In 2016 a special memorial sculpture was commissioned to commemorate 513 children in the care of the Barnardo’s charity who died and were buried in unmarked graves in the Old Bow Cemetery (now the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park), between 1876 and 1924.
The hands releasing a sparrow into flight are there to represent the strength and caring nature of the Barnardo’s charity, they gently encourage the Sparrow to free itself and take to the sky. The Sparrow “Sparra” provides a metaphor for the children of the East End whom the Barnardo’s charity has enabled to fly free out into the world.
The monument stands 2 Meters tall and is carved in Portland Stone. The memorial was unveiled by Jean Clarke who funded the project and David Barnardo; the charity founder Dr Thomas Barnardo’s great nephew.