September 22 2014 Latest news:
Jon Vale West Suffolk reporter
Thursday, August 14, 2014
A west Suffolk village’s two-year quest to revamp its war memorial is nearing its end after it finally reached its fundraising total.
The Long Melford War Memorial appeal fund has been helped over the line by a donation from the War Memorials Trust, as well as a healthy £500 from local heritage centre volunteer David Carter.
It makes the project a reality after more than two years of fundraising spearheaded by the parish council, with the appeal kick-started by parish and district councillor John Nunn.
Mr Nunn’s second cousin is one of those named on the war memorial, with Mr Nunn mounting the appeal after noticing it had fallen into a “bad state” during a visit.
“I took it back to the parish council and said ‘we need to look at getting this war memorial repaired’,” added Mr Nunn.
“We’ve put a bit more effort into completing the fundraising because of the centenary of the First World War – it’s spurred people on to try and get it done.”
Peter Turner, chairman of Long Melford Parish Council, added: “In a year of very mixed emotions, I think what has come out is the extraordinary generosity of local people.
“It’s desperately in need of renovation.”
As well as the repair work, which is likely to be finished by the end of September, a new memorial could be created in the village to honour those who lost their lives but have not been named on the memorial.
Villagers David Gevaux and Anne Grimshaw have been hard at work researching the names of those from Long Melford who served in the First World War, with Mr Gevaux describing the project as a “mammoth task” as he sifts through 800 individual records. He said: “What we don’t know is what the criteria was when they originally did it (the war memorial).
“Some of these people were born in the village and moved away.”
The war memorial stands outside the Holy Trinity Church in Long Melford and Mr Gevaux said the men from the village not named on the memorial were likely to be remembered on a separate roll of honour.
“The war memorial is full, and its a document of history and it needs to be kept as it was made up – you can’t correct spelling mistakes on the Magna Carta, can you,” added Mr Gevaux.