Engineering News

Engineering Knowledge, Engineering Note, Engineering Video, Engineering Images

Engineering Note

Bergh Apton War Memorial – 2

Bergh Apton War Memorial - 2

Former Bergh Apton parish councillors John Ling and Chris Johnson have done a great amount of research on the memorial, and through their diligent efforts have succeeded in adding additional names to the memorial. Much of their work is recorded at the Roll of Honour site for this village, the current page of which predates some of the latest additions to the memorial.

I apologise for both shamelessly cribbing from the Roll of Honour and not ensuring that all the names were captured.

Walter Alexander

(Roll of Honour Walter Earnest Alexander)
Lance Corporal 1st Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
Walter emigrated to Canada at some point before 1914 and signed on at St Johns, Newfoundland on 30 April 1915 when living in Boswarlos on the island’s West coast. He was wounded by shell shrapnel on 2 July (the second day of the First Battle of the Somme) and died of his wounds in a Casualty Clearing Station. He died on 5 July 1916, aged 24 and is buried at Beauval, near Amiens.
His parents Robert and Annie Alexander lived at Verandah Cottages on Cooke’s Road until shortly before Walter died, and ended their days at Holly Hill on Sunnyside.

A photo of Walter Alexander can be seen here…

Norlink notes:Lance Corporal Alexander was born at Sunnyside, Bergh Apton, 23rd October 1891. He was educated at Bergh Apton and enlisted in February 1915. He was wounded at the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916 and died from wounds, 5th July 1916.

This was doubly sad, as the Regiment had all but been wiped out, in the space of 30 minutes on the 1st of July. By the end of the 1st July, only 68 men responded to roll-call.

Strangely, there is no match on the Canadian National Archive under this name or service number.

The 1901 Census has a Walter Alexander born 1892 Bergh Apton and still resident there. There was also a Harry Alexander born 1892 (possibly a twin?), Edith born 1895, Ethel born 1898 and a Mabel born 1900.

Arthur James Annis
Roll of Honour Arthur William
[Recorded on the memorial as Arthur James ANNIS] Private 7th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment.
Arthur was the son of Samuel and Rosetta Annis of The Street, Bergh Apton. He was wounded in the Fricourt/Mametz sector during the first Battle of the Somme and died aged 34 on 24 July 1916. The fact that he is buried in Rouen’s St Sever cemetery indicates that he died of his wounds in one of the base hospitals around Rouen and Etaples.
The war memorial gives his name as Arthur James but that is an error. The confusion in name may have related to the fact that he had a brother James who had been a policemen before 1914. James survived the war in which he served with the Royal Flying Corps and rejoined the Metropolitan Police before returning to Bergh Apton as a market gardener, a business carried on by his son Peter.

No match on Norlink

The 1901 Census has James Annis as born at Bergh Apton in 1891, while Arthur was born there in 1882, but by the time of the census was working as a Turner in Birmingham.
Robert George Beaumont
Roll of Honour
Private 22nd Battalion, the Manchester Regiment.
Robert died, aged 29, on 4th October 1917 but his body was never recovered. His name is on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke in Belgium. He was the son of Robert and Jane Beaumont of Sunnyside, Bergh Apton and husband of Ellen who lived at 2, Kimberley St, Norwich.
Robert died on the first day of an action known as ‘The Battle of Brooseinde’. The Manchesters suffered very heavy casualties there, losing 281 men of all ranks killed, missing or wounded in the fighting.

No match on Norlink
From EDP article… May 2007 21:29:43:670

There are no obvious matches for Robert or his father and mother in the 1901 Census.

Alfred Bligh

Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment)
Unit Text: 46th Bn. Age: 29 Date of Death: 19/11/1916 Service No: 472064
Additional information: Son of Walter and Emma Bligh, of Seething Fen, Brooke, Norwich, England.


The 1901 Census lists an Alfred Bligh born Berg Apton 1888 but currently resident Seething and working as an Agricultural Labourer. Other family members would seem to include Ewing (born 1882 Bergh Apton and currently resident Seething as a Ploughman), and Laura (born 1886)

Alfred’s enlistment papers can be seen on the Canadian National Archive site. He gives his date of birth as the 17th August 1887 and his profession as farmer.……

Alfred is also listed on the Seething War Memorial.

The units war diary for this period, listing Alfred of the M.G Section amongst the dead,
Can be seen here

John Alfred Boggis
Roll of Honour John Alfred Boggis MM
Corporal 9th Battalion, the Norfolk Regiment.
Alfred died aged 37 on 8 October 1918, only a month before the end of the war. He is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery at Gouy near Cambrai, having been moved there from Brancourt le Grand where he was originally interred.
In a letter to his widow Rosa the Chaplain of the 9th Norfolks wrote ‘I am just writing to express my deep sympathy for you in the death of your husband in action on Oct 8th. . . . . . He was thought very highly of in this Battalion and I am glad to think of him as one of my friends for a long time’.
At the age of 37 Alfred John Boggis was a mature man, and one of already-proven bravery by the award of the Military Medal. One senses from the Padre’s letter that he had attributes of steadiness and loyalty that must have been a great help to many younger soldiers in their teens and early twenties who served with him.
He was the son of Alfred and Sabina Boggis of Yelverton and was married to Rosa. He had three children, Alfred, Herbert and Ivy.

On CWGC as Alfred John Boggis

No match on Norlink

No obvious match on the 1901 Census.

This was the period of The Battle of Cambrai, 1918 – 8th – 9th October 1918, which the 6th Division, of which the 9th Norfolks were part, was involved in.

Charles W W Bracey
Roll of Honour:Walter Wilfred
[Listed on memorial as Charles W W BRACEY] Royal Navy Reserve
The Eastern Daily Press of 24 September 1914 carried a report on Bergh Apton’s Harvest Festival. It included the fact that that the Rector, H W G Thursby, gave the condolences of the village to Mr Bracey on the death of his son who was the first Bergh Apton man to die in the war.
He was nineteen and was serving on the trawler “Eyrie” when she sailed as part of a minesweeping flotilla to clear a German minefield laid in the Humber at the very start of the First World War. The ship sank when a mine hit it on 2 September 1914. It was less than a month after Britain entered the war on 4 August.
His name of the war memorial is given as Charles W W Bracey but that is an error. He was the son of Frederick Bracey, later of Claxton. Walter’s name is on the Royal Navy memorial at Chatham in Kent.

On CWGC as Wilfred Bracey

No match on Norlink

Possibles from the 1901 Census

Charles born 1897 Thorpe next Norwich
Walter born 1895 Brooke
Wilfred born 1890 London Fulham and currently resident Bergh Apton

From EDP article… May 2007 21:29:43:670

Alfred Cubitt

Rank: Lance Serjeant Regiment/Service: Norfolk Regiment Unit Text: 9th Bn. Age: 25 Date of Death: 26/09/1915 Service No: 15534 Additional information: Son of Arthur Alfred and Helen Jessie Cubitt, of Syderstone, King’s Lynn. Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 30 and 31. Memorial: LOOS MEMORIAL

No obvious match on the 1901 Census.

26th September 1915 – the 2nd day of the battle of loos.

8.00am approx. The units of 21st and 24th Divisions had moved with great difficulty throughout the night, and had reached the advanced positions facing the enemy’s second line, around Bois Hugo, Chalk Pit Wood, Chalet Wood and Hill 70 Redoubt. They were informed that a general attack had been ordered for 11.00am. First Army believed they had halted as ordered on the Lens-La Bassee road, and had been resting for some time.

1.00am A heavy attack by the German 117th Division was launched against the forward units of 7th and 9th Divisions between the Vermelles-Hulluch road and Fosse 8. It achieved complete surprise, catching wiring parties and isolated sections unawares. On the right, 20th Brigade pulled all advanced units back to the protection of Gun Trench. In the centre, the most forward units were in a shallow trench a hundred yards ahead of the Quarries. Their left had no contact with the 27th Brigade of 9th Division, which was somewhere away on their left. A reorganisation of scattered and mixed-up units was underway – under shellfire that included gas shells – when the German attack hit. The enemy entered the Quarries through the undefended gap to the North, and much confused and hand to hand fighting took place. By 1.30am the British troops had lost the Quarries. Further advance was halted by concentrated fire from the 2/Yorkshire and 1/South Staffordshire. 27th Brigade – who lost their CO, Brig-General Bruce, captured in the Quarries – withdrew from Fosse Alley in not bad order. A hastily arranged counterattack with the intention of retaking the Quarries was delivered at 6.45am by the dog-tired 9/Norfolks of 24th Division, but it was annihilated by consolidated enemy infantry

From EDP article… May 2007 21:29:43:670

Edward Davey


Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Suffolk Regiment Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 38 Date of Death: 08/10/1918 Service No: 40458
Additional information: Son of William and Eliza Davey, of King’s Lane, Weston, Beccles, Suffolk.
Grave/Memorial Reference: 274. Cemetery: KIRECHKOI-HORTAKOI MILITARY CEMETERY

Historical information about the cemetery

XVI Corps Headquarters were at Kirechkoi from January 1916, soon after the opening of the Salonika campaign, until the advance to the Struma in September 1916. The cemetery was begun in March 1916, but it remained a very modest one until September 1917, when the 60th, 65th and 66th General Hospitals came to the neighbourhood. In June, July and September 1918, other hospitals were brought to the high and healthy country beside the Salonika-Hortakoi road and in September 1918, the influenza epidemic began which raged for three months and filled three-quarters of the cemetery. The last burial took place in January 1919, but in 1937, 12 graves were brought into the cemetery from Salonika Protestant Cemetery where their permanent maintenance could not be assured. The cemetery currently contains 588 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 58 Bulgarian war graves. There are also 17 burials from the Second World War.

Possible matches from the 1901 census

Henry Davey Born 1880 Cley, currently resident Upton with Fishley and working as a JoinerCarpenter
Edward Davey Born 1882 Alpington, currently resident Overstrand and working as a Bricklayers Labourer.

There is an Eliza Davey born 1843 Beccles and still resident there and a William born 1835, a Maltsters Labourer.
Leonard William Ellis (Not on memorial or roll of honour)
Picture can be seen here…
Norlink notes:Copyright not traced. Signaller Ellis was born 27 September 1899, the son of Mr. & Mrs. William Ellis, of Alpington, Bergh Apton. He enlisted 2 December 1917 and died of fever, 6 February 1918
Rank: Ordinary Seaman Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: R.N. Depot (Crystal Palace). Age: 18 Date of Death: 06/02/1918
Service No: Bristol Z/6964
Additional information: Son of William and Sophia Ellis, of Thurton, Norwich. Born at Bergh Apton.
Grave/Memorial Reference: North-East part. Cemetery: YELVERTON (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD

There are 2 Leonard Ellis’s recorded on the 1901 census as being born in 1900, and both are from Norwich. The only likely match for Sophia Ellis is one born 1837 at Blofield and currently resident Bergh Apton as a Farmer, but as that would make her 63 at the time of Leonard’s birth, I suspect Sophia is a family name.

Victor Gillingwater
Roll of Honour: Victor George
Private 1st Battalion, Royal Marines Light Infantry (RMLI)
Victor died aged 20 on 17 February 1917 and is buried in Queen’s Cemetery, Bucquoy, near Arras, only a few kilometres from a sunken road between Grandcourt and Miraumont in which he died as part of an action included in a report to Parliament by General Douglas Haig in May of that year. Sixty-four Marines were killed.
On enlistment Gillingwater gave his address as Bussey Bridge, Bergh Apton. The discovery of an RMLI collar badge in the garden of a cottage at Bussey Bridge in 2003 gives us confidence that we have found his home and that of his parents George and Mary Gillingwater.
(A connection between Gillingwater and Alfred Rope, also of Bergh Apton, is included in the story of the latter)

No match on Norlink

A modest story about the discovery of Victor’s WW1 medals can be found here…

The 1901 Census has Victor as born 1898 Mundham, and still resident there. Other Gillingwaters in Mundham include,
Louisa (born 1837 Broome)
William (born 1840 Brooke) Ordinary Agricultural Labourer
George (born 1865 Thwaite) Ordinary Agricultural Labourer
Mary (born 1866 Loddon)
Florence (born 1890 Sizeland)
Violet (born 1892 Sizeland)

Henry G V Greenacre
Roll of Honour: Henry George Valentine
Private 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards.
Henry was killed aged 24 on 27 March 1916, only twenty-six days after his brother Charles died in Iraq. He is buried in the Menin Road South Cemetery at Ypres in Belgium.
Henry was baptised in Bergh Apton 13 March 1890, the only one of Hannah Greenacre’s six children to be born in her native village. His wife Louisa (née Keeler) was living in Brooke when he was killed but on the Electoral Roll of 1939 she is recorded as living with her parents at the Hellington Bell public house in Bergh Apton where her father was landlord. She is buried in Bergh Apton’s churchyard.
The whole attack failed, and its failure led directly to Townsend’s decision to surrender the Kut garrison to General Khalil Pasha.
He is remembered on the British War Memorial in Iraq, originally erected in Basrah, but moved to Al Nasiriyah in 1997 on the orders of the Iraqi government. It was badly damaged in the more recent conflict but has currently been restored and re-dedicated.
Charles was born in Westwick in north Norfolk but his mother Hannah (née Loyd) was a Bergh Apton girl who had returned to her native village by the time of Charles’s death. She and her husband William and family lived at 4, Sunnyside.
Charles’s brother Henry (q.v. below) was also killed in this war

No match on Norlink
Charles W Greenacre
Roll of Honour:Charles William
Private 2nd Battalion, the Norfolk Regiment.
The date of Charles Greenacre’s death is given as 22 April 1916. At that time the Norfolk’s 2nd Battalion was part of Major General Charles Townsend’s force besieged by the Turks at Kut al Amara. Charles may have died of starvation or disease during last week of the siege that ended on 29th April 1916. It was, after Gallipoli, Britain’s second greatest WW1 military disaster.
There is, however, a second possibility, involving a British force sent to relieve Kut. It included a unit nicknamed ‘The Norsets’ (comprising men of both the Norfolk and Dorset Regiments) and he may well have been a part of that unit that came up against the Turks at Sanniyat on the River Tigris. In the ensuing action, on the day he is reported to have been killed, the Norsets lost forty four men and he may well have been amongst them.

No match on Norlink
Freeman Harber
Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Norfolk Regiment Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 32 Date of Death: 15/09/1914 Service No: 7138
Additional information: Son of Horace and Lucy Harber, of Bergh Apton, Norwich; husband of Harriet M. Harber, of Rockland St. Mary, Norwich.

No match on Norlink

There are no likely matches for Freeman, Horace or Lucy on the 1901 Census. However given the date of his death and the fact that he was serving with the 1st Battalion, would indicate that Freeman was a peacetime soldier who probably signed on in his teens.

Freeman is also listed on the Rockland St Mary Roll of Honour

Albert E Harvey
Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Essex Regiment Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Date of Death: 13/08/1915 Service No: 20579
Additional information: Son of Mrs. Lucy Hannah Harvey, of White Heath Rd., Bergh Apton, Norwich.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 144 to 150 or 229 to 233. Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

No match on Norlink

A scan of a press cutting regarding the sinking of the transport ship Royal Edward, with a loss of over 1,000 troops and crew. The thread that follows contains a couple of links relating to the sinking, plus the efforts to have Albert Harvey added to the memorial.…

1901 Census has a Albert Harvey, born 1873 Ellingham and currently resident Beccles, and an Albert Harvey born 1877 Thurton and currently resident Langley.
Ernest J Hunt

Name: HUNT, ERNEST JAMES Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Norfolk Regiment Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 34 Date of Death: 27/07/1916 Service No: 3/10403
Additional information: Son of Arthur and Emily Hunt; husband of Edith Mary Hunt, of 33, Swansea Rd., Norwich.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 1 C and 1 D. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

No match on Norlink

Died the same day as Herbert Thrower.
Sidney Richard Kedge
Roll of Honour
Private 6th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.
Sidney was killed, aged 21, on Saturday, 8th July 1916. His body was never found and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.
We can at present find no village connection to explain why he is on the memorial in Bergh Apton but there is only one man of this name in the entire Commonwealth War Graves Commission record for the First World War so it is likely to be him.
A man of the right age was born in Eynsford in Kent whose father Richard Kedge was a farm labourer and his work might have brought him to Bergh Apton. We shall keep searching for the reason amongst the records.

No match on Norlink

Sydney George Keeler
Roll of Honour Sydney George Keeler
Private 41st Bn, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Sydney Keeler was killed on 25th July 1918 and is buried in the war cemetery at Lijssenthoek near Poperinge in Belgium, a little to the west of Ypres.
At nineteen years of age he, with Walter Bracey, was the youngest of our village men to die.
He was the son of John and Martha Keeler of Cooke’s Road on the borders of Bergh Apton and Thurton.

No match on Norlink

Brief mention on a Keeler family website…

Ernest Albert Leeder
Roll of Honour
Private 11th Battalion, Australian Infantry.
Ernest had emigrated to Australia in 1912 and enlisted in the Australian infantry on 24 January 1916 in Bunberry. He died on 16 April 1917 but his body was never recovered. He is remembered on the impressive Australian Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux near Amiens.
We have no record of precisely how he died but many men in his battalion died that day in a fierce fight at the village of Lagnicourt in which they ran out of ammunition, and where Lieutenant Charles Pope was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
His enlistment papers tell us that his brother farmed at Town Farm and his mother Sophia Maria Leeder farmed at the neighbouring Valley Farm on Welbeck Road. She had lost her husband Edmund only the year before she lost this son.
As well as being remembered on Bergh Apton’s own memorial Ernest’s name is included on the memorial in the park at Donnybrook in Western Australia, and on the Roll of Honour in the town’s Memorial Hall.

No match on Norlink

A digital copy of Ernest’s enlistment papers and military records can be seen here…

Sidney Herbert Marks
Roll of Honour
probably Sidney Herbert Marks, Private 1st Bn, The Essex Regiment
It is not yet proven, but we are confident that this is the man recorded on our Memorial. He was killed on 8 October 1917 and that date fits with an entry in Bergh Apton parish church’s Register of Services that records a memorial service held for Private S Marks on 2 December 1917. The very fact that a memorial service was held for him also suggests that he had a close connection in some way with the village.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that his wife lived in Norwich, only six miles away, so the next step in research will begin there.
The CWGC record also says that he was ‘employed by the late Captain Lord Richard Wellesley of the Grenadier Guards’ (who had died on 29 October 1914). This intriguing note may give us something else to go on in further researches into Sidney, one of only two people who remain a complete mystery to us.

Son of Mr. R. I. Marks, (Journalist), of Clapham Junction, London; husband of Rhoda Marks, of 68, Edinburgh Rd., Norwich. Employed by the late Captain Lord Richard Wellesley (Grenadier Guards).

No match on Norlink
Harry Samuel Mayes
Roll of Honour
Private 7th Battalion the Norfolk Regiment.
Harry was killed 1 October 1915 but his body was never found. His name is on the Loos Memorial at Lens in the Pas de Calais (the spot known as ‘Dud Corner’). Army records have only one soldier of this name killed so we are confident that this is the man on our Memorial, but we have yet to find detail of his particular part of the widespread Mayes family that lived in the village.
By sad co-incidence, when researching his details in the Records Office, we noticed that his birth was recorded on the same page of the Registry of Births as that of Walter Wilfred Bracey (q.v.) who had been killed in 1914.

There are actually numerous H Mayes on the CWGC website, but no Harry Samuel.
There is a Harry Stanley Mayes who comes from Norwich
Son of the late William Mayes; husband of Beatrix Mayes, of 277, Armistice Terrace, Sprowston Rd., Norwich.

There are no additional details for the Harry Mayes who was killed on the 1st October 1915.

No match on Norlink

Ronald J Mitchell
No match on Norlink
No match on CWGC

1901 Census Throws up no likely matches

Albert William Parker
Roll of Honour
Pioneer, 392 Road Construction Company, Royal Engineers.
Albert was killed on 9 February 1917 and is buried in St Pol Communal Cemetery Extension at St Pol sur Ternoise in the Pas de Calais.
He was the husband of Rose Parker and lived at Hellington Corner in Bergh Apton. There is an interesting footnote here in that the Unknown Warrior who is buried in Westminster Abbey to represent all the dead of the First World War was taken from this Cemetery.

No match on Norlink

1901 Census has a William Parker, born 1876 Bergh Apton and still resident there, working as a Jobbing Gardener
John H Preston DCM

No match on CWGC
No match on Norlink

The researchers scoured the EDP archives, where they found the name of the most elusive man to be added, John Preston, of the 2nd Battalion the Norfolk Regiment, who was awarded the DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal). He was decorated for his bravery in the Battle of Barjiseyah Wood, south of Basra, in 1915 but died in Bombay in 1920 while serving in the city’s police force.… May 2007 21:29:43:670

1901 Census has a John Preston born 1890 Bergh Apton

Most of the 2nd Battalion were trapped during the siege of Kut, and following the surrender of that garrison endured what was tantamount to a death march. It is estimated that over 70% of the men taken prisoner at Kut died on the subsequent march or whilst in captivity.
Leonard Godfrey Rope
Roll of Honour
Private 31st Battalion, Canadian Infantry (the Alberta Regiment).
Alfred Rope’s brother Leonard was killed at St Eloi aged 27 on 7 April 1916 but his body was never found. He is remembered on the Menin Gate at Ypres in Belgium.
His parents Aaron and Ellen Alice Rope farmed at Holly Farm on Loddon Road. He enlisted as a volunteer in Calgary Alberta on 8 April 1915 – his 27th birthday but we have few details of his travels between Bergh Apton and western Canada except that he left this village in about 1912.
He joined the 31st Battalion (Alberta Regiment), part of the Canadian Army’s 5th Brigade that became known as the “Iron Fifth” for its exploits under the command of Lt Colonel (later Brigadier General) Ketchen.
His death may well have occurred in an event recorded by G E Hewitt in his book ‘History of 28th Battalion’ (Charles and Son, London) that records the war of one of the the 31st’s sister battalions:
‘April 7, 1916. An attack was made during the night of April 6 – 7 on craters 4 & 5 by bombing parties from 25th, 28th and 31st Battalions led by Lt Murphy of 25th Battalion. They reported that, despite heavy rain and shellfire, they got quite close to the craters before being repulsed. In fact, they lost their way in the dark and occupied a group of craters north of crater 4 and, though they captured several modest German patrols, they had failed to even identify their objective correctly’.
Hewitt goes on to say ‘The following night, April 7 – 8, the 6th Brigade was relieved after suffering 617 casualties in the preceding four days of fighting’.
It is probable that Leonard was amongst the 617 men who died in the fighting in one of those raiding parties. It had been the eve of his twenty-eighth birthday.

No match on Norlink

Leonard’s enlistment papers can be seen here……

What reads like the Battalions’ Medical Officers report can be seen here:

In a separate letter the medical officer explains that the R.A.P (for Emergency treatment) at VOORMEZEELE was shared with the 28th and 29th battalions, and was manned by the medical officers from those battalions. Most of the wounded from the 31st battalion were in the trench sector adjoining those battalions, and so went to Voormezeele rather than through his post.

“6th April 1916.
2-k All wounded in Aid Post cleared.
3-30k A most terrific concentrated enemy bombardment is taking place on our position in front of and about ST ELOI, using trench torpedoes and shells of all kinds and sizes. Hundreds of shells must be bursting every minute. We must expect heavy casualties, especially by way of VOORMEZEELE. Bombardment contiues all day from both sides. Wounded coming in tell of German Infantry attack being repulsed on our battalion front, but enemy is reported to be in crater to right of our front.
We dress and send out wounded all morning and afternoon, practicaly all walking cases.
Stretcher bearer Avery comes in with Shell wound in back. Avery dressed wounded continuously for forty eight hours under shell fire and carried on for some time after being hit.
Capt MacPherson is wounded by bomb and is sent out.
Cases of shattered nerves are coming in. The worst of these I send to Field Ambulance, but the majority I allow to lie down in an adjoining dugout. There are only half dozen cases. Some men that have been buried by shells I also keep at R.A.P dugout.
18-k Bombardment has died down. Many dead and wounded are reported from front line.
70 bearers from No.6 Field Ambulance are to help clear wounded from right section towards Voormezeele after dark.
“C” Coy, holding centre of our Battalion front reports several badly wounded men.
20-k I leave Battalion Headquarters, with Major Hewgill and Corporal Bright and a party of men, for the front line, to bring out wounded.
21-k to 24 – k. I redress a number of wounded men in front line, among them Sergeant Proven with a bad compound fracture of the thigh.
Front trenches here are pretty well battered to pieces. Raining hard.

7th April 1916.
5k Last wounded men just cleared to Field Ambulance.
11-k Morning has been fairly quiet after uproar of yesterday, but there is still considerable artillery firing.
A number are coming in with chilled, sodden feet. They are chiefly men of “A” Company who were in mud and water for forty eight hours in crater before being relieved by “D” Coy. We have them wash their feet in cold water, dry and apply whale from a can found in shelled dugout. We supply dry socks when possible.
Corporal dace, Sanitary NCO, is given a squad of partially recovered nerve cases and starts in to clean up about R.A.P, and Battn Headquarters.
17-k. Another furious enemy bombardment of one hour duration on our right section. Battalion expect to be relieved tonight by 19th Battalion”

More details from the unit diary for this period can be found here

No mention of a trench raid or bombing party.
A description of the defensive actions taken by the 31st during the period 6th / 7th April can be seen in these extracts from the commanding officers’ report for the period,

The battalions casualty list has Leonard down as killed in action, 7th April, the only man from B Company to die on this day, presumably as a result of shelling or sniping.

Alfred Hubert Rope
Roll of Honour
Private Royal Marines Light Infantry (RMLI)
Alfred Rope died aged 23 on 5 May 1917. He is one of 10,769 soldiers buried in Etaples Military Cemetery close to the British Expeditionary Force’s main base that included a military hospital complex where, even ten months after the final Armistice in September 1919, three hospitals and a QMAAC convalescent depot remained to treat men seriously wounded in battle.
Alfred Rope was the one of the two sons of Aaron and Ellen Alice Rope of Holly Farm on Loddon Road, both of whom was to be killed within a little over a year.
His Birth Certificate records him as Alfred Hubert and in the 1901 Census he is listed as Herbert, but his CWGC record has him as Hubert Alfred. We can be confident that he was called Hubert in the village as it was that name entered in the church service record by the Reverend Harvey Thursby after his Memorial service on 8 June 1917.
He volunteered for the Royal Marines on exactly the same date and at the same London recruiting office as his near-neighbour Victor Gillingwater (q.v.). Even their service numbers are consecutive. Victor lived at Bussey Bridge – literally a few hundred yards from the Rope farmstead, and it seems clear that these boys were friends who went to London together to enlist for the great adventure, and died within a month of each other in 1917.

CWGC lists as Hubert Alfred

No match on Norlink
Aubrey Samuel Stone
Roll of Honour
Lance Corporal 9th Battalion, the Norfolk Regiment.
Aubrey was killed on 17 September 1916 but his body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial together with Sidney Kedge (q.v.).
Commonwealth War Graves Commission records do not include his next-of-kin but he was the son of John and Mary Stone of The Street in Bergh Apton, and he was one of eleven children. His mother’s maiden name was Bracey so he may also have been related to Walter Wilfred Bracey (q.v.). Aubrey’s nephew John Clemence still lives at Davy Place in Loddon

Herbert Thrower

Also gets a mention on the Roll of Honour for Hellington… May 2007 21:29:43:670

Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Norfolk Regiment Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Date of Death: 27/07/1916 Service No: 18978
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 1 C and 1 D. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

1901 Census has a Herbert Thrower born Bergh Apton 1883 and still resident there, working as an Agricultural Labourer.. Other Thrower’s on the 1901 Census includes:

Albert born 1887 and working as an Agricultural Labourer.
Maud born 1889
Florence born 1891
Emma born 1896
Bertie born 1900

The CWGC site has three Albert Thrower’s including this one who is also from the 1st Battalion:-

Died the same day as Ernest Hunt.
Walter Thrower… May 2007 21:29:43:670


Name: THROWER, WALTER A. Initials: W A Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Border Regiment Unit Text: 7th Bn. Date of Death: 08/08/1916 Service No: 23150 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 6 A and 7 C. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

There are numerous Walter Thrower’s on the 1901 Census from Norwich and villages to the east of Norwich, but none from this part of Norfolk.
Clement Sidney Wall
Roll of Honour
Private 8th Battalion the Norfolk Regiment.
Clement had three other brothers who all fought in the Great War and survived. He was killed aged 29 on 11 August 1917 and is buried in the Railway Ground at Zillebeke near Ypres.
He was the son of Leonard and Anna Maria Wall of The Street in Bergh Apton, and uncle to Joy Lester of this village, Anna Stratton of Thurton and to Olive Hudson of Harleston. His parents and his sister Lily Scarles are buried in Bergh Apton churchyard.
Clement worked for Mr Redgrave the builder of The Beeches in Threadneedle Street. His niece Anna Stratton told us that he was a runner of some repute who would often pay modest children a half-penny or a penny to time him on training runs. On one occasion he ran to Denton to take part in a race, won the race, and ran home again. The round-trip distance he ran just to take part was over thirty-six miles!

Charles Daniel Weddup
Roll of Honour
Private, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards
Charles was one of two village men to die in the service of this famous Regiment raised in the Scottish borders. He was killed on 17 October 1915 but like so many has no known grave. His name is on the same Loos Memorial as that of Harry Mayes who died only two weeks before him.
We have no details yet of his family but his birth is recorded in the Norwich register for the June Quarter of 1895. When we check that it may link him to Annie Weddup who lived in The Street in Bergh Apton at the beginning of the war.

No match on Norlink

The 1901 Census lists a Charles for 1882, born at Stoke Holy Cross and was currently resident Carleton.

There are numerous Weddup’s from villages close to Bergh Apton, but assuming that all the Weddup’s listed as living in Carleton in the 1901 Census are one family, then they could be a picture of life at the bottom of the agricultural labouring ladder.

Rosa born 1862 Shottesham
Charles born 1882 Stoke Holy Cross Profession: Horseman on Farm
William born 1887 Alpington Profession: Worker on Farm
Annie born 1890 Bergh Apton
Bessie born 1892 Alpington
Daniel born 1895 Seething

Charles is the only Weddup listed as dying in WW1.
James Robert Wright
Roll of Honour
P/7989, Lance Corporal, Military Police Corps (The Red Caps).
James was 33 years old when he died of fever on 17 December 1918, over a month after the Armistice, aboard a hospital ship in the harbour at Alexandria.
He is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery. His parents Robert and Elizabeth Wright of Sunnyside Bergh Apton are buried in our churchyard. His wife Annie Elizabeth Wright is also buried here.

No match on Norlink
Eric B Barnes

Rank: Leading Signalman Regiment/Service: Royal Navy
Unit Text: H.M. Submarine Phoenix Age: 25 Date of Death: 21/07/1940
Service No: P/JX 134697
Additional information: Son of Benjamin and Edith Eliza Barnes, of Brooke, Norfolk. Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 40, Column 2. Memorial: PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

At least one site has the Phoenix as reported lost on the 16th July 1940
All crew are listed as missing, presumed killed.

After completion in 1930 she was deployed on the China Station in the 4th Submarine Flotilla. In 1940 this Flotilla was transferred from Hong Kong to the Mediterranean where they arrived in May of that year.
During a patrol in July she reported Italian warship movements and a few days later was sunk off Sicily

On July 16, 1940, the HMS Phoenix was patrolling the Western Ionian Sea, when she spotted and torpedoed the Italian tanker Dora off the Italian base of Augusta (Eastern Sicily).
The British submarine was counterattacked by the Italian topedo boat Albatros, whose depth charges sank the HMS Phoenix

Maurice C Barnes

Rank: Petty Officer Regiment/Service: Royal Navy Unit Text: H.M.S. Seal
Age: 24 Date of Death: 09/09/1940 Service No: C/JX 137224
Additional information: Son of Benjamin and Edith Eliza Barnes, of Brooke, Norfolk. Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 83. Memorial: CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL

“They also found Maurice Barnes, a survivor of the capture of the submarine HMS Seal by the Germans in the Baltic. He later escaped from a prisoner of war camp in Poland but was shot by Russian border guards in 1940.”… May 2007 21:29:43:670

May 1940
4th Entered Kattegat and encounter HMS NARWHAL returning from minelay.
5th Under air attack without serious damage.
Sighted enemy trawlers and decided to carry out lay in in alternative area.
Under anti-submarine search and during evasive manoeuvres detonated mine and sustained major damage which resulted in submarine being stuck in the mud on sea bed.
Obliged to surface when air became foul.
When unable to surface released drop keel and blew reserve tanks which enable submarine to surface.
Under series of air attacks which totally disabled submarine.
submarine was later towed to Frederickshaven, Denmark and crew were taken PoW

Leonard Cain
Roll of Honour – Leonard Walter George
Private 7th Battalion, the Royal Norfolk Regiment.
Leonard was 24 when he was killed on 8 August 1944 as the British Army advanced through Normandy following the D-Day landings.
He died during an action that pitted the 7th Royal Norfolks against tanks of the 12th Panzer Division outside the village of Grimbosq on the River Orne some 17 kilometres south of Caen. In this action Major David Jamieson, commanding Leonard Cain’s Company, won the Victoria Cross.
Leonard was the husband of Miriam and the son of Walter and Clara Elizabeth Cain of Framingham Pigot and later of Prospect Place, Bergh Apton. He is buried in Bayeux Cemetery


Robert K Gidney… May 2007 21:29:43:670


Rank: Driver Regiment/Service: Royal Army Service Corps
Age: 25 Date of Death: 18/11/1941 Service No: T/204681
Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Gidney, husband of V. M. Gidney, of Norwich.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. 54. Grave 551. Cemetery: NORWICH CEMETERY, Norfolk

Henry Hood… May 2007 21:29:43:670


Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Essex Regiment Unit Text: 1/4th Bn. Age: 19
Date of Death: 26/07/1944 Service No: 14415798
Additional information: Son of Albert and Mary Elizabeth Hood, of Lakenham, Norwich, Norfolk.
Grave/Memorial Reference: V. C. 22. Cemetery: AREZZO WAR CEMETERY

Jack Lovewell
Roll of Honour
Sergeant 75th (RNZAF) Squadron, RAF Volunteer Reserve
Jack was killed aged 21 on Monday, 16 August 1943 on a raid over the Gironde Estuary (Bay of Biscay) where his aircraft was lost. His body was never found and he is remembered on the RAF Memorial at Runnymede.
He was an Air Gunner, trained in Canada and part of a Squadron of which the original nucleus was Wellington bombers contributed by the brand-new Zealand government and flown by Kiwis. His own crew, flying in a Short Stirling bomber and engaged on a mine-laying (‘gardening’) mission, was flown and navigated by brand-new Zealanders and had a Canadian bomb aimer. Jack was the rear gunner.
He was the son of Arthur and Ethel Lovewell who ran the village shop on Threadneedle Street and owned much of the land around the crossroads where Threadneedle Street and Mill Road meet in Bergh Apton. They are buried in our churchyard but his brother Brian, at the time of writing (August 2005) is still alive and living in Lincolnshire.


Stirling EE891 Information
Serial NumberEE891
Date 115th August 1943
Date 216th August 1943

EF316 were converted to Mk.1V. Delivered by Short & Harland between May43 and Jul43. Contract No.774677/38. Delivered to No.75 Sqdn 20Jun43.

Airborne 2049 15Aug43 from Mepal to lay mines in the Gironde Estuary. Cause of loss not established. Crashed in the sea. Three are buried in Olonne-sur-mer Communal Cemetery; F/S Costello is buried in les Sables-d_Olonne (la Chaume) brand-new Communal Cemetery, while F/O Turnbull and Sgt Lovewell are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Sgt F.D.Mason KIA
F/O J.G.Turnbull RNZAF KIA
F/S M.Costello RCAF KIA
Sgt R.F.Andrews KIA
Sgt E.G.Crisp KIA
Sgt J.E.Lovewell KIA "

Some of these crewmen could even be on these photograph of 75 Squadron that is believed to have been taken sometime in 1943.…………

And could this be the crew of AA-Q?…

Archibald Mayes
Roll of Honour
Leading Seaman, Royal Navy.
Archie died on 19 Feb 1941 while serving in HMS Warspite in the Mediterranean. We have been told by the son of a shipmate that he was the victim of an infection rather than injury. He is buried in Ramla (formerly Ralmeh) War Cemetery in Palestine, 12 kilometres south-east of Jaffa. We understand – and hope – that this is a different place from the Rameleh where so much destruction has taken place in recent fighting.
Archie was the brother of Jack Mayes (q.v.) who died later that year. His family lived at Prospect Place in Bergh Apton, on the A146 between Norwich and Lowestoft.

CWGC: Archie Russell Mayes

Jack Mayes
Roll of Honour (John Arthur)
Petty Officer (Cook), Royal Navy
Jack Mayes served in the Destroyer HMS Cossack and was killed aged 38 on the night of 23 October 1941 when the Tribal class Destroyer was torpedoed and sank in the Mediterranean with the loss of 158 lives.
His body was not recovered and he is remembered on the Royal Navy Memorial in Portsmouth. He was the brother of Archie Mayes (q.v. above).

CWGC does only one Jack Mayes, who was an Australian infantryman who died during the fall of Singapore, (service number NX/35164, from Wagga Wagga brand-new South Wales).

.The details on the Roll of Honour relate to a John Arthur Mayes. In the additional information on the CWGC site is the information:- “Son of Thomas William and Agnes Mayes; husband of Nellie Dorothy Mayes, of Elson, Hampshire.”

Under attacks by submarines of BRESLAU Group during
which ship was hit by torpedo from U563 in position
35.36N 10.04W whilst stationed astern of convoy.
Structure forward for bridge demolished killing the
Captain and 158 of ship’s company. Survivors abandoned
ship which remained afloat.

Charles Podd
Roll of Honour Herbert Charles George
1474624, Gunner, 74th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery.
Herbert was killed aged 26 on 28 June 1942 serving with the 8th Army in the Western Desert and is remembered on the Alamein Memorial in Egypt, having no known grave. His family was from Norwich but parents Herbert and Rose rented a house on Threadneedle Street in Bergh Apton during the war having been bombed out of their house in the city.


Albert E H Starman

Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Royal Norfolk Regiment Unit Text: 4th Bn. Age: 25 Date of Death: 21/09/1944 Service No: 5773302
Additional information: Son of Frank and Daisy Starman; husband of Wilma E. Starman, of Thurlton, Norfolk.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Column 52. Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL
William L Tolver… May 2007 21:29:43:670

Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Suffolk Regiment Unit Text: 1st Bn. Age: 20
Date of Death: 23/07/1944 Service No: 5782848
Additional information: Son of George William and Edith Maria Tolver, of Wramplingham, Norfolk.
Grave/Memorial Reference: II. E. 20. Cemetery: BANNEVILLE-LA-CAMPAGNE WAR CEMETERY


Comment here