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New Swaffham VJ Day bench remembers those who served




A new commemorative bench has been installed in a market town cemetery after it had been delayed by the coronavirus.

Swaffham Town Council has completed its Victory over Japan (VJ) Day project for 2020 with the bench marking the 75th anniversary of the Second World War ending.

A plaque on the bench reads "Remember all those who served", with mayor Jill Skinner stating the truncated project was worth doing despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Swaffham mayor Jill Skinner is pictured on the left with Swaffham Heritage Museum manager Dr Sue Gattuso on the right. Picture: SUBMITTED
Swaffham mayor Jill Skinner is pictured on the left with Swaffham Heritage Museum manager Dr Sue Gattuso on the right. Picture: SUBMITTED

She said: “We had great hopes for celebrating and commemorating the 75th Anniversary of VE Day which sadly we had to postpone. But I am so pleased that we have been able to go ahead with this project.

"I hope that this bench will be here for many years and give visitors to the town cemetery somewhere to rest and reflect.”

Meanwhile, Swaffham Heritage Museum has created a new resource on its website covering the history of the war in the Far East and the involvement of soldiers from Swaffham and surrounding towns.

The VJ commemorative bench in Swaffham cemetry which has been supplied by the town council. Picture: SUBMITTED
The VJ commemorative bench in Swaffham cemetry which has been supplied by the town council. Picture: SUBMITTED

Dr Sue Gattuso, volunteer manager of Swaffham Heritage said: “It’s a privilege to bring together the history of Swaffham’s involvement in the war in the Far East, we are very lucky to have access to documents and recorded accounts of the time. I hope that this helps to keep the memory of those who served alive.”

The archive includes a list of soldiers who were members of FEPOW, the Far East Prisoners of War Association and includes men from Swaffham, Watton, Attleborough, Brancaster, Pentney, Fakenham and villages in between.

The project was supported by a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant via the Norfolk Community Foundation.



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