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History group’s book tells the tale of the Great War in Shipdham

PUBLISHED: 14:52 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 09 November 2018

The Shipdham History Group with their new book Shipdham and the Great War. Photo: Shipdham History Group

The Shipdham History Group with their new book Shipdham and the Great War. Photo: Shipdham History Group

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A mid Norfolk history group have produced a painstakingly researched book on how the lives of their village’s residents were affected by the war that was meant to end all wars.

Three members of Shipdham History Group commemorated the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War with their research into the impact the Great War had on the village.

The team of three researchers read over 780 newspapers from the period, researched baptism and marriage certificates, war records and medal cards, and delved into the lives of Shipdham residents who enlisted and fought.

A spokesperson for the group said: “When we started to look into the lives of the local people affected by the war it was apparent quite quickly that their story needed to be recorded for all posterity for future generations.

“In our book we cover the lives of 33 local servicemen, all of whom had connections with the village at some stage in their lives.

“Many of the people involved had experienced great hardship running up to the war, including a number living in workhouses.

“A local Shipdham teacher, whose work had protected him from previous call-ups, was finally conscripted in mid-1918, and sadly he was killed just a few months later in August in the same year.”

The book, titled Shipdham in the Great War, includes the story of Breckland-born Arthur Cross, who was awarded the Military Medal, as well as the prestigious Victoria Cross in World War I.

Mr Cross was born in Shipdham in 1884 and went on to be awarded his Victoria Cross on March 25, 1918 after advancing single handed on an enemy trench.

The 230-page book is on sale from Sunday, November 11, after the Remembrance Service at Shipdham All Saints Church, and will then be available from the Shipdham History Group, which can be contacted via Facebook.

It is priced at £20 and all profits go towards a new commemoration window in All Saints Church.

Cllr Lynda Turner and Cllr Paul Hewett from the Shipdham with Scarning ward said: “At a time of reflection for the whole country, this is a wonderfully fitting tribute.

“It will preserve the stories of local people, who in some cases made the ultimate sacrifice for future generations of Breckland residents.

“This book will ensure their sacrifice and bravery 100 years ago will never be forgotten.”

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