COLCHESTER: Hamilton Road School, Constantine Road (+ Hamilton Road)

HAMILTON  ROAD  SCHOOL BUILDING

 Constantine (Hamilton) Road, Colchester, Essex

‘Hamilton Road Extension’ for ColchesterMilitary Hospital

‘Hamilton Road Extension’. cApril 1919. Reproduced with permission from Barrie Sears

‘Hamilton Road Extension’. cApril 1919. Reproduced with permission from Barrie Sears

The Hamilton Road School building was built in 1914, at a cost of £10,700.   It was built to replace the Culver Street Wesleyan School, which was ‘fed’ with the best pupils from all the other local Primary Schools.  The Wesleyan School’s inspirational Head Teacher had retired and died; the Wesleyan School had closed; & government funding favoured the concept of ‘Central’ schools  i.e. a ‘back door’ Secondary school, technically funded as Primary.

This Chelmsford Chronicle article, on 05 August 1910, gives a small insight to the existing situation: “COLCHESTER. TOWN COUNCIL, AUGUST 3. Cr. W. Gurney Benham (Deputy-Mayor), presiding. … …

THE WESLEYAN SCHOOLS.—Ald. WILSON MARRIAGE said a deputation had interviewed the Board of Education with reference to the Wesleyan School, but the Board wrote stating that they declined to accede to the wishes of the deputation. The school would be recognized only until July 1912. –Cr. SHAW said it was a serious matter, as a new school would cost about £13,000.—Cr. WALLACE said no language could express one’s feelings on the matter.  Notwithstanding the proud record of the school, and the fact that I was a healthy school, this high expenditure was to be forced upon them just because certain officials thought the children should have a little more air space.  He called it an abominable shame, and an injustice to the town.” 

On 28 December 1911, the Chelmsford Chronicle alerted readers about the suggestion of fees for the new school in Hamilton Road:  FEE-PAYING SCHOOL FOR COLCHESTER.  At Colchestr Education Committee on Wednesday it was agreed that the Board of Education be asked to sanction a fee of 6d. a week being charged to scholars in the mixed department of the proposed new Council School in Hamilton-road on the understanding that 25 per cent. Of the accommodation in the mixed department would be available for free places.  The fees received would effect a saving to the rates of from £300 to £400 per annum.—It was proposed to add a supplementary course to the curriculum of the new school. 

Mr. E. North thought the proposed fees would make prigs of the children. The Rev. W. E. Spencer said he had had to do with fee-paying schools, and had never heard that there was the slightest tendency among the children to snobbishness.” 

This new school in Hamilton Road was to be a Council Central Elementary Senior School – a ‘first’ for Colchester.   At the time, the only Secondary schools were private or selective – like the Grammar School – the Technical School (later called ‘Gilberd County Technical School’) would not open until 1912.

On 29 March 1912, the Chelmsford Chronicle reported on the “EDUCATION COMMITTEE, Wednesday, Alderman Wilson Marriage presiding.– The Buildings and Sites Sub-Committee reported that the provision of baths at the school to be erected in Hamilton Road would not be advisable. –It was stated that an enormous amount of sickness was prevalent among the children of the borough; influenza was the main cause of absence.” 

On 11 April 1913, the Essex County Chronicle enlightened its readers:  “the plans of the proposed Hamilton Road School, Colchester, have been revised and cut down so as to secure £1,100 on the building cost, £70 a year in respect of interest and redemption, and additional maintenance charges of £400 yearly.”

At the outbreak of the First World War, Hamilton Road School had been completed but had yet not opened so it was deemed necessary to use this new building as an ‘extension’ to the Colchester General Military Hospital – it became known as ‘Hamilton Road Extension’ or ‘Hamilton Road Hospital’.   An iodine stain on a store cupboard’s wooden-block flooring was a permanent legacy left from that time of the building’s history.   .  Interestingly, the stain was shown to one pupil in the 1950’s, by a teacher, and its existence explained – it made a lasting impression on the boy.

It has been deduced, by looking at the handful of British Red Cross cards belonging to ‘Hamilton Road Extension’ volunteers, the ‘Extension’ closed on 30 April 1919.

It was not until 1920 that the building actually opened as a school – the hospital perhaps closing in the April of 1919.  The furniture (which had been purchased by the Education Committee for 1914) was taken out of storage and the ‘Hamilton Road Central School’ began.    In addition to having a junior department, it was a school for 320 ‘seniors’.  Pupils were selected by examination.

In 1935, it became a non-selective senior school.    Under the 1944 Education Act, the school became a mixed secondary modern school and, in the year 1955, the establishment moved to in new premises in Walnut Tree Way, Shrub End … … to become Alderman Blaxill.    This allowed the Hamilton Road building to evolve into the primary school we know today.


LIST OF PEOPLE KNOWN TO HAVE WORKED AT ‘HAMILTON ROAD EXTENSION’:  There is no doubt that many people who assisted in the running of this establishment will never be discovered within records and, thus, they remain unnamed. If a British Red Cross card exists for a person, a link is displayed at an individual’s profile [dates in () refer to ‘Hamilton Road Extension’]:-

COOKE, Mrs. Grace Mildred (4.1.1916-30.04.1919. V.A.D. Assistant Cook)

JACKSON, Miss Joan (2.1919-4.1919. V.A.D. Nursing & Theatre. Also worked at Essex County Hospital)

PURKISS, Miss Alice Emma (18.10.1918-1919+ General Service member. Storekeeper)

STANDING, Mrs. Mabel Ellen (20.7.1916-30.4.1919. V.A.D. Assistant Cook)

UPSON, Miss Emma Elizabeth (12.8.1918-1919+ General  Service Member. Clerical?)

VARROW, Mrs. Beatrice Ethel (11.1916-?4.1919. V.A.D. Clerk)



COOKE, Mrs. Grace Mildred (4.1.1916-30.04.1919. V.A.D. Assistant Cook)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=hamilton+colchester&id=47561&first=true

ADDRESS: “Florence Cottages” London Rd, Stanway, Nr Colchester; COUNTY: Ex; SERVICE FROM: 04/11/1916; SERVICE TO: 30/04/1919; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Assist. Cook; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 04/11/1916; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: 18/-; RANK AT TERMINATION: Assst Cook; DATE OF TERMINATION: 30/04/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: 18/9; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Hospital Cooking; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; COMMISSION: Essex Hamilton Rd Extension Essex.


JACKSON, Miss Joan (2.1919-4.1919. V.A.D. Nursing & Theatre. Also worked at Essex County Hospital?)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=hamilton+colchester&id=116708&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Creeksea Place, Burnham on Crouch; COUNTY: Essex;SERVICE FROM: 14/06/1916

SERVICE TO: 20/12/1916; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: County Hospital Colchester. Hamilton Hospital London part time, hours served 166; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 14/06/1916; DATE OF TERMINATION: 20/12/1916; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Ward nursing and Theatre; WHOLE OR PART TIME: whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Lexden & Winstree Division, Miss Round Colchester County Hospital Feb 1919 April 1919 Hamilton Rd Hospital London; COMMISSION: Essex.


PURKISS, Miss Alice Emma (18.10.1918-1919+ General Service member. Storekeeper)

Alice lived in Hamilton Road.  She is marked for Colchester Military Hospital but did she work at the Extension in her road sometimes perhaps?

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=hamilton+colchester&id=170112&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 37 Hamilton Rd, Colchester; SERVICE FROM: 18/10/1918; SERVICE TO: Still working; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: G.S. Member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 18/10/1918; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: £1.4.0; RANK AT TERMINATION: G.S. Member; DATE OF TERMINATION: Continuing; PAY AT TERMINATION: £1.11.6; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Storekeeper; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Lexden & Winstree Division, Miss Round General Military Hospital, Colchester; COMMISSION: 2nd Essex.


STANDING, Mrs. Mabel Ellen (20.7.1916-30.4.1919. V.A.D. Assistant Cook)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=hamilton+colchester&id=197126&backwards=true

ADDRESS: Grassmere Villas, London Rd, Stanway, Nr Colchester Essex; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 20/07/1916; SERVICE TO: 30/04/1919; HOSPITAL: Hamilton Home, Thorpe Bay, Southend; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Assistant cook;DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 20/07/1916; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: 18 s – 9d;RANK AT TERMINATION: Assistant cook;DATE OF TERMINATION: 30/04/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: 18 s – 9d; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Hospital cooking; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Full time; COMMISSION: Hamilton Rd Extension, Essex.


UPSON, Miss Emma Elizabeth (12.8.1918-1919+ General  Service Member. Clerical?)

Emma lived in Hamilton Road.  She is marked for Colchester Military Hospital but did she work at the Extension in her road sometimes perhaps?

This is probably Emma: Born 1894/5 Rivenhall, Essex (birth registered 1Q 1895. Daughter of Rivenhall-born Farmer Robert Upson and his Norfolk-born wife Elizabeth (nee Walton).

1901 Census:      34 & 34a Cargill Street, Wandsworth. With maternal Uncle Herbert Walton (Grocer’s Assistant; mother; and one older sister, Ellen.

1911 Census:      Boarstye Farm, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex. Wife parents; three brothers; three sisters; and two “single” Upson Uncles.

1939:                  32 Hamilton Road Colchester, along with her widowed mother and her sister Gladys Martha.

1976, 25 Jan:     Emma Elizabeth Upson “of 32 Hamilton Road Colchester” died.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=hamilton+colchester&id=223523&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 32 Hamilton Rd, Colchester; SERVICE FROM: 12/08/1918; SERVICE TO: Still working; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: G.S. Member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 12/08/1918; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: 31/6; DATE OF TERMINATION: still working; PAY AT TERMINATION: 31/6; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Clerical; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Lexden & Winstree Division, Miss Round. General Military Hospital Colchester; COMMISSION: Essex/2.


VARROW, Mrs. Beatrice Ethel (11.1916-?4.1919. V.A.D. Clerk. Also worked at the General Military Hospital, Colchester)

Born 1885 Wivenhoe, Essex.  Daughter of Wivenhoe-born Builder; Licensed Victualler; Auctioneer Dick Ham and his Rowhedge-born wife Elizabeth nee Pit.

1891 Census:      Quay Street, Wivenhoe. With parents; three sisters; one General Domestic Servant; and a Yarmouth, Norfolk-born Shipwright lodger Robert Bolingbroke.

1901 Census:      New Town, Wivenhoe. “Draper’s Assistant”. With parents and four sisters.

1911 Census:      2 Westbourne Grove, Terrace Bayswater, Paddington W. “Assistant. Mantles. Drapery”. With sister Annie. Employed (and housed) by Messrs. Whiteley Limited – an early department store).

1913, 2Q:            Married Sudbury, Suffolk-born George Ernest Varrow (Lexden District – Wivenhoe?)

1917, 18 Feb:      Husband Royal Engineer Sgt. Sapper George Ernest Varrow died in the No. 6 General  Hospital at Rouen, France (aged 29). He is buried in Plot O. V. I. 5, within the St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

1948, 5 Mar:      Beatrice Ethel Varrow “of The Firs Wivenhoe Essex widow” died.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=hamilton+colchester&id=213319&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Hamilton Villa, Wivenhoe; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 23/03/1916; SERVICE TO: 30/04/1919; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Clerk; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 23/03/1916; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: 20/- week; RANK AT TERMINATION: Head Clerk; DATE OF TERMINATION: Still Serving

PAY AT TERMINATION: 42/6 week; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Clerical work at Hamilton Rd HP. Colchester; WHOLE OR PART TIME: whole timel ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: March 23rd. 1916 to Nov: 11th. 1916 at Fort Pitt Military HP. Chatham Kent. Transferred to General Military Hospital Colchester Nov: 1916 Side 2: ‘still serving there’ crossed through.



A HAMILTON ROAD RESIDENT WHO WORKED ELSEWHERE:

SIBLEY, Mrs. Ada (Three months at Bognor War Depot. Cook; Scullery; & nurse)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=hamilton+colchester&id=189094&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 36 Hamilton Rd. Colchester; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: Bognor War Depot. 3 months; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: General Service; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 08/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: 0; RANK AT TERMINATION: General Service; DATE OF TERMINATION: 15/03/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: 0; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Cook. Scullery. & nurse; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Daily 4-025 hours. 1000 hours; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Lexden & Winstree Division Miss Round Gostwycke V.A.D. Hospital Colchester. Has no permanent address, her husband in Army & she moves about accordingly. (Sgd) S.M. Round; COMMISSION: Essex; HONOURS AWARDED: Bognor War Depot Badge.


NEXT:  

COLCHESTER: Holmwood, Chitts Hill, Lexden (in reality, within Stanway Parish)

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