Barnardo’s Memorial Sculpture

“Sparrow” Barnardo’s Memorial Sculpture designed and carved by Tom Nicholls

This memorial sculpture stands to commemorat e 513 children in the care of Barnardo’s who died and were buried in unmarked graves in the Old Bow Cemetery (now the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park), between 1876 and 1924.  The memorial was unveiled in 2016 by Jean Clarke and David Barnardo, who is the charity founder Dr Thomas Barnardo’s great Nephew.

The hands releasing a sparrow into flight are there to represent the strength and caring nature of the Barnardo’s charity.  The hands gently encourage the Sparrow to free itself and take to the sky.  The Sparrow “Sparra” provides a metaphor for the children of the east end whom the Barnardo’s charity has enabled to fly free out into the world.  The monument stands 2 Meters tall and is carved in Portland Stone.   To find out more Download the booklet courtesy of Barnardo’s.


   Photographs by Ady Kerry