Set in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral is a small park called Postman’s Park, it is the home of a very special Victorian memorial which was built in 1900 by George Frederic Watts, a famous Victorian artist who not only wanted to memorialise the heroic self-sacrifice of ordinary men, women and children who’d died performing selfless acts of bravery for others. But to also make sure that these people had a place of recognition and were not forgotten.
“A lot of these tragedies that Watts became, I think, it’s fair to say, obsessed with involved water. Canals, rivers, the River Thames of course, the sea, there seemed to be so many accidents often involving children and then somebody would jump in, try and save them and sadly of course as we know if you jump into a canal with all your clothes on, no matter how brave and strong you are, you’re not going to make it.
So an awful lot of these are double tragedies, the person who was trying to be saved dies but all too often the person trying to do the saving dies as well. So it’s really, really heart wrenching stuff. It’s a kind of an extreme version of heroism, almost actually more extreme than you might find in kind of military or imperial endeavours and I guess that that’s what Watts was trying to show, that there were feats of heroism, feats of extreme endurance and suffering that took place in Kentish Town that were just as extreme as anything you might encounter in the battle fields of that period…”
Nicholas Tromans, Curator, Watts Gallery - Artists’ Village
A newborn baby was found in my city’s cathedral yesterday evening. The boy is healthy and cared for but we know nothing about the mother and she hasn’t come forward yet (to my knowledge). Please pray for the baby and mother, as well as the maintenance worker and priest who found and watched him until the police arrived. I’m relatively close to them both and they’re obviously very distressed. Your prayers are so very appreciated, God bless.