Dig deep to raise cash for war heroes

FORMER prisoner of war Douglas Skippen made a poignant appeal for the business community to donate to a lasting memorial to World War Two heroes.It comes after the Suffolk Far East POW Fellowship made a £200 donation towards an extension to the cenotaph at Christchurch Park – an appeal backed by The Evening Star.

By Amanda Cresswell

FORMER prisoner of war Douglas Skippen made a poignant appeal for the business community to donate to a lasting memorial to World War Two heroes.

It comes after the Suffolk Far East POW Fellowship made a £200 donation towards an extension to the cenotaph at Christchurch Park – an appeal backed by The Evening Star.

It is hoped to raise £250,000 to commemorate the 595 local heroes who died for their King and country.


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However only £48,000 has been raised so far which meant organisers have to go back to the drawing board and rethink their original war memorial plans on a smaller scale.

As a former Far East POW Mr Skippen, 82, experienced unimaginable horrors including the loss of many comrades.

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"I feel really strongly about it and would urge people to donate as this would be a permanent tribute to people who gave their lives in the Second World War," he said.

Recent donations include a £100 anonymous donation from a prisoner of war and £1,000 from the Royal Air Force Association, £100 from the Blenheim Group who organised a social function, £500 from Suffolk County Council locality fund and £83 from collection tins at various borough council locations in Ipswich.

Peter Thompson, of appeal organisers the British Legion, thanked those who donated.

However he appealed for the business community to give towards the extension on behalf of the people of Ipswich to remember Second World War heroes.

"The people who have given so far – such as pensioners and former prisoners of war – are not really the people we are trying to target," said Mr Thompson. "What we really hoped for – and are still hoping for – were donations from the business community.

"At the end of the day we are definitely going to have to scale down what we wanted to do. If we have to scale it down perhaps may be it will make people think again."

Cheques should be made out to Ipswich World War Two Memorial Fund, c/o British Legion Ipswich branch, 12 St Margaret's Green, Ipswich, IP4 2BS or taken to Ipswich Borough Council premises.

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