Mystery over names of fallen soldiers

Mystery today surrounds the names on an historic memorial plaque bearing the identities of several Ipswich soldiers who died in the Great War.

MID SUFFOLK: Mystery today surrounds the names on an historic memorial plaque bearing the identities of several Ipswich soldiers who died in the Great War.

The plaque was part of a lot of scrap brass given to Peter Haughton for him to cut up and recycle but he could not bring himself to destroy such a significant historic artefact which is similar to those displayed in churches in villages across the country.

Mr Haughton, 80, of Straight Road, Battisford, was compelled to find out more and sent off the names of the soldiers to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to see if they could shed some light on where the plaque came from.

He said: “I assume it must have come from a demolished church or chapel somewhere. There was no way I was going to cut up this poignant piece of history and for some time now I have been trying to decide what to do with it.

“I feel it should be on display to keep the memory of these soldiers alive.

“Firstly, I wanted to find out whether there was a local connection and to this end I wrote to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, who were very helpful and gave me detailed information on several of the names on the plaque. I was very surprised to see that they came from Ipswich.

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“It would be very satisfying to think there might be some organisation that was in a position to look after it or even display it.”

The Commission wrote back to Mr Haughton, thanking him for his enquiry and providing details for four of the soldiers on the list, although nothing could be found on the remaining quartet.

Those identified on the list were Privates Brighton Ward, Reginald Day and Bert Stevenson, all of the Suffolk Regiment, and Private Victor Wells, of the Leicestershire Regiment.

All four were killed between 1915 and 1918 and came from Ipswich families. The remaining names on the plaque are Frank Kirby, Archie Smith, William Tubb and Fred Wright.

Are you related to any of these men? Do you know where the mystery plaque came from? If so, write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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