Rain

Rain

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°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

Ipswich Crown Court

A 19-year old man who met up with a 13-year-old girl and exchanged text messages with her despite being given a police caution for kissing her several months earlier has been sentenced to 21 months youth detention.

The vandals tore through Bury St Edmunds

A drunken “night of madness” saw vandals rack up over £5,000 of damage to cars, pubs and property as they roamed the streets of Bury St Edmunds.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral overlooking colourful displays in the Abbey Gardens

Suffolk’s most important religious building has been awarded a £300,000 Government grant to pay for urgent roof repairs.

Josephine Murphy

An 86-year-old woman who had gone missing from Clacton has been found safe and well

Aftermath of a barn fire in Holton.

A television antiques expert has appealed for help rebuilding his eco-friendly arts centre in Suffolk after a major blaze destroyed the historic sawmill that was to be its showroom and workshops.

Darsham Nurseries head chef Lola DeMille and chef Tom Eagle in the cafe where they are donating money from one of the dishes to the World Land Trust.

An international conservation charity based in Suffolk is one of three organisations to benefit from a new campaign raising awareness about the impact of meat production on health, welfare and the environment.

Suffolk County Council's base at Endeavour House

Up to 23 jobs could go in a major shake-up of Suffolk County Council’s education services.

Latitude Festival, at the Henham Estate near Southwold

Suffolk poet Luke Wright has seen the Latitude festival grow from a modest boutique gathering in 2006 to one of Britain’s biggest music and arts events.

Fire crews

Firefighters tackled a lorry fire in Ipswich last night, after police reported the vehicle in Hatfield Road.

Last year's Colchester Half Marathon.

Thousands of people will be pounding the streets of Colchester tomorrow as the town’s half marathon event returns.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages