World War One ‘Black Doctor’ hailed as World War One hero with new heritage blue plaque
A London doctor‟s World War One heroics will be recognized with the unveiling of a World War 1 with
new blue heritage 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 with the British Red
Cross in World War One – after he was rejected by 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 Harvist Trust, will unveil a blue heritage commemorative plaque at the former site of Dr John Alcindor‟s surgery in Paddington, West London.
Date: Wednesday 16th July 2014
Time: 1pm – 2pm (Plaque ceremony)
Reception: (2pm – 4pm) The Stowe Club, 258 Harrow Road, London W2, 5ES
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General Enquiries: Nu Jak Media - 0800 093 0400
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”.
Cllr Audrey Lewis – Lord Mayor of Westminster 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.”
Bar Holmes – Granddaughter of John Alcindor said “Although our grandfather never knew his
grandchildren/great 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
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
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 Earth and Skies which looks at the contribution of black service men and women from 1914 -1948.
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