Surveying and recording the hidden memorials of the Great War in the Waveney area

In the years immediately following the First World War a massive programme of memorial building took place across the whole of England. In almost every parish in the country stone monuments, graveyard memorials and obelisks inscribed with the names of the fallen were erected to commemorate the losses that the parish had suffered.

Today it is these memorials that remain the focus for all annual commemorations. However, these stone monuments formed only one part of the process of commemoration that took place in the post-war years. Alongside these formal reminders to the fallen were many hundreds of more discrete and personal memorials to the losses suffered by these communities. These memorials could take many forms; from the rededication of a local amenity, such as a village hall, to the keeping of a Roll of Honour or ‘Flanders Cross’ within the parish church. Many of these less formal memorials now lie overlooked and unrecorded, with their significance forgotten to the wider population, and their removal and loss remains a very real threat.

About the project

This aim is to survey and record these ‘hidden’ memorials in the Waveney area, bringing them to wider attention, and preserving this truly hidden history of commemoration. The project aims to share the information gathered with a variety of groups. The digital archive will be made freely available through this website, and as a permanent record it will be accessible to academics, professionals and those with a legal responsibility for the care of these monuments, potentially safeguarding them for the future.

Our stories

Private Henry Allen

Henry Allen, born in Berkshire, served in the Shropshire Yeomanry, buried in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave in a rural Suffolk churchyard. Henry or Harry Allen was a private in the Shropshire Yeomanry based in Flixton Park, one of many Territorial units...

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The Waveney VCs

At least four Victoria Crosses were won by men from the Waveney Valley during the Great War, and two of them came from neighbouring villages. All four awards were posthumous and one of the men won his in an attack described as "the last great cavalry charge". Sergeant...

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Bungay’s Peace Year Street Signs

If you've been to Bungay it's possible you may have noticed these. It's equally possible you may have not. It was decided that Bungay would commemorate the end of the Great War in 1919 by installing specially commissioned street signs around the centre of the town....

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The Dickleburgh Shell

It is a bit battered and careworn is the Dickleburgh shell. And it's not in Dickleburgh. It's actually in the 100th Bomb Group Museum at Thorpe Abbotts, tucked away in a corner of the control tower. You really should go and visit the museum if you haven't already done...

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