Rain

Rain

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Floods of 1953: Service honours those who died in floods tragedy

08:25 04 February 2013

An aerial view of the flood-hit area of felxistowe in 1953 - the estate of prefabs can clearly been seen, all of them ripped from their foundations.

An aerial view of the flood-hit area of felxistowe in 1953 - the estate of prefabs can clearly been seen, all of them ripped from their foundations.

Archant

SOLEMNLY the names of the 41 who died in the 1953 floods at Felixstowe were read aloud – each person who lost their life remembered on the 60th anniversary of the tragedy.

shares

More than 200 people gathered for a memorial service to honour those who perished, people who died in the cold sat on roofs of their homes, drowned in their beds or were swept away by the force of the floodwater.

Mayor Mike Deacon, speaking at the service on Saturday night at Felixstowe Salvation Army, said it was thought such a flood could never happen again because of the improvements in sea defences and construction of the Port of Felixstowe, the high quays of which stand across the path the water took.

But he warned we should “never under estimate the power of the sea” – nature could always produce similar circumstances or worse.

He said when he arrived in the town as a child in 1958, the floods were still talked about by everyone and 60 years later the memories were raw for those involved.

Leading the service Captain Richard Waters, of Felixstowe Salvation Army, said the anniversary was an opportunity to pause, a time to remember and reflect.

He said people involved in tragedies often wanted something good to come from the bad – a hope that something could be learned or improved to prevent a similar disaster in the future.

One consequence of the floods had been improved communications and weather forecasting which today would at least ensure people were warned in advanced and evacuated.

Mr Deacon, deputy mayor Jan Garfield, Rev Robert Hinsley, vicar of St John’s Church, and Col Scott Benza, of USAF Lakenheath, attending in memory of USAF airman Staff Sgt Jack Shortt who died in the floods, read out the roll of honour of those who died, including whole families and 13 children,.

Ian Heeley, organiser of the evening in conjunction with the Salvation Army, said Mr Shortt’s daughter had been present and had spoken to Col Benza afterwards.

“It was a lovely evening and I want to thank everyone who attended and was involved, especially the survivors and their families and the loved ones of those who died. I think it was a fitting community commemoration to an event which had a huge impact on our town,” he said.

shares

2 comments

  • I was 11 years-old and lived at Dock Cottages, opposite RAF Felixstowe. We escaped by walking along the railway line from Felixstowe Dock Station to somewhere near Orwell. The destruction either side of the line, bodies of animals, prefabs etc will never be forgotten. I now live in Carlisle and just escaped the Carlisle floods in 2005. The aerial view photograph has triggered memories and my thoughts are with those who died and everyone who struggled and survived that terrible night - and with those who lost their lives in Holland.

    Report this comment

    Keith Adams

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • My Mother Doris 94 from Melton was badly affected by the floods. Her poor little dog got washed away

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Monday, February 4, 2013

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

Sycamore Close, Ipswich

A man who brandished an axe when baliffs came to his Ipswich home to collect a court debt has been jailed.

Burglary at Palmerston Road, Ipswich

Thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, including an engagement ring and a family heirloom, were stolen from the home of a young Ipswich family.

Inside the cannabis factory in Powling Road which Shefget Marku tended

An illegal immigrant who was found in an Ipswich house which had been turned into a cannabis factory has been jailed for eight months.

Nitro Circus in action. Photo: Mark Watson

Strap in Ipswich, you’re in for a wild ride when Travis Pastrana’s world famous Nitro Circus Live lands at Foxhall Stadium this summer.

Tim Mason.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Mason following his death. He worked “passionately” to help homeless people and those with learning difficulties, and helped convince the Government to reinstate a life-extending cancer drug. He was 58.

1968 file picture of an annual rally of Cub Scouts from Ipswich, Woodbridge and Felixstowe held at the Hallowtree Camping Site.  The picture shows the County Commissioner for Suffolk Mr J D Pearce, with some of the cubs.

Cub packs across Suffolk will be marking the organisation’s 100 year anniversary in 2016 – and we are looking for your memories and pictures.

Man put woman's photos on online dating site

A 24-year-old Suffolk man has been fined for posting topless photos of a woman on an internet dating site.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A shoplifter with more than 20 previous offences to her name has been given a conditional discharge.

Nitro Circus in action. Photo: Mark Watson

What a breathtaking show. At least I think it was, I watched parts of it peering through my fingers.

Stock image of A14 delays between Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds.

Police said the collisions have caused widespread delays in west Suffolk.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24