Remembering What it Stands For

Burgh Heath War Memorial Hall.<br>Image courtesy of Hall Treasurer.

Burgh Heath War Memorial Hall.
Image courtesy of Hall Treasurer.

George Cole was the new Curate in charge of St. Mary’s Church from 1919, and one of his first tasks was to plan a suitable memorial to the men of Burgh Heath who lost their lives in the Great War. The residents of Burgh Heath, unlike those in Banstead, opted not for a stone memorial but for a village hall. Hence the War Memorial Hall was built opposite the village green.

The Hall was built on land donated by the Colman family, (of Colman’s Mustard fame), and the building was paid for with money raised by local subscriptions, to stand as a permanent memorial to the men, and one woman, from the village who lost their lives in the first world war. Unfortunately, no records exist of the many planning meetings and fund raising events that must have been held to bring the Hall into being. But it must have been a mammoth task considering that the war ended in November 1918 and the Hall was opened less than three years later.

The opening ceremony was held on Saturday, 8th October, 1921, and the memorial board was unveiled by Mrs Colman herself. The accounts for that year, which do still exist, together with those for every year since, show that the sum of £4 1s. 8d. was taken on the opening night.

Originally, a peppercorn rent was agreed for the land, but on the 23rd day of November, 1921 an indenture was made between Nigel Claudian Dalziel Colman and the Trustees of the Hall, stating that ‘The Trustees shall hold the said premises hereinafter conveyed upon trust to permit the same to be appropriated and used in perpetuity under the name of the ‘Burgh Heath War Memorial Hall’ for the use of the artisan and labouring classes resident in Burgh Heath’, thereby securing the Hall’s future for generations to come.

Hall model, made around 1920, possibly as a collection box as it has a slot in the roof. It shows the Hall front in its original style.<br>Image courtesy of Hall Treasurer.

Hall model, made around 1920, possibly as a collection box as it has a slot in the roof. It shows the Hall front in its original style.
Image courtesy of Hall Treasurer.

In its first eight months the Hall made a healthy profit of £40-5s-0d, with income mainly from hire fees, although no details are given about what type of activity the hall was used for. Heating (coal and coke) and lighting (gas lamps) were the main items of expenditure. Not much has changed in that respect! The first mention of an electricity bill is not made until 1936.

The Hall became the centre of village life in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Socials and fund raising events were popular and well supported, and contributed in no small way to the Hall’s finances, and the accounts show that a profit was made every year, even if at times it was only a few pounds. Many of the people enjoying the facilities at the ‘new village hall’ in those early years would have known and loved the men, and one woman, whose names are inscribed on the 1914-1918 memorial board. The outbreak of the World War II in 1939 would see huge changes for the Hall, but that is another story.

Burgh Heath War Memorial Hall<br />Great War Plaque.<br />Image courtesy of Hall Treasurer.

Burgh Heath War Memorial Hall
Great War Plaque.
Image courtesy of Hall Treasurer.

The names of the men and women recorded on the Burgh Heath Memorial Hall Great War plaque are listed below.

The men and women recorded on the plaque have been researched by the Banstead History Research Group. Click here to see a pdf (PDF) copy of the additional information they have found.

If you can help with more information, photographs or other material relating to any of the people named on the memorial please contact us using the form below.

Joseph ARNOLD Army Service Corps
Frederick BILLING 8th Royal Fusiliers
William BLAKER 11th Suffolk Regiment
Albert BOWLER 2nd East Surrey Regiment
Leonard BOWLER 9th East Surrey Regiment
George Ernest BRYAN 6th Battalion 63rd Royal Naval Division
Thomas COX Rifle Brigade
Arthur CULVER Royal Garrison Artillery
Maurice FURSE Queen Victoria Rifles
Frederick GILES Military Mounted Police
William Henry GUDGION Army Service Corps
Albert KENNARD Royal Fusiliers
Edward LAWRENCE 8th Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment
Lawrence MANSFIELD East Surrey Regiment
Bernard MARSHALL 1st North Hants Regiment
Ernest MINGAY East Surrey Regiment
Frank Charles MITCHELL 9th Service Battalion, Norfolk Regiment.
George Henry MITCHELL 8th Service Battalion Queens
Royal West Surrey Regiment
Horace William MITCHELL 7th Service Battalion, The Queen’s
Royal West Surrey Regiment
Herbert PAGE 11th Service Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
Bryan Dolphin PAULL Captain, Royal Irish Rifles, attached to
the 8th Service Battalion East Surrey Regiment
Alfred William REED Royal Army Medical Corps
Sidney Frederick RICHES Royal Garrison Artillery
Thomas Henry RICHES 7th Border Regiment
Muriel Eleanor SPIERS Voluntary Aid Detachment
H. E. WALKER Kings Royal Rifles

 

2 Responses to Burgh Heath War Memorial Hall

  1. Edward Lawrence is named on the War Memorial.
    He was born 18th October 1895 at Collis’ Cottages, West End, Esher.
    His parents were Charles born @1854 at Shepton Mallet, Somerset and Ssarah Newton Colwell Nee Richardson born @ 1857 at Ramsey, Hunts.
    Edward married Phoebe Muggeridge nee Adams widow on 31st January 1916 at Epsom Registry Office. He gave his age as 28…. Phoebe was 45. He was stationed at the Barracks in Kinston – 7th East Surreys. Phoebe’s address 4, Wheelers Cottages, Burgh Heath.
    I do have copies of Edward’s birth certificate and of his Father’s and his own marriage certificates.
    My Gran, who was Phoebe’s sister never referred to the second marriage and it was only when a cousin from Australia mentioned that Phoebe called herself Mrs Lawrence and did not know why – I started digging!
    Jenni Llewellyn

    • Banstead100 says:

      Hi Jenni,
      I’m researching Burgh Heath’s war dead for our local WW1 100th anniversary commemorations. I haven’t started Edward’s story yet so thanks for posting the information!

      Banstead and Burgh Heath’s men are being honoured at All Saints church, Banstead, on the 100th anniversary of their deaths. The Scouts raise the churchyard flag to half-mast at 7:30 in the morning, a short act of remembrance is held at the church at 11:55 and a bell is tolled 100 times at noon. We’d like as many people to attend at least one (there are a hundred or so to choose from so no excuses!) to honour their sacrifice. These events are for everyone and if any family (or any other volunteers) would like to toll the bell then they’re more than welcome.

      Edward’s commemoration will be on 11th October 2017, hope you’ll be able to make it, and if you want to toll the bell then we can arrange that.

      Kind Regards,

      James

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