First World War


Croydon’s peace ballot and the Italian invasion of Abyssinia

Posted on September 14th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

In 1934–5 Croydon residents worked harder than ever to try to promote the cause of peace

Across the country in 1934 a massive campaign started to obtain signatures to the peace ballot, organised by the League of Nations Union’s National Declaration committee and its president, Lord Robert Cecil. Croydon and Purley committees were set up in support, the Croydon one chaired by the mayor with Alderman Peters … Read More »



The original Croydon Peace Festival: the town’s ‘peace weeks’ in 1930 and 1934

Posted on August 29th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

How Croydon promoted the cause of peace in the ’30s

Annual peace weeks were run in the 1920s in Croydon every June. The 1930 week was held between 15th and 22nd June. The mayor acted as president, the chairman was Reverend H. J. Powell, the secretary E. C. Schaefer (who lived at 8 The Waldrons), and the Treasurer H.H. Castle (who lived at 15 Chepstow Road). The … 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 »



The Museum of Croydon’s centenary commemorations: First World War hospitals and Wallacefield

Posted on July 11th, by Emily Lansell in History. 1 Comment

How Croydon’s volunteers did their bit for the borough’s war effort

Within the collections at the Museum of Croydon there is a wonderful set of postcards depicting hospitals set up for injured soldiers and sailors in the First World War.

The postcards show the six borough schools which were designated as hospitals during the war, which included Davidson, Ecclesbourne, Ingram and Stanford Road schools, as well … 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 »



Croydon’s wartime Canadian links: the Halifax explosion, December 1917

Posted on January 10th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

Finding out about Croydon’s First World War connections to the Canadian army

On 6th December 1917, a massive explosion in the harbour at Halifax, Nova Scotia, devastated the town, killed nearly 2,000 people and injured nearly 9,000 more. Whether former Croydonians were among them is not known, because so many of those killed could not be identified.

Despite the support of the Canadians for Britain on … 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 »



Heritage Lottery Fund grant unveils secrets of Croydon’s wartime history

Posted on September 25th, by Ian Walker in Culture. 1 Comment

The wartime exploits of Croydon-London airport led to the birth of the aviation industry

Just over one hundred years ago, an airfield was built on the edge of Croydon to defend against German Zeppelin raids during World War One. The Historic Croydon Airport Trust (HCAT) has received a £9200 National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to explore that ‘war in the air’ … Read More »



Looking back on wartime Croydon in 1917

Posted on January 25th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

How did the First World War impact on daily life in Croydon?

We are now into the third full year of the remembrance of the Great War. Croydon’s estimated population in June 1917 was 186,917, an increase from 169,551 since 1911. Whatever the difficulties experienced during wartime, the council continued its work as is shown in the Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for 1917. … Read More »