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Harleston First World War memorial boklet to be launched

12:36 31 July 2014

Writer Ruth Walton has researched and written a book about the men named on the war memorial  in a harleston. The book is bing funded by the town council.

Writer Ruth Walton has researched and written a book about the men named on the war memorial in a harleston. The book is bing funded by the town council.

A booklet telling the life stories of nearly 100 men listed on Harleston’s war memorial is set to be launched.

Double amputee soldier Sgt Duncan Slater, from Scole, will be present for the launch of the book We Will Remember, which will take place at St John’s Church in Harleston on Thursday (July 31) at 6.30pm.

The book, which costs £5, is raising money for the charity Walking with the Wounded, which is supported by Sgt Slater, who lost both his limbs after the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was blown up by a roadside bomb in July 2009.

The former RAF gunner became the first double amputee to trek to the South Pole with a team of other injured service personnel and Prince Harry in a Walking with the Wounded challenge.

Writer Ruth Walton, who lives in Alburgh, has researched and written the book about the 97 men named on the war memorial in Harleston.

And she has uncovered some poignant and interesting facts about the soldiers, who include 73 who served in the 1914-1918 conflict and 24 from the Second World War.

Tragically, three of the names on the list are brothers who were killed within seven months of each other during the First World War – Frederick, John and Stanley Borrett – two of whom died in Palestine and one in France in 1917.

Another soldier who is listed on both the Harleston and Wortwell war memorials is George Dove, whose real name was Robert.

He served with the Sandringham Company from the King’s estate at Sandringham House, where he was a gardener.

The story of how the company suffered heavy losses at Gallipoli in 1915 formed the basis of the television drama All the King’s Men, first broadcast by the BBC in 1999.

Mrs Walton said the trades of the soldiers also revealed a lot about the time and included a grocer’s apprentice, blacksmith, auctioneer’s clerk and domestic groom.

The men ranged in age from 18 to 43 and the booklet also details how women took on jobs previously performed by men who were fighting in the war.

Are you related to any of the names on the memorial? Email dominic.bareham@archant.co.uk.

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