Search

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

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.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Beccles and Bungay Journal visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Beccles and Bungay Journal staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Beccles and Bungay Journal account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other news

Yesterday, 13:00
Youngsters from the Emanuel pre-school enjoying the new play equipment at the Honeypot play area in Bungay. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

A state-of-the-art play area has been unveiled in Bungay thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers.

Yesterday, 10:39
Beccles Food and Drink Festival. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The tastes of Beccles and beyond were showcased yesterday in the town’s second annual Food and Drink Festival.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
North Suffolk Skills Academy, Halesworth.  PHOTO: Nick Butcher

There is fresh hope that a vocational training centre set to close next year could be kept open as an educational facility.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Gerald Burns setting off on his fundraising canoe trip from Halesworth to Southwold.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

A herd of cows, dense reeds beds and an incoming tide all stood in the way of kayaker Gerald Burns.

Most Read

Yesterday, 13:00
Youngsters from the Emanuel pre-school enjoying the new play equipment at the Honeypot play area in Bungay. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

A state-of-the-art play area has been unveiled in Bungay thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers.

Read more
Suffolk County Council
Saturday, May 28, 2016
The coastal challenge team at Carrow Road

Friends of a Worlingham man who tragically died from cancer just a month after he was diagnosed are taking part in a challenging charity trek in his memory.

Read more
Saturday, May 21, 2016
East Suffolk Rail Lines partnership launches new edition of its railway walks book.  Paul Oxley , Aaron Taffera, Roger Wolfe, Graham Elliott, Edward Thompson and Trevor Garrod.

More than 70 miles of walks linking Suffolk railway stations with the county’s coast, countryside, industrial heritage, rivers and broads are featured in the latest edition of a guide.

Read more
United Kingdom
Friday, May 27, 2016
Beccles Town Youth football club annual presentation day along with games.  Derby County footballer Chris Martin presents the U.13 player of the year award to Bowen Fisk.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Derby County striker Chris Martin returned to his hometown to present awards to enthusiastic young footballers at an inspirational event.

Read more
Norwich
Friday, February 19, 2010

Dan Grimmer

Hospital bosses have apologised for making patients stay in rooms described as 'store cupboards' and pledged to review the practice.

Due to a lack of beds at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital many patients have been cared for in treatment rooms which they say are little more than stock cupboards.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

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

Newsletter Sign Up