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Said Bhasker Ghorpade, a barrister who is spearheading the effort: And we hope Savarkar's Hindu politics does not distort the picture - not in London.
It was here that Indian leaders were trained in the values of democracy and liberty. Taking the initiative for the recognition of these leaders was a group of expatriates called the Tagoreans. The management of the Inner Temple thought the event could mark the Nehru birth centenary year. The gesture seemed to signal a slow change in the colonial attitudes that still characterise the English.
There are far too many... it's nonsense, says blue plaque chief Mike Read
After all, Gandhi's not one of us'. But because of the passage of time, there has been a change of heart. We've begun to realise that we have a lot to be ashamed of. Tilak plaque Quite apart from the recognition that plaques and such honours bestow on the patriots of the Indian struggle, there has been a strong underlying motive of equality that has impelled London-based Indians to make such moves.
In That cherite Britain the fast train to prosperity is leaving an increasing number of immigrants - Asians, Africans and Caribbeans - desperately stuck in manholes of poverty. In what one opposition leader has called Britain's 'Loadsa-money', race riots are no longer the order of the day.
Porsches, cell phones and filo faxes are the symbols that rule the country. And for the coloured, pride comes in the shape of symbols - like Gandhi, Tilak, Nehru, Savarkar and Mandela.
It is very important for future generations of immigrants to have a feel of Indian history. There is already a statue of Gandhi in the heart of London.
And moves are afoot to mark the Nehru centenary year with seminars, exhibitions and a gala dinner. Also being considered is the erection of a Nehru statue at Westminster - an event that would be unprecedented. In October it was announced in The Times newspaper that the committee had decided also to issue a commemorative scroll to the next of kin in addition to the bronze plaque.
The scroll would be printed on high quality paper, size 11 x 7 inches 27cm x 17cm. By January the wording on the scroll was being discussed.
The committee found the choice of words very difficult and asked for advice from numerous well-known writers. Among those approached for suggestions was Rudyard Kipling, whose only son John was missing in action, believed killed, at the Battle of Loos in late September However, even with this help the committee couldn't make a decision on the words.
With a few changes the Provost's text was accepted by the committee. The accepted wording agreed by the committee was: Let those who come after see to it that his name be not forgotten.
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On 20th March the results of the competition were announced in The Times newspaper. This was the day before the German Army launched a massive surprise attack on several miles of the British Front on the Somme battlefield in France.
By the end of the following day, 21st there were several thousand more British casualties caused by this attack, whose names would be added to the list of those to be commemorated by this memorial plaque. The names of seven prize winning entries were announced, together with names for 19 highly commended entries.
All but one of the seven prize winning entries were circular in dedesign. The overall winning design was chosen from these two entries.
E Carter Preston was a painter, sculptor and medallist. One of the two dolphins in the design is seen near her left shoulder.
The winning design by Mr E Carter Preston was described and shown to the public in The Times newspaper three days later, on 23rd March The design incorporated the figure of Britannia. She is facing to her left and holding a laurel wreath in her left hand over the box where the commemorated serviceman's name was to be placed. In her right hand she is holding a trident. In representation of Britain's sea power there are two dolphins each facing Britannia on her left and right sides.
Detail of the lion on a Next of Kin Memorial Plaque.
Plaques of Gandhi, Patel, Tilak and Savarkar put up in London
A lion is standing in front of Britannia at her feet, also facing to the left with a menacing growl. A very small lion, with his head facing to the right can be seen underneath the larger lion's feet, biting into a winged creature representing the German Imperial eagle. Interestingly there was a response to the design from the zoo at Clifton, Bristol, whereby a letter was written to The Times to say that the lion was not very life-like, looked a bit feeble as it was too small in scale compared to Britannia.
The production of the plaque and scroll did not start until late in the autumn of because of problems with setting up the manufacture of the bronze plaques and the high quality printed scrolls. The supply of the metal and the paper were difficult to obtain in wartime. However, in the first month after the war was over the first plaques began to be produced in December at the Government's Memorial Plaque Factory in Acton at Church Road, London W3.
The space where the serviceman's name would normally appear instead carries the words: The plaques produced at Woolwich have a capital letter W with a line across the centre of the W, forming a W and an A for the Woolwich Arsenal, set inside a circle on the otherwise blank reverse of the plaque.
The finished cast of the plaque bears the letters E CR P near the lion's right paw, this being the initials of Mr E Carter Preston, the artist and designer of the plaque. Some plaques produced in the production process include a stamped batch number in front of the lion's rear left paw. The production of the memorial scrolls was begun from Januarybeing printed from a wood block by artists at the London County Council Central School of Arts and Crafts. Thomas was killed in action on the Somme battlefield in This form was called Army Form W.
On one side of the form there was the handwritten address of the next of kin to whom it had been sent, a prepaid printed return address and printed instructions on how to fold the form and seal it for its return. Also on this side of the form the following text was printed to the addressee: The declaration thereon should be signed in your own handwriting and the form should be returned to me when certified by a Minister or Magistrate.