Home   Haverhill   News   Article

Subscribe Now

New memorial at Kedington Community Centre near Haverhill honours Second World War air crash casualties





The ‘dedication’ of everyone who contributed to the realisation of a five-year-project to create a new war memorial in Kedington, near Haverhill, has been applauded.

On Saturday, a new bronze memorial and roll of honour was unveiled inside Kedington Community Centre in recognition of the 21 airmen and one civilian who lost their lives – plus the three crew members to survive – in the five military plane crashes that occurred in the village between September 1938 and April 1945.

The memorial was completed by renowned sculptor and Suffolk resident Sean Hedges-Quinn, whose notable works include the statues outside Ipswich Town FC stadium of Sir Bobby Robson and Kevin Beattie and that of Dads Army’s Capt Mainwaring, in Thetford.

Cartographer Patricia Lovett, sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn and Kevin Betts, Kedington Air Memorial project founder at the unveiling. Picture: Mark Westley
Cartographer Patricia Lovett, sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn and Kevin Betts, Kedington Air Memorial project founder at the unveiling. Picture: Mark Westley

The names on the roll of honour, written on vellum, were crafted by calligrapher and illuminator Patricia Lovett, who attended the unveiling.

Having seen the memorial, which cost about £16,000 in total, monies raised by the memorial group, and the roll of honour unveiled, Kevin Betts, the creator of the project, said: “I’m very proud really to be able to see it through to fruition.

Sean Hedges-Quinn, who sculpted the Kedington Air Memorial, speaking at its unveiling. Picture: Mark Westley
Sean Hedges-Quinn, who sculpted the Kedington Air Memorial, speaking at its unveiling. Picture: Mark Westley

“It’s very much a group effort. It was my idea and I formed the group but you can’t do it on your own.

“It takes a group of dedicated people to keep the project moving along, and all credit to the group, they did that.”

The completion of the project, added Mr Betts, was delayed by the Covid pandemic.

The roll of honour to all 25 people that died and survived military air crashes in the parish of Kedington during WWII. Picture: Mark Westley
The roll of honour to all 25 people that died and survived military air crashes in the parish of Kedington during WWII. Picture: Mark Westley

The mould for the memorial was, he explained, already at the foundry when the lockdowns began in 2020.

The memorial includes the name of George Smith, a 20-year-old Home Guard officer who rushed to the aid of airmen in a Stirling that had crashed in Kings Hill in February 1943.

He died after being electrocuted by fallen cables and is buried in Kedington’s churchyard.

Kedington Air Memorial, created in honour of all those that died and survived (25 names in all) military air crashes in the parish of Kedington during WWII was unveiled on Saturday. Picture: Mark Westley
Kedington Air Memorial, created in honour of all those that died and survived (25 names in all) military air crashes in the parish of Kedington during WWII was unveiled on Saturday. Picture: Mark Westley

His grave has no headstone, and the memorial group is now raising funds to put that to rights.

The memorial also has a number of flowers engraved around its edges.

Each one represents a region from which the various men named on the memorial came from, such as the Prairie Crocus, the flower of Manitoba in Canada, home to one of those men killed, George Moore.

A new memorial and roll of honour to all those that died and survived military air crashes in the parish of Kedington during WWII was unveiled at Kedington Community Centre. Picture: Mark Westley
A new memorial and roll of honour to all those that died and survived military air crashes in the parish of Kedington during WWII was unveiled at Kedington Community Centre. Picture: Mark Westley

The memorial is also inscribed with an extract from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘break, break, break’ which was used by Mr Moore’s family when they posted an obituary in the Canadian press.