WW1 MEMORIAL - WEST GREEN
TOTTENHAM'S FORGOTTEN MEMORIAL
|The war memorial on the West Green, which stands at the
junction of West Green Road and Philip Lane, has been there for over 90 years and pays
homage to the young men of this particular corner of Tottenham who gave their lives in the
Great War 1914-18.
Sadly over recent years the memorial appears to have been forgotten by the burghers of Tottenham and has fallen into a state of disrepair. At one time there were regular ceremonies on Remembrance Day but these have not taken place for several years and now there are rarely any poppies laid upon the memorial.
We therefore decided to conduct a little research on the origins of the memorial and hopefully to raise more awareness of its significance to the area and campaign for its restoration.
|Pictured below are just a few sections of the memorial that show some of the victims names. There are over 420 names on the memorial so we decided to select just a few names at random to research and to provide an insight to the backgrounds of these young man and where they and their extended familys once resided in Tottenham.|
coincidence one of the first names we selected was that of OSWALD-HICKS H.L.A purely
because it was an unusual name and would hopefully be easy to research. We first
discovered that his full name was Harley Lionel Adrian OswaldHicks and he was the
son of the Revd Thomas Oswald Hicks of Linden Road, West Green. However our subsequent
enquiries disclosed that it was his father who had launched the campaign to construct a
lasting memorial to the sons of West Green which was eventually dedicated on Sunday 16TH
It was also poignant to discover that much of the monies that were collected towards the cost of the memorial were donated by the local residents of West Green. The amounts were often quite small but, at a time when the population were recovering from the aftermath of the war and suffering both emotional and financial hardships of their own, it was very moving to see how the residents rallied around to remember their loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice to King and Country.
EXTRACT FROM TOTTENHAM HERALD
|The concluding portion of the speech was made in a heavy downpour of rain and, after Lady Horne had handed a handsome wreath to his Lordship, who placed it as the base, the Rev. T.W Oswald-Hicks formally requested Major P.B Malone M.P to accept the custody of the memorial on behalf of the District Council. This the Major did, and the proceedings hurriedly terminated. The buglers sounding the Last Post and the Reveille, the general saluting the memorial on his departure.|
There follows just a few examples of our research on the local men of West
Green whose names appear on the memorial. It was noticeable that the majority of these men
had once lived within a radius of One Mile from the location of the memorial which is a
testament to the large loss of lives suffered in the community.
DIED: 12th April 1918 age 27
ADDRESS: 9 Linden Road West Green
Clerk to Embroidery Agent-Importer
Harley was the son of the Revd T.W Oswald-Hicks and Mrs
M.A Oswald-Hicks. He was born at St Johns, Hackney in 1891.
It was the Revd Oswald-Hicks who launched the campaign for a memorial to be erected in West Green not only for his own son but also for the many other local victims of the Great War.
At the 1911 Census Thomas William Oswald-Hicks was a Surveyor and
Estate & Business Agent with his own business. Clearly he took up his ministry as a
Vicar in the intervening period.
WEST GREEN MEMORIAL - RESEARCH UPDATE - AUGUST 2016
We have now completed research for approx. 400 of the men named on the memorial. This has proved difficult at times and we have encountered many brick-walls that have hampered our search. Nevertheless it reaffirms that the vast majority of the men had lived within a one mile radius of the memorial. Here is a summary and sample facts uncovered during our research:
We have retained copies of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) citations for the men who we have researched along with Census reports and other data that has been pertinent to our research. Copies of these records are obtainable on request.
|We have researched randomly the profiles of a further 26 men whose names appear on the memorial and hopefully this should provide a background of their social and family history: CLICK HERE to view the complete list.|
|HARRY BEDFORD||ARTHUR BETHELL||CHARLES BETHELL||ERNEST BETHELL|
|HERBERT BETHELL||FREDK BINDOFF||CHARLES BUNTING||FRANK CHESHIRE|
|GEORGE CLARKE||CHARLES FAULTLESS||JOHN FROST||WILLIAM KILLINGBACK|
|GEORGE LOVEDAY||DONALD McCASKILL||JACK WARD||EXTRA NAMES ADDED|
|THOMAS PEARCE||GEORGE SELLIER||ALBERT HENLEY||FRANK HENLEY|
|GEORGE HENLEY||ALBERT DANIELS||FREDERICK NOAH||SYDNEY ELPHICK SANDERS|
|CHARLES EDWARD GERRIE||ELLIS SIBLEY GILL||BERTIE JAMES GILL (Survived)|
explained, this brief social history of just a few of the victims selected randomly from
the many names on the memorial, merely scratches the surface of the suffering and
hardships experienced by these families of West Green.
My brother, Ray Swain has recently written to the West Green Residents Association to seek their support for the restoration and future upkeep of the memorial. In his letter he makes the following request which hopefully captures the feelings of many of todays residents of the area.
I would like to form a Memorial Trust where money could be held in trust to purchase Poppy Wreaths each year to be laid on the West Green Memorial along with the Lordship Recreation Ground Memorial and the Civilian War Memorial in Tottenham cemetery where some West Green resident are buried in a mass grave. I fear that as the years go by no one will care about remembering these poor souls. Furthermore, many of the civilian private graves in Tottenham cemetery are also neglected due to the fact their relatives no longer live in the area. The outcome is that these people are largely forgotten which is very sad as whole families were killed with no one left to pay for a grave, hence the mass grave in the cemetery. I only hope that we can do enough to make people realise that something has to be done now, as we are most probably the last generation to recognise and care about the sacrifices they made and thus ensure that they will always be remembered
There has also been a similar appeal by the Friends of Downhills Park who are also concerned about the forgotten memorial in West Green.
Article prepared by Alan Swain.
Updated August 2016 to provide research results