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Village tribute to brothers in arms

PUBLISHED: 09:42 11 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:36 12 July 2010

They gave their lives in the first world war and were killed in action in France.

Now, more than 90 years later, three Norfolk brothers who died fighting for their country are to finally receive the local recognition they deserve when their names are engraved on the war memorial in the village where they were born.

They gave their lives in the first world war and were killed in action in France.

Now, more than 90 years later, three Norfolk brothers who died fighting for their country are to finally receive the local recognition they deserve when their names are engraved on the war memorial in the village where they were born.

The youngest of the trio - Herbert James Goldspink was killed, aged 20, in 1915 and his two older brothers, Arthur William, 23, and and Charles Samuel, 25, both died in Flanders on the same day the following year during the Battle of the Somme.

The three men, from Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, were serving with the Norfolk Regiment, and are now to be honoured by their community thanks to the efforts of local couple Janet and Keith Keeble - who is a descendant of the family.

They learned of the brothers' tragic story when Mrs Keeble was researching her husband's family tree, and discovered that although they were remembered on a war memorial in France, nothing had been done by way of tribute in this country.

“The very least we can do is make sure their names are on the war memorial in Pulham St Mary. We were absolutely horrified when we found out that they weren't - for what reason we don't know - and both of use will feel a kind of satisfaction when they do although it is 92 years too late,” said Mr Keeble, whose great grandfather was a cousin to the Goldspink brothers.

The couple, who live at neighbouring Starston, will be paying tribute with other members of the family when a parade marches through Pulham St Mary at 3pm on September 21 in honour of the brothers

Wreaths will be laid at the war memorial, during a dedication ceremony, followed by a service in the parish church.

“I used to talk to Keith's grandmother who was almost 90 when she died in 1999, and she said her granny's name was Goldspink. I did a lot of research and found out about the brothers, and I am thrilled they are now going to be recognised at last,” Mrs Keeble said.

Rector of Pulham, the Rev Norman Steer, helped the couple achieve their goal, liaising with church officials and the parish council which owns the memorial. And he will be officiating at the ceremony.

He said: “I have worked with the family for the last two years to make sure everything is fine. We are all very proud that we can do honour to the three brothers in this way, and quite excited about it, and we hope to involve the local school because it is an historical occasion.

“In a sense it's bringing the three brothers home.”

Their names will take their rightful place on the memorial along with those of two cousins and others who died in the conflict.


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