Saturday, January 31, 2015

Memorial to Heroic Self-sacrifice, Postman's Park

London The Unfinished City
More than just a park.

Saturday January 31, 2015.

It was during a wet Saturday morning, in January, when I found this quiet little park. I had been enjoying a stroll from St Paul's Cathedral, through Paternoster Square and up to Greyfriars Church Garden, when I noticed a gate leading into a small park. So, I went in to see if there was anything of interest. And, boy, was there. 

The park appears, at first, to be simply a small patch of grass, surrounded by paving slabs and benches, with a few trees and bushes breaking up the space. As you move further into the park you notice a sundial and a small fountain. 

However, it is not until you enter the park proper that you notice a small, covered area, with ornate tiles affixed to a wall. The legend, written on the timber, says, "Commemoration of heroic self-sacrifice."

The tiles all commemorate local heroes who lost their lives while saving others.

Brief History

The park got its name from the many Postmen who used it during their breaks, from the nearby old General Post Office

In 1887, George Frederic Watts suggested the idea of a memorial park to commemorate the 'heroic men and women' who had given their lives in saving others. Eventually, in 1900, the Watts Gallery opened in Postman's Park.

Each of the glazed Doulton tablets, along the wall of the gallery, tells a story of heroism and contains the names and details of each tragedy, many of which concern children.

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