Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Video/Gallery: Campaign begins to move Second World War memorial to Mendlesham church

16:30 26 January 2014

A project is underway to try and raise £35 000 to move Memdlesham

A project is underway to try and raise £35 000 to move Memdlesham's war memorial from the A140 into the village churchyard. Pictured are soldiers at a ceremony at the memorial.

Sarah Lucy brown

A call has gone out to raise £35,000 to move a war memorial dedicated to the sacrifice paid by the American airmen who served during the Second World War at a Suffolk airfield.

shares

The current home of the USAAF 34th Bomb Group Memorial is by the busy A140 next to the former RAF Mendlesham airfield.

In 2010 the bronze which fronted the brick memorial was stolen from the site near Stowmarket. Now Mendlesham Parish Council, along with a committee tasked with maintaining the memorial’s upkeep, has started an appeal to relocate it to the village’s parish church, St Mary’s.

Councillor David Nunn, 59, said: “Unfortunately we are losing people from the time of the Second World War and unless we move the memorial and make an effort it could be easier to forget. If it is put in the churchyard people can ask questions and it is easier to remember.

“We are desperately hoping that we are going to raise enough money to move our war memorial. It’s not practical to have a memorial on such a busy road. We started the project two years ago and the decision was made that it needed to be moved.”

Villagers were asked where they would like to see the memorial and, following discussions with Wetheringsett Parish Council, the church was chosen as the new location.

As the previous bronze plaque was never recovered a new design using green slate has been produced.

Mr Nunn, a former director of the Suffolk Show, said he had set a target of moving the memorial in time for this year’s Remembrance Sunday service. Veterans from the USA have travelled to visit the memorial on an annual basis but recently, as the number of former servicemen has dwindled, the trips have decreased. Despite this family members, who sometimes struggle to find the memoial because of its location, continue to travel to Mendlesham.

Almost 200 airmen who were based at the airfield, where some 3,000 personnel were located, died between 1944-45.

Gerald Stedman, 79, is a trustee of the committee and donated the land for the memorial when it was moved in the 1980s. The first memorial to the men was unveiled around 1949.

Mr Stedman said: “It would be a very satisfactory situation to have the memorial moved by the time of Remembrance Sunday.”

Roy Colchester, 85, a former Mendlesham parish councillor, took an interest in the planes at the airfield when he was a child. He said: “We would not have won the war without the Americans that’s for sure, it really turned the tide when they came in. We farmed not very far from the airfield during the war and I used to cycle past the airfield and used to spend probably far more time there than I should have done.”

The committee has been in 
contact with military officers at RAF Lakenheath, a current USA base, about the possibility of servicemen and women attending an event to mark the memorial’s re-location.

To donate to the appeal 
email mendleshamparish@aol.com, 
call 01449 766139 or write to:
Mendlesham Parish Council 34th Bomb Group Memorial
Honeysuckle
Hockey Hill 
Wetheringsett
Stowmarket 
Suffolk 
IP14 5PL

shares

2 comments

  • a good cause for the lottery fund.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • I agree the memorial should be 'moved', but I would question the cost. What we are really talking about here is the building of a new memorial in Mendlesham church yard. Should we really expect that to cost £35,000 ?

    Report this comment

    justmyopinion

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House in Ipswich.

The number of high earners at Suffolk County Council has risen for the first time in four years, according to new figures.

The scene of the accident on the A133 at Weeley between a push bike and a van.

A woman cyclist is in a life-threatening condition in hospital following a collision with a van on the A133 at Weeley.

Knives handed in during an amnesty at Clacton Police Station

A survey by a weapons awareness charity has found one-quarter of youngsters in Clacton have been threatened with a knife.

The Energy from Waste Site in Great Blakenham.

Nearly a year after it first started to turn Suffolk’s waste into something useful – electricity – the Great Blakenham incinerator is helping to keep rubbish out of the county’s holes in the ground.

Police are investigating after rope was tied across a road

‘Lives are being put at risk’ – that’s the warning from Essex Police after motorists had to manoeuvre around a rope which was tied across a road.

Writer and historian Dr Mark Felton

A historian and author from Colchester whose book has been picked up by Hollywood has released a new thriller based on another daring Second World War mission.

Toby Freeman from Robin Cancer Trust, Ben Payne from Reflective Ice Limited and Angie Diggens from St Helena Hospice are teaming up to have a charity night at the Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink in Colchester Castle Park.

An ice rink planned for central Colchester this winter will be taken over by local charities for a night.

Ladbrokes

Two men stole hundreds of pounds during an armed robbery at a bookmakers in Felixstowe last night.

Maggie Scorer and Oscar in front of Brighton Pier

It has taken close to six months, covering a distance of almost 5,000 miles, but the home stretch is in sight for round-Britain cyclist Maggie Scorer and her travelling companion, Oscar.

Robert Morton

The new chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, Robert Morton, has big plans for the future of the trust.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages