By Ian Woods, senior news correspondent
The small West Norfolk village of Snettisham is home to fewer than 3,000 people, but its history is a tale of heroism.
A century ago, 45 men from Snettisham fought and died for their country in the First World War.
Most of them young men and teenagers.
The small number of people who lived there means one in six of Snettisham’s adult working men lost their lives.
Every family in the village was affected by the loss of a loved one.
The residents of the village, of whom many are descendants of war soldiers, have decided that to mark 100 years since the First World War, they will truly remember The 45 – delving into their backgrounds and finding out exactly who they were, how they lived, and how they died.
Here, we look at some of those soldier and their stories.
The 45 names on the town’s war memorial were polished and restored to mark the hundredth anniversary of the start of the war, but villager Stuart Dark told Sky News that they needed to do more.
“To remember someone you have to know something about them. Reading out those names every November 11th – we didn’t really know those backstories, they got lost in the sands of time and it was absolutely right that we went back and looked at who these people were.”
Mr Dark, a retired police officer, says it took 500 hours of research to paint a picture of each man, and discover where they were buried. The next step was to arrange to visit all of them. Most were in France or Belgium, but one man was killed in Palestine and another died while training pilots in Canada.
At each grave there was a solemn ceremony in which their details were read out, and wreaths of poppies and west Norfolk lavender were laid. A letter, written by a child from Snettisham primary school to the individual soldier was also left. Some are direct descendants of the 45 who died.
Nell Mitchell is a descendant of Sydney Mitchell who made it home from the front despite a hand grenade exploding in his face.
He died from influenza and pneumonia on 2 December 1918, at the age of just 21, only three weeks after the signing of the Armistice.
The rector of the village church Reverend Veronica Wilson told Sky News the project has been “marvellous”.
“It has brought the village together because it has involved the parish council, the school, the church and lots of other organisations as we sought to remember and value the 45 men from the village who died. This project has helped us to remember these gentlemen as individuals, known and loved and remembered by us as a community.”
While the men of Snettisham went to war, the war came to Snettisham on 19 January 1915. A Zeppelin which is thought to have been trying to target the nearby royal residence of Sandringham, instead dropped a bomb close to St Mary’s – Snettisham’s medieval church. Windows were shattered and it left a huge crater which stills exists to this day.
Inside the church, Sky News spoke to Paul Arthur Lincoln, grandson of Charles Arthur Lincoln whose name is on the church’s roll of honour, listing fatalities from the Great War.
Charles Arthur Lincoln enlisted on the 10 April 1917 at the age of 33 and was killed in action less than five months later.
He left behind his wife, Florence, and their seven-year-old son, Arnold.
Florence died on 10 September 1959 in Wandsworth, London.
Arnold Arthur went on to become a minister of religion and had Paul.
Paul told Sky News he has learnt a lot about his grandfather thanks to the project.
“It makes you go back and look at the past and find out more. My father was only seven when [his father] died in the war… there is very little known about him.
“I’ve learnt some things that I didn’t know before.”
One thing Paul has wondered is why his grandfather Charles decided to enlist at the age of 33.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” he says. “I guess he saw lots of his friends and relatives who were killed and felt he had to do something and joined up.”
A particularly touching story is that of Harold William Meek.
Both his brothers – Charles and Percy – survived the war, but Harold died at sea on 30 December 1917 aged just 23.
His transport ship was torpedoed by a U-boat off the coast of Egypt.
Although Percy survived the war, he had suffered severe shell shock as a result of the constant bombardment in the trenches which left him paralysed.
After treatment, including the simple therapy of weaving baskets, he eventually made a full recovery and returned to Norfolk.
Jose Railton took her family to visit the graves of two great-great-great-uncles – Charles Young Mitchell who is buried in France and Augustus Holland Mitchell who is buried in Belgium.
Charles Young Mitchell was a sergeant in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers on the day he died – 31 August 1918.
He was 27 years old and was recently married – he was killed six weeks before the Armistice.
The battalion was stationed south of Ecoust-St Mein in Pas de Calais.
While the battalion travelled it was targeted by enemy machine guns which fired on them from a sunken road.
Because of the recorded day of Charles’s death, he was likely a victim of the ambush.
For many years Jose’s father talked about making the journey to visit the memorial in France, but he never did.
To honour her family’s history and the memory of her great-uncles, Jose took her own children, Elliot and Poppy, who put down flowers and a letter they had written for Charles.
“He was very young, he hadn’t been able to start a family yet”.
“It’s taken so long to get here,” she says.
“My dad spoke about coming here when we were little and he’s no longer with us.
“Seeing the number of burials and their ages… It’s a bit overwhelming really.”
“To come here and not have my dad with me and him not be able to do this with me has been difficult,” Jose says.
“But what has been nice is to come with my children and share stories with them.
“And what I’m hoping is that in years to come that they’ll come back with their children and carry on learning.”
They then made the journey to Belgium where Augustus was laid to rest.
Augustus belonged to 6th Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment – he was Charles’s younger brother.
The regiment entered France at the start of June 1915 and took over part of the frontline at Ploegsteert Wood, Belgium, on 23 June – referred to as Plugstreet Wood by the British.
Augustus Holland Mitchell enlisted in to the army in Tonbridge, Kent. He was assigned to the Queen’s own (Royal West Kent) Regiment and given regimental number G/417.
Augustus died three days later, aged 21.
Plugstreet Wood was a station for units to train or recuperate from fighting.
It had become treacherous from battle and the forest was partially flooded and was full of shell holes submerged in water.
According to the battalion’s war diary, two men “died accidentally while bathing” on 25 June.
Several men from another regiment died there six months earlier.
Augustus is thought to be one of the two men mentioned in the diary, as his death was recorded as 26 June.
It is believed he may have underestimated the depth of water in the war-torn forest when he went in to bathe.
Several of the Snettisham 45 earned medals for bravery, but in the eyes of the village they were equally heroic.
And a century later they have undergone a kind of resurrection.
Long gone, but no longer forgotten.
Game Of Thrones fans aren’t happy with this Daenerys Targaryen waxwork | Ents & Arts News
She is Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, a queen who could soon claim the Iron Throne.
So it is only fitting she should have a waxwork in her honour – but perhaps makers could have made it a bit more… well, a bit more Daenerys-like.
Dublin’s National Wax Museum’s new addition pays homage to the Game Of Thrones character, played by Emilia Clarke, but has been widely mocked online.
“Wow, Winter’s really taken its toll,” said one commenter on the venue’s Instagram post, referencing one of the series’ most famous lines: “Winter is coming.”
“How do you f*** this up with all the technology there is,” said another user.
“Oh my god WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER,” said another post.
Many have said the figure looks more like Legolas from Lord Of The Rings, who was played by actor Orlando Bloom, or Lucius Malfoy, played by Jason Isaacs in the Harry Potter films.
They might have a point…
Daenerys is not the only famous face to be immortalised in less-than-flattering wax or stone.
Statues of Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball and Diego Maradona have also been ridiculed in recent years.
Clarke herself has yet to comment on her own figure, but let’s hope Daenerys sees the funny side.
Should she decide to unleash those dragons, it wouldn’t last long.
Emiliano Sala’s father dies three months after footballer’s fatal plane crash | World News
The father of Emiliano Sala has died three months after the Premier League footballer was killed in a plane crash.
Horacio Sala, 58, suffered a fatal heart attack in Argentina, the mayor of his hometown Progreso said.
“2019 has been very hard on us,” Julio Muller told local media.
“I think Horacio couldn’t get over what happened to Emi.
“Every news he heard about the investigation was really tough for him.”
A plane carrying Emiliano Sala crashed on 21 January, just two days after he had completed a £15m move from French club Nantes to Cardiff City.
The Argentinian striker was travelling to the Welsh capital in a private plane with pilot David Ibbotson when it went down in the English Channel near Alderney.
Horacio Sala described his anguish after the wreckage was discovered, telling Argentinian television: “I cannot believe it. This is a dream. A bad dream. I am desperate.”
The footballer’s body was recovered on 7 February after a privately-funded search was launched, while Mr Ibbotson remains missing.
It has also emerged that one of Emiliano Sala’s best friends died last week in a car crash.
Sebastian Rabellino was a footballer for San Martin de Progeso, the club where Sala started his career as a youth player.
Following Sala’s death, Cardiff City and Nantes are locked in a legal battle over his £15m transfer fee after the Premier League club refused to pay the first £5m instalment.
It is understood Cardiff argue that Sala’s contract had been rejected by the Premier League because it contravened signing-on fee rules and was therefore “null and void”, Sky Sports News reported.
The club also claim that further contract clauses – proposed by Nantes – had not been met.
Meanwhile, Cardiff City has denied claims it failed to offer Emiliano Sala suitable travel arrangements before his ill-fated flight to the UK.
Uber seeks market value of over $90bn in share sale | Business News
Uber is seeking a market value just above $90bn in its planned flotation, according to documents filed with regulators.
The ride hailing firm said it planned to offer 180 million shares in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) at a price of between $44-per share to $50-per share.
There would be an additional 27 million shares sold by current equity holders, Uber said.
It had been widely reported in US media that Uber had reduced its top valuation from a more lofty $120bn following a lacklustre stock market debut for its largest rival in North America, Lyft.
While Lyft’s shares climbed when trading first began last month, Lyft’s market value has plummeted since – down by 22% ahead of Friday’s opening.
In the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Uber revealed the path to profitability would likely be a rocky road for investors.
It reported a net loss of $1bn for the first quarter of the year on revenues of roughly $3bn.
It said its shares would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker name UBER.
Uber also said PayPal had agreed to purchase $500m of stock in a private placement as the pair embark on a venture to create a digital wallet for customers.
The filing kicks off a 10-day roadshow for potential investors to ask questions of senior management.
They are likely to face questions on subjects ranging from profitability to the treatment of drivers following controversy over its treatment of so-called gig economy workers and safety provisions.
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