The Griffin family at Beacon Lodge

The Sep 1939 register helps us understand who was living and working at Beacon Lodge in the 1930’s. It shows that up at the remote lodge, Emma Griffin, the widow of William Henry Griffin, was still in residence. She was born on 16 Aug 1883 making her 56 and is described as ‘Caretaker’. Living with her were Clifford Jones , a 16 yr old ‘farm worker’ and Beatrice Burton , a 15 yr old ‘domestic servant’ Continue reading →
Last updated on 5 December 2023 by JJ Morgan

William Lyon Browne

William Lyon Browne was born in about 1845 and was a corn merchant from Shrewsbury. He had extensive business dealings with William Edmund Downing and the Downing’s malting business. This included social gatherings and shoots in Church Stretton and Ratlinghope from about 1880 to 1900. Continue reading →
Last updated on 9 October 2021 by JJ Morgan

Donald Morgan Correspondence with Alan Stripp

Donald Morgan wrote a letter to Alan Stripp, author and historian, in 1995, which represents the only written explanation of his time at Bletchley Park before he died in 1997. The book he refers to is “Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park” edited in 1993 by Alan Stripp and Harry Hinsley. Continue reading →
Last updated on 16 August 2020 by E Morgan

Elizabeth Hardy

Elizabeth Hardy was born on 5 Jun 1889, the only daughter of Rev Theodore Bayley Hardy, VC  Before 1914 she worked as a schoolmistress, having obtained a degree from London University. After war broke out, she trained with the Red Cross in London and later joined the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Dunkirk on 7 Feb 1917. She became a life-long friend of Molly Evans. Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 March 2021 by JJ Morgan

Old Mulgravians’ War Memorial

The Old Mulgravians’ War Memorial, a stained-glass window in Lady Chapel of  St Oswald’s Church, Lythe near Whitby, was unveiled on 28 Mar 1920. Noel Downing was among the former pupils of the Mulgrave Castle School who together with the headmaster Lord Normanby contributed in honouring their fallen friends. The surviving correspondence below includes 2 letters – a letter of appeal and a detailed description of the Memorial on its completion. The list would indicate that about 20 per cent of all the school pupils were killed. Continue reading →
Last updated on 27 October 2018 by E Morgan

21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Noel Downing enlisted and joined the 21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers. In early Oct 1914 he arrived in Ashtead, Surrey where he was billeted. Noel kept a series of postcards that illustrate the new recruits’ arrival and early training and the construction of a vast encampment of huts in Woodcote Park, Epsom. Continue reading →
Last updated on 23 July 2023 by E Morgan

Joseph Dezitter’s Pictures of Bergues

During the First World War, Joseph Dezitter (1883-1957), a Flemish artist, was mobilised and participated in the Belgian campaign where he was seriously wounded in 1914. After recovering he joined the ambulance auxiliary services in Northern France. Travelling between military hospitals, he took the opportunity to paint the places he visited. Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 October 2019 by E Morgan

Morgan Back and Co

Morgan Back and Co, a firm of Incorporated Accountants, was founded in 1935 after the dissolution of John R Woodley, Morgan and Co. The draft letter of agreement between William Henry Morgan and William John Back has survived. This document was held in the offices of 34-36 Gresham Street when the building was blitzed in about 1941. Despite the burnt fringes it has been kept and is still legible. Continue reading →
Last updated on 5 December 2023 by JJ Morgan

Noel Downing to Mother Letter, Mar 1915

This is the only war letter that has survived written by Noel Downing to his mother Hannah Pitt Downing.   It has no date but it seems to recount his early experiences at Ashtead as a private with the Royal Fusiliers and that would make it most probably around Mar 1915. It would seem to post date the other letter address-headed Ashtead to his sister Mary as the Public School boys are being moved from billets (like Mrs Drew) into the new camp.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 14 October 2018 by JJ Morgan