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Archant remembers its employees who fell on First World War battlefields

PUBLISHED: 07:29 06 November 2018

Former military policeman Chris Amos, right, now Recall Project manager, and Ben Craske, Recall Project archive editor, place wooden crosses, in memorial to Eastern Counties Newspapers staff who died in the two World Wars, at the Field of Remembrance at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Former military policeman Chris Amos, right, now Recall Project manager, and Ben Craske, Recall Project archive editor, place wooden crosses, in memorial to Eastern Counties Newspapers staff who died in the two World Wars, at the Field of Remembrance at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

They left their jobs, families and homes behind to go and fight on the battlefields of the First World War, but sadly none of them returned home.

The wooden crosses in memorial to Eastern Counties Newspapers staff who died in the two World Wars, to be placed in the Field of Remembrance at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe wooden crosses in memorial to Eastern Counties Newspapers staff who died in the two World Wars, to be placed in the Field of Remembrance at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Great War roll of honour for Archant – known in 1918 as the Norfolk News Company, and later as Eastern Counties Newspapers – lists the names of seven men who died in the four-year conflict.

Alfred Walter Boatwright, William Arthur Cook, Noel Herbert Freeman, Ernest Paul Murton, George Secker, Charles Leonard Tench and Reginald A W Tillett all died between 1915 and 1917, serving in France, Belgium, Malta and Turkey.

William Arthur Cook was killed in action on November 23, 1915, aged 30. The eldest of five brothers who served, two of whom fell, Mr Cook was from Grove Road in Norwich.

Before enlisting in the Norwich Business Men’s Company he was employed as an advertising representative for the Eastern Daily Press. He is buried in the Norfolk Cemetery in Becordel-Becourt, France.

Wooden crosses placed in the Field of Remembrance in the Cloister Garth at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYWooden crosses placed in the Field of Remembrance in the Cloister Garth at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A letter written to the EDP following the announcement of his death reads: “It was always a pleasure to receive a call from 
[Mr W A Cook] in business... he was a fine type of a true Englishman and I venture to say had he lived he would have made a name in the work in which he took such a keen interest. He died for his country, and would be happy in so doing.”

Now Archant employee Chris Amos – who spent 24 years in the Royal Military Police, completing tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland – has placed a wooden-backed poppy in Norwich Cathedral’s Field of Remembrance in honour of 
the organisation’s former employees who died in the First and Second World Wars, and a colleague who was killed in action.

Mr Amos, a project manager of the Archant Local Recall project, said: “There would have been so many people who would have been impacted by the war.

“It was quite humbling [laying a cross] but one thing is soldiers, whatever the conflict, it always means more to colleagues and families than it does to the public. You always remember.”

The wooden crosses in memorial to Eastern Counties Newspapers staff who died in the two World Wars, at the Field of Remembrance at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe wooden crosses in memorial to Eastern Counties Newspapers staff who died in the two World Wars, at the Field of Remembrance at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

For more First World War stories from Norfolk, see pages 38 and 39 of the EDP

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