Thursday, 6 January 2011

All Manor Of Memories

Blog reader Richard writes:

"I  was searching for details of the POW camp in the  Worcester Park area and was directed to the September 2009 postings and was very interested to read the comments about the Manor Drive area, and would like to add my memories.
I was born at 141 Manor Drive in December 1941, and started at Malden Parochial School in January 1947.  My way to school was via the alley way which lead from The Manor Drive to the school.  I left in July 1952, and if my memory is correct I always went to school that way i.e The Manor Drive was not extended to Church Road before  July 1952.
The land where Paddock Close and adjoining roads now stands was then a green space.  It had been allotments in the 1939 - 1945 war but these had been abandoned at the end of the war and was a playground for me and my friends i.e. football in the winter, cricket in the summer.
With regards to memories of the war, my wife who lived in South Lane, New Malden, remembers seeing a POW when out with her mother.  I can remember seeing bomb damage at the arcade opposite the Plough and in Highdown, probably in the V1/V2 era.  I also believe houses were damaged at the top of Manor Drive."

3 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

ChrisR said...

I was told there was an Italian PoW camp off Malden Lane between the railway and South Lane. Have no evidence to back this up though.

Jeff said...

Although the Italian POW camp definitely existed it is not listed on the official list of POW camps for some reason. I believe it spanned both sides of the railway line (including the area behind the present Aroma Italian restaurant) at the junctions of Malden Road and Church Road and South Lane. The Paddock Close area was only developed in 1984, before that it was mainly a paddock for horses.

Jeff said...

Italian POW camp in Old Malden: Hey ChrisR if you're still out there - if you go to the latest version of Google Earth it now has a '1945' button on it. When you click on it (for the London area any way)it gives you an aerial view of the same area taken in 1945, the last year of war.

The 1945 aerial photo for the Plough Green area clearly shows five long barrack style buildings beside the railway embankment at the junction of Malden Road and South Lane and a smaller concentration of huts on the other side of South Lane. This has got to be the POW camp where the Italian prisoners were held. But there is no sign of anything in Strouds Field, behind what is now the Aroma Italian restaurant,so I misled you by saying the POW camp extended to both sides of the railway line.

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