Search

Veterans gather in Holloway to honour casualties on WWI centenary

15:18 04 August 2014

Chris Millington, Finsbury Library Manager read a selection of letters and a poem

Chris Millington, Finsbury Library Manager read a selection of letters and a poem

Archant

Veterans, councillors and residents embarked on a four-year journey today, marking 100 years since the beginning of the First World War.

John Walters (left) and Mark Samson of the Islington Veterans AssociationJohn Walters (left) and Mark Samson of the Islington Veterans Association

Poems, letters and reflections on the war were read to those assembled at Memorial Arch near Royal Northern Gardens, in Holloway, while Islington Council Choir gave hearty renditions of war-time classics Pack-up Your Troubles and Keep the Home Fires Burning.

A minutes silence was also held to remember almost 10,000 who were born or lived in Islington and died in the Great War.

Those who gathered were also told about The Streets Where They Lived Project, which will see more than 400 plaques listing the names of men who died just yards from where they used to live.

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for heath and wellbeing, said: “Islington’s response to the First World War was typically spirited - raising huge sums of money and making public buildings available for injured soldiers and for drafting recruits.

“The war put an indelible stamp on Islington - our WWI heritage project gives unique insight into life in the borough during the war as well as publicly recording those who lost their lives in the conflict street by street.”

As well as at least 6,000 who lived in the borough and died in battle, the war also made more than 2,000 widows in Islington, a fact that John Shepherd, who designed the Streets Where They Live Project, says the heritage team intends to highlight towards the end of the four year commemorative project.

John Shepherd, the historian who designed the project, said: “Thousands from Islington and Finsbury were killed and displaced – the fact that so many men left and never returned, objectively, is a direct consequence of war.

“What we are trying to highlight is the impact that is left in such a place as Islington and in its streets.

“We wish to remind people that these men who died came from the same place as them.”

Islington has a military association – stretching back over 500 years when the British Army’s oldest serving regiment, The Honorary Artillery Company, arrived in the borough.

Mark Samson, chair of the Islington Veterans Association, was one of several former servicemen at the ceremony.

Mr Samson said: “Today was very poignant, and is going to be the first of many commemorations over the next four years.

“There are very few families in Islington that will not have been effected by the war, whether they were fighting or serving in munitions factories, it was a real world war.

“They fought in battle fields all over the world, not just in France but in Africa and the middle east.

“Even in Gaza, which shows we’re still fighting wars a hundred years on as a result of mistakes that have been made.

“Everyone in the borough would have made sacrifices during in the war, many gave their lives and others lives were changed drastically for the worse.”

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

Yesterday, 18:23

A Finsbury Park dad is going the distance to safeguard the future of an independently funded primary school science laboratory.

Yesterday, 17:51

Police figures show the number of drivers who use mobile phones behind the wheel is on the rise.

Yesterday, 14:26

A couple of weeks ago at Gazette Towers, a dusty framed photograph was discovered at the back of a storage cupboard. In it were dozens of immaculately dressed journalists and sales staff at a dinner in Cafe Royal, Regent Street. The date – September 28 1956.

Yesterday, 12:44

A superb new exhibition tells the story of firefighting in Islington since 1381. There were plenty of surprises for James Morris, who attended the opening on Thursday.

Yesterday, 08:39

Labour councillors arranged a meeting with IRA supporters in Islington Town Hall.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon offered heartfelt thanks to constituents after his re-election as Labour leader.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn was this morning re-elected as leader of the Labour Party.

Friday, September 23, 2016

A convicted drug dealer who sent a death threat to the councillor who closed Farringdon superclub Fabric could face jail next month.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now