Lavenham: School unveils war memorial to former student Jonathan Woodgate, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010

The new war memorial is unveiled at Old Buckenham Hall School in Brettenham.

The new war memorial is unveiled at Old Buckenham Hall School in Brettenham. - Credit: Archant

A war memorial has been unveiled at a historic Suffolk school, in honour of former students who lost their lives in battle.

The new war memorial is unveiled at Old Buckenham Hall School in Brettenham.

The new war memorial is unveiled at Old Buckenham Hall School in Brettenham. - Credit: Archant

Old Buckenham Hall School in Brettenham Park near Lavenham celebrated its 150th anniversary last year and launched a fundraising campaign to pay for a war memorial.

It was commissioned as a gesture of commitment to remember former pupils of the school who gave their lives in the service of their country during the First and Second World Wars, and in more recent conflicts.

Among them is Lance Corporal Jonathan ‘Jo’ Woodgate, who died in action in March 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. The 26-year-old from Lavenham was killed by an insurgent’s grenade while on foot patrol near Sangin.

The war memorial was the vision of Elliott Sewell, who was headmaster at Old Buckenham Hall from 1923 to 1967. In a sports day speech made in 1945 shortly after the end of the Second World War, he said: “I cannot let this occasion pass without a word of true sympathy with the relatives of our fallen, and with it too a word of pride in the achievement of their sons. I am anxious that there should be here some worthy memorial to them: this I hope will not be delayed too long.”

Although it took a further 68 years before the memorial became a reality, due to the fundraising efforts of the school community, the new war memorial was finally unveiled by Mr Sewell’s daughter-in-law Sheila, as part of yesterday’s Remembrance Day ceremony at the school.


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