The Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs has written to the Justice Minister Robert Buckland MP urging him to prevent the demolition of Sarah Chapman’s grave in Manor Park Cemetery.

His letter to the Minister:


Dear Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP,

I was concerned to hear that there are plans to ‘level’ the grave of Sarah Chapman in Manor Park Cemetery.

Sarah Chapman was a leader of the famous 1888 Matchgirls Strike in Tower Hamlets where I am proud to be Mayor for and represent. She played an important role in London’s history, the history of the Trade Union movement and the long and ongoing story of the fight for women’s rights. I am keen that as a city we preserve and pay our respects to the ordinary people who changed history. While they might not be afforded the same prominence of kings, queens or generals – people like Sarah Chapman made a real and lasting difference to the lives of those in the East End.

I am aware there is a petition with over 7,000 signatures and would like to add my voice to this campaign – asking you to intervene to stop the demolition of this piece of London’s history. I understand campaigners have recently secured funding for a permanent headstone, and it would mean a lot to me and my residents if this was preserved.

I would be grateful if you could intervene in this case and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely

Mayor John Biggs

Executive Mayor – Tower Hamlets

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