New memorial plaque planned for Sidbury Church

Brass plaque honouring two Sidbury servicemen who died after World War Two to be erected at Sidbury Church

A BRASS plaque, honouring two Sidbury men who lost their lives while serving in the British Armed Forces in operations since the end of World War Two, is planned to be erected at Sidbury Parish Church.

The Sidbury and Sidford branch of the Royal British Legion want to replace a painted scroll, unveiled in the early eighties by Sir Charles Cave in honour of Louis Pinn, with a plaque which will commemorate Louis and Martin Lee Bailey, who was killed on manoeuvres in Canada.

Tom King, past president of the branch, said Louis, while serving with the RAF in Kenya, was killed in 1954 after his aircraft was shot down by the Mau Mau. His body was laid to rest in the Nairobi War Cemetery.

“This scroll, that is hung adjacent to the commemorative plaques for those who gave their lives during the two World Wars, is subject to fading and in time will be difficult to read,” explained Mr King.

The other name to go on the plaque is that of local lad Martin Lee Bailey, who served with the 14th Division Queens Royal Lancers (Tanks).

In 1994 he died instantly after a stray shell landed near his observation trench.

Most Read

Mr King said: “Prior to his tragic death he had served in Northern Ireland, with NATO forces in Cyprus, Germany and in the Iraq/Kuwait conflict.

“He was given a full military funeral at St Giles and his remains are interred at Sidbury Cemetery.”

Mr King said that with kind permission from the church authorities and guidance and support of the vicar, the Reverend Rik Peckham and the churchwarden, Pam Ward who put the Legion’s case, the scroll will be replaced by a permanent inscribed brass plaque.

A date will be fixed for a rededication service at St Giles when the new plaque will be unveiled. All those interested are invited to attend.

“The branch is most grateful to Sidbury Social Club and Sidmouth Memorial Club for their support and indicating their intention to donate to help offset the cost of this exercise,” said Mr King.

Anyone wanted to donate towards installing the plaque can send cheques, payable to RBL Sidbury & Sidford Branch, to treasurer Peter Price, Pin Hill Farm, Sidbury, EX10 0QJ.