Search

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

Archant

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 justgiving.com/Mike-Power3.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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 Islington News Stories

38 minutes ago
Bunhill Fields graveyard in Islington looking towards Featherstone Street

Islington Council is “disappointed” after Mayor of London Boris Johnson approved controversial plans to build two tower blocks by a historic Islington graveyard.

12:49
Scene of the crash on the A107. Credit: @999London

Classmates of an Islington teenager who died in a high-speed police chase were today “in shock” at his death.

Copenhagen Primary School children examine the artwork in Islington Museum

Primary school pupils have commemorated the Gallipoli Campaign in Islington Museum.

Yesterday, 21:57
The fomer People's Social Club premises in Holloway Road. Picture: Ken Mears

A popular former nightclub hoping to rebrand itself as a coffee shop was tonight refused a new licence after neighbours protested against debauchery on their doorsteps.

Yesterday, 15:13
An artist's impression of the north-south Cycle Superhighway on Farringdon Road, looking southbound from Farringdon Station. Picture: TfL

Plans for a cycle “superhighway” that would pass through the west side of Islington have been revealed.

Yesterday, 13:59
Sgt Chris Walsh, of Angel Police Team, and Jackie Ambrosini, of Angel Business Improvement District, demonstrate the Whatsapp alert system using a generic mugshot

Business owners have been asked to take a lead fighting terrorism in the heart of Islington.

The vigil for Sarah Reed (Picture: Zita Holbourne/BARAC UK)

Hundreds gathered outside Holloway Prison last night to hold a candlelit vigil for Sarah Reed, a prisoner who died in her cell last month.

Yesterday, 09:22
Emily Thornberry and Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is braced for a potentially fiery showdown with his top team over the renewal of Trident.

Most read news

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe