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Council war dead remembered by Town Hall—60 years on

PUBLISHED: 18:00 16 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:15 05 October 2010

Edward Gurling’s daughter Patricia (left) and widow Lillian at the unveiling

Edward Gurling's daughter Patricia (left) and widow Lillian at the unveiling

THE 10 staff members of the former Bethnal Green Metropolitan borough council in East London who lost their lives in the Second World War have been remembered with a new commemorative plaque. The widow and daughter of one of the staff were at the unveiling by the mayor of the present day Tower Hamlets

By Mike Brooke

THE 10 staff members of the former Bethnal Green Metropolitan borough council in East London who lost their lives in the Second World War have been remembered with a new commemorative plaque.

The widow and daughter of one of the staff members who died serving in the Armed Forces were at the unveiling by the mayor of the present day borough of Tower Hamlets, Ahmed Omer, at the Town Hall.

Lillian Beszelzen, widow of Lance Sgt Edward Gurling, returned to the East End for last week’s unveiling with her daughter Patricia Lowndes.

“It is great way to honour my husband and his colleagues who worked for the council,” she said. “It is important to have a memorial to visit and I’m proud the plaque has been restored, while sad at the same time.”

But the plaque listing the names of the 10 servicemen, displayed outside of the Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall in Blackwall, refers to “Tower Hamlets staff” at a time when Tower Hamlets didn’t exist as a borough.

It reads: “In memory of Tower Hamlets Staff who gave their lives on active service during the Second World War 1939-1945. We will remember them.”

The new London borough didn’t take over from Bethnal Green until 20 years later in the reorganisation of Greater London in 1965.

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