Woolwich & Districts
moved to Brewery Road Plumstead from Lower Pelliper Road, Charlton,
just after the first world war. They lived in number 43 until
1957 when they moved to Orpington. The photograph shows the
Scout troop on parade in the road outside our house. My gandmother,
Florence Gosling, was very active in the WVS, both during the
war and afterwards. She ran a Darby & Joan club in St Pauls
church hall. She had a great sense of community responsibility.
She worked in the Arsenal during WW1, in munitions, and at some
point, I believe, she was also a prison visitor. My father Jack
and his brothers, Leonard and Arthur, attended Earl Street School,
but my Uncle Bert (Herbert) attended the Open Air School at
Shooters Hill, which later moved to Charlton Park.
Both my mother and father worked at the Seimens factory, which
is where they met. Dad was a keen motorbike rider. They married
in St Paul's church, in October 1940, and I remember them telling
me that there were several air raid warnings that day. They
set up home together in the basement of number 43. In 1943 my
sister Hilary was born at Moatlands, in Paddock Wood, where
mum had been evacuated to have her baby. This is now a golf
club and my sister tells me that she was born in what is now
and his brother's all served in WWII, Dad and Uncle Len were
in the Navy, Uncle Arthur was in the Army and Uncle Bert in
the RAF. My grandfather, also Arthur, had been in the RA during
WW1 and was an air raid warden in WWII. Uncle Arthur lived with
his wife Lily in Congo Road. My eldest son lives in this house
today.( 2007) I was born after the war, in 1946, at the British
Hospital for Mothers and Babies. We moved to the Coldharbour
Estate when I was two We visited Plumstead to see my grandparent's
every week and I well remember the bomb sites and the air raid
shelters on the Common. I remember a shop in Brewery Road run
by Mr & Mrs Lambert. I think you could buy almost anything
there. When I was eleven I passed the 11 plus and was accepted
at Kings Warren School. My grandparent's had always wanted me
to go to this school so I used to make the long journey each
day, by two buses from Mottingham. I used to love walking through
Woolwich market coming home from school, especially close to
Christmas, when the lights would be lit on the stalls and everything
seemed so bright and cheerful.
and my father all survived the war but their cousin Jackie (John
Frederick) did not. He was a pilot on the Lancaster bombers
and was reported missing, presumed dead, after a minelaying
raid on the Frisian Islands, in March 1943. He was the only
child of Emily and John Atkins who lived in the school house
at Charlton Park Open Air school. Great Uncle Jack was the caretaker
for many years until they retired.
on photos for a larger view)
my grandfather’s Wardens Service Certificate.
Life Saving Certificate, awarded in 1929 when he was 13, from
the Borough of Woolwich Lifesaving and Swimming Club.
Jack and Ellen Gosling. I would think this was taken about 1938.
a photograph of my uncle and aunts wedding in 1936 – Arthur
John William Gosling to Lilian Margaret Last, at St. Paul’s
It shows all my family apart from my mother.
testimonial from Earl Street School in 1930
Lily Last’s testimonial from Earl Street School in 1927.
It is hard to read so here is a transcript.
has attended this school regularly and punctually for six years
and is leaving from Standard CXV11 at the age of 14 years.
She is a
girl of very good mental ability and excellent conduct. Her
handwork is especially good and she has just been successful
in passing the Preliminary Trade Scholarship Exam. I can most
strongly recommend her and am sure she will do her best to give
satisfaction to her employer
N Pyle, Head Mistress.