Main content

Carrie’s War author and campaigner honoured with People’s Plaque

Nina Bawden - photo courtesy of the author's family

Nina Bawden - photo courtesy of the author's family

View | Download ( JPG - 2.81 MB )

Nina Bawden – author of over 40 children's and adults' books, including the World War II novel Carrie’s War - and rail safety campaigner – has been honoured with an Islington People’s Plaque.

Born in Ilford, London, in 1925, at the age of 14 Bawden was evacuated from the capital to Ipswich, and then to south Wales, where she would later base her award-winning children’s book, ‘Carrie’s War’.

In 2002, Bawden’s husband, Austen, was among seven people tragically killed in the Potters Bar train crash. Bawden survived the crash, but was seriously injured. She became a passionate campaigner for railway safety and called for a public inquiry into the disaster.

Renowned for basing her stories on her own history and personal experiences, several of Bawden’s books were nominated or shortlisted for awards – including the Booker Prize, the Lost Man Booker Prize, and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.

Carrie’s War, which was later adapted into a television series, won the Phoenix award in 1993 – 20 years after its publication. One of her last books, Dear Austen, was a collection of letters, addressed to her late husband, in which she re-told the story of the train crash.

In 1995, Bawden – who lived for many years in Noel Rd, Angel, N1 – was made a CBE. In 2004, she received the ST Dupont Golden Pen award for a lifetime’s contribution to literature. She died in 2012, aged 87.

Deputy Leader of Islington Council and executive member for health and wellbeing, Cllr Janet Burgess, said: “Nina had an exceptional life. As a writer, she had a special sort of skill: the ability to capture the imaginations of children and adults alike.

“Today, her stories, characters, and observations still resonate as strongly as they ever did. She was also a tireless campaigner for rail safety.

We’re delighted to be unveiling this Islington People’s Plaque in memory of such tremendous talent.” 

Bawden’s plaque was unveiled at 12.00pm on Friday 11 September 2015 at 22 Noel Rd, N1.

Notes to editors

Islington's popular People's Plaques scheme was launched to recognise the people, events and places that have shaped the borough. Other Islington People’s Plaques to be unveiled later in 2015 are to commemorate Mary Tealby, the founder of what is now the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the boxer Len Harvey.

(JPG - 1025 KB)