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Party funds to restore town's memorial

PUBLISHED: 15:48 31 July 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

WITH the sun blazing down people enjoyed a garden party aimed at celebrating a special event and raising funds for a cause close to all their hearts.

It was an event to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Royal British Legion and raise as much money as possible for the Ipswich World War II Memorial Fund.

WITH the sun blazing down people enjoyed a garden party aimed at celebrating a special event and raising funds for a cause close to all their hearts.

It was an event to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Royal British Legion and raise as much money as possible for the Ipswich World War II Memorial Fund.

And there was plenty of fun and activities to ensure the day went well with games, raffles, refreshments and an auction of lots which included Ipswich Town tickets, limited edition Tolly Cobbold beer and a microwave.

Ipswich Mayor, Maureen Carrington-Brown also attended to help the auction and to inspect the guard and standard bearers before a sunset ceremony featuring TS Orwell Sea Cadets.

It is estimated that nearly 200 people enjoyed the garden party being held at the Ipswich home of Royal British Legion Ipswich branch secretary Peter Thompson and about £800 was raised for the memorial.

Mr Thompson said: "It's the 80th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.

"We thought we would incorporate celebrations with raising money for the extension of the World War II memorial.

"It's something which we all feel strong about."

The aim is to raise the thousands of pounds needed to extend the existing memorial in Christchurch Park to ensure it bears the name for every one of the town's servicemen who died during the conflict.

The Royal British Legion in Ipswich are passionate about seeing the town's war dead recognised at last.

"595 people from Ipswich died in the Second World War but we're the only town where it's not recognised," Mr Thompson said.

"They've never been recognised even though it should have been done in 1947, straight after the war.

They just let it go and let it go even though we've been trying for years."

"In 1924 Ipswich's war memorial was recognised as the best in the country," he added. "Now I reckon it must be the worst."

Nearly £12,000 has been raised already and collection boxes are in all council buildings.

Once the memorial is complete it will be Ipswich Borough Council's responsibility to maintain it but it will belong to the public.

"It's the people's memorial," Mr Thompson said.

"There's still a lot of money to raise, but I think we'll get there."

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