In August 2015 the Church hosted a small display in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the death of the first of those men who lost their lives in Word War 1 – William Forbes Norris – who was killed in action on the 25th August 1915 at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, aged 21.
Following on from this, and to mark Remembrance Sunday (8th November) the Church hosted a larger exhibition as part of the Heritage Project. The focus of the exhibition was to explore how the village looked during 1914-1918, drawing on a 1906 map of the village and using photographs to pinpoint the locations of some of the houses, school, post office and other buildings associated with the village.
In addition, the exhibition explored the lives of four of the men who died in Word War 1, and where they lived.
William Forbes Norris: the family lived at Cromes Farm, although William’s father had inherited the Wood Norton estate in 1875, including Wood Norton Hall. The Hall was regularly rented out. William’s parents, William Edmund and Annie Norris are commemorated by memorial plaques in the church, and are buried in the churchyard.
Alfred (Albert) William Ducker: he lived at Brush Cottages.
Alfred Wright: he also lived at Brush Cottages. He was the nephew of Arthur Robert Buck.
Arthur Robert Buck: he lodged with the Dack family, probably in one of the cottages next to the Sun public house (Robert Dack was the publican and blacksmith). Arthur Robert Buck was Alfred Wright’s uncle, and both Arthur and Alfred are commemorated on the headstone of Alfred’s sister, Alice, who died in February 1919 and is buried in the churchyard.
For the above men and the other servicemen who died in World War 1 we would be grateful for any information, photographs, etc. We are now preparing details relating to the life, service and death of those not included above, to be presented in future commemorative exhibitions. Information can be sent to Ivor Wells or Joanne Burd. A leaflet has been produced to accompany our World War 1 exhibition and is available in the Church.
THE HEROIC DEAD
For the servicemen listed on the War Memorial under The Heroic Dead, we have established their age, date and place of death, and the regiment they served with:
- William Forbes NORRIS: Died 25 August 1915, age 21. Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. 1/5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment (Lieutenant), attached to the 54th Divisional Cyclist Company.
- Alfred William DUCKER: Died 15 April 1916, age 18. Persian Gulf, Basra. 2nd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment (Private 19342).
- Wilfred George LAKE: Died 10 September 1916, age 20. France, the Somme. Norfolk Yeomanry (1520); 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment.
- Robert Cecil BURLINGHAM: Died 2 November 1917, age 21. Palestine, Gaza. 1/5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment (Private 240688).
- Nicholas Robert COLMAN: Died 30 November 1917, age 20. France, Cambrai. 7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment (Private 9566).
- Alfred WRIGHT: Died 8 December 1917, age 20. Palestine, Jerusalem. 3/1st Norfolk Yeomanry (2632): 179th Company Machine Gun Corps (95831).
- Edward Barber LEEDER: Died 31 January 1918, age 21. North Sea (submarine). Royal Navy (SS/5311).
- Thomas Walter DOUGHTY: Died 24 March 1918, age 26. France, the Somme. Royal Army Service Corps (Driver T4/045185): 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (Rifleman 47409).
- Arthur Robert BUCK: Died 25 May 1918, age 41. France, the Somme. 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment (29227).
- Stanley SADLER: Died 15 August 1918, age 21. Dutch Coast (torpedoed). Royal Navy (K/37377).
- George DAWSON: Died 19 September 1918, age 40. Salonika, Greece. 14th Battalion, The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (G/20883).
- Charles DEW: Died 21 December 1918, age 19. Wood Norton. 6th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Private G/7529). Charles was discharged from the army on the 2nd October 1918 due to wounds received, and died of pneumonia/influenza on 21st December 1918. He is buried in the churchyard; his headstone bears the inscription ‘One of the Heroes’.
Useful links and websites:
- Every One Remembered
- Norfolk in World War One
- Royal Norfolk Regiment Museum
- The Long, Long Trail – the British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918