FEN METHODIST WAR MEMORIAL
Swaffham Fen Methodist (Wesleyan) Chapel, otherwise known as ‘The Little
Chapel In The Fen’, is no longer in regular use for worship. However,
a goodly congregation of folk from far and wide gathers every year,
at 3 p.m. on the first Sunday in October, for an old-fashioned ‘Harvest
Thanksgiving’, where favourite and regular Hymns are ‘Shall We Gather
At The River’, ‘We Plough The Fields And Scatter’, ‘Come Ye Thankful
People, Come’, and ‘Bringing In The Sheaves’.
is an oak-framed War Memorial tablet on an interior wall of the Chapel
that commemorates eight local men whose lives were lost in ‘The Great
Chapel as photographed in July 2000
is the tablet as it looked in July 2000, nearly 80 years after its
report of the unveiling of the memorial appeared in the
Cambridge Independent Press on the 12th August 1921,
Newson John Bernard Pratt was the son of Mr William Newson Pratt, Smallholder
of Chapel Farm, and Mrs Jane Pratt, Mistress of Upware School. Mr Pratt
served through the First World War, emerging in 1918 as a Sergeant in
the Royal Army Medical Corps. He later went on to become Headmaster of
Swaffham Bulbeck School.
following abbreviated details obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves
Commissions’s website refer to the men whose lives were remembered on
that ‘inclement’ August day in 1921:
AFFECTIONATE REMEBRANCE OF
33341, 6th Battalion, Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire
Regiment), who was killed in action on Thursday, 18th January 1917.
Aged 22. Born Swaffham Fen, enlisted Newmarket, resident Burwell.
Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. S. Camps, of Reach, Cambs; husband
of Eliza Ethel Camps, of Crown Hall Farm, Burwell, Cambs. Formerly
4449, Suffolk Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated on THIEPVAL
MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 3 A and 3 D.
201401, 1st/4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, who died of wounds
on Wednesday, 2nd May 1917. Born Sheffield, enlisted Bourne, Lincolnshire,
resident Dyke, Lincolnshire. In the 1911 census he was the son of
Richard and Elizabeth Creek, single, aged 19, Farm Labourer, born
1892 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, resident The Laburnums, Swaffham Fen.
Buried in PHILOSOPHE BRITISH CEMETERY, MAZINGARBE, Pas de Calais,
France. Plot I. Row O. Grave 15.
3677, 35th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), who died of wounds
on Tuesday, 17th October 1916. Aged 21. Born and resident Reach,
enlisted Newmarket. Son of John William Hatley, of Bull Cottage,
Reach, Cambs. Formerly 20737, Suffolk Regiment. In the 1911 census
he is the son of John William and Mary Ann Hatley, single, aged
16, Farmer's Son Wokring on Farm, born 1895 in Swaffham Prior, resident
Chewtree Inn, Swaffham Fen. Buried in DARTMOOR CEMETERY, BECORDEL-BECOURT,
Somme, France. Plot II. Row E. Grave 6.
17905, 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, who was killed in action
on Wednesday, 7th August 1918. Aged 23. Born Soham, enlisted Bury
St Edmunds. Son of Mrs. Emily Ann Long, of Blue House Farm, Prior
Fen, Ely, Cambs. In the 1911 census he is living with his widowed
mother Emily Ann Long, aged 16, Farm Labourer, born 1895 in Waterbeach,
resident Mill House, Lode Fen. No known grave. Commemorated on POZIERES
MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Panel 44 and 45.
8814, 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, who was missing pronounced
killed in action on Wednesday, 26th August 1914. Born Ely, enlisted
Cambridge. In the 1911 census he was the son of Henry J and Mary
Jane Oakman, aged 16, Milkman, born 1895 Ely, resident Widgham Farm,
Dullingham Newmarket, brother of Ernest who also fell on the same
day at the same place. No known grave. Commemorated on LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE
MEMORIAL, Seine-et-Marne, France.
8785, 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, who was missing pronounced
killed in action on Wednesday, 26th August 1914. Born Burnt Fen,
enlisted Cambridge. In the 1911 census he was the son of Henry J
and Mary Jane Oakman, aged 13, Farm Labourer, born 1895 Burnt Fen,
resident Widgham Farm, Dullingham Newmarket, brother of David who
also fell on the same day at the same place. No known grave. Commemorated
on LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL, Seine-et-Marne, France.
7453, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment who was killed in action
Friday, 5th March 1915. Aged 30. Born Stretham, enlised Ely, resident
Soham. Son of Harry and Susan Sennitt; husband of Dora Alice Sennitt,
of Upware, Soham, Cambs. No known grave. Commemorated on YPRES (MENIN
GATE) MEMORIAL, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 31 and 33.
Also listed on the Wicken memorial
15755, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, who killed in action
on Saturday, 21st September 1918. Aged 21. Son of Robert and Elizabeth
Thorby, of Soham Rd., Stuntney, Ely, Cambs. Awarded the Military
Medal (M.M.). Medal card states 7th Battalion. No known grave. Commemorated
on VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 4 and 5.
FELL IN THE GREAT WAR
13 February, 2012