Second World War fallen finally honoured

BENEATH clear blue skies and bathed in glorious sunshine, 625 fallen Second World War heroes from Ipswich were finally honoured almost 60 years on.Now their names will live for eternity thanks to the drive and dedication of their comrades who have never forgotten the ultimate price they paid for freedom.

BENEATH clear blue skies and bathed in glorious sunshine, 625 fallen Second World War heroes from Ipswich were finally honoured almost 60 years on.

Now their names will live for eternity thanks to the drive and dedication of their comrades who have never forgotten the ultimate price they paid for freedom.

Yesterday their sacrifices were remembered by hundreds of people in a moving ceremony at the war memorial in Christchurch Park.

After 11 long years of striving, their names were unveiled on plaques added to the memorial, as those who carry the torch for them looked on.

The ceremony, which also re-dedicated the World War One memorial featuring 1,200 names, started with a speech by Peter Thompson area chairman of the Royal British Legion and driving force behind the plaques.

Then, Mayor of Ipswich Penny Breakwell asked the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk Lord Tollemache to unveil the plaques.

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A scripture reading followed with a dedication from the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

Prayers, hymns, a poem and the last post, played by buglers from the Royal Hospital Band, were also offered up, with many people visibly affected by the solemn proceedings.

Military and ex-service personnel laid wreaths at the base of the plaques before the blessing was given and the Sunset Ceremony started on the mansion lawn, with shots being fired in salute.

After the service, Reg Driver, president of the area's Royal British Legion, admitted he was personally honouring five of his former school friends whose names appear on the plaques.

He said: "We have given Ipswich people now something that they can see the names of their next of kin, relatives and the ones they loved."

Mr Thompson said: "I am relieved as it has taken a lot of hard work. Fundraising is always difficult to organise but the people have been very generous, especially the widows and the council.

"I know for a fact that people who have got the names of their relatives on there must feel proud.

"Some of the letters I have received about what people went through in Ipswich have been very sad."

Four generations of one family was at the cenotaph and laid a wreath for Herbert Taylor, known as Ken, who was killed in Italy.

His son, Ken Taylor, said that before his father's name appeared on the plaque there was nowhere for him to visit in this country on pertinent days.

He added: "If it wasn't for the people of Ipswich putting in money then this would never have got done."

More money is needed to fully restore the cenotaph, including proper cleaning of the First World War memorial, and any contributions to Mr Thompson at the Royal British Legion would be welcomed.

For more information visit www.cenotaph.co.uk.

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