Bringing the Community together
The Parish Council and Gt Barton Primary Academy joined forces to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first World War.
Children at the school researched 2 soldiers buried at Holy Innocents Church and produced a display for their school hall:
Sergeant Charles Rowell
Sergeant Rowell was born in 1879. He served in the 1st and 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment.
In 1914 he married Esther Easten, but in January 1915 (less than a year after his wedding), he landed in France to fight in the war.
During the war Charles was injured and brought back to England; we do not know the exact details of this. However, he passed away at Colchester Military Hospital in April 1920 aged 41 after serving 20 years in the regiment. Records show that Esther, who lived in East Barton, collected his personal effects of £2 16 shillings and 3 pence on 13th October of the same year.
Charles was awarded the Victory Medal, the Star and the British War Medal.
Lance Corporal William Meadows
Lance Corporal Meadows was born in Sutton, near Woodbridge in 1884. He was one of 14 children, although not all survived to adulthood. William’s family moved around the county – from Walberswick to Onehouse to Tuddenham and Gazeley near Newmarket. Census records show that his parents, Robert and Martha returned to Sutton, where they were living when William died.
Both William, his father and at least one of his brothers were shepherds and farm labourers, they probably moved around to seek employment. However, in December 1906 William joined the 1st Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment in Bury St Edmunds. His enlistment document stated that he was 5 feet 6 and a half inches tall, had dark brown hair and brown eyes.
William suffered a gunshot wound to the head resulting in left hemiplegia which caused severe weakness on one side of his body. It appears that during the war William was captured and held as a prisoner of war at Munster in Germany, but was part of a prisoner exchange where he was released and returned to England. William was discharged from the army on 31st December 1915, but died from complications caused by his injuries on 10th November 1919 aged 35 years old.
William received the War Badge for his services.
The school children made a poppy wreath, using their hand prints, which was taken to Ypres and hung at the Menin Gate.
A celebration trail of poppies, made by the children, led from the School to the Holy Innocents Church.
The Parish Council successfully applied for a 'There but not There' statue of a seated soldier. This was displayed at Elms Close, with a wooden '100' sign carved by a village resident and covered with poppies made by the school children.