Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Royal Engineers Memorial, Mundesley

On one side, two rather clumsily written inscriptions read

Dedicated by Sir Timothy Colman KG
HM Lord-Lieutenant Of Norfolk
2nd May 2004

This is a memorial to the many brave
Royal Engineer bomb disposal personnel
who were killed while clearing British Landmines
from the Norfolk Coast between 1944 and 1953

It is thanks to them and their colleagues
that our cliffs and beaches are now safe
for everyone to use and enjoy.

Those who survived will never forget
Those who did not will never be forgotten
Author Unknown

One does not mourn brave men
one salutes them
Dereham District Coroner, A H Wood, 1959.

On the other three sides 26 names are listed.The youngest was 19 years of age, the oldest was 45.

The plaques at the base are cheaply made, of the type you buy from while-you-wait shoe repairers. The wreaths at the base were all weighted down with large flints from the beach below. While I was there, which was only ten minutes, loads of small children kept running up to it, excited by its torpedo/bomb shape, just to touch it; thus the bomb, insures that they are not forgotten

Among the listings there was one of three people killed at the same time and place. Presumably this was a team fooled by a booby trap set by their own side.

A feeling of sadness was amplified by the unwanted imagining of an epitaph that read "They died so we could build sandcastles"


Anonymous said...

Surely you do not need to make fun of this.
My uncle was one of those three that died on Jan 05 1944.
The lads that gave their lives don't need mockery .

Colonel Blink said...

I am sorry that you feel I was making mock of the people listed on this memorial. I was not.

This is one of the most moving military memorials I have come across and how apt it is and how just it is and how right it is that it is situated in the middle of a place where children play.

You have a right to be proud of your Uncle and what he and his comrades achieved. I was camping this year on the Norfolk coast with my ten year old sun at Waxham, playing on the dunes and swimming in the sea. We were able to do this because of your Uncle.

len said...

I think you also need to give thanks to 22Hq Spt Sqn who actually reconditioned the bomb and did all of the engraving for the memorial. All of the hours of hard work and pride that went into this memorial from current serving Royal Engineers and no thanks recieved. My husband and his colleagues deserve more than this.