Bodmin Keep will be hosting a rededication of the US 29th Infantry Division memorial plaque on Thursday, October 12 with a service of remembrance for the 3,533 soldiers from The 29th killed in battle between June 6 1944, ‘D-Day’ and May 8 1945, the allied victory in Europe.
Originally erected in 1988 by the Maryland National Guard Historical Society, the plaque commemorates the soldiers and the kindness shown to US officers and enlisted men by the Cornish people during the division’s year-long stay in Bodmin.
Funds to replace the Bodmin Keep memorial, which had become weathered and worn, were provided by The 29th Division Association.
The service of remembrance begins at 11am, led by Revd Roger May on behalf of St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin, followed by words of commemoration from Bodmin Town Council Deputy Mayor, Mike Barbery and a reading from Susan Kearney of the US 29th Division Association, who is travelling from the United States to attend.
Helen Bishop-Stephens, Director, Bodmin Keep - Cornwall’s Army Museum, said: “The ceremony is an opportunity for the local community to come together to remember those who fought in battle and a poignant reminder of the sacrifice made.”
Susan Kearney, The US 29th Division Association, added: “As the child of a 29er born in the aftermath of World War II, I understand that my seventy-five years of life in a relatively peaceful world has been a gift purchased at great cost. Thousands of men like my dad and his fellow 29ers gave much, some making the ultimate sacrifice to secure peace. To represent those brave men of the 29th Division on this day is both humbling and a privilege.”
To mark the dedication, Bodmin Keep will launch the redisplay of the ‘Americans in Cornwall’ exhibition at the museum, with new artefacts kindly donated by Susan.