Norfolk War Memorials

Skeyton War Memorial

Part Two

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A closer view of the WW1 names on Skeyton war memorial.

Part two of this blog on Skeyton’s war memorial looks at the last four men commemorated on it who were killed in WW1.

George Dennis was the son of Thomas William and Ellen Dennis of Skeyton and he enlisted on 6th July 1915 landing in France on 9th February 1916. By then he was Rifleman R/14431 in the 9th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC).

George Dennis

George Dennis who was killed in action on 9th April 1917.

The 9th KRRC took part in the initial phase of the Battle of Arras on 9th April 1915 and George was one of sixty nine other ranks killed when they assaulted a German strong-point known as the Harp. In total the battalion lost ten officers killed or wounded and 205 other ranks killed, wounded ot missing. He was aged 20 when he was killed in action and has no known grave and is commemorated on Bay 7 on the Arras Memorial.

Bernard Doughty was born in Victoria in British Columbia but was educated at Skeyton School and Paston Grammar School. The 1911 Census records him living with his parents, James and Emily at Victoria Villa on Bradfield Rd in North Walsham. But he enlisted in 1915 where he joined the 47th Battalion Canadian Infantry serving in ‘G’ Company where he became a Lance Corporal with the service number of 706030.

Bernard Doughty

Bernard Doughty who served in the 47th Battalion Canadian Infantry

On 27th September 1918 left the Canadian Corps reached the Douai-Cambrai road and made its main objective, the Blue Line, by 2:00 p.m. But they faced a reawakened German resistance at Chapel Corner but  advanced roughly four kilometers but were held up just past Bourlon Wood. George was 22 when he was killed and is now laid to rest in grave B. 37 in Queant Communal Cemetery British Extension

William Arthur Howard was born in Skeyton and enlisted in Norwich serving as Gunner 130768 in the 512th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery. He was the husband of Ellena and father to Dorothy, William and Maurice and was living in Burgh prior to WW1. Sadly whilst he was serving he lost a daughter Joy, aged 3, on 4th January 1917 to Bronchitis.

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William Howard who was killed in action on 11th August 1918.

William enlisted on 9th December 1915 but did not go to France until 12th June 1918 later on he was posted to 354 Siege Battery. The 354th Siege Battery had left Southampton on the 22nd May 1917 and disembarked Le Havre the next day. Initially the battery had four 6″ Howitzers but was made up to 6 guns from the 512th Siege Battery on the 18th June 1918 hence his posting to that battery. He was one of eleven men killed in action on 11th August 1918 and is now laid to rest in grave I. H. 8 in Heath Cemetery at Harbonnieres.

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Frederick James Sendall was born in Skeyton in 1896 to Edward and Sarah M Sendall. He enlisted in Norwich on 11th June 1915 and became Private 19596 in the 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. He landed in France on 29th December 1915. In 1916 he was attached to the 173rd Tunnelling Company and was wounded in an accident whilst working at a mine shaft. He went back to the 7th Battalion on 18th September 1917.

Both the 7th and 9th Norfolks would see action at the Battle of Cambrai, fought between 20th November and 7th December 1917, the first battle to see the mass use of tanks. The 9/Norfolks took part in the assault on the village of Ribecourt, overrunning the enemy tanks and meeting with stiff resistance until their own tanks caught up with them. By 9 a.m., 20th November, the battalion had captured 500 Germans. But success at Cambrai ended in failure when the Germans counter-attacked on 30th November. By this time the 7/Norfolks were in the line at Villers-Guislain and it was here that enemy forces confronted them at 8 a.m. that morning. Although they put up a staunch defence they were overwhelmed with terrible losses, including their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel H.L.F.A. Gielgud, and 351 officers and men killed, wounded or captured.Frederick was also amongst those that were killed and like many of his comrades from that action he has no known grave and is commemorated Panel 4 on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval.

 

 

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Norfolk War Memorials

Skeyton War Memorial

Part One

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The war memorial for Skeyton which records the names of nine men who were lost from this parish in the Great War.

This is another war memorial that I often pass. It is situated on a small rise overlooking the area and records the names of nine men from Skeyton who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War. What is nice about this particular blog is that I can put faces onto all the names bar one.

However, sadly, as with a number of memorials in this area, there are three brothers listed on it. These are Alfred, Bertie and Percy Allard. They were the sons of Edward John and Anne Elizabeth Allard of Burgh Road in Aylsham. Alfred and Bertie died within day of each other and we will look at both of these first.

Alfred Allard

Alfred Allard one of three brothers to die in WW1.

Alfred became  Gunner 30620 in the 72nd Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery and is recorded as having died on 6th June 1916 at the age of 28. He had enlisted at North Walsham. He had landed in Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq, on 27th December 1916.

Alfred’s battery were part of the Indian 3rd (Lahore) Division who had been moved from the Western Front to Mesopotamia where elements began landing on 8th December 1915. They came under the command of the Tigris Corps, who were sent as part of the relief force with the Indian 7th and the British 13th Divisions in an attempt to relieve the 6th (Poona) Division at Kut-al-Amara. As you might have read in my previous blog on the 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment this effort failed. The fact that Alfred is listed as having ‘Died’ may be due to illness as opposed to enemy action but sadly there are no records that survived to confirm how he died. However, according to one source he is listed as having died from fever. He is now laid to rest in grave VI. M. 5. in Basra War Cemetery.

Bertie Allard

Bertie Allard who died of wounds on 1st June 1916.

Bertie John Allard became Driver 85319 in the 209th Field Company Royal Engineers. I will be writing about this unit along with the 2 other field companies that were raised in Norwich in 1915 in July. But Bertie died of wounds when the company were at Dernancourt on 1st June 1916. On this day they were constructing a tramway when they were shelled. Two men were wounded and died whilst being treated at the 64th West Lancashre Field Ambulance post. He was 23 and is now laid to rest in grave British. 1 in Buire-sur-L’Ancre Communal Cemetery.

Percy Allard

Percy Allard who was killed in action in 1918 and had tried to join up under age in 1916.

Percy joined up under age on 20th September 1915 and was discharged from the King’s Own Scottish Borderers on 6th July 1916 when this was found out. He had stated that his birthday was 14th July 1897, he had, in fact, been born on 14th July 1899 making him 17.

But when he was 18 he became Private 38239 in the East Surrey Regiment but by the time he was serving in France he had become G/69409 in the 6th Battalion Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). He was also residing in Barford and had enlisted in Norwich.

On the day he was killed the battalion was taking part in the ongoing Battle of Amiens and he was one eighteen other ranks who is listed as being killed that day.

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The war diary entry for 10th August 1918 for the 6th Battalion Queen’s Regiment.

Percy has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 3.on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial

William Atkins is recorded on two memorials in this area. He is listed on the war memorial at Scottow as well. But the 1911 Census records his a boarder at the Goat Inn at Skeyton where he was working as an Agricultural Labourer.

He initially became Private 201846 in the Norfolk Regiment but when he landed in France he was given the new number of 300061 and was sent to the 16th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. William died on 20th June 1918 and he was born and resided in Scottow and enlisted in Norwich. There is not much to see on the war diary and it looks as though William was killed during the relief of the battalion as they moved out of the line. He was 33 and was the son of Elijah Eliza Atkins of Scottow. He is now laid to rest in Row C. Grave 9 in Thiennes British Cemetery.

The last man we will look at in Part One is Frederick Horace Claxton. Frederick is listed on the 1911 Census as a Farm Labourer and was the son of George and Emily Claxton of Skeyton.

He initially sevred in the Norfolk Regiment where he enlisted in November 1915. But his war service was initially with the 1/4th East Yorkshire Regiment where he served as Private 7921 and then the 1/4th Northumberland Fusiliers as Private 4/5212. He was killed in action in on 29th October 1916..

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On the day he died the battalion was in front line trenches facing the Butte de Warlencourt on the Somme. There is not much within the war diary but it notes that the enemy shelled Hexham Road and that companies were relieved in the Flers Line.

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Frederick was 19 years old when he died and has no known grave and is commemorated Panel Reference Pier and Face 10 B 11 B and 12 B on the Thiepval Memorial.

The second part of this blog will be posted later on this week.

 

Norfolk War Memorials

Burgh Next Aylsham

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Burgh Next Aylsham which records the loss of three men from this village. 

On a road that I travel quite often, between Westwick and Aylsham, the small village of Burgh Next Aylsham is driven through. There is a war memorial sat on a verge on a T-junction that records the loss of just three men, but, to my mind, three too many. This is their story.

William Hubert Postle became Rifleman, B/200099, serving with the 10th Battalion Rifle Brigade. William died of wounds on 12th December 1916 at the age of 20. He was born and enlisted in East Dereham and resided in Burgh Next Aylsham.

William did not go to war until late on and certainly did not serve overseas prior to 1916. During the period that he died the battalion moved into the line south-east of Lesbeoufs on the Somme. During that period the battalion had a terrible time in what was described as a position of only being ‘battle trenches’. Over the period of 10th – 12th December 1916 they lost a few men to enemy action but a large number to sickness.

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The war diary entry for the 10th Battalion Rifle Brigade for the period of 10th – 12th December 1916.

William was the son of John and Mary Ann Postle of Burgh Next Aylsham. He is now laid to rest in Grave II. E. 11 in Grove Town Cemetery Meaulte.

Robert Charles Quadling served as Private 34581 in the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. Robert died of wounds on 18th April 1917. He was born in Cawston in Norfolk and resided in Gillingham in Norfolk and enlisted in Norwich. He was also a later entrant to active service.

On 9th April 1917 the 8th Battalion took part in the opening phase of the Battle of Arras. The history of the Royal Fusiliers noted this about that time.

‘Zero was at 5.30 a.m. on Easter Monday. Wire-cutting had begun nearly three weeks before, and on April 4th the preliminary bombardment started. On the 8th, a fine cold day, the shelling seemed to die down ; but in the dark of the Monday morning it began with extra- ordinary intensity, and the troops moved forward. Strange but very welcome rumours were heard by those Fusiliers left behind in Arras, and the troops of cavalry  trotting by seemed to give point to them.

On the Arras battle front there were a number of Fusilier battalions waiting to take their part in the struggle. Farthest north were the 8th and 9th Battalions (12th Division), just above the Arras-Cambrai road. 

The 8th and 9th Battalions reached their objectives, and with small loss took a considerable number of prisoners. The 8th was the left support battalion of the brigade, and the men moved off so rapidly after the barrage that in many cases they became merged in the assaulting battalion, the 7th Royal Sussex. The front German line was reached without a single casualty. The attack went exactly according to programme. The enemy put up a resistance at two strong points, but they were outflanked, and at 10 a.m. the whole objective was taken with two machine guns and 129 prisoners. The total casualty list was 175 killed, wounded and missing (only 7 of these last). On the right, the 9th Battalion also gained all objectives and captured two machine guns and 220 prisoners. C Company captured 150 of these in one dug-out. But the dug-outs were unhealthy places. One of them, in the Middlesex area, was suddenly blown up by the explosion of a mine ; and as a consequence German dug-outs were afterwards forbidden. These positions, the ” Blue Line,” were at once consolidated.’

Robert was the Husband of R. Quadling of Lamas near Buxton and is now laid to rest in Grave II. G. 15 Duisans British Cemetery.

Robert Stackwood became Private 14784 in the Norfolk Regiment and he died on 5th  May 1916 at the age of 22. He is listed as having served in the 9th Battalion. However, at this time, the 9th Norfolks were in France and Robert did not make it that far. He died in Lakenham Military Hospital and his battalion, listed in his soldiers effects register noted that he was serving in the 10th (Reserve) Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment. This battalion served at home all through the war

Robert was born in Burgh Next Aylsham and enlisted in Norwich and was the son of John and Jane Stackwood, of Burgh Next Aylsham. He is now laid to rest in Grave 25. 151 in Norwich Cemetery.

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A close up of the memorial inscription and listing.