A CONSERVATIVE councillor in Aveley has launched a campaign to commemorate a local soldier who died in Afghanistan.
Councillor David Van Day is calling on Thurrock Council to rename the B1335 (known as the Aveley bypass) after Lance Corporal Nicky Mason, who was killed in an explosion on 13th September 2008 whilst on active service with the Parachute Regiment in Helmand Province.
Nicky Mason was raised in Aveley before joining the army and his death has always been sorely felt by many in the tight-knit community. Thirteen years after his sacrifice, Cllr. Van Day believes it is time for a lasting memorial and has launched a petition to add support to his campaign.
Cllr Van Day said: “I have had several dealings with Lance Corporal Mason’s father Dennis in the time I have been a councillor. He set up a charity in his son’s name and from his shop in Aveley High Street has sought to keep his memory alive. Those who served overseas in the war against terror did so that we here in the United Kingdom could lead safer lives. Nicky Mason made the ultimate sacrifice in that war and I believe there should be a permanent memorial to him in his home town of Aveley.
“The Aveley bypass is a key road through the town and would have been crossed daily by Nicky Mason when he was a pupil at Aveley Secondary School. Renaming it after him will help keep his memory alive and remind people of this local hero.
“I am calling on everyone in the Aveley community to get behind my campaign and help by signing my petition. For those who I do not meet whilst going door to door, copies of the petition have been left at J & R newsagents in the High Street, The Hub Library, and the Lance Corporal Mason Memorial Army Surplus shop, opposite Aveley war memorial. I will soon submit this to Thurrock Council and formally make the case for renaming the Aveley by-pass in Lance Corporal Mason’s memory. Please get in contact if you would like to discuss this further”.