Suffolk County War Memorial Roll of Honour
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- Held At: Suffolk Record Office
- Reference Number: A2/1/4/2
- Accession Number: A1871
- Document Order #: A1871/1
- Date: 1914-1918
- Level: Series
- Description: Book recording the names of those from the County of Suffolk outside the Borough of Ipswich who lost their lives in the Great War
Currently housed at Suffolk County Council headquarters in Endeavour House, therefore it is not on site at Suffolk Record Office Ipswich and not accessible for Searchroom production
After the Great War it was decided that the memorial to the fallen from the Administrative County of East Suffolk should take the practical form of a new wing attached to the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital in Anglesea Road, Ipswich. The building was funded by public subscription and opened on 28 July 1924. Unlike most war memorials the names of the men and women who had given their lives were not recorded anywhere in it. It was therefore decided that a list should be compiled of the dead - not just of East Suffolk but of the two Administrative Counties of East and West Suffolk, because contributions to the Hospital extension had been received from both counties.
A circular letter was therefore sent out in January 1923 to the Chairmen of Parish and District Councils, inviting them to 'procure the names of the men and women belonging to, or having associations with your Parish', and to submit them, with details of rank, 'name of Regiment or Ship or description of service' and 'honours or distinctions'.
In July 1924, after a number of reminder letters had been sent, the organisers felt that the list of names was as complete as it was likely to be. The information received was sorted alphabetically and written up in a volume by Graily Hewitt of Treyford (near Midhurst) in West Sussex. Hewitt also designed the glass-topped case in which the book was to be displayed. The case and the book were handed over to the custody of the East Suffolk County Council on 7 October 1930 and are now on display at Endeavour House, the headquarters of Suffolk County Council. The Roll and its case were paid for from the money raised for the hospital extension.
Most parishes sent in all the information they had been asked for. However a number of places, including a large number of the middling-sized market towns - Beccles, Haverhill, Southwold, Newmarket, Woodbridge, Mildenhall, Felixstowe, Leiston, Framlingham - sent in only the names, without any information about rank or regiment having simply copied the names from the war memorial as had been suggested:
'If your parish has a war memorial we would suggest you might send us a copy of the names and other particulars which appear thereon. We are aware that in some instances all the information indicated in the form is not given on the local memorials, but we believe that parishes would prefer that the names of all should be included in the County Record, rather than that any should be omitted merely because the fullest details are not available'
It was 'difficult' or 'impossible' to collect all the required information as the war had ended over four years earlier, families had moved away or the people who remained had either forgotten or might not want to remember details. There were also many cases where identical names occurred in the lists of more than one parish. The compilers of the Roll decided that no man should be listed more than once, even though he might have equally valid connections with more than one place. Therefore where two or more places had submitted what looked like the same name, they were written to and asked to explain the connection with their town or village. When the replies were received by the Secretary to the County War Memorial Committee, he decided which place had the most plausible claim on the man in question. He left no written guidelines as to how he had reached his decisions, each case seeming to have been decided on its merits.
The response to the appeal for names and information about the Fallen was nearly 100% in East and West Suffolk. When the compilers decided that they would not send out any more reminders, returns had been received from all the towns and villages in Suffolk except three. These were Kirkley, Leavenheath and Wissington.
- Access Status: Not Open
- Searchroom Access Conditions: Please use the website copy of this document
- Contact: Suffolk Record Office Ipswich Branch, Gatacre Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2LQ
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