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Southfields - bombing or gunnery school


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#1 24463988

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 01:17 PM

Hi there,

Can anyone tell me about a bombing or gunnery school at Southfields near Wimbledon?? Ideally looking for proper name and and any background info.

Many thanks,

Mark

#2 David Filsell

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 05:47 PM

Even then Southfields was pretty built-up - its largely an area of Victorian/Edwardian buildings nearer to Wandsworth than wimbledon proper but Wandswoeth Common may be a possibility.

#3 charlesmessenger

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:08 PM

As a resident of Southfields I have no knowledge of any military etsablishment there during 1914-18. There was, however, a bombing school on Clapham Common.

Charles M

#4 Siege Gunner

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:27 PM

Wandsworth Common seems unlikely, given the proximity of the 3rd London General Hospital, in the buildings and grounds of the Royal Victoria Patriotic School.

#5 connaughtranger

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 01:49 PM

Was Wimbledon Common ever used for training activities, it's not far from Southfields and was the original location of the Bisley shooting championships?
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#6 squirrel

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 03:50 PM

Wimbledon Common was used by the Rifle Volunteers and IIRC by the Territorials, mainly some of the London units, prior to WW1. Some even had their summer camp there. I don't know if it was used for training during WW1 though.

#7 TonyE

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:53 PM

I do not know of any bombing school in Southfields. However, the main bombing school and Trench Warfare Department experimental extablishment was at Clapham Common, not so far away. It was located along the stretch of common alongside North Side.

Somewhere I have a plan of the site b ut cannot find it at present!

Regards
TonyE

Edit: Ooops, missed Charles's post!

#8 connaughtranger

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:25 PM

Wimbledon Common was used by the Rifle Volunteers and IIRC by the Territorials, mainly some of the London units, prior to WW1. Some even had their summer camp there. I don't know if it was used for training during WW1 though.

Thank you for that snippet. An LCC council estate was built close by in the early 1950's and the roads were named after British Champions
Regards
Martin

#9 munster

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 07:18 PM

I grew up in clapham in the 60s and 70s going to secondry school on clapham common southside (St Gerads)and the bombing school is totaly new to me.I would love to see the plan of the layout that you mention TonyE.I was aware of possible ww2 use at wimbledon as tented camp also at richmond and would have made a presumption that clapham was also used in same way.The north side at clapham would have a long wide expanse of open ground stretching from the old town to very near the junction at johns hill.so it would be a useful acreage for this type of use.john

#10 TonyE

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:59 AM

A mere child! I lived just off North Side from late 1940s until 1965 and have lived in Wimbledon for many years. During WWI there was a hutted camp on Wimbledon Common and I believe there are some photographs in Wimbledon Library.

During WW2 the whole area of Clapham Common that was the Bombing School in WW1 was turned over to allotments and did not return to common land until the early 1950s. Unfortunately the plan I have (if I can find it) does not show the actual layout of the school, merely the area it covered.

Regards
TonyE

#11 munster

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 11:39 AM

Thanks Tony.nice to be considered a youngster again. No worry about the plan sentiment rather than necesity on my part.john

#12 24463988

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:35 PM

I only linked Southfields to Wimbledon because so much content of the archive the image comes from is London based.

#13 gunnersdad

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:00 AM

Just a thought on Southfields and Wimbledon. I've been researching the area and have been helped greatly by the Wimbledon Society.They confirm that Wimbledon Camp on the Common was where many thousands of soldiers assembled on their way to France and later became a dispersal and demobilisation camp for those on their way back home when the war ended. It also seems likely that local buildings and businesses were used for war purposes. www.wimbledonsociety.org.uk

#14 24463988

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:41 AM

Many thanks.

#15 John Shep

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:20 AM

TonyE, GunnersDad, Munster and all

I am doing some preliminary scoping research for a potential future project with the Museum of London on the school you mention at Clapham Common. Recent aerial photographs show trenches of the WW1 period showing up as parch marks in the grass (not the WW2 bomb shelter trenches - not sure where they are - if you know I would be grateful for info).

TonyE, you mentioned in your posts last year a plan/map. Could you please let me know its source or reference. If it was possible to scan an upload I would be very grateful.

Any information that anyone has about this training school and its activities on Clapham Common would be gratefully received and acknowledged. There is the potential for this to be a part of the 2014-18 commemorative events, funded by HLF, but I need to find local champions/knowledge (I think I have here) before we can go to a project design and pre-app stage for HLF funding, with local community at the fore.

best wishes and thanks in advance

John Shepherd MIFA FSA
Consultant Archaeologist and Historian

#16 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:37 PM

Here is an April 1916 Grenade Instructor's Certificate from the Clapham Common Trench Warfare & Grenade School, issued to a Lieut. N.D. Bisset, Royal Marine Light Infantry.
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