Photo gallery: New memorial book honours the brave servicemen of Sprowston - here are their stories

One of the leather bound Sprowston Memorial books, collated by the Sprowston Heritage group, which were presented at St Mary's and St Margaret's Parish Church. Picture: Denise Bradley One of the leather bound Sprowston Memorial books, collated by the Sprowston Heritage group, which were presented at St Mary's and St Margaret's Parish Church. Picture: Denise Bradley

Sunday, May 11, 2014
1:47 PM

A project to honour the men of Sprowston who served in the First and Second World War has been completed - three years after its founders both died.

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The leather bound Sprowston Memorial books, collated by the Sprowston Heritage group, are presented at St Mary's and St Margaret's Parish Church. From left, Mollie Goodyear, whose husband David was one of the researchers; Peter Sneddon, chairman of Sprowston Heritage; Stuart Dunn, Broadland District Council chairman; Canon Simon Stokes, vicar of Sprowston; John Bracey, Norfolk Records Office committee; Elsie Rampley, whose husband Bruce was one of the researchers; and Ken Jones, Sprowston Heritage. Picture: Denise BradleyThe leather bound Sprowston Memorial books, collated by the Sprowston Heritage group, are presented at St Mary's and St Margaret's Parish Church. From left, Mollie Goodyear, whose husband David was one of the researchers; Peter Sneddon, chairman of Sprowston Heritage; Stuart Dunn, Broadland District Council chairman; Canon Simon Stokes, vicar of Sprowston; John Bracey, Norfolk Records Office committee; Elsie Rampley, whose husband Bruce was one of the researchers; and Ken Jones, Sprowston Heritage. Picture: Denise Bradley

David Goodyear and Bruce Rampley set up the research project, but both passed away in 2011, aged 83 and 81 respectively.

The scheme was unfinished at the time of their deaths, but was taken on by members of the Sprowston Heritage group. After its final completion, the resulting memorial book - featuring the stories of those who served - was handed over to St Mary and St Margaret’s parish church, in the area, on Thursday.

Copies of the report are also earmarked for Broadland District Council, the library and the Norfolk Records Office. Copies will also be made available to buy.

Mr Goodyear’s wife, Mollie Goodyear, said that feedback from the ongoing project had inspired her husband to continue.

One of the leather bound Sprowston Memorial books, collated by the Sprowston Heritage group, which were presented at St Mary's and St Margaret's Parish Church. Picture: Denise BradleyOne of the leather bound Sprowston Memorial books, collated by the Sprowston Heritage group, which were presented at St Mary's and St Margaret's Parish Church. Picture: Denise Bradley

“We got people ringing and writing to us about it – so they got on the computer and started making it,” she said. “It took a really, really long time.”

Peter Sneddon, chairman of Sprowston Heritage and editor of the book, said: “It is a very old church, so there is quite a bit of history to do with it. It is great to honour the men who fought in the wars.”

Half of the profits from the sale of the book will be donated to the parish church, for the relocation of memorial plaques displayed on a monument outside St Cutherberts Church in Sprowston to a more protected location.

Sprowston Heritage are hoping to raise a sum of up to £20,000.

Are you involved in a heritage project in your community? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

THE MEN AND THEIR STORIES

Corporal Charles Samuel Fowler

Before going to war, Corporal Fowler worked at Colman’s in the starch department. He went to Canada in the hope of finding opportunities but returned when one of his daughters lost an eye in an operation after measles.

Corporal Fowler fought in the Norfolk Regiment 9th Battalion, which was formed in Norwich in September 1914.

He died on September 26, 1915, aged 36 after receiving injuries at the Battle for Loos, Britain’s largest offensive of 1915, as it attempted to break the stalemate of trench warfare.

The Corporal was husband to Rosa Esther Fowler, of Wroxham Road, and son to Samuel and Mary Fowler of Trowse.

George Alfred Jenkinson

George Jenkinson was born in Sprowston Road to parents Charles and May.

He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War on the HMS Emerald as a leading steward.

The Emerald - a cruiser - was the fastest ship in the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the war. It was used to protect the Atlantic passage, but stopped doing so in February 1940.

Aged just 29, George died in January 1940 after going overboard.

Lance Corporal Harold Augustus Goodyear

L/Cpl Harold Augustus Goodyear fought in the Royal Norfolk Regiment 5th Battalion – which served in the Far East as part of the 18th Infantry Division during the Second World War.

He fought in the defence of Singapore and Malaya against the Japanese advance, and died aged 23 on June 12, 1943 as a prisoner of a war camp.

L/Cpl Goodyear is buried at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand.

He was the son of Henry Thomas and Gladys Goodyear.

Lance Corporal Ernest George Gibbs

Lance Corporal Ernest George Gibbs was born and educated in Norwich – attending the Angel Road and Duke Street Schools.

He enlisted on November 8, 1914, aged just 20, and fought in the Norfolk Regiment 9th Battalion. He was the son of George Arthur and Harriet Gibbs, who lived on Constitution Hill, and brother to Gertrude, Arthur and Albert. He died on July 15, 1917 and was buried in the French Bethune Town Cemetery.

Private Frank Jonathan Edwards

Sprowston-born Private Frank Jonathan Edwards was 20 when the First World War broke out.

He fought in the Norfolk Regiment A Company and as part of the 1st Battalion 6th Norfolk Cyclists. The tailor was the son of tool-fitter Jonathan and Bertha Edwards, and he had five siblings. He died aged just 22 on September 8, 1916.

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