In 1918 a flu pandemic began spreading across the world which was ultimately killed more people than the war itself. It was possibly spread by returning soldiers and in England came in a series of phases. From the burial records of St John the Baptist church, Eltham it is possible to see how it affected the population of Well Hall during the autumn and early winter of 1918. Unusually, young adults (aged 20 to 40 yrs) were most vulnerable.
On a happier note a welcome home event was being planned for soldiers and sailors returning after the war. it was being held at the Gordon School on Saturday March 22nd 1919. Unfortunately there is no record of the soldiers who were involved in the war and who survived either scathed or unscathed.
I imagine that the period from 1918 onwards might have seen a lot of change on the estate as many workers were no longer needed at the Arsenal – perhaps they moved from the area, or perhaps they loved Well Hall estate so much they found other work and stayed on. It’s certainly not clear if a condition of tenancy continued to be working at the Arsenal and in 1925 the estate had its name changed to The Progress Estate when it became the responsibility of a company largely owned by the Royal Arsenal Cooperative Society. In 1971 its value in architectural and historical terms was recognised by its designation as a Conservation Area.
Blog Written By: Lynne
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