The soldiers commemorated by the organ at St Mellitus came from all walks of life…
Horace Frank Burgess, who grew up on nearby Evershot Road, was, like his father before him, a policeman in the Met. Henry Cross, an electric tram driver, died in France in 1915, leaving behind a wife and two young daughters; his name is also included on the London Underground War Memorial in St James’s. Norman Edwin Heaven and Arthur Bernard Schofield, both bank clerks at Barclays, are also remembered on the memorial at the bank’s head office in Canary Wharf. Leonard Endersby, caretaker at the New Court Congregational Church Mission on Lennox Road, enlisted at the ripe old age of 43 and fought alongside his sons Albert and William.
Some came from families with standing in the community. Arthur Hows’ father John, was an amateur photographer who contributed to the North Middlesex Photographic Society’s Survey, including a photo of the New Court Congregational Chapel (now St Mellitus). Harry Creighton’s father, Richard, was Superintendent of the Sunday School at New Court; a stained-glass window was installed at the church in 1910 as a memorial to him and is still there today. Harry served as a private, and later a corporal, in the prestigious Artists Rifles, a volunteer battalion that attracted recruits from private schools and universities. Artists like John and Paul Nash, the poets Edward Thomas and Wilfred Owen and the playwright Noël Coward wore the uniform of the Artists Rifles.
Others came from more notorious parts of the parish. Ambrose Gillot and brothers Freddie and George Pocock lived on the now demolished Campbell Road, which had the unenviable reputation as the ‘worst street in North London’. It was known locally as ‘Campbell Bunk’ because of the number of common lodging houses on the street. However, residents prided themselves on being ‘poor but loyal’.
The plaques show many duplicate surnames: three Godfrey brothers fought and died, but five McNeil brothers all went to war and came home. A number of families like the Dartons, the Heavens and the Reeves, saw two sons depart and only one return.