Monday, 6 August 2012

Aldringham Baptist Burial Ground War Memorial

ALDRINGHAM PROVIDENCE BAPTIST CHAPEL, BURIAL GROUND
WAR MEMORIAL – USED TO BE WITHIN THE CHAPEL UNTIL THE BUILDING WAS SOLD FOR RESIDENTIAL USE. THE MEMORIAL HAS NOW BEEN PLACED OUTSIDE IN THE BURIAL GROUND NEXT TO THE FENCE ADJACENT TO THE CHAPEL


IN GRATEFUL AND LOVING MEMORY
OF
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH AND CONGREGATION
WHO IN DEFENCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LIBERTY
FELL IN THE GREAT WAR, AUG. 4 1914 – NOV 11 1918
FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH REV. 11.1O

ERNEST WHITING 7TH SUFFOLK REG.T
FELL IN FRANCE OCT 17 1915 AGED 28
SON OF JAMES AND EMMA WHITING, OF ALDRINGHAM
From CWGC – Private 12371
7th Bn. Suffolk Regiment
Lois Memorial Panel 37 & 38
Parents: Mrs J Whiting, Paradise Place Leiston
Also noted on Memorial in Aldringham Parish Church

From Medal Rolls Index cards, Ernest entered active service 30 May 1915
In the 1911 Census, Ernest Richard a general labourer aged 23, was living with his parents, James George Whiting, a Blacksmith Stoker in Agricultural Engineering and his mother, Emma Hannah Whiting at Fen Cottage, Aldringham. He had three siblings, George aged 25 a general labourer, Elizabeth Daisy aged 12 at school and Samuel James aged 7 also at school. A grandson, Reginald Claude is also noted aged 3. 

 
WILLIAM H.C. HARLING 4TH SUFFOLK REG.T
FELL IN FRANCE MARCH 3 1916 AGE 21

From CWGC – Private 1603
1st and 4th Bn. Suffolk Regiment
Grave N.27 Cambrian Churchyard Extension, Pas de Calais, France

From WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards entered theatre of war 8 Nov 1914- awarded all three campaign medals. From UK Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914 -1919 – enlisted at Leiston

Also noted on Leiston cum Sizewell War Memorial

ALBERT J HARLING 12TH DURHAM L.I.
FELL IN FRANCE OCT 7 1916 AGED 23
From CWGC – Private 42801
Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 14A & 15 C – Somme
Parents noted as Wm & Alice Harling, 65 King George's Avenue, Leiston
From UK Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 – enlisted Ipswich. Formerly service nbr. 25239, Suffolk Reg.
                                         Also noted on Leiston Cum Sizewell War Memorial
SONS OF WILLIAM AND ALICE HARLING OF LEISTON
In the 1911 census Albert and William were living with their parents, William Harling a Joiner in the building industry and Alice his wife. Albert aged 18 was also a joiner working in the building industry. William, it appears noted himself as a merchant -from cotton to wine. They had four other siblings, Edgar aged 12, Agnes aged 15, Ruby aged 8 and Laura aged 5. At the time of census the family was residing at 19 Valley Road, Leiston.
BERTIE CRACKNELL AUSTRALIAN FORCES
FELL IN FRANCE AUG 17 1916 AGED 25
SON OF FRED AND MARY ANN CRACKNELL OF ALDEBURGH
From CWGC – Private 5061, Australian Infantry A.I.F. 2nd Bn
Villers – Bretonneux Memorial. Somme- France
Also noted on Aldeburgh War Memorial
From National Archives of Australia, Bertie Cracknell enlisted 18 Jan 1916, disembarked on Makarina to Suez then into Europe. He joined his unit 11 Aug 1916 and died in action 17 Aug 1916. (Just six days later)

Bertie left England on 1 March 1912 from London aboard the vessel Orama to Fremantle, Australia, his occupation was noted as “Farmhand”.
In the 1911 census Bertie Cracknell, aged 19 is living with his parents Fred (a farm horse-keeper) and Mary Ann Cracknell in Hall Cottage, Aldeburgh. His occupation is noted as Cowman and his place of birth as Aldeburgh. He had three siblings, George aged 14 working on a farm, Florence aged 16 working as a Nurse Maid and Phyllis aged 8 at school.


SEPTIMUS GEO ELMER 13TH ROYAL FUS.
FELL IN FRANCE FEB 21 1917 AGED 27
SON OF LATE JOHN FRED.K AND MARTHA F ELMER OF ACTON
From CWGC – Private 4845
Grave 11.L.9 Philosphe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, Pas de Calais
From UK Soldiers, Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 Septimus George Elmer enlisted at London W.C., his regiment was the Royal Fusiliers (City of London) Regiment. He entered the service on 17 Aug 1915 and was awarded all three campaign medals.

In the 1911 census, Septimus George Elmer from Acton, Suffolk (County is incorrect- see 1901 census) is lodging with Sarah Parker (widow) and her two sons, Samuel and Albert Parker at 24 Eastward Ho, Leiston. Septimus's occupation is noted as Labourer, (Boiler Maker) in General Engineering.
In 1901, Septimus, aged 12 is boarding with Robert Comer a widower and his daughter in law, Rose Comer and her daughter, Edith Comer, a school mistress aged 15 and son Robert B Comer aged 13.
In 1891, Septimus is living with his Father (widower and harness maker from Haughley, Suffolk) at 27 Goldsmith Road, Acton, Middx. He had four siblings, Albert E aged 9, Alice L aged 8, Horace D aged 6 and Ernest J aged 4.


BARKER L SMITH 5TH SUFF. REG.T
DIED OF WOUNDS AT JERUSALEM MARCH 14TH 1918
BURIED ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES AGED 18
From CWGC Private 320600
15th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Bn.
Grave Q44 Jerusalem War Cemetery
In the 1901 census, Barker L Smith was residing with his Grandfather and Grandmother, Robert and Martha Smith and their daughter Eliza in Westleton. A further two grandchildren, Percy aged 14 and Mary aged 1 were also living with their grandparents. However, it cannot be assumed that they were siblings as Percy and Mary were born in Westleton, whereas Barker L Smith was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

Of importance is that both the Memorial and CWGC records note Barker L was born circa 1900, however he was actually born circa 1893. This is collaborated by the 1911 census, where we find Barker L Smith living with his Grandfather, now a widower, again his date of birth is confirmed as circa 1893. Robert and Barker are residing with Barbara and Rufus Day (Robert's daughter) and family in Aldringham. Barker's occupation is noted as moulder – agricultural machinery works.

In the records of Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914-1919, I have found Barker Lettuce Smith, born Grimsby Lincs, Private in the 15th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, service number 320600 formerly 22850. In this particular record the theatre of war is noted as France and Flanders, but the 15th Battalion was formed in Egypt on 5 Jan 1917 from dismounted Suffolk Yeomanry. They then transferred in 230th Bde 74th Div in May 1918 to France. Therefore as Barker died in March 1918 he would have definitely died in the Middle East. Finally Barker was awarded the Victory Medal only, confirming that he entered the war in the latter stages.
WILLIAM Harold KNIGHTS 2ND LANCS. FUS.
FELL IN FRANCE APRIL 23 1918 AGED 19
SON OF WILLIAM AND MARY C KNIGHTS OF THORPENESS
From CWGC Private 56656
Panel 45 & 46 Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
Son of Mr & Mrs W Knights, Pan Cottage, The Fen, Aldringham
Also noted on the Memorial in Aldringham Parish Church
From UK Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, enlisted at Ipswich
In the 1911 census, William Knights was living with his parents, William, noted as a farm labourer and his mother, Mary Knights at Thorpe, Nr Leiston. Aged 11 he along with his siblings, Edith, Emma, Alice, were attending school. There were also two siblings, Mary aged 1 and Grace aged 2 months. A further sister, Elizabeth is noted as being a worker at home.
ERNEST ADAMS 2ND CAMBS REG
FELL IN FRANCE AUG 22 1918 AGED 32
HUSBAND OF MILLIE ADAMS OF IPSWICH
From CWGC Private 327511
Ist Bn Cambs. Reg
Grave I.G.8 Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France
I cannot find a marriage of Ernest J Adams to a Millie, but there is one possibility, Amelia M Botwright to Ernest J Adams, Qtr.4 Blything 1915 (V 4A, P3373)

In the 1911 census, Ernest John Adams aged 24, a painter of agricultural implements is living with his brother, Robert also a painter of agricultural implements and his wife Margaret at 54 Linden Villas, Leiston.
In the 1901 census, Ernest is living with his parents, John a woodyard labourer born in Sibton and Sarah his wife born in Weybread. Both Robert and Ernest were born in Aldringham. Ernest, aged 14 is noted as a painter and plumber.

ALL THEY HAD HOPED FOR ALL THEY HAD THEY GAVE
TO SAVE MANKIND THEMSELVES THEY SCORNED TO SAVE

Thursday, 31 May 2012


Dr NORA – heroine of Aldeburgh

SNOOKS” who accompanied Dr Robin & Dr Nora on their house visits.

If you mention Dr Nora to anyone over the age of 50 in Aldeburgh and surrounding towns, you will probably get the response “She delivered me”. Indeed she did deliver many babies for many years and she also delivered both my brother and myself. She was famous for working in the community for all her life and “retirement” was not in her vocabulary.

I remember her as a diminutive lady, grey hair plaited and wound around her head, as a child she always appeared old to me. I always thought she was a little ferocious especially when I tried to avoid the regular tetanus injections both my brother and I had to endure as children living on a farm in the 1960's. Upon reflection I now understand why she wasn't tolerant of cowardice! However, there is so much more to tell. I was speaking to an elderly lady a few months ago who informed me that during WW2 Dr Nora accompanied the lifeboat crew in Aldeburgh to help those who been injured. My father, agreed but until I found a newspaper article – printed in Australian newspaper I didn't realise quite how fearless and brave she actually was.

Before I lead you to the story of Dr. Nora Acheson's war time work I will provide a little background information. Nora Cheney was born in Fotheringhay, Northampton in 1901, daughter of farmer John Cheney and his wife, Gertrude. She qualified as a doctor in London in 1924 and married Patrick M Acheson later that year in the Camberwell district, London. We know Partick as Dr Robin. After being in practice in Acton, London they both moved to Aldeburgh in 1931 where they served the patients for the remainder of their lives.

Just the service to the local townspeople in itself is of such great merit, but what I can relate with thanks to the Australian National Library for their digitised newspapers is just remarkable.

December 1940, “Small slender Dr Nora Acheson of Aldeburgh, Suffolk in oilskins and sou’wester went out with the local lifeboat when it was reported that some of the crew of the 2500 ton steamer Geraldus had been seen clinging to wreckage. Usually her husband goes out on the boat, but he was on a case. It is the first time that a woman has gone out on a British lifeboat on a service call. After five hours of being buffeted by driving rain and wind she stepped ashore laughing “Oh well, it's all in a days work. Sick! No thanks, I loved it” The Geraldus was mined. All 26 of the crew were picked up by a warship”

February 1945 “There is one doctor who does not believe in the Weaker Sex Theory” That is Dr Nora Acheson of Aldeburgh, Suffolkshire (sic), who during this war has:

Ploughed through mine-infested waters with lifeboatmen seeking fallen Aircraft.

Tended in darkness at sea injured men from torpedoed ships (now she is annoyed because the Royal National Lifeboat Institute has banned such trips).
Dressed the wounds of all 60 survivors from the first merchant navy ship torpedoed in the English waters.

When there was a minefield explosion, crawled with the aid of a ladder across the minefield to the crater in the centre, where she bandaged the injured soldiers and injected morphia. She refused to permit soldiers who had escaped to collect the remains of the killed, exclaiming “You can't do that, they were your friends”, and collected the remains herself.

When bombs wrecked a hospital (Aldeburgh Hospital, originally located in the High Street) and killed 14 children, she attended all casualties, supervised the transfer of patients, and supervised the opening of a new hospital. She told her husband, who is in the Royal Medical Corps. “No, I don't want a medal, but I would like one of those battle dresses”

It is interesting to note, that whilst Dr Nora may have been banned from attending the sick on the Lifeboat, this didn't stop her as I have read of her setting off in a motor boat to help a pilot who had baled out 3 miles south of Orfordness in heavy seas. Quite a journey from Aldeburgh!

I can only wonder with amazement that this little Lady doctor, who used to call and see our family when sick, drink tea in our kitchen, was such an incredible person. How privileged I feel.