War heroes' names to be added to plaque

HE paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country yet this is the face of an Ipswich war hero whose contribution was in danger of being forgotten.Not long after this grainy black and white photo was taken, the smiling young soldier pictured was dead and his body buried in a war cemetery thousands of miles from home.

HE paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country yet this is the face of an Ipswich war hero whose contribution was in danger of being forgotten.

Not long after this grainy black and white photo was taken, the smiling young soldier pictured was dead and his body buried in a war cemetery thousands of miles from home.

He left Ipswich as a bright 20-year-old, fresh from his art studies at evening school, on his way to a war which was to claim 4.5million casualties.

But by the time he was 21 the soldier with the Royal Norfolk Regiment was killed by a mortar bomb attack.


You may also want to watch:


Yet despite his sacrifice for his country, fifty six years on from his death there is still no mention of Roy McDonald's role in the Korean War in his home town.

While his grave lies in an immaculately kept cemetery in Busan, Korea and Korean president Kim Dae-Jung saw fit to send a letter of appreciation to Mr McDonald's family in 2000, Ipswich has never included his name on any war memorial.

Most Read

But now that is set to change.

His is among a handful of names, two from the Korean war, one from Northern Ireland, one from Cyprus and more recently Private Aaron McClure who died in Afghanistan last year, which are to be listed on a new plaque on the war memorial in Christchurch Park alongside those who died in the First and Second world wars.

Should Ipswich suffer future losses, those names will also be added to the cenotaph as well.

The Royal British Legion and Ipswich Borough Council are organising the new plaque in time for Remembrance Day.

The move was welcomed by local veterans who have long campaigned for the inclusion of the names on the memorial.

John Juby, a Korean War veteran and chairman of the Ipswich and District branch of the Korean Veterans' Association, said when Roy McDonald died in 1952 his family was left distraught and his mother Doris, of Morecombe Court, Ipswich, spent the rest of her life appealing for his inclusion on a memorial in his home town.

She died a few years ago aged in her 90s with her wish never being realised.

Mr Juby said: “Roy McDonald was a schoolmate of mine. We were in different companies but we went out together.

“I had the misfortune of having to wrap him up in a blanket after he was killed. I took him off to the American Graves Commission.

“All his mum ever wanted was to go somewhere where there was some respect for Roy but there was never anywhere for her.”

Do you know someone whose name should be listed on the new plaque? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788, write to Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter