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Tribute to Gurkhas

PUBLISHED: 14:47 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:04 03 July 2010

HOPES have been raised that a plaque dedicated to Gurkhas will be moved to a new “fitting tribute” memorial.

The plaque is currently in the grounds of St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth - laid in May 1988 by former gunner Mr E Williams - but it is planned to relocate it to the war memorial in nearby St George's Park.

HOPES have been raised that a plaque dedicated to Gurkhas will be moved to a new “fitting tribute” memorial.

The plaque is currently in the grounds of St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth - laid in May 1988 by former gunner Mr E Williams - but it is planned to relocate it to the war memorial in nearby St George's Park.

Former servicemen Bill O'Connor and Ian Burnett believe this would be a more fitting tribute to the world famous fighting force.

In October, they appealed for help in tracking down the family of Mr E Williams who placed the plaque. His son responded and the family agreed to the move.

Original stonemason Colin Smith has said he would do the work needed.

Mr O'Connor is hoping a service of rededication will take place on Sunday, April 26, subject to agreement by the borough council .

There are three other plaques remaining within the walls of St George's but they are likely stay where they are, according to former Theatre committee member Val Howkins, who still takes an interest in the leafy grounds.

She said: “My own plaque commemorates the restoration of the theatre in 1981. Also there were seats in the area at one time, but they were removed as they were vandalised.”

The Mercury has been unable to determine where these benches went and what happened to them.

There was also a specially-planted Hiroshima Tree in the grounds, marking the thousands of people who died during the second world war Atom bombing of Japan. That tree has since disappeared.

Belton and Browston Parish Council chairman Malcolm Scott is leading the bid to replace the tree.

He said: “We do plan to plant another tree but we are waiting to see what happens with the refurbishments in the area, but I can say it will possibly be at the end of April.”

If you dedicated a bench in memory of a loved one in St George's Plain, do you know where they are? Are they safely stored away or have the been discarded and chopped up; and what about the plaques marking them? Contact the Mercury at 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth, with information, email alan.thompson2@archant.co.uk or call 01493 847958.

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