Holloway granddad raises £7,000 for Gaza children in father’s memory

09:59 15 August 2014

Mike Power at London Triathlon

Mike Power at London Triathlon


Mike Power never knew his father who died before he was born in the Second World War

Bill and Ethel Power at Bournemouth in 1937Bill and Ethel Power at Bournemouth in 1937

On July 8, 1944 – after writing to his wife, son and 
unborn child – Bill Power was killed in Normandy.

Seventy years later to the day, while a son who never met his father read from that letter at a memorial service, a conflict was breaking out in Gaza that would claim 2,000 lives in a month.

It’s this Second World War letter that inspired Mike Power, 69, to raise £7,000 – a thousand for each decade since his father’s death – to help children whose lives are being shattered by the conflict in Palestine.

“I was born three months after my dad died,” said Mike, who lives with his wife, Nina, in Clock View Crescent, Holloway.

Mike Power at London TriathlonMike Power at London Triathlon

“I never knew him and that has always affected me, but I certainly didn’t suffer the terrible nightmare that the children of Gaza are 
going through.

“I’m pleased to have helped them in my small way.”

The grandfather-of-five battled through a chest infection to finish the London Triathlon on August 2, raising £6,600 in the process.

He completed his half-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and six-mile run in four hours and 22 minutes and wants to reach £7,000 in his father’s memory.

Extract from letter sent on the day of Bill’s death

“. . . it won’t be long before we are together again, if Jerry was a decent sport he would know he was beaten and pack in now. I’m still feeling fine and getting along alright, don’t worry about me this job isn’t so difficult after all, I’ve had much tougher times on schemes.

“Well darling I must close now, look after yourself and keep happy, all my love to my own two darlings.

Yours and Maxies’ . . . Bill

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx kisses for Maxie from Daddy”

Mike had already planned to take part in the triathlon, but thought it would be fitting to raise money for War Child, a charity that helps children living with the consequences of war.

“My brother, our family and I have always lived with a constant awareness of war’s devastating effects, that’s why our hearts go out to the children of Gaza,” he said.

Among the letters that were read was one written the morning that Bill, a battery commander in the Royal Artillery’s 68 Anti Tank Regiment, was killed in the Normandy landings.

In it he wrote that he was “fine and getting along 
alright”, and said: “Don’t worry about me this job isn’t so difficult after all. I’ve had much tougher times on schemes.”

After their father’s death Mike and his brother, Max, were brought up by their grandmother while mother, Ethel, went out to provide for them.

Ethel was a war widow for 62 years before being granted her dying wish – burial 
beside Bill at the Hermanville War Cemetery, in Normandy, France. Letters were read by Mike, Max, Mike’s son Simon, and two of Mike’s granddaughters – Jane, 20 and Emily 22.

“On the day of the triathlon I had a chest infection,” he said. “This caused me some real breathing difficulties, and slowed me down, but I was glad to finish and live up to my promise to my sponsors and War Child.”

n To donate visit


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Fergus conducting the English National Opera. Picture: Tom Bowles/English National Opera

Anyone can enjoy opera. Shrewsbury Town FC is proof of that.

Yesterday, 17:05
Year 6 pupils interview the school's Site Manager, Robbie Robinson, about his memories of the Apollo missions

Pupils at Vittoria Primary School, Islington, are keen to talk to people who remember the Apollo space missions and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon for a history project.

Yesterday, 14:28
Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

The founder of an Islington-based charity was this week presented with the 2015 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Yesterday, 12:30
Former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard arrives at the Old Bailey, London, for a plea and case management hearing after he was accused of child sex charges. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former Dragons’ Den star from Islington this morning denied paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.

Yesterday, 11:30
Handing in the petition against the closure of Caledonian Road Station: Cllr Paul Convery, Cllr Claudia Webbe, Jennette Arnold AM, Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Cllr Paul Smith, Cllr Una O’'Halloran, and Cllr Diarmaid Ward

The fight to keep Caledonian Road Station open continues on Thursday.

Yesterday, 09:33
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

A damning report by health inspectors has revealed a culture of “harassment and bullying” in London’s ambulance service and called for it to be placed into special measures.

Yesterday, 07:00
Cllr Andy Hull

Jobs will be lost as a result of the budget cuts announced in Wednesday’s Spending Review, a councillor has said.

Thu, 15:52
Ashley Walters at the launch of the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Academy at Stoke Newington School in 2012. Picture: Carmen Valino

Rapper and actor Ashley Walters will appear at crown court over two accusations of threatening behaviour and one of racially aggravated harassment in Upper Street’s Hilton Hotel on May 3.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder