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Gallery: Fallen soldiers from Bradfield Combust are remembered as memorial is unveiled

12:45 03 August 2014

The unveiling of the war memorial in Bradfield Combust.

The unveiling of the war memorial in Bradfield Combust.

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A large crowd gathered around the village green in Bradfield Combust yesterday for a poignant ceremony to mark the unveiling of a war memorial.

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The west Suffolk village lost four men during the First World War, and four during the second, and their names are captured for perpetuity on the newly-created memorial which stands underneath the village sign.

The names are: Second Lieutenant J Makin, 30, Private J E Culling, 21, Pte H W Gault, 27, and Pte A J Smith, age unknown, (who died in the First World War) and Pte W Middleditch, 27, Trooper B F Talbott, 29, and brothers Sergeant D W Savoy, 21, and Sgt G H Savoy, 21, (who died in the Second World War).

Families of five of the eight being remembered attended the occasion, including one relative from Oman, as well as local Army, Sea and Air Cadets, Suffolk Scouts, and serving and ex-military personnel.

Wing Commander Andy Tucker, who retired from the Royal Air Force (RAF) after a 32-year career and spearheaded the memorial project, said it was “superb” to have the four standards at the event: the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL), the RAF Association (RAFA) from Haverhill, the RAFA from Bury and the Suffolk Regiment Old Comrades Association.

Mr Tucker had many people to thank, but he said: “The biggest thank you - and thank you is just not enough - goes to the eight men on that war memorial and it’s for them we are here.”

Bradfield Combust resident Betty Middleditch, sister-in-law of Pte Middleditch, laid a wreath on behalf of the village and relatives of the men laid five family wreaths.

Mr Tucker, who is also a councillor on Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield Parish Council, said: “The new memorial is a quality piece of craftsmanship; it is small in stature and superior in sentiment.”

He said he had received “unwavering support” for the parish council initiative, adding: “The last few months have been a heart-warming experience and it just shows what a small community can achieve in such a short time.”

In just a few months nearly £3,000 was raised for the project - including the cleaning of the Stanningfield memorial - which has enabled a generous donation to the RBL.

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