Plaque

Mission Building - WW1 plaque

Inscription

1914  1918

We can't find any information about that damaged-looking grey shape at the top of the plaque. Any ideas?

2024: Julie kindly sent us a link to a 1957 photo showing this plaque, pre-damage. She reckons the now-lost motif might be a a badge with a cross, but it's very difficult to decipher.

Site: Mission Building, Limehouse (3 memorials)

E14, Commercial Road, 747, The Mission Building

The war plaque is above the main entrance. The foundation stone for the Empire Memorial Sailors' Hostel is to the left of the front elevation. The foundation stone for the extension is not in our photo, being around the side, in Salmon Lane. The war plaque is locally listed by Tower Hamlets but none of the rest of the building is protected.

From Alamy: "The Mission began as the Empire Memorial Sailors’ Hostel and was originally built in 1923–4 to designs by Thomas Brammall Daniel and Horace W Parnacott, with 1930s additions by George Baines and Son."

Manchester Victorian Architects explains the need for a Sailors’ Hostel: ".. just after the First World War, London was suffering from a lot of sailors with no bed for the night: every night 16 000 seamen from all over the world would be let loose in the city looking for lodging and it seems that only three quarters of them would have any luck. And as contemporaneous news reports had it, “they were prey to all temptations“. ... So an appeal was started throughout the Empire, largely organised by women, to raise the necessary money to build this hostel, which would also stand as a memorial to the 12 000 merchant sailors who were killed in service during the First World War.  When opened in 1924 the hostel provided 205 clean and airy single cabins, as they were called, and by 1929 had provided beds for over a million sailors. With the decline of the London dockyards in the 60s and 70s, demand slowed down and eventually it became a hostel for the homeless which closed in 1985."

From Waymarking: "The Hostel ... was opened in 1924 by the British Sailor Society.  It was built from a Fund set up in 1917 by the Ladies Guild of the British Sailor Society ... With the closure of the Docks in the 1960s and 1970s, the Hostel lost its seamen and closed in 1979.  The Hostel was sold, renamed “Prince’s Lodge”, and became a “home” for the homeless.  Controversy dogged “Prince’s Lodge” and it closed in 1985.  In 1994, the Hostel was sold again this time to a property developer who converted it into 50 private flats and gave it a new name “The Mission”."

Do have a look at this building with Google Maps in Satellite View 3D - inside the courtyard there's an incongruous rose-clad cottage.

Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of plaquesoflondon.co.uk

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Mission Building - WW1 plaque

Subjects commemorated i

World War 1

We'd always assumed that this war was known as the Great War until WW2 came a...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Mission Building - WW1 plaque

Also at this site i

Empire Memorial Sailors' Hostel

Empire Memorial Sailors' Hostel

This foundation stone was laid by Beatrice Dowager Lady Dimsdale OBE, with wh...

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Mission extension foundation stone

Mission extension foundation stone

British Sailors' Society This foundation stone of the extension of the Empire...

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