As part of the Wood Norton Heritage Project, work began in June 2015 on researching the names of the men who appear on the War Memorial in the Church, and in particular those men who lost their lives in World War I. The war memorial lists the names of men who served and survived, as well as those who lost their lives, in both WW1 and WW2.
The memorial, For God, King and Country, was made by Hughes, Bolckow & Co. Ltd, battleship breakers in Blyth, Northumberland. The war shrines were made from teak and copper materials from H.M.S. Britannia, and an advertisement in The Bystander, February 28, 1917, offered the war shrines at a total cost of £6 10s 0d, ‘as a fitting and enduring Memorial to the Patriotism of Britain’s Sons’. The memorial takes the form of a triptych, with a shelf at the bottom of the central panel upon which flowers or a commemorative wreath can be placed. The names of the servicemen are inscribed on the left and right hand panels under the heading Roll of Honour. The central panel bears a copper cross under the heading Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, and the names of the servicemen who died are here inscribed, each name bearing a gold asterisk which corresponds with the words The Heroic Dead at the bottom of the panel. The war shrine was dedicated by the Bishop of Thetford, John Phillips Alcott Bowers, on the 21 June 1917.
A memorial plaque to those who lost their lives in WW1 was erected in the old village hall, an army billet (Hut Number 101) purchased from Weybourne Camp in 1920 by the village. The land on which the old village hall was erected was ‘rented’ to the village by William Edmund Norris, whose only son, William Forbes Norris, was killed in action at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on the 25 August 1915. Following the demolition of the old village hall, the memorial plaque was re-hung in the new village hall in 1998.
A brass memorial to William Forbes Norris can be found in the Church. He was a Lieutenant in the 5th Norfolk Regiment, and attached to the 54th Divisional Cyclist Company.
A list of the names on the War Memorial can be found here
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
If you would like further information, please contact: Joanne Burd [email protected]