As always Mum has been a saint and been a busy bee organising a talk at St James Church, Muswell Hill in honour of the World War 1 centenary.
Ooangh Gay, a local guide of Crouch End / Hornsey walks was lined up to give a talk about the impact and history of World War 1 on the local haringey community. We also happen to play tennis with Oonagh so it was extra special having someone we knew up there speaking so well.
There was an incredible attendance at the church and everyone settled down to hear about some tough times from 100 years back and also some amusing ones such as Julian the Tank (a genius marketing tool).
The old pictures were very poignant as you can see how the buildings which are still standing today were used back then. One of the main focuses was Alexandra Palace which was first used for Belgian refugees. Then it was turned into a German and Austrian internment camp, with very harsh rules on who was sent there with the slightest German or Austrian heritage. Many of them had left Germany as children and spoke no German at all, some even were born in England. It was their passports that made them ‘enemy aliens’.
It was a very interesting talk and I came out knowing more about the War itself and many details into the stories of local Hornsey heroes. It was off home to get ready to light the candle like so many others across London in memory of WW1 and 100 years since Herbert Asquith declared Britain had entered the war.
Oonagh Gay has a series of guided walks coming up around the Crouch End area and would highly recommend if you’re a local you get in touch for more information on how to get involved.