Raymond Mitchell Heaselden – The Young Cartoonist

Raymond Mitchell HEASELDEN (1897-1997), was the son of an engine fitter, Walter HEASELDEN (1865-1954) and Mary Ellen MITCHELL (1868-1965). Raymond, an only child, was born on 19 May 1897 in Dartford, Kent. In 1901 he was living in Crayford, Kent. By 1956 he had moved to in Worthing, Sussex. He died in March 1997 in Worthing, West Sussex.

cartoon 01cartoon 02 cartoon 01 001

During the First World War Raymond was delighting his cousin with a series of cartoon postcards and letters all designed to be quite humorous if ironically joking about other members of the family. Raymond was certainly a very talented person, he married Doris Crouch in 1927 and lived into very old age dying in 1997 aged 99. Raymond’s cousin was Thomas Frank WITTS (1900 – 1976), son of Thomas WITTS (1870-1921) and Annie Ruth MITCHELL (1871-1947). He was born in December 1900 in Erith. He lived in in Erith, Kent. He married Helen Florence JONES in 1924 in Woolwich and later married Olive Dyson LOVELL in December 1945 in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. Thomas Junior died in 1976 in Rushden. His father, Thomas Witts, had a Gentlemen’s Outfitters shop in Erith and was apparently best of friends with his brother in law, Hedley Mitchell, who owned a department store in the town.

Hedley Mitchell

Essex Newsman – Saturday 02 December 1916, business was busy for Hedley as he is advertising for staff.

Hedley Mitchell's staff

Hedley Mitchell’s staff in 1921 (Bexley Borough Photos: here ). “In 1966 Deputy Mayor, Councellor Mrs M Barron, ceremoniously smashed the window of Hedley Mitchell’s store to mark the commencement of the demolition of Erith Town Centre to make way for redevelopment. As a consequence, all the existing Victorian buildings were lost” (source here).

Helen Witts (nee: Jones) died in 1942 and some of her letters and pictures remained with the cartoons that I acquired in February 2013. Images of the archive is slowly being added here.

Ian Waugh