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Patriotic family vow to fly flag in honour of war dead

PUBLISHED: 17:09 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:58 06 March 2019

Two flags bear the phrase

Two flags bear the phrase "Lest We forget" - but none of them have any logos or adverts. Babergh District Council say of the flags have no adverts they might remain up Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

Archant

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.

The flagpole was erected in November 208 and Babergh District Council only wrote to him after a complaint about the flag was made recently Picture: JAKE FOXFORDThe flagpole was erected in November 208 and Babergh District Council only wrote to him after a complaint about the flag was made recently Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

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.

The flagpole is 4.5m tall - but is not so high it requires planning permission to be erected Picture: JAKE FOXFORDThe flagpole is 4.5m tall - but is not so high it requires planning permission to be erected Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

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.”

Mr Markwell says the Remembrance flag will keep flying in his garden in Pinewood, Ipswich Picture: JAKE FOXFORDMr Markwell says the Remembrance flag will keep flying in his garden in Pinewood, Ipswich Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

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.

The family are saving a Union Jack, with pictures of Mr Markwell's great great uncle Kenneth, for a The family are saving a Union Jack, with pictures of Mr Markwell's great great uncle Kenneth, for a "special day" full of sunshine this summer Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

“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.”

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