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Remembered Today:

Grandmother's War


Chris_B
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I'd be fascinated to know if anyone has a famlliy member who worked on Munitions in Mitcham like my Grandmother Elsie Gallie. Elsie worked in a small factory in Morden Road Mitcham, thought to have had the name "Corfields", which had turned to Muntions work by 1916.

Regards,

Chris.

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Chris.

In case you have not done this already.

A quick Google search shows there was certainly a firm called Hancock, Corfield & Waller in Mitcham in the 1930's where they seemed to be making items for the drinks industry (e.g. pub jugs). At some stage this firm seems to have been just Hancock & Corfield.

More recently a firm of that name, making 'point of sale' materials for the drinks and tobacco industry comes up in Ewell (not far away).

Their email address is 'sales@hcwltd.com'

It might be worth dropping them a line to see if there is a connection and if they have retained any archives of the WW1 era.

Good luck.

Neil

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Chris.

In case you have not done this already.

A quick Google search shows there was certainly a firm called Hancock, Corfield & Waller in Mitcham in the 1930's where they seemed to be making items for the drinks industry (e.g. pub jugs). At some stage this firm seems to have been just Hancock & Corfield.

More recently a firm of that name, making 'point of sale' materials for the drinks and tobacco industry comes up in Ewell (not far away).

Their email address is 'sales@hcwltd.com'

It might be worth dropping them a line to see if there is a connection and if they have retained any archives of the WW1 era.

Good luck.

Neil

Neil,

Thanks for your input, I was doing just as you said when I left that message last night, and I also checked the Kelly's Surrey Directory for 1913. The firm is listed as a "Color Printers - Hancock & Corfield, Limited, Morden Road, Mitcham".

The surrey history centre appears to hold a record of a business producing "point of sale brochures" based in Epsom around 1960, which I would guess is the same as you had found in Ewell.

I've emailed them today, if anything turns up I'll post it here.

Regards,

Chris.

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Chris,

Your in luck! My father worked for Hancock, Corfield and Waller up until his retirement a couple of years ago. He's still friends with the current owner, who I've met many times.

The Morden Road factory where your grandmother worked, was destroyed by enemy bombing during WWII. The company moved temporarily to the Station Road area of Colliers Wood until the Morden Road site was rebuilt. I can just remember visiting the rebuilt factory as a child around 1971. It's still there, but now has new owners.

Hancock Corfield and Waller occupy an office in Ewell, and no longer have their own factory.

My father thinks he has a short history of the company somewhere, and has also seen photos of the original factory. I'll see if I can track them down for you.

Regards

Gavin

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Chris,

Your in luck! My father worked for the Hancock, Corfield and Waller up until his retirement a couple of years ago. He's still friends with the current owner, who I've met many times.

The Morden Road factory where your grandmother worked, was destroyed by enemy bombing during WWII. The company moved temporarily to the Station Road area of Colliers Wood until the Morden Road site was rebuilt. I can just  remember visiting the rebuilt factory as a child around 1971. It's still there, but now has new owners.

Hancock Corfield and Waller occupy an office in Ewell, and no longer have their own factory.

My father thinks he has a short history of the company somewhere, and has also seen photos of the original factory. I'll see if I can track them down for you.

Regards

Gavin

Gavin,

Blimey, what a stroke of luck! My Grandmother was to live in Mordem Road some years after she had worked at Corflelds around the mid to the late 1930's. And I'm sure my Grandparents home was damaged by bombing. probably aimed at the nearby railway line, and perhaps even at the same time as the Corfield works. I don't remember the factory at all, but then I was only five when my Grandmother was widowed and within a couple of years she had gone to Crawley to live with my Aunt around 1960. I'll have to ask my Aunt, who is 84 now, what else she can remember.

If you are able to track down photos of the original factory, or anything to do with that era, it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Chris.

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Chris,

My father has tracked down his short history of Hancock, Corfield and Waller. It was produced in 1960 when the company had just returned to the Morden Road site after 20 years in 'temporary' premisies. Concerning WWI, it says:

"Metal printing not unnaturally came to an end. For the next four years Mitcham produced millions of small metal articles for the Forces. Its particular speciality was water-bottles - pressed on the machines which had formerly embossed showcards or shaped waiters' trays. The bottles were then covered with khaki by the factory's considerable female labour force, which became disrespectfully known as "the sewing party".

There is an illustration of the old factory from 1908, but it's been reproduced quite small. I'll see if I can find a photograph when I'm next at the library.

If you email me your address, I'll post you a photocopy of the booklet.

Regards

Gavin

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Chris,

My father has tracked down his short history of Hancock, Corfield and Waller. It was produced in 1960 when the company had just returned to the Morden Road site after 20 years in 'temporary' premisies. Concerning WWI, it says:

"Metal printing not unnaturally came to an end. For the next four years Mitcham produced millions of small metal articles for the Forces. Its particular speciality was water-bottles - pressed on the machines which had formerly embossed showcards or shaped waiters' trays. The bottles were then covered with khaki by the factory's considerable female labour force, which became disrespectfully known as "the sewing party".

There is an illustration of the old factory from 1908, but it's been reproduced quite small. I'll see if I can find a photograph when I'm next at the library.

If you email me your address, I'll post you a photocopy of the booklet.

Regards

Gavin

Gavin,

Fascianting stuff, and so it wasn't munitions. Need to check that with my surviving 84 year old Aunt. If you do track down a photo that would be great. I'll send you a PM with my email.

Regards,

Chris.

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  • 9 years later...
Guest Jackiet147

I'd be fascinated to know if anyone has a famlliy member who worked on Munitions in Mitcham like my Grandmother Elsie Gallie. Elsie worked in a small factory in Morden Road Mitcham, thought to have had the name "Corfields", which had turned to Muntions work by 1916.

Regards,

Chris.

Chris, I know that this post is quite a few years old, but I have just stumbled upon it. My mum lilian Wood/Lanham, worked at Corfields munitions factory. A few days ago, someone posted some info about the factory and two photos of the factory workers. I was amazed to see my mum slap bang in the middle! It would be lovely if your grandmother was also in one of the pics. I can't find a way to post it here but if you can find a way to give me your e mail address I will send it to you. Regards, Jackie

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You might be able to go into 'My Profile' and put pics into Gallery. I am not sure what the minimum number of posts is to be able to post them on the forum.

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  • 2 years later...

I have relatives who worked in both Colliers Wood and Morden road print works.  Could someone identify the location of the Mitcham site ?

 

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Thanks for that Neil.  There is a partial map on that website that indicates it was close to Phipps Bridge on the River Wandle.  This ties in to where the family were living at this time.

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