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Memorial honours brave men who died in Cyprus

PUBLISHED: 16:33 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:33 02 July 2010

The memorial panel to Royal Norfolk Regiment members killed during the Cyprus Emergency is presented to Major Gen Jack Dye,

The memorial panel to Royal Norfolk Regiment members killed during the Cyprus Emergency is presented to Major Gen Jack Dye,

Derek James

After more than half a century a memorial honouring members of the Royal Norfolk Regiment who lost their lives in an almost-forgotten conflict has been presented to the regimental museum in Norwich.

After more than half a century a memorial honouring members of the Royal Norfolk Regiment who lost their lives in an almost-forgotten conflict has been presented to the regimental museum in Norwich.

The panel has been made by Diss craftsman Keith Rackham of H L Perfitt Ltd., who created a new memorial of eight magnificent slabs of granite etched with the names of each soldier, sailor and airman lost along with their regiment and regimental badges.

The £200,000 memorial was unveiled at the Old British Cemetery, Kyrenia, last year where a wreath was laid on behalf of the Norfolks by Major David Clarke.

Last week Keith handed a specially-made panel to the museum saying: “It has been a great honour and a privilege to have been asked to make the memorial. The Cyprus memorial is one of the most striking our firm has ever built.

“Now I am proud to be able to present this panel to the museum,” he said.

It was accepted by Major General Jack Dye MC, a highly respected soldier who was the commanding officer of one of the companies with the 1st Battalion out in Cyprus.

“It gives me great pleasure to do this. It was more than 50 years since we were there but we have never forgotten our comrades. It is fitting their names will be remembered in our museum,” he said.

Lost Lives

Members of the Royal Norfolk Regiment who never came home…

They all lost their lives on Cyprus during 1956.

Pte Robin Beaumont was killed with four others from his regiment - and 15 other British soldiers - during an anti-terrorist operation when they were trapped in a fierce fire in the mountains started by a mortar bomb. Aged 20

Cpl Richard John Chittock, killed when the vehicle he and others were travelling in ran over a landmine. Aged 22.

Pte Malcolm Alan Cook, killed in the same incident. Aged 18 from Great Yarmouth.

Pte Norman Graham Eggleton, died from injuries sustained in a road accident. Aged 19 from Thurning.

L/Cpl Peter David Elliott killed by “friendly fire” on anti-terrorist operations. Aged 20 from Diss.

Sgt Norman Owen Folkard, one of two killed when their lorry skidded off the road and plunged into a ravine. Aged 22 from Norwich.

Pte Clifford James Gosling, among those killed in the mountain fire. Aged 20 from King's Lynn.

Cpl Keith Raymond Haylock, died in the same fire. Aged 19 from Steeple Bumstead.

Pte Kenneth Thomas Squires, one of two killed when their lorry skidded off the road. Aged 19 from Great Yarmouth.

Pte William Ernest Victor Woods, also killed in the mountain fire. Aged 20 from Norwich.

Pte William George Wright, died in the same fire. Aged 20 from Tillingham, Essex.

We will remember them.

During the four-year Cyprus Emergency, the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines lost 28 men, the Army 274 and the RAF 69 men. The Royal Norfolk Regiment lost 11 men but there were others from Norfolk who were also killed - most were on National Service.

Former Norfolk, Ivor Read of Reepham, said: “It seems the Cyprus conflict is often forgotten about nowadays but it important we always remember what happened there in the 1950s. A lot of men lost their lives. It was a dirty business.”

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