THEY gave their lives for our country, but their memory was “neglected”.

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Two dozen names of fallen servicemen are gathering dust, on engraved brass memorials, locked away in St Nicholas’ Church, Bradwell, where few can see them.

But at last the village’s war dead will be honoured, now a memorial has been commissioned.

A 7ft tall memorial, sculpted from ruby red granite, is planned for Church Walk.

It was made possible by £4,000 of backing from the ward budgets of four borough councillors and the support of the parish council.

Ted Howlett, chairman of Bradwell Parish Council, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve got to this stage as being an ex-serviceman I feel there was neglect of people who did give their lives.

“The names were just on pieces of wood in the church, and we felt this wasn’t really good in as much as people coming to the village looking up their relatives had nowhere to refer to.

“I can never understand why there wasn’t one before.

“Most villages have a war memorial but for some peculiar reason Bradwell never did.”

The memorial is taking shape with the help of Colin Smith Monumental Masons, of Hammond Road, Great Yarmouth.

It will feature the names of all parishioners who lost their lives in the two world wars, but wording of the dedication is still to be agreed.

Mr Howlett added: “Fortunately we haven’t lost anyone from the parish in any of the other recent conflicts and we hope we don’t.”

He served in Germany from 1956-59 himself, while there was still an occupying force, and said the memorial will mean a lot to people in the village.

The idea has been in the offing for seven years before funding made it possible - put forward by Bradwell north ward councillor Jamie Smith and Bradwell south and Hopton ward councillors Hilary Wainwright, Martin Plane and Sue Hacon.

“It’s something which the parish council really were considering, and then this chance came along,” said Mr Howlett. “We’re hoping it will be sited in Church Walk.

“There’s quite a big piece of green there, almost opposite St Nicholas Church.”

He said the finished memorial would stand on a “fairly wide” plinth, around 28ins by 28ins and 4ins tall.

It is anticipated that the memorial will be ready around March 2013, ahead of an official ceremony to unveil it to the village.

Are you related to one of the Bradwell parishioners who lost their lives serving in the first world war or second world war? Call reporter Sam Russell on 01493 847952 or email samuel.russell@archant.

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