London Remembers Rizal

London Remembers: Jose Rizal’s Own Memorial in the English Capital

Dr Rizal lodged here in 1888 with the Beckett family on a weekly rent of £2.

Remember Jose Rizal’s London Love Story? The article specifically referenced 37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, North West London. There is a particular reason that the address where he lived at was exactly mentioned; that is because the London Greater Council (abolished in 1986) erected a plaque in 1983 to serve as a memorial for our own dear Jose. An inscription is written:

Dr Jose Rizal, 1861 – 1896, writer and national hero of the Philippines, lived here.

To quote the full description about the significance of the inscription the London Remembers website has this to say,

Dr Rizal lodged here in 1888 with the Beckett family on a weekly rent of £2. On 19 June 2011, to celebrate Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary the London Chapter of the Knights of Rizal and the Philippine Embassy held a heritage walk from an event at the British Museum (where Rizal had been a registered reader in the Reading Room) and laid a floral offering at this plaque.

The particular page also did mention about Rizal having a “romantic interlude” with Gertrude Beckett. I think we Filipinos should somehow be thankful that London Greater Council (succeeded by the Greater London Authority) acknowledged that our dear Jose lived there. Interestingly, Rizal’s profile contains a reference that he was a Jack the Ripper suspect. It is indeed a notorious suspicion!

So what is London Remembers?

The aim of this website is to document all the memorials in London. That’s the plaques, monuments, statues, fountains, etc, that commemorate a person, an event, a building, etc. It’s an aim we don’t think we will ever achieve but we will enjoy the attempt. Our prime objective is not to research biographies, etc. – anyone can do that using web resources. This website focuses on finding the memorials, photographing them, plotting them on a map and logging them in a searchable database, thus providing a powerful research tool. As far as we know, we are the only people doing this: treating all memorials equally, from the rich and famous to the poor and humble. (Italics mine.)

I’ve searched if there are other Filipinos who were given such honourable recognition. At the time of this piece was being written the author found no-one. The good question to ask now is: who will follow Rizal’s example to achieving that plaque? Could it be you? Well, if you’re a Pinoy (colloquial word for Filipino) living in London right now and about to become famous in the future you already have the advantage.

  • London Remembers: Aiming to capture all memorials in London. What is London Remembers?
  • London Remembers: Aiming to capture all memorials in London. Plaque: Dr Rizal

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