This post starts with a shout-out to my fellow student Ulrika on the Westminster guiding course 2018/19 for sharing the most vivid database A Street Near You – www.astreetnearyou.org.
In this the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, A Street Near You serves as a powerful reminder of the scale of the carnage.
Enter your postcode or address into the search box at astreetnearyou.org and an annotated map of your neighbourhood appears. The family homes of those killed in the conflict are marked. Lots of them.
On the street where I live in East Finchley seven young men perished.
Seven family stories were changed forever.
In a street that is barely 400 yards long.
Two years ago in our little street, the neighbours organised a street party. A splendid affair it was, too. They had been inspired by a photo from the early 1900’s showing the children gathered together. Our own 21st Century children recreated the pic for the local paper.
Here’s the original…
In their caps and bonnets, they seem to be in their Sunday best. I’m always drawn to the little boy on the left of the main group, standing slightly apart. Looks like he doesn’t want to get too close to the yucky girls. In the centre of the main group the young chap in the cap strikes an attitudinous figure, hand on hip, mouth open. Is he shouting out orders? To the right of him, at the back of the group also in a cap, head cocked slightly, this fellow seems to be suspicious of the whole affair.
I wonder now, having looked at A Street Near You if any of those three children lived to see Christmas 1918?
Thanks to James Morley for putting the site together. It is an amazing piece of work. If you would like to donate to the upkeep of A Street Near You visit www.onastreetnearyou.org or go directly to Mr Morley’s PayPal link HERE.
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