Newsletter 2010


Unveiling and dedication of the Marconi Memorial Plaque

This ceremony took place in Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday 25th April.  The plaque commemorates the seventeen employees who were killed by bombs falling on the New Street factory on the night of 9th May 1941.  It had been mounted in the foyer of Marconi House in New Street since its creation and although seen by many Marconi employees over the 67 years until the site closed in 2008, it had been seen by few members of the public or the relatives of the victims because of site security restrictions.  Its re-erection in St Peter’s Chapel in Chelmsford Cathedral makes the list of names visible to all.

The ceremony was incorporated into the traditional service of Choral Evensong.  The lessons were read by Robbie Robertson, Patron of the Marconi Veterans Association and Dawn Swindells from Washington DC, USA, grand-daughter of Charles Franklin, a victim of the bombing.  The sermon was delivered by the Very Reverend Peter Judd, the Dean of Chelmsford, in which he widened the theme of the remembrance of the seventeen, to reflect on the legacy of Guglielmo Marconi, of the inventions and products of the company which affect the present-day lives of people worldwide.  He commended the Association in its efforts to keep alive knowledge of the Marconi legacy and, in an aside, mentioned the welcome and long-awaited installation of the statue of Marconi in a public, albeit less than prominent, place in the town.

Followed by many of the victims’ relatives and Marconi Veterans who were present, the clergy and choir then processed to St Peter’s Chapel for the unveiling by Lady Telford, widow of Sir Robert Telford, Life President of the Marconi Company and the dedication by the Dean.  The service concluded with a further hymn and the blessing.

After the service there was a small exhibition of photographs and other mementos of the event.

The full text of the Dean’s address is available here





Apologies for an omission

The last edition of the Newsletter carried a notice on page 10 about the impending unveiling and dedication reported above.  This included a list of names of those commemorated on the plaque, but with one name, that of DE Davidson, omitted.  We apologise for any distress caused.  Ed.

We do not remember days; we remember moments.  Cesare Pavesi