The men behind the names on Yarmouth’s WW1 memorial

Walter James Hodds

Walter James Hodds - Credit: Archant

Derek Barker was interested in our article “Bringing the names of the fallen to life” in the Mercury last week. He has an uncle who is commemorated on the first world war monument in St George’s Park, Great Yarmouth.

Robert Smith (1877 - 1954) of Great Yarmouth fought in the First World War.

Robert Smith (1877 - 1954) of Great Yarmouth fought in the First World War. - Credit: Archant

Walter James Hodds was the elder brother of Derek’s mother Doris Elsie Hodds. He had five sisters and one brother, and his parents were James Henry Hodds and Eliza Brown.

Walter was born in July 1894 and enlisted in the 6th Battalion The Cyclists on the 20th January 1915 and subsequently transferred to the 8th Battalion Norfolk Regiment and was killed in the battle of the Somme on the 5th October 1916. He has no known grave and is dedicated on the Pier and Face 1C and 1D on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Trevor Elliott of Bradwell recognised the name of Alfred Tooley, whose life was researched for the article last week. Alfred Tooley was mkilled in enemy action in April 1916 on board HM Drifter Clover Bank.

Trevor’s grandfather Edward James Mersey Elliott, a 24 year old deck hand, and his brother, engineman Thomas Lancaster Elliott, 32, were also members of the crew killed on the same day. Both their names are also on the St George’s Park memorial.

Trevor’s father Edward was two years old at the time and his sister Hettie was eight months old. His grandmother, Mrs Gertrude Elliott of 3 Tower Cottages, Garden Lane, Yarmouth never remarried and brought up her two children on her own. She died in 1963. Thomas’s wife was Elizabeth Ann Elliott of 2 John Street, Garden Lane, Yarmouth.

The Clover Bank was actually blown up by a mine in a British minefield off the coast of Zeebrugge on the 24th April 1916.

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A Yarmouth man uncovered a photo of his grandfather who fought in the first world Wwar, prompted by the Remembrance Day services and parades.

Russell Smith, 70, of Nile Road, found the photo of his grandfather Robert James Smith who was born in 1877 and died in 1954. He served with 2nd Battalion the Royal Norfolk Regiment as a medical orderly, stationed in Mesopotamia throughout the war.

When he returned to Yarmouth he lived in North Quay.