Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Monday, 14 October 2013

Barnet War Memorial Initiative

I was very pleased to attend another meeting of the BWMI. We had some excellent discussions about a range of issues. First and foremost are the exciting developments at Hendon RAF museum, where they will be opening a new section on the air war in the first world war. There was a very interesting presentation, and they have planned and prepared for this exhibition a lot. It looks to be very exciting and I encourage all to go and see it.

We also looked at the situation with the John Parr memorial. John Parr was the first British casualty of the First World War, and he was a Finchley boy. Born on Litchfield Road in Finchley, he also lived on Bedford Road in East Finchley, before moving to Lodge Lane in North Finchley, where he lived at two addresses. We have been looking at placing a plaque for him at his old house, but have not met with much success. We are also looking at a notice board on the car park site. At the meeting, some interesting research was presented about his life, which was interesting however brief. It seems it took a long time for him to be identified as dead, as everyone around him seems to have been killed at the same time. His mother wrote several letters to the Ministry of War asking where he was, but they did not seem to know. His death was only confirmed by a friend of his who wrote to his mother telling her he had seem him die. It seems he was buried by the Germans. A tragic story, and an important one to remember as we COMMEMORATE (not celebrate) the centenary next year.

Cllr John Hart also gave an interesting update on the renovation of Mill Hill memorial, and the work done by Barratt Homes to help restore it.

We also heard about work with Harrow to produce a book of remembrance, for which I will be on the sub committee.