Welcome to the Local Heroes website!
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Memorial Community Church is a local landmark in Plaistow, in east London. At the very top of one of its two towers is a chime of ten bells that were installed in 1925 to remember those who died serving in the First World War. The names of 197 local men are cast into the bells.
There are also the names of three men connected with the church, and that of of Prince Maurice of Battenberg, the only member of the royal family to die in the Great War. One bell is dedicated to the Unknown Warrior.
This makes it a unique war memorial: as far as we know this is the largest number of names to be cast into a set of bells anywhere in the UK…. possibly the world!
In the summer of 2011 the bells and the mechanism that plays them were cleaned and restored to their former glory. At the same time local people have been working to identify the men commemorated on the bells and learn more about their stories so they won’t be forgotten. These young men came from the streets where you might live now, and went to school where you may study now. they are our Local Heroes, and you can read what we have learned so far on this website.
But most of the stories are far from complete – you can see there are very few photographs of the Local Heroes – and some of the names are not yet identified at all. So we would love to hear from you if you have any additional information or photographs about these men, or if one of these men is part of your family history.