The History of Wandsworth Common


Posted June 2021

Sunday, 14 June 1914 — Thunderstorm on Wandsworth Common kills seven. Four of the dead are small children.

(Click on image to read the rest of the article)

LIGHTNING STRIKES close to the Windmill killed a young courting couple, and a man and his 3-year-old daughter. Near Bolingbroke Grove, on the other side of the Common, three children died: a brother and sister aged 5 and 4, and another boy aged 3.

"A GREAT BLACK CLOUD hung like a pall over Wandsworth Common, London, lightning zigzagged in the heavens, thunder peals were deafening, and the rain came down in a torrential spate. Under a tree were group of five children, happy in spite of the war of the elements. They were playing "Ring of the Roses," and their childish voices blended merrily in rag-time songs..."

This appalling event was reported throughout the world, and so unusual that it was even discussed in scientific journals. All the victims had been sheltering beneath trees, a fact which was highlighted in the coverage [more...].

27 June 1879 — Thomas Hardy is on the train up to Town...

"In railway carriage a too statuesque girl; but her features were absolutely perfect. She sat quite still and her smiles did not extend further than a fingernail's breadth from the edge of her mouth. The repose of her face was such that when the train shook her it seemed painful. Her mouth was very small, and her face not unlike that of a nymph. In the train coming home there was a contrasting girl of sly humour — the pupil of her eye being mostly half under the eyelid.

28 June 1823 — Edwin Rayner Ransome, a passionate campaigner for Wandsworth Common, was born today in Colchester, Essex.

He died on 17 May 1910 in Rushmere Cottage, Wandsworth Common, London at age 86, and was buried in the Friends' Burial Ground, Wandsworth.

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