The Development

The Development

Queen Elizabeth Terrace

Comprises:

  • 1 x 2 bedroomed wheelchair adapted flat (up to 3 people)
  • 2 x 2 bedroomed flats (up to 3 people)
  • 2 x 2 bedroomed flats (up to 4 people)
  • 1 x 3 bedroomed flat (up to 4 people)
  • 8 x 3 bedroomed houses (up to 5 people)
  • 5 x 4 bedroomed houses (up to 6 people)

Named after and with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen, Patron of Haig Housing.

Jack Cornwell House

Comprises:

  • 1 x 2 bedroomed wheelchair adapted flat/bungalow (up to 4 people)

At the Battle of Jutland (31st May – 1st June 1916) when the British Grand Fleet clashed with the German High Fleet, Boy (First Class) Jack Cornwell VC was the sight-setter on HMS Chester’s front 5.5-inch gun turret, with the job of taking orders from fire control and applying the necessary range corrections to the gun. At 5.40 pm on the 31st the ship came under heavy fire from four German Light Cruisers and was hit seventeen times in a few minutes. 30 men were killed and 46 wounded; amongst the casualties were the entire crew of the forward 5.5-inch turret.

After the shock of the battle only one figure, not yet sixteen and a half years old and mortally wounded, remained standing by the turret. His Commanding Officer, in a letter to Cornwell’s mother, later wrote:

“His devotion to duty was an example to all of us …He remained steadily at his most exposed post on the gun, waiting for orders. His gun would not bear on the enemy; all but two of the ten crew were killed or wounded, and he was the only one who was in such an exposed position. But he felt he might be needed and indeed he might have been; so he stayed there, standing and waiting, under heavy fire, with just his own brave heart, and God’s help to support him”.

Jack Cornwell survived and was landed by the badly damaged HMS Chester at Grimsby but died from his injuries in the local hospital on 2 June 1916. He was later posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross which his mother collected from King George V at Buckingham Palace in November 1916. His bravery and devotion to duty sparked the public’s imagination and he became known as the “boy hero of Jutland”.

Cyril Barton House

Comprises:

  • 1 x 1 bedroomed wheelchair adapted flat/bungalow (up to 2 people)
  • 1 x 1 bedroomed wheelchair adapted flat (up to 2 people)
  • 7 x 1 bedroomed flats (up to 2 people)
  • 4 x 2 bedroomed flats (up to 4 people)
  • 2 x 3 bedroomed flats (up to 4 people)

Cyril Joe Barton VC was a Second World War bomber pilot in the Royal Air Force who was awarded posthumously the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth Armed Forces.

On the night of 30 March 1944, while flying in an attack on the city of Nuremberg, Barton’s Halifax bomber was badly shot-up in attacks by two Luftwaffe night-fighters, resulting in two of his fuel tanks being punctured, both its radio and rear turret gun port being disabled, the starboard inner engine being critically damaged and the internal intercom lines being cut. Subsequently, a misunderstanding in on-board communications led to 3 of the 7-man crew bailing out, leaving Barton with no navigator, bombardier or wireless operator. Rather than turn back for England, he decided to press on with the mission, and after arriving over the target released the bomb payload himself . As he then turned the aircraft for home, its ailing starboard engine blew-up. He then nursed his aircraft back home over a four-and-a-half hour flight with no navigational assistance and through the hostile defences of Germany and occupied Europe and across the North Sea. As he crossed the English coast at dawn 90 miles to the north of his base his fuel ran out due to damage leakage and, with only one engine still running and at too low a height to allow a remaining crew bail-out by parachute, Barton crash-landed the bomber at the village of Ryhope, steering away at the last moment to avoid local homes and coal pit-head workings. Barton was pulled from the wrecked aircraft alive but died of injuries sustained in the landing before he reached the hospital. The three remaining on-board members of the crew survived the forced landing.

Maxi Martin Court

Comprises:

  • 2 x 1 bedroomed wheelchair adapted flats (up to 2 people)
  • 2 x 1 bedroomed flats (up to 2 people)
  • 4 x 2 bedroomed flats (up to 3 people)
  • 4 x 3 bedroomed houses (up to 4 people)

A long-standing member of the Labour Party, Maxi served as a Councillor for St Helier Ward (in which Haig’s Morden estate lies) for 18 years. In 2003/04 she was Mayor of Merton and in 2010 she was appointed Cabinet member for children’s services, having served as Cabinet member for social services and education in previous administrations.

Councillor Martin was dedicated to serving her Ward residents and to giving a voice to the young and more vulnerable in Merton. She was a passionate advocate of children and young people, always very popular with children across the borough when she frequently visited them at their schools, taking a huge interest in their learning and creating a borough of opportunity for them. Her most recent school visit was not long before she fell ill, when she went to Abbotsbury Primary School to see all the donations the children had collected from residents to support refugees living in the borough.

She was also a regular visitor to Haig Housing whose headquarters estate lay within her Ward, as well as being the Borough’s Armed Forces Champion.

Sadly, Councillor Martin died peacefully in her sleep during the evening of 6 April 2016, having been ill since the previous December.

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, said of her: “Maxi was a wonderful Councillor and was deeply committed to representing residents in St Helier. She was also devoted to the interests of young people and worked tirelessly to ensure their voices were heard. The Armed Forces also valued the work she did in organising the yearly Armed Forces Day
Parade in Merton”.

Odette Sansom House

Comprises:

  • 1 x 3 bedroomed house (up to 5 people)

Odette Sansom Hallowes GC, MBE was an Allied intelligence officer during the Second World War who was captured and tortured by the Nazis. Her wartime exploits and endurance of her brutal interrogation and imprisonment, which were chronicled in books and a motion picture, made her one of the most celebrated members of the Special Operations Executive, the British sabotage and espionage organisation, and one of the few to survive Nazi imprisonment.

At Fresnes Prison, Sansom was interrogated by the Gestapo fourteen times. She was subjected to torture: her back was scorched with a red-hot poker and all of her toenails were pulled out. She was condemned to death on two counts in June 1943, to which she responded, “Then you will have to make up your mind on what count I am to be executed, because I can only die once.” She was later sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp.

After the Allied landings in the south of France in August 1944, on orders from Berlin, her food was withdrawn for a week, all light was removed from her cell, and the heat was turned up. Despite a report by the camp doctor that she would not survive such conditions for more than a few weeks, after being found unconscious in her cell she was placed in solitary confinement. Her conditions only improved in December 1944, when she was moved to a ground floor cell.

When the Allies were only a few miles from Ravensbrück, the camp commandant Fritz Suhren took Sansom and drove to an American base to surrender.

She was the first woman to be awarded both the George Cross and to be appointed a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

Kulbir Thapa House

Comprises:

  • 4 x 1 bedroomed flats (up to 2 people)
  • 2 x 2 bedroomed flats (up to 4 people)

Kulbir Thapa Magar VC was the first Nepalese Gurkha recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Thapa was a 26-year-old Rifleman in the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles, British Indian Army, during the First World War. On 25 September 1915, at the Battle of Loose in France, Thapa, having been wounded himself, found a wounded soldier of the Leicestershire Regiment behind the first-line German trenches. Although urged to save himself, he stayed with the wounded man during the rest of the day and throughout the night. Early next day, in misty weather, he dragged him through the German wire, within spitting distance from the Germans and, leaving him in a place of comparative safety, returned and brought in two other wounded Gurkhas, one after the other. He then went back and, in broad daylight, fetched the other British soldier, carrying him most of the way under enemy fire.

Such an incredible act of faith and courage had by now attracted a good deal of attention, and when he emerged from his trench for the third time with one more wounded comrade over his shoulder, the German soldiers actually clapped their hands to encourage him on and he was therefore able to walk right across No-Mans-Land back to his own side.

The Victoria Cross awarded to Kulbir Thapa was in the first group of awards for the Battle of Loos which were gazetted on 18 November 1915. Thapa was presented with his medal by King George V at Buckingham Palace although the exact date is not known.

He later achieved the rank of Havildar (equivalent to Sergeant) and died in Nepal in 1956.

Albert Dugdale House

Comprises:

  • 6 x 1 bedroomed flats (up to 2 people)
  • 1 x 2 bedroomed wheelchair adapted flat (up to 4 people)
  • 1 x 2 bedroomed maisonette (up to 4 people)
  • 4 x 2 bedroomed flats (up to 4 people)
  • 2 x 3 bedroomed flats (up to 4 people)

On 2nd April 1916 there was an explosion in a store at the Faversham Powder Mills, Kent. The store contained 200 tons of TNT and the factory site some 500 tons altogether. All the buildings were destroyed and a chain of explosions followed. Fires spread rapidly and the dead and injured lay all around. Together with others, Bombardier Bert Dugdale assisted in the rescue of the wounded, showing great courage, devotion to duty and disregard for their own safety. Not only did they prevent further explosions, but by their example others became helpers when previously reluctant to help. All of those who assisted were awarded the Edward Medal.

Bombardier Bert Dugdale was awarded the Edward Medal, alongside those others who he assisted. Many years later the Edward Medal was replaced by the George Cross although by this time he had died.

The 1916 explosion at Faversham was the worst in the history of the British explosives industry. 115 men and boys were killed, including all the Works Fire Brigade, in the initial and subsequent explosions. The bodies of seven victims were never found while the other 108 were buried in a mass grave at Faversham Cemetery.

The munitions factory was in a remote spot in the middle of the open marshes of North Kent, next to the Thames coastline and the explosion was heard across the Thames estuary and as far away as Norwich and Great Yarmouth.