The Salvation Army commenced work in Loughborough Junction on 6 August 1891, (taken from a letter dated 1996 from The Salvation Army Library on Denmark Hill to an enquirer) as an outpost from the Camberwell Corps. Initially it did not have it’s own officers and was administered from Camberwell.
Though this extract from the War Cry dated 21 June 1890 suggests it was active in Loughborough Junction before the officially recorded date.
By 1892, it had received Corps status and officers appointed.
Early officers include Captain Crown and Lieutenant Jackson appointed January 1894, Warren Taylor and Lieutenant Cooper in December 1894, Dawson Ivison in March 1895, Stone Miller in November 1895, Lieutenant Partner in April 1896 and finally in this group Cory Onslow in May 1896. Ivison, Miller, Partner and Onslow were all women.
There is no record in Salvation Army Loughborough Junction Corps file (in truth, there is very little in the file) of the Hall mentioned in the above War Cry report but I assume it might well have been Loughborough Hall which seems to have been the “finest hall in the neighbourhood”. The Brixton Society in an article about Loughborough Hall state the Salvation Army used Loughborough Hall for meetings in 1904.
A further report in the War Cry dated from 23 July, 1892 rejoicing at a drunk coverting.
And this report from 17 September, 1892
Shows that there was great opposition to Salvation Army work in those days by brewers and publicans. For more reading take a look at this wikipedia article about the Skeleton Army and the Salvation Army version.
R Mudie-Smith in his statistical study of attendance at Worship across London : The Religious Life of London published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1904 , recorded average Sunday congregations at The Salvation Army services in Loughborough Hall of 73 at the morning service and 222 at the evening service.
The next information I have is the appointments of Capt Ethel Parks and Lieut Miriam Banks in 1921.
We also have the photocard of the Loughborough Junction Citadel Band in 1930, looks to be taken on the steps of the Salvation Army building on Denmark Hill.
We know who officered Loughborough Junction Corps for a few years in the early 1930’s because they were subsequently promoted to senior appointments. Sture Larsson was born into a Swedish Salvation Army family and married Flora Benwell, also from a Salvation Army family in 1934.
Photo taken at their wedding officiated by Henry W Mapp who was Chief of Staff in the Salvation Army from 1929-1937. Essentially the number two appointed by The General of the Salvation Army.
Sture rose to prominent position in the Army as International Secretary for Europe while Flora was a prolific author writing many articles for Salvation Army publications and books of prayer poems.
Sture and Flora’s son John Larsson became the 17th General of the Salvation Army 2002-2006.
The Salvation Army obviously felt comfortable with their position in Loughborough Junction as they applied to register for solemnizing marriages in 1937.
The London Gazette, 27 April 1937.
In the Loughborough Junction file at the Salvation Army library was this photograph of the Salvation Army Loughborough Junction hall in Wanless Road. No record of when they moved in or indeed when they left but as the above shows they were ensconced in Wanless Road in 1937.
Photo is undated. From the Salvation Army Library collection.
Here is what it looks like in 2015.
Photo: Loughborough-Junction.org blog
Another soldier of the Loughborough Junction Corps was Albert Orsborn who was General from 1946-1954. This report from the War Cry dated 31 August 1946.
Albert Orsborn spoke again at the LJ Corps in November, 1949.
And there the story stops. In the letter mentioned above, the Hall on Wanless Road is referred to as still being owned by the Salvation Army but going on to say …”although there hasn’t being any Army activities there for some time”.
As for today, it is used by a Local Christian Assembly and its Pastor Peter Chandler.
Thanks to Linda Farrow nee Wood who has allowed me to post this photo of the Loughborough Junction Salvation Army Corps singing company dating from 1966 or 1967. Linda is to the right of Mrs McKenzie at the back.
This now confirms that Salvation Army Loughborough Junction on Wanless Road was open in 1966-1967. Thank you Linda.
If you have any further information about the Salvation Army, Loughborough Junction Corps, I would be glad to hear from you.
My grateful thanks to all in the Salvation Army Library/Museum up on Denmark Hill who helped with my research and did some scanning and Photocopying for me.