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Archive - Tuesday, 20 March 2012
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Blue plaque plan for ex-PM's house
THE house where former Prime Minister Herbert Asquith lived is set to become home to Oxfordshire’s 64th blue plaque.
Chairman of Sutton Courtenay History Society Mary Thompson outside the house of former Prime Minister Herbert Asquith which looks set to get a blue plaque
Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board – which puts the signs on the homes of notable county residents – wants to honour the former PM.
Asquith, a Liberal who led Britain into the First World War, built The Wharf in Church Street, Sutton Courtenay, near Abingdon, in 1913 and lived there until his death in 1928.
He is buried by his wife Margot in the village church.
Plaques board secretary Eda Forbes said: “It’s an absolutely prime position for a blue plaque. It is perhaps a sign of the period and of Asquith himself. It looks as if you could go up and knock on his door.”
She said of the scheme: “It is to promote awareness of people, places and events that have had a lasting significance on life in Oxfordshire.”
Mary Thompson, chairman of the Sutton Courtenay Local History Society, said: “From a historical point of view it is quite something to have a Prime Minister live in your village.
“A lot of important people came and stayed in the village with him.
“He lived here for many years. He was quite an influence in the village and played an active role.
“The story goes that the decision to go to war was made here – but that could be difficult to verify.”
She added: “His family were remembered as much as anything. And particularly his wife, who was quite a character.”
Actress Helena Bonham Carter is a descendant of the politician and has a house in the village.
The board has applied to Vale of White Horse District Council to put up the plaque.
It has also applied for a plaque in Blewbury to commemorate Wind and the Willows author Kenneth Grahame who lived there briefly.
The board was founded in 1999 and the first plaque, commemorating Oxford marmalade maker Sarah Cooper, was put up in High Street, Oxford, in 2001.
It is also planning to put up a plaque in Bradmore Way, Oxford, to remember the novelist and social reformer Mary Ward who lived there from 1872 to 1881.
To suggest a plaque site, visit oxfordshire blueplaques.org.uk