Memorial plaque back at its home church

A mysterious First World War memorial plaque that was discovered months ago has now been handed over to the church where it belongs.The brass plaque was originally displayed in the Crown Street Congregational Church, in Ipswich, from 1920 but was lost when the church was demolished in the late 1960s.

IPSWICH: A mysterious First World War memorial plaque that was discovered months ago has now been handed over to the church where it belongs.

The brass plaque was originally displayed in the Crown Street Congregational Church, in Ipswich, from 1920 but was lost when the church was demolished in the late 1960s.

Members of the church's congregation moved to what is now known as the Christ Church United Reformed/Baptist Church, in Tacket Street, but over the years the plaque was mislaid and believed lost.

However, last autumn it ended up in the workshop of Battisford pensioner Peter Haughton after he purchased a quantity of scrap metal.

He said the plaque was unrecognisable and unreadable when he first identified what it was but after cleaning it up and conducting some initial research with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, it became clear that the plaque had originally come from an Ipswich Church.

The Evening Star took up the case and made contact with historian Gwyn Thomas, who quickly deduced that its roots lay at Crown Street, and its rightful home would be at Christ Church.

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Earlier this month the Christ Church deacons met and decided that the plaque should be displayed at the site and yesterday it was returned by Mr Haughton, and will now be put up in the Crown Room, named in memory of the Crown Street faithful.

Reverend Andrew Kleissner said that with several members of the Crown Street congregation still attending the church, including a few relatives of the dead soldiers, it was appropriate that the plaque had been passed on.

Sybil Nicholls, 83, is the niece of William Tubb, one of the soldiers named on the plaque, and is still a member of the Christ Church congregation, having been baptised and married many years ago at Crown Street.

She said: “My mother was one of eight and used to talk about all her siblings and he (William Tubb) was the second oldest. He died in 1917. I remember seeing it (the plaque) there (at Crown Street) and it's nice to see it once again.”

Mr Haughton said he had been “a little emotional” as he finally handed the plaque over but was pleased it was now back where it belonged.

Private Reginald Edwin Day, of Warwick Road, was born and enlisted in Ipswich and died on October 19, 1917

He was a member of 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.

Sergeant Frank Kirby was born and enlisted in Ipswich and died on August 8, 1917

He was a member of 90th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.

Unfortunately, little is known of Archie Smith as there were many A Smiths in the Suffolk Regiment.

Private Bertram Charles Stevenson, of Suffolk Road, enlisted in Ipswich and died on March 21, 1918.

He was a member of 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.

Private William Charles Tubb, of Burlington Road, was married to Ruby Alice Tubb and died on August 16, 1917.

At the time of his death he was in 1st/7th Battalion the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment), formerly 2609 6th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.

Private Brighton Ward was born in Nuton, Norfolk, and Enlisted in Bury St Edmunds. Husband of Edith Ward of Devonshire Road, Ipswich, he died on July 31, 1917.

He was a member of 8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, formerly 7879 Cambridgeshire Regiment.

Private Victor Wells, of Tower Terrace, was born in Ipswich and enlisted in Grays, Essex. He died on October 21, 1917.

He was a member of 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment.

Private Frederick William Wright was born and enlisted in Ipswich and died on August 9, 1917

He was a member of 7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.