whole of RATION trench was captured and consolidated.
Casualties during two days. 2nd Lieuts. Wood, Le Doux Veitch, Killed. 2nd Lieuts. Cooke, Fitzsimmons, Rolfe, Missing. Capt. Trower, 2nd Lieuts. D. Alton, Glenister, Howe, Browning, Wounded. Other Ranks 18 Killed, 25 Missing, 109 Wounded."
Captain Gilbert G. Downes, 6th Lincolnshire Regiment
Captain Gilbert George Downes, 6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, died of wounds received in the Dardanelles on 11 August 1915at the age of 25. He was the son of Daniel George and Ellen Downes (nee Gilbert) of Upottery, Devon, and married to Valentine Joan Downes (nee Sasse). He is buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on the Greek island of Lemnos. Also see Local Residents under the entry for Redcliffe Square.
2nd Lieutenant Herbert P. Evans, Royal Field Artillery
Lieutenant H. T. P. Evans, 98th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action on the Salonica Front on 4 October 1916, aged 22. Son of Major General T. J. P. Evans, C B., and Mrs. Evans. Buried in Struma Military Cemetery, Greece.
Henry A.J. Feast, 7th London Regiment
Private Henry Alfred James, 1st/7th Battalion, London Regiment. Died on 14 February 1916.
Sapper Sidney French, 5th Division Royal Engineers
Sapper Sidney Ernest French, 130th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Killed in action on 10 April 1918. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Flanders.
Trooper Harold Fowler, Middlesex Imperial Yeomanry
Private Harold Fowler, 1st Middlesex Hussars. Died on 26 October 1916, aged 23. Son of Edwin Bart Fowler and Ellen Fowler of 52 Radnor Park Road, Folkestone, Kent. Buried in Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery, Greece.
Oscar Gait, H.M.S. “Vanguard”
Electrical Artificer 4th Class Oscar Gait, H.M.S. "Vanguard.", Royal Navy. Killed on 9 July 1917, aged 24. Son of Seward and Sarah Gait of 32 Francis Street, Stoneygate, Leicester. In the Royal Navy base at Scapa Flow, just before midnight on Monday, July 9th 1917, H.M.S. Vanguard suddenly blew up, taking over 800 of her crew down with her. It was a magazine explosion in one of the two magazines which served the amidships turrets P and Q. Two other local residents, Robert Chessex and Henry Abbott, were killed in the same disaster.
Captain J. Ponsonby Gilbert, 6th Jat. Indian Contingent
Captain J. Ponsonby Gilbert, 6th Jat. Light Infantry, Indian Army. Drowned on 20 December 1915. Gilbert was almost certainly on SS "Persia" - A defensively armed passenger vessel out of Tilbury for Port Said, Aden and Bombay, torpedoed and sunk on 30 December 1915 off Crete with the loss of 334 lives including 21 Officers and 1 NCO of the United Kingdom and Indian Forces.
H.G. Green, Royal Army Service Corps
Driver Harry George Green, Army Service Corps attached Guards Division. Killed in action on 29 September 1915, aged 29, during the Battle of Loos. He was born in Westminster, and lived with his father, Thomas Green of Haynes, Bedforshire, and was driver to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII. He is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, France.
William Hall, Somerset Light Infantry
Private William Hall, 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, Saturday, 1 July 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Charles F. Hardwick, Royal Naval Division
Able Seaman Charles F. Hardwick, Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Division. Killed in action on the first day of the landings in the Dardanelles, 25 April 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.
Lieutenant Stewart Hare, 1st Battalion Essex Regiment
Captain Robert Stuart Maclaine Hare, 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment. Killed in action in the Dardanelles on 6 August 1915, aged 26. Son of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Powel Hare and Christian Sarah Hare of Bath. Buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Helles, Turkey. This cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated sites and small burial grounds on the battlefields of April- August and December 1915.
Sergeant William S. Hare, 107th Canadian Regiment
Sergeant William Samuel Hare, 197th Battalion, Canadian Pioneers. Killed in action on 12 November 1917, aged 40. Son of George and Susan Hare of St. John's, New Brunswick; Husband of Jennie M. Hare of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. Buried in Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery, near Ypres, Flanders.
Colin G. Harper RN, H.M.S. “Princess Irene”
Lieutenant Colin Grahame Harper, Royal Navy, H.M.S. "Princess Irene." Killed on Thursday, 27 May 1915, age 25. Minelayer HMS Princess Irene blew up while in port at Sheerness, killing most of her crew of 225 as well as 80 Petty Officers from Chatham and 76 Sheerness Docyard Workers who were on board completing tasks before the ship sailed on 29 May. Lieutenant Harper was the eldest son of the late James Harper, M.D., Colonel Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorial) [listed below] and the late Mrs. Harper; and stepson of Annette E. Harper of "Ridgecap," Shottermill, Haslemere, Surrey. He is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire.
George Horne of Ifield Road was killed in the same accident.
Colonel James Harper, Royal Army Medical Corps
Dr James Harper, M.D., Colonel Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorial) and Director of Medical Services to the 1st London Division, died in 1916. His son Colin is listed above.
Lieutenant Herbert H. Harter, Grenadier Guards
Lieutenant Herbert Hatfeild Harter, Grenadier Guards attached Guards Brigade, No. 2 Machine Gun Company, was killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Ypres) on 9 October 1917 at the age of 33. He is buried in Artillery Wood Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium
Private George R. Ashby, 11th Middlesex Regiment
No record found
Private Sidney J.W. Hines, 2nd South African Infantry
Sergeant Sidney J.W. Hines, 2nd Regiment, South African Infantry. Killed in action on 10 November 1918 - one day before the Armistice. Buried in Hestrud Churchyard Cemetery, France.
Colonel Campbell Hyslop, Staff
Almost certainly Lt.-Col. C. William Campbell Hyslop (June 12 1860 - April 7 1915). Owner of Stretton House Asylum in Shropshire did distinguished service for the reserve forces as Secretary for The City of London Territorial Force.
1st Petty Officer Thomas L. Imms, H.M.S. “Pembroke”
Officer's Steward Thomas L. Imms, H.M.S. “Pembroke”, Royal Navy. Died on 20 August 1916. Buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. HMS Pembroke was a shore base, based at Chatham, Kent.
Private Frank James, Machine Gun Corps
Private Frank James, 1st/23rd Battalion, London Regiment, was killed in action on 16 September 1916 at the age of 21 during the Battle of the Somme. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
Private Thomas Wm King, Royal West Kent Regiment
Lance Corporal Thomas William King, 8th Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), was killed in action at the Battle of Loos of 26 September 1915 at the age of 20. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
2nd Lieutenant Gordon Legg, attached Royal Field Artillery
Lieutenant Horace Gordon Legg, "C" Coy. 22nd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry . Killed in action on 25 March 1918, aged 37, during the Spring Offensive of the Germans when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields. Son ot the late Edwin and Amy Legg of Hurstlea, St. Albans, Herts; Husband of Frances Waterfield Legg of the High Wood, Selborne, Hants. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.
Captain C. Ley, Royal Flying Corps
Captain Christopher Francis Aden Ley, Royal Flying Corps formerly South Nottinghamshire Hussars. Died on 16 March 1918, aged 24. Born at Barrow-on-Trent, he was the son of the late Sir Francis Ley, 1st Baronet, and of Lady Ley, of Lealholm Lodge, Lealholm, Yorkshire. Buried in Lealholm (St. James) Churchyard Yorkshire.
2nd Lieutenant Maurice Aden Ley, The Buffs
Lieutenant Maurice Aden Ley, Lincolnshire Regiment, attached 1st Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) The Buffs. Killed in action at the First Battle of Ypres on 1 November 1914, aged 19. Son of Sir Francis Ley, 1st Baronet, and Lady Ley (Now Dowager Lady Ley, of Lealholm Lodge, Lealholm, Yorkshire. He is buried in White House Cemetery, Ypres, Flanders.
The two Ley brothers are also commemorated on the Kirkoswald Cross, Kirkoswald, Cumbria. Maurice Aden Ley is also commemorated on the Lealholm Roll of Honour and on a commemorative plaque at Derby Industrial Museum, Derby.
Lieutenant H. Stanley Lowe, 2nd Battalion Worcester Regiment
Lieutenant Henry Shanten Lowe, 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, the only son of Mrs Lowe and the youngest son of Rev Lowe of Stallingborough Vicarage, Lincolnshire, died of wounds on 21 October 1914 at the age of 24. A regular soldier, Lieutenant Lowe embarked for France on 13 August 1914 and fought at the Battle of Mons. He is buried in St. Germain-en-Laye Old Communal Cemetery, Yvelines, France.
Lieutenant George L. Mackay, Leinster Regiment
Lieutenant George Lawrence Forbes Mackay, 2nd Battalion, Leinster Regiment. Killed in action on 12 April 1917, possibly at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, aged 19. Son of the late Lt.-Col. Henry Forbes Mackay and Mrs. Mackay of 50 Prebend Gardens, Stamford Brook, Hammersmith, London. Buried in Fosse No.10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-En-Gohelle, France.
Lieutenant Neil H. Mackay, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Second Lieutenant Henry Neil Mackay, 12th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Killed in action on 28 November 1916, aged 22. Son Of Mrs. M. E. Mackay and the late Lt.-Col. H. Forbes Mackay of 38 Aynhoe Road, Brook Green, London. Buried in Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece.
Lieutenant Drummond Malcolm, Royal Field Artillery
Second Lieutenant Henry Alexander Drummond Malcolm, Royal Field Artillery, "Z" 33rd T.M. Battery, Royal Field Artillery, formerly 2nd King Edward's Horse. Killed in action on 17 February 1917, aged 29. Born at Dundee. Son of Henry Alexander and Blanche Evelyn Malcolm of Chestnut Bungalow, Dane Road, Margate. Buried at Hem Farm Military Cemetery, Hem-Monacu, Somme, France.
William G. Mandy, Queen Victoria Rifles
Rifleman William George Mandy, 1st/9th Battalion, London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles). Killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, Saturday, 1 July 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
2nd Lieutenant Richard H. Marriott MC, 3rd King's Shropshire Light Infantry
Lieutenant Richard Henry Marriott MC (Military Cross), 1st Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on 18 September 1916 at the Battle of the Somme, aged 22. Son of Gertrude E. Marriott of "Heatherstone," Westover Road, Fleet, Hants, and the late Canon Percy A. R. Marriott. Buried in Guards' Cemetery, Lesboeufs, Somme, France.
Richard May, East Surrey Regiment
Private Richard May, 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. Killed in action on 23 July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Lieutenant Richard Meade, Indian Express Force
Lieutenant Richard J F P Meade, 14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs, Indian Army, Killed in action at the Third Battle of Krithia in the Dardanelles, 4 June 1915, aged 23. Son of Colonel J. W. B. Meade and Catherine W. Meade. Buried in Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles, Turkey.
The Third Battle of Krithia was an attempt to push the Turkish trenches back in the Cape Helles sector of the Dardanelles campaign. " On the left, however, on the western slope of the Gully Ravine, the 14th Sikhs had advanced with equal gallantry but without the same success. The enemy’s machine guns there had not been subdued by the bombardment, and before their fire the tall Sikhs had fallen in swathes. The Sikh battalion had been almost annihilated (After the battle the 14th Sikhs numbered no more than 3 officers and 200 men)".
2nd Lieutenant Ian V.B. Melhuish, Royal Fusiliers [sic]
Second Lieutenant Ian Vaughan Bremridge Melhuish, 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Killed in action at the Battle of Loos on 27 October 1915, aged 23. Son of Ada Constance Melhuish of Taunton, Somerset, and the late John Bremridge Melhuish. Buried in Rue-Du-Bacquerot (13th London) Graveyard, Laventie, France.
Private William H.J. Melhuish, 7th Somerset Light Infantry [sic]
No record found
Major Sir Lennox Napier, 4th S.W. Borderers
William Napier had joined the Sussex Artillery Volunteers in 1888 and as a Territorial Force officer later commanded the 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Having retired in 1912, he immediately offered his services on the outbreak of war in August 1914, and on 24 September 1914 was commissioned as Major, 4th South Wales Borderers. He commanded "A" Company, and was killed by a sniper on 13 August 1915 in the Dardanelles, aged 47. Buried in 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.
Lieutenant Charles E. Procter, Norfolk Regiment
Lieutenant Charles E. Procter, 1st/7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. Killed in action on 2 August 1915. Buried in Rifle House Cemetery, Ypres, Flanders.
2nd Lieutenant Stuart M. Rawson, 20th Royal Fusiliers
Lieutenant Stuart Milner Rawson, 20th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Killed in action at the Battle of the Somme on 20 July 1916, aged 25. Son of Marion Rawson of Ardmore, Asheldon Road. Torquay, and the late Edward Creswell Rawson (Indian Civil Service). He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
2nd Lieutenant Arthur Raymond, Royal Irish Rifles
Lieutenant Arthur Augustus Raymond, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. Killed in action on 1 August 1915, aged 19. Son of the late Captain H W Raymond, Royal Irish Rifles. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypores, Flanders.
Private Henry Rebstein (sic), Honourable Artillery Company
Private Henry Ribstein of 6 Coleherne Road was killed in action in 1917.
Captain. Frederick H. Sasse, 1st East Yorkshire Regiment
Captain Frederick Hugh Sasse, 2nd Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment , died on 8 May 1915 at the age of 28 in London of wounds received at Ypres on the 5th-6th May 1915. He was in the Territorial Army before the war. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery. Also see Local Residents under the entry for Redcliffe Square for his brother, Cecil Duncan Sasse, an Australian war hero, and below for his brother-in-law, Gilbert George Downes..
Lieutenant Charles F.N.P. Sealy, 7th Royal Fusiliers
Second Lieutenant Charles Frederic Noel Prince Sealy, 7th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on 24 May 1915, aged 23. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.
Sub Lieutenant Reg. L.Mcclure Slade Thomson, H.M.S. “Torrent”
Sub-Lieutenant Lindsay Mcclure Slade Thomson, H.M.S. “Torrent”, Royal Navy. Killed in action on 23 December 1917 near the Dutch North Sea coast, near Maas light bouy. "Torrent" and her three destroyer division ran into a minefield. "Torrent" hit first, "Surprise" went to assist and was mined, and as "Tornado" tried to get clear, she detonated two mines and sank with only one survivor. Only "Radiant" got home. A total of 252 men were lost. Thomson is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire.
Edward Stamp, Wiltshire Regiment
Private Edward Stamp, 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment. Killed in action on 25 July 1915, aged 31. Brother of Miss F. Stamp of Chapmanslade, Westbury, Wilts. Buried in St. Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L'Avoue, France.
Fredk K. Symonds-Tayler, King's Shropshire Light Infantry
Captain Frederick Kingsley Symonds-Tayler, 3rd Battalion attached 1st Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry, Killed in action on 17 April 1917. Son of R. H. and E. S. Symonds-Tayler of 15 Bridge Street, Hereford. Buried in Chocques Military Cemetery, France.
Lieutenant Richard Walmsly, 3rd Yorkshire Regiment
No record found.
Gerald Weeks, London Irish Rifles
Lance Corporal Alfred Gerald Weeks, London Irish Rifles. 1st/18th Battalion, London Regiment (London Irish Rifles), was killed in action at the Battle of Loos on 27 October 1915, aged 32. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.
Captain Herbert C. Whipple, Devonshire Regiment
Captain Herbert Connell Whipple, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action at the First Battle of Ypres on 24 November 1914, aged 35. Born in Plymouth, the son of Connell and Harriet Whipple of Muddiford House, Barnstaple, Devon; Husband of Joan Whipple (nee Stapleton-Smyth). Buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery (Nord), France.
Private Earnest [sic] T. White, 9th Devonshire Regiment.
Private Earnest T. White, 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. Killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, Saturday, 1 July 1916. Son of Mr. F. W. White of 31 Charleville Road, West Kensington, London. Buried in Devonshire Cemetery, Mametz, Somme, France. Other members of the battalion killed on 1 July 1916 included Lt. W.N. Hodgson, aged 23, war poet; and Captain Duncan Lenox Martin, aged 30. While on leave prior to the attack on the 1 July, Captain Martin had made a plasticine model of the area concerned in the coming advance. The 9th Battalion was to attack in a north-westerly direction parallel to the main road and his model showed that the leading waves would be subjected to enfilade fire from a machine-gun post sited in Mametz Civil cemetery if not destroyed during the preliminary bombardment. This proved to be the case and Martin reported this to his superiors. It was not possible to change the well-laid plans and Capt. Martin fell with many of his men during the first few yards of the advance.
Major G.H. Wilson, Royal Field Artillery
Major George Henry Wilson MC [Military Cross], "D" Battery,. 282nd Brigade,. Royal Field Artillery. Kileld in action on 4 November 1917. He was a member of the London Stock Exchange before the war. Buried in Gwalia Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium.
Lieutenant J.H. Neynoe Macleod, 8th King’s Own Scottish Borderers
Second Lieutenant James Herbert Neynoe Macleod, 7th/8th Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Killed in action on 29 June 1916, aged 29. Husband of Cicely Augusta Hastings Mitchell of 17 Alexandra Road, Walmer, Kent. Their children included Norma Neynoe MacLeod. Buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, France.
Second Lieutenant J H Zeder
Second Lieutenant J H Zeder, 2nd Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. Killed in action on 3 July 1916, aged 39. Buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France. He previously fought in the Bechuanaland Expedition of 1986-97, the Boer War 1899-1902 where he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Natal Insurrection of 1906.
The Second World War
During the Second World War (1939-1945), Earl's Court Underground Station did its part when the pedestrian subway leading to the Exhibition Centre was converted into an aircraft components factory, staffed by volunteers. A large anti aircraft gun emplacement was situated on the Old Brompton Road forecourt of the Exhibition Centre, together with a barrage balloon on the Warwick Road entrance. The Exhibition Centre itself was used as a demobilisation centre after the war. At its peak, the Centre demobilised 5000 men a day, down to 2000 a day by early 1947.
457 civilians were killed in Chelsea by enemy action during the Second World War. Finborough Road, Ifield Road and many streets nearby were heavily hit. Many of the nearby post war buildings replace bombed out houses.
Some of the notable incidents of the Blitz included:
Early in the Blitz on Friday, October 18th 1940, Ashburnham Mansions in Ashburnham Road was hit by a high explosive bomb which levelled the central wing of the block.
On the night of 16/17 April 1941, Chelsea Old Church was destroyed by several landmines. 1000 people were killed, and 2000 wounded in London that night, including 5 firewatchers in Chelsea.
A large bomb hit the north west corner of Brompton Cemetery, damaging many graves and scattering old coffins and their occupants over a wide area.
Another bomb fell in Earl's Court Square, demolishing numbers. 25 and 27. The porch of 27 to 25 Earls Court Square still features the square temporary pillars installed to prop up the porch after the bomb damage.
A V1 "doodlebug" flying bomb hit Nevern Square (where Rupert House now stands) in July 1944 and reduced the north side of the square to ruins.
St Matthias' Church (behind the primary school on Warwick Road) was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished.
The worst single bombing incident in Chelsea during the war was at Worlds End on February 23rd 1944 during the Baby Blitz. Four bombs fell on the area, one destroying a whole block of the Guinness Trust flats, killing 59 people. Anthony Smith, a chimney sweep, twice plunged into the blazing wreckage and flooded basements to rescue survivors, and was awarded the George Cross, Britain's highest award for civilian gallantry. The story is told in Donald James Wheal's book,World's End.
St Luke's Church, Redcliffe Gardens, also includes a memorial to two former members of the local Scout group, killed in the Second World War.
Private John Jimpson, 7th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders. Killed in action on 24 March 1945, aged 26. Son of John and Caroline Mary Jimpson. Buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Leading Aircraftman Ernest Stephen Wilks, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 9 April 1945, aged 24. Son of George Daniel and Daisy Eliza Wilks, of Kensington, London. Buried in Rawalpindi War Cemetery, Pakistan.
27 March 1974: A bomb placed by the Provisional IRA exploded in a garbage can at the top of an escalator in Earl's Court Exhibition Centre. 20,000 people were attending the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition at the time. 70 were injured, 4 people lost limbs.
3 September 1996. " Bomb rocks London for 4th time in month" by Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press writer
LONDON - A bomb exploded in a trash bin on a busy west London thoroughfare early Saturday, and suspicion immediately fell on the Irish Republican Army. The device detonated without warning at 12:38 a.m. (7:38 p.m. EST yesterday) at the entrance to a cemetery on Old Brompton Road, several hundred yards from a building with Ministry of Defence offices, said Police Superintendent Peter Rice.
Mr. Rice said there were no reports of injuries.
"It sounded like thunder," said Ulric Rudmalm, 22, who was working at nearby Finborough Arms pub. "It was raining at the time so we thought that was what it was. I did not think anything of it until I saw the blue flashing lights from the police cars."
Old Brompton Road is a bustling street connecting trendy South Kensington to Fulham areas, and its popular restaurants and bars were just beginning to empty when the device exploded.
"The street was not crowded at the time and damage seems to be confined to three motor cars and to windows in a building opposite the cemetery," said a police spokeswoman, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The defense ministry said "there is no indication whatsoever" that it had been targeted. The blast was also near a subway station and the Earl's Court Exhibition Center. The center has been a possible IRA target in the past because it is the venue for the annual Royal Tournament, a military display held in the summer and attended by members of the royal family.
A policeman at the scene, also speaking anonymously, said the device had been placed in a green bag with wheels.
"I was in my bedroom when there was a large explosion. The room shook and I was very frightened," said Ali Khan, 42, a businessman who lives on Old Brompton Road opposite the cemetery.
Mr. Khan ran outside to find the trash bin blown apart. He was immediately told by police to leave the area.
Officers cordoned off a two-square-mile area, and bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in to search for other possible devices. About two hours after the explosion, police reopened Earl's Court Road, where huge traffic jams had formed.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for planting the device, but the IRA has targeted London since it ended its 17-month cease-fire on Feb. 9 with a massive bomb in the Docklands area that killed two people.
Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA-allied Sinn Fein party, said Thursday the IRA wants negotiations but is ready for "another 25 years of war" with the British.
He stopped short of saying whether the IRA would call a second cease-fire now that Britain and Ireland have set a June 10 date for all-party talks on Northern Ireland's future, as the IRA-Sinn Fein movement has long demanded.
The IRA has not targeted Northern Ireland in its renewed quarter-century campaign to end British rule in the province. It wants to unite Northern Ireland -- where Protestants outnumber Roman Catholics three to two -- with the overwhelmingly Catholic Irish Republic.
In addition to the Docklands blast, police defused a small bomb in a gym bag on Feb. 15 after receiving telephone warnings. The bag had been left in a phone booth in the theater district in London's West End.
Three days later, 21-year-old IRA bomb carrier Edward O'Brien blew himself up and wounded nine civilians when the briefcase bomb he was carrying detonated accidentally on a double-decker bus, also in the West End."
The Finborough Arms was built by Corbett and McClymont in 1868 to designs by the Godwins. See Little Chelsea, Old Earl's Court and Finborough Road
The original ground floor design featured three entrances to separate snuggeries (drinking rooms), intended to keep the various social classes separate. The new refurbishment of the Finborough restores the main entrance door to the original position, but does not discriminate as to who uses it.
The first floor has over the years been a restaurant, a Masonic Lodge, a billiards hall and, from 1980, a theatre.
One of the Finborough Arms' most regular customers was sanitary pioneer Thomas Crapper (1836-1910). The manufacturer of sanitary goods and improver of the Water Waste Preventer (the syphon fitted in British cisterns) who promoted plumbed bathroom fittings and brought them out of the closet. He founded Thomas Crapper & Co. in 1861 who were based, successively, in Robert Street, Draycott Avenue and the King's Road, and the firm still exists today. He and his brother, George, would regularly begin their working day in the Finborough Arms with a bottle of champagne!
The Finborough Arms was run by the Finch family for many years who took up residence sometime between 1873 and 1874. They married on 17 May 1867 at St Peter's, Pimlico, and in 1871 were running the Bee Hive pub, Barnard Terrace, Elm Grove, Holloway (since demolished).
The following people were resident on the following census nights:
31 March 1881
William Finch. Age 43. Born about 1838 at St George Hanover Square, Middlesex, England. He is described as a Licensed Victualler.
His wife, Mary Ann L. Finch nee Shrimpton. Age 34. Born April 1847 in Marylebone, Middlesex,
And their children:
Alice Elizabeth Finch. Age 6. Born about 1874. Alice and the other children are listed as being born in West Brompton, Middlesex, England, i.e. almost certainly The Finborough Arms itself.
Edith Eliza Finch. Age 5. Born about 1875 in The Finborough Arms.
Emily Bray Finch. Age 3. Born about 1878 in The Finborough Arms.
Ernest Shrimpton Finch. Baby. Born about 1881 in The Finborough Arms.
Florence Catherine Finch. Age 8. Born about 1873 in Lower Holloway, Finsbury, Middlesex.
Marion Emma Finch. Age 2. Born about 1879 in The Finborough Arms.
Mary Ann Ada Finch. Age 10. Born about 1871 in Lower Holloway, Finsbury, Middlesex.
And their staff:
Fanny Bridger. Age 22. Born about 1859 in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. Occupation - Servant.
Annie Brown. Age 24. Born about 1857 in Sandhurst, Berkshire. Occupation - Barmaid.
Ruth Channer. Age 29. Born about 1852 in Penn, Buckinghamshire. Occupation - Servant.
Rebecca White. Age 64. Born about 1817 in Isleham, Cambridgeshire. Occupation - Nurse.
Present on the night of 31 March 1891:
William Finch, age 52
Mary Ann Finch, age 44
Alice Elizabeth Finch, age16
Edith Eliza Finch, age 15
Emily Bray Finch, age 13
Ernest Shrinpton (sic) Finch, age 10
Florence Catherine Finch, age 19
Marion Emma Finch, age 12
Mary A Ada Finch, age 20
and a new child had joined the family - Fanny Elsie Finch. Age 5. Born about 1885 in The Finborough Arms.
and their staff
Kate Gould. Age 22. Born about 1869 in Notting Hill, London, England. Occupation - Servant.
Mary Annie Jones. Age 37. Born about 1854 in Newbridge, Radnorshire, Wales. Occupation - Barmaid.
Rebecca White. Age 74. (see above)
The Finch family moved to a more spacious house in Ealing after 1891, but remained as landlords (Mrs Mary Ann Lydia Finch was listed as Landlady in 1910 and 1920), while most of the Finch family went into the licensed trade. Ernest S. Finch married Minnie Crapper, the great-niece of Thomas Crapper (see above), in 1906, and the couple emigrated to Canada in 1911 and settled in Calgary where they had two daughters.
On 18th October 1940, during the Blitz of the Second World War, a bomb hit 2 Leopold Road, Ealing Common – the home of the Finch family, lessees of the Finborough Arms Pub for more than fifty years. Florence Catherine Finch, aged 69, and Mary Ann Ada Finch, aged 70, were killed. Their mother, Mary Ann Lydia Finch died of her injuries two days later at King Edward Hospital, Ealing. She was 93 years old.
Under the Finch management, the pub continued to be run by resident staff:
Present on the night of 31 March 1901:
Martha Stephenson, Public House Manageress. She was 25 and born in Battersea.
Percy Frank Hunt, Public House Manager. He was 24 and born in Leamington, Warwickshire.
Alice Hagg. A 20 year old barmaid from Norwich, Norfolk.
Lottie Cook. Another 20 year old barmaid, from Kilburn, London.
Matilda Page. A 26 year old "Cook General (Domestic)" from Lambeth, London.
By 1911, Percy Hunt was running the Blantyre Arms in Blantyre Street with his wife, Georgina Emma Hunt, and Martha Stephenson was a single servant, resident at The Chelsea Potter at 119 King's Road.
Present on the night of 2 April 1911:
George Edward Uwins. Manager. A 29 year old single man from Reigate, Surrey. Licensed for the bar trade in Victoria.
Hilda Louise Ball. Manageress. A 39 year old widow from Cork, Ireland. Licensed for the bar trade in Victoria.
Jade Ann Duff. Servant, Cook and Domestic. A 47 year old single woman from Perthshire, Scotland. She is listed as "Resident" which may mean that the rest of the staff lived off-site.
Margaret Bowen. Barmaid. A 30 year old single woman from Mill End, London
Constance May Giles. Barmaid. A 22 year old single woman from Battersea, London
From 11 November 1935 to 8 October 1942, the pub was leased to The Improved Public House Company Limited. This company, the brainchild of Whitbread director Sir Sydney Oswald Neville (1873-1969), developed and refurbished public houses to make them appeal to a wider public with an emphasis on “fewer and better” pubs, centred around larger, “improved” premises, run by salaried managers instead of independent tenants. The Improved Public House Company was founded in 1920 to assume responsibility for the management of its new large outlets. By 1939, it owned 17 pubs and managed a further 32.
The pub was owned by Whitbread brewery until 2000.
Other staff and managers of The Finborough Arms have included:
1991-1992 - John Gibson
1996 - Sheila English
1998-2001 - David Teakel (resident)
2001-2002 - Jay Hindmarsh (resident)
Renamed 'The Finborough'
2002-2006 - Joshua Reid
2007 - Andrew Fay
Renamed 'The Finborough Road Brasserie'
2008-2010 - Tracey Coles (resident)
Renamed 'The Finborough Wine Cafe'
November 2010-21 September 2012 - Rob Malcolm and Monique Ziervogel