Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Video/Gallery: Campaign begins to move Second World War memorial to Mendlesham church

16:30 26 January 2014

A project is underway to try and raise £35 000 to move Memdlesham

A project is underway to try and raise £35 000 to move Memdlesham's war memorial from the A140 into the village churchyard. Pictured are soldiers at a ceremony at the memorial.

Sarah Lucy brown

A call has gone out to raise £35,000 to move a war memorial dedicated to the sacrifice paid by the American airmen who served during the Second World War at a Suffolk airfield.

shares

The current home of the USAAF 34th Bomb Group Memorial is by the busy A140 next to the former RAF Mendlesham airfield.

In 2010 the bronze which fronted the brick memorial was stolen from the site near Stowmarket. Now Mendlesham Parish Council, along with a committee tasked with maintaining the memorial’s upkeep, has started an appeal to relocate it to the village’s parish church, St Mary’s.

Councillor David Nunn, 59, said: “Unfortunately we are losing people from the time of the Second World War and unless we move the memorial and make an effort it could be easier to forget. If it is put in the churchyard people can ask questions and it is easier to remember.

“We are desperately hoping that we are going to raise enough money to move our war memorial. It’s not practical to have a memorial on such a busy road. We started the project two years ago and the decision was made that it needed to be moved.”

Villagers were asked where they would like to see the memorial and, following discussions with Wetheringsett Parish Council, the church was chosen as the new location.

As the previous bronze plaque was never recovered a new design using green slate has been produced.

Mr Nunn, a former director of the Suffolk Show, said he had set a target of moving the memorial in time for this year’s Remembrance Sunday service. Veterans from the USA have travelled to visit the memorial on an annual basis but recently, as the number of former servicemen has dwindled, the trips have decreased. Despite this family members, who sometimes struggle to find the memoial because of its location, continue to travel to Mendlesham.

Almost 200 airmen who were based at the airfield, where some 3,000 personnel were located, died between 1944-45.

Gerald Stedman, 79, is a trustee of the committee and donated the land for the memorial when it was moved in the 1980s. The first memorial to the men was unveiled around 1949.

Mr Stedman said: “It would be a very satisfactory situation to have the memorial moved by the time of Remembrance Sunday.”

Roy Colchester, 85, a former Mendlesham parish councillor, took an interest in the planes at the airfield when he was a child. He said: “We would not have won the war without the Americans that’s for sure, it really turned the tide when they came in. We farmed not very far from the airfield during the war and I used to cycle past the airfield and used to spend probably far more time there than I should have done.”

The committee has been in 
contact with military officers at RAF Lakenheath, a current USA base, about the possibility of servicemen and women attending an event to mark the memorial’s re-location.

To donate to the appeal 
email mendleshamparish@aol.com, 
call 01449 766139 or write to:
Mendlesham Parish Council 34th Bomb Group Memorial
Honeysuckle
Hockey Hill 
Wetheringsett
Stowmarket 
Suffolk 
IP14 5PL

shares

2 comments

  • a good cause for the lottery fund.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • I agree the memorial should be 'moved', but I would question the cost. What we are really talking about here is the building of a new memorial in Mendlesham church yard. Should we really expect that to cost £35,000 ?

    Report this comment

    justmyopinion

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

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

Mick McCarthy, Manager of Ipswich Town shouts instructions Bristol City v Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he is as frustrated and agitated as supporters after this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat at relegation-battling Bristol City made it four losses from five games in all competitions.

The Belstead House in Pinweood, Ipswich.

Frustrated councillors who object to plans to build 155 homes in their parish are threatening legal action against planners.

Former Met police officer Colin Sutton with his dog Jasper

Many might describe Colin Sutton as a ‘proper copper’ - the sort with blue blood running through his family’s veins.

Eddie the Eagle movie starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman

It’s the ultimate underdog story – and one of Suffolk’s most famous sons has lent his songwriting skills to its big screen dramatisation.

A file  picture of the A14.

A man was taken to hospital after he came off the motorcycle he was riding.

Ellen and her family

There is a nasty rumour going round the playground, writes Ellen Widdup.

A file picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters were called to a home in Springfield Road in the early hours.

Tim Passmore has vowed to tackle FGM

Police in Suffolk have said tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and sexual abuse is a key priority, and have vowed to take a “zero tolerance” approach to the issue.

Fun at Sutton Hoo this half-term

For more days out suggestions, see our packed Event guide in the paper every Friday or check out @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.

Sleepless in Seattle

Instead of splashing out on an expensive meal this Valentine’s, why not have a romantic night in watching a themed film?

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24