Hackney War Memorial Homes

Wattisfield Road, Hackney, E5 9QN


The Disabled Soldiers and Sailors Homes were built by the Hackney Disabled Soldiers and Sailors Federation (also known as the War Seal (Hackney) Foundation. The scheme, inspired by Stoll's War Seal Mansions, was founded and carried out by George Francis James Macleod and Sir Louis Stanley Johnson, M.P., J.P.

Fund raising for the project had begun during WW1 (1914-1918). It was hoped to raise £50,000.

In June 1919 the search began for a site on which to build the homes. Proposals were made to buy land in Blackhorse Road, but the site was occupied by guns and searchlight stations. A plot of land in Wattisfield Road was purchased instead from Hackney Council.

The Homes were officially opened in 1923 by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. They consisted of a terrace of six 2-storey red brick cottages flanked at each end by a pair of semi-detached houses. The buildings provided homes for 10 disabled married ex-servicemen and their families.

In 1930 negotiations began again for the site in Blackhorse Road, but nothing came of them.

In 1970 the Disabled Soldiers' and Sailors' (Hackney) Foundation registered as a charity, whose purpose was to provide comfortable and low-cost dwellings in the Hackney area for disabled or infirm members of the armed services. Disabled people who had served in the police, postal, municipal and railway services were also eligible to apply.

In 2015 the charity merged with the Haig Housing Trust and was eventually deregistered in 2019.


Current status

The almshouses still accommodate residents disabled in public service.

They are known variously as the Hackney War Memorial Homes, the Disabled Soldiers and Sailors (Hackney) Foundation Cottages, and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Homes.

They are mentioned on the south face of the War Memorial in front of St John's Church in Hackney.

N.B. Photographs obtained in June 2020

Hackney War Memorial Homes

The almshouses consist of a terrace of red brick cottages with a separate building at each end.

Hackney War Memorial Homes

Each of the buildings flanking the terrace contains two dwellings.

Hackney War Memorial Homes

In 2016 a plaque was placed on the home of one of the tenants, William Grainger Wilson, former treasurer and chairman of the DSSF, who died in 2013.

Hackney War Memorial Homes

The southern building (above) and the northern (below) are on either side of a courtyard garden shared with the terrace.

Hackney War Memoral Homes


Hackney War Memorial Homes

The central part of the main block (above) has the building date inserted into the wall (below).

Hackney War Memorial Homes


Hackney War Memorial Homes

The dedication plaque to the Disabled Soldiers & Sailors (Hackney) Foundation is also mounted on the wall.

References (Accessed 12th April 2021) (1)
https://register-of-charities, (2) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (1) (2)

Last updated 12th April 2021

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