A memorial to local victims of the Blitz at Abney Park has been restored to its former glory ahead of the 80th anniversary of the Coronation Avenue bombing in Stoke Newington – one of the worst civilian tragedies of the Second World War.
Abney Park Trust, gatekeeper of the historic woodland cemetery, organised the restoration of the Grade II-listed memorial thanks to a donation from local charity TimeLine.
The stone monument, which stands just 50 metres or so from the cemetery’s Church Street entrance, lists the names of people who lost their lives in the borough during the Blitz.
These include victims of the bombing of Coronation Avenue – a block of social housing that was hit by a parachute mine on 13 October 1940, causing the building to collapse into the communal shelter beneath, which leading to a huge loss of life.
The monument, installed in 1948, is inscribed with the words: “Death is but crossing the world as friends do the seas. They live on in one another still.”
It has now been fully cleaned by a specialist company, which used water and soft bristle brushes to prevent abrasion and to avoid using biocides. Preserving Hackney’s shared memories The restoration of monuments like these across the Park is a key part of the Abney Park Trust’s mission.
Tom Walker, chair of the Abney Park Trust, said: “The Civilian War Memorial is an important commemoration of the dark history of the Second World War.
“As the inscription on the memorial notes, the memory of Stoke Newington’s war dead lives on in the world – and the Abney Park Trust will carry on working to preserve and protect this area’s shared past.”
Abney Park Trust will lead an online community memorial event tomorrow to remember those killed in the Coronation Avenue bombing.
Loved ones of some of the victims of the bombing will speak, along with Alan Gartrell, a local historian and a regular at the Abney Park Trust events.
Guests will also hear from Rabbi Herschel Gluck, a prominent community figure in Stamford Hill. A significant number of Jewish people, many of whom came to London to escape persecution in Germany, were sadly killed in the Coronation Avenue bombing.
The event will be introduced by Stoke Newington councillor Susan Fajana-Thomas, who serves as an Abney Park trustee.
She said: “I am pleased to see the Stoke Newington Civilian War Memorial cleaned ahead of the anniversary of the horrific Coronation Avenue bombing.
“The memorial is a significant and fitting tribute to those from all walks of life who died during the Blitz. We are proud to have this memorial here in Abney Park.”
To find out more about the online event, and to sign up, please visit bit.ly/ StokeNewingtonMemorial