Marlborough honours Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children, with a new blue plaque
A sparkling new blue plaque was today, Friday June 7, unveiled on the town’s library to commemorate Eglantyne Jebb, the co-founder of Save the Children. The plaque replaces a previous one which attributed the middle name of Mary to Eglantyne – an error that the town council and marlborough.news are pleased to have corrected in this the centenary year of the founding of Save the Children.
The rain stopped, the clouds parted, the sun shone and crowds gathered to watch Mayor Mervyn Hall unveil the blue plaque on the library, the building where Eglantyne Jebb taught from 1899 to 1900.
Town Crier Mike Tupman introduced proceedings: “Eglantyne Jebb is a name that few people know…she was a social reformer and human rights pioneer who founded Save the Children and today we can see the results of her early actions in improving the lives of children in over a hundred countries.
“In this fair town she saw child poverty and after World War One she saw injured, starving and dying youngsters. From this bloody mayhem Save the Children was born.
“She was one of the most influential women of the twentieth century and yet one of the least well known. Let’s spread the word of Eglantyne Jebb until her fame has grown.”
Unveiling the plaque, Mayor Mervyn Hall said: “Marlborough is proud of our connection with this great lady.”
Fidelma Meehan from Save the Children quoted Eglantyne: “Save the Children is often told that its aims are impossible – that there has always been child suffering and there always will be. We know. It’s impossible only if we refuse to attempt it.”
Jennifer Brisker, our area representative of Save the Children spoke of the work that Save the Children carry out within a hundred miles of Marlborough – in the Welsh Valleys and inner city Bristol.
“All the projects are based on the goals set out by Eglantyne. In her name we go forward.”
Perhaps the final words should be those of Eglantyne herself, spoken at the unveiling ceremony by Anne Chamberlain whose play ‘Eglantyne’ she is performing this evening in St Peter’s Church.
“Humanity owes the child the best it has to give.”