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Giant Victoria Cross taking shape for Bury WW1 trail

Mike Wells with his wooden Victoria Cross (2264307)
Mike Wells with his wooden Victoria Cross (2264307)

A replica of a Victoria Cross 7ft 6in tall is being carved at a Cockfield business for a prime place in Bury St Edmunds' World War One trail.

The replica of Britain's highest award for military gallantry, will be installed near the entrance of the Abbey Gardens as part of the trail organised by the My WiSH Charity and Our Bury St Edmunds.

It has been carved by Mike Wells at his A J Joinery business, in Cockfield, with the help of one of his employees Jon Andrews.

The medal is in MDF (medium density fibreboard) and rests on a wooden ribbon which is covered in cloth.

Mike's other business A J Laminated Beams is joint sponsor of the medal with builders' and engineers' merchants D J Evans of Bury St Edmunds.

He wanted to do it as a thank you to the West Suffolk Hospital for his care after a heart attack two years ago.

The trail will feature 18 pieces by local artists in town centre sites and will be on show from July 21 to Armistice Day, November 11.

The pieces will then be sold in aid of My WiSH Charity's Every Heart Matters appeal.

Mike said: "The hospital staff have all been fantastic. I want to give something back to the NHS who have helped me so much."

And Richard Evans, director of D J Evans, said: "We think it's good to be involved with local things and it's nice that the cross was being built by a local joinery firm."

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2 million in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH is hoping to raise will enable the fragmented service to be in one purpose-built centre. To donate to the appeal visit www.Justgiving.com/ehma

Two VCs were awarded to the Suffolk Regiment in World War One, to Sgt Arthur Saunders in 1915 and Corp Sidney Day in 1917. Visit www.victoriacross.org.uk

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