I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the 2020 Poppy Appeal. This was not an easy year for anyone and in particular Martin Goodearl our branch organiser. A lot of restrictions were placed on him as a result of Covid-19 but I hope you got your Poppy.
I want to continue a series I started some time ago on the Men of Littleport who died in the Great War. The last entry ended in April 1916. By the summer of that year heavy fighting was in full flow at Verdun where the German Army was desperate to break through the French lines and The French Army was just as desperate to keep the enemy out. To the North the new soldiers of Kitchener’s Army were preparing for their first major battle on the Somme where the British and French Armies met. Various historians have written lengthily on the battle and offered many opinions; but it is not my place to add to those opinions. What I want to remind you is that over 19,000 men were killed on the opening day of battle, 1 July 1916, or died of wounds in the coming days.
Of these the following were men of Littleport:
1 July 1916
16302 Pte AH Francis 11th Suffolks
16881 Pte S Freezer 11th Suffolks
16252 Pte GT Frost 11th Suffolks
16969 Pte RR Nicholas 11th Suffolks
16738 L/Cpl F Woods 11th Suffolks
The bodies of these men were never recovered and they are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
Also killed on that day were:
24/1698 Pte JW Palmer 24th Battalion
15114 Pte WE Glover 8th Battalion
Somerset Light Infantry. Both are
commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
There will be more about the Battle of the Somme in the next issue.