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Ordinary men to be commemorated at Norfolk village armistice memorial

PUBLISHED: 10:45 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:28 08 November 2018

Corporal James Harper was 30 years old when he died in March 1918 on the Western Front. Thousands of other images of Norfolk's history can be seen at www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk

Corporal James Harper was 30 years old when he died in March 1918 on the Western Front. Thousands of other images of Norfolk's history can be seen at www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk

Archant

A village near Norwich will use the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War as the moment to unveil its new memorial.

Sub-Lieutenant Claude Sennit lived in the Maples, a house at the front of Barn Terrace. He died in April 1917 in France. Thousands of other images of Norfolk's history can be seen at www.picture.norfolk.gov.ukSub-Lieutenant Claude Sennit lived in the Maples, a house at the front of Barn Terrace. He died in April 1917 in France. Thousands of other images of Norfolk's history can be seen at www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk

During the First World War the population of Brundall swelled to about five hundred.

The new arrivals were patients and staff at the military hospital based in Brundall House, a private mansion lent by its owner to the Red Cross.

After the war, following the departure of the nurses and soldiers, the population fell again, further diminished by losses on the front.

Sadly eleven of the village’s men never returned, with the row of eight thatched cottages on Barn Terrace especially and terribly struck. Four families there lost their sons. Two were brothers, and three were killed within five weeks of each other in 1918.

Over one hundred years later, a new war memorial made of granite shard will be dedicated this Saturday (November 10) at 10.45am at Brundall Cemetery, Cucumber Lane, Brundall. Chairman of the local Parish Council Kevin Wilkins said: “This is a particularly important occasion as the village doesn’t have a traditional style memorial and it has long been the desire to rectify this.”

The people who lived on the terrace were gardeners, labourers, railway workers. Number four housed the Holsworths. Their youngest son, twenty-nine year-old James, a coal carter and later a painter, volunteered for the Norfolk regiment and was killed in France on June 4, 1916.

Elizabeth Harper, a widow, lived in number six. Her son, another James, had moved to Neatishead and sang in the local choir. He died in March 1918 of injuries on the western front. He was 30.

In number eight Samuel and Emilia Smith had raised seven children. Two of their sons died in the war. Frank, the youngest, was 20. He was killed in action on July 19, 1916. His brothers Herbert and George were with him when he died. Herbert, a gardener, fought in France with the 7th battalion. He was hospitalised at Le Havre and Manchester and following recovery wounded again at the Battle of the Somme. He returned to the front yet again and was posted missing, presumed dead, on March 27, 1918.

The plaque below the memorial window in Brundall Church.The plaque below the memorial window in Brundall Church.

At the front of Barn Terrace was a house known as ‘The Maples’, where Claude Sennit had lived before moving to Norwich and later enlisting in the Royal Medical Corps. He was 27 when killed in France in April 1917.

*An Armistice exhibition will be held at the Brundall Memorial Hall, Links Avenue, from 10am to 3pm on Saturday November 10 and Sunday November 11.

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