Sprowston and Mile Cross memorials deserving of respect

Derek James reports on the search for information about two Norwich war memorials.

The search is on for information about two war memorials remembering men from Mile Cross and Sprowston who lost their lives in the bloody carnage of the First World War.

In the past far too many of our memorials have not been treated with the respect they deserve. Some have been lost, some thrown away, while others, I suspect, still lurk in dark corners of basements and store rooms.

Over the years various campaigns have been launched to get them back on display – honouring the men and women who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.

And it is also important that we try to find out as much information as possible about the men and the women remembered.

The magnificent memorial is in the parish church of St Mary and St Margaret on Church Lane in Sprowston.

It is about 8ft high and 4ft wide, made of alabaster, and was a memorial to captain Reginald George Stracey and the 82 men of Sprowston who died in the First World War.

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It was paid for by Reginald's mother Lousia Stracey. He was aged 35 when he was killed in France. The family lived at Sprowston Lodge.

A team from Sprowston Heritage History Group are currently researching the memorial and are anxious to trace any descendants of the names of the fallen.

Can you help? It is so important that we know as much about these men as possible so their stories are not lost in the mists of time.

Please call David Goodyear on 01603 425704 or email david@ranworth17.wanadoo.co.uk

And do you know what happened to the memorial which was once hanging proudly on the wall at the old Norman School? Kevin Wyer of the Mile Cross Community Association has been in touch to ask if I could spread the word and try to find out what happened to it.

They had been approached by Robert Maguire to see if the association could help track down the memorial honouring the Norman boys who was killed in the 1914-18 conflict when so many boys left to fight for king and country never to return.

'Over the years the school has changed use and been altered so it is possible it was removed for safe keeping and has been forgotten about or it may have been truly lost,' said Kevin. Can you help?

If you can help please email either Robert on poeticjustice@yahoo.co, or Kevin on mxca.norwich@ntlworld.com or call Kevin on 07880 846060..