Memorial to victims of Covid-19 unveiled

Norfolk's high sheriff Michael Gurney unveils the new Covid-19 memorial at Cromer Crematorium.

Norfolk's high sheriff Michael Gurney unveils the new Covid-19 memorial at Cromer Crematorium. - Credit: Heritage Snapper

The memory of those who have lost their lives to Covid-19 will live on in a new memorial in north Norfolk.

The pyramid-shaped memorial was unveiled by Michael Gurney, Norfolk's high sheriff, at a ceremony at Cromer Crematorium, off Holt Road.

The piece is topped with a design by art graduate Camilla Fitzjohn of a round, white globe surrounded by a rainbow and hands reaching into its  centre, releasing three birds of paradise.  

Ms Fitzjohn, 52 and from Harlow, said: “It feels great and wonderful that something of my art will be looked at by people from the future, there is no prize bigger than that.

"I wanted to incorporate the rainbow because this has been used through the pandemic, and it is to recognise the doctors and nurses who are working so hard in such a difficult situation.”

At the dedication of the new Covid-19 memorial at Cromer Crematorium wer

At the dedication of the new Covid-19 memorial at Cromer Crematorium were, from left, Gordon and Sally Haynes from Gordon Haynes Independent Funeral Services, Rodney Clark-Ward, Norfolk's high sheriff Michael Gurney, Fr Howard Stoker, Alan Jose, Ed Lane, Matthew Bond, Amanda Boyland, Diana Meggy and Nina Bruce. - Credit: Heritage Snapper

The polished, black granite obelisk will be surrounded by wild flowers in all the colours of the rainbow, which became a common symbol of hope during the pandemic. 

Roger Mclaughlan, the Westerleigh Group's chief executive, said: “I’m proud that our Covid-19 memorial is now open for people to visit. 

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“So many communities have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, many families have lost loved ones, and our thoughts and sincere condolences go to them, first and foremost. 

“We felt we needed to do something not only to remember those who passed away but also to honour others who did so many positive and selfless acts to support people and bring their communities closer together. 

“These lasting memorials will provide a tranquil place for people to remember and reflect; where they can seek some comfort knowing that the legacy of those lost is not only being recognised but will be remembered for many generations to come.” 

The latest NHS figures show just over 1,500 have died with Covid-19 in Norfolk hospitals. 

The Westerleigh Group announced plans just over a year ago to create permanent memorials at most of its 35 cemeteries and crematoriums across the country for people to visit and commemorate loved ones who died during the pandemic.