WWI Tablecloth, Harleston

TerryPegg  has been working with local researcher and author Ruth Walton to find out more about the 144 names on the tablecloth, 104 soldiers and 40 other personnel.  This includes staff and other patients – many of the staff were local people. It is planned to showcase the tablecloth and the research at suitable venues and events in and around Harleston during the coming months, when we hope to learn much more about the huge community effort that people from Harleston and nearby villages must have made to help the sick and wounded soldiers, and possibly other casualties such as Woolwich Arsenal munition workers.

Research has so far discovered that five of the soldiers that have their names on the Tablecloth, were awarded medals for gallantry.  One soldier was awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal.  Three other soldiers were awarded the Military Medal and one was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.  There are also some tragic tales as well with at least five of the soldiers being Killed in Action after returning to the Front Line which includes a local soldier from Pulham St Mary.

There are sure to be a multitude of stories and secrets to be told and it is hoped that more information will come forward when regimental associations, museums and individuals learn about this tablecloth.

Alderton, Robert Thomas

Robert Alderton was born in 1873 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.  He was a Hairdresser and lived in Broad Street, Harleston with his wife Mary Ann and children Herbert Arthur and Ivy May.  As the Quartermaster of the Norfolk 11 VAD he was read more

Bailey, Private Henry G (19640 )

9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment Henry Bailey became sick with Appendicitis and Septic Glands.  He was transferred to 35 General Hospital, Calais on 6tAugust 1916 and then to Norfolk War Hospital on 8 August 1916.  It is believed he was ... read more

Barker DBE, Dame, JP, Lilian Charlotte

Chief Lady Superintendent of Royal Arsenal, Woolwich and prison administrator, was born on 21 February 1874 in Islington, the fifth of seven children and youngest daughter of James Barker, Tobacconist, and his wife, Caroline Williams.  read more

Beech, Sergeant, William Arthur M.M.

1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment William Arthur Beech was born in 1883 in Smethwick, Staffordshire. He joined the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment and was first wounded on 24 October 1915. After he recovered from ... read more

Cann, Gertrude Eva

Gertrude Cann was born in 1873 in Harleston, Norfolk.  She lived in Selborne House, Harleston with family members, Consuelo, Robert, Archibald, Mary and Ellen.  The Cann family were Printers, Booksellers and Stationers operating from ... read more

Crisp, Lance Corporal, William James Norman

7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment William Crisp was born in 1894 in Pulham St Mary.  In the 1911 Census he was working as a Milk Lad on the Farm.  He was one of five sons to his parents Robert and Mary Priscella Crisp.  His other brothers read more

de Jersey Forrest, Ellen

Ellen Forrest was born on 6 August 1860 in St Lukes, Jersey.  She was single, of private means, living at ‘The Harrolds’ on Station Road in Pulham St Mary.  She was living with an Agnes Ooilton, a private nurse and a ... read more

Denny, Maud Henson

Maud Denny was born in 1869 in Newmarket.  She lived at No 2 Wilderness Terrace, Harleston with her husband Hedley G Denny (Master Ironmonger).  Her role at the two Hospitals was Nursing Duties.  She died in September 1961, aged 92. read more

Egerton, Caroline

Caroline Egerton was born on 6 May 1852 in Wing, Rutland.  Her maiden name was Boys, she married Charles Cadwaller Egerton in September 1871.  They had children, Edith Mary, Justin Reginald, Hubert Wingfield, Muriel Virginia and ... read more

Gowing, Private, Reginald John (22340 )

2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment Reginald Gowing was born in Norwich and in the 1911 Census he was listed as a Warehouseman.  He was married to his wife Grace Tooke in 1915.  He enlisted into the Norfolk Regiment and whilst serving in ... read more

Griggs, Company Sergeant, Major James

3rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers- London Regiment James Griggs from Dublin was wounded twice. The first time was on 17 November 1914 and then on 25 July 1915. On the 14 June 1918 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition read more

Groom, Private, Ephraim Samuel Christmas

17th Battalion Essex Regiment Ephraim Groom was born in Hapton on 25 December 1896.  He enlisted on 11 December 1915 into the 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment then transferred to 17th Battalion Essex Regiment.  He was wounded on 12 ... read more

Hipperson, Anna Agnes

  Anna Hipperson was born in 1870 in Hethersett, Norfolk.  She was married to the builder Henry Hipperson who lived on Redenhall Road, Harleston. Her role at the two Harleston Hospitals was of Sergeant Cook.  She died on 2 ... read more

Humphrey, Lance Corporal, Stanley D.C.M. and M.M.

55 Field Company Royal Engineers Citation for the Distinguished Conduct Medal (London Gazette 27 July 1916). 18925 Lance Corporal Stanley Humphrey, 55th Field Company Royal Engineers. For conspicuous gallantry and determination. When ... read more

Knights, Minnie

  Minnie Knights was born on 31 August 1870 in Harleston, Norfolk and lived on London Road.  Her husband was Edward Harry Knights (Agricultural Engineer) of E.H. Knights and Son.  Sons Cecil Robert Knights (Agricultural Engineer ... read more

Lenton, Private, Percy

11th Battalion Suffolk Regiment Treated at one of The Red Cross Hospitals in Harleston, Norfolk, returned to their Units on the Front Line and subsequently killed in action on on 17 October 1917, buried at Poelcapelle British Cemetery, read more

Maidment Doctor, Frederick Norton Haylock

Dr Maidment was born in 1886 in Amesbury, Wiltshire.  In the 1911 census he was working as a medical practitioner in Mile End Old Town in London.  He then moved to Harleston and joined Dr Robinson in practice upon the retirement of Dr ... read more

Murphy, Rifleman, Cornelius

12th Battalion Kings’ Royal Rifle Corps Treated at one of The Red Cross Hospitals in Harleston, Norfolk, returned to their Units on the Front Line and subsequently killed in action on 27 August 1916, buried at Deville Wood Cemetery, ... read more

Pagan, Ida

Ida Pagan was born on 28 November 1876 in Cannock, Staffordshire.  She lived at The Rectory, Alburgh with her Clergyman husband Reverend Alfred Pagan, sons Alfred Theodore, Henry and Francis Edmund Pagan and her daughter Eleanor Mary ... read more

Perowne, Mary Jane Eliza

Mary Perowne was born in 1869 in Stalbridge, Dorset.  In the 1911 census she was living at Redenhall Rectory with her father Thomas Thomason Perowne who was the Rector of Redenhall and former Archdeacon of Norwich from 1878-1910.  Her ... read more

Pipe, Robert

Robert Pipe was born on 29 September 1870 in Harleston, Norfolk.  He lived at No 2 Hill Terrace, London Road, Harleston.  His occupation was a House Decorator and lived with his wife Alice Laura and daughter Ethel Louise.  His role at ... read more

Rowlinson, Private, Ernest William

1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment Treated at one of The Red Cross Hospitals in Harleston, Norfolk, returned to their Units on the Front Line and subsequently killed in action on 15 July 1916.  Buried at Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. read more

Sharp, Lance Corporal, Frederick M.M.

3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment Fred Sharp from Tipton in the West Midlands was wounded twice, first time on 29 September 1916 and then again on 7 August 1917. He survived a gunshot wound to the head and was awarded the Military ... read more

Springfield, Rose Beatrice

Rose Springfield was born in 1874 in Old Charlton, Kent.  The Springfields lived at Alburgh House, Alburgh during WWI.  Her Father Thomas Osborn Springfield was Chairman of Alburgh Parish Council 1914-1918.   Rose arranged for a ... read more

Stiles, Ellen May

Ellen May was a munitions worker at Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.  Born on 13 December 1890 in Mildenhall, Suffolk.  Father:  George Stiles, Mother:  Lavinia Stiles nee Reeves.  She married in 1920 in Kensington to John Peak not sure when ... read more

Stiles, Mabel Grace

Mabel was a munitions worker at Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.  Born in 1892, Mildenhall, Suffolk.  Father:  George Stiles, Mother:  Lavinia Stiles nee Reeves.  She married in 1918 to Harold Frank Eacock and had 3 children, she died in 1947 ... read more