Isle of Wight kids raise cash for East End wartime tragedy memorial

Children from the far-away Isle of Wight have raised �250 for East London’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ memorial fund for those who died in Britain’s worst wartime civilian disaster.

One of the parents from the island’s Brighstone Primary school originally from the East End was visiting Bethnal Green with her young daughter when she spotted an appeal banner at the scene of the 1943 tragedy when 173 people died, including many children.

She wanted to help and contacted the charity and later spoke to survivor Alf Morris, now 81, who was 13 at the time.

So moved by the tragedy was the little girl, that she relayed the story to her class of eight- and nine-year-olds back on the Isle of Wight.

She impressed class teacher Donna McQueen who made the disaster part of their Second World War curriculum.


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The children held a tea dance and other events to raise money. One boy alone raised �45 washing cars, cleaning stables and doing chores.

They met the memorial trust’s new patron Tommy Walsh (pictured) on a special school trip to East London last week to present the cheque.

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