Commemorations of the WW2 V2 rocket attack of Sunday, 5 November 1944

  • 04
  • Aug

Islington Council are holding two special events between 3-5pm on Friday 23 July to unveil an Islington Memorial Plaque commemorating a tragic loss of civilian life in the north London borough during the Second World War, followed by the unveiling of a statue in the Noel-Baker Peace Garden in Elthorne Park.

WW2 V2 rocket plaque 

Just over seventy-six years ago, at around 5pm on Sunday 5 November 1944, a V2 rocket was launched from its site in the Hague, Netherlands – its target was London.  At 5.13pm it exploded at the junction of Boothby, Giesbach and Grovedale Roads in Archway; residents from adjacent St John’s Way also suffered in the attack.

This was the first enemy long-range V2 rocket to hit Islington. Over 250 people were casualties of this wartime strike, which included 35 deaths and 219 suffering from injuries. The oldest person to die in the explosion was aged 92 years and the youngest was just five months old. Many houses were also destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

‘Upon Reflection’ by Kevin Atherton

Opened to the public in 1984, the Noel Baker Peace Garden in Elthorne Park, Islington, was created by landscape designer Steve Adams and named in honour of Philip Noel-Baker (1889-1982), winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959 and advocate for nuclear disarmament.

In 1985 General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Bruce Kent, unveiled the statue titled ‘Upon Reflection’, by artist Kevin Atherton. The statue is a self-portrait of the artist in contemplation. In the intervening years the statue was unseated from its plinth overlooking the pond, now in 2021 the statue has been re-installed to its former glory.

The event will include the unveiling of the plaque at 3pm at the junction of Boothby, Giesbach and Grovedale Roads in Archway, followed by the unveiling of the statue at 4pm at the Noel Baker Peace Garden, Elthorne Park.

There will be a small family festival with drama storytelling and craft for children in the garden and a walking tour ‘Celebrating Archway’s Peace Garden at Elthorne Park’, book here for the walk: Walking Tour-Celebrating Archway’s Peace Garden at Elthorne Park Tickets, Fri 23 Jul 2021 at 16:00 | Eventbrite


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