Wisbech man’s call for memorial clean

The memorial
The memorial

Calls have been made to clean up a Fenland war memorial ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Brian Krill designed the Far East War memorial in St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Wisbech, and would like a stain removed.

The memorial was unveiled in 1985 as a tribute to the British servicemen who were prisoners of war.

The country will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of VJ Day on August 15.

Mr Krill, 76, of Stowe Road, Wisbech, said: “I am sadly disappointed.

“I would like to see it cleaned. ”

Church warden Angie Manning said the memorial was stained after a water leak which will be difficult to remove.

She said: “We have tried in the past to deal with the situation. We would be willing to talk to Mr Krill and explain the situation.”

More than 190,000 British and Commonwealth servicemen were taken prisoner by Japanese forces in the early part of the war.

Many were used as slave labour to build the infamous Thailand-Burma Death Railway and lived on poor rations. These men were seven times more likely to die than the European prisoners of war.

The war memorial was commissioned by the defunct Singapore Club, whose members were made up of former prisoners of war, in 1984.

Mr Krill, who had been working at Fenland District Council, took on the commission.

The memorial features a cross to depict the role the church played in the lives of the prisoners. It also features coconut leaves, which were used as thatching.

The lower part of the memorial is made from rough stone, which is similar to the stone dug out by the prisoners of war during the railway construction.

The wording on the memorial was determined by Canon Fred Stallard of Elm.

The district council will be holding a commemorative service at the church on Friday, August 14, at 2.30pm.