To The Glory Of God
And In Grateful Memory Of The Men
Of This Parish Who Died In The Great War
1914 - 1919
"Ye That Live On 'Mid English Pastures Green
Remember Us, And Think What Might Have Been"
The Second World War
1939 - 1945
More details of all the above and others from Newton Flotman and Saxlingham Thorpe who died for their country in the First World War can be found below
© Licensed for use under this Creative Commons Licence
Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and Moyra Parker for the detailed article which appears below, which was first published in the Partnership community magazine between October 2018 and January 2019
THE NEWTON FLOTMAN AND SAXLINGHAM THORPE MEN WHO DIED FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR
BY MOYRA PARKER & MIKE WILKINSON
As the First World War (WW1) Armistice Centenary approaches we thought it appropriate that details of the men who are commemorated on the village War Memorial situated in St Mary-the-Virgin church (St Mary’s) published. These details are in alphabetical order.
Alfred Banham - Born in Newton Flotman in 1886, he was baptised in St Mary’s on the 9 May that year. His parents were George and Mary Ann Banham and was one of five children, and until he married, his family home was in Back Street. He married Eliza Amelia Welton from Wreningham in 1912. It is unknown when he enlisted, and there is no date given on his Medal Card of when he entered a Theatre of War, but he was a private in the 2nd. Bn., Northamptonshire Regiment, service number 27556 and died aged 33 on the 30 September 1919 at the Aldershot Hospital, Liverpool of pneumonia but is buried in our village churchyard. His wife Eliza Amelia received from the Army his Credits of £25. 0s. 2d. and a War Gratuity of £17. 0s. 0d and she never remarried and lived the remainder of her life in Fundenhall until her death in 1943.
William Henry Brighton - Born in Newton Flotman in 1886, he was baptised in St Mary’s on the 10 October that year. His parents were William and Elizabeth Mary Brighton, and William was their only child. Elizabeth Mary died in 1898 and William’s father remarried a widow Sarah Culling in 1899. In 1901 William was living with his family in Front Street, but in 1905 he enlisted in the 4th Bn. Norfolk Regiment (Militia). In 1911 he was with the 2nd Bn., Norfolk Regiment in India as a private, service number: 7164. At the outbreak of WW1, he was in the 1st Bn., Norfolk Regiment and quartered in Belfast, but it embarked from there on the 14th August and arrived in France on the 16th. However, the 1st Battalion was part of the brigade that retreated from Mons, and William was killed aged 28 on the 24 August near Dour, Belgium. The 1st Bn. Norfolk Regiment suffered about 250 casualties on the 24 August, with William being one of them. He was also amongst the first casualties of WW1. The first British Tommy to be killed is acknowledged to be John Henry Parr, Middlesex Regiment, who was shot on the 21 August aged 17, although his age is given as 20 on his gravestone and is buried in St Symphorien Military Cemetery. William is buried in Witheries Communal Cemetery, and his effects from the Army of Credits of £3. 12s. 3d and War Gratuity of £5. 0s. 0d. were paid to his father.
James Carver – Born in Intwood on the 17 February 1883, he was baptised in All Saints church on the 1 May 1887. His parents were John and Harriet Carver and he had eight siblings. Over the decades the family spelt their surname either as Carver or Calver and the spelling that James used when enlisting was Calver. James married Cecily Elizabeth Canham from Bracon Ash in 1905, and first lived in Swardeston, then Bracon Ash, and finally in Newton Flotman. They had four daughters and one son. It is unknown when he enlisted, but when the Rector Ernest Long baptised his youngest daughter Phyllis on the 23 January 1915, he stated that James’ occupation was ‘Labourer and Volunteer in Kitchener’s Army’. He enlisted in the 7th Bn., Norfolk Regiment as a private, service number: 17274, and entered France on the 23 June 1915. He was killed on the battlefields around Loos aged 32 on the 13 October 1915. As he has no known grave he is commemorated on a panel in the Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos Memorial, Loos-en- Gohelle, France. He is also commemorated on the Mulbarton Memorial. His effects from the Army of Credits of £2. 4s. 6d and War Gratuity of £3. 0s. 0d. were paid to Cecily Elizabeth. What makes his death even more tragic is that his only son, Arthur James, died in the Jenny Lind Hospital, and was buried in St Mary’s on the 24 March 1916. Cecily, his wife, never remarried and raised her four daughters by herself, and passed away in 1975 aged 90.
John Catchpole – Born in Swainsthorpe on the 2 June 1890, he was baptised in St Peter’s church on the 21 September the same year. His parents were William Thomas and Georgianna Catchpole, and he had two brothers, George and James. By 1901, the family had moved to Newton Flotman, and William Thomas was a Grocer. In 1911, both his parents had passed away, and the Grocer’s shop had also become a Pork Butchers, and it was being run by George the eldest son, and John’s occupation was Labourer. In 1912 John emigrated to Australia and eventually settled in Toowoomba, Queensland where he worked as a Timber Cutter. Eventually, he enlisted in the Australian Infantry on the 11 December 1915 as a private, service number: 290. After initial training, he embarked from Sydney on the 6 June, and disembarked at Southampton on the 23 July 1916. He was then posted to France that year on the 26 November with the Australian Infantry and was Killed in Action on the aged 27 on the 4 October 1917. His grave is in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium. His brother James received all his effects, and medals.
Tom Charlish – Born in Saxlingham Thorpe on the 14 December 1891, he was baptised at St Mary’s, Newton Flotman on the 10 April 1892. His parents were Joseph and Clara Elizabeth Charlish, and he had three sisters, with Tom being the eldest of the four. When Tom was born his parents were residing at the West End pub, and his father was a publican and market gardener. In 1911 Tom was still living at home and assisting in the family business. Tom’s army enlistment date is unknown, but he did so whilst living in 148, South Street, Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire., and served in the 7th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment as a private, service number: 30911. There is no date given on his Medal Card to indicate when he first entered a Theatre of War. Tom was Killed in Action on the 23 March 1918 aged 26 during the Battle of St Quentin, Northern France. His effects of Credits of £6. 12s. 2d. and War Gratuity of £7. 10s. 0d. from the Army, plus in his will he left £391. 5s. 9d were left to his parents. This assisted his parents in building a cottage next to the West End pub, which they named it St Quinton, after St Quentin where Tom was killed, and this property still stands. As he has no known grave he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in the British Cemetery near the village with the same name in Northern France. Tom is also commemorated on the Saxlingham Nethergate War Memorial.
William Henry Edwards – Born in Newton Flotman in on the 26 October 1884, he was baptised at St Mary’s on the 30 November that year. His parents were Alderman (sometimes written as Olderman) and Mary Ann Edwards. In 1891 the family were living in Back Street, but by 1901 they had moved to the main Ipswich Road, and his father had set up as a market gardener. In 1911 William was still living with his parents and employed as a gamekeeper. William married Mary Jane Kedge in Norwich in March 1916, and their daughter, Annie Mary, was born later that year. It is not known when William enlisted in the army, but he did so as a private, service number: 28174, with the 4th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment, and eventually embarked for France. No date is given on his Medal Card as to when he entered a Theatre of War. He was Killed in Action aged 32 on the 29 April 1917, and as he has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery, France, and on a plaque in St Mary’s, Saxlingham Nethergate. His effects from the Army of Credits of £4. 5s. 0d and War Gratuity of £3. 10s. 0d. were paid to his wife, and in his Will he also left her £269. 12s. 3d. Later Mary Jane married Frederick Henry Cushion in 1927.
Bertie Frederick Fish – Bertie was born in Hapton in 1893, and his parents were William and Mary Ann Fish. Bertie’s birth was registered as Frederick Bertie Fish, and on the census returns for both 1901 and 1911 he is shown as Frederick. His mother, Mary Ann, was farming in Flordon in 1911 as William, her husband, had passed away the year before aged 54. In the census return for 1901, William’s occupation was also shown as a farmer. Bertie had an elder sister, Annie May, who was born in 1890 in Wreningham, and his parents also had a further child that had died. Bertie enlisted in the 2nd Bn., Norfolk Regiment as a private, service number: 17339, on the 15 December 1914 in Norwich, and after training embarked to Salonica on the 15 October 1915, by which time he had been promoted to Lance Corporal. Whilst in Salonica he became attached to the 6th B., Royal Dublin Fusiliers. On the 9 December 1915 Bertie was reported as Missing, and on the 27 February 1916 his mother was notified that he had died of wounds aged 22 whilst being held as Prisoner of War in Sofia, and he is buried in Sofia War Cemetery, Bulgaria. His effects from the Army of the War Gratuity of £4. 10s. od. was paid to his mother, Mary Ann, and both Mary Ann, and his sister, Annie May each received £3. 7s. 0d. for his Credits.
George Robert Flint – Born in 1892 in Swainsthorpe Union House, his mother was Harriett Flint, and he had two siblings; an elder sister, Mary Victoria, who was also born in the same institution, and a younger brother, William Henry, who was born in Saxlingham Nethergate. In 1901 George and his family were living in The Street, Saxlingham Nethergate., and by 1911 he was a boarder with a Walter and Eliza Millicent Sheldrake, when his occupation was stated to be a Gardener. George enlisted in the Norfolk Yeomanry on the 3 October 1914 as a private, service number: 1791, and embarked for France on the 8 October 1915. By the 24 June 1918 he had risen to the rank of Serjeant, service number: 320157, and was serving in the 12th Bn., Norfolk Regiment, but was Killed in Action aged 26 on the 11 September 1918. He is buried in Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, Northern France. His death is also commemorated on the Shotesham War Memorial and in the Norfolk Yeomanry Book of Remembrance in Norwich Cathedral. His effects from the Army were paid to his mother, Harriett, and they were £8. 1s. 0d. for his Credits and £22. 0s. 0d. War Gratuity. Harriett later married John Reeve, and in 1939 both were living in Park Cottage, Newton Flotman.
Walter Isaac Gooch – Born in Norwich in 1899, his parents were Walter James and Jane Gooch, and he had a brother, Reginald John, who was his twin. In 1901 Walter was living with his family at 12 Trory Street, Norwich, and in 1911 he was with his grandmother Hebe Elizabeth Gooch in Newton Flotman where she was born. Hebe was a widow, her husband John (born in Shotesham) having passed away, and they had farmed in Newton Flotman prior to his death. It is not known when Walter Isaac enlisted, but initially served in the Bedfordshire Regiment as a private, service number: 49009, but eventually was transferred to the 1st Bn., Hertfordshire Regiment. It is known that his brother, Reginald, enlisted on the 9 April 1917 in the Northampton Regiment when was 18 years old, where he rose to the rank of Serjeant. It is possible that Walter enlisted about the same time. Walter died from wounds aged 19 on the 18 October 1918 and is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France. His effects from the Army of Credits of £7. 13s. 10d. and War Gratuity of £6. 10s. 0d. were paid to his mother Jane.
Charles Sydney Hamond – Born in Pensthorpe, Fakenham in 1979, he was baptised in the parish church of St Andrew, Ryburgh Magna, now known as Gt Ryburgh on the 7 October the same year. His parents were Washington and Frances Hamond and was one of ten children, of which four were sons and the other six daughters. Before Charles’ death on the 5 October 1918 two of his sisters had already passed away in childhood. Before enlisting in the Army, Charles’ occupation was as a farmer, whereas his three brothers were Church of England priests. In 1910 he married Emily Frances Thelwall in the parish church of St Peter’s, Ringland., where they were both living in 1911. However, before he enlisted on the 4 December 1915, he was living in the Mill House, Saxlingham Thorpe, and his occupation was still as a farmer. On enlistment he was in the 4th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment as a private, service number :33872, and then embarked from Southampton on the 8 November 1916, and disembarked in Salonika on the 19 November 1916. On the 28 November the same year he was transferred to the 2nd Bn., Cheshire Regiment. Whilst serving in the Balkans Charles suffered from Malaria and Trench Foot, and in January 1918 was hospitalised for four months. In April he was sent to a hospital in Malta and then on the 28 August 1918 was invalided back to England. He was admitted to the Belmont Road Auxiliary Military Hospital, Liverpool on the 16 September 1918. This hospital specialised in treating patients with both conditions that Charles had, but unfortunately, he passed away on the 5 October 1918 at the age of 38 with his wife Emily by his bedside. Eventually, Emily was awarded a War Widows Pension of £0. 15s. 0d. a week. Whilst Charles was serving in the Army, Emily was living in the Church House, Lee Moor, Roborough, Devon. Charles was buried in the churchyard of St Edward, King and Martyr, Shaugh Prior, Cornwood, Devon, and eventually Emily moved to ‘The Hermitage’ in the village. Charles effects from the Army Credits of £25. 6s. 6d. and War Gratuity of £10. 0s. 0d. were paid to Emily. On her death in 1957, she was buried with Charles in St Edward’s Church. Not only is Charles commemorated on our War Memorial he is also shown on Saxlingham Nethergate’s War Memorial.
Albert George Hazel – Born in Worlingham, Suffolk in 1892. His parents were William and Ruth Hazel and was one of 10 children, who were born over a marriage period of twenty-three years. In the 1911 Census the oldest child in the family was twenty-three years and the youngest two and they were all still living with their parents at Muir Green, Burgh St Peter. Albert’s occupation was shown as Agricultural Labourer, and his father’s as Horseman on Farm. Between 1911 and the date of Albert’s enlist on the 12 April 1915 the family had moved to Orchard cottage, Flordon. On enlistment Albert was placed in the 3rd Bn., Norfolk Regiment as a private, service number: 19151, but on the 30 December 1915, he was transferred to the 7 Bn., Border Regiment as a private, service number 23087, and embarked for France. Albert was again transferred on the 12 June 1917 to the 2nd Bn., of the same regiment, and was firstly reported ‘Missing’ and then ‘Died on or Since’ with the same date given i.e. the 26 October 1917 written against both annotations. This date, the 26 October 1917, when the Second Battle of Passchendaele commenced, and as he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, it is believed that he was killed on the first day of that battle aged 25, and as he has no known grave his name is on one of the Memorial panels. Between his death and the 6 May 1920 his family had moved to Hill Cottage, Hapton, and his effects from the Army Credits of £18. 8s. 10d. and War Gratuity of £11. 10s. 0d. were sent to his mother, Ruth. He is also commemorated on the parish church of St Michael, Flordon.
George Edward Kirby – Born in Newton Flotman on the 19 January 1896, he was baptised in St Mary’s on the 2 September 1900. His parents were George and Rebecca Kirby and he had two sisters and three brothers. In the 1911 Census, George’s occupation is shown as Farm Labourer, and his father’s as Thatcher as was his grand-father, Edward Kirby. In the 1891 Census the family are shown as residing in a cottage on Back Street, and by 1901 they had moved to a cottage on Front Street and were still residing there in 1911. His date of enlistment is unknown but when he did, so it was in the 1st/4th Bn., Norfolk Regiment as a private service number: 200102. However according to his Medal Card, he arrived in the Balkans on the 6 August 1915. According to another record, his death was ‘Presumed on or since the 19 April 1917’. This date, the 19 April, was when the Second Battle of Gaza commenced, in which his battalion was involved, and there is a possibility that he lost his life then at the age of 21. As he has no known grave his name is on one of the memorials panels of the Jerusalem Memorial. His effects from the Army of Credits of £27. 9s. 2d. and War Gratuity of £12 10s. 0d. were sent to his father, George.
Cecil Peter Stanley Postle – Born in Burlingham on the 9 October 1894, he was baptised on the 1st August 1897 in the parish church of Caistor St Edmund. On Birth Registration his name was stated as Peter Cecil Stanley Postle, and his name at his baptism was also given in the same order. Also baptised on the same day as Cecil were his older sister and younger brother, who were Alice Rosabella, born on the 26 August 1892 and Edwin Hector born on the17 January 1897. His parents were Edgar Peter and Sarah Ann Postle and as well as the brother and sister mentioned above, he also had a further three siblings. His father was a Wheelwright, who had been apprenticed to Cecil’s grand-father. Cecil’s great grandfather had been a farmer in Blofield. According to the 1911 Census, Cecil was still living at home In Newton Flotman with his parents and his younger brother Hector together with an even younger brother, Albert Percival. Cecil’s and Hector’s occupations are not stated other then they are Workers. Albert is stated to be at School. It unknown when Cecil enlisted, but when he died, he was in the 1st/7th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment as a private, service number: 300074. His Medal Card gives no date as to when he embarked from the UK to fight abroad. On his death his battalion was involved in the Battle of Broodseinde, which formed part of the Third Battle of Ypres. On another document it states that he was ’Killed in Action’ on the 4 October 1917, on which day the Battle of Broodseinde commenced. He was 22 years of age on his death. As his body was never recovered, he is commemorated on one of the panels of The Tyne Cot memorial near Ypres. His effects from the Army of Credits of £3. 8s. 7d. and War Gratuity of £6 0s. 0d. were sent to his father, Edgar.
Edgar Smith – Born in Newton Flotman on the 10 May 1890, he was one of twins, his twin brother being named Victor. They were baptised in St. Mary’s on the 14 September 1890, and their parents were Benjamin Elijah and Maria Smith. At the time of their baptism Benjamin’s occupation was given Farmer, but before becoming a Farmer he was a Cordwainer. Edgar and Victor also had an elder sister and brother, Flora and William. William also served and died in WW1, and his details are the subject of the next casualty. In the 1891 Census the family were living in Greenways, and Benjamin was farming, but by the 1901 Census his occupation is given as Shoemaker, and in the 1911 Census it is given as Shoe Repairer. In both the last two censuses, they are residing in a cottage in Greenways, and in the 1911 Census Edgar’s occupation is given as Farm Labourer. On the 24 May 1915 Edgar married Blanche Mary Mackrell in the St Nicholas church, Bracon Ash, and on the 20 October 1915 their daughter Mabel Alice was born in the same village. At that time Blanche’s father was a Farm Bailiff in Bracon Ash. In January 1916 the Military Service Act was passed. This imposed conscription on all single men aged between eighteen and forty-one. Conscription was later extended to married men as from the 25 May 1916, and Edgar was conscripted and entered the army on the 26 June 1916, and at that time was living in Bracon Ash. He was placed in the 5th Bn., Norfolk Regiment as a private service number: 290885 and until the 15 June 1917 was based in the UK. On the 16 June 1917 he disembarked in France and joined the 9th Bn. of the Norfolk Regiment. On the 22 April 1918 he was gassed and died on the 14 May the same year aged 28, and is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Blanche, his wife, paid to have the words ‘Ever Remembered’ carved on his headstone. Edgar’s effects from the Army of Credits of £11. 4s. 9d. and War Gratuity of £8. 10s. 0d. were sent to his wife, Blanche. She was also awarded a War Widows Pension of £1.0s. 5d. In 1920. Blanche married William Lake, and in 1939 they were residing in The Rosary, Mulbarton. Blanche died in May 1985 aged 89.
William John Smith – Born in Tasburgh on the 11 January 1884, he was baptised in St Peter’s, Swainsthorpe on the 3 February of the same year. The family details are as those for his brother, Edgar, as stated previously. In the 1891 he was living with his family and in the 1901 Census, he is still living with them and his occupation is given as Agricultural Labourer. What his occupation was in the 1911 Census is unknown, as he cannot be traced in that census. He attested for the army on the 7 December 1915 and was placed on the Reserve the following day in the 3nd Bn., Royal Sussex Regiment as a private, service number: G/9338. On the 3 February 1916 he was mobilized and posted to France with his Battalion on the 2 July 1916. On the 7 August 1916 he was ‘Killed in Action’ having only been in combat for thirty-seven days. At that time his Battalion was involved in the Battle of Pozieres Ridge, which formed part of the Battle of the Somme, and it is a possibility that William was killed in that action. As he has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France, on which the names of 72,336 casualties of British and Commonwealth forces who died in the Somme Sector before the 20 March 1918, and have no known grave, the majority of whom died during the Somme Offensive of 1916. William’s effects from the Army of Credits of £3. 6s. 3d. and War Gratuity of £3. 0s. 0d. were sent to his father, Benjamin Elijah. According to the 1911 Census, William’s parents during their marriage, Maria had given birth to six children. Two of these must have died very young, as they do not appear in any census records and at the outbreak of WW1 there were four of their children living. At the end of WW1 tragically there were only two remaining alive, Flora and Victor.
Lancelot Horace Titlow – Lancelot was born in Framingham Earl in 1892, and his parents were Samuel and Sarah Anna Titlow. In the 1911 Census Samuel stated that during their marriage Sarah had given birth to eleven children, one of whom had died. In the 1901 Census Lancelot is staying with his aunt and uncle, Alfred and Phoebe Laws at Norwich Road, Kirby Bedon, and in the 1911 Census he is with his family at Brisley Road, Horningtoft. In the early part of 1914, Lancelot married Florence Emily Smallpiece in Norfolk. Florence Emily was born in Cheam, Surrey on the 7 August 1891. It is unknown how Lancelot and Florence met. In 1914 Florence gave birth to a daughter, Winifred. It is also unknown when Lancelot enlisted in the army, but when he did so he was with “C” Company, 1st/5th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers as a private, service number: 40406. He died on the 17 November 1917 and as he has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Nieuport Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Florence was remarried in 1919 to Edward Barker and Lancelot’s Effects of Army Credits of £4. 17s. 3d. and War Gratuity of £3. 0s. 0d. were sent to her at High Street, Whissonset, East Dereham.
Ralph White – Born in Swardeston on the 6 December 1896, he was baptised on the 7 February 1897 in St Mary-the-Virgin church, Swardeston by the Rev. Frederick Cavell, the father of Nurse Edith Cavell. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth White and had three sisters and three brothers, with Ralph being the youngest. His brother, Reginald Vincent, also served and died in WW1, and his details are given the subject of the next casualty. Ralph’s father was born in Gt Yarmouth and was for a period a publican, but then became a signalman on the railways. In 1899 his mother, Elizabeth, died and was buried in St Mary-the-Virgin church, Swardeston on the 23 December 1899. In 1901 the family were living at Town Cottages, The Common, Swardeston, where the eldest daughter, Eva, was stated to be the ‘Housekeeper to her father’. The reason for this being that on the night of the census, her father was in the signal box at Swainsthorpe. On the 27 October 1902 Ralph’s father Samuel married Alice Eliza Brighton at St Mary-the-Virgin church, Newton Flotman. Alice Eliza was twenty-eight years old and seventeen years younger than Samuel. Also, Alice Eliza already had three children, and with Samuel’s children they set up residence in Saxlingham Thorpe on the Turnpike, Saxlingham Thorpe. In the 1911 Census, Ralph’s occupation is stated to be a ‘Gardener Domestic’. It is not known when Ralph enlisted in the army, but it states on his Medal card that he disembarked in France on the 2 February 1915, and he was in “C” Company, 1st Bn., Gloucestershire Regiment as a private, service number: 11626. His battalion was involved in the Battle of Loos, and it was during this battle that Ralph was ‘Killed in Action’ on the 13 October 1915 aged 18, and his body was never recovered. On another document it states his death was ‘Presumed on or since the 13 October 1915’. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and on the Saxlingham Nethergate War Memorial. His Effects of Army Credits of £4. 19s. 11d. and War Gratuity of £4. 0s. 0d. were sent to his father, Samuel.
Reginald Vincent White – Born in Swardeston on the 26 July 1892 in Swardeston, he was baptised on the 4 September the same year, also by the Rev. Frederick Cavell in St Mary-the-Virgin Church, Swardeston. The family details are as those for his brother, Ralph, as stated previously. In the 1911 Census Reginald’s occupation is stated to be a ‘Farm Labourer’. Reginald attested at St Pancras, London on the 25 January 1915, and gave his address as the great Northern Hotel, Kings Cross, London and his ‘Trade or Calling’ as a Hotel Porter. He was initially posted to the Norfolk Regiment, as a private service number: 18652, but was later transferred to the 7th Bn., Border Regiment as a private serial number 23169, on the 9 November 1915. He disembarked in France on the 30 December 1915 and was ‘Killed in Action’ on the 16 February 1916 having only been France and Belgium thirty-seven days. As he has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium and on the Saxlingham Nethergate War Memorial. His Effects of Army Credits of £5. 6s. 3d. and War Gratuity of £3. 10s. 0d. were sent to his father, Samuel.
Several years ago, whilst research was being carried out on the Village war dead at the National Archives in Kew, amongst the Militia Attestation forms there was one for Edward Robert Trory, on which it was stated that he was born in Newton Flotman. It was decided to take a copy of the form, and research the individual. This research was carried out, and it was found that he was ‘Killed in Action’ in the First World War. His details are as follows:
Edward Robert Trory – Born in Newton Flotman on the 1 November 1870, but his baptism cannot be found in St Mary’s Baptismal Register. His parents were James and Emma Trory nee Brighton and his father was born in Dilham and mother in Newton Flotman. They married in St Mary’s, Newton Flotman on the 29 April 1856. They had six sons and two daughters. Of these only the two eldest and two youngest were born in Newton Flotman, with the remainder being born in Hempnall.
In the 1851 Census, James was living in Newton Flotman, and his occupation was stated to be as an Apprentice and it is assumed that his master was Samuel Sayer, a Master Baker. Samuel Sayer was the stepfather of Emma Brighton. By the 1861 Census, James, Emma and family had moved to Hempnall, where James’ occupation is given as Master Baker employing one man, but in the 1871 Census James and family had returned to Newton Flotman and were living in a cottage by the Bake Office on Short Street. It is assumed that James was employed by his father-in-law, Samuel Sayer, at the Bake Office on Front Street (now named Old Street). The 1881 Census shows that Samuel Sayer had retired and was living in Back Street (now named Flordon Road), and James, Emma and family were living in Front Street at the Bake Office, with James running the business.
As stated above, no baptism can be found for Edward Robert in St Mary’s Baptism Register. Neither can any baptisms be found for his siblings, except for one of his sisters, Mary Rebecca, who was baptised in Shotesham St Mary church on the 21 February 1876, when she was about fifteen, and described in their Baptismal Register as a Servant. As there are no other baptisms to be found, there is a possibility that the family were members of the Baptists Faith, since there were Baptists chapels both in Hempnall and Saxlingham Thorpe, and in their faith, baptisms do not take place whilst children are very young, but when they are in their teens or adulthood when they became ‘Believers’.
As stated above, Edward Robert attested in the Militia. This was on the 17 December 1887 and he signed to serve in the Royal Artillery (Eastern Division). As a Militia soldier, he would have had to carry out about six to eight weeks initial training, and then report annually once a year for training for several years after. According to his records however, he only reported once and that was for 1888/89. However, on the 23 May 1891, like his elder brother, John Edward Trory, he enlisted in the Royal Marines Infantry Division as a private, service number: PO/5840.
As stated above, Edward Robert’s date of birth was the I November 1870, but on his enlistment, Edward Robert gave his date of birth as the 23 November 1870, which was the day before Emma, his mother, registered his birth on the 24 November. Obviously, Edward Robert didn’t know his exact date of birth.
Edward Robert initially enlisted for a period of twelve years, but on the 22 May 1903, he re-engaged for a further period, and was still serving in the Royal Marines at the outbreak of the First World War. During his service he served in Portsmouth and other shore establishments on twelve occasions and on sixteen different ships including the HMS Argonaut (Diadem class cruiser) and HMS Indefatigable (Apollo class second class cruiser). It was on his last ship, HMS Sarnia, on which he was serving that he was ‘Killed in Action’ on the 12 September 1918 aged 47.
HMS Sarnia was a ship requisitioned by the Admiralty on the 14 November 1914 as an Armed Boarding Steamer and had been built for the London and Western Railway Co. Southampton in 1910, for the owner’s Channel Islands service. It was whilst carrying out tasks in the Mediterranean that she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U65 whilst on passage from Alexandria to Port Said with the loss of fifty-three lives, Edward Robert being one of them.
Edward Robert is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial situated on Southsea common and on the Sarnia Memorial in Liverpool. However, he is not commemorated on our village memorial in St Mary’s church. It is believed that the reason for this is that at the end of the First World War when Newton Flotman residents were asked who should be included on the Memorial there were none of his family residing in the village, as all his siblings had moved away, mainly to the Nottingham area, and both his parents had passed away, James in 1903 and Emma in 1905.
Incidentally, when Jill Helmont and her late husband, Ron, carried out a survey in 2002/3 of the monumental inscriptions both within the church and graveyard they uncovered a headstone that had been erected by the Trory family to their mother and father with the following inscription:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR FATHER AND MOTHER
JAMES TRORY WHO DIED SEPT 2nd, 1903 AGED 69 YEARS
EMMA TRORY WHO DIED AUGUST 7th, 1905 AGED 71 YEARS
THERE REMAINETH AT REST TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD
In conclusion, as Edward Robert Trory has not been commemorated on our village War Memorial in St Mary’s church it is the intention of both the Parish Council and the PCC for this to be rectified. About 60% of the funding for the addition and renovation of the War Memorial has been obtained and a craftsman is currently carrying out the work.
Should any person wish to contribute to the above work, then all contributions should be passed to any member of St Mary’s PCC, where they will gratefully be received.
Once the work has been completed, it is the intention to hold a commemorative service in St Mary’s church to which every interested party will be invited.