Brown of Brockley - Heroic Self Sacrifice

The material prosperity of a nation is not an abiding possession. The deeds of its people are.
- GT Watts

Postman's Park on King Edwards Street in the City is an elevated park built on top of the buried bodies of 19th century Londoners, during a period when the need for the living to have recreational space was considered greater than the desire for the dead to have somewhere to decompose in peace.

The park is most famous for GT Watts' 1900 Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, which celebrates heroism in everyday life.

Friend of BC b. spotted this tribute to Alex Stewart Brown of Brockley on the Watts Memorial wall.

3 comments:

CarolineLD said...

I did a little research a while ago on this plaque, here.

Crofty said...

That's such a lovely little park - and I'd never spotted the Brockley link there, so thank you! And great link CarolineLD! Wonder where the doc's house "Holly Lodge" was?
Incidentally no wonder Southwark Council wants to bury people in the rec ground - Sun did an investigation on burial costs last week and Southwark was one of the most expensive in the UK at £2,630 per plot!

Crofty again said...

There was this about the same guy, in a 1983 edition of the British Medical Journal:
"Alexander Stewart Brown was a third generation doctor. His
father and grandfather had both been in practice in south
London. His FRCS was awarded in Edinburgh, and from 1885
he practised at Holly Lodge, Brockley Road. According to his
obituary,5 the accident referred to in his memorial occurred on
19 September; he was thrown out of his pony and trap and
sustained a scalp wound with severe concussion. He decided to
take a fortnight's holiday in Paris to help his recovery. On his
way, while at Boulogne, Brown saw a man fall into the sea
from one of the piers. He dragged the stranger from the water
and for two hours, still wearing his sea soaked clothes, struggled
to resuscitate the man, with eventual success. The doctor
continued his journey to Paris, but returned home after a few
days as he felt unwell. Pneumonia set in and he died on Wednesday
17 October 1900 (not 9 October) at Holly Lodge. He was
45 years old."

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