WW1 commemorations at Thorpe Market church
St Margaret’s Church in Thorpe Market will be holding a special World War 1 Centenary Remembrance Service on Armistice day, and will pay tribute particularly to the 14 men from the village who gave their lives in the conflict.
The service, at 10.30am on Sunday November 11 will include traditional hymns, readings, lighting of candles and the different regimental music that the soldiers would have marched to. There will also be an excerpt from the address given at the service that took place nearly 100 years ago to dedicate the village war memorial. Light refreshments will be served after the service.
Margaret Hunter, from St Margarets, said “The church gates, right, have been painted specially for the occasion, recognising the fact that in the early 20th century most people attended church regularly and those who were killed may also have been choristers, hence passing through them frequently. Sadly, two were later carried through them to be laid to rest in the churchyard.”
The exhibition in the church features a silhouette for each man, bearing the brass cap badge of their regiment, pictured above. There were eleven from “The Norfolk Regiment”, one from “The Warwickshire Regiment”, one from “The Queen’s West Surrey Regiment” and one from “The Coldstream Guards”. The display includes details of their families and what is known of their war service. There are also photographs of some of the houses they left from to go to war.
Thorpe Market Church has researched the families and military service of the 14 men remembered on the memorials in St. Margaret’s Church. Descendants of 12 of the 14 men have been contacted. All of them were recorded in the rent books for 1914 in the Gunton Archive at Norfolk Records Office. It is therefore likely that they were mostly employees of Lord Suffield.
The research uncovered some quite poignant facts. Frederick, Peter and Walter Cook were three brothers who died in the space of 2 years. Robert Allan died in France in 1917 at the age of 42. Reginald Allen, his son, died at the end of the war aged 19. Thomas Pank Mayes died on the 11th November 1918 aged 49, the day of the Armistice. They are both buried in war graves in the churchyard.
Families of Herbert Cornelius Keeler, who also served in the Boer War and William Robert Turner have not been located.
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