Second 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 »



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 »



Voices of Croydon’s veterans

Posted on July 24th, by Myra Rademacher in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

These are the stories of some of Croydon’s unsung heroes: the men and women of the borough who served their country so admirably

“It just fills me with pride… to be recognised, for people to say thank you.”

Chris Morbey, a British Transport Police officer and former guardsman in the army, still doesn’t see himself as a veteran. He’s not retired, he didn’t fight in the … Read More »



Calling all Croydon veterans, whatever your age

Posted on May 30th, by Myra Rademacher in Politics & Society. No Comments

All local veterans are invited to celebrate Armed Forces Week at a special lunch

Just like the citizens of Croydon, veterans don’t have a singular identity – some may have been frontline troops, while others were pilots or served in the navy. Some fought in the Second World War and others fought for their nation in recent conflicts. Many veterans may not have fought at all, but … Read More »



Book review: Secret Operations

Posted on April 18th, by Paul Dennis in Culture. 4 comments

The astonishing autobiography of 98-year-old Croydonian Eric Sanders

As you might expect, the life story of a 98-year-old man contains plenty of detail, but there can be few stories as compelling as that of Norbury’s Eric Sanders.

Born Ignaz Schwarz in Vienna, Austria, Eric fled the country in 1938 after the Nazis took over, finding a home in England just prior to the outbreak of the … Read More »



The way forward

Posted on March 12th, by Barnaby Powell in Politics & Society. 2 comments

We’re often told that we face challenges of a scale unseen since the war, so what can we learn from then and apply to now?

We’re in a bind – the result of much foolish gaming carried out on our behalf up to 2008 and, well before that, the easing of credit granted to those of us who had little notion of the cost of borrowing. The pump … Read More »



Digging into the past: a vintage poster with local roots

Posted on February 27th, by Andrew Dickinson in History. No Comments

A local man who became a propaganda legend is remembered…

Wandle Park recently partnered with the Kenley Revival Project to host a World War Two poster-making workshop, using vintage posters from the period as inspiration. Well-known classic designs such as ‘Dig For Victory’, ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships’ and ‘The Walls Have Ears’ all featured.

Much fun was had by all – and some good new examples … Read More »



Event review: Keep Calm And Carry On, by Parabolic Theatre

Posted on December 12th, by Liz Sheppard-Jones in Culture. 1 Comment

An invasion force is on British soil. Our nation is in peril. YOU must decide what to do

Accompanied by an eminent military historian and his (also my) two sons, one studying history at A level and the other set on doing so, I went to see Parabolic Theatre’s latest production on Friday 8th December at the COLAB Factory near London Bridge.

Parabolic is a Croydon-based company … Read More »



Your invitation to be part of Croydon’s first festival of peace

Posted on July 10th, by Katie Rose in Politics & Society. No Comments

We’re crowd-funding a peace celebration for Croydon next summer – who wants to be part of it?

In June 2018, we’re inviting everyone in Croydon to be involved in a cross-cultural, cross-arts, interfaith celebration of peace. As the world remembers the centenary of the end of the First World War, we can make a powerful, colourful, vibrant declaration of peace.

In the words of Father John … Read More »



They were prepared – the heroism of Croydon’s Scouts in World War Two

Posted on April 29th, by Hilary Fife in History. 1 Comment

A plaque has been unveiled in St Barnabas’ chapel, Croydon University Hospital, paying tribute to some unsung – and very young – Croydonian war heroes. Hospital chaplain Hilary Fife reports

Look closely at the tin helmet in the photograph on the left and you’ll see the words ‘Mayday H’. This photo brought to life for me a conversation I’d had with a patient, in … Read More »