Theberton – Theberton War Memorial, St. Peter’s Church & Churchyard

This is the Church of St. Peter at Theberton, in Suffolk.  And you will find out why today you get this particular post, and no postcard, a little later on.

Immediately on entering the churchyard, this is Theberton War Memorial.  And an interesting one it is, as you can read for yourselves.

Note the name C. H. M. Doughty-Wylie, whose name will recur throughout much of the post,…

…for very good reasons.  The gun referred to presumably went the way of most during World War II.

480 of these commemorative plaques were placed at the birth-places of British-born VC holders a few years back, and we’ve seen others elsewhere on our travels.

Leaving the war memorial and entering the church, in the porch,…

…there’s a piece of one of these.

Any ideas?

Well, all is explained on this board and the flanking photographs,…

…and luckily for you, I photographed the individual sections, all of which enlarge so that you can read them, and I don’t have to write much.  So this is what happened,…

…and this, and the following photos, show what it looked like.

There follows some information, for German visitors, on the German military cemetery at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire,…

…and some English text too.

Other photographs show the site of the graves of the Zeppelin crew at Cannock Chase, and, bottom left,…

…a memorial at their original grave location.

A quick look around the church reveals a few more items of interest,…

…including this fabulous stained-glass window…

…and this memorial plaque, both in remembrance of Lieutenant Colonel Doughty-Wylie V.C.

There are even some photographs…

…of his isolated grave at Cape Helles on Gallipoli,…

…his Grave Registration Report Form unlike most I have shown you over the years.

But that’s not all,…

…because back in the churchyard,…

…you might recognise this from earlier.

The plaque commemorating the original gravesite of the Zeppelin crew is still here.

…and still visited.

Before we leave, there are two Great War casualties who still lie in this churchyard, this the grave of Able Seaman Urban Ollie Parnell, H.M.S. “P.66.”, who died on 22nd December 1918 aged 22,…

…and here,…

…the grave of Leading Seaman Alfred Button D.S.M. & Clasp, H.M.S. “Sea Ranger”, who died on 16th October 1918 aged 35.

Having literally knocked this post off in a couple of hours this evening for publication in the morning, I have added only the bare essentials for you to make sense of the pictures, but bearing in mind the two Zeppelin daily postcards of a couple of days ago, what better time to show you this.  It actually hadn’t occurred to me to do so until Sid & Margaret’s recent Zeppelin comments, so blame them if you miss your daily postcard.  Normal, for abnormal times, service resumes tomorrow.

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42 Responses to Theberton – Theberton War Memorial, St. Peter’s Church & Churchyard

  1. Sid from Down Under says:

    Well well, the depths of your WW1 treasure chest knows no bounds. How so very interesting. I noticed further down your 16 crew plaque pic. I read somewhere that besides Zeppelins flying higher than ack ack guns could initially reach they also flew higher than earlier fighter planes. Because of their hydrogen bag construction normal bullets would not greatly affect them. The advent of incendiary bullets and shells did the trick. Advances in bringing down/disabling today’s high tech military machines is really no different to WW1 advancing technology.

    Do you know if they used oxygen at the greater than 10,000 feet heights?

    PS Glad Margaret and I caused this post. And look forward to more post cards

  2. Joseph Orgar says:

    Hi all

    The wife says I need more todo in the current situation.

    Could not help looking at the name Lumpkin on the memorial.
    So here goes
    E Lumpkin- Royal Engineers died 15 February 1918. Ham British cemetery.

    David Leonard Lumpkin- RAF volunteer reserve died 19 July 1944 age 22. Ranville
    War cemetery.
    Son of Lucie Lumpkin, and stepson of Thomas Bishop of Pimlico London.

    To me father and son.


    • Magicfingers says:

      My missus reckons your missus was probably talking about painting the house or sorting the garden! Lol! Yep, father and son to me too.

  3. Nick Kilner says:

    Another really splendid post. I had no idea that there were quite so many Germans buried in the UK! Amazing. I do love these small churches too, theres invariably something of interest to be found if you look closely enough, although this one is quite exceptional it must be said

    • Magicfingers says:

      Thank you! Luckily I hadn’t posted this yet – the current number of draft posts, in various stages of completion, stands at 111*, and this happened to be one of them – except it had no text, but I sorted that Friday night. I wonder whether, if life gets back to a form of normality, we could arrange a BigNote trip to Cannock Chase? I wonder if anyone’d be up for it? See, there goes my imagination again……(see next post).

      *which includes more French Flanders, and places we haven’t visited yet on the site such as Kemmel (Barry next time definitely, btw) & Neuve Chapelle.

  4. Harry Forbes says:

    Thanks for this and all your posts!

    You wrote: “ this the grave of Able Seaman Urban Ollie Parnell, H.M.S. “P.66.”, who died on 22nd December 1918 aged 22,…”

    More than a month after the Armistice went into effect? Was he wounded earlier?

    Just wondering.

    • Nick Kilner says:

      Hi Harry. As far as I can ascertain, (and there is surprisingly little information available) the designation P.66 is a Royal Navy sloop, and by December 1918 would almost certainly have been employed carrying soldiers back from the front. Many of the first to be returned to England would have been those suffering from the Spanish flu, so it’s not impossible that he became a victim of the disease. It’s also possible that he had been previously wounded although there’s no mention of that on the CWGC website. It may of course simply have been a random accident.

    • Magicfingers says:

      Hello Harry. Thanks for your kind comments. Able Seaman Parnell died of sickness, I have just discovered. Most likely flu, but not from wounds.

  5. Margaret Draycott says:

    Well Sid looks like you and me started something and I’m glad we did, Astonished to learn that men could survive such a devastating fall from the skies and hopefully after the war they were repatriated. I love visiting these churches there are so many stories in them of deeds of local men, we should have been in Suffolk this week but there’s a bit of a pandemic going on have rebooked for next year if I remember and we are in the vicinity I will try to visit. You realise when you visit how many of the young men of the upper classes lost there lives in ww1. Thanks for the post M most interesting. I am definitely up for that visit by the way.
    Sid your knowledge never ceases to amaze me we’re you a military man? Thankyou others for the personal information it’s what I like most.

  6. Sid from Down Under says:

    Military man? Well sort of – long history of family serving – did my National Service in 1957 followed by a couple of years in what is now called “Reserves” (Had to get special leave in February 1960 to go overseas for 18 months to England and that side of the world including East Germany and Berlin before the Wall went up – an eye opener).

    My father served in the WW1 Western Australian 16th Battalion and was severely wounded on the Somme. Over the Yser Canal at Spoilbank in Belgium about Feb or March 1917 he helped bring down a low flying German plane with Lewis gunfire and “souvenired” (tore off) a piece of lozenge camouflage canvas which I have. Magicfingers featured it in a post along with a fantastic Jan 1917 hand made map he located of Spoilbank. I was so thrilled. Dad would have walked that map area.

    He also served as a Captain in WW2 but due to age and wounds was not allowed overseas. My paternal grandfather was awarded a MM in WW1. Father-in-law served in WW2 “Fortress Fremantle” 9.2 and 6 inch gun Batteries. Brother-in-law served overseas in WW2. My early workmates had mostly served in WW2. It had such an influence on their lives that at “tea breaks” conversation inevitably turned to wartime experiences as if it happened yesterday.

    I’m interested in War history not only WW1 but also WW2 in both Europe and my own Theatre of War named “The Pacific” even though much action was in my Indian Ocean including eleven towns in Western Australia attacked by Japanese aircraft.

    I’m one of a shrinking generation who considered serving in the military discipline a privilege (it had a lifelong effect) and who highly respects those who were either wounded or gave the supreme sacrifice. Like most of my generation we were brought up to be loyal to King and Country. Where I come from was very English but at the same time fiercely Western Australian. There am I in a nutshell. Your turn.

  7. Daisy in Indonesia says:

    Hello MagicFingers,

    In May 2015 I spent more than 2 weeks on Gallipoli including visiting the grave of Lt. Col. Doughty-Wylie VC, CB, CMG, ‘Dick’ to his friends… an amazing life, particularly in the military.

    The grave in 1915 would have been remote however buildings now almost surround the site as the town of Sedd-el-Bahr expands. His is the only individual grave on Gallipoli and the reason his remains weren’t moved to ‘V Beach’ cemetery, as were other Allied casualties, is due to his involvement in Turkey from 1909 until 1913 and respect for his efforts in helping the Ottoman Empire for which he was awarded the Order of the Medjidie.

    During the attack on the Sedd-el-Bahr Fort and Hill 141 Doughty-Wylie is said to have refused to take up personal arms against the Turks and rushed the hill brandishing a stick. After 25 years in the military I’m not sure ‘Dick’ would have gone into battle against the enemy with merely a stick.

    The other interesting tale concerning Doughty-Wylie is in November 1915 a woman dressed in black came ashore and placed a wreath on his grave. Military protocol regarding such approval would assume this was his wife Lilian however rumours suggest it was his lover Gertrude Bell. Another unlikely story…

    A wonderful post MagicFingers, love your work.


    • Magicfingers says:

      And some wonderful additions to the post by you Daisy. As you know, the Back in Blighty posts generally contain far less information (and sometimes none at all) other than the photos, because I simply don’t have the time to research them in detail as well as writing the main posts that appear. So additions such as yours are excellent for all of us, and I get to learn new stuff too. Huge thanks.

  8. Margaret Draycott says:

    Thanks for the links M fascinating reading, your dad must have been quite a man Sid you mention his wounds at the Somme and what seemed like a long recovery and then wanting to do his bit in ww2 they don’t make them like that anymore. The thought of going up in one of those aircraft where someone can just rip a piece of the camouflage of, the bravery of those men.

  9. Margaret Draycott says:

    The military certainly flows through your veins Sid I can see where your interest and knowledge would come from and spur you on to research stuff.
    Right here goes. My mum was German my grandfather was Danish came over in the old sailing ships was a Bosun met my Nan in Port Talbot South Wales married and settled in England.
    I had a great uncle who I never met served in the Royal Welch fusiliers in ww1 I have only learned this recently and know nothing of where he served. He survived and died in 1967. I intend now to try to find out more, the Welch regiments went through some terrible battles in ww1. My father signed up when he was 19 in 1939 served in the tank regiment was captured in the fight against Rommel in 1940 was first sent to Crete as a POW and then to Italy. Escaped with others and from what I can recall somehow got to Switzerland was repatriated to England landing in dec 1943. Had to be home 6 maths after being a POW so missed the d day landings but went over on 18th June fighting through to Berlin. He remained a soldier doing 22 years. I was born in Germany grew up on army bases until I was 12. Sadly he died when he was 56 so I never got to hear much of what happened to him during the war years. In my possession is a letter from Robert Maugham brother of Somerset Maugham who was Dads commanding officer informing his parents of his capture.
    One of his brothers was in the DLI but seconded to the intelligence service, again something I have only learned recently, his drawings of German aircraft and weaponry are astonishing they are in his sisters possession, he passed away some years ago.
    My mum had 4 brothers who served in ww2 one died in the first 2 weeks of the war, 2 survived the story of the 4th and youngest was very sad he was arrested in 1938 snitched on by a friend because he spoke out against Hitler was sent to concentration camps as a political prisoner, was released in 1944 sent to the Russian front and was killed within 2 weeks and given what he must have seen in the camps he probably didn’t want to survive.
    My main interest is ww1 and I can’t tell you why because I don’t know it is a passion I have done quite a number of tours with a battlefield tour company. I also have an interest in ww2 but not with the same passion.
    I worked with a friend on a project to write about and record the current whereabouts of returned ww1 original grave markers I.e. the wooden crosses first used to mark the graves of the fallen, there are still a few hundred surviving in this country mostly preserved in churches and some museums. Due to finding one of these crosses is where I came across magic fingers as he had written an article about the person.
    Should you wish to take a look there are some interesting stories attached to these crosses the website is Returned from the front.
    Oh and my brother served in the REME for a few years.
    That’s me Sid in a bit of a bigger nutshell.

    • Nick Kilner says:

      Hi Margaret, do you happen to know who your father served with? My maternal grandfather was 3 RTR (Royal Tank Regiment). They also shipped out after D-Day (though it’s not clear exactly why) on the 16th June. I have their war diaries, which are available from Bovingdon if you are interested. He was wounded in the face when the tank he was in was hit during fighting in Belgium, almost losing an eye, and spent much of the remainder of the war as a one eyed (they stitched it shut for a year) motorcycle courier for the British intelligence service in Belgium.
      My paternal great grandfather was wounded near the Brickstacks (Cuinchy) fighting with the 2/6th Manchester Regiment in 1917. Very unusually he’s actually named as a casualty in the war diary, almost unheard of for OR casualties to be mentioned by name. He returned to the UK and saw out the war as an instructor at a military camp on the east coast.
      My paternal grandfather, well now there’s another story. He joined the army in the 1920’s serving mainly in India and post war Germany. He left the service in 1932 and was two weeks short of coming off the reserve list when WW2 was declared. He was called back up and went to France with the BEF serving with the 2nd Manchester’s. During the retreat he was on a munitions train heading for Dunkirk when it was hit by a Stuka Dive bomber. He was blown clear but knocked unconscious, and when he came to he was surrounded by German soldiers and had a large chunk of the back of one leg missing. He was POW’d, first in France but later moved to Germany where he spent the remainder of the war. He escaped twice but was recaptured both times. Finally returning to England in October 1945 to find he had a four year old son…

  10. Margaret Draycott says:

    It’s Sid and anybody who might want to take a look. Sorry M taking over I’ll stop now.

    • Nick Kilner says:

      Looks like I might be able to be of some help with this. I live on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border and there are several locations reasonably local to me. I’ll look into it further when we are allowed out to play again.

  11. Sid from Down Under says:

    Hi Margaret – what an extremely interesting thumbnail sketch of you and your family – I am most impressed. A mixture of German, Danish and Welsh ancestry – stunning! I can only account for English and Irish.

    I’m sure Magicfingers won’t consider you’ve “taken over”. Like me, he will be most interested in the background of his readers and yours is a pearler – all his regulars should perhaps participate in a short bio? The postcards have sure engendered a roaring success (OK this post is Theberton but it is connected)

    Thank you Margaret and I’ll check out your website address

  12. Margaret Draycott says:

    sorry Sid i forgot my father-in-law he was in the Royal Navy did survive a sinking although I’m not sure which ship. He worked on the asdics think that’s right Radar. He was awarded the DSM although we don’t know why he never claimed it but we think it was to do with a ship being sunk and seeing men die in the water. Must claim it and try to find out what happened.
    Some very interesting history of your Paternal family Nick, so when they unstitched his eye did he still have the sight in it? Your paternal grandfather in a strange way possibly had a lucky escape not getting to Dunkirk who knows what fate awaited him there.
    that would be great Nick if you were able to do that it is a fascinating project we have discovered some amazing stories of men named on the crosses and met a lot of interesting people and visited some lovely old churches.
    would be interested sometime in the future to hear how you get on.
    Sorry M I’ve done it again. Sid had a good point though about finding out the history of some of your regulars
    I do have the regiment dad served with but not to hand i will look it up and let you know.

  13. Magicfingers says:

    Please, all of you, feel free to use this site for exactly this kind of stuff. Definitely not considered as ‘taking over’.

  14. Margaret Draycott says:

    Thanks M. Whats your background?

    • Magicfingers says:

      My background? Hippie. Pacifist. Probably part-cat.

      • Sid from Down Under says:

        We can’t let you get away with a one liner MJS – more detail of your titillating whetting of appetite please. Part-cat … inquisitive or do you like your under chin being rubbed? You make the imagination run riot on thoughts that cannot be repeated here. I know there is more to your background to share including your old day job.

  15. Margaret Draycott says:

    Don’t tell them Pike

    • Sid from Down Under says:

      More like “Whistle while you work” then spill the beans otherwise your (MF) name will be on the list

      • Magicfingers says:

        Lol. Yes, very good, you two. Unfortunately, being an international man of mystery, my handler won’t allow me to divulge much…….apart from meow…….

        • Sid from Down Under says:

          As M said to James Bond, be careful 007 (aka MF) your cover may be blown because I have quite a not-so-secret File (by comparison, J. Edgar Hoover was a novice)

          Diplomatic Cover will not save you – spill the beans – there is no Safe House – Meow could refer to Pussy Galore (with great respect to the late Honor Blackman). Remember what happened to Goldfinger. Your Bio Sir!

          • Magicfingers says:

            It’s a good point you raise………and I might have to elminate you because of it…….although obviously that’s a bit tricky with the lockdown, but I CAN PLAN…….

  16. Margaret Draycott says:

    Keep ‘em guessing, keep ‘em interested, ok I’ll let you off pussycat for now.

  17. Margaret Draycott says:

    Night M. You man of mystery, I’m off for a purrrrrrfect sleep

    • Sid from Down Under says:

      Isn’t it time you lot were in bed – or have you been out prrrrrowling – I’ll have to call you “Black Cats” (as in night flying Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boats)

      In pretend submission I roll on my back with tummy up for a tickle but beware, my claws are Dr No’s mechanical hand – no, I give up because “I know” (oh the English language)

      I’m off to buy some Western Rock lobsters (Crayfish) for Easter – they’re very cheap at the moment because of Coronavirus lost export markets

      Happy and safe Easter all

      • Magicfingers says:

        Nice planes those!! We can’t nip out for crayfish, unfortunately – the missus has gone to do some shopping right now, but that’s the first chop for ten days.

    • Magicfingers says:

      I think I went off to bed at exactly the same time as you, actually.

      • Sid from Down Under says:

        Nup – it was well after my arising when I replied – the time shown your end is your time – add 8 hours for me – I was bright eyed and bushy tailed – that said I’ll rename you Knight Owl

        Got our crayfish plus local scallops plus plus – spent more than planned but what the heck – the government gave us $750 each to “spend now to help businesses” – we had to buy wine as two separate people at two separate grog shops. The government has limited alcohol sales per person per day to limit alcohol related medical episodes clogging hospitals during the COVID crisis. Cor, we all have to find ways to circumvent semi-prohibition – it’s not fair – Al Capone would love it

        • Magicfingers says:

          That was supposed to be a reply to Margaret – I know you are up and about. I have always been a Night Owl. But I like Knight Owl.

          • Sid from Down Under says:

            You are hereby anointed – Arise Sir Knight Owl (not related to the also famous Californian Chicano Rap artist – now there’s a thought, just imagine yourself doing Hip Hop under a full moon)

          • Margaret Draycott says:

            Sid you are a hoot!!!! Can’t get over the government gives you money to spend and limits the amount in alcohol don’t mess about in aus do they.
            Hope you enjoy the crayfish and all your other goodies have a happy Easter.
            Night all.

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