Supporting the Bendigo Memorial Fund

Porchester Press is pleased to have been commissioned to publish a heritage booklet on behalf of a Nottingham campaign group.

The Bendigo Memorial Fund aims to educate the public on the life and achievements of William Thompson (aka Bendigo), leading to erecting a new statue to him in Trinity Square Nottingham. The project seeks to advance the culture, heritage and social history of his legacy.

William ‘Bendigo’ Thompson was born in Nottingham in 1811, when Nottingham was one of the most densely populated areas in the British Empire. The slums were rife with pestilence and disease, and life expectancy was 22, less than half the national average. One government official even labelled Nottingham as the ‘Worst town in England’. The people of Bendigo’s childhood home were said to ‘be the poorest of all Queen Victoria’s children’.

Despite being illiterate and poor, Bendigo’s physique and agility as a prize-fighter brought him success. His outspoken character and record in the ring attracted a massive fan base, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote a verse to the fighter. He went on to become the undefeated Champion of England and is credited with introducing the ‘southpaw’ boxing stance. Bendigo was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

You didn’t know of Bendigo? Well that knocks me out! Who’s your board schoolteacher? What’s he been about? Chock-a-block with fairy tales, full of useless cram, And never heard of Bendigo, The Pride of Nottingham!

Taken from Bendigo’s Sermon by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1909

The booklet’s title ‘Ten Bells For Bendigo’ is taken from the tradition of the Ten-Bell Salute, given to honour a boxer or wrestler who has died. It contains 28 pages of interesting facts, quotes and photographs.

Ten Bells For Bendigo is priced at £4.50 plus £1 postage. Proceeds from the sale of this booklet will go to the Bendigo Memorial Fund.