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L S WILKINSON raised £710 from 14 supporters


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Closed 17/11/2018

raised of £3,000 target by 14 supporters

    Weʼve raised £710 to A Community Remembers - for a permanent memorial and tell the stories of the men in our area who fell area in WWI

    Bethnal Green, London
    Funded on Saturday, 17th November 2018

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    The centenary of the end of WWI will be marked with pomp and splendour, medals, swords, uniforms and speeches. Dignitaries will try, as will everybody else, to understand why such carnage was allowed to happen.

    Here, in Bethnal Green, in the corner of St Peters’ Church are boards, including some from St Thomas’ Church (demolished) carrying the names of the 168 men of the locale who perished in that conflict and until recently all that we had was that, their names. In 2014 a volunteer at the church became intrigued enough to attempt to find out what she could about these men. That volunteer, Phillipa Atkinson, has uncovered the biographies of 125 of them. Some of the information is fragmentary, some more fulsome, but universally the men had all lived within a five-minute walk of the church.

    None were commissioned officers, none went to Sandhurst, none were professional soldiers, all died for their country. They worked in a range of professions that existed at the bottom of society at the time. Wood carvers, umbrella stick makers, errand boys, labourers, carmen, hamper liners and a host of professions lost to us today. They died in the slaughterhouses of Belgium and France, in Turkey, in Jerusalem, in Basra and on ships torpedoed and sunk in the North Sea.

    After the war this area was plummeted back into a level of poverty people hoped had been left behind in the nineteenth century. The men who survived were injured, missing limbs, or gassed so they could hardly breathe. Many were shell shocked and broken. Women bore the brunt of survival for their dependants and speaking as someone whose grandmother was one of those women, the scars of that were carried until their dying days. I remember her showing me my grandfathers’ medal and saying, “What good was that, we couldn’t eat it.”

    We have always had a strong community here, and it is the community of the 21st century, both old and new, who wishes to take these lives from the shadows of the church and erect a public memorial to them. Having the biographies is an amazing gift, they make sad and salutary reading, but they also bring the area alive to that past in a way it is difficult to describe. We will be producing a book containing all of the information that we have, and have a web presence where we shall seek to find further information. We are all volunteers and if we raise any money in excess of what is needed it will go to the charity Help For Heroes. All donations of £10 or more will be acknowledged in the final print run of the book in time for Remembrance Sunday 2018.

    They were ordinary men, leading ordinary lives, let’s not forget them



    • L S WILKINSON6 years ago


      6 years ago

      Dear All, We finally have (hopefully) pulled this off. Please join us on Nov 11th on Ion Square at 10.45 for an act of Remembrance followed by drinks and a short reading in the nearby Church Hall. Linda

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    • L S WILKINSON7 years ago


      7 years ago

      We are moving on with the project and moving on with trying to find those men for whom we only have names. Yesterday I came across the records for George Robert Bennett which takes the number of men whom we know about to 127 out of 168. Like many he was engaged in the wood trade as a labourer in a sawmill. I doubt he would have walked more than 5 minutes to work. In 1911 he was married with a three week old daughter. He enlisted at Whitehall and became a rifleman in the London Regiment. He was killed in action on 1 September 1918 age 27.

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    • L S WILKINSON7 years ago


      7 years ago
      Update from the Page owner

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    7 years ago

    L S WILKINSON started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 11/3/2018 12.49



    • George Brooke

      George Brooke

      Jan 30, 2018

      Hi Lin,I hope this helps


    • Caroline Meadows

      Caroline Meadows

      Jan 27, 2018

      Thank you for organising this Linda. So important to remember ordinary folk who lost their lives.


    • Paul Burgess

      Paul Burgess

      Jan 24, 2018


    • Susan Goldman

      Susan Goldman

      Dec 30, 2017

      A very worthy cause and one that is close to my heart as I lost four Great Uncles in WW1, all of them just working men from East London.


    • Edmund Rich

      Edmund Rich

      Dec 8, 2017

      Linda - inspiration idea to remember inspiration people and to add poignancy to beauty and community. Well done, Eddie


    • Sandra Smith

      Sandra Smith

      Dec 3, 2017

      A brilliant project Linda, our thanks to all these brave men who gave up their lives for our future freedom.


    • Nadjie Butler

      Nadjie Butler

      Dec 3, 2017

      You are an inspiration Linda. Sorry it’s not more.


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    Bethnal Green, London

    Local author and community activist working in collaboration with other volunteers and the Adam Atkinson the priest of St Peters' Church Bethnal Green.

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