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Blue plaque honours Newbury's wartime Pc who was first person in world given injected penicillin



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Newbury Town Council has unveiled a blue plaque, which honours a police officer who was the first person in the world to be treated with injected penicillin.

Police Constable Albert Alexander served with the Berkshire Constabulary in Newbury between 1926 and 1929.

Unveiling the plaque, which is located at Carnarvon Place, Andover Road, on Tuesday (May 25) Newbury mayor Billy Drummond said it would “forever remember PC Albert Alexander. A Berkshire boy, born and bred”.

Albert Alexander blue plaque - Anthony Pick addresses the group- Ref: 21-1721.Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Anthony Pick addresses the group- Ref: 21-1721.Picture by Phil Cannings

Constable Alexander was hospitalised during World War Two with blood poisoning and doctors at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford made the decision to treat him with the revoluntionary new antibiotic.

Although the officer's condition temporarily improved, he sadly relapsed and died on March 15, 1941.

Mr Drummond said: “I feel extremely lucky, I was born 10 years later, to reap all the benefits of penicillin, unlike Albert.

Albert Alexander blue plaque - Brian Sylvester - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Brian Sylvester - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings

“I would like to pass on my love to Sheila LeBlanc, daughter of Albert, and Linda Williason, his granddaughter who lives in America, on behalf of the all residents, who live in Newbury.”

Mrs Williason also sent a message of thanks from across the Atlantic.

She said: "My mother is beyond thrilled to hear about this.

"Thank you all for everything you're doing to honour my grandfather.

Albert Alexander blue plaque - Billy Drummond Mayor of Newbury and Anthony Pick - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Billy Drummond Mayor of Newbury and Anthony Pick - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings

"It's all truly appreciated.”

At the unveiling ceremony Anthony Pick, chairman of the heritage working group, thanked Sovereign Housing for allowing the plaque to be put up and the Newbury Society for donating £100 towards the cost.

Constable Alexander was married at St Mary's Church in Speenhamland, and is buried alongside his wife, Edith Mary Deacon, in Newtown Cemetery.

Billy Drummond, the Mayor of Newbury, unveils a blue plaque in honour of Albert Alexander, alongside Brian Sylvester, deputy Mayor Gary Norman, Garry Poulson, Sergeant Lucie Gray, Anthony Pick and Dave Stubbs Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Billy Drummond, the Mayor of Newbury, unveils a blue plaque in honour of Albert Alexander, alongside Brian Sylvester, deputy Mayor Gary Norman, Garry Poulson, Sergeant Lucie Gray, Anthony Pick and Dave Stubbs Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Anthony Pick - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Anthony Pick - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Brian Sylvester - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Brian Sylvester - Ref: 21-1721. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Billy Drummond mayor of Newbury - Ref: 21-. Picture by Phil Cannings
Albert Alexander blue plaque - Billy Drummond mayor of Newbury - Ref: 21-. Picture by Phil Cannings

The unveiling was also attended by Brian Sylvester, from Friends of Newtown Road Cemetery, Dave Stubbs and two serving members of Thames Valley Police.



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