When the new war memorial – which I love – was unveiled at Islington Green, once of the criticisms made was that it did not have the names of the war dead.
This was despite the fact that the previous war memorial had not had names, and neither do many others, notably the Cenotaph. It’s also very difficult to maintain names on war memorials at a time when, sadly, our troops are still being killed every week.
Islington’s innovative solution is to have a living Book of Remembrance, and research is well underway.
According to John Shepherd, who is working on compiling the Book of Remembrance, “this will have the names and as much detail as possible about every individual born or who lived in the Borough, civilian and servicemen/women, who lost their lives as a result of warfare during the 20th century. To date we have compiled details for 10,000 individuals as well as many thousands of their close relatives (as next-of-kin, parents, spouses and siblings). The modern Borough of Islington comprises districts such as Islington itself, Finsbury, Canonbury, Barnsbury, Highbury, St. Luke’s, Clerkenwell, Holloway and parts of Highgate, Tufnell Park and Finsbury Park.”
He adds: “If you believe you have information about a family member who came from what is now Islington or who lived there at the time of their death, through conflict (Second Boer War, WW1, WW2 or any other 20th century conflict, civilian or military), I would be most grateful to hear from you. Our aim is to try to embellish the biographies of each person with additional detail – especially media such as images. Reminiscences would also be extremely welcome. The aim is for the Book of Remembrance to go live later this year.”