DR. James Joseph Mallon 1874 – 1961 – Pannells
Dr. James Joseph Mallon, of “Pannells”, Whiteleaf, died in a London hospital in April 1961. He came to live at Whiteleaf in 1954 when he retired after being Warden of Toynbee Hall, London, for 35 years! Dr. Mallon was 86, and had been in ill hea1th for some time and so had been unable to take part in the life of the village. He was an eminent social organiser, and had been called’ ‘the most popular man east of Aldgate Pump”, because he was the personal friend of many of London’s working people. He was born in Manchester, and after graduating as an M.A. from Manchester University he joined the staff of the Ancoats Settlement, devoted to the poor of Manchester.
In 1906 he was appointed secretary to the National League to Establish a Minimum Wage, he served on the Whitley Committee and was honorary secretary to the Trade Boards Advisory Council. He moved to Toynbee Hall in 1906, and became a member of the executive of the Workers’ Educational Association. During the First World War he was a member of various committees under the Profiteering Act. In October, 1919, he was appointed Warden of Toynbee Hall, and under his guidance it became known as “the poor man’s university”. He was largely responsible for the founding of the Toynbee Hall Theatre, the Workers’ Travel Association and the John Benn club for working boys.
Dr. Mallon served on the Royal Commission on Licensing, the executive committee, of the League of Nations Union, and many other important committees connected with social work. He was governor ofthe B.B.C. from 1937 to 1939, and again from 1941 to 1946. In 1939 he was created Companion of Honour, and in 1940 was appointed adviser on the provision of food and refreshment in London, air raid shelters.
On his retirement he went to live permanently at Whiteleaf where he had had a country cottage since 1911. He wrote his autobiography to replace an almost completed manuscript which was destroyed during the bombing of London. In 1955 he was awarded the Margaret McMillan Medal.
Source: Bucks Herald 25th April 1961 and The Times 13th April 1961