By Eric White
AROUND a hundred people gathered in Orsett on Monday (23 May) to witness the unveiling of a permanent memorial to the Thurrock branch of the Burma Star Association.
Attendees at the event at the Rose Garden in Wingfield Drive were welcomed by Albert England, a stalwart and former president of the association; and heard a reading and prayer, from the Rev Sue Mann; as well as an address by the National Burma Star Association’s Captain Mike Nelson.
Following the unveiling of the memorial, shaped as a star and engraved with the names of the local association’s members, wreaths were laid by Mayor of Thurrock Sue Gray, Mr England, and Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Petre.
Local councillor, Brian Little and MP Stephen Metcalfe, also spoke before refreshments were taken at The Masonic Hall, Rectory Road.
The association was granted the Freedom of the Borough in 2008 at a special meeting of Thurrock Council
Mr England was part of the D-Day operation, helping pilot a landing craft to the Normandy beaches. His boat didn’t make it to the shore, as it was bombed and Albert was rescued from the sea.
He was later flown to Burma where he served with honour.
The Veolia North Thames Trust’s Â£5,000 grant made the creation of the memorial possible. The memorial was made by Madstone Ltd who also made a small replica for Albert and Wyn England to keep.