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Postman's Park

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Under a covered gallery in Postman's Park, Little Britain - is a memorial. Erected to the Postman's Park, Clerkenwell, London. The Memorial can be seen in the central backgroundmemory of heroic deeds which ended in fatality. George Watts, a respected painter of the late Victorian era, attempted to garner support through The Times newspaper and many other initiatives, but received little interest. Undeterred, he championed the project over a period of 34 years, completing the memorial just four years before his death.

Postman's Park is so-named, because the site of the central sorting office of the GPO (General Post Office) bordered the former graveyard, and with open spaces within the square mile (City of London) being at a premium, the small patch of greenery was a popular place for local post office workers to unwind. Postman's Park is walled and against one of these walls, under a loggia, are the memorial plaques. The inscriptions are printed on Doulton tablets, with each describing some act that resulted in the person's death. The language employed is succinct, owing partly to the restrictions of space - but also manages to convey in its spare prose, how selflessly they acted.  


The transcriptions of two of the plaques - (with 8 tablets each)


First Plaque:

Top Panel 1

Sarah Smith - Pantomime Artiste - at Prince's Theatre.
Died of terrible injuries received when attempting in her inflammable dress to extinguish the flames which had enveloped her companion. January 24 1863

Top Panel 2
Robert Wright - Police Constable - of Croydon
Entered a burning house to save a woman knowing that there was petroleum stored in the cellar - an explosion tookThe Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice in Postman's Park, London. With a group of visitors reading the plaques place and he was killed. April 30 1893

Top Panel 3
Henry James Bristow - Aged 8 - at Walthamstow
On December 30 1890 - saved his little sister's life by tearing off her flaming clothes, but caught fire himself and died of burns and shock.

Top Panel 4
Joseph William Onslow - Lighterman
Who was drowned at Wapping on May 5 1885 - in trying to save a boy's life.

Bottom Panel 1
Arthur Regelous - Carman ("Little Peter")  - aged 25 who with Alice Maud Denman - aged 27, died in trying to save her children from a burning house in Bethnal Green. April 20 1902

Bottom Panel 2
Arthur Strange - Carman of London - and Mark Tomlinson on a desperate venture to save two girls from quicksand in Lincolnshire were themselves engulfed. Aug 25 1902

Bottom Panel 3
John Slade - Private, 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers - of Stepney
When his house caught fire, saved one man and dashing upstairs to rouse others - lost his life. Dec 26 1902

Bottom Panel 4
Daniel Pemberton - Aged 61 - Foreman L.S.W.R.
Surprised by a train when gauging the line, hurled his mate out of the track saving his life - at the cost of his own. Jan 17 1903.

Second Plaque:

Top Panel 1
Alice Ayres - Daughter of a Bricklayer's LabourerOne of the memorial plaques in Postman's Park - showing the Royal Doulton tablets which cost around £300 each in today's money, when produced
Who by intrepid conduct saved 3 children from a burning house in Union Street, Borough - at the cost of her own young life. April 24 1885

Top Panel 2
John Cranmer - Cambridge - Aged 23
A clerk in the London County Council who was drowned near Ostend whilst saving the life of a stranger and a foreigner. August 8 1901

Top Panel 3
G. Garnish - A young Clergyman
Who lost his life in endeavouring to rescue a stranger from drowning at Putney - January 7 1885

Top Panel 4
John Clinton - aged 10
Who was drowned near London Bridge in trying to save a companion younger than himself - July 16 1894



 

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