Community to bring war heroes to the fore

PUBLISHED: 15:39 25 February 2014 | UPDATED: 00:56 26 February 2014

Private Robert Barker, pictured around 1894 at the rear of what was The Crown pub on what is now Fakenham Road

Private Robert Barker, pictured around 1894 at the rear of what was The Crown pub on what is now Fakenham Road


The sacrifices of 23 young men from the parish of Ryburgh near Fakenham who lost their lives in the First World War will be remembered in a new project.

Ryburgh Remembers is being run this year to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the war.

The parish includes Great Ryburgh, Little Ryburgh and Testerton and, in that small community, the legacy of war continued to be felt for decades after the armistice was signed and the guns fell silent.

That sense of scale is brought home by the 132 who served, including the names of those who died recorded on Great Ryburgh’s four memorials.

Ryburgh Remembers will feature a series of events, including the planting of a new woodland on Great Ryburgh village green as a living memorial and, with the help of pupils of Stibbard All Saints Primary School, the growing of a Ryburgh hybrid poppy ‘Double Shirley’.

The Ryburgh hybrid poppy was bred by George Stark and his son Arthur, who kept a shop near the village church, and became well-known seeds men with a thriving business first in Ryburgh and carried on by Arthur’s sons in Fakenham.

They specialised in sweet peas and poppies in the pre-war days and were once awarded a RHS commendation for Campanula Persicifolia ‘Ryburgh Bells’.

Ryburgh Remembers co-ordinator Steve Bushby said: “We are extremely lucky that much research has already been undertaken on the early 20th Century history of the parish by Ryburgh resident Peter Trent and detailed biographies of those named on the war memorial have been drawn together by villager Steve Tipler. This research gives us a solid foundation upon which to build a memorable project that will be a fitting commemoration for the centenary.

“The organising committee would like to hear from any descendants of those commemorated on any of the war memorials in Great Ryburgh or from any historians who may have information about them in the hope that a picture of their lives can be created and recorded for posterity.”

Those listed on the Great Ryburgh War Memorial from the First World War, including the date they died are: John (Charles) Cremer (1/11/14). Ernest Thompson (24/5/15), George Harry Bond (5/6/16), Frederick Green (27/7/16), Albert Green (1/8/16), Harold Comer (13/8/15), Everard Bernard Hipkin (2/11/16), Joseph Chad Howman (8/10/16), Herbert Albert Chastney (2/3/17), Robert William Barker (4/3/17), Walter Francis Fenn (30/3/17), Herbert Walton Fox DCM (9/4/17,) Stanley Curson (19/4/17), Frederick J Bone (10/5/17), Charles T Steward (28/9/17), John Betts (12/10/17), William Doy (22/10/17), Edmund Walter Betts (23/11/17), Cecil Stephen Kail (1/11/18), John Frederick Bacon (18/4/18), Harry Victor Chilvers (27/8/18), Ernest A Nelson (21/9/18), Reginald Platten (8/10/18).

Contact Mr Bushby on 07760 451755, email or tweet @Ryburghaction.

Is your community marking 100 years since the start of the war? Email

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