Armistice commemorations 1918-2018




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Standard bearersShard unveilingarmistice

World War One Armistice Commemorations 1918 – 2018

The shard is unveiledA new war memorial for Brundall, in the form of a shard, was dedicated at a special ceremony on Saturday November 10.

The shard, which carries the words of the poem “Lest we Forget”, was unveiled by the former head of the army, General The Lord Dannatt, who was one of those to lay a wreath.

A commemorative bench, donated by The Royal British Legion (Brundall & District branch), was placed alongside the shard, which stands at the entrance to the village cemetery in Cucumber Lane.

Villagers gathered for the ceremony which included a parade of standards. The names of all those commemorated were read out by the Rector, Rev Peter Leech, who led the service.

Brundall Parish Council vice-chairman Joe Warns said: “The shard will be a poignant reminder of the sacrifices in the First World War and other conflicts.”

The event was accompanied by a two-day exhibition at Brundall Memorial Hall, which continued on Sunday November 11, and featured life on the home front, notably the work of the Brundall Auxiliary War Hospital, and stories of the local servicemen killed in action.

The exhibition was accompanied by other displays and activities including the history of the Women’s Institute, founded in 1915; “Edith Cavell, A Nurse and her Legacy”; a vintage slide and film show; artwork from Brundall Primary School pupils; a wartime family history advice desk; a Royal British Legion stall, period music; and refreshments prepared by the Women’s Institute.

The event was grant-aided by Brundall Parish Council and co-ordinated by Brundall Local History Group in support of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Brundall Local History Group chairman Chloe Veale said: This event is a real community effort involving many village volunteers and organisations, including the churches, the school and the parish council. We feel honoured to be able to bring this weekend together to commemorate those who fought and died in the war, and those who supported them at home, a hundred years ago. We hope it will help to ensure their memory will live on in the hearts and minds of future generations.”

The serviceA young standard bearer

Pictures above by IAN ATKINS

Pictures below by CARLA HODGSON

The last post
The bench at the cemetery
The Last Post is sounded at the cemetery
The memorial bench at the cemetery provided by the RBL
The armistice exhibition
work by pupils
The exhibition featured those from the village who never returned
Artwork by pupils from Brundall School
A plane memorial made by pupils
Metal poppies made by pupils
Artwork by pupils from Brundall School Artwork by pupils from Brundall School

Pictures below by DEBORA HILLS

The WI cafe
Pater Ayers
The cafe organised and run by Brundall's WI groups

Accordionist Peter Ayers playing music from the era

The RBL stall

A warm welcome at the RBL stall. Photo: DEBORA HILLS

The Royal British Legion

As well as taking part in the unveiling of the new memorial, members of the British Legion - young and old - were out in force at the exhibition, with fundraising efforts which brought in a welcome amount to help ex-Servicemen.

Standard bearers

Standard bearers at the cemetery. Photo: IAN ATKINS





Brundall's war heroes

As war broke out the village had a population of about five hundred, swelled by the numbers of patients and staff at the hospital, which was based at Brundall House in the middle of the village. Its sons marched off to fight for their country, with eleven of them never to return.

The row of cottages at Barn Terrace was terribly struck. Four families there lost family members; two were brothers, and three were killed within five weeks of each other in 1918.

Corporal James Harper had moved to Neatishead, but his mother still lived at No. 6. At his memorial service at Brundall Church the Rector said that having served in the Royal Artillery since the beginning of the war “he was looking forward to higher promotion. He has gained it elsewhere…"

The others with Barn Terrace connections were Private Richard Minns, James Harper’s brother-in-law, who also lodged at No 6; Privates Herbert and Frank Smith from No. 8; and Private James Holsworth, whose parents lived at No. 4.

Several Brundall and Braydeston young men joined the various battalions of the Norfolk Regiment but some did not experience a long war. 2nd Lieutenant Walter Meire, of the 9th Battalion, died aged 25 at Loos in 1915. A year later Private William Beck in the same battalion, was killed in one of the Somme battles at the age of just 19. Private Charles Mason died aged 24 with the 8th Battalion at La Boiselle in 1916. 2nd Lieutenant Walter Benn was killed with the 7th Battalion at Arras in 1917, only six weeks after arriving on the Western front.

Private Arthur Cole had emigrated to Canada but when the war came he signed up with the 7th Battalion Canadian Regiment and fell at Passchendaele in 1917.

Sub-lieutenant Claude Sennitt, who served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Hood Battalion) was killed aged 27 in 1917 after only a fortnight of active service.

These were ordinary men with ordinary lives whose tragic destiny was commemorated on the weekend of November 10 and 11 2018, the 100th anniversary of the Armistice when peace returned to their village.

Click here to find out more about Brundall in 1914

Brundall's wartime hospital

Nurses from Brundall war hospital

In 1914 Brundall House, then in the centre of the village, was offered by its owner as an auxiliary war hospital. For two years it welcomed wounded soldiers, under the leadership of Margaret Harker. Brundall Local History Group has produced a book about the hospital with many photographs from the time.

To find out more visit its page in our shop section

Discovery trail

A free Brundall & Braydeston War Memorials Discovery Trail leaflet, devised by the Brundall Local History Group, is available as an historical and location guide to the memorials and landmarks for both world wars around the village.  For copies, contact