Thirty seven men who died in the First World War (WW1) between 1914 and 1918 were born, baptised, educated or lived at some time in their short lives in Bergh Apton, and remembered on our war memorial.
The centennial Remembrance
On 26th October 2018, to honour their sacrifice and their place in Bergh Apton’s life, we erected thirty seven life-sized figures around the village as part of the Nation’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice that brought the fighting to an end.
Each figure represents one of Bergh Apton’s fallen and is in the military stance called “Resting on Arms Reversed”. It is a traditional attitude of respect and remembrance in which a soldier stands with his hands resting on the butt of his rifle that, turned upside down, rests on his right boot.
Where each figure stands
Each figure stands outside, or as near as possible to, the house where we know, from our research, that a man lived. They will remain in place until the end of November.
In the cases of three men we cannot be certain where they lived so the figures of Freeman Harber, Sidney Keeler and Reginald Mitchell stand at the old iron gates into the churchyard of the parish church, through which they will have passed at some time in their short lives.
A fouth figure stands with them bearing the words “FOR ALL THOSE WHO DIED 1914-1918”. He represents every man, every woman and every child, military or civilian, firend or for, who died in their many millions in the five years in whic this war raged throughout the world.
What the figure tells you
Each Bergh Apton man’s figure tells you his name, his age, his Regiment or Corps, the date and place he died and where he is remembered on a military war memorial or buried in a military war cemetery.
Thus each one bears limited but essential information. We know so much more about each man and will add it to the village website. You will find it by tapping a man’s name below.
The Bergh Apton Book of Remembrance
We included a copy of the Book of Remembrance kept in the Sanctuary of our parish church in which, as each year goes by, we turn the pages to mark the anniversary of each man’s death. Tap the up and down arrows at the foot of the Book’s image (below) and you can scroll through the story of the memorial and visit the page of each man – in the calendar order of the date of his death.
The work of Bergh Apton Local History Group
Research into Bergh Apton’s past is the objective of the Bergh Apton Local History Group (BALHG). Research into the village’s connections with the two World Wars and the men on our war memorial is led by village residents and former serving soldiers John Ling (Royal Norfolk Regiment 1957-1960) and Chris Johnson (Royal Corps of Transport 1972-1975).
Our Battlefield Tours
Many of the photographs that are published in each man’s story were taken when John, Chris and other members of BALHG undertook a five-year pilgrimage to Belgium and Northern France in a 17 seater minibus carrying the message “Bergh Apton Remembers”. The group visited every battlefield on which a Bergh Apton man died, and every War Cemeteries and War Memorial where our men are remembered. This pilgrimage was not limited to the First World War so it took in the World War Two (1939-1945) battlefields in Normandy and Italy where a younger generation of Bergh Apton soldiers, sailors and airmen are buried or remembered.
May they all rest in peace, their duty to this village and this Nation bravely done.
Book of Remembrance at is for Church - definitive
The key is as follows:
1. ALEXANDER, Walter 2. ANNIS, Arthur
3. BEAUMONT, Robert 4. BLIGH, Alfred
5. BOGGIS, Alfred 6. BRACEY William
7. CARR, Leonard 8. CUBITT, Alfred
9. DAVEY, Edward 10. ETHERIDGE, Horace
11. EVERETT, Leonard 12. GILLINGWATER, Victor
13. GREENACRE, Henry 14. GREENACRE, Charles
15. HARBER, Freeman 16. HARVEY, Albert
17. HUNT, Ernest 18. KEDGE, Sidney
19. KEELER, Sidney 20. KING, Alfred
21. LEEDER, Ernest 22. MACE, Albert
23. MARKS, Sydney 24. MAYES, Harry
25. MITCHELL, Reginald 26. PARKER, Albert
27. PRESTON, John 28. ROPE, Alfred
29. ROPE, Leonard 30. STARMAN, William
31. STONE, Aubrey 32. STONE Thomas
33. THROWER, Herbert 34. THROWER, Walter
35. WALL, Clement 36. WEDDUP, Charles
37. WRIGHT, James 38. ALL WHO DIED