Join St Mary Magdalen’s church and BermondseyStreet.London for a short ceremony at the Albert McKenzie VC Memorial at the junction of Bermondsey Street and Tower Bridge Road at 5 pm on Sunday 11 November.
The ceremony at the Albert McKenzie VC Memorial will include a procession of pupils from Boutcher School holding lanterns decorated with the names of fallen soldiers. At 5 pm as the names of the dead are read out, the lanterns will be extinguished. Music, poetry and other words will be said.
Breathing Life into Bermondsey’s Great War Sacrifices
The procession is part of a lottery-funded project undertaken by Bermondsey’s St Mary Magdalen’s church with Boutcher School. Year 6 pupils have researched the lives of 31 of the 400 plus local men who died in World War One. The pupils have looked at the living conditions in Bermondsey at the start of the 20th Century as well as what happened to the men during the War. The procession on Sunday 11th November will form part of the final video that will be shared with schools and placed in digitised resources on St Mary’s website and deposited in the local archive and shown in Kino the local independent cinema.
After the ceremony at the Memorial, all are invited to St Mary Magdalen’s church for free tea, coffee, wine, soft drinks and biscuits hosted by BermondseyStreet.London.
Bermondsey’s Brave Boys
Bermondsey boy Albert Mckenzie was awarded the Victoria Cross after volunteering for a raid on Zeebrugge in 1918 aimed at preventing German U-boats leaving port by blocking the entrance. For more information on Albert and the raid see Albert McKenzie VC and the Raid on Zeebrugge 1918.
Four years earlier, Bermondsey-born Fred Holmes was one of the first soldiers to receive the Victoria Cross (VC) in the First World War. He was awarded the VC for two acts of bravery on 26 August 1914 during the Battle of Le Cateau just weeks after the start of the war.
‘Bermondsey’s Own VC’, Fred Holmes, is honoured with a commemorative paving stone marking his birthplace on Abbey Street outside what is now the Bermondsey Square Hotel.
Bermondsey Square Community Fund
The Bermondsey Square Community is pleased to have been able to support the restoration of the Albert Mckenzie Memorial and the ceremony to mark the unveiling of the commemorative paving stone for Fred Holmes.
Find out more about the Community Fund and how to apply.