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King's Lynn Second World War memorial pledge to honour our heroes



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Members of the Lynn branch of the Royal British Legion are campaigning for a Second World War memorial to honour those who lost their lives during the conflict.

Gerry Tann of the legion said the group are looking for funding for a new memorial to go alongside the existing First World War memorial in Tower Gardens.

“I have visited so many memorials before. Fenland and Spalding have got one. Lots of other towns have memorials already and we have nothing,” Mr Tann said when referring to the Second World War.

“We want to get the names for everyone who lost their lives in the conflict on it.

“This is even before the Second World War started, going back to the 1920s. You never forget the First World War. We celebrated the end of that war but we lost other people as well.”

Robert Hipkin, Karin Hipkin and Gerry Tann
Robert Hipkin, Karin Hipkin and Gerry Tann

He used David Ward, a Lynn man who died during the Suez Canal crisis as an example of those who also perished outside of the World Wars time period.

The appeal is being highlighted ahead of commemorations of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which will take place in Tower Gardens next Thursday.

Seven surviving veterans of the landing operations from West Norfolk will be attending and laying wreaths

And Mr Tann said West Norfolk’s contribution to the global conflict needs to be recognised through a permanent tribute.

“We still have living residents of those people so we have to get their permission first,” he said.

“Most people are cooperative and there is a lot of interest for it.”

Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds, deputy leader and cabinet member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: “As well as the WW1 memorial in Tower Gardens, there is also a plaque that was installed in 2010 that commemorates those lost in subsequent conflicts. So those persons lost in the Second World War are remembered but not named.

“We always welcome ways to recognise our armed forces and improve our public spaces. Next week we will mark the anniversary of D-Day and will also celebrate Armed Forces Day later in June.

“I look forward to seeing the group's proposal.”

From left are Robert Hipkin (King's Lynn and District Royal British Legion Standard Bearer), Karin Hipkin (King's Lynn and District Royal British Legion community support officer) and Gerry Tann (King's Lynn & District Royal British Legion chairman), who are pictured on the area where the new memorial will be built
From left are Robert Hipkin (King's Lynn and District Royal British Legion Standard Bearer), Karin Hipkin (King's Lynn and District Royal British Legion community support officer) and Gerry Tann (King's Lynn & District Royal British Legion chairman), who are pictured on the area where the new memorial will be built

The current First World War memorial is listed as Grade II by Historic England.

Designed by Oswald Milne, the memorial reads: “Erected by the citizens of King’s Lynn to the memory of their gallant comrades who fell in the Great War.”

Mr Tann said the Lynn News helped campaign for public funding for the memorial in 2004.

He added that Royal British Legion’s money is not allocated for memorials, and is meant to go towards welfare instead.

A total of 307 people from Lynn lost their life during the Second World War according to Mr Tann.

“We have lost thousands of people in Norfolk but all the conflicts we have had since World War One, we need to be recording this stuff and that is the aim of the legion,” he said.

Next week’s D-Day commemoration and parade will see a Parade of Standards leave the Town Hall at 10.30am.

The Royal British Legion are trying to get a new memorial for the Second World War in King's Lynn
The Royal British Legion are trying to get a new memorial for the Second World War in King's Lynn

They will walk to the Tower Gardens for the commemoration at 11am.

A reading of extracts associated with D-Day will be be read followed by a Service of Remembrance.

And wreath laying will be led by the borough’s mayor Geoff Hipperson followed by other dignitaries and the seven surviving veterans from West Norfolk.

Any veterans or family members who were involved with D-Day or have a story to tell are asked to contact the Lynn branch of the Royal Legion on 01553 674953.



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