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Syleham church to get new stone memorial to mark First World War

12:32 19 September 2014

Church warden Mary Lewis with Roy Goodwin and John Leader, also a church warden.

Church warden Mary Lewis with Roy Goodwin and John Leader, also a church warden.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

A village church is set to get a new stone memorial to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Currently, St Margaret’s Church in Syleham only has a parchment memorial bearing the names of ten servicemen from the first world war and one from the second world war.

But villagers are in the process of getting the new Portland stone memorial, which will be fixed to the wall of the church nave and should be in place in time for Remembrance Sunday on November 9.

Although situated in the church, the memorial will be for the whole community of the village and has been funded by local donations.

The tablet is set to be dedicated by The Rt Rev David Thomson, acting bishop of the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, during the Remembrance Sunday service.

Mary Lewis, a churchwarden at Syleham, said she was also hoping to get in touch with relatives of the men who died to invite them along to the service.

The names on the memorial from the first world war include Arthur Barber, Frank Barkway, Charles Brett, Beccles Goddard, George Cranfield, Reg Cranfield, Ernest Shemmings, Reg Shemmings, Harry Nobbs and George Thorndyke.

The sole name from the second world war is Roy Goodwin.

Mrs Lewis said: “Most of the names on the memorial were privates from working class backgrounds. They represent the ordinary chaps who went to do their duty and made the ultimate sacrifice and we thought it appropriate that we should remember them in this way.”

Anyone who believes they are related to a soldier on the memorial can phone Mrs Lewis on 01379 669258 or email mary.lewis@tecova.com.

Early responses would be appreciated so that invitations to family representatives can be arranged.

Are you related to one of the men on the memorial? Tell us about them by emailing dominic.bareham@archant.co.uk.

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