Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°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.


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 
call 01449 766139 or write to:
Mendlesham Parish Council 34th Bomb Group Memorial
Hockey Hill 
IP14 5PL



  • a good cause for the lottery fund.

    Report this comment


    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


    Sunday, January 26, 2014

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

A parade of puppets, live bands, fireworks and a packed Angel Hill, Abbey Gardens and town centre - the annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Tens of thousands of people swarmed to west Suffolk this weekend for what organisers expect to have been a record breaking Christmas Fayre.

Bad weather in Felixstowe.

Properties are at risk from flooding at Bawdsey Quay and Felixstowe Ferry, the Environment Agency has warned.

Former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson

Tonight sees the close of this year’s Sir Bobby Robson online auction which is predicted to raise more than £100,000 for charity.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A 67-year-old west Suffolk garage owner who sexually assaulted and raped three schoolgirls more than 25 years ago has been jailed for 19 years.

One crew from Leiston attended the incident

A chimney fire in Knodishall was extinguished by firefighters from Leison this afternoon.

Vicky Ellis

More than £3,500 will be presented to the Colchester hospital chemotherapy unit in memory of a woman who died of cervical cancer aged just 25.

Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Organisers behind one of Suffolk’s largest annual events, Bury St Edmunds’ Christmas fayre, are hoping today’s drizzly weather won’t dampen spirits on the last day of the event.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24