The War Memorial
The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
One such memorial was raised at Spooner Row as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the 15 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. Like many Norfolk war memorials, this example at Spooner Row is situated within the churchyard.
Following the Second World War, the dates of this conflict and the names of the two casualties were added to the memorial.
The names are as follows;
|F. Barker||A. Fordham||H. Blyth||E. Howlett||E. A. Brown|
|J. Ollett||L. C. Brown||C. H. Sewell||W. Bunn||R. G. Sewell|
|A. Carpenter||R. J. Smith||S. Doubleday||W. Starling||G. G. Warnes|
1939 – 1945
|A. R. Lawrence||W. Taylor|
The memorial itself is made of rough-hewn grey granite and takes the form of a wheel-head cross rising from a tapering, four-sided plinth, which surmounts a single-step stone base. The south face of the plinth has a smooth inset panel, which bears the dedications and names in leaded lettering.
This memorial is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest. The listing comment reads “as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts”.
Soldier Bio’s (courtesy of Chris Clarke)
Edward Anthony Brown – Private 14355
Edward was born in c1892. He enlisted in the 9th Norfolk Regiment in Norwich. He served in France & Flanders from 30th August 1915 and died of wounds received at the Battle of Loos on 11th November 1915 aged 23. He is buried at Wymondham Cemetery Grave I. 101 and is remembered on the Spooner Row War and Wymondham Memorials. He was the son of George and Harriet Brown of Queen Street in Spooner Row.
Leonard G Brown – Private 20642
Leonard was born in Holloway Middlesex c1897. He originally enlisted as 17513 in the Norfolk Regiment in Norwich then later transferred to the 1st Essex Regiment. He was en-route to Gallipoli when he was drowned following the loss of the RMS Royal Edward on 13th August 1915 aged 18. The U-boat Von Heimburg (a UB-14) launched one of two torpedoes from a about a mile away and hit Royal Edward in the stern, sinking the ship sank in six minutes. He is remembered on the Spooner Row War Memorial, the Wymondham Memorial and the Helles Memorial Panel 144 to 150 or 229 to 233. He was the son of George and Harriet Brown of Queen Street in Spooner Row.
Wesley Bunn – Lance Corporal 5388
Wesley was born in c1887. He enlisted in the 3rd/5th Norfolk Regiment in Wymondham on 11th December 1915. He served at Home, being appointed Lance Corporal on 14th April 1916. He was admitted to Aylesbury Central Military Hospital on 30th May 1916, ‘slightly feverish’ and with a ‘considerable headache’, possibly an adverse reaction to inoculation for typhoid. He died on 30th June 1916 at 8:30pm from ‘toxaemia’ due to ‘septic absorption’ aged 29. His death was accepted as being due to military service. He is buried at Wymondham Cemetery Grave A.241 and is remembered on the Wymondham War Memorial. He was the son of Alfred and Emma Bunn, of Spooner Row, Wymondham and brother of Herbert and Mabel.
Arthur Edward Carpenter – Private 28210
Arthur was born in Suton c1882. He originally enlisted as 25325 in the 3rd Norfolk Regiment in Norwich on 15th February 1916, transferring to the 12th East Yorkshire Regiment on 14th October 1916. He served in France & Flanders from 23rd September 1916 and was killed in action on 13th November 1916 aged 34. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 2C and on the Wymondham War Memorial. He was the son of John and Maria Carpenter, of Spooner Row and had a brother, Dennis and two sisters, Lily and Winifred. He was a horseman on a farm at the time of his enlistment.
Samuel Doubleday – Private 11137
Samuel was born in Wymondham in c1893 and enlisted in the 13th Royal Fusiliers in Norwich. He served in France & Flanders and was killed in action on 11th April 1917 aged ~24. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial Bay 3 and on the Wymondham and Spooner Row War Memorials. He was the son of Charles Doubleday and Lavinia Pitts of Spooner Row.
John (Jack) Clement Ollett – Private 18004
Jack originally enlisted as 14283 in the Norfolk Regiment in Norwich then later transferred to the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment. He served in France & Flanders from 29th April 1915 and was killed in action on 9th May 1915. He is remembered on the Le Touret Memorial Panel 28 to 30 and on the Spooner Row War Memorial and Wymondham and Memorial. He was the son of Mrs Ellen Ollett of Wattlefield.
Bale Race – Private 6456
Bale was born in Spooner Row c1884. He enlisted in the 1st Norfolk Regiment in Norwich. He served in France & Flanders from 16th August 1914 and was killed in action on 24th August 1914 aged 30. He is buried at Elouges Communal Cemetery Special Memorial C. 25 and is remembered on the Wymondham War Memorial. He was the son of Jane Elizabeth Race.
Charles G. Warnes – Private 202933
Charles was born in Attleborough c1893. He enlisted as 1636 in the Norfolk Regiment in Spooner Row then later transferred to the 4th East Yorkshire Regiment. He served in the Dardanelles from 9th August 1915 and died at home on 9th June 1917 aged 24. He is buried at Wymondham Cemetery Grave A. 534 and is remembered on the Spooner Row War Memorial and the Wymondham Memorial. He was the son of George and Laura Warnes of Spooner Row.
Claude Harrison Barker – Private 21368
Claude was born in Freethorpe near Great Yarmouth on 21st October 1897 but later lived in Suton. He originally enlisted as 9453 in the Norfolk Regiment in Norwich on 11th January 1915 but transferred to the 8th Border Regiment ‘A Company’ on 9th November 1915. He embarked for France & Flanders on 29th December 1915, was posted to 2nd Entrenching Battalion on 17th January, joining the 8th Borderers a month later and died of wounds on 11th July 1916 aged 18. He is buried at Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension Grave I. E. 26 and is remembered on the Wymondham and Morley St Botolph War Memorials. He was the son of Arthur George and Blanche Rachel Barker of London Road in Suton. He had three brothers, Russel Hinds, Stanley George and Ernest Henry, and four sisters, Norah, Muriel, Winifred and the last is unknown. Claude was a gardener at the time of his enlistment.
Charles H Sewell – Private 225201
Charles was born in Wymondham c1897. He enlisted as 9422 in the Norfolk Regiment in Norwich then later transferred to the 1st London Royal Fusiliers. He served in the Balkans from 23rd September 1915 and later France & Flanders where he was killed in action on 1st December 1917 aged ~20. He is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval Panel 11 and on the Spooner Row Memorial and the Wymondham War Memorial. He was the son of William & Ann Sewell of Home Farm on Suton Street.
Robert George Sewell – Private 2470
Robert was born in Wymondham c1890. He enlisted in the 1st/4th Norfolk Regiment in Norwich. He served in Dardanelles from 6th August 1915 and was killed in action on 30th September 1915 aged 25. He is buried at 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery Special Memorial C.21 and is remembered on the Wymondham War Memorial. He was the son of William & Ann Sewell of Home Farm on Suton Street.
Edward Robert Thrower – Private G/10189
Edward was born in Heigham c1893. He enlisted as 14228 in the Norfolk Regiment in Wymondham then later transferred to the 1st Middlesex Regiment. He served in France & Flanders from 28th April 1915 and died of fever on 17th June 1915 aged 22. He is buried at Wimereux Communal Cemetery Grave I. J. 1A and is remembered on the Morley St Botolph War Memorial and Wymondham Memorial. He was the son of Robert Edward and Hannah Elizabeth Thrower of Suton.
Robert John Smith – Lance Corporal 200092
Robert was born in Deopham c1892. He enlisted in the 1st/4th Norfolk Regiment in Wymondham. He served in Palestine from 6th August 1915 and was killed in action on 2nd November 1917 aged 25. He is buried at Gaza War Cemetery Grave XXIV. C. I and is remembered on the Wymondham War Memorial. He was the son of Francis Robert and Bertha Betsy Smith of Shift House in Wattlefield.
Chris Clarke and www.roll-of-honour.com
Historic England https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1455770
War Memorials Register http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/65545
Photograph Stephen Ward
National Grid Reference: TM0962797411
If anyone would like to take on the task of identifying any or all of those named on the memorial, then please do so. We would like to know who they were, where they lived in our community and much more.