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Detailed history of the World War 1 Memorial
Compiled and Copyright © Martin Edwards - 2014

The Islington War Memorial stands at 3 Manor Gardens, Islington, Greater London, N19 4DD.

In 1919 the Islington Borough Council were at this time considering how best to provide a worthy memorial to those men and women of Islington who had lost their lives in the war. At a public meeting held at the Town Hall, Islington, it was decided that the extension of the hospital should be their special concern and an Islington War Memorial Fund was opened for this purpose. The hope was to build a Casualty Department and new Entrance Archway, where the names of all Islingtonians who fell in the War would be inscribed. Sir Aston Webb, President of the Royal Academy, undertook to assess competitive designs to be submitted by four selected architects.

The Foundation Stone of the new Casualty Department was laid by Lady Patricia Ramsay one brilliantly sunny July afternoon in 1923. Work on the building went ahead so rapidly that itb was ready to be opened before the year was out. The total cost of the building and equipment was nearly £16,000 of which £12,000 had already been subscribed to the Mayor of Islington's War Memorial Fund. In addition to casualty rooms, waiting-room and operating theatre, a Memorial Archway was designed upon which were inscribed the names of 1,337 Islingtonians who lost their lives in the First World War. This archway became the entrance for patients to all departments of the hospital.

On 27th November 1923 the Prince of Wales came to open the new building and unveiled the names on the memorial archway.

The memorial is a Grade II listed building and was designed by Percy Adams FRIBA. It is built in red brick with Portland stone dressings. The arch, and window over, is all that survive of the casualty department of the Royal Northern Hospital. The inscribed foundation and dedication stones at plinth level are set behind rounded granite bollards. The segmental archway is surrounded by rusticated quoins: above is a 16/9-pane sash window set within an aedicular surround with a console hood over, while the cast iron balcony is flanked by palm-enriched volutes. Behind the iron gates, on either side of the archway, are inscribed Portland stone walls bearing the names of the borough's 1,337 war dead. On each side is the inscription 'TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE ISLINGTONIANS WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919'. A separate plaque reads: 'RNH / BOROUGH OF ISLINGTON WAR MEMORIAL / This Building was erected by Public Subscription raised in the Borough of Islington to commemorate the Supreme Sacrifice made by those who fell in the Great War and the brave deeds of those who were spared. / 1914-1919'.

During WW1 the Hospital became a section of the Second London General Hospital, with 206 beds for wounded and sick servicemen. Despite being bombed during World War II the hospital kept its doors open and in 1948 joined the newly founded NHS. In 1963 it merged with nearby Whittington Hospital. The hospital was closed in 1992, and the site redeveloped by Bellway Homes: the arch was retained as a memorial to the dead of the borough.

[Details extracted from "The Royal Northern Hospital 1856-1956" by Eric C. O. Jewesbury and British Listed Buildings ]

No photographs at present

No names transcribed - volunteer required

Last updated 1 March, 2018

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