Unveiling a hero’s plaque
The first of the 2016 Islington People’s Plaque winners has been unveiled on 13 June 2017. The plaque commemorated PC Alfred Smith, a 37-year-old Metropolitan Police Constable from Finsbury who was killed during the first WWI daylight air raid on London, while saving the lives of over 150 women and children.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the day he died, a memorial service took place alongside the unveiling, led by Camden and Islington’s Superintendent Nicholas Davies and the Senior Chaplain of the Metropolitan Police Service, Jonathan Osborne.
PC Smith’s great nephew Robert Jeffries, himself a retired policeman, unveiled the plaque with his wife. Mr Jeffries has also loaned some family items to Islington Museum for a small exhibition, which includes more detail about the air raid, PC Smith and his personal life (he left behind a wife and three year-old son), and the subsequent rallying around them to support them after his death. The exhibition is running until early September.
The two other 2016 winners of Islington People’s Plaques – the Finsbury Park Empire music hall and film-maker/artist/LGBT campaigner Derek Jarman – will be unveiled later this year.