The War Memorial

In November 1926, a Committee of 8 people was set up to investigate the provision of a  War Memorial.  The Committee included ex-servicemen and representatives of the families who had lost their loved ones. Two possibilities were considered: either a Parish Hall (which had been suggested by Colkirk W. I.) or a stone memorial. A small fundraising committee was set up with separate funds for a stone or a Parish Hall giving people the option of donating to their preferred cause. It was eventually decided that a stone memorial would be more appropriate.

In December 1926 three possible sites were considered for the memorial. It was decided that the site by the gate leading to the sawpit (which it is thought was then located at the end of the Campying Land) was the most suitable. The proposed design was displayed in Mr. Crane's shop in Colkirk for public inspection.

By January 1927 sufficient funds had been collected to cover the cost of a memorial stone.

The design was agreed and included a separate base stone. It was agreed at the time that only the names and initials of the men who had lost their lives would be engraved and in the order in which their deaths occurred       ( although the names were ultimately engraved in alphabetical order ).

Although he did not die until five years after the war, Reg Greef's name was included because his death was the result of having being gassed ( so the full War Pension was granted to his children) and his family had specially requested that his name be memorialised. This was agreed unanimously by the committee.

Wording was to be: To the Glory of God. In loving memory of our men who fell in the war 1914 - 1918.

The land for the memorial site was donated by the Rector, the Rev. A. R. Hoare. A Parish Councillor, Mr. Goodman, offered his time and expertise in laying the concrete foundation.

The memorial was to be tended by the Colkirk Women's Section of The Royal British Legion. In 1949 they asked the Parish Council to take some action regarding the state of the railings around the War Memorial. It was agreed  to remove the railings and dispose of them by tender. This was done and in 1951 arrangements were made to clean, face and black the lettering, and also to inscribe the name of Basil Doy who was killed in World War II. This work was done by Mr. Percival of Dereham at a cost of 10.

 The War Memorial is situated at the eastern end of the Campyngland ( near the Church ) and is maintained by voluntary help within the community. The memorial stone which carries 17 names ( 16 from WWI and one from WWII ) was refurbished in 2002 and the concrete surround replaced in 2007 ( work paid for by the Parish Council )

If you can provide further information about any of those commemorated on the memorial, especially

R. Cooke, A. J. Collins and W. Hoare ( all WWI ) and B. W. Doy ( WWII ) please contact

Roll of Honour

(CWGC: Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

W. J. Andrews

Walter James Andrews, Sergeant 22186, 174th Coy. Machine Gun Corps ( Infantry ). Enlisted in Fakenham 1911. Died of wounds ( gunshot wounds to both thighs, fractured right femur ) on Thursday 21st June 1917 at Lijssenthoek Casualty Clearing Station, aged 28. Commemorated in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Born 1889 in Colkirk, lived in Dereham Road, Colkirk ( 1891 Census ) and Spring Well, Whissonsett (1901 Census).

In the 1911 Census he was a Rifleman in 4th Btn Rifle Brigade, based at the Citadel, Cairo, Egypt.

Youngest son ( 8 siblings - William J, Henry, Mary Ann, Susan, Betsy, Rose, Lily and Kate ) of Christmas Andrews, an agricultural labourer, born in Gateley and Susannah Farrow, born in Harpley.


H. A. Catton

Herbert  Arthur Catton, Private 7971, 2nd Bn. Norfolk Regt. Enlisted in Norwich. Died on Saturday 20th January 1917 in Mesopotamia, aged 25. Commemorated in Baghdad ( North Gate ) War Cemetery, Iraq.

Born 1891 in Colkirk, lived in Gateley ( 1901 Census ).

Son of Herbert and Eberlener Catton.

Eberlener Catton, nee Farrow, was the daughter of Susannah Farrow and a half sister to Walter J Andrews. Christmas Andrews married Susannah, making Herbert Arthur Catton the nephew of Walter J Andrews.

A. Cooke

Arthur James Cooke, Private, 8th Bn. East Surrey Regt. Enlisted in King's Lynn. Killed in action on Tuesday 6th August 1918 in France, aged 26. Commemorated on Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

Born 1892 in Oxwick, lived in Dereham Road, Colkirk ( 1901 Census ).                     

Son of George Cooke, an agricultural labourer, born in North Walsham and Anna.

Married to Hilda Edge in 1914                     

R. Cooke

Believed to be George R Cooke, Private 14772, Enlisted in 8th East Surrey Regt. at Kings Lynn. Died due to accidental drowning on 28th May 1916, aged 22.

Buried at Bray Military Cemetery

Born in Oxwick, 1894.

Son of George and Anna Maria Cooke of Wymondham.

He probably used R. Cooke to distinguish himself from his father and is also on the Wymondham War Memorial as George R Cooke

A. J. Collins

Arthur Collins, Private 13807, 8th Bn. Norfolk Regt. Enlisted in Norwich. Killed in action on 1st July 1916. Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

Born 1899 in Walsingham Reg. Dist.

Living in Oxwick, 1911

Son of Robert and Florence Collins of Oxwick.

A. B. Clements

Alfred Benjamin Clements, Private 16063, 7th Bn. Norfolk Regt. Enlisted in Norwich. Killed in action on Wednesday 13th October 1915, aged 25. Commemorated on Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Born 1880 in Barnet

Son of the late Henry and Rebecca Clements of New Trinity Road, Finchley, London.

Husband of Alice Margaret Clements of Hall Lane, Colkirk.

M. G. Cubitt

Matthew George Cubitt, born 1897 in Colkirk.

Son of Fred and Anna Cubitt of Pattesley ( 1901 Census ) then Whissonsett.  

Could be George Cubitt, Private 19539, 4th Bn. Grenadier Guards. Died 25th September 1916, aged 19 ( yet to be proved ).                     

J.  W. Dunn

James William Dunn, Private 766365, "D" Company. 3rd Bn. Canadian Infantry ( Central Ontario Regiment ). Killed in action on Saturday 31st August 1918, aged 24. Commemorated in Faubourg D'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Pas de Calais, France.

Born 1893 in Colkirk.

Lived in Tofts Road, Colkirk ( 1901 Census ).

Son of Oscar and Sarah Ann Dunn of Oxwick.

R. G. Greef

Reginald George Greef, born 1883 near Swaffham. Married to Eliza Sucker in 1911. Died in Kings Lynn after the war from the effects of being gassed.

His wife Eliza died in 1924, aged 36. Their orphaned daughter, Eileen, was brought up in Oxwick hence the family's request that her father be memorialised on the Colkirk memorial.

Reginald George Greef and Eliza Sucker before their marriage in 1911

Son of John and Mary Ann Greef. The family were living at The Green, Oxwick in the 1891 Census.

V. R. Hoare

Vincent Robertson Hoare, Major, 12th Bn. London Regt.( The Rangers ).  Killed in action on Monday 15th February 1915, in Belgium, aged 41. Commemorated on Ypres Town Centre Extension, Menin Gate, Leper, West Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Born 1873 in Colkirk.

Lived at The Rectory, Colkirk ( 1891 Census ) and was a schoolboy at Eton.

Son of  Rev. Walter Marsham Hoare ( Rector of Colkirk ) and Jessie Mary Robertson.

Married in 1901 in Marylebone to Elsie Florence Hogg ( aunt of Quintin Hogg, Lord Hailsham )

Vincent played one football game for Norfolk ( 1888-89 ).

He later played cricket for Cambridgeshire ( 1895-98 ) and 6 matches for Norfolk Cricket Club ( 1903-1905 ).

Vincent's brother was Walter Robertson Hoare, Captain, Hampshire Regt. - attached to the RAF, who survived the war so was not the W. Hoare mentioned below.

W. Hoare

No information available.

E. P. Huckins

Edgar Phillip Huckins, Private 18111, 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards. Enlisted in London.  Killed in action on Friday 24th December 1915 aged 36. Commemorated on Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Born in Coome, Oxford.

Grandfather of David and John Whiteside.

Husband of Susannah Huckins of Colkirk.

Private Edgar Huckins, Chelsea Barracks, 1914

A. A. Nelson

Believed to be Albert William Nelson, Private, 2nd Bn. Norfolk Regt. Enlisted in Norwich. Died of wounds on Friday 18th February 1916 in Mesopotamia. Commemorated on Basra Memorial, Iraq.

Born 1892 in Colkirk.

H. Nelson

Harry Nelson, Corporal 17245, 122nd Heavy Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery. Enlisted in Fakenham. He joined the regiment in October 1914 as a Bombardier and was promoted to Corporal on 9th May 1915. Died of wounds near Ypres on Tuesday 16th November 1915 aged 32. Commemorated at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West Vlaanderen, Belgium.

His grandson Mike High recently visited his grave in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.

He then gave the cemetery Harry's details to be used on their website.

Harry's life is now featured on this website, he was a Colkirk man who gave his life in a foreign land .


Born Henry Nelson in 1884 in Colkirk.

Husband of Ann Mary Nelson of Long Yard, Colkirk.


                                 Ann Nelson, with children, Victor and Win                      Win with her husband, Bill High

Harry was a member of 122nd Heavy Battery, part of 11th Heavy Brigade. The Battery had been formed in October 1914 from men of the Southern Division, Royal Garrison Artillery - they were drawn from a number of coastal artillery companies, mainly believed to be stationed in the Portsmouth/Fareham/Isle of Wight areas.

They formed at Forts Nelson and Fareham before moving to Woolwich for a period of training. They had to learn the new techniques of heavy artillery in mobile field work including learning to ride and looking after horse drawn guns and equipment. They tended to be big men, with a more technical appreciation of the complexities of firing huge guns at moving ship targets.


Gun of the type used at this time                                                    Harry's headstone

Harry was a bombardier on the formation of the battery. By May 1915, the battery was positioned near the village of Potijze, near Ypres. On 8th May 1915, the Germans launched a major attack and the battery was hit by some 1200 rounds. Six men were killed and thirty wounded. Harry was  promoted to Corporal on 9th May 1915. He was obviously promoted in place of one of those killed or wounded but also because he had been noted for his work during this grim period. Harry was included in a list which said " The following NCOs and men performed their duties in a particularly meritorious manner ".

Harry is shown to have been wounded at Kruistraat ( just south of Ypres ) on 15th November 1915 with a note saying " died ". 

The battery journal  for Monday 15th November 1915  states: Weather cold and misty. Enemy busy crumping round our old billets and our observation post. Two men of the guard wounded near the billet in the afternoon, Cpl. Nelson and Gr. Perry or Parry. Calibrated from Hill 40 in the morning ' .

It later went on to say ' The shell that wounded the two men was found to be a French 155mm. This was odd ' ( This was probably a captured gun ).

Photos and Regimental archive information courtesy of Alan Jones

E. W. Pope

Ernest William Pope, Captain, 7th Bn. Rifle Brigade ( The Prince Consort's Own ). Killed in action on Friday 18th August 1916 in France, aged 44. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

Born 1872 in Walsingham District.

Son of Stephen Pope, a solicitor and Frances Elizabeth Pope of Colkirk House ( 1881 Census )

Commemorated in St. Peter and St. Paul Church, Fakenham by a brass plaque with Regimental Crest, located on the North Wall close to the Chancel:

To the glory of god and in proud and loving memory of Capt. Ernest William Pope, 7th Batt Rifle Brigade, killed in action at Delville Wood, August 18th 1916. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"


A. C. Scott

Alfred Cecil Scott, Private 467696, 430th Agricultural Company, Labour Corps. Died on Monday 25th November 1918 aged 23. Buried and commemorated in the churchyard of All Saints' Oxwick.

Born 1895 in Ingoldsby, Lincolnshire.

Son of Alfred Scott, born 1863 in Lobthorpe, Lincs. and Emma Pullen, born 1860 in Great Ponton, Lincs.

Brother to Bertie Scott, born 1893 in Witham, Lincs.

By 1911 this farming family were living in Brisley Road, North Elmham, Norfolk. 

They were living in Oxwick at the time of Alfred Cecil's death in 1918.

Alfred died in 1929, aged 67 ( Mitford Reg. Dist. ).

Emma died in 1935, aged 77 ( Mitford Reg. Dist. ).

B. W. Doy ( 1939-45 )

Basil W. Doy.

Born 1917 in Mitford Reg. Dist.  Mother's maiden name Havers.  Lived in Oxwick. No further information available.

Colkirk Roll Call ( in St. Mary's Church )

A Transcription of Colkirk Roll Call:


Colkirk Roll Call

August 1914 - November 1918


The Lord Jesus Christ

Be with thee to defend thee.

 Within thee to refresh thee.

Around thee to protect thee.

Before thee to guide thee.

Behind thee to justify thee.


5th Century Prayer


Transcribed names have been put into alphabetical order


Royal Navy

 Catton. G

 Greef. R

C.P.O Lake. E

 Royal Marines

Col. Sgt. Bartaby. W


Absolon. A

Absolon. S

Adhimar. H

Andrews. C

Andrews. H

Andrews. W

Bartaby. A

Bayfield. W

Betts. G

Broom. A

Catton. E

Catton. G

Catton. H

Catton. J

Catton. W

Clarke. F

Clements. A

Coker. E

Collins. A

Cooke. E

Cooke. G

Crane. I

Cubitt. B

Cubitt. G

Cubitt. W

Dawson. G

Dungar. ?

Dungar. A

Forder. A

Frost. W

Gibson. I

Goodman. D

Goodman. G

Goodman. V

Greef. A

Greef. E

Hall. F

Hall. I

Hardy. N

Hazel. A

Rev. Hoare. A.R

Howe. S

Huckins. E

Johnson. A

Johnson. M

Kelly. W

Lake. G

Nelson. A

Nelson. H

Nelson. I

Nobes. W

Parker. A

Ramm. D

Ramm. I

Sake. U

Syson. A

Syson. C

Toll. A

Toll. T

Sgt. Utting

Sgt. Vinnicombe

Woodhouse. B

Woodhouse. G


The following were accepted for Home Service only:

Collins. R

Newton. ?

Turner. R

Wright. W

The following offered themselves for Service but were not accepted:

Crane. D

Daws. E

Knights. C

Nelson. E

Nelson. W

Parker. G

Scott. C


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