Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

First World War: Exhibition to tell tales of Long Melford village war heroes

12:00 01 April 2014

Volunteers with WW1 artefacts and stories at Long Melford Heritage Centre. David Carter with Walter Goody

Volunteers with WW1 artefacts and stories at Long Melford Heritage Centre. David Carter with Walter Goody's medals.

It is estimated that around 500 men left the west Suffolk village of Long Melford to fight in the First World War.

shares
Volunteers with WW1 artefacts and stories at Long Melford Heritage Centre. Collect of Walter Goody.Volunteers with WW1 artefacts and stories at Long Melford Heritage Centre. Collect of Walter Goody.

The names of the 95 who lost their lives in the conflict are listed on the village war memorial and the sacrifice they made has never been forgotten.

But to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the war, volunteer historians at Long Melford Heritage set themselves a mission to find out more about some of those who survived.

They put out an appeal for families of former soldiers to come forward with photographs and memorabilia, and were amazed at the response.

Some of the stories they uncovered will be told at a display at the heritage centre and will eventually go into a book.

Volunteers with WW1 artefacts and stories at Long Melford Heritage Centre.Volunteers with WW1 artefacts and stories at Long Melford Heritage Centre.

Among those featured is the village’s undisputed “war hero”, Regimental Sergeant Major Walter Goody, who died from his wounds aged just 32.

A member of the 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, he was awarded the Miltary Cross, Military Medal, Order of Leopold 2nd of Belgium and was twice mentioned in dispatches.

RSM Goody’s great nephew, David Barker, had recently moved back to Long Melford and read about the heritage centre project in the paper.

In his loft, he discovered all of his great uncle’s war and service medals, his mention in dispatches clasp and a letter from King George V alongside other items including a swagger stick, trench whistle and Sam Brown belt.

Suffolk Regiment WW1, RSM Walter Goody of Long Melford front row 3rd from left, KIA in 1916 awarded Miltary Cross, Military Medal, Order of Leopold 2nd of Belgium, Mentioned in Dispatches, Long Melfords 1st World War Hero,Suffolk Regiment WW1, RSM Walter Goody of Long Melford front row 3rd from left, KIA in 1916 awarded Miltary Cross, Military Medal, Order of Leopold 2nd of Belgium, Mentioned in Dispatches, Long Melfords 1st World War Hero,

Mr Barker said: “To be mentioned in dispatches meant he must have done something incredibly brave and my family always spoke about him and were extremely proud.

“We decided rather than keeping all these things hidden away, it would be good to have them on display so everyone can see the kind of men this village produced.”

Not all of the stories are about men though. The display, put together by volunteers led by David Gevaux and Anne Grimshaw, looks at several very different experiences such as that of Dorothy Younger of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC). She was awarded the Croix de Guerre for being a stretcher bearer on the front.

The tale of another villager Alfred Woodhouse tells how he left the conflict with a gunshot “Blighty wound” sustained on November 20, 1917.

Mr Gevaux said: “The history of those we know who died in the conflict are relatively easy to track down but the ones of the survivors are those we really want to tell.

“We originally planned to trace all of the men who went from Long Melford but that will be a long-term project. At the end of it, we hope to produce a book for the village.”

The display will open to the public from April 19. Centre opening times are Saturday 10am to 4pm, Sunday noon to 4pm and Wednesday 2-4pm.

shares

0 comments

Police and Crime Commissioner says no cause for alarm over cuts

Suffolk residents will suffer as cuts to the county’s police force continue to bite, according to the chairman of the Suffolk Police Federation.

Conservative candidate Ben Gummer (left) with brother Felix at DanceEats

When they’re not asking you for your vote, what sort of people are Ipswich’s prospective parliamentary candidates? Lynne Mortimer meets the election hopefuls.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Abellio Greater Anglia will be running additional train services for Norwich City supporters travelling to Ipswich on Saturday for the championship play-off semi-final.

From The Archives West

Great Barton School Book Week
March 1997

Do the pictures in our gallery bring back any memories for you?

Orthopaedic team, Colchester General Hospital

A new form of hip surgery has been introduced at Colchester General Hospital – meaning patients from north Essex no longer have to travel to Southend or Cambridge.

The Mendlesham street fair in full swing.

Some of the biggest crowds in years came to Mendlesham yesterday for the village’s annual street fayre.

Ujjal Singh

A relative who murdered a former Ipswich shopkeeper after he made a disparaging remark about his son’s inability to father a child has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years.

Permission approved for housing

The boss of one of Suffolk’s biggest housebuilders is calling on the new Government to adopt a five-point strategy to solve the country’s housing crisis.

Reunion of 220 members of the Kiddy family who have farmed in west Suffolk for decades. Party at Green Farm, Acton.

More than 200 members of a well-known Suffolk farming family were reunited at the weekend to reminisce about their historic agricultural roots.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Police discovered an Ipswich drug user’s flat was rigged up for free electricity when they searched it after arresting him, a court heard.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages