Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
Photobucket image links are no longer allowed, as a matter of forum policy.
Your Mods have been doing a massive job in sorting out the photobucket issue, please assist them by posting directly to the thread and not through a 3rd party host.
Read More...

TOPIC: MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New)

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 10 Aug 2012 16:30 #1

  • REF
  • REF's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 9669
  • Thank you received: 396
This was recieved on a pdf (attached) to me from Mendlesham Parish Council today:
war memorial 10.8.12.pdf

Copy of the text in the pdf reads:

MENDLESHAM PARISH COUNCIL
Mid Suffolk District Council Village of the Year 2010
Suffolk Parish Council of the Year 2010

Veterans, Relatives and Friends of the USAAF 34th Bombardment Group
10th August 2012

Dear Veterans, Relatives and Friends of the USAAF 34th Bombardment Group

Mendlesham War Memorial

Location:
Firstly thank you to everyone who has continued to express an interest and offers of help towards replacement of the plaque following the theft, combined with the potential move of the memorial from the isolated, current location on an extremely busy road.

When we asked about moving the memorial to Mendlesham village towards the end of last year, we received unanimous positive support for this from those of you in the United States, local people including the volunteers who look after the Memorial from Mendlesham and Wetheringsett Parish Council.

The next stage was to consider all possible sites within the village of Mendlesham which would provide a more suitable atmosphere for remembrance and be accessible to all either locals, or visitors using cars and public transport.

After considering two possible sites, at a meeting of Mendlesham Parish Council on 7th August 2012, ,including representation from Wetheringsett Parish Council, it was agreed to consult with all of those interested about siting the Memorial in the churchyard at St Mary’s Church, Mendlesham. Father Philip, the Vicar, is extremely supportive of this idea. The other option was in Old Market Street, Mendlesham, next to our village sign. However, this is opposite the village shop, parking can be limited and it was felt the atmosphere was too noisy. Please would you let us know your thoughts about this as we would hope to make a final decision on location, subject to completing any necessary formalities, at our 3rd October 2012 meeting.

Design:
Currently, we have been unable to establish progress from the volunteer who had offered to make a replica of the original plaque. We have not heard of any progress and are currently to reluctant to ask as we understand he has been ill. However, as soon as we can, we will ask the question.

However, Suffolk Police did report that whilst investigating the theft, they had been advised that there had been a second original plaque and/ or mould, lodged at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire,UK. The Suffolk Police files are not immediately available to find out the source of this information so we have undertaken further research via the web and also contacted the IWM, Duxford.
Research on the internet established details of USAAF plaque memorial no 4790. Details of size, ceremony 1949, wording and craftsman Henry Berg.

Further research on Henry Berg (assuming we have found the correct one) revealed that he had died in 1998 and has done sculptures for public spaces, particularly in Baltimore, USA. His father Edward Henry Berg, was an even more notable sculptor with both specialising in bronzes which are sold via the top art dealers. The Mendlesham Memorial was therefore possibly a work of art. Searches have been made to try to establish the holder of Henry Berg’s collection/inventory etc. with no success to date, although further enquires could be made in the States. If anyone in the States are able to help further with this, it would be much appreciated.

Contact was made with Peter Murton, IWM Duxford.

Peter has been excellent in helping with the search and has said if we can find an original we could probably have it (although that was before we realised we may be talking about a work of art) or at least take a copy from it.

His email to Mendlesham Parish Council 23.7.12 said:

Dear Sharon,
Further to our telephone conversations last week & today, IWM staff at London & Duxford now know how this bronze looked, from the photographs broadcast at
/community/showthread.php?4315-Mendlesham-Airfield-Memorials
You are, of course, already aware that – before it was stolen from Mendlesham – it was surveyed by a local volunteer for the UK NIWM & registered as Memorial 4790.
http://www.ukniwm.org.uk/server/show/conMemorial.4790/fromUkniwmSearch/1
refers, although the date 1949 & other details are omitted from the Inventory.

Perhaps more importantly, the Inventory does not record that a duplicate of the original plaque, plus the mould from which they cast, were donated to – or otherwise acquired by – the IWM sometime since 1949. This is primarily because they are a complete mystery to current IWM staff at London & Duxford !

As discussed, the main point of this message is so you can forward it to your contact in the Suffolk Police, & ask him to reply to me directly as a matter of urgency. I am the IWM representative whom your Parish Council & the Suffolk Police should contact about this matter in future, because I have admin. responsibility for all the registered War Memorials on the IWM Duxford site (currently 24), & am also responsible for liaison between the IWM Duxford & the UK NIWM, which is based at the original IWM London.

Our problem is that, contrary to what you have been told by Suffolk Police, neither the duplicate plaque nor the mould is held in store - at London or Duxford – as part of the IWM Exhibits main collection, or of the American Air Museum supplementary exhibits collection, or of the IWM Art (Sculpture) specific collection.

Furthermore, there is no record in Museum Archives, or in other acquisitions records & collection catalogues – dating back to 1949 – that the IWM has ever acquired these items.

The only possibility we can think of is that – unknown to IWM staff – another ‘lodger’ organisation on the IWM Duxford site somehow acquired the duplicate plaque & mould. This must have been since 1978, when the IWM Duxford was created, after the IWM London had been using the site for exhibit storage since 1971. Unfortunately, however, there is no immediately obvious ‘lodger’ organisation we can think of. Indeed, they all seem highly unlikely recipients, the majority being private owners & operators of historic aircraft, or specialists in the aviation & heritage fields.

We, of course, have a professional interest in helping you to solve this matter, because if the plaque & mould are here somewhere, various staff in different departments want to know about them !

With all good wishes for a speedy solution to this dilemma.

Yours sincerely,

Peter


This email was passed on to Suffolk Police and at the time of writing we have heard no more. However we do believe our source has been away on leave and has just now returned to work so hopefully we will make some more progress soon.

NB the photos on the links provided by Peter do show the quality of the USAAF memorial and are worth looking at.

Next actions:
Whilst waiting for a response to the consultation about the proposed location, if there is an original bronze/mould available, how the duplicate is progressing or if indeed will be available, a working party will continue to meet in order to look at other areas that will need to be resolved. For example, if there are any design requirements/ regulations to meet if the Memorial is placed at St Mary’s? We understand that that whatever regulations the Church Diocese have, would take priority, although English Heritage may also need to give permission which would likely delay matters, as St Marys is a Grade 1 listed building.

Please contact Mendlesham Parish Council via myself with your thoughts about all of this. We have had many offers of financial help to resolve this so we don’t anticipate funding being an issue.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely

Sharon Jones

Parish Clerk

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 10 Aug 2012 17:33 #2

  • airfields man
  • airfields man's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4520
  • Thank you received: 259
Good to read that something is, at last, being done about replacing this long overdue memorial. I must admit that it wasn't in a very good place to visit regards the VERY busy road. I first photographed it about 1986-7, how about re-siting it on the Industrial Estate ( Like at Rackheath). Although the churchyard (St Mary's) in Mendlesham village is also a good option. A few of these 8th Air Force memorials are in such suitable churchyards, Shipdham and Seething to think of two right now.
The Dead got memorials, The living got time.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 10 Aug 2012 18:48 #3

  • Bomber
  • Bomber's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 786
  • Thank you received: 42
Hi airfieds man i agree with you the churchyard could be agood place to put it .Glattons first memorial is in the church yard .
However i also think that some sort of memorial should be left on the A140 to remind people in passing that wonce this was an active wartime bomber station . Like you i first photed the memorial in 1976 when the art work was also still in situe .
I last visited the airfield a couple of months ago .Walking down what remains of the only bit of runway left . 8-)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 10 Aug 2012 20:44 #4

  • airfields man
  • airfields man's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4520
  • Thank you received: 259
Totally agree with you there Bomber, even if the long-standing original memorial that existed at that site is re-moved forever, then there should be some kind of reminder left in it's place. A small engraved stone, worthy only to those in dedication.
The Dead got memorials, The living got time.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 24 Aug 2012 03:26 #5

  • Des
  • Des's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Thank you received: 0
Hi:
My Father was stationed in Mendlesham and I had the honor to visit the area with him in 1996 - ish. He was a US airman and passed away in 2003. He was injured in a take-off accident on the main runway, but not too seriously so he was able to continue to serve. What an honor and privilege to visit such a lovely town with such lovely people. My brother (who is named after an airman friend of my fathers who died in a bomber crash), myself and my father along with several surviving members of the 34th attended a service at St. Mary's and then the town hosted a wonderful gathering for the men. This was my very first visit to the UK - and will always be my most memorable. I have visited your lovely land dozens of times since and call many of your citizens my friends.
I am saddened to hear of the terrible theft. I feel as though a small piece of me was stolen. I too love the idea that the memorial be moved to St. Mary's. I believe many of the deaths from the base are registered there. A small stone is also a good idea for the base of the original runway.
I hope to subscribe to this thread so I can receive updates.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 24 Aug 2012 17:28 #6

  • airfields man
  • airfields man's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4520
  • Thank you received: 259
Hi Des, Welcome to the forum. Interesting to hear that your Father was based at Mendlesham. Do you have any more information concerning his 'Safe' accident on the main runway? or any other stories. Good to know that you have been to visit the airfield that your Father flew from, and have made many friends 'Over Here'.
The Dead got memorials, The living got time.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 24 Aug 2012 21:19 #7

  • Bomber
  • Bomber's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 786
  • Thank you received: 42
Hi Des , Its good to have you along .I am sure you will be kept up to date on the progress of any new memorials as airfields man as already stated ,
Regards ,
Bomber .

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 14 Oct 2012 23:08 #8

  • REF
  • REF's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 9669
  • Thank you received: 396
Email received with an update on the Mendlesham memorial

Update further to consultation regarding proposal to locate the US 34th Bomb Group Memorial to St Mary’s churchyard, Mendlesham

Report provided to Mendlesham Parish Council meeting 3.10.12

With the help of Peter Murton at the Imperial War Museum, suggest we have exhausted investigations for replacements of original plaque/mold in UK. This has included asking local volunteers based at Duxford, representing various organisations including the War Memorial Trust, the national War Memorial Trust and Suffolk Police. US veteran group investigated, email received 2.10.12
“One of our 34th Bomb Group Association members was able to locate and talk by telephone with Ed Berge, the son of Henry Berge. Ed was aware that his father made the 34th Bomb Group plaque. He knows of no second copy of the plaque. He does not have the mold for the 34th Bomb Group plaque. He does not think that the mold is still in existence” .

Consultation response:

Surprising small response from local residents, known Mendlesham: 5 written, 3 verbal, Wetheringsett 1 written. However, this does not necessary show that people don’t care, probably more that they are fine with the proposed location, if they were against it; many more responses would have been received.

Specifically re St Mary’s: 6 replies for, including overwhelming support from US veterans and families. 2 against, 1 would prefer other site, but ok with St Mary’s.
For Jubilee Gardens, Mendlesham: Mendlesham residents, one for, one against.
General move to village (not proposed as part of consultation), one for, but no specific location. Also preferred site for one person, grassed area at Glebe Way.
Majority in favour of St Mary’s including veterans and families.

Many offers of help including donations, help with fundraising events, offer to cast a bronze for nothing, just paying for materials, making the “dedication” day an event with bringing old military vehicles etc. Have explained we need to know what we want, when, cost, who is responsible for finances etc. first.

Working group of Mendlesham and Wetheringsett Parish Councillors met with Father Philip of St Mary’s, Mendlesham, 26.9.12. Purpose: exploratory meeting only, to discuss possibility/requirements if memorial to be located in churchyard, as no decisions/confirmation were to be made until after meeting 3.10.12.

Father Philip is extremely supportive of memorial to be located in Churchyard. Already on Remembrance day service and as part of another service for Mendlesham School, 190 candles are lit before American flag and book of names, which also has a page turned daily. See [url]www.stmarysmendlesham,org,uk[/url] to see photos of service. If a memorial is located within churchyard this could be extended to a visit to the memorial to lay wreathes etc. Church PCC unanimous in support.

Diocese architect, Philip Orchard, has also been consulted and recommends a spot in middle churchyard and willing if instructed, to prepare a design. This would need to be in flint rather than brick surrounding to fit within context of surroundings in order to obtain “ planning permission” from church. A carved relief in stone copying the original design was suggested as this would be more resistant to theft than a bronze plaque.

Cllrs noted that if an original bronze became available it could not be left outside again and if the volunteer was making progress with the resin duplicate, it could be still used either as part of the memorial or in another capacity.

Cllrs expressed the need to ensure size and nature of memorial comparable with existing and need to put work out to tender.

If meeting agreed the proposal to move the memorial to the churchyard, the next steps would be to :
1. Instruct the Architect.
2. Arrange a visit of the Diocese Advisory Committee
3. Return to the PCC for further approval.
4. Citation for Faculty- notice on door for 28 days
5. If no objections, it is approved and a certificate called a faculty is issued.

Father Philip has also received an offer believed to be of “substantial” financial assistance from an ex Mendlesham resident to facilitate this. Parish Councillors also noted the many other offers of help received and the need for everyone who wants to be involved to feel included.

After visiting church and church yard to look at proposed spot and existing memorials, Cllrs decided to make a proposal to this meeting to move the memorial to the churchyard, subject to further agreement and approvals as detailed.

Meeting 3.10.12

At the meeting, after some questions from the public, it was proposed and unanimously agreed that the memorial should be located to St Mary’s churchyard. The particular spot identified in the churchyard was in a prominent location, accessible as it was beside an existing path and relatively close to the church itself so all attending a service should then be able to walk outside to the memorial. It was thought that a flint design rather than the previous red brick wall would be very attractive and sympathetic to the surroundings.

The volunteer who had offered to make a replacement mould attended the meeting and reported that the mould was now ready and he could make the plaque using a resin including slate dust from Wales for a slate finish, which hopefully would be less attractive to thieves. He did not want any payment for this. The meeting thanked him for his work and asked him to complete the plaque.

Whilst the design/material of the memorial would need to be approved by the Church, in the event that this plaque was not suitable, it would still be of historical significance and it was hoped a home would be found for it elsewhere locally.

It was agreed that the next stage would be for a further meeting with the Church Architect, to discuss a design etc. It was noted that the “new” memorial should have the same footprint/presence as that of the “ old” memorial.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 15 Oct 2012 19:32 #9

  • airfields man
  • airfields man's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4520
  • Thank you received: 259
Great news there REF, lets just hope for a quick decision about all of this. Though, as I said earlier in this thread, something should remain at the former site. A memorial, to the original memorial. Maybe a piece of wartime runway or building with an inscription upon it that means so much to those lost, but worth nothing to the Scum who stole the original one.
The Dead got memorials, The living got time.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.

MENDLESHAM (CHURCH OF ST. MARY) - 34th BG (H) Memorial (New) 17 Oct 2012 19:51 #10

  • Bomber
  • Bomber's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 786
  • Thank you received: 42
Here Here !! airfields man i totally agree with you on this .Like you i siad the same back in the summer . Any passing trafic seeing some sort of Marker / memorial at the side of the road may ay least realise this site wsa once an active air base .
Regards ,
Bomber .

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Tony H.
Time to create page: 0.464 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to this. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  
EU Cookie Directive Module Information