RAF hero Sir Douglas Bader to be celebrated with new Ipswich memorial

Steve Moore, Tony Marshall and Neil Manning from Clayton Architectural Metalworks with their creatio

Steve Moore, Tony Marshall and Neil Manning from Clayton Architectural Metalworks with their creation - Credit: Archant

A World War Two hero will soon be honoured with a new memorial in Ipswich.

The subject of the honour will be flying ace Sir Douglas Bader, who was a pilot based at the RAF base at Martlesham Heath during the conflict.

Carole Jones, planning portfolio holder, said: “This stunning piece of work will add to our public art and honours Douglas Bader and his RAF colleagues who displayed such heroism during the Battle of Britain and later in World War Two. The Spitfire is a symbol of that heroism.

“We are pleased to have procured the services of a local company to produce this stunning sculpture and look forward to its installation later this year.”

Bader was injured in a flying accident in the 1930s which led to him losing both of his legs.

Despite this he continued to fly planes and insisted he be allowed to return to service with the RAF on the outbreak of the Second World War.

He was captured in 1941 and became well known for his numerous escape attempts .Eventually he was placed in the prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle where he reamined until the camp was liberated in 1945.

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Bader continued to fly after the war and was knighted in 1976 for his services to disabled people.

The new statue will be going up on the green space at the heart of the Bader Close council development which was opened in 2014.

This latest sculpture is the third of its kind in the town with other memorials in Ravenswood and the town centre honouring the areas’ links with the armed forces.

Family run Ipswich metalwork firm Claydon Architectural were approached to create the piece. The memorial is the fifth for the company which also created The Trident Sculpture at Ipswich Marina and the three angels sculpture in the centre of the town.

The company whose usual mainstay is gates and fences, relished the challenge.

Claire Raycroft from the firm said “We really do enjoy getting involved in something different and creative. When we get a sculpture we always enjoy it.”

The sculpture will shortly be sent to another local company, Bradley’s Metal Finishers.

The concrete base for the memorial will be installed in the next few weeks. The statue is due to be unveiled in November though exact details about the event have yet to be released.