Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Memorial day - 10

The Robert Raikes memorial is located within the shadow of the Savoy Hotel in Victoria Embankment Gardens, London. The statue was erected in July 1880, under the direction of the Sunday School Union and paid for by contributions from teachers and scholars of Sunday Schools in Great Britain.

Robert Raikes was born in Gloucester, England, in 1736. His father was the founder of the “Gloucester Journal”. On his father’s death in 1757, Robert took over as the Journal’s Editor. He used the newspaper to campaign for prison reform. He realised that prisoner’s lives had been shaped by their deprived childhood.

In July 1780, Raikes and a local Anglican curate, Thomas Stock, started the first Sunday School at St Mary le Crypt Church, in Gloucester. The schools while a success were not universally accepted and were criticized by some for educating ragged dirty urchins and running schools on a Sunday, considered an inappropriate activity for the Sabbath.

Robert Raikes died on 5th April 1811.

By 1831, weekly 1.25 million children were attending Sunday Schools in Great Britain.

It is worth noting the monuments sculptor Sir Thomas Brock R.A. (1847 - 1922), most famous work is the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace.

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