Search for relatives of Norfolk and Suffolk soldiers killed in action

Tara GreavesRelatives of two soldiers from Norfolk and Suffolk, one who died aged just 15 in the 1960s, are being sought to take part in the dedication of the Royal Anglian Regiment Memorial, which EDP readers helped to fund, at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.Tara Greaves

Relatives of two soldiers from Norfolk and Suffolk, one who died aged just 15 in the 1960s, are being sought to take part in the dedication of the Royal Anglian Regiment Memorial, which EDP readers helped to fund, at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

The memorial is to honour the 78 members of the East Anglian Regiments and the Royal Anglian Regiment who have been killed on duty or as a result of enemy action.

An EDP-backed appeal to fund the memorial and support relatives of those killed together with helping injured soldiers rebuild their lives was launched in 2007.

It smashed through its �100,000 target within weeks as the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment came home from a gruelling tour of Helmand in southern Afghanistan and were greeted by thousands of people who lined the streets in Norwich in November 2007 at an official homecoming parade.


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The Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund eventually went on to reach more than �400,000.

Lt Col (Retd) Kevin Hodgson, Royal Anglian regimental secretary, who is searching for families, said: 'It will provide a place where the regimental family can gather to remember their fallen, with the story of the campaigns in which they died being told, 200 yards away, in the regimental museum.'

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At the ceremony in September, the families of the fallen will be honoured guests but while many have been traced, relatives of the two young men, who were aged 19 and 15 when they died and have connections to Lakenheath and Strumpshaw, are still being sought.

Lt Col Hodgson added: 'While regimental headquarters is in contact with some of our bereaved families, there are others with whom, over many years and very regretfully, all contact has been lost.'

Private James Robert Shopland, service number 23915197, was born on February 26, 1943 in South Africa and enlisted in Ipswich on May 15, 1962 having previously worked as a hairdresser's assistant.

He was killed on June 4, 1964 after being hit by a grenade in Radfan, a region in the Yemen, while serving with the 1st East Anglian Regiment.

His next of kin was his father who lived in Avenue Road, Lakenheath.

Junior Drummer Ian William Skinner, service number 24093118, was born on December 15, 1950 in Dilson, Northumberland.

He enlisted in April 1966 and was serving with the Junior Soldiers Wing, Blenheim Camp, Bury St Edmunds but died just a few months later at the West Suffolk Hospital following an accident while swimming in the Colchester Garrison swimming pool.

His next of kin were his parents William and Jeannie Skinner, who lived in Long Lane, Strumpshaw, and he had a brother called Stewart.

Relatives should contact Tara Greaves on 01603 772446 or by email at tara.greaves@archant.co.uk for a form to fill in.

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