Posted On 10 Jul 2014
A London doctor’s World War One heroics will be recognized with the unveiling of a new blue heritage blue plaque next week, on the 100-year anniversary of the start of the war.
John Alcindor, known as the ‘Black Doctor of Paddington’, served as a volunteer in the British Red Cross in World War One – after he was rejected from the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1914 because of his “colonial origin.” Not dismayed by the first rejection, Alcindor served Britain by helping wounded soldiers at London railway stations as they returned from the battlefields.
Following the war his work was honoured with a Red Cross Medal, and now his stubbornness to serve will be celebrated with a public plaque. Alcindor not only served his country in war, but he served his community as a doctor in the early 20th century, even becoming a senior district medical officer for Paddington in 1921, before his death in 1924.
On Wednesday 16 July, as part of the international centenary to commemorate World War One, the Nubian Jak Community Trust, with support from the Edward Harvest Trust, will unveil a Nubian Jak C0ommunity Trust blue commemorative plaque at the former site of Dr John Alcindor’s surgery in Paddington, West London.
The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Audrey Lewis, who will attend the special ceremony, said: “Dr John Alcindor was a remarkable man who is remembered for his devotion to his patients , whatever their origin or race. During the First World War he was awarded a Red Cross Medal for his work with the wounded at London Railway stations. He lived in Paddington from 1907, becoming the Senior District Medical Adviser in 1921 until he died in 1924, and when he passed away his loss was felt by everyone he came into contact with. It is right that we remember and celebrate his life with a public plaque, and reflect on his work in this centenary year of the start of World War One.”
Mrs Reshma Bissoon-Deokie,Acting High Commission for Trinidad and Tobago said “Dr. John Alcindor’s achievements in the medical and military fields, as well as his ardour for service and racial equality, serve as a testament to the impact one can have on society regardless of origin. The Trinidad and Tobago High Commission salutes the life and legacy of Dr. Alcindor and is pleased to see one of the brilliant sons of Trinidad and Tobago being honoured for his indelible contribution. We hope his story can serve to inspire future generations”.
Bar Holmes, granddaughter of John Alcindor, said :
“Although our grandfather never knew his grandchildren because he died in 1924, we are immensely proud of his passion for both helping those who could not afford to pay for GP services in those days, and for his fight to promote racial equality at that time. We very much appreciate that his efforts have been recognised with this Plaque.”
Dr Flexman – Propeitor of the Harrow Medical Centre said “As the current resident of the Harrow Road Medical Centre, I am delighted to rediscover some of the local history connected with the site and surrounding area, and I welcome the work of the Nubian Jak Community Trust in putting this tribute together.”
Jeff Green, Historian said :
“ For over twenty years Dr Alcindor aided thousands of people in Paddington. He was also a respected cricketer, Catholic, and president of the African Progress Union. His death at the age of 50 was a great loss to the sick and to the Caribbean and African community”
Jak Beula – Chair of the Nubian Jak Commemorative Plaque Scheme said: “After setting up his medical practice of Harrow Road Dr Alcindor carried out research and published papers on cancer, Tuberculosis and influenza. As a member of the Committee of the National Council for Combating Venereal Diseases he worked to prevent syphilis and tuberculosis in Great Britain.
Notes to Editors
1. The Nubian Jak Community Trust is the only national BME plaque and sculpture scheme in the UK and Europe. The tribute is part of a 6 month project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund called From Sea to Land and Skies which looks at the contributions of black service men and women from 1914 – 1918. For more information contact 0800 093 0400 or follow us on twitter @nubianjak
2. The Edward Harvist Trust gives capital grants of up to £3,000 (or £1,000 for IT equipment) to organisations that work to improve the quality of life for local people. The Trust makes grants to further the following purposes:
· the relief of elderly and disadvantaged residents
· the relief of distress and sickness
· the provision and support of facilities for recreation and leisure with the aim of improving the quality of life.
· the provision and support of educational facilities
· any other charitable purpose
3. The blue plaque unveiling will take place on Wednesday 16th July 2014 at 1.00pm, at 209 Medical Centre, Harrow Road, London, W2 5EH.
4. For more information, please contact Nu Jak Media on 0800 093 0400 or firstname.lastname@example.org