Memories and Memorials

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These are the recollections of ordinary people who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. The stories are mostly told in their own words. I started in 2008 with the recollections of my old friend Stan Mayes whose seagoing career began on Thames sailing barges. Sadly he has now crossed the bar but his memory lives on.

Many such stories have been lost because they were never written down, or were thrown out by people not understanding their interest and significance. I am often contacted by people tracing their family history who regret not asking their relatives about their experiences - especially what part they played in WW2. If you have a story about your relative that would be of interest, please contact me and I will be pleased to add it to the collection.

Tower Hill

Tower Hill has been an important place throughout Britain's recorded history. In Roman times it lay within the walls of Londinium, William the Conqueror built the Tower of London nearby, and it is known to have been used as a place of punishment and execution from at least the 14th Century.

By 1797 Tower Hill had become a dumping ground, but an Act of Parliament was passed to transform the area and lay out Trinity Square Gardens - initially open just to residents and 'subscribers'.

Trinity Square Gardens is nowadays best known to members of the Merchant Navy. At the end of WW1 it was chosen as the location for a war memorial to Merchant Seamen "With no grave but the sea". A further memorial was added after WW2, and yet another after the Falklands Islands Campaign. There is also a memorial to those who were executed there.

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