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Boost for Cenotaph appeal

PUBLISHED: 21:24 24 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2010

EX-SERVICEMEN battling to honour Ipswich hero's killed in the Second World War have received a ray of hope today.

For Ipswich Borough Council is to give £25,000 towards an extension to the cenotaph in Christchurch Park while the Royal Naval Association has given £2,000 to the appeal.

EX-SERVICEMEN battling to honour Ipswich hero's killed in the Second World War have received a ray of hope today.

For Ipswich Borough Council is to give £25,000 towards an extension to the cenotaph in Christchurch Park while the Royal Naval Association has given £2,000 to the appeal.

Although it is just a small fraction of the £250,000 needed to complete the project to get a proper tribute to the 595 who died in battle it is being seen as a boost to the campaign which is being organised by the Ipswich branch of the Royal British Legion and supported by The Evening Star.

The new cash bonanza now brings the total funds raised to £45,000 … but many more donations are needed if the scheme is to go ahead.

Reg Driver, president of the Ipswich branch, said: "We are pleased to have had the response by the council. The amount was appreciated. Negotiations with the council are ongoing."

It was first hoped that businesses in the town would rally round and donate to the project, but the Legion were saddened by the response.

There is now talk of going back to the drawing board and scaling down the memorial if the RBL don't receive sufficient funds.

Peter Thompson, branch secretary said: "If we have to scale it down it will be very disappointing. But we have to face facts. The costs are going up all the time.

"We are the only town I know of this size which has no war memorial for victims of the Second World War. Many villages have them."

He added people travel from afar to see the names on the cenotaph only to find there is no tribute to those killed in the Second World War.

"A man came from Buckinghamshire before Christmas with his wife because she wanted to see her brother's name there," said Mr Thompson.

"They came all this way … and said `Where are the names?' "

In addition to the £25,000 The Khaki Chums, an association for military remembrance, made a £300 donation to the fund at the RBL office, which has also helped the cause.

A borough council spokesman said: "We are very pleased to make a significant contribution to this worthwhile and important project and hope the £25,000 will act as a real boost to the fundraising effort. We also hope the local businesses will follow our lead."

n Businesses or individuals who would like to help the fund please make cheques payable to Ipswich World War Two Memorial Fund, c/o British Legion Ipswich Branch, 12 St Margaret's Green, Ipswich, IP4 2BS.

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