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Digital Gallery Images

The Gallery includes images of the borough's streets and buildings and portraits of people and communities. The Digital Gallery images are displayed as thumbnails. Full size images can be viewed by clicking on a thumbnail.

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Photographic copies can be obtained from Tower Hamlets Local Studies and Archives (there is a charge for this service) or a maximum of 5 digital copies can be emailed to you. If you would like to use the images for publication or display please contact us at


Part of this group is the 22nd South Poplar Scouts 1940s

Image Number:





Island History Trust Image Collection


Part of this group is the 22nd South Poplar Scouts, They were formed at St. Luke's Church Millwall in 1937/38. The scoutmaster was Roland Dowlen, missing , presumed killed, in the Second World War. Back row, second from left: Dennis Dawson; fourth from left: Bob Thompson; sixth from left: Walter Gregory; end of row: Sid Thompson. Front row, first on left: Ken Kneeshaw. On 12th July 1937 the 22nd South Poplar Scout Troop was formed at S. Luke's Church and nearly sixty years later a plaque to commemorate the life of Roland Dowlen, was unveiled at St. Luke's. Although he only spent two years as scoutmaster with the 22nd Troop he is still remembered by Islanders. He was born in Sicily on 12th October 1907, his mother American and his father Italian. He was adopted by a Mr Dowlen of London and became a naturalised British subject in 1936. At the outbreak of war because he was fluent in French he became a Radio Operator of the rank of Lieutenant and in 1943 was flown out to occupied France for special duties. After a very successful operation he was captured later that year and endured terrible hardship and cruel treatment in Flossenberg Concentration Camp. At the express orders of Hitler, Roland and his fellow prisoners were executed just two weeks before the Americans liberated the camp. by D. Dawson