Hopes rise for memorial plaque display

HOPES are rising today that plans to have a war memorial plaque displayed in a town centre church will go ahead.The plaque, commemorating eight soldiers who were killed in the First World War, was rescued from the scrapheap by pensioner Peter Haughton, who wrote to the Evening Star in a bid to trace where it came from.

HOPES are rising today that plans to have a war memorial plaque displayed in a town centre church will go ahead.

The plaque, commemorating eight soldiers who were killed in the First World War, was rescued from the scrapheap by pensioner Peter Haughton, who wrote to the Evening Star in a bid to trace where it came from.

Suffolk historian Gwyn Thomas looked into the story of the mysterious plaque and discovered that it had formerly been displayed in the Congregational Church, in Crown Street, Ipswich, which closed in the 1970s.

Mr Thomas said the congregation relocated to Christ Church, in Tacket Street, which he felt would be the “most appropriate” home for the plaque.

The Star made contact with the church and after a meeting of the lay leadership on Thursday , it was agreed that it could be put on show somewhere at the site.

The Rev Andrew Kleissner said: “There is no question - we want to do this. It's a 'yes' but we're not sure how yet. We certainly would like to display it somewhere on the premises where it can be seen and have some sort of dedication.

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“People here are very impressed with the detective work and there was an absolute consensus that to come here would be the right place.”

Mr Haughton, 80, who lives in Battisford, said he was thrilled that the mystery of the plaque had been unravelled and he looked forward to seeing it back in its rightful place.

The names on the plaque include Reginald E Day, Frank Kirby, Archie Smith, Bert Stevenson, William Tubb, Brighton Ward, Victor Wells and Fred W Wright.

Most of the soldiers served in the Suffolk Regiment and all lived in Ipswich, close to the site of the Crown Street Congregational Church.

The plaque will be discussed again at the next meeting of the church leaders in the new year.