A Family in the First World War – The Brocks

Two of Henry Benjamin and Sarah Christiana Brock’s sons fought in the First World War: Charles Edward and George Edward.  Charles was born on 27th April 1891 and George on 16th August 1898.


Charles served as a private in the Army Veterinary Corps in France.  He was based in Subsection A, No. 12 Veterinary Hospital.  Whilst in France he received a telegram on 31st May 1917 saying that his son (Geoffrey Charles) had been born and both mother and child were doing well.


George joined the 3/1 (Third Line) Norfolk Yeomanry on 2nd December 1915.  In September 1917 he crossed the channel to France.  Within a few days of arriving he was transferred to No. 5 Platoon, B Company, 8th Battalion of the York & Lancaster Regiment (a move from cavalry to infantry).

His regiment (along with other British, Australian and New Zealand troops) took part in the First Battle of Passchendaele (in Flanders, Belgium) on 12th October 1917.  George was one of hundreds who lost their lives that day; he was listed as missing, killed in action.  He was 19.

His name appears on the Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot Cemetery near Ieper (Ypres) in Flanders.  His name also appears on war memorials at Keswick Church and Sprowston.

Both Charles and George were awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Victory Medal

British War Medal



Remembering Wilfred George Lake

The team from Wood Norton have shared some more research with us about a man appearing on their war memorial but while they’ve found out lots about Wilfred George Lake if anyone help tell the stories of his siblings it would be wonderful.


Wilfred George Lake was the youngest son of William and Mary Ann Lake, born in Wood Norton and baptised on the 12th April 1896 at All Saints, Wood Norton (see Figure 1).[1]

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William Conway Thomas: “Everything Was Influenced by the War.”

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William Conway Thomas

Last week we featured the story of Arthur Smith, who had taken part in Norfolk Libraries’ Historypin Connections project and shared his memories of Norwich after the First World War. This week we are looking at the life story of William Conway Thomas who, like Arthur, was born in 1917 but grew up in Swansea, Wales. William first shared his memories with Historypin project coordinator Rachel Willis in 2016 on his local mobile library, which William visits regularly to pick up a new selection of audio books.

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We Plough the Fields and Scatter: The Tractor Ploughing Scheme of 1917

From records held at the Norfolk Record Office and newspaper archives at Norfolk Heritage Centre.

As horses and men were sent to the Front, there was an urgent need for both to be replaced at home to maintain food supplies.  Women replaced many of the men while tractors replaced many of the horses.

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Arthur Smith: Remembering Norwich after the First World War


Norfolk Libraries have taken part in the national Historypin Connections project during 2016 – 2017, to reach out to isolated older people and record their memories for inclusion in an online community archive. As part of this project a team of volunteers met with older people across the county, spending time listening to stories, looking at photographs, and putting together a record of their life experiences.

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