WW1 MEMORIAL - WEST GREEN

TOTTENHAM'S FORGOTTEN MEMORIAL

ORIGINAL CAMPAIGN:

The campaign to dedicate a memorial to the many men from West Green was led by the Revd. Thomas W Oswald-Hicks from nearby Linden Road, West Green in 1920. Sadly he had lost his own son Harley L A Oswald-Hicks in April 1918 aged 27 years. He had served in the Middlesex Regiment and his name will be found on the memorial.

Local residents at that time were asked to submit names of their loved ones for inclusion on the memorial and these names were published in the local newspaper over a period of 6 weeks.

The memorial was totally funded by donations made by local residents and small businesses plus special concerts held at nearby Downhills School.  (Acts included the: Orange Pips – Yorkshire Lads and a living Marionette display that were among many local entertainers).

The local newspaper also reported on the many subscriptions made towards the memorial fund and included sums of 1/-  2/6p and young children donating part of the pocket money with sums of 6d. It helps illustrate just how proud the people of West Green were of their brave heroes.

 

Sadly for many years the memorial had fallen into a state of disrepair and Remembrance Day services had not been held at the memorial for many years.

Thanks to a strong campaign by 'The Friends of Downhills Park' and my late brother, Ray Swain, we are pleased to say the memorial was fully restored in time for the Armistice Centenary commemorations held on Sunday 11th November 2018.

A large crowd had gathered for the formal opening of the restored memorial which was led by Cllr. Sheila Peacock, the Deputy Mayor of Haringey. Also in attendance were Cllr. Barbara Blake and Deborah McGhee from Haringey Council who had been Project Manager for the memorial restoration.
The above photographs illustrate how well the memorial has been restored. The grime and lichen from the past century had been removed and the lead lettering has been replaced thus making it much easier to read and identify the names of the many victims. 

 

THE ABOVE PHOTOGRAPHS ILLUSTRATE HOW WELL THE FOUR MAIN PANELS ON THE MEMORIAL HAVE BEEN RESTORED

 

LAYING OF WREATHS
11th NOVEMBER 2018

 The 'Exhortation'  and Two Minutes Silence was conducted by Neil Pearce who represented the 'Western Front Association' and laid a wreath on their behalf. Neil's Great Uncle, Thomas Pearce, is also commemorated on the memorial.

The Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Sheila Peacock, and Cllr. Barbara Blake laid a wreath on behalf of Haringey Council, followed by Alan Swain who laid a wreath on behalf of his late brother, Ray Swain, and who was accompanied by two of Ray's nieces, Carolyn Hynard and Julie Calvert.

 

There followed a short presentation by Alan Swain on the history of the West Green Memorial and an explanation of the methods used to research the 460+ men who are named on the memorial and to bring home the close proximity to the memorial where most of these men had once lived. There are many examples where more than one brother had died and also how many men where once close neighbours to each other.

This was followed by short speech by Stephen Whittle from 'The Friends of Downhills Park'  on how the campaign to get the memorial restored had begun and the significant role that Ray Swain had played in these proceedings. Ray had worked tirelessly for over 4 years to seek the necessary funding and support and sadly his untimely death meant he had never seen the results of his efforts reach fruition.
             

 

I COUNTED THEM ALL OUT !

Few people assembled would have known that the well-known BBC War Correspondent, Brian Hanrahan, was born just ˝ mile up the road at 436 West Green Road (just beyond Carlingford Road.) He attended Belmont Junior school and St. Ignatius College.

As many people would know this is very close to Linden Road, where the Revd. Thomas Oswald-Hicks and his family once lived.

Brian Hanrahan, when reporting on aircraft leaving an Aircraft Carrier during the Falklands War, had famously said  he had counted them all out and had counted them back in !

Symbolically, in terms of the names on the memorial, it was the Revd. Thomas Oswald–Hicks who counted them all out back in 1922 and Ray Swain who, through his tenacity to right an injustice, has counted them all back in so they are no longer forgotten by history !

To conclude the ceremony, Alan Swain placed two crosses on the memorial on behalf of these two men from West Green who cared so passionately about these WW1 soldiers of war.

May their bodies continue to rest in peace while their souls go marching on !

 

Article prepared by Alan Swain.
Decemmber 2018

We acknowledge the use of some photographs presented by the Tottenham Civic Society,

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