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Second World War heroes get new recognition
HEROES of the Second World War are receiving the recognition they deserve with new plaques commemorating their actions.
They will remember those 55 Wickford servicemen and 11 civilians who gave their lives to protect their country and retell their stories.
Kevin Blake, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for leisure and arts, said: “These plaques, along with the renovation of Memorial Avenue, will be a world class fitting tribute to the heroes who gave their lives to protect their country and gives them recognition they deserve.”
Wickford had men serve on HMS Hood, the flagship of the Royal Navy. It was sunk by the battleship Bismarck with only 3 survivors from a crew of over 1,500.
Wickford men also gave their lives railways during the Japanese occupation of Burma, as depicted in the classic film "Bridge over the River Kwai".
Another Wickford man was chained up in a Japanese transport vessel whilst being moved from one death camp to another only to have the ship sunk by allied aircraft.
The last Wickford casualty of the Second World War had his gunboat blown up four days after the war ended.
Work to conserve the trees in the avenue has been ongoing over the winter and new trees are being planted to replace those which have been lost.
The new plaques will then be installed.
The original avenue plaques were small plates with a name, mounted on a concrete post.
Over time both the posts and the plaques have been eroded or lost.
The council wanted to restore them in time for the 70th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War in 2015.
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