WW1 Commemoration project

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.

A map of locations through the village can be found here.

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