Town recalls its war heroes

By Patrick LowmanFALLEN heroes from the First World War have been honoured by having their tragic stories told at a town's biennial history exhibition.

By Patrick Lowman

FALLEN heroes from the First World War have been honoured by having their tragic stories told at a town's biennial history exhibition.

The men behind the 236 names on Sudbury's First World War memorial have been brought to life at the town's History Society's exhibition, thanks to some painstaking research.

Previously, the Roll of Honour on the memorial outside St Gregory's Church was the only reminder of the brave men, who gave their lives fighting for King and Country.

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But society members Shirley Smith and Valerie Herbert spent weeks searching through the Commonwealth Graves Commission records to uncover the stories behind the fallen heroes.

A whole section of the exhibition has been dedicated to the serviceman, complete with photographs, facts and memorabilia.

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Barry Wall, event co-ordinator and town historian, said: "The section on the war heroes is remarkable. We have had numerous people from the town coming in and telling us they never knew what had happened to their lost loved ones until now, so it has been a fantastic success."

Among the heroes featured at the exhibition is Private Frank Hagger, of the 12th Battalion Middlesex Regiment.

He was the son of Ellen and James Hagger, a local miller who lived at Upper East Street.

Pte Hagger was under age when he signed up for the war and was killed in action in France on May 3, 1917, aged just 20. He still has no known grave.

Private Robert Moore walked from Sudbury to Bury St Edmunds to enlist for the war with the Suffolk Regiment.

Although he was also under age to fight, he went on to take part in several battles, one of which eventually claimed his life.

Pte Moore first took part in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, where 100,000 men lost their lives. He was seriously injured during the battle when shot in the chest.

But as he was being evacuated on board the troopship Oregon, it was torpedoed and he spent six hours in the water before being rescued.

After he was nursed back to health in Britain, Pte Moore was posted to France with the East Kent Regiment. He was killed in 1918, aged 22, just weeks before the Armistice.

Major Charles Tippett died after he was shot in the head a day after coming ashore at Gallipoli in August 1914. At the age of 52, he is believed one of the oldest servicemen involved in battle.

Before the war Maj Tippett was heavily involved in politics and was the agent for Sir Cuthbert Quilter, Sudbury's MP from 1885 to 1906.

There is also a tribute to the well-known Armes family, from Sudbury, who lost a number of loved ones during the conflict.

Lt-Col William Morriss Armes was killed at Gallipoli and his brother Raymond died in what is now Iraq.

The stories of almost all the other 232 names featured on the Roll of Honour are on show at the exhibition.

Other highlights include the history of the town's Walnuttree Hospital, which started life in 1835 as a workhouse that catered for up to 422 inmates.

The families who entered the workhouse, known locally as the Spike, were separated and forced to work their fingers to the bone for a living.

The exhibition, at St Peter's Church, is open today from 10am to 6pm and tomorrow from 9.30am to 5pm.

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