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RUSILIP, SPIERS AND POND LIMITED WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 - Detailed information
Compiled and Copyright © Martin Edwards & Steve Attwater & Ron Spiers - 2007
with help from the Great War Forum

The Speirs & Pond company is no longer in existence and the whereabouts, if it does till exist, of the memorial are unknown. The memorial was unveiled on 11th November 1922. They were well-known wine merchants and railway caterers as well as own their own restaurants.

Photograph supplied by Steve Attwater

Felix William Spiers who was born in London in circa 1832. In 1851 Felix sailed to Australia to join the gold rush. There he met a 25 year old Englishman from Essex, Christopher Pond, son of John Pond, a Customs Officer, and together they rented a room at the National Hotel in Melbourne renaming it, The Shakespeare Grill Room, to cater for the gold miners. Spiers was the accountant and Pond the charming host.

Their partnership was very successful and they then bought the Cafe de Paris in Melbourne. In 1861 they brought over to Australia the first All-England cricket team, who sailed on I.K Brunel's steamship, SS Great Britain, from Liverpool. This was the first commercial sponsorship of cricket. Mementos are in the museum of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord's Cricket Ground in London. They also organised the first balloon flight in Australia.

When the partners returned to London they noticed as a consequence of their catering experience in Australia, that catering arrangements for railway passengers was very poor. They obtained extensive contracts from the authorities to have restaurants and cafes at railway stations to supply food to passengers. They also built the Criterion Restaurant and Theatre in Piccadilly Circus, London, in 1874, managed by Charles Wyndham. Its bar was a famous meeting place and is associated with the mythical Sherlock Holmes. Next came the Gaiety Theatre Restaurant at Aldwych in The Strand, London in 1894. Dickens had an office there where he produced his magazine Household Words. They also catered at the Regents Park Zoo and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. In early 1879 their Westminster Supply Association of New Bridge Street, London and Deane Street, Liverpool started producing an 80 page monthly subscription mail order catalogue, The Housekeeper, which also provided articles of interest, recipes and hints to housewives.

The company owned 12 major hotels, including the Grand Hotel at Brighton. In 1957 the company was acquired by Chicken Inns and in 1960 was amalgamated with the Express Dairy Co.

Looking closer at the names on the memorial, they seem to come from all across the UK (B Creed is from Preston, D Heller from Torquay, J Woodason from Kent), so it is likely that the company Head Office commissioned the memorial as a national memorial, and as such it will almost certainly have been located in their Head Office at 430, Victoria Road South, Rusilip (currently home to Express dairies via ARLA Foods UK). The company appears to have ceased trading in 1975-1976.

Some of the known locations of Spiers & Ponds:

Brixton, South London

Altrincham

Central Station, Ranleigh Street, Liverpool

The Granville Hotel, Victoria Parade, East Cliff. Ramsgate

38 New Bridge Street, London EC

The Granville Buffet, Truro Road, East Cliff, Ramsgate

Criterion Restaurant and Theatre, Piccadilly Circus, London

Harbour Street, Ramsgate

Gaiety Theatre Restaurant, The Strand, London

Mansion House Station, London

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London

Ludgate Station, Ludgate Hill, London

Holborn Viaduct, London   Bexhill Station. Bexhill, Sussex
Bolton Station, Bolton, Lancashire   Southport Station, Southport, Lancashire
THE FOLLOWING MADE THE GREAT SACRIFICE.
1914
IN THE WAR
1918

ALLDEN

Harry Raymond

Private 42747, 11th Battalion, Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment). Killed in action 20th September 1917. Aged 19. Born and enlisted Barnsley. Son of Edward and Elizabeth Allden. No known grave. Commemorated on TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 42 to 47 and 162.

BROOKES

C

No further information currently available

BROWN

Hubert Edwin Charles Francis

Private 5214, 1st (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers), London Regiment. Killed in action 16th September 1916. Enlisted Handel Street, resident Hornsey Drive. Buried in COMBLES COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Somme, France. Plot VI. Row G. Grave 4.

BURNS

Edward Augustine

Rifleman 452889, 11th (County of London) Battalion (Finsbury Rifles), London Regiment. Killed in action 22nd May 1917. Aged 19. Born Kensington, enlisted London, resident Fulham. Son of Mrs. Annie Burns, of 44, Oxberry Avenue. Fulham, London. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 10.

BUSHROD

Lionel William

Private 22548, 15th (Service) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. Killed in action 6th October 1916. Born Dorechester, Dorset, enlisted Southampton, resident Salisbury, Wiltshire. No known grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAL Memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 7 C and 7 B

CARTER

A C

No further information currently available

CLARK

A

No further information currently available

CLARKE

C

No further information currently available

CLEMENTS

J

No further information currently available

CREED

B R

No further information currently available - Preston?

DOBSON

A H

No further information currently available

FARMER

John Charles

Private 718196, 1st/23rd (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment. Killed in action 25th March 1918. Born Stockcross, Berkshire, enlisted West London, resident Fulham. Formerly 474199, 12th Battalion, London Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated on ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 9 or 10.

FARROW

H A

No further information currently available

FIRMINGER

Robert Stephen

Private 106885, 111th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Died of wounds 24th September 1917. Born Dulwich, Surrey, enlisted Mitcham. Formerly 265102, Lincolnshire Regiment. Buried in WESTOUTER CHURCHYARD AND EXTENSION, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot II. Row E. Grave 11.

GADD

Percy James

Rifleman S/8132, 9th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). Killed in action 15th September 1916. Born brixton, Surrey, enlisted Charing Cross, Middlesex, resident Walworth, Surrey. No known grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 16 B and 16 C.

GIBBARD

A E W

Corporal M2/196738, 66th Auxiliary Supply and Petroleum Company, Mechanical Transport, Army Service Corps. Died 18th November 1918. Buried in ETRETAT CHURCHYARD EXTENSION, Seine-Maritime, France. Plot III. Row E. Grave 11.

HAWKINS

L

No further information currently available

HELLER

Davis

Rifleman 41283, London Regiment (Artists' Rifles) posted to 1st/28th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). Killed in action 3rd September 1918. Aged 27. Born Whitechapel, Middlesex, enlisted London, resident Southwark, Surrey. Son of Gabriel and Leah Heller, of 82, Imperial Avenue, Stoke Newington, London; husband of May Heller, of 36, Fore St., St. Mary Church, Torquay. Twice previously wounded. Formerly R/22515, King's Royal Rifle Corps. No known grave. Commemorated on VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 10.

HOGG

W J

No further information currently available

HOILE

R

No further information currently available

HORSWELL

John Willis

Private 703501, 23rd Battalion, London Regiment. Died 19th July 1918. Aged 40. Born Stonehurst, Devon (CWGC states Plymouth, enlisted and resident Battersea. Son of John and Ann Horswell; husband of Blanche M. Horswell, of 76, Ongar Rd., Brentwood, Essex. Buried in VALENCIENNES (ST. ROCH) COMMUNAL CEMETERY, Nord, France. Plot V. Row D. Garve 9.

HUBBARD

C

No further information currently available

JOHNSON

E

No further information currently available

LANSDELL

P

No further information currently available

MANSFIELD

H E

No further information currently available

MARRIOTT

W G

No further information currently available

MAYER

E

No further information currently available

MASON

L A

No further information currently available

MILLER

H

No further information currently available

MOORE

F

No further information currently available

MOORE

W J

No further information currently available

O'ROURKE

J

No further information currently available

PLUMMER

W E

No further information currently available

RICHES

G

No further information currently available

SINCLAIR

A S

No further information currently available

SLEEP

Cyril

Private 10701, 10th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. Killed in action at Gallipoli 21st August 1915, Aged 21. Born Theedle Thorpe, Lincolnshire, enlisted Southampton. Son of Mary Sleep, of 228, Northumberland Rd., Southampton, and the late John Henry Sleep. No known grave. Commemorated on HELLES MEMORIAL, Turkey. Panel 125-134 or 223-226 228-229 & 328.

SMITH

A

No further information currently available

SMITH

A J

No further information currently available

STOREY

Albert George

Rifleman 574911, 17th (County of London) Battalion (Poplar and Stepney Rifles), London Regiment posted to 2nd/5th Battalion (London Rifle Brigade), London Regiment. Killed in action 24th September 1917. Aged 31. Born Stoke Newington, enlisted Walthamstow. Husband of Emily Ethel Annie Judd (formerly Storey), of 4, Landscape Terrace, Horn Lane, Woodford Green, Essex. Buried in PROWSE POINT MILITARY CEMETERY, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Plot III. Row C. Grave 14.

WALKER

F

No further information currently available

WELLS

C F

No further information currently available

WHEELER

H P

probably Henry WHEELER, Lance Corporal [listed as Private on SDGW] 6803, 1st Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Killed in action 25th September 1915. Born Heston, Middlesex, enlisted Hounslow, Middlesex. Buried in CAMBRIN CHURCHYARD EXTENSION, Pas de Calais, France. Plot/Row/Section H Grave 23.

Quote from framing card of the war memorial photograph above "Hilda's father killed in France in First World War in 1915, is 4th name up on Memorial."

WICKS

H

No further information currently available

WOODASON

James

Private 295308, 4th (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers), London Regiment. Killed in action 20th September 1917. Aged 29. Born Tunbridge Wells, Kent, enlisted and resident Tonbridge. Son of James and Elizabeth Woodason, of 23, Albert Rd., Tonbridge; husband of Ethel May Newnes (formerly Woodason), of 124, St. Mary's Rd., Tonbridge, Kent. Formerly 2482, Huntingdonshir Cyclist Battalion. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 52.

YOUNG

R H

No further information currently available

Last updated 10 May, 2008

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