Plaque: The Fallen
Vi er sa fa her i landet, hver fallen er bror og venn. Vi har de dode med oss. Den dag vi kommer igjen.
Nordahl Grieg, 17 Mai 1940
So few we are in our country
We are kin with all our slain;
And the dead shall be beside us
The day we return again.
17 May is the Norwegian's National Day, celebrating the signing of their constitution in 1814.
The quotation comes from a poem entitled "May 17, 1940" (Today the flagpole stands naked ...) and was read on May 17 1940, in a broadcast from Tromsø radio (broadcast from a part of Norway not under occupation). We know that Grieg was in London in 1940 since he married here that year (though we cannot discover the exact date). We wonder if the ceremony took place at this church. That would explain this plaque being here.
2021: We originally published this memorial with an unsatisfactory translation of the Grieg poem, and a plea for a Norwegian consultant. Two years later, in 2021, Johanne Elster Hanson contacted us with the lovely translation given at "Inscription" and an offer to be that Norwegian consultant. We can safely say that she will not be overworked but it's good to have her in post for the next time we need her services.
Johanne tells us that the translation is by G. M. Gathorne-Hardy and she found it in the book 'All That is Mine Demand: War Poems of Nordahl Grieg' (Hodder & Stoughton LTD, London, 1944). She writes "As a native Norwegian I find Gathorne-Hardy's translation quite remarkable".
Site: St Olav's Church (8 memorials)
SE16, St Olav's Square
St Olav's Church was designed by John Love Seaton Dahl. Crown Prince Olav was present at the laying of the foundation stone, 1926, and then at the consecration, 1927. During WW2 this was the church used by King Haakon VII and the Norwegian government in exile. It is one of over 30 churches around the world run by the Norwegian Church Abroad, also known as The Norwegian Seamen’s Church.
The Ebenezer Church plaque is in the garden in front of the church in the centre of the northern wall.
The Fallen plaque is laid into the ground of the garden, at the foot of the WW1 memorial.
The three 'St Olav' plaques are attached low on the west front of the building.
At Surrey Docks we have an 1889 map which shows the road layouts before the Rotherhithe Tunnel roundabout arrived.