December 22 2014 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Sunday, August 10, 2014
A soldier’s 1917 Christmas Day menu from France was among a number of personal items on show at Cromer’s First World War exhibition.
Richard Jordan’s grandfather could tuck into roast goose or beef, Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, champagne, port wine and cherry brandy.
Mr Jordan, from Roughton, knew nothing of his grandfather Charles Jordan’s war record until he inherited a box of his wartime memorabilia. After 1917, Captain Jordan took charge of a prisoner of war camp near Lyon.
The exhibition, organised by Cromer Royal British Legion (RBL), featured potted histories and many photos of the town’s 90 Great War dead.
Of those, 88 are recorded on the churchyard war memorial and the names of two others, Jewish brothers Cyril Isaac and Myer Joseph Levine, are on the Roll of Honour inside the church.
Their father supported the war memorial but did not want his sons’ names included because it bore a cross.
Among the town’s dead heroes were Arthur Harry Cook, 32, who was awarded the Military Medal and was mentioned in dispatches. And the Harbord brothers, John, 24, and Philip Anthony Assheton , 20, who both earned the Military Cross.
Robin Lilley, RBL branch vice chairman, said over the course of the next four years he hoped to learn more about all 90 soldiers, including the reasons why three earned special medals.
The exhibition also featured displays of period weaponry from branch chairman John Needham’s collection, including a Vickers machine gun.
And visitors were able to buy pots of poppy seeds to plant at home, each labelled with the name and date of death of one of the Cromer soldiers.
Ex-army man Graham Coleman, from Roughton, brought along his collection of military memorabilia, including shrapnel shell cases and bullets which he has picked up from the battlefields of Belgium and France.
Refreshments were provided by the legion’s Women’s Section and several people wore period costume, including retired nurse Joy White, who dressed as a First World War nurse.
Proceeds from the event, in Cromer Community Centre, will go to the town’s £40,000 war memorial restoration appeal.
■ The legion is appealing for more information on all the war dead, and for photos of 23 of them. Their names are: Gilbert Spencer Balls; Francis Henry Baxter; Ernest William Baxter; Charles John Bumfrey; Andrew John Clarke; Herbert Richard Clarke; Arthur Harry Cook; Sidney Isaac Cook; John Leslie Fish; Anthony Harbord; William March Hardingham; Bertie Harvey; Charles George Hurrell; William Lake; Charles Wales Leggett; Hilary Cossey Nockels; Robert Gaff Painter; Ernest Savory; Sidney Robert Savory; George Thomas Christmas Stimpson; William Williamson; Herbert Wilson and Herbert Ernest Youell.
Call John Needham on 01263 510146 or Robin Lilley on 01263 510287.