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World War 1 - Detailed Information
Compiled and Copyright © Keith Evans 2008

The Memorial, in the form of a Celtic cross mounted on a matching angular base and stand, is located just inside the churchyard gate of the 14th century parish church of Beeston St. Mary, Norfolk.

In Proud and Loving Memory of
Alfred Barrett, George W. Pyle,
Barnes Culley, William Reynolds,
Edward Dye, Arthur Shinn,
John Parke, Harry Wyett
Also of Gracia Bolton munition worker
Who in the Great War made the supreme sacrifice
Their bodies rest in peace but their names liveth for evermore



Born in Beeston in 1893, a son of James and Mary Ann Barrett. Alfred enlisted in Norwich, giving his residence as Swaffham. He joined the Royal Artillery becoming 68900 Gunner Barrett. He was serving with ’B’ Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, 15th Brigade, 29th Division when he died of wounds on 20th January 1918, aged 25.

He is buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, grave ref. III. C. 2., Belgium.



Born in Beeston in 1886, a son of James and Emma Culley. Barnes enlisted in Norwich and was posted as 22293 Private Culley to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, 53rd Brigade, 18th Division.

On the 18th October 1916, during the Battles of the Somme, the 9th Norfolk’s attacked a trench system east of Gueudecourt. Barnes was probably amongst the 248 all ranks casualties, killed, wounded or missing. His date of death is recorded as 18th October 1916, aged 30.

He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, Pier and Face C and 1D, France.



Born in Beeston in 1894, a son of Edmund (aka Edward) and Ann Mary Dye. Edward enlisted in Norwich on 30th November 1914 where he joined the 8th (Service) Battalion, Norfolk Regiment as 16997 Private Dye. After training at Colchester and Codford his battalion sailed for France on 25th July 1915 as part of 53rd Brigade, 18th Division. The next months were mainly spent in the Ancre and Somme sectors. In April 1916 his battalion moved to the Maricourt Sector, sub-sector Z1 front line trenches.

On 28th April Edward received a gun shot wound which penetrated his abdomen, he was taken to the 18th Division Collecting Post in the nearby village of Suzanne where, on the same day, the Officer commanding 55th Field Ambulance reported he had died of wounds, he was 21. His father was informed of his death 10th June 1916.

He is buried in Bray Military Cemetery, Bray-sur-Somme, grave ref. I. A. 5., France.



Born in Beeston in1897, a son of Frederick and Mary Jane Parke. John enlisted in Tottenham giving his residence as Edmonton, Middx. He was posted to the Royal Engineers as 105046 Driver Parke.

When he died on the 15th May 1918, aged 20 he was serving with the 230th Army Troop Company, Royal Engineers.

He is buried in Aire Communal Cemetery, grave ref. III. A. 11., France.


George William

Born in Beeston in 1893, he appears to have been the only son of George and Ellen Pyle. George enlisted in Norwich and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment as 18200 Private Pyle. It’s not known when he joined his battalion in Mesopotamia, however when he died it’s probable that he was part of a Composite Battalion made up of 2nd Norfolk’s and 2nd Dorset’s (unofficially known as Norsets) attached to the 21st Brigade, 7th (Meerut) Division which attacked Turkish positions north of the besieged garrison at Kut on 22nd April 1916.

George, by then a L/Cpl., is recorded as killed in action 22nd April 1916, aged 22.

He is remembered on Panel 10 of the Basra Memorial, Iraq.



Born in Mundford, Norfolk in 1892, a son of Henry and Susan Reynolds. William enlisted in East Dereham and joined the Royal Horse Artillery as 128929 Gunner Reynolds.

When the battles of 3rd Ypres began he was serving with ‘L’ Battery, 15th Brigade, 29th Division, he was wounded and taken to a Hospital or Casualty Clearing Station near Proven where he died of his wounds on 14th August 1917, aged 25.

He is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, grave ref. III. F. 7., Belgium.



Born in Brandon, Norfolk in 1897, a son of Harry and Mary A. Shinn. Arthur enlisted in Woolwich giving his residence as Swaffham, Norfolk. His original posting, as 177640 Gunner Shinn, was to the Royal Field Artillery. He later transferred as 5459 Private to the Liverpool Regiment and then again as 28632 Private to 11th (Service) Battalion (Lonsdale), Border Regiment, 97th Brigade, 32nd Division.

On 10th July 1917 Arthur’s battalion was in front line trenches at Lombartzyde, just north of the coastal town of Nieuport, when they were attacked and suffered heavy casualties. It was probably then that Arthur, by then a L/Cpl. was wounded. Records show that he died of wounds on 14th July 1917, aged 19.

He is buried in Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, grave ref. IV. F. 5., Belgium.

Aged 19¾ Arthur is the youngest man named on the Beeston Memorial.



Born in Beeston in 1886, a son of Caroline Wyett. Harry enlisted in Norwich, probably in 1915. In March 1916, as G/7223 Private Wyett, he was posted to 6th (Service) Battalion, East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), 37th Brigade, 12th Division. At 5 p.m. on 15th August 1917 the Germans shelled a place called ‘Bridoon Lane’, about a ½ mile behind the front line on Infantry Hill near Monchy-le-Preux. The previous day Harry’s battalion had been clearing ‘salvage’ there. The Battalion diary only shows one fatality that day and he is recorded killed in action 15th August 1917, aged 31.

He is buried in Monchy British Cemetery, Monchy-le-Preux, grave ref. I. J. 24., France.


Gracia (aka Grace) Margaret

Born in Beeston on 31st July 1898, the only daughter of Edward Gowing Bolton and his first wife Ellen Mary. With her 2 older brothers already in the Army Gracia went to work at No. 6 Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell, Notts. That would probably have been when she reached the legal recruitment age of 18 in 1916.

At 6 p.m. on Saturday 1st July 1918 she began her 18-hour weekend shift. At 7.10 p.m. an explosion destroyed the Mixing House and two of the three Milling Buildings. It was later suggested that almost 8 tons of TNT had exploded without warning. Gracia, aged 19, was one of 102 unidentified amongst the 134 fatalities who’s remains are buried in mass graves in nearby Attenborough Churchyard.

She is remembered on the Beeston next Mileham, Norfolk, Chilwell Depot and Beeston, Notts. Memorials.

Last updated 22 November, 2008

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