Published: 11 May, 2012
• IN recent weeks, the Tribune has reported various views about our proposal to add the word “memorial” to the name of Islington Green, and I wanted to put the record straight about this issue.
First, Islington Veterans’ Association wants to make sure that the sacrifice of servicemen and women, and civilians from this borough, is remembered and not forgotten.
It is through their sacrifice that we all enjoy our cherished freedoms.
The War Memorial is the principal place of remembrance, and it is import ant that everyone understands what the memorial stands for.
But not everyone does appreciate the importance of this site, and so adding the word “memorial” is crucial in raising awareness.
Second, Islington Green is a wonderful place for recreation and relaxation, but to make this work, alongside its significance as a site of remembrance, everyone who uses the Green should respect the importance of the War Memorial.
Sadly, many veterans have witnessed instances where the memorial has been treated with disrespect.
I am sure that in most instances, this is not done consciously, but is merely a consequence of the lack of awareness of what the site represents.
Finally, we appreciate all points of view about this subject, but we are also aware that after World War I, local men and women consciously chose Islington Green as the site to remember all those who died in that awful conflict.
Furthermore, in World War II, this borough, and sites close to the Green, felt first-hand the horror of war, and therefore we believe it is right and fitting, in the name of all those who died for our freedoms, to make this small gesture.
Chair, Islington Veterans’ Association
• MY grandfather was in the trenches of World War I. My father skippered a mine-sweeper in World War II – his ship captured a German U-boat and cleared the North Sea of many mines, helping to defend us from the terrors of Hitler’s Nazi regime. I honour them and want their sacrifice to be remembered.
There is a beautiful War Memorial sculpture on Islington Green.
There are other moving war memorials at our other open spaces – Highbury Fields or Spa Green at Sadlers Wells, for example. Should they all be renamed?
Islington Green was in existence centuries before either of those terrible wars, and it would be misleading to rename it Islington Memorial Green, implying that the Green was created to commemorate either of them, which it was not. I very much hope that will never happen.
Islington resident since 1960
• AMID the continuing furore (judging from the letters in the Tribune) over the name change to Islington Green may I assume, or otherwise suggest, that it is merely to the public open space, which might thus be called “Islington Green Memorial Gardens”.
The surrounding street, Islington Green, need not, and should not, change its name, thus avoiding any requirement to install new street name plates, amend maps or for premises to change their addresses.
The only new sign could therefore just be something for the public open space itself.
In any event, the historic street sign high up on the wall of the Slug and Lettuce should stay.
Arguably, this is part of the listed building, and should not be removed without prior listed building consent. The council has a policy (in the Street Book) to retain historic street signs.
Former conservation officer, Islington Council