Search

Service to mark centenary of the outbreak of First World War in Beccles

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 August 2014

Gnr Claude William (Billy) Smith.

Gnr Claude William (Billy) Smith.

Archant

The Beccles Great War Community History Project in St Michael’s Church is collecting many different stories from 1914 – 1918.

The project is part of St Michael’s marking of the centenary of the outbreak of the war by discovering the stories of bravery and loss that are treasured by local families. The people of Beccles are invited to come to a special service on Sunday at 3pm at St Michael’s when some of these stories will help recall the events of 100 years ago.

Faith Darch has shared the story of her grandfather, Claude William Smith, known as Billy, 1889-1918.

Billy enlisted in August 1914 and joined the first battalion of the Suffolk regiment.

He was 25 and married. In 1915 his daughter Joyce was born.

He was a tenant farmer at Church Farm, Friston in Suffolk.

He was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery and entered France in August 1915 as a gunner. He saw action on the Somme, Arras and Ypres Later he was transferred to the Royal Engineers and in 1918 wrote to his mother to tell her not to worry about him as he had been sent behind the lines in the Forestry Company to supply wood for the front.

It was here though in spring 1918 that he was hit in the back by shrapnel when a German shell exploded.

He was evacuated to the military hospital at E’taples where he died on May 15, 1918 aged just 29.

His daughter Joyce, died in Beccles in 2001 aged 95.

Other popular content

Yesterday, 17:39

Work has started on a £1.6m project to improve Norfolk’s most dangerous main road junction.

Yesterday, 17:31

Tributes have been paid to a gifted psychiatrist who dedicated much of his life to the field of medicine.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A 17-year-old boy was attacked with a baseball bat during a late night robbery.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A fundraising page set up for a hugely popular Norfolk runner who suffered a stroke during an ultra-race has smashed through the £14,000 mark.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:39

Work has started on a £1.6m project to improve Norfolk’s most dangerous main road junction.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:31

Tributes have been paid to a gifted psychiatrist who dedicated much of his life to the field of medicine.

Read more
Holy Trinity Church
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A 17-year-old boy was attacked with a baseball bat during a late night robbery.

Read more
Peugeot
Friday, September 22, 2017

A fundraising page set up for a hugely popular Norfolk runner who suffered a stroke during an ultra-race has smashed through the £14,000 mark.

Read more
Norwich
Yesterday, 17:22

Hundreds of young women every year could be putting their lives at risk by avoiding routine smear tests because they are embarrassed of their bodies.

Read more

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter