In July this year, Community Health Partnerships (CHP) were delighted to see the unveiling of the new war memorial at Finchley Memorial Hospital in North London.
The project which has been led and funded by Barnet War Memorials Association (BWMA) and support from CHP will see the memorial erected opposite the hospital entrance giving it prime prominence to staff, patients and visitors.
BWMA has long wished to see that the hospital is able to live up to its name, and this stunning tribute identifies those from the Finchley and Whetstone area who lost their lives in the two World Wars.
At the end of the Great War, what was previously known as Finchley Cottage Hospital was extended, and its name was changed to Finchley Memorial Hospital to honour those who had given their lives.
CHP provided support to BWMA and worked together to secure planning consent from Barnet Council, who approved the project in June 2020.
Through the work of BWMA, they identified 554 names of fallen soldiers with demonstrable local connections from the Second World War and 750 names from The Great War. With this information the BWMA worked to have these names displayed on the memorial as a poignant tribute.
One particularly touching story was of four brothers from Finchley who were killed in the Second World War. One of the brothers was awarded the Victoria Cross, yet, until now, their names were not recorded on any local war memorial. They are among all the local war dead now memorialised at the hospital.
MHC Russell DL, Chairman of Barnet War Memorials Association said:
“It is rare these days for a new war memorial to be constructed. Names may be added to existing memorials occasionally. But this fine plinth commemorates the sacrifice of more than a thousand from Finchley and Whetstone who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom in the two World Wars, and who are remembered in the name Finchley Memorial Hospital”.
Andy Christodoulou, Senior Area Property and Asset Manager at CHP said:
“CHP are extremely pleased to have been able to work and provide support to the BWMA to provide a home for the war memorial. The location, right by the main entrance gives it the prominence it deserves, and the many patients and visitors passing through the hospital grounds will now be able to see, and pay their respects to local Finchley residents who lost their lives in the first and second worlds wars.”
An official opening ceremony took place last week, with attendees from the Royal British Legion, The Bishop of London, and many staff and local patients to Finchley.
You can find out more about Barnet War Memorials Association and view further images here: http://www.barnetwarmemorials.org.uk/