Snettisham begins project to honour its First World War dead a century on
The community of Snettisham has launched a new project to remember the forty-five men from the village who died in the First World War a century ago.
For a village the size of Snettisham, the scale of the death toll meant one in six of its adult male population was lost in the conflict and every family in the village was affected.
The graves of two of those men lie in the village’s St Mary’s churchyard.
And its pews were packed on Thursday morning to hear their stories and learn more about the plans to commemorate the war dead over the coming months.
Project leader and county councillor Stuart Dark said: “The project would tell the stories of each of the men, their lives as soldiers and as members of the community.”
All of the information collected will become part of the village’s archive.
And the project team is contacting as many descendants of the fallen as they can in the hope they will be part of the village’s Remembrance Day observance this November.
The Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson, was also among the dignitaries attending the launch event.
He said: “I’m very pleased to support this project.
“The way you intend to remember and honour these men is truly inspiring and I applaud the way the whole community is coming together to achieve this vision.
“I can see why the Royal British Legion is using your work as a beacon of excellence to others across the UK.”
The village’s vicar, the Rev Veronica Wilson led an Act of Remembrance at the graves of Jacob Flack and Sidney Mitchell where the Lord Lieutenant laid a wreath and the Borough Mayor Cllr Carol Bower a letter.
Also laid at each grave was a wreath of Norfolk Lavender, Rosemary (for remembrance) and a torc together with a letter from Snettisham schoolchildren.
Kian Suckling’s letter was laid at Sidney Mitchell’s grave and Ruby Whyman’s was laid at Jacob Flatt’s. Dennis Sparrow sounded the Last Post and Reveille.
There are twenty-five sites in seven countries and Team Rector Rev Wilson said: “I’ll be saying the same prayers at every grave.
“One of the reasons that we as a church are so involved in this project is because God says he knows each of us by name, so we will be remembering each man as an individual.
“And at every grave we will be laying the same wreath, the Borough Mayor’s letter and an individual letter from a child at Snettisham School.”
Later, the project was also raised at Thursday evening’s West Norfolk Council meeting by one of the village’s ward councillors, Ian Devereux.
He thanked the mayor for attending the commemoration event.