The Mussons of Bermuda, Barbados and Croydon

Posted on September 25th, by Samuel Ali in History. 3 comments

Croydon’s links to colonised Bermuda and the West Indies

In January 2001, two portrait paintings sold together at auction – one of Samuel Paynter Musson and the other, of ‘Maid De-ah’, who had been “…the faithful and loving nurse of the Musson family in Barbados and England”. She had lived with the Mussons for several decades in Upper Norwood, prior to her death in 1914. Unfortunately, no … Read More »



Croydon’s Vignalë brothers and the First World War

Posted on August 28th, by Samuel Ali in History. 1 Comment

The story of two Croydon-based, Trinidadian-born brothers who lived incredible lives

Two Trinidadian brothers living in Croydon, Ralph and Otho Vignalë, joined the British Army during the First World War. Sons of a cocoa plantation owner from Arima, County of St. George, Trinidad, they are recorded as living together at 17 Amberley Grove, Addiscombe, in the 1911 census. Their lives give us an insight into the experiences … Read More »



What can Croydon do for Israel and Palestine?

Posted on July 5th, by Samuel Ali in Politics & Society. 11 comments

How Croydon MPs and a Croydon artist have reacted to the issues in Israel and Gaza

There is a familiar course of action followed by the British government after escalations of violence in Palestine. First, a ‘neutral’ call that both sides show restraint whilst insisting that Israel has the right to defend itself; then a grudging recognition of the one-sided civilian death toll as it becomes undeniable; and, … Read More »



Croydon and chemical warfare in the First World War

Posted on May 16th, by Samuel Ali in History. No Comments

How the most brutal of weapons touched the lives of Croydon men

The Croydon roll of honour from the First World War identifies thirty-five cases of gas poisoning amongst Croydon men, with twenty-two direct fatalities, as a result of the gas warfare that was waged by the European belligerents and, later, the United States. Gas, used as a large-scale weapon for the first time, killed considerably less … Read More »



In the hills of Palestine: echoes from the First World War

Posted on April 19th, by Samuel Ali in History. No Comments

One hundred years on, battles from Croydon’s past overshadow Palestine’s future

Having captured Gaza, Beersheba and Jerusalem in 1917, by the spring of 1918 British forces fighting in the First World War Sinai & Palestine campaign had occupied southern Palestine and were ready to push up towards the Ottoman provinces of Syria, Lebanon and, also, into what is present-day Jordan. Amongst the West Indians, Indians, Jews, Arabs, … Read More »



Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and the civil rights movement

Posted on March 23rd, by Samuel Ali in History. 1 Comment

How the Croydon-based composer and musician helped instigate change

In the 50th anniversary year of the assassination of US civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, on 4th April 1968, it’s timely to examine the role of Croydon composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, in the early modern US civil rights and pan-African movements. His mixed-race ethnicity, humble beginnings and untimely death make the story of his achievements all the more … Read More »



Croydon and WWI’s Sinai & Palestine Campaign

Posted on December 6th, by Samuel Ali in History. No Comments

A century on from events in the Levant that changed the world, we should remember the role played by Croydonians

Alan Tegetmeier, London Regiment, worked as a secretary before the war. He was killed on 8th December 1917, outside Jerusalem. He was 26 years-old. Photo owned by Museum of Croydon, used with permission.

Frederick Warren of Thornton Heath fell fighting in the hills outside Jerusalem on 21st December 1917. Before … Read More »