Campaign launched for community memorial

A campaign has been launched to raise money for a community memorial to honour all those from Reepham who have died in the service of their country.

The memorial site at St Mary’s Reepham. Photos: submitted

November sees communities up and down the country commemorating those who died not just in the two world wars, but also in many other theatres of conflict.
Reepham has a long history of commemorating those who have given their lives – there are plaques in St Mary’s that name and commemorate the soldiers from the parish who died in the world wars.
In addition, the Bircham Centre was given to the town by Samuel Bircham after the First World War as a “thanks offering to Almighty God for the victory”.
However, Reepham is one of the few towns in Norfolk not to have an actual memorial to provide a focus for acts of remembrance.
The campaign to acquire a memorial stone for Reepham was launched more than 20 years ago by Royal British Legion Reepham & District Branch chairman Trevor Bevan, who has fought hard to make a local memorial a reality. Although this is not a British Legion project, members of the local branch are keen to help make it happen.
Various sites for a memorial stone have been considered and rejected for a number of reasons. However, a site has now been accepted by the relevant authorities: it will be placed to the left of the main door to St Mary’s, where the small crosses are normally placed in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.
This year’s Armistice Day commemoration at 11 am on Saturday 11 November will take place at the proposed site.
The task now for the volunteers who are working to make the memorial materialise is to raise the money needed to buy and engrave the memorial stone and install it in the churchyard.
The total cost is likely to be around £7,000, which will be paid to the stonemason contracted to produce and install the memorial. Some funds have already been secured, but the volunteer team is asking residents to help raise the remainder.
“We are looking to have the new memorial in place by late spring next year,” said Mr Bevan. “Its purpose is to commemorate anyone who has died in the service of our country, not just those who were victims of warfare.”
To donate to the fundraising campaign by cheque or bank transfer, please contact Trevor Bevan on 01603 870231 for details.
A JustGiving crowdfunding page has also been set up for online donations HERE.

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