Tittleshall Methodist Chapel, Norfolk

WW1 Memorial

In the Methodist Chapel there is a framed Memorial Scroll commemorating those from the village who lost their lives in the First World War.

Remember all those the brave and the true, who have died the death of honour and departed in the hope of Resurrection to the Eternal Life.

Allcock, Oscar                    Palmer, Wilfred

Digby, Lionel Kenelm         Roberson, Robert

Everitt, Uriah                      Smith, William

Howe, Eric                         Thompson, Abel

Johnson, Leslie 0.             Thompson, John

Palmer, Sidney                  Withers, Ernest

For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality.

And having been a little chastened, they shall be greatly rewarded, for God proved them and found them worthy of Himself.


Private 320445 12th Btn. Norfolk Regt. – Enlisted Norwich.
Died of wounds 2 October 1918 – Aged 22 – Buried Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, Pas de Calais – Plot V Row C Grave 31
Son of John and Jessie Allcock of 17 High Street, Tittleshall.

DIGBY, Lionel Kenelm

Private 38456 7th Btn. Norfolk Regt. – Enlisted Norwich.
Killed in Action at Fraumont 18 October 1918 – Aged34 – Buried Raimbeaucourt Churchyard (near south-east corner), Nord, France.
Born at Bramley, Surrey, son of Reginald and Caroline Digby of Geashill Castle, King’s County, Ireland. Rector of Tittleshall from 1915.

Known in Tittleshall as “Little Mr. Digby”, Lionel was Rector of Tittleshall with Wellingham from 1915. (grandson of The Revd. Kenelm Henry Digby – Rector 1835-1891) At the age of 34 and in a ‘protected occupation* he did not have to serve but seeing the young lads from his Parish in the thick of war and many of them giving their lives he said that he, too, must go and do his bit. He volunteered in early summer 1918, did the basic training, and in August was sent to the front line as a Private, not a Padre. He was mortally wounded and died on 18 October, and the War ended on 11 November, 1918. It is said that two of his comrades in arms, knowing that although serving as a Private, was in fact a Priest, were determined that he would not be buried in a mass grave but in consecrated ground. They carried his body till they found a churchyard and asked the Parish Priest for burial rites for their comrade. The Priest refused as his burial ground was for Roman Catholics. The soldiers, knowing that they could take the body no further buried Lionel as near to the Churchyard as they could. The story goes that the Priest had a terribly restless night and when morning came, aware that the body had been buried, he got together a band of his parishioners and they moved the boundary fence so that the grave came within the bounds of the Churchyard. The grave is near the south-east corner of the Church at Raimbeaucourt.

The wooden Battle-field cross was removed from the grave when Lionel’s family later provided a memorial kerb and the wooden cross was brought to Tittleshall Parish Church. As well as the commemorative inscription, which gives the date of death as 20 October, (possibly the date of burial) it states that the cross was “Erected by the Hallamshires”. They were the 4th Battalion of the York and Lancashire regiment. Was that the Battalion of the comrades?


Private 153055 Labour Corps (transferred from 81477 Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regt.) – Enlisted Attleborough.
Died in the UK 15 June 1917 – Aged 19 – Buried Burnham-on-Crouch Cemetery, Essex. Section D Grave 55.
Born at Weasenham, son of Mrs. E. Everitt of 74 Fakenham Road, Tittleshall.
Recorded as resident at Thetford but was living with his mother in the 1911 Census.

HOWE, Eric (Listed as HOW in records)

Private 6172 8th (King’s Royal Irish) Hussars – Enlisted Norwich.
Died 19 January 1915 – Aged 20 (?) – Buried St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Plot A Row3, Grave 14.
Born Tittleshall, later became resident in Swaffham.

JOHNSON, Leslie Oliver

Private 31770 1st Btn. East Lancashire Regt. – (transferred from 100813 Durham Light Infantry) – Enlisted King’s Lynn.
Died in the UK 15 March 1919 – Aged 20 – Buried North-west of Church, St. Mary’s Churchyard, Tittleshall.
Born Tittleshall, son of Mr. W. Johnson of Lower Farm, Tittleshall

PALMER, Sidney

Driver T4/173232 Army Service Corps.
Died 12 November 1918 – Aged 25 – Buried Northampton (Billing Road) Cemetery.
Born Tittleshall, son of Mrs. Ann Palmer. Husband of Elizabeth Alison Palmer of 91 Overstone Road, Northampton.

PALMER, Wilfred David

Private 41974 1st Btn. Cambridgeshire Regt. (formerly TR/10/6705 Training Reserve). Enlisted King’s Lynn.
Killed in Action 10 October 1918 – Aged 19 – No known grave. Commemorated on Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais.
Born Tittleshall, son of David and Mary Ann Palmer.


Private 9269 1st/5th Btn. Durham Light Infantry (formerly 24405 Norfolk Regt. and 5932 Northamptonshire Regt.) – Enlisted Norwich.
Killed in action 7 November 1916 – Aged 25 – No known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, Pier and Face 14A and 15C.
Born Tittleshall, son of Charles and Harriet Roberson.

SMITH, William Albert (Enlisted as William A. Robinson)

Ord. Seaman J 752478 HAAS “Negro” Torpedo Destroyer Royal Navy.
Drowned 21 December 1916 – Aged 20 – Commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial.
Born at Whissonsett, son of Hannah Smith. William’s mother was a widow, living at Whissonsett. She subsequently married her lodger and they moved to 32 Back Street, Tittleshall. William enlisted using his Mother’s new married name – Robinson, but served as Robertson. In the 1911 Census William is named as Smith, aged 14, occupation Farm Labourer, and by that date Hannah had married Arthur Robinson. Might it be possible that William went into the Royal Navy ‘under age’ and used his Mother’s surname? The inscription on his Mother’s grave in Tittleshall Churchyard includes “William the beloved son of Hannah & Arthur Robinson Drowned Dec 21st 1916 aged 20 serving on HM Torpedo Boat destroyer Negro”. The ‘father’ is not named on William’s birth registration.


Private 42784 14th Btn. (formerly 1st/6thBtn.) Durham Light Infantry (formerly 24637 Norfolk Regiment) Enlisted Dereham.
Killed in Action 27 September 1916 – Aged 33 – No known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, Pier and Face 14A and 15C.
Born Tittleshall, son of Susan (and the late Abel) Thompson of 49 High Street, Tittleshall.

THOMPSON, John Abel (Jack)

Private 16189 8th Btn. Norfolk Regt. – Enlisted Norwich.
Killed in Action 11 August 1917 – Aged 23 – Buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot LV Row F Grave 11.
Born at Tittleshall, son of John and Rebecca Thompson of 18 High Street, Tittleshall.

WITHERS, William Ernest

Private T.F.290336 15t/10th (Territorial) Btn. attached 2nd Btn. Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regt.) – Enlisted Battersea, Surrey.
Died in the Persian Gulf 3 September 1916. – Aged 25 – Buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq, Plot XXI Row J, Grave 49.
Born at Fakenham, son of Edgar and Anna Withers of The Stores, High Street, Tittleshall.
Known as Ernest, he played the organ at the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Tittleshall and it is said to have been very accomplished organist when in his early teens. He served in the Persian Gulf with General Townsend (of Raynham Hall) at the Kut Garrison.


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