Community’s many tributes to heroes

MEMORIAL: Association of Old Boys of the Liverpool Hebrew School tribute

By Michael Swerdlow

AS it’s the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice, it is fitting to note that Liverpool’s Jewish community continues to remember with memorials and plaques its members who made the ultimate sacrifice in both World Wars.

In Childwall Synagogue’s foyer, there is an Italian marble war memorial, consecrated in December 1954 by Rev Dr I Levy, senior chaplain to the forces, as a memorial to the 54 members of Merseyside Jewry who laid down their lives in the Second World War.

George Bean QC, then president of the local branch of AJEX, was responsible for arranging its erection.

A robust stone structure in the shape of a scroll stands in the lobby of Princes Road Synagogue, bearing the names of its members who lost their lives in the First World War.

Plaques are repeated in the synagogue annexe with the names of members killed in both wars.

The shul produced a booklet containing photographs, biographies and wartime records of members who fought and died in the wars.

Broadgreen Cemetery has numerous memorials, as well as a garden of remembrance, to honour members who fell.

The war memorial on the wall of the prayer room at the cemetery was produced by the Association of Old Boys of the Liverpool Hebrew School.

It was originally installed in the school in Hope Place in March, 1920, in tribute to the pupils of the school who fought and died in the First World War.

The plaque cost them £40 plus seven shillings for the drapings.

The Hebrew lettering at the top translates to, “They were beloved and pleasant in their lives and in their deaths were not parted.” (2 Samuel 1:23).

When the school closed down in 1956, the plaque was resited in the King David High School in Childwall Road.

When the high school was demolished in 2012, the plaque was rescued once again with a view to reinstalling it on the new King David Campus as part of its Heritage Plaques Project.

However the construction of the walls in the new school would not take the weight of this original marble and slate slab and so a glass fibre resin replica of the memorial was made and installed in 2014 in the Community Centre Room alongside an original brass war memorial paying tribute to members of the Jewish Lads’ Brigade and Harold House Boys Club who fought and died in the Second World War.

This original brass plaque was first installed in 1949 in a room which was to become the Council Room at Harold House Jewish Youth Club in Chatham Street, close to the city centre.

The room was part of the memorial, in the form of the club’s library named after Leonard Albert, a Brigade member killed while serving in the Merchant Navy within two months of his 19th birthday.

The Hebrew lettering at the top translates as “These are their enduring names and this is their memorial for generations to come”.

The plaque was unveiled by Brigade Lieutenant Colonel Alan Isaac, who said he had known every one of those whose names were inscribed on it.

When Harold House moved to Dunbabin Road and became the Liverpool Jewish Youth and Community Centre, the plaque was resited in the McCullah Room, which was used by Brigade and for communal functions.

When the centre closed down the original plaque was rescued and installed in the Community Centre room on the new campus.

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