Jeffreys Street First World War losses

In collaboration with The Imperial War Museum, the website astreetnearyou.org allows you to search for which houses on your street received news that they had lost someone during the First World War.

Jeffreys Street’s lost neighbours are as follows:

Letter to an Unknown Soldier by Charles Sergeant Jagger

Letter to an Unknown Soldier by Charles Sergeant Jagger

 
Whitehall Cenotaph unveiling 1920

Whitehall Cenotaph unveiling 1920

Private Samuel James
Royal Army Service Corps
(Canteen)
Date of death 27.11.1919 (aged 47)
Husband of Florence James of 11 Jeffreys St

Private William Hadrill
Wiltshire Regiment
Date of death 9.12.1914 (aged 23)
Son of Mrs Mercy Hadrill of 17 Jeffreys Street

Private Charles Gordon Campbell
Middlesex Regiment
Date of death 14.7.1916
Husband of Elizabeth Ann Campbell of 23 Jeffreys St

Lance Corporal Ernest Wilfred Norman
London Regiment
Date of death 15.9.1916 (aged 20)
Son of James and Mary Norman of 30 Jeffreys St

Private Bassam
London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)
Date of death 7.7.1916
Brother of Mr F.H Bassam of 30 Jeffreys St

Petty Officer Stoker Albert Henry Hughes
Royal Navy
Date of death 5.5.1918 (aged 27)
Son of Alfred and Mary Ann Hughes of 1 Jeffreys Place, Great College St

Great College Street now Philia House

Sergeant Cornelius Edward Elitts
South Staffordshire Regiment
Date of death 16.5.1915 (aged 24)
Husband of Annie Frances Elitts, now Meller, of 283 Great College St

Private Frank Chaney
London Regiment
Date of death 16.2.1918 (aged 22)
Son of Samuel and Mary Ann Chaney of 285 Great College St

Rifleman John William Field
Rife Brigade
Date of death 9.5.1918 (aged 20)
Son of John Samuel and Maty Field of 5 Reeds Place

Friends in Reeds Place looked him up in the 1911 census and found him aged 13 living with his family at 4 Jeffreys Street. His headstone reads “Our Beloved Son Jack”.

 
Camden Town tube station, damaged by a World War II bomb, from Camden at War

Camden Town tube station, damaged by a World War II bomb, from Camden at War

War damage: the night the bombs fell

Joan Fee, late resident of No 5, was living on Jeffreys St during the Second World War when the other end of the street was hit by a bomb. Though it came down in the gardens of houses on Royal College Street, the upper floors of nearby Jeffreys Street houses needed to be rebuilt and it blew out the windows stretching down the street.

An Esso garage was eventually built on the bomb site. Paul Watkins of No 23 remembers that the old buildings on Royal College Street still stood until Philia House replaced both houses and garage in the 1980s.

 

Coronation Day

Jeffreys Street held a street party to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth II on 2nd of June 1953. In later years the Camden Chronicle published an article featuring photographs given to them by Mr L Bedford who had been a baby at the time. The article also featured a photo of a girl's fifth birthday party in 1948, held at No 22.

Former residents have been able shed some light on some of the people in this photograph. The lovely girl in the centre, holding up her jolly younger brother is Linda Sherville, and her brother Peter - staying with her aunt, Mrs Churchill at No 10. There are more of her cousins in the front row. In the image below ‘Chris and Jennifer’ are standing next to Linda and Peter.

Mrs Churchill was very involved in the organisation of the street party. Her son Bill Churchill is one of the small boys in a celebratory hat. Friend John Molina is towards the back in a fair isle pullover and lived on the top floor of number 12, with Ruby and Len Young living on the lower floors. Standing in the doorway of No 25 below is Lily Goodyear and her elderly mum also Lily. Lily Goodyear was born there in 1922 and her son Tom bought the house years later where they lived till 1965.

Jeffreys St Corronation alternative shot.jpg

Children in Jeffreys St, Ivor Street and Camden Street did sometimes play together. Everyone in these streets did their laundry at the “bag wash shop”, the recently restored building on the corner of St Pancras Way and Wilmott St. The crooked doorstep of No 10 broke while dragging a bag back from the bag wash shop in 1955. Some of the large crowd of children in the party pictures were visiting family or lived on neighbouring streets. There was a similar coronation party on Ivor Street. Everyone there took shelter in The Eagle during a sudden downpour but when it stopped they had a party with a conjurer. The Jeffrey’s St party ended with a bang when someone threw a firework into the firework box.

(With grateful thanks for the memories and lots of Jeffreys St warm wishes to Bob Young, formerly of Ivor Street, Martin Goodyear son of Lilly, Bill Churchill formerly of Jeffreys St, John Molina formerly of Jeffreys St, Rita Hockey cousin of Linda Sherville.)

 

Jubilee Day

The street celebrated again for the Queen's silver jubilee in 1977. Four or five current residents were there. Photos of the day are from Paul Watkins of No 23. The whole street contributed to the day, as you can see from the accounts below, and organised a programme of events that included donkey rides and a grand opening from Harold Bennett, who played young Mr Grace in Are You Being Served, and lived in the basement of No 13 at the time.

Jubilee programme designed by Paul Watkins.

Jeffreys St in 1969 Credit: Historic England archive

Jeffreys St in 1975 Credit: Historic England archive

Jeffreys St in 1975 Credit: Historic England archive

 

Camden Town Bypass – motorway hell 

As the Westway was being built in the 60s it was planned that further stretches of motorway would sweep along and meet in a huge roundabout over Camden Town overground station. The Growth of Camden Town: AD 1800-2000 by Jack Whitehead says:  “At Camden Town there would have been an enormous three-level interchange at a roundabout linked to a Camden Town bypass. There it was to cross the east-west route from the White City and Edgeware Rd, and continue south over the railway yards at St Pancras and Kings Cross.” 

Gillian Tindal says, in The Fields Beneath: “The Motorway Box, effectively blighted the prospects of the streets… Jeffreys St, Ivor St, the tops of Camden St, Royal College St and St Pancras Way, one of the oldest and architecturally homogenous corners of the district”.  

Streets Of Camden Town adds: “… the uncertainty, not finally resolved until the scheme was abandoned in the mid 1970s, ushered in a period of decay, as small businesses collapsed, shops lost most of their trade, and no public grants were available for public works or housing projects.”  

However the book then suggests that the resulting cheap rents attracted artists and craftsmen and helped create Camden’s famous bohemian character. 

 

Road closure

After many years of campaigning, the Jeffreys Street Residents Association, led by Philip Kemp, succeeded in having the road closed to traffic. Photographs show Philip Kemp and Paul Watkins celebrating the first blocking of the road.

 

HS2

It was proposed to build a Euston spur for the High Speed 2 rail project that would cut through Camden and involve the demolition of several nearby brick railway arches.  For years, works traffic was to use Jeffreys St as a route to the building works. Happily, in the face of swift local objection, determined lobbying and the escalating price of the project, the scheme was abandoned.

 

Bicentenary celebrations

In July 2016 it was 200 years since the first four houses on Jeffreys St, 25, 27, 29 and 31, were completed and inhabited.  On Saturday 2nd July 2016 the street celebrated with a big party.  Neighbours in fancy dress brought food, baking and a bottle or two for a shared lunch and some music and fun activities. 
 

Whole-street-bicentenary.jpg

Programme

12 noon
Musician Keith Thompson calls everyone out.  

12-1pm
Music from Keith Thompson

12-1.30pm
Shared lunch

1.30pm
Music from The Clerkenwell Village Band  

Fun and games: hoopla, beanbag game, ping pong tournament

2.15pm
Wacky races: egg and spoon, hoop and stick, slow race and more

3pm
Speeches:
A welcome from John Green  
The beginnings of Jeffreys Street by Lindsay Douglas
Jeffreys Street through the ages by historian and author Gillian Tindall
The great party of '77 by Paul Watkins
The Jeffreys Street chickens by Charles Christie - Webb

3.30pm  
A grand cake for the whole street.

Whole-street-cheering-bicen.jpg
Rosalind-J-Place,-Mir-21,-T.jpg

3.45pm    
Group photo

 

4.30pm  
Music from Whiskey Mick

Whiskey-Mick.jpg

Everyone on the street was automatically part of the event committee and all ideas were updated to this page as they happened. 

Three cheers and thanks to all those with special responsibility on the day and everyone who helped, donated, cooked, dressed up and opened wine.




Table guru - Mir
Gazebo guru – Paul
Head of Security – Brenda

Stewards

Team A      
1 Neelam
2 Dave
3 Debbie
4 Charlotte
5 Fred
6 Luc

Team B
1 Alex
2 Paul
3 Chris H
4 Charles
5 Peter D
6 Sarah
7 Gillian

Litter Pickers - Everyone
Food and plate guru – Julie
First Aid – Misha with thanks to Sarah
Audio – Roland and Andy
Film – Roland
Photography- Charles
Grande Compere on the mic – John
Welcoming committee – Charles, John, Brenda

 

Speeches
Lindsay
Historian and author Gillian Tindall
Paul
Charles

Big cake – Julie, Charles, John, the chickens
Games masters – John and Paul with thanks to Alex, Neelam and Dave

Music
Keith Thompson with thanks to Chris and Peter
The Clerkenwell Village Band  with thanks to Gillian
Whiskey Mick with thanks to Dave

Bunting - Charles and Julie with Chris H and family
Banner - Lindsay
Programme - Paul
Invites - Phil. Brenda and neighbours who invited former residents
Admin - Road closure and parking suspension, event licence, risk assessment, event plan, public liability insurance  - Lindsay
Contact local media – Lindsay, Charles