WAR

Those who served in 2 World Wars:

FLORDON WAR MEMORIAL - WW1

FRANK HENRY SMITH
Private, 1st/5th Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment (service no.2399) who died at Gallipoli on 12 August 1915, age 22. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Frank Henry was the son of Walter & Elizabeth Smith who were living at a cottage by the station. Walter was a railway porter and signalman and Frank had become a porter at Flordon station by 1911. Frank signed on at East Dereham on 31st August 1914.

ARTHUR ERNEST THOMPSON
Private, 1st/5th Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment (service no.2389) who died at Gallipoli on 12th August 1915, age 23. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Arthur Ernest was the son of May Thompson, gamekeeper, and his wife Sarah who lived in a cottage in The Street. Arthur became a groom and gardener. With a service number only 10 different from Frank Henry Smith it is likely both signed on together - and both died on the same day.

On 29 July 1915 the Battalion went on board HMT Aquitania in Liverpool and next day sailed as part of the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to fight the Turks. They arrived at the Gulf of Kulos via Lemnos on 11 August where they disembarked to Sulva Bay, Gallipoli, and almost immediately moved to advanced positions. They soon came under sniper fire and had to dig themselves in 'under difficulties'. Next day they attacked a well-fortified Turkish position 'met strong opposition and suffered heavily'. These Flordon men were 2 of more than 370 who died that day.

JOHN FREDERICK HAZELL
Lance Corporal in 3rd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment (service no.19222). Died whilst training (or embarking), at Woodbridge (death register) or Felixstowe (service register), 18 September 1916, age 19.

Born in Mutford, son of William & Ruth Hazell who were living in Burgh St Peter in 1911. He enlisted in Norwich. Buried in churchyard of St. Mary's, Tasburgh with a cwgc headstone.

JAMES STEBBINGS
Private in the 5th Battallion Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment), service no.441319. He died on 5th December 1916, age 31, in France. He is buried in the Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-au-Bois, Pas de Calais.

James was the nephew of Amos and Mary Stebbings of Flordon and had been living with them in 1911. James had been born in Banham in 1889, son of John and Emily Stebbings. All the men were farm workers.

James emigrated to Canada in 1912, leaving Liverpool on the SS Virginian for Halifax, Nova Scotia. A Robert Stebbings is on the same passenger list but has been crossed out, so it seems that James travelled alone. He gives his occupation as 'Farmer' when he signed up for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He signed on in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, on 15 April 1915 and gave his Aunt, Mrs Amos Stebbings of Flordon, as his next of kin.

LEWIS BROWN
Private, first in the Royal Fusiliers (service no.26214) and then in 9th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (service no.39496). Died of wounds age 36 on 12 September 1917 in France.
Buried at Tincourt New British War Cemetery, Somme, France
The village was occupied by British troops in March 1917, during the German retreat from the Hindenburtg Line, and from May 1917 to March 1918 became a centre for Casualty Clearing Stations.

Born in Flordon, son of James & Anna Brown of Mill Cottage; father a railway platelayer and Lewis became a railway labourer (1911 census)

ALBERT GEORGE HAZELL
Private, first in Norfolk Regiment (service no.19151) and then in 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment (service no.23087). Killed in action in Flanders age 25 on 26 October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres (Usually known as Passchendaele).
Commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, panels 85-86.
[Tyne Cot (Cottage) was the name given by the Northumberland Fusiliers to a barn which stood near the level crossing on the Passchendaele - Broodseinde road. The barn was captures 4 October 1917 in the advance on Passchendaele.]

Albert George Hazell was born in Worlingham, Suffolk. He enlisted in the Norfolk Regiment on 12 April 1915 and was transferred to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Border Regiment as part of a large draft of men in 1915. It was then stationed at Shoeburyness, Essex, where he did his training before going overseas on 30 December 1915 with the 7th Battalion of the Border Regiment. He was wounded on 5 February 1917 and sent back to England, spending 75 days in hospital. When fit enough, he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, Border regiment on 28 August 1917. He was reported missing on 26 October and has no known grave.

JAMES HENRY SAVORY
Private in 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment (service no.35241). Died on 17 May 1918, age 19, and remembered on the Soisson Memorial, Aisne, France.
In May 1918 a British force sent to the area to rest and refit found themselves facing an overwhelming German attack which pushed the Allies back across the Aisne to the Marne.

James Henry was the son of William J and Agnes E Savory of Flordon, where his father was a 'fish hawker' (1911). He registered as an absent voter for the electoral roll as James Henry SAVOURY but never returned.

OTHERS WHO SERVED

Flordon men also went to war and returned. The following were registered as 'Absent Voters' in 1918:

WILLIAM DAVID GAYMER, whose parents farmed at Flordon Hall, joined the Royal Engineers, appointed Corporal (service no. 77538) and ended the war as a Corporal in the 430th Agricultural Company, service no. 501347

HERBERT WILLIAM GREY, Vine Cottage, Sergeant, Machine Gun Corps, service no.30273

WILLIAM PALMER, Orchard Farm, 136th Machine Gun Corps, service no.67487

ROBERT WILLIAM SAVOURY, The Street, Gunner, Royal Field Artillery, service no.170576

After WW1 a Memorial Hall was built in the Rectory grounds - but when the Rectory was sold it went too; there was no consultation with villagers and a number of them were very upset about it.


FLORDON WAR MEMORIAL - WW2

W/O BURNEY EDGAR RICHARD WHITEHOUSE DFC RAFVR
Warrant Officer in the 7 Squadron RAF Volunteer Reserve, service no,1200847. Died on 21 January 1944, age 24, and is buried in Hanover War Cemetery. He was also with Pathfinding Operations.

Burney was the son of the Rector of Flordon, Rev Richard Walter Whitehouse and his wife Norah,nee Sheldrake, and he was married to Winnie May Whitehouse of Tunstead.

When he died he was in a Lancaster bomber JA408 with Flight Lieutenant Ian James Robertson which took off from RAF Oakington on a mission to bomb Magdeburg and Berlin. Burney Whitehouse was Mid Upper Gunner. Their aircraft was the only one lost on this sortie. After the war, it was confirmed that the 'plane was attacked by an enemy fighter and crashed at Wohnste, 24 miles SW of Hamburg. The crew of 7 were all killed.

W/O GRANVILLE SIDNEY SHARPE DFM RAFVR
Warrant Officer in the 97 Squadron, RAF Volunteer Reserve, service no.1337744. Died on 24 September 1944, age 23. He was killed on Pathfinding Operations - the Pathfinding Force being a specialist squadron founded in 1942 to lead raids and improve navigation and bombing accuracy in the RAF.

Known as 'Sonny', he served with Bomber Command from RAF Coningsby and his Lancaster bonber crashed off Heacham shortly after 7pm on its way from or to a bombing mission on Ladbergen. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. He is commemorated in Flordon churchyard.


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