Commemorating the start of the First World War in Islington

The centenary of the First World War is being commemorated across the UK from 2014 to 2018. More than one million people lost their lives from Britain and the Commonwealth during the First World War and over 9,000 of these were linked to Islington.

There are a number of exhibitions and events around the borough to commemorate the First World War, remembering those who served on the front line, as well as exploring everyday life in the borough between 1914 and 1918.

The Streets They Left Behind: Finsbury and Islington 1914-18

‘The Streets They Left Behind’  is a very moving project by Islington Heritage Service. Plaques are being installed on streets around Islington to remember all those who died from each respective street.

The project is  available online and draws upon the database created for the Islington Book of Remembrance, which accumulated the names for all casualties of conflict (military and civilian) from the 20th century up to the 1950s and gathers memories about these people, such as images of them and their families.

On Armistice Day, we launched the next stage of the project – an interactive map which uses a poppy to mark where each person who fell in the First World War lived in Islington. For me, seeing the sea of poppies across our borough is incredibly moving. It reminds us that the loss of these men and women shattered families, communities and workplaces. We hope that the map will be useful for schools and other groups seeking to learn about the impact the First World War had on Islington.

There is also a special exhibition ‘Islington during the First World War’  on at Central Library running from 11 November – 27 November 2014.

‘Islington during the First World War’ documents the events that took place in the borough during the four-year conflict and tells the story of how residents experienced life on the home front.

Location: First floor gallery, Islington Central Library, 2 Fieldway Crescent, London N5 1PF.
Opening times: Mon, Wed & Thur 9.30am-8pm, Tues, Fri & Sat 9.30am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Local Councillors, Members of Parliament, London Assembly members and Members of the European Parliament attend Remembrance Sunday services last weekend, including multi-faith services at the war memorials at Islington Green, Spa Green and Manor Gardens. Remembrance Sunday is one of the most important civic events of the year and this year was particularly special. Thank you to everyone who took part and particularly to Islington Veteran’s Association and the Council’s Armed Forces Champion Cllr Gary Poole.

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