Search

Lasting memorial to flood victims

PUBLISHED: 19:14 15 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:47 02 March 2010

THOSE who survived the Felixstowe floods back in 1953 will never forget the events of that fateful night.

Some 39 people perished in the bitterly cold water that February and all of them are remembered in the hearts and minds of the people of the town.

THOSE who survived the Felixstowe floods back in 1953 will never forget the events of that fateful night.

Some 39 people perished in the bitterly cold water that February and all of them are remembered in the hearts and minds of the people of the town.

A surge in the North Sea smashed the banks of the River Orwell and flooded the southern part of the town.

The water reached more than six feet in height and devastated part of the resort leaving prefabricated houses and the corpses of farm animals floating through the streets.

Many lost friends or family, others simply witnessed the chaos of the following morning but the images of that evening have been carried with them throughout their lives.

Today, those memories have taken on a more formal meaning with the names of the victims immortalised in a book.

Located in the town's library, each name has been immaculately scrawled on the pages alongside family members who also lost their lives.

For the town's mayor, who was at the official blessing of the book of remembrance, this was the right time to make this honour.

Doreen Savage said: "We all have our memories of that time and it is appropriate that 51 years on the book is here as a memory to all those that lost their lives on that night.

"This is the first part of a permanent memorial to the people who perished.

"It is appropriate that after these years people still remember in such detail what happened."

Last year, at the fiftieth anniversary of the tragedy, Canon David Lowe led a service to the victims at St John's Church.

At the book's dedication the same prayer and blessing were read, marking the event as a continuation of the memorial.

The next stage in the process will be the construction of a memorial garden where survivors of the flood and future generations can remember the events of February 1, 1953.

The dedication was not attended by many of those survivors – it was mainly town dignitaries and officials who were in attendance.

Town clerk, Susan Robinson, who organised the event said: "Many of the families have moved away from the area. Many were in the RAF and are can no longer be traced. But many of the councillors and people here will still remember the night."

The creators of the book, Clare Curtis and Rosemary Humphries who also there to see the blessing of their hand made work. The local artists have also designed the memorial garden which will be opened at Langer Primary School in the future. A plan of this features in the book.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star