- Jun-Jul 2004 (Creation)
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Thomas (Tom) Christopher Eaton born on 13 October 1918 and baptised in the parish of Eaton St Andrew. Educated at Winton school, Norwich, Aldeburgh Lodge school in Suffolk and Stowe School in Buckinghamshire. Joined the Territorial Army, was commissioned in December 1936, and served with the 4th Battalion, The Royal Norfolk Regiment until 1950. During the Second World War, whilst on active service in Singapore, was wounded, captured by Japanese forces and spent more than three years as a prisoner of war in Changi Prisoner of War Camp. As a result of his actions prior to capture, he was mentioned in Despatches. He was demobbed with the rank of major and received the Territorial Decoration in 1946. Tom Eaton was articled to his father, Frederic Eaton, solicitor, from September 1936 and after his war service, qualified as a solicitor and in 1947 was admitted as a Notary Public. He spent the first eleven months of his career with Heningham and Armstong, solicitors of York. In March 1948, he became a partner in his father's law practice, Overbury, Steward & Eaton, and went on to be a senior partner in the firm for almost thirty years. He retired as a consultant of the firm in 2005. Held the post of Registrar to Norwich Archdeaconry from May 1954-? Admitted as a Freeman of the city of Norwich on 28 October 1939 and received an OBE in 1962 in recognition of his services to the city of Norwich. He was awarded an honorary degree of Master of Arts from the University of East Anglia in July 1995.
Tom Eaton's career in local politics began in 1947 when he was elected to City Hall as a Conservative councillor and became a member of several committees including education where he was chairman of Norwich Education Committee, 1968-1970, and was vice-chairman of Norwich Town Planning Committee, ?1950s- ? early 1970s. Conservative party candidate for Norwich North in 1951 and 1955 but not elected. In 1957, he became Lord Mayor of Norwich, his sister Margaret Eaton (later Hare) being Lady Mayoress, he became an alderman in 1962 and Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk in 1971. Tom Eaton was a major figure in the life of Norwich and a tireless campaigner for his native city over many decades. He was involved in many committees and organizations both local and national, contributing to Norfolk and Norwich life as well as wider society, these include, inter alia; trustee of the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity, 1948-2008; President of the Norwich Society, 1957-1958; chairman of the Management Committee of Norwich Travel Trust, ?1957-?1967; trustee of the East Anglian Trustee Savings Bank, 1957-1980; association chairman of the Norwich Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), 1960-?; chairman of the Norwich and District War Pensions Committee, ? 1961-? 1966; chairman of the Norwich and District Disablement Advisory Committee, ?1964-?1965; president of Norfolk and Norwich Incorporated Law Society, 1967-1968; president of Norfolk County Cricket Club, 1968-1969; president of the Norwich Fellowship of Ex Prisoners of War (Far East) Association, ?1972-1980; president of the Norfolk Club, 1990; and chairman of the Governors' of Wymondham College, 1992-1995.
In the cultural and historical sphere, Tom Eaton was Chairman of the Libraries Committee from 1962-? 1970s. He was a governor of the Memorial Trust of the 2nd Air Division, United States Army Air Force (USAAF) for many years from 1960-1996, and served as trust vice-chairman, c 1965-1975, and trust chairman, 1975-1996. When fire destroyed the Central Library in Norwich in August 1994, he and fellow governor, former United States Officer, Major Jordan Uttal, were instrumental in finding a replacement for the American Memorial Room which had been founded by the Memorial Trust of the 2nd Air Division as a permanent memorial to the personnel of the 2nd Air Division in East Anglia who lost their lives during the Second World War. This came to fruition with the building of the new Millennium Library and the establishment of the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library which now houses the 2nd Air Division's Roll of Honour, related ephemera, film archive and other material. A founder member and influential in the creation and development of the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum in Norwich, he was instrumental in setting up a committee to move the Royal Norfolk Regimental collection from Britannia Barracks, the regiment's former home, to the Shirehall in Norwich. The Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum opened in 1990. Tom Eaton served as a trustee of the museum from ?1960s-1990s. Another of Tom Eaton's many legacies was the re-opening of the tunnel between Shirehall and the Castle Museum. Tom Eaton was also involved with the Theatre Royal and served as chairman of the General Purposes Committee of the Theatre Royal (Norwich) Trust Limited from 1972-1985. He was also a friend and supporter of the Norfolk Record Office for many years and was elected the first Chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich Joint Records Committee which was established in 1963.
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The Memorial Library is managed by the 2nd Air Division Memorial Trust, a registered charity working with the Norfolk County Council Library Authority and with the Executive Committee of the 2nd Air Division Association.
Since its inception, the Trust has been active in administering Trust funds and soliciting donations for the running of the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library. The Trust also works closely with other organizations interested in Anglo-American relations including the University of East Anglia, the Imperial War Museum Duxford and the Mighty Eighth Heritage Museum in Savannah, Georgia, USA. The Trust also supports educational projects, sponsors public lectures on Anglo-American themes, fosters the memory of the sacrifices and contributions made by members of the 2nd Air Division in East Anglia during the Second World War and promotes friendship between the peoples of the United States and East Anglia.
The Memorial Library is managed by the 2nd Air Division Memorial Trust, a registered charity working with the Norfolk County Council Library Authority and with the Executive Committee of the 2nd Air Division Association. The Trust helps to employ a part-time Trust Librarian, a Trust Library Manager, and a small team of Library and Information Assistants. Through funding raised by the 2nd Air Division Association, an American Fulbright scholar was appointed annually between 1986-2007 to work as part of the Memorial Library team. Since then, two scholarships have been awarded to American post-graduate students studying at the University of East Anglia. Known as the 'American scholars', they are also part of the Memorial Library team. The Memorial Library also produced the newsletter, 'Memorial News', of which there are copies of some editions in this archive.
The American Room (also known as the 2nd Air Division Memorial or Memorial Room) was the original presence of the Memorial Library in the Norwich Central Library, Bethel Street, which opened in 1963. Following the destruction of this library in the Norwich Central Library fire of 1994, the Memorial Library occupied temporary premises. In 2001, the new 2nd Air Division Memorial Library was opened within the Norwich and Norfolk Millennium Library in the Forum, Norwich.
Represented on the Trust’s Board of Governors is the Cultural Attache at the American Embassy in London and a representative of the 2nd Air Division Association. The Trust works closely with other organizations interested in Anglo-American relations including the University of East Anglia, the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, and the Mighty Eighth Heritage Museum in Savannah, Georgia, United States.
Trust Chairmen (from 1975):
Thomas C. 'Tom' Eaton, [c. 1975]-1996
Paul R. King,1997-2002
David J. Hastings, 2002-2003
Matthew Martin, 2003-
Tom Eaton, c. 1973-1975
Alfred A. Jenner, 1977-1981
Paul R. King, 1981-1992
David J. Hastings, 1992-2001
Hilary Hammond, 2001-2005
Andrew Hawker, 2011-
Clerks to the Trust:
F.R.D. Walter, [c. 1963-1969]
J.H. Howard, [1970-?]
Trust Governors (from 1975):
Tom Eaton, -1997
Mrs Michael Barne, -1995
John Howard, 1976
Cdr Mark Edmonstone Cheyne, 1976-1990
Thomas 'Tom' D. Copeman, 1976-1980
Richard Q. Gurney, 1976-1980
Alfred A. Jenner, 1976-1998
Lady Mayhew, 1976-1985
Mrs Frank Thistlethwaite, 1976-1981
N.J.D. Walter, -1977
Roger Freeman, 1977-2005
Paul R. King, 1977-2001
David J. Hastings, 1980-
Col M.R. Marchand, 1980-1983
Christopher Snow, 1980-1983
Jordan R. Uttal, 1980-1989
Lt Col W.D. Wuest, 1980-2003
Prof. Howard Temperley, 1981-2000
Frank W. Gadbois, 1983-1996
Mrs Anne Collins, 1983-1988
Mrs Frances Davies, 1986-2008
Dr Ronald D. Clifton, 1988-1991
E. 'Bud' Koorndyk, 1990-1998
Edward O. Inman, 1990-2004
Edward McBride, 1991-1995
Robin Berrington, 1996-1998
Nicholas P. Cooper, 1997-2005
John Whitehouse, 1998-2000
Hilary Hammond, 1998-2001
David Q. Gurney, co-opted governor, 1998-
Charles 'Chuck' Walker, 2nd Air Division Association Representative, 1998-
T.J. Dowling, 1999-2000
Assistant Prof. Richard Crockatt, 2000-2002
Keith R. Thomas, 2000-2004
Ms Carol Lynn MacCurdy, 2001
David Hill, co-opted governor, 2001-
Victoria Musgrave, 2001-2003
Dennis Wolf, 2002-2005
Matthew Martin, co-opted governor, 2002
Andrew Hawker, cop-opted governor, 2002-
Prof. Christopher Bigsby, co-opted governor, 2003-
Joseph M. Dzenowagis Jun., co-opted governor, 2003-
Ben Du Brow, co-opted governor, 2004-
Jean Steward, 2005-2008
Richard J. Ashton, 2005-2008
David Douglas, co-opted governor, 2005-
Peter Foster, co-opted governor, 2005-
Michael Longe, nominated governor, 2005-
Michael Macy, 2005-2008
Liza Davis, Cultural Attaché, 2008-
David Sisson, co-opted governor, 2009-
Anthony Harmer, co-opted governor, 2009-
Simon Garnier, co-opted governor, 2009-
If you have factual corrections or additions to the dates of service for Trust governors, please let the Record Office know.
The 2nd Air Division Association:
The 2nd Air Division Association was set up in 1948 by former Headquarters staff with the main aim of seeing the Memorial Room Library brought into being. Today, the Association continues to perpetuate the friendships and memories of service in the 2nd Air Division in England during the Second World War and to support financially, and in other ways, the 2nd Air Division Memorial Trust and Library. It publishes 'The Journal' and the 'Newsletter.'
The Heritage League:
The Heritage League was founded in the United States by its parent organization, The 2nd Air Division Association, in 1987. It aims to educate later generations about the history of the 2nd Air Division in the Second World War. To achieve this aim, the Heritage League produces publications, gives presentations, maintains a website and runs social and educational programmes. The League also supports other organizations including the Second Air Division Memorial Library in Norwich and publishes the periodical, 'Heritage Herald.'
Friends of the 2nd Air Division Association:
Following the establishment of the Heritage League in the United States in 1987, long serving Trust governor Anne Barne, proposed a local support organization. The Friends of the 2nd Air Division Memorial Trust held its inaugural meeting in Norwich in October 1988. The Friends had an active social programme and their activities included meeting returning veterans and escorting them around the airfields. The Friends also produced the newsletter, 'Second Thoughts.' The organization closed on 29 October 2011.
The Cambridge American Cemetery, Maddingley:
Madingley American Cemetery and Memorial is situated about three miles outside of the city of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. It is also referred to as the Cambridge Military Cemetery, Cambridge American Cemetery and Cambridge Cemetery. The Cemetery is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
The Flight of B-24 'Diamond Lil' to Norfolk, 1992.
Several records relate to the flight of B-24 'Diamond Lil' to Norfolk as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the arrival of the United States Army Air Force in Britain. The 4,500 mile flight departed from Meacham Field, Fort Worth, on 1 June 1992, and flew via Minneapolis Iqualit (Frobisher Bay), Keflavik (Iceland), RAF Kinloss (Scotland) to Norwich. This was followed by a six week tour of the United Kingdom, including tribute flights over all the old 2nd Air Division airfields, Heqdquarters and the former Station Hospital, Morley (now the site of Wymondham College). The 'transatlantic crew' who flew 'Diamond Lil' on this journey were Col David Hughes, Col Ray Krottinger, Col Starr Stone, Col Al stricklin, Col Kathy Martin, Col Henry Brand, Col Sam Mangrum, Col David Hastings and Col David Kjell.
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The interview and addendum relates to Mr Eaton's involvement with the 2nd Air Division United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Memorial Trust and Memorial Library, 1940s to early 1990s. During this time Mr Eaton has been the Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Memorial Trust.
The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library is on the ground floor of the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library. Founded in memory of the American service men stationed in Norfolk during the Second World War, the Library houses a collection of materials about American culture and the Second World War. The archive of the Memorial Library is held at the NRO.
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- Thomas (Tom) Christopher Eaton; 1918-2010; Major, TD, OBE, solicitor, notary public, Mayor of Norwich; Norwich, Norfolk (Creator)
- Norwich City Council, Libraries Committee; ?-?; Norwich, Norfolk (Creator)
- 2nd Air Division Memorial Library; 1963-; Norwich, Norfolk (Creator)
- Memorial Trust of the 2nd Air Division; 1945-; Norfolk (Creator)
- Anguish's Educational Foundation; 1617-; charity; Norwich, Norfolk (Creator)