Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Mayor Bruce Dowling addresses the meeting while Emily Johns listens.

Event remembers all victims of war

On 8 November the Peace Garden in Alexandra Park provided the setting for a service remembering all victims of war. John Enefer of Hastings Against War describes the occasion.

Mayor Bruce Dowling opened the event, which was attended by about 30 people, stating that, “Peace is the only way in this world.” He urged those present to communicate with others to “explain the way you feel about people being killed without necessity.” Mayor Dowling is part of the international Mayors for Peace network, a movement initiated by the Mayor of Hiroshima in 1982 and aimed at advancing a global culture of peace .

The Las Pasionarias singers gave a spirited rendering of songs themed on war, including the classic Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye and All the Fine Young Men.

A little-known victim of the First World War, Alice Wheeldon, was the subject of a talk by local artist and co-editor of Peace News Emily Johns. Wheeldon was an ardent opponent of the war and her home became a safe house for young men resisting war service. She paid a heavy price for her commitment when she was imprisoned on the unlikely charge of plotting to kill the then prime minister Lloyd George by means of a poison dart.  The case bears all the hallmarks of a frame-up and some of Wheeldon’s descendants are still working to clear her name nearly a century after she was incarcerated.

The event ended with the laying of a wreath of white poppies at the war memorial in Alexandra Park. It was organised by Hastings Against War, a peace group which meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the Friends Meeting House in South Terrace, Hastings.


Hastings Against War website and Facebook page.

Posted 10:14 Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 In: Home Ground

Also in: Home Ground

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