Riotous Scenes in the Askew Road in 1915

The following article appeared in the West London Observer on 14th May 1915:

Probably the most riotous doings in the district were those which were enacted in Askew Road, where the smashing up of the facades of two different establishments went on simultaneously. The premises in question were both bakers’ shops.

One, which was carried on by Mr Frank Faubel at 128, Askew Road, is situated at the corner of Bassein Park Road, and the other appears to be owned by a Mr Fritz Paulus, and is No. 167, Askew Road, which premises are at the corner of Askew and Station roads.

Outside both these places the crowds were particularly dense, and the fury with which they assailed them was most marked.

Several mounted constables, including a large number of additional policemen and 15 members of the special constabulary, under Councillor R. T. Saffell, were hurried to the scene, but their presence did not deter the crowd from wreaking their vengeance on the two establishments.

(The above postcard is from my collection and dates from around the time. It shows the Wesleyan Church that was situated on the corner of Askew Road and Bassein Park Road)

The windows of the two shops were speedily reduced to ruins with the use of bricks and heavy sticks, and, this accomplished, the wrath of the breakers seemed to be appeased, as they made no serious effort to force their way into either of the buildings, but it was well past midnight before the thoroughfare again resumed its normal appearance.

Yesterday, both the shop fronts were boarded up, and from a notice now attached to the premises of Faubel, the business appears to have been purchased by a Mr F. Bowley.

Affixed to the door of the premises, 83, Askew Road is the notice: “We are Russian”.

With the outbreak of war, there was said to be an estimated 53,000 German people around the country.

Anti-German hysteria was whipped up in May 1915 following the sinking of ‘The Lusitania’.

On the 11th and 12th May, large mobs gathered right across London and targeted many German homes and businesses.

Steve Russell
(Thanks to Colin Woodley for sending me the newspaper article)

5 thoughts on “Riotous Scenes in the Askew Road in 1915

  1. All my family are from Shepherds Bush,so these stories are always appreciated.Curiously my earliest memories of shopping are of the Askew Road in June 1969,when I stayed with my Grandparents when my sister was being born.Then is was a general shopping street before supermarkets completely took over.Now a street to support the lifestyle of the million pound plus houses in the surrounding area.Still charming thought least one chippy left.
    The story also shows just how far Britain and London has come in terms of tolerance.I know I invite the retainers but I can never imagine this happening today.Sometimes a bit of perspective that only a hundred years can produce should be applauded.

  2. Yes an example of anti German hysteria of the time.
    I am sure that the Wesleyan church pictured in this article was replaced by the new modern Methodist church circa 1954 which still stands on the site today. I used to attend Sunday school there in 1956.
    Has anyone got any info regarding when the original church (above) was demolished and the reasons relating thereto.

  3. “Askew Road Church has been at the corner of Askew Road and Bassein Park Road since the 1860s. It was damaged by bombing in the Second World War and rebuilt. In 2009-2010 a major refurbishment was carried out at a cost of over a million pounds.”
    From their website.
    Plenty in old papers on the original building including the anniversary of the Sunday School!

  4. I had a quick look at the Bombs site in WW2. Several bombs fell in Wendell Park and Gayford Rd area in the 1940/1 London Blitz and it might have been blast damage from these. Alternatively an odd raid out of the recorded period.

  5. Thanks Colin for that info. It was just as Steve Russell and myself anticipated…. Bomb damage in the area during WW2.
    The new church must have been built on the site in the very early post war years.

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