The Gresham Press and the First World War

The printers Unwin Brothers Ltd and their press, The Gresham Press, established the St. Martha Printing Works in Old Woking in 1896.

In A Century of Progress: Being a Record of the rise and present position of The Gresham Press 1826 – 1926, there is a record of the impact of the Great War on the staff of the Press:

“During the Great War (1914-1918) one hundred and twenty-seven of the staff, including Mr. N. G. Unwin, youngest son of the late Mr. George Unwin, served in this terrible and prolonged struggle. We are thankful to say that of this number only five of the London staff and one from Woking were called upon to make the supreme sacrifice. In December 1919 the Company held a big “Welcome Home” at Woking to celebrate the end of the war and the safe return of so many of their men.The whole staff, together with their wives and sweethearts, were entertained to a high tea in the Public Hall at Woking, and this was followed by a concert.”



C. H. Cutting   H.A.C.
A. H. Dyson   2nd London Regt.
S. D. Dickson   C.L.F.
R. Stanton   R.S. Regt.
S. Zensz   R.F.

G. Craddock   Queen’s R.W.S.

A reference copy of the publication is available in the Surrey History Centre Local Studies Collection, 686.1.

The G Craddock referred to may be:

George Frederick Craddock born in Wonersh and a resident of Send in Surrey. George died on 9th October 1917, aged 35. At the time he was a Private in the Machine Gun Corps (57256) but previously he had been with the Royal West Surrey Regiment (6315). George is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. On the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site it says that George was the husband of Elizabeth Craddock of Valentine Cottage, Tannery Lane, Send, Surrey.

In the 1911 census a George Craddock is listed as living at 5 Moor Hatch, Woking Village Woking, Surrey, with his wife Elizabeth and two young children. His occupation is given as Printers Machine Minder and the census records two boarders living with the family, both were “Apprentice to Compositor” “Printers”.

If you know anything about someone who worked for Unwins at the St. Martha Printing Works, and was one of the 127 staff mentioned, Surrey Heritage would like to hear from you. Please use the contact form below to send a message or leave a comment on the website.

3 thoughts on “The Gresham Press and the First World War”

  1. Cameron says:

    Hi, I have an old coin in which I have owned for many years. It is a 1826 Gresham press time ticket. Is there anything you can tell me about this coin? Thanks

    1. Breege says:

      I have a Gresham press book of W.B Yeats 1912. Can you give me a value?

  2. Sue Shaw says:

    Hello. I have a Gresham Press/Unwin brothers book of the Juvenile Instructor 1886 – 88. Are the illustrations for the book copyrighted? I wish to make some pyrography pictures using some of the illustrations and wonder who, if anyone owns the copyright. Many thanks

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