Afghanistan victim could join memorial

A soldier who died in Afghanistan could be the first casualty since the Korean War to be added to the Beccles war memorial. L/Cpl George Davey, 23, died on May 20 in a firearms accident as soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment cleaned their weapons following a mission in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

A soldier who died in Afghanistan could be the first casualty since the Korean War to be added to the Beccles war memorial.

L/Cpl George Davey, 23, died on May 20 in a firearms accident as soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment cleaned their weapons following a mission in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Now his family are backing efforts for his name to be added to the Beccles war memorial. The memorial in the grounds of the hospital on St Mary's Road was erected, like most of Britain's war memorials, after the first world war. Since then the names of second world war dead have been added to it, and one name from the Korean War in 1950-1953.

Among the second world war names is that of the father of L/Cpl Davey's foster father, Roger Tuthill. David Tuthill, an aircraftsman first class in the RAF, died on Valentine's Day 1942, although his widow Edna, of Beccles, was not informed until May 1946. And it was not until many years later that Aircraftsman Tuthill's name was added to the town war memorial.


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Town councillor Brian Taylor is behind the plans to have L/Cpl Davey's name added. He said: “There is a memorial in Afghanistan and one at the Pirbright Barracks in Surrey, but not one that Becles people can easily get to.

“I started thinking about this not as a town councillor but as a citizen of Beccles and as it sow happens the town council has the authority to add names to the memorial. It is proper as citizens of Beccles that we recognise the sacrifices of these young servicemen and that they are remembered by people in their own town.”

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Mr Tuthill said: “We are all in favour of it. George's wife is in complete agreement. My own father is on there, though he has not been on there many years. He went missing at sea and it was years before my mother found out what had happened to him.”

A decision will be made by Beccles town council on whether to add L/Cpl Davey to the memorial.

Last month a memorial was dedicated to the memory of the nine Royal Anglians who died in Operation Herrick in Afghanistan this year. The memorial was built by the soldiers and is a copy of one which has been put up in Afghanistan. The simple memorial includes a cross made from ammunition and is engraved with the names of the fallen, including L/Cpl Davey. Wooden crosses, one for each fallen soldier and each bearing a photograph, were laid at the foot of the memorial in a ceremony which was attended by families of the dead soldiers.

An inquest into L/Cpl Davey's death recorded a verdict of accidental death. He was married to Joanna and the couple have two young daughters, Millie and Morgan.

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