Memories of wartime to go on show

A descendant of a second world war soldier has spoken of her pride as her grandfather's story will be featured in the revamped Dereham Memorial Hall.

George Head, who died on October 15, 1995, lived in Sandy Lane, Dereham, and was born and bred in the town. Before joining the war effort in June 1940, he worked as a Co-op grocery assistant, but by the end of the conflict he had become Sgt Major in the 1st/4th Essex Regiment. After six years in the Army he returned to his family in Dereham.

His granddaughter, Faye LeBon, 36, from Humbletoft Road, Dereham, said: 'I feel very proud. It has been an amazing exercise tracing my grandfather's war records and military history. He was a very humble man who never spoke about his time in the war and his achievements.'

George's story will be displayed at the front of the Memorial Hall, in Norwich Street, which will be officially opened on Sunday, December 4, following a �2.6m restoration programme.

More stories from people in the Dereham area who have served in conflicts, including Afghanistan, are needed to be displayed in the hall, which will feature a statue of soldier Bill O'Callaghan, who carried his wounded comrade to safety after surviving the infamous 1940 Le Paradis massacre.


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A long-term memory book will also be established in the hall so people can record stories of relatives who fought in different battles.

Tony Needham, Dereham town clerk, said: 'There are a lot of stories which get forgotten but when you look at them, all of the men are heroic.'

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Phillip Duigan, chairman of the memorial hall working party, added: 'The idea is that heroes are not some kind of super species, they are ordinary people who are put in unexpected situations.'

Anyone who would like a story featured in the hall should contact Mr Duigan by ringing 01362 692443 or email phillip.duigan@breckland.gov.uk

sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

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