Wimbledon War Workers Depot
The War Workers Depot opened at 9, Homefield Road, Wimbledon in July 1915. The building housed five rooms where over sixty volunteers were involved in a range of tasks to support the war effort, including carpentry and distribution. Women workers also put their needlework skills to good use, making surgical dressings, bandages, splint padding and items of clothing.
A Wimbledon Park sub-depot opened in November 1915. Here volunteers made surgical splints, bed rests, crutches, walking sticks and cradles for raising bed covers above damaged limbs. Further carpentry took place in a garage provided by one of the Cottenham Park ward councillors.
People of all ages were encouraged to support the war effort in any way they could. The War Workers Depot even hosted children's classes, where local youngsters were shown how to make splints from old iron hoops and pails.
As the war progressed, further accommodation was made available for an extra needlework department at 87 High Street and 20 Ridgway Place, Wimbledon. By May 1918 a new sub-depot had also opened in Merton Park.
During their three years of service, the volunteers at Wimbledon War Workers Depot produced an incredible 287,223 surgical appliances. Their medical supplies were sent to hospitals in France, Belgium, Greece, Egypt, India, Italy, Romania, Russia and Palestine. The Depot also sent monthly deliveries to more than 15 military hospitals.