Mulbarton in Wartime

TWO WORLD WARS

ON THIS PAGE you will find a brief introduction to both World Wars; information on the War Memorial; with links at the end to related pages.

World War I and its aftermath

The Roll of Honour in the Church porch (above) lists ALL the Mulbarton men who served in the 1914-18 war. The 16 who died are high-lighted in gold. A total of 90 men went to war, which must have been a high proportion of the men of the village, as it was 19% of the total population (481 in the national census of 1911).

Besides the worry for families with men abroad, there were changes on the 'Home Front', too:

WW1 from the Parish Council Minutes

1914, July 9th 'Correspondence from Major Allen of 3rd Norfolk Battery RFA asking for use of Common for manoeuvres... Propd by A Sturman, 2nd by C Frost that this Council knows no reason why the 3rd Norfolk Battery RFA should not practise for the weekend as required providing that the turf of the Common is not disturbed. Carried unanimously.'

1915 Feb 17th Council met at the Clerk's house [school house] as schoolroom windows too large to black out under "Defence of the Realm Lighting Order". Managed to hold the Annual parish Meeting in the school on March 31st, and Parish Council resumed its meetings in the school from April to Oct.

1915, Nov. 4th Recorded that the Council meets in the Clerk's house for the winter. Two Councillors now absent on military service, so agree to reduce quorum to 1/3rd of members.

By Sept. 1916, another Councillor [C. Frost] had joined the Army, and only 2 Councillors and the Clerk attended the meeting.

1917 Feb: Parish Council agreed to act as local sub-committee of the Committee of National Service, so had to get particulars of fit people not already engaged in national work.

THE WAR MEMORIAL

'Mulbarton's memorial to her fallen sons was dedicated and unveiled on Sunday afternoon [17th October 1920]. The memorial tablet is fixed on the south wall inside the church and is of Sicilian marble, with Irish green marble mount, all polished. It has a bronze border, with an oakleaf design.... The service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev. E. E. Ward. The Dean, in his address, said the names engraved on the tablet would last as long as the church lasted. They should all remember, too, those men who returned safely.... At the end of the service, wreaths were laid near the tablet by relatives of the fallen... A muffled peal was afterwards rung on the bells.                          
(From a contemporary newspaper cutting lent by Evelyn Smith)

The men listed here have been researched - see WW1 Men at War

MORE on World War I page

WORLD WAR II

The War memorial (above) lists seven names of Mulbarton men who died in the Second World War, and there is information about them at WW2 - Men at War. A far smaller percentage of families in the village lost a loved one compared with the First World War. But the Second World War came to everyone's doorstep (and workplace), thus making a huge impact for nearly 6 years.

Although World War 2 is within living memory, something of its local impact can also be gleaned from records of Parish Council discussions and from the school Log Book:

WW2 - Extracts from Parish Council Minutes

1938 Annual Meeting - questioners told that Rural District Council are preparing an Air Raid Precaution scheme. In July a meeting held at World's End as volunteers wanted as Air Raid wardens.

1940 June 'owing to war conditions... the present Council continue in office till further notice.'

1940 July 18th 'Clerk read a letter from RDC re Prevention of Invasion. The centre portion of the Common only to be put out of commission with suggestions as to the most efficient means of rendering them dangerous to aircraft.

The Chairman reported he had been in conversation with Col. Beck on the question....and he advised the Council to await instructions from the military...

'Clerk instructed to write to RDC for permission to place a Bus on the Common to be used as a Guard Room for the Local Volunteer Defence Corps providing the Military would bear the expense of moving the old Bus to the required position.'

1941 Parish Council met at the Rectory (no blackout at school). All cultivable land to be cultivated. In Feb. decided to buy two stirrup pumps against incendiary bombs - 'still coming' by April! Plenty of stirrup pumps available by 1942.

1944 Parish Council met at Mr. Cross's house (Lodge Farm)

Eveyone had to carry Identity Cards, and people were asked to accommodate evacuees from London and later those bombed out of their homes in Norwich.

Some entries from the School Log Book:

1939
July 5th A.R.P. Class held in this school this evening.

Aug. 1st Lessons in fitting gas masks taken today.

Aug. 4th School closed to-day for harvest holiday.

Sept. 11th School reopened today after harvest Holidays. 11 London County Council Evacuated Children; 2 Private Evacuated Children admitted; 2 new children from other areas.

Sept. 13th 3 children have returned to London.

Sept. 18th 2 children returned to London. 2 girls admitted from Aldershot Barracks School.

Oct. 2nd 7 LCC children returned home this week. 7 children have been trans. from School register to Evacuees list - These are 1 from Portsmouth and 6 from Aldershot.

1940
April 3rd gas masks examined today. [And May 2nd, and approx. monthly]

June 3rd 2 Evacuees admitted from Oulton Broad

Sept. 23rd Two children returned from London as evacuees. Two desks received from E. Carleton.

Oct. 18th Classes for First Aid started today in Parish Hall... [by Red Cross]

1941
Jan 6th P.D. [a pupil] started Cod Liver Oil

Jan. 13th J.S. [a pupil] started Parishes Food [and on double milk from 20th]

June 11th Gas masks inspected...PP's eye piece cracked - sent to ARP Warden to get new one [similar reports July 2nd.... Or children needing larger size]

July 10th Chn. went to Club Room to see Ministry of Information Films.

1942
March 4th Sale held at school this afternoon for Warship Week. £12.10 was obtained. £25 was also put into War Savings.

Oct. 23rd 10 Clothing Coupons sent to office for needlework today.

1943
May 17th "Wings for Victory" Total = £113.19s.6d. Free Goft £13.

June 23rd Blackouts put up in school.

July 28th £5.15s.0d sent to Red Cross from Penny a week fund.

1944
Nov. 14th Men came today to put wire netting on windows.

1945
June 26th Nurse Chadwick examined children. 10s.3d paid for Virol [a food supplement].

THE WAR MEMORIAL TABLET & CLOCK

Dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Norwich on Sunday, October 8th, 1950 at 3 pm, assisted by the Rector, Revd. A. St.John Heard.

A Colour Party of the British Legion followed the choir to the singing of 'Soldiers of Christ arise...' Psalms 121 & 122 and the Nunc Dimittus were sung. The lesson was 1 Peter 5 vv.6-11. Other hymns were 'The radiant morn hath passed away' and 'O God our help in ages past' and the Anthem was 'The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God'. Last Post and Reveille were sounded at the dedication.                (Extracts from the Order of Service)

Memories and other information on World War II page and about the USAAF at Hethel