Blue plaque for Krishna Menon’s London home

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:17 pm IST

Published - July 16, 2013 12:56 am IST - LONDON:

In a rare gesture, the British government has decided to commemorate V.K. Krishna Menon’s long and eventful association with London by putting up an English Heritage blue plaque at the house where he lived when he first moved to the city.

The plaque at Number 30 Langdon Park Road in Highgate, north London, where he lived from 1929 to 1931, will be unveiled on Wednesday by Left-Wing Labour veteran Tony Benn who knew Menon personally.

Howard Spencer of the 150-year-old Blue Plaques scheme described Menon as “a formidable man — determined in his beliefs, passionate in his pursuit of what he felt to be right, and unafraid of controversy.”

Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel are among the other Indian leaders previously honoured by English Heritage.

During his long stay in London, culminating in his being appointed independent India’s first High Commissioner to the U.K., Menon took an active interest in the social and political life of the city.

For 14 years in the 1930s, he served as a Labour councillor for the Borough of St. Pancras, and is still remembered for introducing travelling libraries and children’s corners.

During the Second World War, he served as an air warden around Camden Square, where he lived at the time, and in 1955 he was made a freeman of St. Pancras, only the second person ever to be given the honour after George Bernard Shaw.

An indefatigable pamphleteer and fiery orator, Menon led the campaign for Indian independence with his characteristic gusto.

The former Labour Prime Minister, James Callaghan, once described him as “the embodiment of the movement within Britain for India’s freedom.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.