Southall 830-1982

There were only very few German nationals in the town and these were interned.
There was no such thing as Air Raid Precautions for, what aeroplanes both sides had were, as yet, not suitable. The Germans had Zeppelins — airships, one of which had been seen flying over the area early in May on a pleasure trip.
For the first few months no change was noticeable — one exception being that the public house on The Green changed its name from ‘The Duke of Prussia’ to ‘The Victory’.
Gradually the local factories changed over to the war effort, Abbotts making ammunition boxes and hospital furniture. Ticklers Jam Factory and Kearley and Tonge received large army contracts. Women were gradually taking the place of the men who were volunteering. At the beginning of October the Royal Garrison Artillery, on its way to France, were billeted on the town for the night. The large guns were drawn into the market and the White Hart yard.
Although some things were getting in short supply, Christmas was very much as usual.
Early in 1915 the Marylebone School evacuated its pupils and was fitted out as an Australian Military Hospital. Hospital trains brought the wounded in. A great many had lost at least one limb. By the end of 1915 the newly built Beaconsfield Road School was also used as part of the hospital, and was connected at the rear by a covered way. There was always around 800 patients and staff. They became a familiar sight in the town. They were paid much more than our troops – from 6/- (30p) per day and, despite their handicaps, found their pleasures with quite a lot of the local people.
In November the Government accepted the offer of the Otto Monsted Institute for use as a Military Hospital. This was soon made ready, and the first wounded arrived in March. The hospital was under the direction of Dr Chill and Mrs Wentworth Taylor, Matron; it had a voluntary staff of VADs. From the time it opened until February 1919, 3,302 patients were treated; 2,508 were brought straight from France, and there were only four deaths. On Thursday, 23rd November, 1916, King George and Queen Mary paid a visit to the hospital and, later, had a tour of what was now the Maypole Margarine Works, under the guidance of Sir Charles Watson, Chairman of the Company, Money was always generously given and, when the hospital closed the surplus of £2,000 was divided equally between the local councils for hospital purposes.
Early in 1915 several Belgium refugees came to the town and were accommodated in South Road and Norwood Road, and the children went to local schools. Over in Osterley Park there was an Army Camp, also a Prisoner of War Camp. Stationed there at first was the ASC (Army Service Corps), and a familiar sight was solid tyred army lorries with drivers under instruction. Later the camp was taken over by Portuguese troops. The German prisoners of war helped on farms and several used to go by lorry to a workshop at Mount Pleasant repairing boots. At times football matches would be arranged for them on Norwood Green.
With appeals from the Government, more and more land was being cultivated.