74 years after the end of the Second World War, Lidgate in Suffolk has finally added to its War Memorial the names of the three men from the village who died in the conflict. To mark the addition of those names Lidgate held a War Memorial Rededication Service on Sunday 3rd November 2019 at St Mary’s Church and the churchyard where the War Memorial is situated. Representatives from regimental associations and local Royal British legion members attended.
The three men were Second Lieutenant Richard Dewing, Private Ivan Hazell and Trooper Thomas Benge. Second Lieutenant Richard Dewing served with the 1st Bn The Riffle Brigade. He was killed, aged 21, in Action during a night recce on Knightsbridge Cross during the battle of Gisela before the fall of Tobruk to the axis powers in May 1942 and is buried in Acroma, Libya. Private Ivan Hazell, who had only recently joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment, was only 18 when he died from an infectious disease whilst training at Colchester Barracks. According to press reports, a number of young men in the same barrack all fell ill and died. Trooper Thomas Benge was the oldest to die at 28. He was serving with the 17th/21 Lancers Royal Armoured Corps. He died of his wounds in May 1944 sustained during the attempts to establish bridge-crossings over the River Gari, part of the assault on the Gustav Line. He is buried in Caserta War Cemetery, Italy.
The Ven Dr David Jenkins, Archdeacon of Sudbury took the service, which also celebrated the recent cleaning of the War Memorial. The restoration and the addition of the names has been possible thanks to the fundraising by the Friends of Lidgate Churchyard. They have managed to secure grants from a number of organisations including Lidgate Parish Council, Suffolk County Council Locality Budget and St Edmundsbury Borough Council as well as private donations.
To read more about the service visit https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/lidgate-soldiers-who-died-in-world-war-two-have-names-added-to-village-war-memorial-1-6355607