On the 15th July 2018, the historic village of Thompson near Thetford unveiled a memroial stone to Prince Frederick Duleep Singh who saved the church from closure in 1913. The occassion was part of the Festival of thetford & Punjab, to coincide with the Prince's 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations...
The event was part of a full days celebrations which included an open day at Merton Estate Church where an exhibition on the Prince was held, and the newly refurbished headstone and memorial stone of the Prince at Blo Norton Church was unveiled.
The day began with an unveiling at Thompson Church of a memrial which was deisgned and sponsored by the Duleep Singh historian Peter Bance, who gave a opening speaach on the Prince and his place in history. The idea of the plaque came about by local resident Bronwen Tyler and Ann Cuthbert, a resident of Breckles House, a former home of Prince Frederick Duleep Singh. Both Browen and Ann gave an account of the Prince and Theompson church, before Lord Walsingham offically unveiled the memorial. Peter Bnace said it was fitting that Lord Walsingham had unveiled the memroial as his ancestor had been a close friend and shooting partner of the Prince.
After tea and refshements at the village hall, procedures moved to Merton Churhc, and then in the afternoon, in front of a packed church at Blo Norton, Geoffrey Leigh of Blo Norton welcomed the congregation. This was followed by speeches by Peter Bance and the MP for SLough Tanmanjeet Dhesi.
This was followed by the unveiling of the existing memorial plaque inside the church which had been refurbished and supported by Peter Bance together with the Headstone of the Prince in the churchyard. Below the Church's stone memorial, a brass plaque was unveiled which marked the Prince's 150th Birth Anniversary and thanked historian Peter Bance for his continous contribution and support of the village and church by keeping the memory of Prince Frederick alive.
The unveiling was followed by a village fete and festival organised by Indi Sandhu of the Essex Diversity Project, with perfomances by Jugnu Bhangra Dancers, Gatka Akhara and Dhol Players. Refreshments and cakes stalls were provided by villagers with a curry and beer tent to quench the thirst of the public which had turned up in 30c heat.