Memories

  

Five Years since death of the Starman Bowie

David Bowie did not seem to age much in the 43 years between performing Star Man in a fake snakeskin leotard on Top of the Pops in 1972 and the last pictures in 2015, soon after he discovered he had terminal cancer. That was one factor which made his death on January 11 2016 such a shock. Here TOBY PORTER remembers his South London roots on the fifth anniversary.

  

‘I sat up in bed and saw a policeman standing over me holding a gun’

Lee Lawrence’s win in the memoir category of the Costa Book Awards brought back some of the trauma and anger of the incident which is the pivot of his story. His mum, Cherry Groce, was shot by police in an incident which sparked the 1985 Brixton riots. Here TOBY PORTER recalls the events which shocked a community.

  

George, a driving force of First World War, died mysteriously on boat home

George Merry, a First World War hero who died in 1920, was a salesman who travelled the world selling cars for a friend – the man who created the Citroen car company. He died mysteriously.

  

Wife’s body under the floorboards

An impoverished tailor with a wife and small child started behaving increasingly erratically as his wife began to lose patience with her alcoholic spouse. JAN BONDESON tells how she came to a sad end – but her killer escaped the noose.

  

Cricket history to relative obscurity

Ned Willsher changed the way cricket was played when his determination to bowl over-arm eventually prevailed.

  

Was he blind or was it murder?

Former soldier Arthur Meader was adjudged not fit to serve after his sight began to deteriorate amid the First World War. He was helped by a blind charity and married – but his wife led a double life in the West End.

  

Seeking the family of war hero Kirby

A young air gunner from Lambeth, Eric Kirby, was among the crew of a Lancaster bomber shot down by the Germans after a raid on a railway yard in June 1944.

  

Victim’s head was battered to a pulp

One lodger was sent to prison for kidnapping guttersnipes; the next a drunkard who hit his wife and was beaten to death.

  

Hammersmith lawyer Henry Ebner: ‘Henry was incisive and a gentleman’

Henry Ebner was founding partner in the firm Myers, Ebner and Deaner for 40 years, and also twice President of the Hammersmith Rotary Club and raised many thousands of pounds for charity.

  

Radical Times in Journalism

Before powerful tools like the internet and social media, the drum beat around race activism in Britain, as well as globally, was generated mostly by radical print media, writes Will Brook.

  

Anarchist’s left hand blown off

When Joseph Conrad, below, wrote The Secret Agent, he recalled a South London incident which was the inspiration for its main character.

  

Lighting the way for generations

Five generations of a family have worked to keep the lights on across London for almost 100 years, and there’s a possibility of a sixth generation continuing the tradition in the electricity industry.

  

Mum chopped off both of son’s legs

The trial of Ada Williams became a sensation in 1913 when, in response to the taunts of her husband, she killed her own son, born before she married him.

   

New exhibition opened by the Migration Museum

Migration Museum A new immersive exhibition by the Migration Museum has opened, exploring 400 years of emigration from Britain, from the Mayflower to the present day.

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