Village determined to honour men from community who died in two world wars with new memorial
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Residents of a village in south Norfolk are determined to have a permanent memorial to honour those from their community who died in two world wars.
The names of the dead from Chedgrave were inscribed in plaques mounted inside the village church.
Plans to build an additional, permanent memorial – to act as a focus for the community – are being lead by local parish councillor Matt Hubbard.
The scheme is at an early stage but Mr Hubbard, 41, said it was hoped a lych-gate memorial could be erected to replace the wooden gates at the entrance of the church, which are in a poor state of repair.
Mr Hubbard said: “We’ve got two plaques in the church but we need somewhere for people to be able to lay wreaths on Remembrance Day.
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“There is going to be seating both sides to make it a meeting place as well and we want the names of the First World War and Second World War soldiers to be inscribed on the front.
“We just want it to look really nice and do justice for the people who did their bit for our country.”
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The council needs the permission of the local church council and then the Diocese of Norwich to go ahead with the work.
A design for the memorial has been drawn up by Bungay wood caver Mark Goldsworthy, and the project is estimated to cost £20,000.
Mr Hubbard said: “I’ve just done 24 years in the RAF so I decided to take on the project as I’ve got a special interest in it.
“We did a Poppy Appeal last year around the village and at the same time asked residents what they thought and the overall census was to build a lych-gate as a memorial.
“As soon as they are happy with our plans for the lych-gate and the surrounding area we will start applying for funding.
“We are also going to do some fundraising ourselves and we started last weekend with our Picnic in the Pits event which raised just under £100 on our cake stall.
“We’ve got a long way to go but we want to do our bit as well instead of just asking for a grant for the full amount.”
The parish council is also hoping to work with the local schools to get pupils to do some more research into the men from Chedgrave who lost their lives, and hope to track down family members and people from their regiment to invite to the official launch when it is built.
Mr Hubbard said: “We wanted to get it done in time for the start of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, but we want to do a proper job and don’t want to rush it. It may take a while for the diocese to come back to us, but hopefully we can get it built in the next four years.”
The council has already been donated some bricks and slates to match the church from a local building company.
Anyone who would like to support the project and make a donation can contact the council via http://chedgrave-parish-council.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/