A Hellesdon War Memorial Mystery

Our project to create a poppy for every name listed on the county’s war memorials has sparked a lot of interest and has also thrown up some interesting queries…

We’ve recently been talking on Twitter with Linda, a lady who has undertaken to create a poppy for all of the men listed on the Hellesdon War Memorial. More than this Linda is also researching the war history of all 15 men remembered there.

A recent image of Hellesdon War Memorial

Linda has made the fifteen poppies, and researched in to fourteen of the men but there is a real mystery surrounding the last man…

The soldier concerned is recorded on the memorial as William H Piercy but I can find no record of him in any records.

I have however found a William John Piercy who’s next of kin were living at Lower Hellesdon. 

I have been doing the research as part of the Hellesdon Community History Group and I’m stuck – could you forward this query on to anyone that can help guide me in the right direct to resolve this quandary.   

I think it is a transcription/typo error which I have had personal experience of within my own family.

We’ve done a little sleuthing by playing around with various spellings of the name and the initials on the Commonwealth War Graves website and found three possible men that could possibly be the man listed at Hellesdon.

Gunner W R Piercy #74009 whose parents are listed as living on Dereham Rd, Norwich

W J Piercy #43703 whose parents are listed as living in Eccles.

William Piercy #G/16306 but with no further details.

And this is where we call on your expertise – can anyone help Linda, as she says

His name would have been submitted to a “committee” for approval and I wonder where this would be and this record would have more information to help confirm his parents/date of birth etc. 

As ever if you can help with this query please leave a comment here / email norfolkinworldwar1@gmail.com or Tweet us @Norfolkinww1

Advertisements

A snapshot from the Yarmouth Mercury one hundred years on

This is a dispatch from Orla, one of the Community Librarians based in Great Yarmouth.

What is the finest death to die, And the fairest end to make? To feel as your country’s foemen fly And to die for Freedom’s sake! And to die with the young, this strong, the brave, A flush on your eager soul, Your body borne to a hero’s grave And your name on Honour’s Roll!

What is the finest death to die,
And the fairest end to make?
To feel as your country’s foemen fly
And to die for Freedom’s sake!
And to die with the young, this strong, the brave,
A flush on your eager soul,
Your body borne to a hero’s grave
And your name on Honour’s Roll!

In one week in February 1917 there were three reports of local men and their fate in the First World War in the Yarmouth Mercury:

The death is reported of Pte Sidney Charles Cooper of 80 George Street Yarmouth. Pte Cooper leaves a wife and two children following his death at the front in January. He was a 23 year old box maker employed by Mr Mills of Southtown and an old Church Road School boy. Pte Cooper was in the Essex Regiment.

Arthur E Turner of the Royal Naval Reserves is also reported as killed in action. Turner was formerly of Tower Street and his mother was still living at Caister. He was a married father of four with three brothers also in the Navy. Walter Turner was at this time interned in Holland.

The mother of Pte. E. Littlewood is seeking information on her son this month. Pte Littlewood is of B Company, 6th Platoon, 8th Norfolk’s and is late of the 6th Norfolk Cyclists. Littlewood was reported wounded in October and there has been no information since.

Also reported in the Mercury this month is a concert by blind musicians in aid of “our blinded heroes”. This convert of “unusually interesting character” took place at the Yarmouth Town Hall to aid the St. Dunstan’s Hostel for blinded soldiers and sailors. You can find out more about the St. Dunstan’s hostel here

concert-by-blind-musicians-at-great-yarmouth-town-hall

Visit Great Yarmouth library to access the Great Yarmouth Mercury 1914 to 1919 on microfilm, each week gives a fascinating insight into life at home and away during the Great War.

The Local Studies area in Great Yarmouth library

The Local Studies area in Great Yarmouth library