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Overseas service to remember the Snettisham 45, who lost their lives in the First World War

PUBLISHED: 11:48 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:48 06 June 2018

Snettisham 45 was launched in February to remember men from Snettisham who died in World War One Picture: Ian Burt

Snettisham 45 was launched in February to remember men from Snettisham who died in World War One Picture: Ian Burt

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A major remembrance service will take place overseas to remember one of the 45 Norfolk village men who lost their lives in the First World War.

An act of remembrance was held at St Mary's Church in February to remember men from Snettisham who died in World War One Picture: Ian BurtAn act of remembrance was held at St Mary's Church in February to remember men from Snettisham who died in World War One Picture: Ian Burt

One in six men from Snettisham in West Norfolk died in the 1914 - 18 conflict but a community project launched earlier this year is keeping their memory alive.

The Snettisham 45 remembrance project began its campaign with a special memorial service at St Mary’s Church on February 22 to commemorate two of the men who gave their lives - Sidney Mitchell and Jacob Flatt.

Letters from the children of the village school and flowers were laid on their graves and team rector the Rev Veronica Wilson led prayers before laying a wreath of Norfolk lavender and rosemary in the shape of a Snettisham torc.

The project aims to honour the remaining men with the same touching service at their resting places spread across seven countries.

The Lord-Lieutenant laid a poppy wreath on the grave of Sidney Mitchell, who died in World War One Picture: Ian BurtThe Lord-Lieutenant laid a poppy wreath on the grave of Sidney Mitchell, who died in World War One Picture: Ian Burt

The project team leaders, including Rev Veronica Wilson, Snettisham parish council chairman Ros Pugh and county councillor Stuart Dark, will be making a trip to Canada tomorrow (Thursday, June 7), to visit the grave of Lieutenant Colin Goss Coleridge.

Lt Coleridge’s parents lived at Hall Farm in Snettisham in 1911 and he joined the Royal Air Force in Canada in August 1917 and promoted to Lieutenant not long after.

He died in Desoronto in Canada in July 23 1918, aged 29, when his plane crashed and caught fire.

“It is the furthest we are travelling,” said Ms Pugh. “We felt it was really important for the village to remember not just a name on a memorial but the great men who gave their all for our country. It’s an absolutely wonderful thing to be a part of.”

An act of remembrance was held at St Mary's Church in February to remember men from Snettisham who died in World War One Picture: Ian BurtAn act of remembrance was held at St Mary's Church in February to remember men from Snettisham who died in World War One Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Dark added: “The experience we are going to get is going to be absolutely worth it. It is going to be a nice and fitting memorial.”

The Snettisham 45 project will hold a memorial service and lay a wreath of Norfolk lavender and rosemary at his grave in Desoronto with members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and dignitaries.

The team are inviting the public to join them on their five-day European battlefield tour on July 29 in France, where the majority of the fallen 45 are laid to rest.

The project is also raising funds for the Royal British Legion and children’s charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

For more information about the European battlefield tour contact Simon Bower on 01485 543721 or visit www.snettisham-remembers.co.uk.



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