Clergymen ask for help to find eight First World War soldiers

PUBLISHED: 09:34 28 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:48 28 May 2014

Rev Damon Rogers and Father Adrian Ling with the memorial window inside All Saints Church, Hillington Square, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Rev Damon Rogers and Father Adrian Ling with the memorial window inside All Saints Church, Hillington Square, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

Reverend Adrian Ling from All Saint’s Church in King’s Lynn and Reverend Damon Rogers from St Andrew’s Church, Lowestoft, are re-launching the appeal to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

William’s story

One of the men who is named on the memorial window is Gunner William Plowright. Born in Castle Rising in 1870, to Richard and Elizabeth of Pleasant Row, King’s Lynn, he was baptised at Castle Rising Church. As a young man he worked as a general labourer and then moved to London.

In 1987 he married Mary Ann Barker who was also from King’s Lynn. After working at a brewery, he enlisted after hostilities began and sent to France where he was a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery. In 1915 he was killed by a German shell. He is buried at Guards Cemetery in France.

The eight mystery men are listed among 161 other known names on a memorial window in All Saint’s Church.

Revd Ling said: “We are hoping it will be of interest to people and show people the human element to the story behind the conflict. It is such an important part of history.

“What is quite unusual is that we have a memorial window where most memorials are plaques. We have researched all the names but can’t find anything on the identities of the eight men.”

The men, who were associated with All Saint’s are George Bentley, Robert Bridges, Charles Buck, William Holland, J Manning, W C Moore, William Wright and L R Terry.

As a sideline for the last 16 years, Revd Rogers, has been researching the identities of all the 169 soldiers since the anniversary of the end of the First World War.

He said: “I found my faith through All Saint’s Church so I want to give something back to the church. I have also been interested in the war after my learning that my paternal grandfather was in it.

“We have consulted literally all of the standard reference works, both local (Lynn’s Book of Heroes, etc) and national (CWGC, Soldiers Died, etc) as well interrogating contemporary local newspapers.”

In line with King’s Lynn Festival in July, All Saints will be holding an exhibition about the men and there will be a booklet to accompany it. Another memorial window at the church is dedicated to Robert Bardell who was killed in action in 1916.

All Saints are holding an exhibition about the men and I am producing a booklet to accompany this.

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