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Moving tribute to a hero

A commemorative bench dedicated to Tamworth War hero Colin Grazier has been officially unveiled during a moving service at the National Arboretum, Alrewas – barely three years after he was a virtual unknown.

The turnabout is down to a campaign by the Tamworth Herald and its deputy editor, Phil Shanahan, who is chairman of the Colin Grazier Memorial Committee.

And the bench is the latest in a long line of tributes to the Navy hero – a hotel, streets, a commemorative plate and a special recipe of beer already bear his name.

Money for the bench was sent to the Colin Grazier Memorial Committee by a charitable trust that wishes to remain anonymous.

Apart from Grazier, the bench also carries the names of Tony Fasson and Tommy Brown, both of whom helped Grazier rescue vital codes from a sinking German U-boat. Grazier and Fasson both lost their lives, but the information they recovered enabled code breakers at Bletchley Park to crack the cypher and pass on priceless information about enemy plans to the Allies.

Around 50 people, including members of Colin’s family and representatives of ex-service organisations were present at the service.

And Herald Deputy Editor Phil Shanahan said he was delighted that the three heroes are now commemorated at the arboretum.

“I would really like to thank the people who so generously sent us this money, and everyone who attended the ceremony and helped to make it such a dignified and moving tribute,” he said.

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