Patriotic family vow to fly flag in honour of war dead
PUBLISHED: 17:09 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:58 06 March 2019
A flag showing poppies in a battlefield has been flying over an Ipswich home since November and it will stay there say the residents, despite a complaint to the council.
Lee Markwell, of Mottram Close, Pinewood, originally put up the 4.5-metre pole and flag ahead of Armistice Day in honour of his great-great uncle Kenneth Earnest William Wolton.
A member of the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade, Kenneth was shot in the back in Hannover, Germany, aged 19, by a German sniper despite the war being over several days before.
Now, a public complaint has led Babergh District Council to write to him asking the family to explain what the purpose of the flag is. He could now be asked to take it down if it is deemed to break rules surrounding political symbols.
Mr Markwell said: “I don’t know why someone has complained about it to the council, this is in honour of all those who fought and died so we could have our today.
“We wanted to remember a member of our family and we raised the flag in November, we had no problems until this letter arrived.
“I was welling up when I read it, I was so upset.”
Cllr Tina Campbell, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We contacted the owner of the property flying the flag following a complaint from a member of the public, and have a duty to investigate whether this breaches the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 or the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007.”
Cllr Campbell explained that at this stage the council have only asked Mr Markwell for further information about the flag and its size - as long as it is not an advert she says “there will be no need for any further action”.
Undeterred by the complaint or letter, Mr Markwell has another two flags he can fly - one with pictures of his great-great uncle on it.
None of Mr Markwell’s flags have any brands or logos.
He also shared his story online and has received hundreds of messages of support, some from servicemen all the way from the US.
“I was overwhelmed with the number of people writing to me and all of them were so positive.
“I’ve really hit on something people care about. Remembrance should not be for just one day of the year, it should be all year round.”