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Great Yarmouth

Local History and



Once again, in 2017, the society is able to provide its members with an interesting and varied
annual journal, thanks to the hard work of all our contributors. We have a good number of regular
contributors and, as you will see inside, some new authors from within our membership. I would
encourage all members to consider submitting suitable articles, ie. those of local historical or
archaeological interest, and will be pleased to help with preparation if necessary.

Among this year’s contributions, we have articles about local architecture and some of our many
local historical buildings. In addition, we have articles about several personalities with a local
connection, as well as summaries of the society’s regular outings, meetings and other activities
undertaken throughout the year. I hope you find all of these interesting.

Back issues of some Journals published since 1993 are still in stock. If any are missing from your
collection and you would like them, please contact me and I will supply if copies remain.

John Smail


Telephone: 01493-300999
Address: 36 Yallop Avenue, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth. NR31 6HD

Great Yarmouth
Local History and

No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of Great
Yarmouth and District Local History and Archaeological Society and the author(s) concerned.
Apply in the first instance to the editor.

The responsibility for obtaining any necessary permission to copy or reproduce other people’s
material, or to copy or reproduce material from other publications for use within Yarmouth Local
History and Archaeology lays with the author(s) and not the Editor or the Society. Upon receipt of
articles from contributors, the Editor will assume that all the necessary authorisation has been
obtained and he will not be held liable in the case of subsequent query.

The responsibility for accuracy of facts within any article lays with the author(s) of that article and
not with the Editor or the Society.

Any opinions expressed within an article are those of the author(s) of that article, and not
necessarily those of the Editor or the Society.


Registered Charity No. 277272


President: Andrew Fakes

Chairman: Paul Davies

Treasurer: Derek Leak

Secretary Patricia Day

(e-mail :

Membership Secretary Peter Jones

Committee: Stuart Burgess

Gareth Davies

Ann Dunning

Alan Hunt

David McDermott

Ben Milner

John Smail

Michael Wadsworth

Patricia Wills-Jones

Honorary Members: Shirley Harris

John McBride

Alec McEwen

John Mobbs

Colin Tooke

Three Committee Members retire each year according to a three year rota.
Officers are elected tri-annually, and Honorary Members remain so for life.
Yarmouth Archaeology & Local History
Table of Contents

12 Renovation of an Ancient Coat of Arms of Great Yarmouth Paul P. Davies

13 Young History and Archaeologist Club Patricia Day

14 Myths and Legends Colin Tooke

22 Tracing Stephen Tracey - A Pilgrim Father from Great Yarmouth Adrian Marsden

28 Great Yarmouth - April 1941 Colin Tooke

33 64 South Quay, Great Yarmouth, a Potted History Peter Allard

36 Crowning Glories: Turrets, Urns and Finials Trevor Nicholls

43 Harry Cator VC, MM, Croix de Guerre (1894 - 1966) Paul P. Davies

46 Jem Mace Paul P. Davies

51 John Berney Crome (1794 - 1842) known as ‘Young Crome’, Paul P. Davies
Landscape Artist

54 John William Nightingale (1850 - 1911), Entrepreneur and Colin Tooke

Impresario, Hotelier, Refreshment Contractor and Philanthropist

58 Tobias Lewis (artist), Mendel Lewis (picture and antiques dealer) Malcolm Ferrow
and the Jewish Community in Great Yarmouth & Paul P. Davies

67 Sixth Society Church Crawl : Fritton, Haddiscoe, Hales, Paul P. Davies

Heckingham, Lound and Raveningham Churches

73 The Seventh Cemetery Crawl : 20th August 2017 Paul P. Davies

85 The Annual Village Visit : Martham Paul P. Davies

88 Society Visit to Thetford and Stanford (STANTA) Battle Ground Andrew Fakes

93 The Caister Wireless Station Colin Tooke

Table of Contents (continued)

96 Royal Visits to Great Yarmouth between 1900 and 2016 Chris Wright

101 Professor William Adams - the Story of the Swimming and Stewart W.
Swimming Coaching Career of the Gorleston Lifesaver Adams

107 New Gaiety Theatre of Varieties, Victoria Road, Great Yarmouth Paul P. Davies

117 Ferries Crossing the River Yare at Great Yarmouth Peter Allard

124 Update on the 'Mysterious Tower on the Seafront' article, 2016 Peter Allard

126 Great Yarmouth School Board Day Industrial School Michael


131 Les Cole (1956 - 2017) : An Appreciation Peter Allard

132 English Heritage Award for Great Yarmouth Local History and -
Archaeological Society
132 The 75th Anniversary of the Fire-bombing of St. Nicholas Church -
25th June 2017
132 The Maritime Festival -


15th January The Percy Trett Memorial Meeting - short talks by society members

19th February Towards a New History of Roman Broadland

John Peterson - Visiting Researcher, University of East Anglia

18th March Service Battalions on the Somme, the Costly Struggle of 1916
Neil Storey - Historian and Author

15th April Kings Lynn: a Norfolk Port for 1,000 years and Partner in the Hanseatic League
Dr. Paul Richards, FSA, FRSA - Historian and Former Mayor of Kings Lynn

20th May Annual General Meeting, followed by a short lecture

16th September History on our Doorstep

Derek and Judy Leak - GYLHAS members

21st October Archaeology and the Medieval North Sea World

Brian Ayers, BA, FSA, FRSA, MIFA - Former County Historian and Author

18th November Powerhouses of Prayer: the Rise of Medieval Monasteries

Dr. Nick Groves, MA, PhD, FRHistS - Lecturer in Church History

16th December Christmas Social Evening, including a short lecture by a member

Lecture Summaries 2016

January 2016

At the Percy Trett Memorial Meeting, a short film of Mr. Trett describing coypu clearance was
shown and the President paid tribute to his contribution to the Society and to Great Yarmouth in
general. This was followed by a series of four talks.

Paul Davies spoke on the subject of past physicians who had practiced in Great Yarmouth,
saying that most were familiar with James Paget and Astley Cooper. However, there were six
others who left a legacy in the town. As well as their medical duties they were able to amass
large art collections, many of the pictures now being worth millions of pounds. They and their
families wrote several books giving an insight into life in the town over many years. The books
show that Great Yarmouth was an important town, but it was subject to religious intolerance.

Graham Brown showed some pictures he had copied from glass photographic plates that were
found in a shed. Some had been damaged by water and heat, but others showed remarkable
detail. Pictures of Mautby Church, Martham and a Triumph motor cycle were identified.

Stuart Burgess spoke about archaeological field walking by Society members and its Junior
Group that he had supervised. His methodical approach identified pre-Roman, Roman, Saxon
and Danish pottery as well as many other metal objects of dubious interest, but several significant
‘finds’ were made in a small field south of Great Yarmouth. He appealed for members to join him
in further searches of other fields.

Andrew Fakes gave a brief illustrated talk on the subject of Great Yarmouth Habour and the
contribution made by the Dutch engineer Joas Johnson to fixing its position, keeping the outlet to
the sea open and preventing inland flooding. He quoted Charles Lewis, the former curator of
Yarmouth Maritime Museum, writing that Yarmouth’s greatest industrial monument history is its
Giving the vote of thanks, Patricia Ashbourne said that when she joined the Great Yarmouth
Archaeological Society over 40 years ago, Percy Trett made her very welcome and she was sure
that he would be pleased with the efforts of its current members.

February 2016

The Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor Shirley Weymouth, attended the meeting of the society
held on 19th February, when Mr. John Peterson, Visiting Researcher at the University of East
Anglia, set forth his theories on the shape of the coastline and sea levels around Great Yarmouth
in a talk entitled Towards a New History of Roman Broadland.

He began by saying that he wondered about the truth of the ‘orthodox’ map of Roman East
Norfolk, showing a big estuary with wider Rivers Waveney, Yare, Bure and Thurne reaching well
into the county. He mentioned the Hutch Map: the Elizabethan cartographers’ view of how it was
thought the Yarmouth area would have looked in 1,000AD.

Mr. Peterson said that certain Roman archaeological finds around the River Waveney and in the
Winterton area indicated that these sites were dry land around 2,000 years ago. He felt that the
coastline had receded some three kilometers since the Roman period. He also doubted that the
River Thurne flowed into the sea. Roman pottery and tile had been found in Great Yarmouth. His
main contention was that sea levels had not changed greatly since Roman times and that it was
the land that had altered over the years.

The President thanked Mr. Peterson for his talk, but pointed out that a boat had been found, when
the old Power Station was built, at a depth of ten feet below the current land level although this of
course could have sunken into the sand. Mr. Peterson’s research was an interesting contribution
to the debate, but the President said that he had asked David Gurney, who was then head of the
Norfolk Archaeological Unit, how sea levels around Great Yarmouth had changed since Roman
times. Mr. Gurney’s reply was that nothing was absolutely certain!

March 2016

The President read a brief tribute to the society’s former Chairman Russell Smith, who had died
earlier in the month, and called for a brief period of silence to recall his contribution to what was
originally Great Yarmouth and District Archaeological Society.

In a powerful talk entitled The Service Battalions on the Somme in 1916, Neil Storey ran through
the events that led up to the terrible carnage on the 1st of July, 1916.

Britain had been largely at peace since the end of the Boer War and was used to being on the
winning side so, when the Kaiser Reich of Wilhelm II challenged Royal Naval superiority, many
wanted to take on the upstart Germany.

Germany had its fears of being encircled by, and forced to submit to, France and Russia, so the
Schleifen plan was adopted, by which France would be taken out of the war by a lightning attack
through Belgium. Britain dashed to the defence of Gallant Little Belgium, whose army was no
match for the enormous German conscript military machine.

Britain’s army, although very professional and well trained, was small compared with European
armies. Volunteers flocked to join the military at the outbreak of war in August 1914, but arms
and uniforms were in short supply. Norfolk men were largely slow to respond at the start of the
war because of the need for labour to bring in the harvest but, after this was complete, they
rushed to join Kitchener’s Army.

By the end of 1914, the conflict settled down to trench warfare, which the Generals had not
expected as they had prepared for a war of movement, but the British army had greatly expanded
with lots of keen young men ready to play their part.
Early in 1916, the French army was coming under severe pressure at Verdun from a fierce
German onslaught, and there was a danger that the French army would collapse or mutiny and
that Paris would fall. French soldiers were taken out of the line on the Somme and were replaced
by the British Army. The Allied Generals put pressure on Haig’s army to attack the Germans.

Enormous numbers of British men and quantities of materials flooded to the Somme and a huge
barrage was fired at the German trenches. Tunnels were dug to blow up enemy positions.
Officers had metal squares sewn on to the backs of their uniforms so their men could follow them,
and the brave and eager young men went ‘over the top’, expecting little opposition.
Unfortunately, the Germans had retreated to very deep dugouts, leaving them free to emerge
after the barrage had stopped, and provide a deadly resistance to the British advance, resulting in
huge casualties. There were some successes, but little progress was made.

Neil Storey recounted many fascinating, if depressing, details of the brave young men who fought
on the Somme in a terrible and unexpected form of warfare and, over two further years of conflict,
followed the action on the Somme before an armistice was achieved in 1918.

April 2016

At the April meeting of the Society Dr. Paul Richards gave an illustrated lecture entitled, King’s
Lynn: a Norfolk Port for 1,000 years and partner in the Hanseatic League.

King’s Lynn, known as Bishop’s Lynn until the time of Henry VIII, is now at the head of the river
Ouse with access by waterway to eight counties.

Germany, then known as the Holy Roman Empire, was not a single country, but was made up of
lots of small city states and principalities. Several were able to co-operate from the mid-13th
century to form the Hanseatic League to promote maritime trade and provide protection from
pirates. Originally based on Hamburg, Lubeck and Bremen, the League thrived on trade in the
Baltic and North Seas. Many other German ports joined the league. Non-Germans were not
admitted, but they were keen to trade with Russia in the east and England in the west, where they
had agents and warehouses. Trade was in wax, tar and timber from the Baltic, fur from Russia,
and grain, fish, salt, wool and cloth from England. Germans exported wine and manufactured

Most of the ports in eastern England traded with the Hanseatic League, but King’s Lynn has a
particularly fine Hansa warehouse and many of its churches had German connections. The
Hansa warehouses and trading posts were known as Steel Yards, an English corruption of
‘Stal’ (sample) and ‘Hof’ (courtyard). Great Yarmouth was known to have traded with the League,
but there are no tangible links remaining. King’s Lynn had a thriving trade with the Baltic in salt
for preserving fish, and much of the later town was built on the detritus left behind when
producing salt from sea water. However, it later proved much cheaper to obtain salt from south
eastern France, where the sun was hotter, to dry out the brine.

By the 17th century the Hanseatic League was in decline as a result of competition from Dutch
and English fleets. King’s Lynn went into decline when maritime trade turned towards the Atlantic
rather than the North Sea. The coming of the railways was also a mixed blessing to Lynn, but it
developed other industries. Fred Savage had an engineering works making farm machinery, but
is now famous for his fairground rides and the ‘Fair Season’ always begins in King’s Lynn on St.
Valentine’s day every year.

King’s Lynn approximately doubled in size in the 1960s, when the Greater London Council agreed
to send 20,0000 people to live in Lynn and new factories and infrastructure were built.

There are many fine streets, buildings and churches in King’s Lynn and Dr. Richards invited
members of Great Yarmouth Local History & Archaeological Society to visit the town, when he
would gladly show them around.
September 2016

At the meeting of the Society on 16th September, Derek and Judy Leak gave a lecture, as the
planned speaker was unable attend because of serious illness in her family.

The presentation was entitled History on Our Doorstep, and was a series of pictures taken by Mr.
& Mrs. Leak, both keen photographers, of local items of historical and archaeological interest,
with a well-researched commentary.

They began at Fishley church on the high ground north of Acle, showing a map of east Norfolk in
Roman times, followed by various views towards Great Yarmouth and the Scroby windfarm. The
church at Wickhampton, Holkham beach and hall, the Langham Dome and the henge at Holme-
next-the-sea were mentioned. The momentous events at Thetford and at Framlingham Castle
relating to the Reformation, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the accession to the throne of
Mary Tudor was extensively chronicled and photographed.

Several members said that Derek & Judy Leak’s presentation and its photographs were good
enough to be broadcast, and it was indeed better than many things currently seen on television.

October 2016

Brian Ayers’ illustrated talk to the Society was entitled The Archaeology of the North Sea. He
began by recounting the archaeological evidence from around what was then called the German
Ocean, as the North Sea was described up until the First World War.

Evidence of trade came up from all over Europe since before the Norman Conquest. Around this
time, ships were built to carry bulk cargos. Previously, small things of high value were traded, but
with the introduction of the Hansa Cog, trade took off and seemed to be only occasionally
interrupted by war.

Little was known of these ships until an excavation that occurred during the construction of the
Rotterdam Ring Road, when half of a cog was found lying on its side. The top half of the wreck
had rotted, but the lower section of the ship was preserved in mud. It was possible to produce a
blueprint of the entire craft.

Evidence of trade of Scandinavian fish, fur and timber were found throughout the towns around
the North Sea. Similarly, wool, cloth, iron, tar and tallow were traded. Mr. Ayers mentioned
particularly salt, which was quarried in Luneburg and was brought to the Baltic ports by a canal
using 12 locks, which was built around 1290, well before canal building began in Britain.
Germany was not a single country until the 19th century, but a series principalities and
independent city states.

Modern archaeological techniques have established the origin of the many items excavated and
given an idea of the volume of trade. There is also evidence of communities, largely from
churches and place names, of foreign traders in many of the towns around the North Sea.

The President asked why there is a paucity of evidence of North Sea trade around Great
Yarmouth, and whether it was not part of the medieval North Sea economy.

Mr. Ayers said that Great Yarmouth was almost certainly heavily involved in trade at that time, not
least as the sea port for Norwich. He explained that Great Yarmouth had not had a substantial
development in the town for many years, which would have financed an archaeological dig using
modern techniques. He also said that the last substantial dig in Great Yarmouth was on the old
Lacon’s brewery site by Andrew Rogerson, finishing in 1975. Digging into the town’s sandy
subsoil was difficult as it was not stable and tended not to preserve artefacts from earlier times.

November 2016

The talk at our November meeting was given by Dr. Nick Groves and entitled Powerhouses of
Prayer; the Rise and Fall of Medieval Monasteries.

Dr. Groves began by saying that the monastic lifestyle was not unique to Christianity, and many
religions gave rise to communities or individuals withdrawing from the world to lead a spiritual life,
denying the pleasures and commitments of ordinary life.

The first Christian monks appeared in Egypt, when men withdrew to the desert to commune with
their god and live a good life. The problem was that these mystic hermits were thought to have
miraculous powers or great wisdom, so people ‘beat a path to their door’. Simon Stylies was said
to have lived on top of a pillar for many years, but still many people came to him for guidance and

The Celtic Church first set up monasteries in Ireland, Scotland and Northern England but St.
Augustine set up the first papal religious orders in England circa 598. The monasteries suffered
Viking raids and looting after 767, and many buildings were destroyed over the next century.

The Benedictine order was the first to be established, followed by the Cluniacs, the Carthusians,
and the Augustinians. In the 11th century, the military orders, such as the Knights Templars,
were formed, but Dr. Groves felt that there had been a great deal of rubbish written about them

The problem of Monasticism was that when they began, adherents were pious and took their
vows seriously but, as time went by, they became lax and decadent. During the 13th century, the
four mendicant or begging orders of friars, the Franscisans, the Dominicans, the Carmelites and
the Augustinians came to the fore. As they were involved in the world and with needs of ordinary
people, they were perceived to be more godly and received much more income than the first

At their best, the monasteries provided religious consolation, charity, education, pastoral and
medical, and ‘hotel’ services to the community they served. However, with time, many became
self-serving and were run for the benefit of the monks and nuns of their order, not practising their
vows of poverty, chastity or obedience.

Medieval Great Yarmouth had five religious orders within its walls: the Benedictines, known as
the Black Monks, were attached to St. Nicholas Church as a cell of Norwich Cathedral. The
Franciscans’ or White Friars’ premises were in the North Quay area. The Greyfriars had a large
church to the south of where the Town Hall stands. The White Friars held property around the
Market Place and Blackfriars’ monastery occupied a large site within the town walls at the south
end of the town.

The events of the English reformation and Henry VIII’s break with Rome are well-known regarding
the divorce he wanted from Catherine of Aragon, but dissatisfaction with papal rule and money-
raising spread through Europe even before Martin Luther. The takeover of the monasteries had
enormous effects on England, when some gained, but many lost out as the money raised went
into enriching a few and much of the resources went into Henry’s largely unsuccessful military
adventures. The poor mostly suffered as their employment with the monasteries ceased and the
charities no longer dispensed alms.

Dr. Groves pointed out that St. Benet’s Abbey at Ludham was unique in that it was not dissolved,
but amalgamated with Norwich Cathedral under the Bishop, whose title as well as Bishop of
Norwich is also Abbot of St Benet’s at Holme. It was Dr. Groves’ contention that St. Benet’s
Abbey was no longer active as a monastery at the time of the Dissolution and of little interest to
new religious authorities.

December 2016
At the meeting in December, The President gave a brief tribute to the society’s former Chairman
and President, Norman Fryer, who died on 26th November. Norman’s service to the society, as
well as his self-effacing humour and constructive good nature, was mentioned.
Kate Argyle, who is Historic England’s schools learning representative in this region, gave the
society a parchment as a note of thanks for its help with the project to promote local history in
schools around the Borough, saying that the Great Yarmouth project had been the most
successful of ten schemes around the country.

An illustrated lecture was given by James Steward, who was the first curator of the Time and Tide
Museum when it was set up in the town some ten years ago. Mr. Steward now works for the
Advertising Trust. He gave examples of how things had changed over the years, from entirely
informative material to promotion of brands, and to appeal to emotions, which was not universally
welcomed. However, these could be amusing as well as entertaining. Several examples from
television and cinema advertising of more than 30 years ago were shown. Mr. Steward was given
the society’s good wishes in his new position as head of the museum at Ipswich.

The meeting concluded with its annual Christmas buffet, prepared by Jean Smith and her family.

Publications by members of the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological

The Fall of Yarmouth Suspension Bridge: A Norfolk Disaster by Gareth Davies (2015) ISBN:
The Clown King: Popular Entertainment 1840 - 1860 by Gareth Davies (2015) ISBN:
Pablo Fanque and The Victorian Circus: A Romance of Real Life by Gareth Davies (2017) ISBN:
Forgotten Yarmouth Entertainments: Reflections of Popular Culture in a 19th Century Seaside
Resort by Gareth Davies (2017) ISBN: 9781546412243
St. George’s, Great Yarmouth: Chapel, Church, Arts Centre by Paul P. Davies (2012)
Artistic and Comic Postcards of Great Yarmouth by Paul P. Davies (2015)
The Royal Naval Hospital by Paul P. Davies (reprinted from History of Medicine of Great
Yarmouth: Hospitals and Doctors) (2016)
Historic Great Yarmouth by Margaret Gooch (2016)

Publications by the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society

More Plaques in and around Great Yarmouth and Gorleston (2015)
Monograph Seven: Window Display par excellence. The work of Philip Musgrave-Gray of
Palmer’s Department Store, Great Yarmouth in the 1930s (2013)
Monograph Eight: A Snapshot of Great Yarmouth 150 years Ago. Advertisements from the
Yarmouth Independent of 1863 (2013)
Monograph Nine: Some Bye-Laws of Great Yarmouth Borough Council 1862-1873 (2015)
Monograph Ten: Caister Causey Act of 1722 (2015)
Monograph Eleven: A Proposal for a New Cattle Market and Slaughter House for Great Yarmouth
1877 (2015)
Monograph Twelve: A Selection of the writings of Harry Beale Johnson, the Yarmouth Mercury
Corner Man 1926-1932 (2016)
Monograph Thirteen: The High Stewards of Great Yarmouth (2016)

Renovation of an Ancient Coat of Arms of Great Yarmouth
Paul P. Davies

The Great Yarmouth Coat of Arms were found in the loft

of the new Magistrates’ Court on North Quay in Great
Yarmouth in 2014.

The magistrates offered the coat of arms to the Great

Yarmouth Minster Preservation Trust to hang over the
wrought iron work that houses the two town maces and
the town sword during civic services. Such an addition
will demonstrate the important role and link that the
Minster has with the town and Borough Council. Many
churches have a Mayor’s pew, which is signified by a
town crest, usually in the form of a pole fixed to the pew.
Great Yarmouth Minster does not have such a device.

After research, it can be demonstrated that the arms

were affixed to a building on South Quay in Great
Yarmouth. This building, according to Manship, was a
staple or mart house of wool in the reign of Edward II. In
1600, it was granted as a house of Morning Prayer to
the Dutch congregation, who had fled from the religious
persecution in the Netherlands. After the Dutch left, the
building became, successively, a custom house, again a
The Dutch Chapel with the town’s coat of warehouse, a sail loft, a theatre, a warehouse, a public
arms below the royal arms. library and finally, a shipping agency. According to C. J.
Courtesy of Colin Tooke Palmer, the town’s arms were placed on the front of that
building in 1809 by the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Robert

The property was badly damaged during the Second

World War and was demolished in 1946. The arms were
saved and placed in the old magistrates’ court in the
Town Hall. When this closed, with the re-ordering of the
Town Hall, the arms were stored in the attic of the new
magistrates’ court on North Quay.

The arms are made of plaster mounted onto a curved

piece of oak, maybe from a barrel or a ship’s hull, and
measure 2ft 11ins by 2ft 2ins.

The arms were dirty and pieces were missing, particularly to the foliage. The Crick Smith
University of Lincoln offered to restore the arms free of charge. A PhD. student worked on them
as part of her thesis. The restoration was completed by Dr. Paul Croft, a Research Fellow of the
University. The paint was analysed and the arms were repainted in their 19th century colour
scheme. It was apparent that the herring tails were not
silvered. Dr. Jonathan Foyle of the university examined
the arms and pronounced them to be late 17th century
and it is likely that they were used somewhere else before
Robert Warmington placed them on the building, most
likely when it was the Custom House.

The coat of arms were erected in Great Yarmouth Minster

and blessed by the Rector during the Mayor’s Civic
Service in 2016. An important artefact of the town has
thus been saved for future generations.

Young History and Archaeologist Club
Patricia Day
Having completed two successful years, the group is working to capacity with 12 regular
attendees aged from 8 to 16, and a waiting list for the following year. Set up in partnership with
Norfolk Museum Service and Historic England, and run by volunteers from the Society, the group
is also affiliated to National Council for British Archaeology allowing members to benefit from
being part of the National Young Archaeologists’ Network.

YHAC is based at the Time and Tide Museum and at their regular monthly meeting young
members have enthusiastically explored diverse topics including the Romans, the Stone Age, and
the Great Yarmouth fishing and military history. Members also enjoy ‘show and tell’ time in the
session, when they take great pleasure in presenting and discussing their own recent finds and
precious objects. The regular meetings are also very ‘hands-on’ and this year members have
taken home their own hand-made Roman wax tablets and styli, Neolithic microlith blades (made
of modelling clay), fossil imprinted tiles, and they even got to taste herrings, which were provided
by Silver Darling Café.

The group has also enjoyed a variety of extra-mural outings and activities throughout the year:
several of the members were involved in the Deep History Coast project; creating a short
animation film and featuring as cartoon characters in a fossil hunting booklet used by schools.

Field trips have included a trip to Fritton Woods where, led by GYLHAS member Stuart Burgess,
the young people got to work with spades, brooms and trowels, clearing soil and scrub to explore
evidence of military occupation. The group also travelled to Norwich Castle to find out about the
museum’s permanent collection and take part in an archaeology day.

YHAC members on their field trip to Fritton Woods YHAC members at the pop-up museum

To end the year, the group hosted a successful pop-up museum in July to celebrate the Festival
of Archaeology, which was opened by the Mayor, Cllr. Kerry Robinson-Payne, who presented
members with Historic England certificates to mark their commitment to local history. The young
people rose to the challenge of curating the pop-up by selecting their own precious and important
artefacts, writing information labels and deciding on the best way to present their objects. The
mini-museum included exciting finds from local beaches, geological and natural history samples
from around the world, a demonstration of prehistoric migration and even a flintlock pistol.
Visitors were also invited to make a ‘fossil’ tile to take home or to pit their wits against the
brainbox historians.

The YHAC has proved to be a great way to encourage historical exploration and discovery and to
inspire the next generation of the GYLHAS. Meanwhile, members, both young and old, are
looking forward to a third action-packed year of history and archaeology.

Myths and Legends
Colin Tooke

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a myth as: a widely held but false belief or idea and a
Legend as: a traditional story sometimes regarded as historical but not authenticated.

Several myths or legends associated with Great Yarmouth have been repeated in print many
times over the years and, although there is evidence to disprove them, they are still repeated.
Antiquarian historians almost always accepted earlier writings without question, thereby
perpetuating any errors rather than correcting them.

Modern historians, however, tend to look deeper and do not always take for granted what has
been written in the past.

Cerdic the Saxon

Undoubtedly the oldest of all the myths that exist about the history of the town is that of Cerdic the
Saxon, who was said to have landed on the sandbank in the fifth century. It dates from the
middle of the 14th century when a scribe, copying from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for Higden’s
Polychronicon, mistook the letter C for a G and wrote Gernemouth (the early form of Yarmouth)
instead of Cernemouth (now Charmouth in Dorset). This error caused confusion among the early
historians of Yarmouth for several centuries; historians such as Camden, Spelman, Holingshed,
Manship and Swinden, until it became an unchallenged part of the town’s history. Unfortunately,
although it has since been disproved, it is still repeated today.

In the nineteenth century the name Cerdic was used for road and building names in the town.
Leading off Marine Parade is Cerdic Place and nearby on Apsley Road were Cerdic Shore
Cottages, built in 1846. There is a Cerdic Terrace (1867) on Northgate Street.

One account of his supposed landing in AD 495 is to be found in Manship 1, who says: Cerdic and
his son landed at that place named Cerdic Sand, now Yarmouth… Palmer, in his edition of
Manship 2, corrected this in his notes accompanying Manship’s text when he wrote: it is probable
that our old chroniclers, by confounding the name Gernemouth with that of Cernemuth, gave
currency to the story that this Saxon leader, and founder of the kingdom of Wessex, landed where
Yarmouth now stands; for all the circumstances combine to prove that it took place near the
present site of Charmouth.

Despite this verification that Cerdic did not come anywhere near this part of the east coast,
Ecclestone repeated, without correction, Manship’s account in his book published in 1971 3.

In 1972, the late Paul Rutledge, for many years President of this Society, wrote about The Ghost
of Cerdic 4 and confirmed Palmer had been correct. Paul wrote: Our history has not improved by
borrowing from Wessex. It is too much to hope that Cerdic, or worse Cedric, will stay out of local
history writing at Yarmouth in future. Unfortunately it has been too much to hope.


Manship’s History of Great Yarmouth was finished in 1619 but not published until 1854 when
Palmer published it with explanatory notes, see Palmer, C. J., Manship’s History of Great
Yarmouth Vol I, p19
Palmer, C. J., Manship’s History of Great Yarmouth, Vol I, p212
Ecclestone, A. W., Henry Manship’s Great Yarmouth, 1971, p27
GYAS Bulletin, November 1972

Gorleston Stone Circle

The existence of a Stone Circle at Gorleston appears to have been first suggested in an article
printed in an issue of the Gorleston & Southtown Magazine in 1831 1. At this time, there had
been a renewed interest in all things pagan, including the existence of stone circles and other

Palmer, writing in 1875, said: There is a tradition that the Druids had a temple at Gorleston, some
remains of which existed down to a comparatively recent period. It is supposed to have stood on
a field next to the road to Lowestoft, upon what is called Great Stone Close; and it has been
asserted that some huge stones remained standing until 1768, when they were destroyed by
digging round their base and dragging them down by ropes. There were also two fields called
Further Stone Close and Middle Stone Close, so that it is possible the Druidical circle, if it ever
existed, may have had a wide extant 2.

In 1888, Frederick Danby Palmer exhibited a picture said to be these prehistoric megaliths, at a
meeting of the Yarmouth Branch of the Norfolk & Norwich Archaeological Society 3.
The Revd. Forbes Phillips, Vicar of Gorleston, continued and expanded on this tradition in 1894
when he wrote at length about Druidism, Pagans and the existence of Druid Temples.

In 1933, R. H. Teasdel 5 copied Palmer but gave a more precise location of the Stone Circle by
saying it was: in a field called Stone Piece that was now the site of Gorleston Railway Station. He
said he believed the stones existed, but could not imagine how they got there. Teasdel was
secretary of the Great Yarmouth Archaeological Society from 1912 until 1938.

What these early historians appear to have ignored was Palmer’s footnote where he said: The
late Mr. W. E. Randell, who died in 1855, left numerous papers relating to and drawings of
antiquities, which he asserted had existed in Gorleston; and if they could be relied on they would
be highly interesting; but as many of his statements are certainly imaginary, so much doubt has
been thrown upon his collection, as to make it prudent not to use or quote from them unless
supported by corroborative evidence 6.

Randell, author of the Gorleston and Southtown Magazine, wrote about many thing relating to
Gorleston. His papers were sold to the British Museum by his widow, Dorcus Randell, shortly
after his death and they became part of what is known as the Edgerton Manuscripts. Many of his
papers were read and accepted, apparently without question, by well-known 19th century
historians, including papers relating to the Gorleston Priory. Recent research into the Priory has
shown Randell’s work to be unreliable and inaccurate 7.


Randell, W. E., The Gorleston and Southtown Magazine, also known as The Pantheon of
Literature, Science and the Arts, was short lived. It was issued monthly from the 1st January
1831 until the 21st July 1831, see Teasdel, R. H., History of Gorleston, 1933, p45
Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, 1875, Vol 3, p307
Teasdel, p7
Forbes Philips, History of Gorleston, 1894, p9
Teasdel, p7
Palmer, Vol 3, p307
Research as yet unpublished

The Treacle Mines, West Caister

Most people outside the village of Caister have not heard this legend but, in the 1950s and 1960s,
it was common practice to ask new residents and visitors if they had visited the ‘Caister Treacle
Mines’. The legend was kept alive by the village newsagent, Tommy Jones. The treacle mines
were said to be in West Caister, but nobody could say exactly where and many local people were
not sure if the story was true or false. There is however a logical explanation, which could be the
foundation of the story.

Throughout the 19th century, a large amount of hemp was grown locally for the twine and rope
making industry. Hemp was undoubtedly grown at West Caister to supply the Yarmouth rope and
twine makers, who at one time numbered over one hundred. As part of the process, the newly
harvested crop of hemp was placed in large ponds, covered with water and left to rot. This
process was known as ‘retting’ and the ponds were known as ‘retting ponds’. When the
vegetation was soft the fibre was removed and taken to be bleached. The bleached hemp was
then ready for the twine and rope makers. What was left in the pits resembled thick dark treacle.
It was this residue that led to the expression ‘treacle mines.’ The term ‘treacle’ was common in
many places where hemp was grown, and one village in Suffolk, near Halesworth, used to hold
an annual ‘Treacle Fair’. The exact location of hemp production, or the associated pits at West
Caister, is unknown.

Nelson Monument or Norfolk Pillar

A myth that has circulated in the town for several years is that the architect for the Nelson
Monument, or Norfolk Pillar, at the south end of the town, threw himself off the top when he
thought the figure of Britannia had been erected facing the wrong way.

This 44 metre high monument was completed in July 1819, designed by the prominent London
architect, William Wilkins. The original design had incorporated a Roman galley to top the
monument, but this was substituted by the figure of Britannia, thought to be more appropriate,
after the Corporation agreed to meet the additional expense. Britannia, standing on a globe,
faces inland towards Nelson’s beloved Norfolk, holding an olive branch for peace, and a trident.

On 1st June 1819, when the monument was almost completed, the Borough Surveyor and
Superintendent of Works, 65 year-old Thomas Sutton, climbed the 217 steps to the top to inspect
the work. On reaching the top, the Norfolk Chronicle reported: he complained of dizziness and
instantly expired. The tombstone of Thomas Sutton, recording how he departed his life at the top
of the monument, can be seen against the wall, on the right side, when entering the main church

There was another death associated with the monument when, on 26th May 1863, the acrobat
Charles Marsh climbed out to sit on the shoulders of Britannia and play a violin. In the process he
lost his footing and fell to the ground and was fatally injured 1.

Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, 1875, Vol 3, p218

Star Hotel Nelson Room

It is sometimes said that Nelson stayed at the old Star Hotel, on Hall Quay, where a room on the
first floor overlooking the quay was named the Nelson Room. The old Star Hotel closed in
September 1930 and was demolished a few years later. The licence was transferred next door,
to what had been known as the Cromwell Hotel, a building that was then renamed the Star Hotel.

A panelled room in the old Star Hotel, a room also having an ornate ceiling, was known as the
Nelson Room for many years. This was not because Nelson had stayed there, but because a
portrait of Nelson once hung over the fireplace. The portrait, said to be an esteemed capital
likeness, had been painted by local artist, Matthew Keymer, when Nelson was staying at the
Wrestlers’ in 1801. Keymer was a member of the Society of Friends, a social club that later
became known as the Friendly, meeting weekly at the old Star Hotel. Following the Battle of
Trafalgar and Nelson’s death, Keymer gave the portrait to the club and it was hung in the room
where they held their meetings 1. When the Friendly was disbanded in 1907, the portrait was
given to the corporation and hung in the Town Hall. Today the painting, in its very ornate frame,
is on display in the Norfolk Nelson Museum on South Quay. The panelling from the room in the
old Star Hotel was sold to an American museum.

Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, 1875, Vol 1, p363

Body Snatchers Row

It was not until 1804 that the Rows were given names and, in 1875, Palmer was the first person to
print a detailed description of each row and the names that had become associated with each
one. In describing Row 6, which ran from Northgate Street to Rainbow Square, he included the
name Snatchbody Row. This name, he assumed, was because Vaughan and Murphy, two 19th
century body snatchers, men who recovered newly buried bodies from the nearby churchyard,
concealed their booty in some old houses in this row 1. The lucrative practice of stealing the
bodies of deceased persons was widespread until the 1830s, the bodies being sent to London for
medical research and dissection by surgeons.

The name Snatchbody or Body Snatchers Row was afterwards always associated by later
historians with Row 6. In 1999, Patricia Gray and Paul Richards researched the life and the trial
of Thomas Vaughan from manuscripts held in the British Library 2. At Vaughan’s trial at Norwich
Assizes in August 1828, the court was told how he had been seen digging up the grave of
Elizabeth Beck, removing the body, and putting it in a sack. The body was then taken to the
stable of a house in Boulter’s Row, put into a box and packed with sawdust. The lid was screwed
down and the box marked ‘glass with care’ before being put on a cart and taken to London.

Boulter’s Row was mentioned several times in the transcripts of the trial. It was in this row that
Vaughan was said to have rented a house and stable in September 1827 and, when he had
ordered a supply of boxes 2 feet 3 inches in length, 14 inches wide and 14 inches deep with
screw-down lids, these were to be delivered to Boulter’s Row 3. Newspaper reports of the trial
also give the address of the house Vaughan rented as Boulter’s Row.

Boulter’s Row was Row 3, which ran from Northgate Street to Laughing Image Corner. It was so
called because the family of Boulter had kept a baker’s shop at the north-east corner 4. It is
thought, by Gray and Richards, that Palmer took his information from a book written in 1843 5 and
did not see the trial papers for himself.

It is therefore reasonable to say that Row 3 should be called Snatchbody or Body-Snatchers Row,
not Row 6.

Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, 1875, Vol 1, p144
Gray, P., and Richards, P., The True Life and Crimes of a Body-Snatcher, published privately,
1999. Refers also to British Library Add Mss 23738
Gray and Richards, p14
Palmer, Vol 1, p142
Cooper, B., The Life of Sir Astley Cooper Bart., 1843
Kittywitches Row

A row name, which cannot be classed as a myth or a legend, but which the origin of has been
debated by historians for many years, is Kittywitches Row. Of the hundreds of names given to
the town’s rows, this is probably the best known, but does not, so far, have a logical explanation.

Row 95, which originally ran from King Street to Middlegate Street, was only 30 inches (75 cm)
wide at its western end: so that a stout man can scarcely pass through without touching the walls.
With its narrowness and overhanging Tudor buildings on the south side, this was a very gloomy
row, even on a sunny day, and: a fitting scene for deeds of mystery and darkness 1. The origin of
the name has, over the years, had several suggested explanations.

In East Anglian folklore, Kitwitches were women who dressed in men’s clothes and, with their
faces smothered with blood, rushed from house to house demanding money, which they later
spent on drink 2. Did women like this live in Row 95?

A Kitty Witch is also said to be the name given to a small species of crab, at one time found on
Breydon Water. Because of the narrowness of the western end of the row, it was necessary for
some people to walk sideways, like a crab.

In the 17th century, a baker by the name of Christopher Witchingham lived in the row.
Christopher is sometime shortened to ‘Kit’. Several rows were named after one of their principle

Because of the lack of any evidence, it is unlikely the true origin of this unusual name will ever be
discovered. Although most of this row has now disappeared, the eastern end survives off King

Palmer, C .J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, 1875, Vol 2, p145
Porter, Enid, Folklore of East Anglia, 1974

The Corn Hall

This is not a myth or a legend, rather a misconception. In the library garden, to the north of the
Tolhouse, is a large piece of stonework, now somewhat covered by vegetation. On this
stonework are the words ‘CORN HALL’ and this, not surprisingly, leads many people to assume
the town’s Corn Hall once stood on this site.

The Corn Hall from where this stonework was taken was in Howard Street, on the north side of
Row 53, now the site of a car park. When the building was demolished in 1969, presumably no-
one could think of a better place to put this remnant, other than on the open ground next to the

The Howard Street Corn Hall had been built in 1871, at the rear of the Duke’s Head, by the
proprietor of that establishment. It replaced an earlier Corn Hall that stood in Regent Street,
which opened in 1842. This building had been used for its original purpose by the corn
merchants for many years until, for some reason, they reverted to open-air dealing, gathering at
either the Market Cross, in front of the Angel Hotel, on the quay near the Star Hotel or, finally, in
front of the Duke’s Head Hotel 1. The Regent Street Corn Hall, often used as a public hall and
entertainment venue, was bought by the government in 1870 and converted into a Post Office.
Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, 1875, Vol 1, p388

St. Nicholas Steeple and Priory Gardens, Gorleston

What is today known as Priory Gardens in Gorleston has no connection with the 13th century
Gorleston Augustinian Priory.

In the 16th century, the academic, William Camden, toured the country and recorded: …Gorlston
[sic] where I saw the tower of a ruined monastery serving as a sea mark. This appears to be the
first reference to the church of St. Nicholas having monastic connections and subsequent
historians have accepted this without question. Until recent years the church of St. Nicholas was
accepted as the Priory Church of the Gorleston Augustinian Priory 1.

In 1826, Drurey, when writing about the Gorleston Augustinian Friars, said: The conventual
church was dedicated to St. Nicholas and stood wholly within the parish of Gorleston 2. In 1875,
Palmer appears to accept this statement when he wrote: The Priory of the Austin Friars occupied
land bordered by the High Road to the east, Fen Street [Beccles Road] to the west and Burnt
Lane to the south. The Conventual Church was erected some distance south of the Priory on
ground adjoining and to the west of the High Road through Gorleston. It was dedicated to St.
Nicholas. An engraving accompanying this text shows a ruined church tower entitled: Tower of
the Austin Friars Church 3. The ruined tower appeared on other 19th century engravings and a
Prospect of Gorleston.

Gorleston Lodge, built at the beginning of the 19th century, had three and a half acres of grounds
between the High Street and Church Road, south of School Lane. Because this was close to the
site of the ruined tower (which finally collapsed in 1813), it was assumed the land had been part
of the Augustinian Priory grounds and was later, and still is, called Priory Gardens. When a new
road was built on land that was part of the Lodge grounds in 1870, it was named Priory Street
and, when a sarcophagus lid was unearthed on the site in 1976, it was assumed this was a burial
ground associated with the Priory 4.

In 1976, an archaeological excavation on land behind the Wheelwright’s Arms on Beccles Road,
uncovered the site of the Chapter House attached to the church of the Augustinian Priory, thereby
confirming that their church was on the site of the Priory, and not further south as had been
previously suggested 5.

St. Nicholas Church, which stood roughly where Priory Street is today, was an entirely separate
parish church, serving the parish of Little Yarmouth, which adjoined the parish of Gorleston, and
which had its own church, St. Andrew’s. These two parishes were amalgamated in the 16th
century and the church of St. Nicholas was abandoned to become a ruin. Little Yarmouth then
disappeared as a place in its own right 6.

Gooch, M., Little Yarmouth, GYDLHAS Monograph 3, 2012
Druery, J. H., Historical Notices of Great Yarmouth, 1826, p134
Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, 1875, Vol 3, p325
Ecclestone, A. W., Gorleston, 1980s
Yarmouth Archaeology, Journal of the GYDLHAS, 1986, p63

Ships Sailed in the Town Moat

In 1260, Henry III granted the Burgesses of Yarmouth a licence to enclose the town with a wall,
which included ten gates, of which eight were on the east side, and a moat. Was this a moat with
water in it, or was it a dry ditch?

The town clerk, Henry Manship, writing about the town wall in 1619, said: it was compassed with
a mighty main ditch, in former times passable with boats and keels, which did convey things
necessary for such as did inhabit upon the Dene side, or east part of Yarmouth 1. Swinden,
writing over 150 years later, said: as soon as the walls were finished there was made a moat or
ditch round the town, with bridges at each gate, the whole so complete that boats could pass with
their lading to any part of the town, for the conveniency of trade and commerce 2. He goes on to
say that several fines were levied by the magistrates on persons who dumped earth or rubbish in
the moat, to ensure it was not filled in. Palmer published Manship’s work in 1854 with additional
notes, but in these he did not contradict the original. In 1971, Ecclestone repeated Manship’s
words 3.

Only two archaeological excavations have been carried out to examine the possibility of a ditch or
moat outside the wall. In 1955, Charles Green excavated a site at Alexandra Road 4 and, in
1982, the Society carried out a small excavation in advance of the construction of Temple Road 5.

Green’s excavation reached the base of the wall and concluded: first a large trench was dug, to
become the moat. The base of this was flagged to provide a level and rigid surface…the wall
rested on this flagstone base. The excavation was unable to examine the outer edge of the moat.
The second excavation, a few feet away from the wall in 1982, confirmed the presence of a dry
ditch with its outer edge a sloping sand layer. In this excavation no evidence was found of a
flagstone base to the ditch and in neither excavation was there any evidence for a watertight

Green’s excavation was at the highest point; from here the land slopes down to the south and
north, and he estimated the depth of the moat, or ditch, to be ten feet. When the relative land
levels of c1350 are considered, if the moat was full of water at Blackfriars Road, there would have
been about one foot of water at Alexandra Road, hardly enough to float a boat. Why Manship,
and later Swinden, talked about ships and bridges we shall never know. It is therefore
reasonable to assume that the wall was surrounded by a dry ditch of an unknown width, in
sections between the gates. This ditch would have been continuously filled with wind-blown

In the 17th century, additional defences were required and what became known as the Civil War
Ditch was dug around the north end of the town, several yards away from the wall. This extended
from St. Nicholas Road to the North Gate and was a ditch filled with water. It remained until 1834
when declared a health hazard due to the stagnant water and the waste thrown into it, and was
subsequently filled in.


Manship, H., History of Great Yarmouth, 1619, published by Palmer in 1854, p68
Swinden, H., The History of Great Yarmouth, 1772, p86
Ecclestone, A. W., Henry Manship’s Great Yarmouth, 1971, p40
Green, C., Excavation on the Town Wall 1955, Norfolk Archaeology, Vol XXXV, 1970, p109
McEwen, A., Yarmouth Archaeology, 1982

Lillie Langtry and the Prince of Wales

It is often written that Lillie Langtry and the Prince of Wales were together in the town during the
visits he made as Honorary Colonel of the local Artillery Militia. Unfortunately the dates do not fit
the legend.

Lillie Langtry first met the Prince of Wales in 1877, becoming his mistress in a relationship that
lasted from late 1877 until June 1880. The following year she embarked on a career in the
theatre, becoming an accomplished actress billed as Mrs. Langtry, touring both in this country
and also in America. She appeared in Great Yarmouth three times during her acting career; one
night performances at the Britannia Pier in August and September 1906, and in a variety
programme at the Hippodrome in October 1910.

The Prince of Wales was made Honorary Colonel of the local Artillery Militia in 1871 and first
visited the town in that capacity the following year. He subsequently made eight visits to Great
Yarmouth to inspect the Militia, the last one being in 1899. He became King Edward VII on 22nd
January 1901. During his visits to the town the Prince stayed as a guest of the owner of the
Shadingfield Lodge, then a private house. Only one of his visits to the town, for a few days in late
June 1879, coincided with the period he was said to be having an affair with Lillie.

There is no evidence that Lillie came to the town before the theatrical appearances listed above.
The only opportunity, while she was a mistress of the Prince, would have been in 1879, but there
is nothing to suggest this happened.

Maybe this romantic tryst did happen. It is doubtful, but it will always make a good story. Many
places in the country claim to have been the scene of secretive meetings between Lillie and her
Prince but, if correct, and given that the affair lasted less than three years, they must have spent
most of their time travelling to these different venues.

St. Francis Way

When the narrow road, now known as Queen Street, was formed off South Quay it was called
New Broad Row 1. The existing Broad Row, between George Street and Howard Street, then
became known as Old Broad Row to avoid confusion.

All the land between Row 83 and Row 96, including that on which the New Broad Row was
formed, had belonged to the Franciscans, a religious order often referred to as the Grey Friars
because of the colour of their habit 2. This order had settled in the town in the 13th century and
some remains of their buildings can be seen today.

The Ordnance Survey drew their large scale map of the town in 1885. Although New Broad Row
was by this time called Queen Street, they appear to have been confused with the two similar
names, marking the land to the north of (Old) Broad Row as: St Francis’s Priory, Site Of.

Post-war redevelopment of the central part of the town was carried out in the 1950s and this
included new roads. One of these was a road to link Howard Street with North Quay and this was
given the name St. Francis Way, a name taken directly off the Ordnance Survey map. The
council official responsible at that time for road names had obviously looked at the map,
accepting it as correct. The land on which the new road was built had, in the 13th century, been
owned by another monastic order, the Carmelites, better known as the White Friars. Maybe the
road should have been called ‘Whitefriars Way’.

Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, 1875, Vol 1, p271
Palmer, Vol 2, p89

Tracing Stephen Tracey – A Pilgrim Father from Great Yarmouth
Adrian Marsden

During the 1650s and 1660s, England and Wales were beset by a widespread shortage of small
change. As a remedy to this, individual traders produced their own token coinage, small discs of
copper alloy generally valued at a farthing. They provide a wonderful window on their time,
naming as they do individuals who can be traced in the historical records of the day.

The Norfolk Token Project, a collaborative venture set up by the author to investigate all aspects
of Norfolk’s 17th century token series in 2014, has begun to compile biographies of the county’s
token issuers. In Great Yarmouth, 41 traders issued tokens; one of these, Stephen Tracey, has
an unusual history which it is hoped the readers of this journal will find of interest.

Figure 1 (ex Norweb collection) Figure 2 (ex Neville Rolf collection)

Tracey’s tokens are of two types.1 Both are very similar, with the obverse legend of STEPHEN
TRACEY accompanying a lion rampant and the reverse legend OF YARMOVTH encircling a
letter T above the letters S A. Thus Stephen Tracey must, when the tokens were issued, have
been married to a wife whose name began with the letter ‘A.’ The reverse die is common to both
types; the obverse dies differ, on one the initial mark of a mullet being placed at 12 o’clock (figure
1)2 and, on the other, at 3 o’clock (figure 2).3 Both are reasonably common.4 We will return to
them later but, in the meantime, it is worth looking at Stephen Tracey’s earlier life in some detail.
The surname is spelt in a number of different ways, Tracey, Tracy, Tracie, Tracye and Trace, only
to be expected when dealing with records of this date.

An internet search using the words Stephen Tracy Yarmouth immediately reveals that a man of
that name was an early emigrant to New England, a man who is counted among the ranks of the
Pilgrim Fathers, arriving on board the Anne at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1623, just three years
after the Mayflower had laid anchor there in 1620.5 As a Pilgrim Father, Stephen Tracey (or
Tracy as the American records usually spell his name) is of enormous interest to American
researchers. Because of this status much has been written about him; some of this is
contradictory and there remain one or two problems of interpretation, but the basic story of his
early life is easy enough to reconstruct. Baptised in Yarmouth on 28th December 1596, he was
the son of Stephen Tracey, a mariner. There is no record of him being apprenticed although his
elder brother Charles6 was indentured to their father on May 26th 1608. It seems that Stephen
Tracey junior did not wish to stay and make a life for himself in Yarmouth; instead he travelled to
Leiden, either in 1620 or some time earlier. There he worked as a weaver in say, a fine woollen
fabric. He was a nonconformist, and became a member of the Leiden Separatist Congregation.

Indeed, it is clear that his Separatist beliefs must have been the reason for his leaving Great
Yarmouth for Leiden in the first place. Stephen Tracey was but one man among many people
who abandoned England in a period when Separatism was considered a crime.7 He was
betrothed to Tryphosa Lee, another English émigré to Leiden, on 18th December 1620 and they
married early the following year, living in Leiden’s Zevenhuysen district. It is likely that the two
had known one another before arriving in Leiden; probably they both came from Great Yarmouth.

In 1623, Stephen Tracey sailed on the Anne from Leiden to Plymouth, New England, probably
accompanied by Tryphosa and his baby daughter Sarah, born around January 1623, although it
is just possible that they did not join him until later, arriving on the Jacob in 1625 or 1626. Four
further children were born, Rebecca, Ruth, Mary and John, the last coming into the world around
1632. The birth of Rebecca circa 1625 is further evidence for Tryphosa and Sarah having been
with Stephen on the Anne in 1623.

A number of records chart Stephen Tracey’s career in New England. In 1623, shortly after his
arrival, he was allotted three acres for garden purposes at Wellingsley Brook. Four years later,
he, Tryphosa and their daughters Sarah and Rebecca were named in the 1627 division of cattle,
receiving shares in the tenth lot comprising a white bellyd hyfer and two shee goats. He is listed
as a freeman of the Plymouth colony in 1633 and was assessed for tax of eighteen shillings later
the same year.

At some point soon after this, Tracey seems to have moved across the bay to Duxbury. In 1634,
he was one of several men appointed to lay out highways there and, in 1636, he was granted 80
acres and a meadow in the locality. Later records show that he served on various juries and
committees in the 1630s and early 1640s and that he was Constable of Duxbury in 1639. There
are many other mentions of him from this period, including the grant of a further 40 acres at
Duxbury in 1640, but these need not concern us here.

Some sources suggest that Stephen Tracey may have returned to England as early as 1643, but
the fact that he was still listed amongst the freemen of Duxbury in 1643 and 1646 and was
involved with others in the acquisition of a large tract of land to the west of Duxbury at Dartmouth
in March 1652, implies that he was still in Massachusetts at this point. Nonetheless, it is clear
that he was back in England a year or two after the Dartmouth deal as the next record shows.

This document, a letter written in London on 20th March 1654/5, has been erroneously described
as a will. In it, Stephen Tracye at present of Great Yarmouth in Old England gives power to my
loving friend Mr. John Winslow of Plymouth in New England to dispose of all my estate I have in
land and cattle in Duxburrow in New England. He goes on to mention that if any of his unmarried
children die before this be done then their part shall remain at my disposing till further order.
There is no mention of Tryphosa, surely evidence that she was dead by this time, if not many
years before.

The document is not, however, a will but rather a power of attorney vested in a letter. The phrase
shall remain at my disposing till further order is clearly not a phrase that would occur in a will. It
is, then, not a will but it is precisely the sort of letter Stephen Tracey would have written were he
contemplating, or had already made, a second marriage back in Old England, settling his lands
and property in New England on the children of his deceased first wife, Tryphosa.

We do not know why Stephen Tracey returned to England. With his wife dead and children
grown, and in some cases married, he may have felt it was time to travel back to Yarmouth.
Perhaps he had grown tired of Massachusetts. He would presumably have been well-placed to
set up in business and probably considered that the England of the Commonwealth, a puritan
country, would suit his beliefs just as well as New England. Certainly word would have reached
him of the changes that had taken place in the old country since the execution of Charles I in

It is time to return to the tokens. There is little doubt that the token issuer was the same man we
have just discussed. No other Stephen Traceys are attested in any of the Yarmouth records for
the period 1650-70 apart from a Stephen Trace, son of Thomas and Margaret Trace, baptised on
the 14th October 1651. Clearly he would not have been of an age to issue tokens in the 1650s or

Closer analysis of the tokens is clearly desirable. They are, without doubt, Ramage products of
Pegg and Preston-Morley’s Group B, with lozenge stops and mullet initial marks.8 The same
puncheon featuring a rampant lion was used to prepare both obverse dies. The tripartite letter
group forming the initials of Tracey and his wife, A[...] on the reverse die, is noteworthy. It has the
distinctive ‘A’ with a slanted top that denotes Ramage products; the earliest token noted with this
feature occurs right at the start of the 17th century token series, on a Southwark issue dated
16489 but probably belonging, because of the continued use of the Julian Calendar, where the
year began on March 25th, to 1649. The use of this puncheon continues throughout the 1650s
and could still have been in use at the time of Ramage’s death in 1662.

The lion puncheon probably had a shorter life. Photographs of tokens in the eight Norweb
volumes were studied and a number of tokens produced from dies prepared with it were noted.
They occur in copper, brass and ‘mixed metal.’ Many are undated. The dated examples,
however, occupy a relatively short window of time, from 1650 to 1656. The earliest noted was
produced for the Red Lion on Gracechurch Street, London, in 165010 and the latest for Richard
Rich of Colchester, Essex, in 1656.11 Of course, it is possible that the puncheon’s life extended
outside this period although it probably did not extend very far outside of it. It seems that
Ramage began using a new lion puncheon in 1657, represented by a token of that date issued by
Edmund Morris of Bishopsgate Within, London.12

It is tempting to connect Stephen Tracey’s order of tokens with his trip to London when he wrote
his letter giving power of attorney over his lands in New England to John Winslow. Not only
would the new tokens serve as a commemoration of a new marriage, or forthcoming one, but they
would also serve to advertise a new business venture. Stephen Tracey had come home.

Whatever the circumstances behind the order of Stephen Tracey’s tokens, it seems likely that it
was placed between 1654 and 1656. In the light of this, further information on this final part of
Stephen Tracey’s life seemed to be needed, in particular the identity of his new wife with the initial
to her Christian name of ‘A’.
The answer came on a trip to the Norfolk
Record Office late in July 2016. The initial
research was not encouraging. A search of
the Yarmouth Burial Records for the period
1653-63 yielded no results. Records for the
years immediately following do not survive.
Nor does Stephen Tracey appear in the
Great Yarmouth Hearth Tax assessments for
1664, although they are incomplete.13 He did
not feature in the lists of wills proved by the
Consistory Court from 1604 to 1686.14
However, study of the list of wills proved in
the Archdeaconry Court of Norwich from the
same years did provide one result, for a will
proved on the 11th March 1672/3.15

Figure 3: Will of Stephen Tracey A photograph of the will (figure 3) was

studied on microfilm. It was a brief
document, the record of a nuncupative will; a will spoken by the subject on his deathbed. A full
transcription of the body of the will itself (with modernised spelling and punctuation) reads:

Memorandum – that Stephen Tracy, late of Great Yarmouth in the County of Norfolk, Merchant,
now deceased, on Tuesday the five and twentieth day of February in the year of our Lord one
thousand six hundred seventy and two, being the day before his death, though sick and weak in
body but of sound mind and perfect memory, did make and declare his last will and testament,
remaining alive in the presence of James Reynolds of Yarmouth aforesaid, mariner, and Cicely
Drane, the wife of William Drane of the same town, as followeth - viz - the said Stephen Tracy
being then moved by Anne his wife to make his will and settle what of late he had, answered her
in these words or to the like effect - viz - What need is there for me so to do seeing that my mind
is to leave it all freely to thyself - to which effect they, the said James Reynolds and Cicely Drane,
have diverse times formerly heard the said Stephen Tracy declare his mind. The mark of James
Reynolds. The mark of Cicely Drane.

The name of his wife, Anne, is surely confirmation that this man was the issuer of the tokens. His
early history, thanks to his status as a Pilgrim Father, is well documented on a variety of
published works and websites although, as mentioned, there are a number of contradictions
between these sources. His later history has not been studied at all due to the misinterpretation
of the letter he wrote at London shortly after his return from Plymouth, New England, as a will.
Now this last period of Stephen Tracey’s life can be added to his biography.

Evidently, after returning from New England, presumably in 1653 or 1654, Stephen Tracey set
himself up as a merchant in the town of his birth. It seems likely that he would have brought back
a considerable fortune on his return to Yarmouth, enough to start a second life as a merchant. It
also seems likely that, after 30 years in America, he would have had a network of contacts in New
England to supply him with goods from the region, goods that were now very much in demand in
Old England.

If Stephen Tracey brought back a substantial amount of capital he would also, as a wealthy
widower (although getting on in years), have made an attractive marriage prospect. Clearly, he
quickly found a new wife, Anne, the woman whose initial appeared on his tokens, issued at some
point between 1653 and 1656. He continued to do business as a merchant until February 1672/3
when, stricken with an evidently mortal illness, he lay on his deathbed on the 25th of that month.
He had clearly not written a will. Anne’s reaction was swift. Perhaps fearing that his sons and
daughters by the long-dead Tryphosa might seek to lay claim to his possessions in Yarmouth,
she got hold of two friends or neighbours, James Reynolds and Cicely Drane, so that they could
witness his last words, in which he left his Yarmouth effects to her.

One final question remains; the identity of the lion on Stephen Tracey’s tokens. It must surely
refer to an inn sign. It cannot, for example, represent a pun on his name. Since there is no
evidence for where he lived, we must look to where the witnesses to his nuncupative will were
located. Here the Hearth Tax assessments for 1664 come into their own. James Reynolds was
assessed for one hearth in First South Middle Ward whilst William Drane was assessed for one
hearth in Second South Ward.

Over the years there have been several inns and taverns in Yarmouth bearing the sign of a lion,
but only one seems to have had a history that could possibly have stretched back to the 17th
century. The Old White Lion Inn has been described as the oldest domestic building surviving in
Yarmouth, built in the early 17th century and reusing 16th century timbers.16 It is further said to
have been an inn from at least the early 18th century and quite probably earlier. After a long
history as an inn, it was turned into private flats and apartments that were put up for sale in 2014.

Standing at the corner of King Street

and Row 130 (now Nottingham Way),
the Old White Lion would have been
located in the First South Ward,
between the Second South Middle
Ward, next to the First South Middle
Ward, and the Second South Ward. It
would have been an easy matter, were
she living there, for Anne to have sent
a messenger to bring James Reynolds
and Cicely Drane to her husband’s
deathbed. The journey to either
Reynolds or Drane would have taken a
very few minutes at most.

Although we cannot be certain that the

Figure 4: The Old White Lion, August 2016 Old White Lion was where Stephen
Tracey was based from the mid-1650s
until his death nearly 20 years later, it seems a very likely contender. In the absence of other
evidence, its location fits the proximity of the two witnesses who were surely summoned at short
notice to attend at his deathbed. And the lion on his tokens must surely reference an inn of that

What became of Anne? Here the Norfolk Hearth Tax exemptions may provide the answer. In
December 1673, a widow Tracey was exempted for two hearths in the Cathedral Close,

Interestingly, she is not listed in the three previous exemptions, for March 1670/1, February
1671/2 and September 1672, implying that she had taken up residence in the Close late in 1672
or in 1673. This would fit perfectly with the date of Stephen Tracey’s death. Was Anne from
Norwich and did she move back there on her husband’s death? We cannot be certain but it
seems to be a likely possibility.

Tracing Stephen Tracey’s later years has been an interesting journey. It began with handling a
token at the start of July 2016 and ended a month later, a much shorter space of time than it
would have taken Stephen Tracey to reach Plymouth, New England, from Leiden, a journey that
can now be accomplished in a day or two. Perhaps the final irony is that the name of the ship
that carried this Pilgrim Father to the New World, the Anne, should have been mirrored in the
name of his second wife, the woman whom he married upon his return to the Old World and who
stood by his deathbed many years later. Finally, and of most interest to students of tokens, it is
almost certain that Stephen Tracey was the only Pilgrim Father to ever issue a 17th century
English token.

Williamson 1967, 881, nos. 340-2, and Thompson and Dickinson 1993 (Norweb), nos. 3349-
50. Williamson 342 ‘with the mint mark being immediately above the letter E in the word
TRACEY’ does not seem to exist
Williamson 1967, 881, no. 340, Thompson and Dickinson 1993, no. 3349
Williamson 1967, 881, no. 341, Thompson and Dickinson 1993, no. 3350
Three examples in Norwich Castle Museum; Marsden 2013, 94, six in Norweb, three recorded
as metal-detector finds from Norfolk and a number of other specimens known
The term ‘Pilgrim Father’ is sometimes applied rather rigidly to only those men who arrived on
board the Mayflower in 1620, at others to those arriving in the first three ships, including the
Fortune in 1621 and the Anne in 1623. I have preferred this second definition
Rutledge 1979, 31, no. 124. The name Charles is surely a mistake for Christopher – Stephen
Tracey Senior had no child by the name of Charles
See Bunker 2011 for a comprehensive study of the religious issues leading to Separatism and
the reasons behind the emigration to New England in the 1620s and 1630s
See Pegg and Preston-Morley 1981, 171-3 for details of their classification system
Everson 2015, 54, no. 389, Thompson and Dickinson 1993, no. 4886
Thompson and Dickinson 1993, no. 7020
Thompson and Dickinson 1993, no. 1216
Thompson and Dickinson 1993, no. 6602
Frankel and Seaman 1983
Farrow and Barton 1958
ANW will register, folio 283 (Microfilm MF 304)
See Norfolk Historic Environment Record 25013 for a full report
Seaman 2001, 6

Bunker, N. 2011. Making Haste from Babylon (Pimlico).

Everson, T. 2015. Seventeenth Century Trading Tokens of Surrey and Southwark (Galata).
Farrow, M. A. and Barton, T. F. 1958. Index of Wills proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich
and now preserved in the District Probate Registry at Norwich, 1604-86. Norfolk Record Society
Franckel, S. and Seaman, P. J. 1983. Norfolk Hearth Tax Assessment, Michaelmas 1664.
Norfolk Genealogy 15.
Marsden, A. B. et al 2013. 17th Century Tokens in Norwich Castle Museum (Unpublished).
Preston-Morley, P. and Pegg, H. 1981. ‘A revised survey of the seventeenth-century tokens of
Nottinghamshire’ British Numismatic Journal 51, 134-96.
Rutledge, P. 1979. Great Yarmouth Apprenticeship Indentures 1563-1665 (Norfolk Genealogy
Seaman, P. 2001. Norfolk Hearth Tax Exemption Certificates 1670-1674 (British Record Society
Hearth Tax Series Volume III, Norfolk Record Society Volume LXV).
Thompson R. H. 1989. ‘Central or Local Production of Seventeenth-Century Tokens’, British
Numismatic Journal 59, 198-211.
Thompson, R. H. & Dickinson M. J. 1993. Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles 44. The Norweb
Collection. Tokens of the British Isles, 1575-1750, Part IV, Norfolk to Somerset (Spink, London).
Williamson, G. C. 1967 volume II (reprint), Trade tokens issued in the Seventeenth Century
(Seaby, London).

Online references

‘Several entries for Stephen Tracy’ – the most thorough discussion, drawing together various
‘Stephen Tracy, of Great Yarmouth & Duxbury’ – another useful drawing-together of various
sources: -Tracey-of-Great-Yarmouth-
‘Notes for Stephen Tracy and Tryphosa Lee’:
‘Stephen and Tryphosa (Lee) Tracey’ – general information, particularly on their descendants:

Great Yarmouth - April 1941
Colin Tooke

Edward (Ted) Goate was brought up in Great Yarmouth and on leaving school began a career in
insurance with the Prudential Assurance Company. His father, a violin teacher and piano tuner,
also ran a tobacconist shop at 48 North Quay and, on his retirement in 1937, the family moved to
96 Caister Road. When the Second World War broke out Ted was moved to the London office of
the Prudential and his parents packed up the Caister Road house, moving inland to stay with
relatives for the duration of the war.

In April 1941, Ted returned to the town for a three day visit and on his return to London wrote the
following letter, dated 29th April, to his parents. It is a unique eye-witness account at the end of
the worst month of the war for the town, a month when over 50 high-explosive bombs, thousands
of incendiary bombs and many parachute mines destroyed a considerable number of homes and
businesses and killed 52 people.

Dear Mum and Dad,

I expect you are anxiously awaiting this letter so will give you a catalogue of events.

Got up at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning in order to catch the 8.12 from Liverpool Street. It takes an
hour to get there from Chiswick, so I did not allow myself any too much time. Train should have
got in at 11.48, but it was a little bit late.
Decided I had better go straight to the office
[15/16 King Street] and did so. The building
is quite intact although Wards, Fielding’s
and Sullivan’s are all burnt out. It was a
lucky escape, as Mr. Atkins told me that the
walls were hot to touch, when he went in
that morning. He has had a large part of his
roof off and the doors blown in at
Collingwood Road. Also saw Mr. Silverton
who very kindly told me that if I could not
get anywhere to sleep he would put me up,
providing I did not mind sleeping upstairs. I
thought it was very good of him indeed. Mr.
Atkins insisted that we had a drink to
celebrate and then he said he was going to
Purdy’s to lunch, so I thought I would go
with him and that would save Aunt Emma a
meal. So we went there (Hill’s is completely
wrecked, also the Maypole next door) and
then said farewell and I went on to Albion
Road [to see relatives].

Well, after having a wash and brush-up and

Annie having said it would be quite O.K. for
me to sleep there, I thought I would go and
see how the garden at 96 looks, and so
went through the Market Row and into
Northgate Street.

There are a couple of houses completely

down nearly at the top of Garrison Road.
Collingwood Road. The damage caused by a parachute Then as you get along the street there are
mine, dropped on 8th April 1941. These mines caused
widespread damage, as they exploded above ground.
hundreds of windows out. Next sign of
damage is at Fowler’s Camp [to the south of
the Smith’s potato crisp factory], where the old house has been completely taken down and also
No. 66 Caister Road. But No. 96 is quite all right and I must say that the garden did not look
anything like so bad as I thought it might. The roses have all been nicely pruned and there are
daffodils and a few tulips out. The shelter is still there, although the sandbags look rather a sorry
mess and either somebody has pinched the top from our water tank or else it got blown off;
anyway it is missing. Then, went into the house and after looking all round there seems to be
only a little soot down in the living room and the glass in the front door is cracked slightly.
Otherwise quite O.K. and really not dirty; just a little dust that is all.

Locked up and tried to make somebody hear at No. 94, but could not succeed, so started to walk
back into the town. Thought I might catch our old neighbours, so turned into Vauxhall Terrace;
what a scene of destruction. A land mine came down on to the extreme end of the houses on
Alderson Road. Flattened out about six of them completely and damaged goodness only knows
how many more. There is not a soul living in the houses on Northgate Street near the Co-op,
where you used to go, or in Vauxhall Terrace, or in Alderson or Palgrave Roads, for a long way
down. Roofs off, doors off, window frames gone. There were men with lorries taking away some
of the rubble. I picked my way through it and eventually arrived at No.11 and Mr. Bishop came to
the door. I need not tell you he was surprised to see me. A few minutes later his wife, who had
been out shopping came in and we had quite a nice little chat. They sleep downstairs with most
of their clothes on every night. They wanted me to stop to tea, but I really could not do that, so
went back to Albion Road.

Next morning…went through the park down Trafalgar Road and the first sign of damage was
opposite the Coastguard Station, where a couple of bombs had fallen, one of them very near the
bathing pool. Smashed windows and roofs all round.

On as far as Queen’s Road, where we turned up. Plenty of signs of damage and when up to St.
James Church the real thing strikes the eye. Mason’s Laundry, all windows gone, Seago rag
place all smashed and burnt. Calver’s Seagull coaches all demolished, Paul’s granaries all burnt,
Pertwee and Back’s smashed and burnt, Mariners’ Institute ditto. Mr. Balls’ warehouse and
garage place got a direct hit and is no more [This air raid was on 8th April]. All the houses around
pretty well done for and nobody living in them. Continued along the South Quay and damage
pretty well everywhere. Shipping Company’s office smashed, Education Office all gone.

The remains of the

Seagull Garage on
Queens Road,
destroyed by a
parachute mine in
the early hours of
8th April.
The building was
used as a Special
Station and five
special constables
were killed.
damage was
caused to other
buildings in the

The Tolhouse was still in ruins in the 1950s when this picture was taken. It did not reopen as a museum
until 1961. The new library was later built on the open space on the right.

Then past Wiltshire’s, which got a direct hit right slap bang in the middle and up Queen’s Street,
which you already know about. Then back to Johnsons in Middlegate Street, which is just a heap
of rubbish and the ruin of the Old Tolhouse, just a part of the old flint front left standing, interior all
burnt out as well as wrecked. By this time, I was due back to fetch Aunt Emma and so we turned
for Albion Road.

Started back again and on Southtown Bridge, who should I see, but Mr. Baker. Was very glad to
see him and thanked him for his letters and sent him your regards and he said give them our love.
There was a very bad bit of bombing at Elsie Road just after he had left for the G.P.O. the other
morning early and quite a number killed (16, I believe). [Air raid 18th April, 12 people killed and 13

Well, I then went home for tea and thought that after 8 o'clock I will see if I can catch the Balls
family; I had forgotten that their chapel is unusable. But got no reply to knocking. He had a large
proportion of his windows gone. Some were boarded up and other had rubberoid stuff nailed
over; this latter stuff is very common and I should imagine has been used extensively by the
Corporation to cover up the broken windows.

Then thought I would have a look at Blake Road…walking up to the Barnard Avenue bridge off
went the siren. It was about 8.40 and I heard the sound of planes, so I thought I had better get
back into the town. Caught a bus immediately and jumped off in the Market Place and to my
amazement saw tracer bullets going up into the sky, so I ran darned quick into Burton’s shelter.
There were a big crowd in there and we heard several bumps, but after about five minutes it
seemed fairly quiet, so I scampered off to Albion Road.

Monday morning, I was thinking about getting up just before 8.30, when I heard the sound of a
plane. Then about five rounds of A.A. fire and then a couple of real hefty bangs. Oh ho says me,
he is here early this morning. Then Annie came up with the tea and said did you hear that lot? I
said "I most certainly did". It is surprising how fast news travels as about ten minutes after that I
knew that two bombs had fallen on Southtown Road. Well after breakfast I thought I had better
get a move on this morning, as I have to catch the 2.40 as, unfortunately, the only other train is
not scheduled to get into Liverpool Street until ten minutes past ten and I did not want to risk that,
thank you. So off I went to see Charlie at my old premises in Regent Street. Arthur Gibson was
in the room and he wants to know when you are going to have some more of that lovely tobacco,
which you gave Charlie; I knew he meant that Edgeworth, and told him you could not get that
nowadays... I left there and thought "Now for Blackfriars Road". Mr. Balls was surprised, when I
walked in, you can bet. He had not been sleeping at home, so no wonder I could not make
anybody hear, when I called previously. Mrs. Balls and Olive are at Freethorpe and come up to
help in the shop on some days, but on Monday he is alone, except for the boy, who helps, so I did
not see them, unfortunately. He looked pretty well worn out, although he said that he had a bad
cold, so that may have been something to do with it. He said they had had a rough time and I can
well believe it. The houses opposite are all empty as they are damaged too badly to be lived in.
His lovely new plate glass windows are gone and you will remember that he used to have ones
that you could slip in. Well they were in his warehouse, so they are gone too. He was standing
there on Wednesday last when the Duke of Kent was round to see the damage for himself and he
had quite a chat with him.[The Duke visited the town on 25th April]. He says that he is a very nice
fellow and was talking to all and sundry and going into some damaged houses and sympathising
with the folks. By sheer luck there were no cars in Mr. Balls place at the time. That road
(Mariners Road?) is done for. I stopped there quite a while and managed to buy some chocolate.

The Duke of Kent visited the town on 25th April 1941. Seen here with the mayor, Alderman F.H. Debbage
and the Chief Constable, Mr C.G. Box, inspecting the bomb damage in the Middlegate area.

By the way, go easy with what I brought, as it is difficult to get here now and so are cigarettes and
tobacco, so don't say I haven't told you. Well, after that it was time to get some dinner and then
off to the station to catch my train, which was a blooming slow old thing and did not land me into
Liverpool Street until ten past seven.

I have written you as best I can, although of course, I could talk better, but that will have to wait
until I see you. One conclusion is certain; you cannot go back there at present. It is wearing the
people out and hundreds refuse to sleep there at night. The buses out to the country every
evening are packed (I saw the crowds waiting for them) and every village for miles around is
crowded every night. Mr. Balls goes to Reedham and takes his bike and cycles to Freethorpe.
Emma and Fred say they cannot stand it
and so they are off to Downham Market
and Annie is going too. Apparently
Leslie has got a job in his trade at
Retford and he is off there, when he can
get some lodgings. The town is
practically dead and Marks and
Spencer’s is a ruin of twisted girders,
ditto Boot’s and on the opposite side
Jarrold’s, Palmer’s men’s shop and that
fashion shop.

I am told that fire brigades came from

Norwich, Lowestoft, Beccles, Cambridge
and all around, so you can guess what it
was like. Mr. Balls told me that you
could easily read a newspaper outside
his shop at midnight on that particular
night [8th April]. Apparently Jerry was
quite pleased to see the fires and went
home again to fetch some bombs, as
there was nothing doing after the fires
started at about 11 until about 5 in the
morning, when the bombs began to
come down. Fire specials were killed at
the Seagull’s Garage, when a land mine
fell on it, including Percy Smoughton
and Bert Davy.

Well, I suppose this is a depressing

letter, but I thought you would want to
know my impressions of it all and have
at attempted to be quite honest about it. View of the remains of Marks and Spencer’s
The south end of the town is in a looking through the twisted girders to Arnolds.
dreadful state, as is also one part of
George Street, near Coronation Terrace. I forgot to mention earlier on that I went on a bus up
Southtown Road to see what the blighters had done on Monday morning. They had planted a
couple, one on the road against the gasometer and one plonk onto the house opposite. A mighty
great crater stopping all traffic; the bus could not get through, but small cars were going round on
the riverside. Possibly, they hit a water main too and the crater was half full of water and fire
engines were trying to pump it out. Telephone wires down and a dreadful mess. Undoubtedly,
they will hit the gas works or the electricity station sooner or later. Bombs have dropped all round
it and by the law of averages they will get it one day, if they keep on trying. As far as I can make
out, they come over just when they like night or day and hop off quick before anything can be
done about it. In the daytime they do not use the sirens in the ordinary way, but sound six pips,
which means immediate danger; get under cover, so that will tell you how hectic it is. Still we all
of us have much to be thankful for and I am truly thankful. Am nearly tired of typing, as this letter
has taken me nearly an hour and a half, so will pack up now.

Love, Ted

Ted and his family returned to 96 Caister Road after the war. Ted took a great interest in local
history and became one of the stalwarts of the Archaeological Society, ensuring its survival during
the difficult years of the 1950s and 60s and later he became its Chairman for several years. He
was the town’s leading theatre and entertainment historian and in the 1970s was the first person
to give lectures on local history, his talks illustrated by his friend Percy Trett.

64, South Quay, Great Yarmouth, a Potted History
Peter Allard

An historic South Quay house disappears: this was how the Yarmouth Mercury recorded the
building's war-damaged demise in 1952, as it falls to the housebreakers. Another link with the
past sadly broken up by demolition.

Damaged during World War Two, 64 South Quay was at the

western end of Row 143 and towards the southern half of a
picturesque quay. In its heyday, when Yarmouth harbour
was full of white-sailed square-rigged vessels, it would have
overlooked a forest of masts and sails. For many years,
South Quay was laced with a double row of splendid lime
trees and was considered to be one of the finest quays in
Northern Europe. The house had a rich historical association
and was occupied by many wealthy ship-owners and
merchants over the years. Today its location is built over by
three-storey council flats and maisonettes constructed in the
mid-1950s, which now overlook a sometimes empty quayside,
a car park and docks on the Southtown side of the river.

Surprisingly little has been written about 64 South Quay and

this is an attempt to compile a little potted history of an
interesting old building. It was a large three-storey house with
eleven windows facing the quay and a large arched-over front
entrance. Dutch influence in Great Yarmouth has always 64 South Quay: photo believed to
been prevalent owing to the considerable trade between have been taken in the 1920s or
Great Yarmouth and the Low Countries and the house bore before.
many signs of Dutch architecture. The house had a large
dining room, two drawing rooms and seven bedrooms. Several of the rooms had heavy cross
beams supporting the ceilings, so often seen in Dutch houses, whilst the back courtyard and the
cellars were paved with Dutch klinkers.

The outside of the house was strengthened with well-

designed bonding irons and quaint 'fish-plates' in the form
of hearts. There was also evidence that at one time it was
fitted with 'espions', or large mirrors, which were placed
angle-wise at the windows to warn the inhabitants of those
approaching, a very necessary precaution in troublesome
times. Just to the north was 59 South Quay, the residence
of Samuel Paget, merchant, brewer and father of Sir James

The house was believed to be the last one on South Quay

to have had iron lamp holders fitted over the front entrance,
a reminder of days when Great Yarmouth ladies attending
evening parties or dances were carried in Sedan chairs by
bearers, escorted by link boys who carried lighted torches.
The lamp holder and its iron brackets were taken down in
about 1905. Although the entrance vestibule was panelled,
64 South Quay: photo believed to have the best room in the house was unquestionably the small
been taken in the 1930s. south room on the ground floor, which was fully panelled in
an elegant style. In the early days, these panels were
probably painted with biblical scenes in a Dutch style, although at a later date they had been
painted over and grained. On the ground floor, the room on the left-hand side of the entrance
was a large conference room, often used for regular meetings of ship-owners and merchants in
the early days.
Sixty-four South Quay was rich in historical association, and was a residence where a number of
wealthy ship-owners and merchants lived. When it was first built is unknown but, in 1766, the
house was purchased by Nathaniel Palmer, a well-known ship-owner, who lived there until 1793
and then left it to his son James Palmer, a surgeon, who lived there for many years. Nathaniel
Palmer speculated in the Great Yarmouth whale fishery during the late 1780s whilst his brother,
Ambrose Palmer, owned the shipyard in Southgates Road, where many of his brother's vessels
were constructed. After moving from number 64, Nathaniel had a new house built on the corner
of Friar's Lane. The splendid marble mantlepieces in the front rooms of 64 South Quay and the
inlaid mosaic work on the vestibule are believed to have been brought over from Naples in
Nathaniel's sailing vessels, which regularly traded herrings from Great Yarmouth to this Italian
port and others in the Mediterranean. Nathaniel Palmer is also credited with, after calling a
meeting of local ship-owners and holding a conference at his home, the Admiralty granting Great
Yarmouth merchant ships a letter of marque, which allowed them to be armed so as to defend
themselves if attacked by French or Spanish privateers.

Nathaniel Palmer also introduced, for the benefit of local ship-owners, the system known as
crying in the wind. Armed watchmen used to patrol up and down South Quay, crying the wind for
the benefit of sleepless merchants and ship-owners and anxious skippers. In drawn-out and loud
voices, they would proclaim, north is the wind, turning to north-east, past two o' clock, cloudy
morning, all's well. Local tradition states that during the Dutch and Napoleonic Wars, the house
was the headquarters of the staff officers attached to Admiral Duncan's fleet, and also to Lord
Gardener's staff when he was Admiral of the port. Other owners of the house at various times
include another Palmer, a Frederick Palmer Esq., who later moved to a large house along South
Beach Parade previously occupied by Isaac Preston, a sub-steward of Great Yarmouth. By 1851,
the ownership of the house is listed under Anne Steward, a widow aged 52. Upon her death in
1873, the house became the property of Robert Veale, a mast and block maker, who had his
shop in South Denes Road. When C. J. Palmer wrote his Perlustrations of Great Yarmouth in
1875, there was no mention of 64 South Quay, presumably as nobody of importance lived there
at that time. In the 1878 Steer's Yarmouth Directory, 64 South Quay is unoccupied. Two years
later, in 1880, the house is listed as rented out to a Martin Barber for an annual rent of £59. The
1881 census records reveal that an Ann Prest was living there with her son. In 1886, the house
became the temporary offices of the Great Yarmouth Steam Tug Company until they moved out
in 1890 to premises further south at number 77. The 1891 census has Sarah Veale, the widow of
Robert Veale, living there with other members of her family. By 1894, the owner was Stephen
Whitnal, a senior Trinity House pilot and, in the latter half of 1901, the property came into the
ownership of James Combes, a marine engineer. James was born in 1859 and had previously
lived at 108, Nelson Road. He married Rebecca Flegg in 1889 and they had five sons and a
daughter. The eldest son, James, followed his father into marine engineering whilst Ernest, the
second son, became a master mariner. Ernest, after many years at sea, later became the local
fishwharf master. Painted on the front of the house in large white lettering was: J. Combes,
Marine Engineer.

During the First World War, the house was taken over by the Admiralty as the headquarters of the
submarine flotilla, then stationed opposite on the quay. At that time, the base had several of the
most well-known submarine commanders, including Max Horton, Martin Nasmith, Courtney
Boyle, Norman Holbrook and C. P. Talbot. The first parent ship was HMS Adamant, but when
she sailed for the Dardanelles, her place was taken by HMS Alecto. The house was used by the
flotilla until the end of the war. Local engineering support for the submarine base was supplied by
James and his eldest son. Hearsay states that, on one occasion, a submarine's propeller shaft
that was being worked on by the Combes family completely blocked one of the rows adjacent to
the house.

James Combes died in January 1939, aged 79. During World War Two, the house was slightly
damaged by enemy aircraft on the night of the 14th February 1941. Damage included parts of
the roof, a cracked ceiling, 12 sash windows broken, several doors damaged and 100 small
panes of glass broken. Numbers 65 to 67 South Quay were also damaged in the same raid as
well as number 68, The Sceptre public house, on the corner of Friars Lane. In the early hours of
the 8th April 1941, parts of South Quay and much of Middlegate were heavily damaged by enemy
bombs, and the Missions to Seaman Institute and church next door at numbers 62 and 63 were
totally burnt out. Those further south were more fortunate and damage was slight. This was one
of the most intensive raids on Great Yarmouth during World War Two. In June 1942, the house
was vacated and during the same month the Missions to Seaman's Institute and church site next
door were completely cleared. In September 1942, those buildings remaining south to Friars
Lane, that is numbers 64 to 68 South Quay, were listed for demolition when hostilities finally
ceased. All had been vacated by June 1942. Number 65 was a shop belonging to both Bonnings
and Yarmouth Stores, 66 was in use by the National Union of Seaman and Fishermen and 67
was another Yarmouth Stores premises.

Sixty-four South Quay was finally demolished in 1952, along with many others close by, and
replaced by a long row of council maisonettes and flats, which had been completed by 1955. A
passer-by, writing in 1952, remarked that it was a cold blustery day when he paid his last visit to
this historic house. Its demolition was almost complete and under the impact of pneumatic drills,
crowbars, pickaxes and shovels, the craftsmanship of the old Dutch builders was rapidly
disintegrating into a heap of rubble. As he watched the last load of debris being loaded up, he
wondered what the old Dutch house builders would have said, had they been there to see it.

James Combes junior, born in 1890, had earlier moved to Lowestoft Road, Gorleston and was
greatly interested in local shipping. During the late 1950s, he published a small book for private
publication entitled Spray from the North Sea. This was a collection of epic stories of the bravery
and heroic service of the Norfolk lifeboatmen and Great Yarmouth tug men compiled from
authentic and varied sources, the forward by his younger brother Ernest. Later, James wrote
regular shipping articles between 1961 and 1966 for the Norfolk Nautical Research Society in
their magazine The Norfolk Sailor. He died about 1969, but his writings of the old Yarmouth tugs
and seafarers live on in their pages.

Left : building the new

flats and maisonettes,
South Quay, 1954

Right : the probable

site of the old number
64 South Quay,
January 2017

Passing by the site today, it is difficult to imagine the row of splendid old merchant houses that
once adorned the area. The extensive blocks of flats and maisonettes that now stand on this part
of South Quay are of a very basic and modest design. Today it is difficult to locate the exact spot
where the old 64 South Quay once stood, but with the now renumbered South Quay, number 109
would appear to be its approximate location.

Special thanks to Paul Davies, Pauline Starling and Colin Tooke for help and advice.


Palmer, C. J., The Perlustrations of Great Yarmouth, 1875

Yarmouth Mercury, several articles by 'Scout' and 'Old Yarmouthian', 1952
Norfolk News, December 1873, November 1880, August 1888
National Census Records, 1851, 1861,1881,1901,1911 and 1939
Godfrey, Great Yarmouth Directory, 1874
Steer, Great Yarmouth Directory, 1878
Cook, C. S., Great Yarmouth Directory, 1886
Combes, James, Spray from the North Sea, 1950's
Great Yarmouth WW2 Damage Records, stored at Time and Tide Museum
Crowning Glories: Turrets, Urns and Finials
Trevor Nicholls

“In the elder days of Art

Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part;
For the Gods see everywhere”
“The Builders”, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, (1807-1882)

This short, by no means exhaustive, study complements the article published in the 2016 issue of
the Journal in which I urged the reader to, “Look up!” when walking in Great Yarmouth, lest sight
of architectural delights, crowning glories, be missed.

This second perambulation begins on the Lowestoft Road at Gorleston, continues along the High
Street and Southtown Road, over the Haven Bridge to Hall Quay and Regent Street, then down
Regent Road to Marine Parade. It concludes with an instance of industrial art at the gasometer in
Admiralty Road.

A glossary of architectural terms is provided at the end of the paper. Where such a term appears
in the text for the first or only time, it is printed in bold. The ornamental devices referred to here,
nearly all of which originate in Classical Antiquity, and one, nearly 2,000 years before it, were
intended to emphasize the buildings to which they were attached, against the skyline, although
some have practical purposes also. Balls, flaming urns, and figures are just a few of the
exuberant embellishments we shall encounter, emulations of features found elsewhere on some
of the truly grandest buildings in this country and on the Continent.


1 & 2. Two adjacent terraces of shops, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, east side, the one on the
corner of England’s Lane, the other between Leicester and Keppel Roads, the latter having a
former billiard hall on the upper floor. Turn of the 20th century, much use of terra cotta faience,
very typical of the borough’s buildings of that time. The northern block has two belvederes, that
to the south, urns on pedestals, which are emitting small flames (see item 9). Both terraces
have parapets with square balustrades. The earliest reference to this type I can find is at the
Church of S. Maria della Salute, Venice, 1630.

Parade of shops with former billiard hall above,

Parade of shops, Lowestoft Road, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, corner of Leicester
Gorleston, corner of England’s Lane Road (north end). Keppel Road is at the south
end of this block

100 High Street, Gorleston (Casino), east side, opposite
Cross Road junction Lowestoft Road, Gorleston,
former board school, and still a
3. Former Board School, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, west school
side, opposite St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. Built 1876,
six years after Forster’s Education Act and still in use as a school. Recently restored with the
brickwork shown to great effect. Neat turret housing the school bell, topped by an elegant
weather-vane, with uppermost, a silhouette of three children holding hands, a delightful touch.

4. Ladbrokes Amusement arcade, 100 High Street, Gorleston, east side, opposite Cross Road
junction. Elaborate pierced wall (See also item 12) with elegant finials on ornamented
pedestals. The property next door to the south is dated 1720, and No 100, too, might be a 19th
century façade to a much older building.

5. Former Fishermen’s Institute, High Street, Gorleston, top of Blackwall Reach and Ice
House Hill, opened 1897. Small observation turret on a tower with good views of the river and
sea beyond. A reminder that several former fishing vessel owners’ houses of the period, in
Gorleston, also incorporated observation posts in the form of belvederes so that drifters could be
seen returning to port.

6. Three Tuns public house Gorleston, corner of High Street and Garnham Road, late 19th
century. The interesting feature, reminiscent of mob-caps, on the pinnacles brings to mind,
amongst other Tudor mansions of 300 years earlier, Long Melford Hall, Suffolk and Blickling Hall,

Left : Fishermen’s and Fisher

Lad’s Institute, High Street,
Gorleston, top of Ice House
Hill and Blackwall Reach

Right : Three Tuns public

house, corner of High
Street and Garnham
Road, Gorleston

Left :
former Royal Artillery
Drill Hall,
80 Southtown Road,
Great Yarmouth,
west side,
approximately 100
yards south of
Gordon Road

Above : Hughes Electrical retail store, corner of

Pasteur Road and Mill Road. Two Bears from the
eponymous hotel which stood on the site from
1910 to 2013

7. Former Royal Artillery Drill Hall, 80 Southtown Road, west side, early 20th century. Green
ventilation turret on roof. The only functional object in this survey. Probably mass-produced for
buildings like this, schools, theatres, factories etc. A pleasing, utilitarian feature.

8. Hughes Electrical retail premises, junction of Pasteur, Mill and Southtown Roads, two bears
on parapet. The use of animals in architecture can convey a message: lions, for instance, signify
high authority. Here, the two bears are, or rather were, merely eponymous. They stood on the
parapet of the former hotel of that name, which occupied this site most conveniently for the
adjacent South Town Railway Station (opened 1859, closed 1970, demolished 1977) from its
opening in 1910 until its demolition just over a century later.

The bears, still painted gold from the last years of their hotel service, were recently named Anna
(Sewell) and Horatio (Nelson) in a competition for local school-children. Many Great Yarmouth
people must have wondered what would become of the bears when it was announced that the
hotel would be demolished. In their new situation, only a few yards from their original positions,
these surely unique ursine ornaments might not adhere to the canons of architecture, but they
continue to please and raise a smile in passers-by. Incidentally, the only other building I can think
of which uses bears as an architectural motif is the California State Capitol (built 1861-1874) at
Sacramento, which has the state emblem, the black bear, in the newel-posts of its interior

9. Royal Bank of Scotland, 14 Hall Quay (formerly Williams & Glyns Bank). Architect unknown.
The only bank still on the Quay, the others in recent years having transferred to the town centre.
Pevsner omitted this bank from his survey of this thoroughfare, and I regret that I did likewise in
my 2016 article. Banks, of course, could afford to employ architects and the best materials to
convey a sense of dependability and solidity, as witness the use of stone in the frontage, and, I
recall from 50 years ago, inside, a long, massive counter in highly polished mahogany.

This early 20th century building is a reaction to the Edwardian Baroque (see item 11) of the
preceding era. The small windows in the upper storey are reminiscent of those found in the attic
storeys of Palladian country houses. The tall, narrow windows below allow in plenty of daylight
foreshadowing the elegant curves of Art Deco, but also echoing Sir John Soane RA’s (1750-
1837) preoccupation with light at the old Bank of England, designed by him. The parapet is of
interest to us given the particular subject of this tour. The balustrade might have come straight
from Rome and indeed appears to be modelled on that at the Palazzo Lante by Peruzzi. In the
centre is a coat-of-arms of unknown ascription, encased in a surround similar to a cartouche.
However, we must look at the north and south corners of the balustrade for a splendid and
exuberant feature which, I think, is rare in this part of East Anglia. The urns on pedestals are
emitting flames, unlike those in item 2, on a prolific scale. This device is found upon, amongst
other great houses, Blenheim Palace, Oxon (1705-16) and Castle Howard, Yorkshire (designed
1699, commenced 1700), both by Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Above and right :
14 Hall Quay, Great
Royal Bank of Scotland,
formerly Williams &
Glyns Bank

10. Town Hall 1878-1882 by R. B. Pierce. The four urns high on

the clock-tower, which are the object of our attention, vie with so
much other ornamentation in the same red sandstone. Although
the theme is Queen Anne Revival, of which these classical urns
are an element, yet the building manages to evoke also, those of

11. Bank Chambers and adjacent Norwich Union Building,

Regent Street, corner of Hall Quay and Hall Plain. 1901 by A. S.
Hewitt, originally the London & Provincial Bank. Brings to mind
John Betjeman’s reference to pigeon-haunted, classic towers
wherein dwelt City clerks. The highest feature is the ‘broken’ or
‘open’ pediment topped by a ball on a tiny plinth. Our attention,
must surely focus on the small twin obelisks on pedestals, a
device of truly ancient origin. Pyramids we shall encounter in item

Above : Town Hall

Left : Bank Chambers,

Regent Street, Great
Yarmouth, adjoining
former Norwich Union
building at the corner of
Regent Street, Hall
Plain and Hall Quay.

Formerly the London &

Provincial Bank

12. 18 Regent Road, a mid-19th century
town house, which, when built, was
probably the best in the street. For many
years in the later 20th century and into
the early years of the 21st, a wax-works
known as The House of Wax. The
parapet is of interest, although sadly
dilapidated. The architect has installed
not a balustrade, but a pierced-wall (see
also item 4). The design is close to that
of coin-moulding although not over-
lapping, which is the chief characteristic
of that device. There are Fleur-de-lys in
the interstices. The hollow pyramidal
18 Regent Road was a private house for many years during
pinnacles on plain pedestals are a
the latter half of the 20th century and into the early years of curiosity. Their derivation is Egyptian.
the 21st, before it became the Waxworks (House of Wax) They look rather small for their setting
and would look wholly appropriate on an
Art Deco building erected seventy years
after this one.

13. Former Royal Aquarium, Marine Parade, 1876, by John

Norton and Philip E. Massey. One of the most elaborate
building facades in the town and one of the earliest in what, in
Great Yarmouth, would become ubiquitous terra cotta, indeed
a spectacular example of the use of the medium, being with
the Town Hall (of red sandstone and red-brick), one of the
most ornamented. We are looking at the small, square urns,
acroteria, on the south east and south west corners of the
parapet. Both are surmounted by a ball, an extremely
common feature in such a position. Alternative devices are
acorns, pinecones and pineapples; the last might have been
particularly appropriate here one would have thought, this
having been built as a pleasure-palace; pineapples are a
symbol of hospitality. The bases appear to be enclosed
anthemia (honeysuckle), which were used in antiquity to
decorate the corners of Greek and Roman temples.
Royal Aquarium, Marine Parade,
14. Anchor Gardens, Marine Parade, urns on pedestals in Great Yarmouth
terra cotta, late 19th century, by J. W. Cockrell, (1849-1924),
Borough Engineer 1874-1922. The only objects in this survey at ground-level. Several of these
have stood in the ornamental gardens
Anchor Gardens, of the Marine Parade for well over a
Marine Parade. century. Public parks and gardens of
Urn raised on the time were intended to bring fresh
pedestal bearing the air, light, delight and, as in these small
Borough Arms, by artefacts, elegance into the lives of
the Borough those who often lived in mean
Engineer surroundings and, by today’s or any
J. W. Cockerill
standards, squalor. Here by the sea at
(1849 to 1924) -
Borough Engineer Great Yarmouth, is just a glimpse of the
1874 to 1922 classicism of Italy, a feature not likely to
be seen in the teeming streets, alleys
In terra cotta, one of
and courts of London and the industrial
several such at this
and other seafront cities of the Midlands and North from
locations whence the town drew a large
proportion of its summer visitors.
15. Premises at corner of Marine
Parade, north side, and Regent
Road, late Victorian, pair of decorated Late Victorian premises
urns on an Italianate parapet. (four-storey, not allowing
for possible basement) at
16. Gasometer, (1885) Admiralty the corner of Marine
Road, corner of Barrack Road. Parade and Regent Road
Victorian industrial stylishness in the (north side).
ornate finials. Originally erected on the
west side of Southgates Road, it had to Decorated urns (two) on
be dismantled and rebuilt here because parapet with Italianate
of subsidence at the former location. balustade
Elsewhere, some of these structures
have been preserved, including that just
north of St. Pancras Station, London.
In a letter to the Times of December
19th, 1871, the purist, E. Welby Pugin
(1834-1875) bemoaned that architects
of that time: collect and collate the
choicest bits, glue them together and
imagine they have made a whole. With
one exception, this criticism might be
levelled at those buildings we have
looked at in this perambulation. The
Naval Pillar of unimpeachable Classical Gasometer, Admiralty Road, corner of Barrack Road,
pedigree apart, (which is mentioned in Great Yarmouth
the Glossary under “Obelisk”), the
architects and builders whose work we have considered, worked within their remit, which was not
to produce buildings of the first rank, but which, by the standards of the time, were pleasing to the
unfastidious eye. Rather, within those constraints, they heeded Longfellow whose lines, being a
metaphorical exhortation to the virtuous life, began this piece. It is a measure of their attention to
detail and of the pride they took in their work, that those builders were as painstaking with
features, which would be seen in the main only by pigeons and sea-gulls, as they were with those
we walk by daily, oblivious to the art, craftsmanship and coded historical allusions around us.

Acroteria - pedestals or plinths at the upper and lower extremities of a pediment – (Adam and Curl, in
the bibliography, disagree as to whether the term applies only to the base or includes the ornament on
top of it). Can support statuary, ornaments or can be unadorned.
Baluster - short post or railing often with one or more swellings, or other details, and in many
variations. Origin in the Roman candle-stick, examples of which are in the Vatican.
Balustrade - a row of balusters. Despite their ubiquity from the late Renaissance onwards, they are
of impure modern pedigree. In the ancient world, the only forms of protection from a drop were walls
or fences, which gave rise to the ‘pierced wall’ (see below).
Baroque - florid form of classical architecture prevalent during the 17th and 18th centuries,
characterised by exuberance, curvaceous forms, illusionist effects and cunning spatial relationships.
Belvedere - a turret, lantern, or room built above a roof or an eminence for the enjoyment of an
agreeable view, also a summer-house or gazebo.
Cartouch(e) - decorative tablet or frame for inscription in the form of a scroll or curling piece of
Coin-moulding - a repeated series of over-lapping discs.
Faience - decorated earthenware or porcelain – Italian town, Faenza.
Finial - in classical architecture, an ornament surmounting any prominent terminal; can be an obelisk,
a thin pyramid, an acorn, pineapple, pinecone, ball or urn.
Fleur-de-lys (lis) - the lily, a stylised, much used ornamentation, in most situations making no direct
allusion to its origins. Three petals are invariably shown, that in the centre being vertical, the other
two, curving to the left and right respectively. They are tied with a horizontal centre band, in the
Regent Road case, linking them to the ‘coins’. Moreover, here, each band is securing much smaller,
secondary lilies at the centre of every large one. In this example, the lilies are strictly speaking, in
architectural and heraldic terms, Fleur-de-lys au pied coupé or au pied nourri, in which the ‘feet’ of the
petals (which would otherwise be curving round and upwards) are omitted. The device has a very
long association with the French Crown, the Bourbon dynasty and the royal arms of France.
Overlooking the razzmatazz of Regent Road is a symbol anciently of great sanctity for, according to
legend, the fleur-de-lys, signifying purity, was sent from Heaven to the Frankish king, Clovis (c 444-
511) at his baptism. It is said, alternatively, to represent the descent to earth of the Holy Spirit.
Obelisk - a four-sided stone pillar which tapers to a pyramidal top. The foundations of western
monumental architecture were laid in Egypt 1,500 years before the first signs of civilisation were
appearing in Greece (Robert Adam, bibliography). When Egypt fell to Rome in the first century BC,
obelisks, ancient needle-shaped religious memorials carved with commemorative inscriptions, were
brought to Rome and thus entered the vocabulary of classical architecture. They were favoured by
the Victorians for memorials and are often found in cemeteries; examples may be found in St.
Andrew’s, Gorleston and Great Yarmouth Minster churchyards. As I indicated in my 2016 paper, there
is a small number of other buildings in the town characterised by features from Ancient Egypt. The
Norfolk Naval Pillar (1819) is a Doric column rising from an Egyptian temple, a reference to Nelson’s
great victory at the Nile. The World War II memorial in St. George’s Park has tapered pylons, a
device originating in the entrances to Egyptian temples. Corresponding miniature obelisks have been
added to the western steps to the adjoining World War I memorial, thus providing a visual link between
the two.
Palladian - from Andrea Palladio (1505-1580), his Four Books of Architecture of 1570 are standard
texts on classical design. Made popular in the British Isles by Inigo Jones (1573-1652). The
architecture of Whiggery, the Hanoverian Succession (1714) and the rise of the British Empire. Its
plain severity was an antidote to the excesses of the Baroque.
Parapet - a low wall to protect any place where there is a drop. May be battlemented, plain, pierced
or ornamental.
Pedestal - a sub-structure consisting of a plinth, a dado and a cornice, supporting a statue, vase or
other element. Also part of a balustrade.
Pierced wall or fence - parapet formed by a screen with ornamental openings.
Pinnacle - a summit or apex, a terminating feature on a buttress, pedestal, parapet or other element,
usually pyramidal in form.
Turret - a small tower, usually slender in form, or a large pinnacle.
Urn or vase - ornamental vessels occurring in a huge variety of forms in classical architecture, on top
of balustrades, walls, pedestals or as garden ornaments. A draped urn often found in cemeteries
signifies death. An urn with a flame originally signified charity.

Ecclestone, A. W., A Yarmouth Miscellany, published privately, 1974
Adam, R., Classical Architecture, Viking, 1990
Curl, J. S., Classical Architecture, Batsford, 1992
Pevsner, Sir N., The Buildings of England, Norwich and NE Norfolk, Yale UP, 2002 (originally
Penguin, 1951)
Mee, A., The King’s England, Suffolk and Norfolk (separate volumes), Hodder & Stoughton, 1949
Encyclopaedia Britannica, for the reference to the fleur-de-lys
GY Gas Supply Co., 100 years of Gas Supply in Great Yarmouth, 1824-1924, booklet published
in 1924 by the GY Gas Supply Co. (This rare copy is at the David Howkins Museum, 39 - 40 King
Street, formerly the company’s premises)

Harry Cator VC, MM, Croix de Guerre (1894 - 1966)
Paul P. Davies

Harry Cator was born in Drayton in Norfolk in 1894, the son of a

railway worker. After leaving school, he was a porter on the London
Midland and Great Northern Joint Line at Beach Station, Great
Yarmouth, before joining a building contractor in Great Yarmouth.
Immediately prior to joining-up he was employed by Messrs.
Chateau & Co. of Southtown. Before the war he was a regular
worshipper at St. Paul's Church, Great Yarmouth, where his wife
was a Church District Visitor and a Sunday School teacher. He
married his Great Yarmouth sweetheart on 2nd September 1914,
the day before he signed up for the army.

Cator lived at 5 Beaconsfield Road in Great Yarmouth with his in-

laws Mr. & Mrs. W. J. Morris. He arrived on the Western Front in
June 1915 with the 7th Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment.

In 1916, at the time of the Somme Offensive, he was awarded the

Military Medal for bringing back 36 wounded men from no-man’s-
Harry Cator land. He was promoted to sergeant, but declined a commission.

He earned his Victoria Cross and a Croix de Guerre first class with laurel leaves during the Arras
offensive. On 9th April 1917, near Arras, France, Sergeant Cator's platoon had suffered heavy
casualties from a German machine-gun. Under heavy fire, Cator, with two men, advanced across
the open to attack the gun and when his companion was killed and the other wounded, he went
on alone. Picking up a Lewis gun and some ammunition drums on his way, he succeeded in
reaching the enemy trench and, sighting another German
machine-gun, he killed the entire team and the officer. He
held the end of the trench with such effect that a bombing
squad could capture 100 prisoners and five machine-guns.

Cator recalled: I took matters into my own hands, leaping

forward as survivors of my unit took shelter. Two other
men followed, but within seconds one was killed and the
other was badly wounded. I then dashed on to within 50
yards of the centre of the trench. I then dropped down to
trick the enemy into thinking I was dead and wriggled to the
edge of the parapet, close to an enemy machine-gun post. Harry Cator at Bristol in his
I just peeped up and, as luck would have it, they were not Hospital Blues
looking my way, but were busy cutting the men down, who
were trying to advance on their right. There were five in all,
one working the gun and the others feeding it with ammunition. It was the work of a moment. My
gun spat five times in quick succession, and the five Germans went down.

Cator continued to subdue another trench full of Germans until more troops could reach and
support him. By the end of the action, some 100 enemy and five machine-guns had been
captured, largely due to Cator’s single-handed action.

A few days later his jaw was shattered and he was peppered with shrapnel following an
explosion. He was repatriated to the Beaufort War Hospital in Bristol. His comrades from the
Beaufort Hospital congregated at the station to welcome him. They carried him on their shoulders
to a waiting car. On arrival at the Beaufort, the band of the 1st Battalion Bristol Volunteer
Regiment assembled outside his ward and played See the Conquering Hero Comes. The music
was followed by a complimentary special supper. In his speech, Cator said: Boys, I don’t want to
go back, you don’t want to go back, but if we go we’ll go back as Britishers. We are winning now,
boys, and Germany knows it and we who are recently back from the front know it.
On the 21st July 1917, he was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George V outside
Buckingham Palace.

After the war, like many others, he searched for a job. He became a postman and later a civil

Cator served with the rank of captain in the Home Guard during the Second World War, and was
a quartermaster at an army transit camp and then a commandant of a prisoner of war camp at
Cranwich in South Norfolk, where he became as popular with the Germans as the guards. He
made several friends among them and even visited some of them in Germany after the war. He
retired from the Army in December 1947.

He died from pneumonia on the 7th April 1966 in Norwich and is buried in
Sprowston Cemetery.

His Victoria Cross and his other medals were sold in 1985 for £10,500
(today’s value £31,000). His Victoria Cross is now exhibited in the Lord
Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London.

The Victoria Cross was instituted on 29th January 1856. It is the highest
award for gallantry. It is awarded for an act of outstanding courage or
devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. All ranks were, and still
are, eligible when serving with the British and Commonwealth armed

The Royal Warrant for the award of the Victoria Cross has essentially remained the same since
the inception of the medal to the present day. It is awarded for most conspicuous bravery, or
some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the
presence of the enemy.

At the time of the Crimean War

(1853-1856), the British
military, which consisted of the
Royal Navy and the Army, did
not have a gallantry medal
open to all ranks. The idea
was put forward to the House
of Commons by a Member of
Parliament and ex-Royal Navy
man, Captain T. Scobell and
by the then Secretary of State
for W ar, the Duke of
Harry Cator’s medals Newcastle.

Queen Victoria was very interested in the medal, especially as it was to be named after her. She
preferred the name of Victoria Cross to the suggested title of the Military Order of Victoria.
Victoria involved herself by making suggestions about the design and the metal it could be made
of. She was the person who suggested that the design should bear the words For Valour, instead
of the suggested words For the Brave. The word valour extended a special significance to an act
of extra special bravery and courage.

Queen Victoria did not like the original copper cross which was submitted for approval. A
suggestion was made to create the medal from the cascabels (the knob and the neck of a breech-
loading cannon) of two Russian cannons captured in the Crimea. However, the two 18-pounder
cannons which were provided for creating the Victoria Cross medals were Chinese in origin, not
Russian. One theory is that the guns were captured by the Russians from the Chinese and used
against the British Army in the Battle at Sebastopol.

The Royal Warrant for the Victoria
Cross was issued on 29th January
1856. The first investiture ceremony
was held a few months later in Hyde
Park, on 26th June 1856. Sixty-two
awards were issued for acts of valour
during the Crimean War.

There is approximately 10kg of

remaining metal from the two cascabels
of the original cannons. This is stored
in a secure vault and can only be taken
out of the vault under an armed guard. Victoria Cross, Croix de Guerre and Military Medal
The same jewellers, Hancock’s of
London, has been responsible for
casting the Victoria Cross medal from the first one to the present day.

There were 615 Victoria Crosses awarded during the First World War (415 awarded to the British
Army, 51 to the Navy and Marines, nine to the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force and 140 to
the Dominion Forces).

A regimental officer will usually make the recommendation and it should be supported by three
witnesses. The reigning king or queen will be presented with the recommendation and he or she
will sign an approval.

Until 1993, the Military Medal was awarded to ranks below commission officers of the British
Army and other services and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, for
gallantry and devotion to duty when under fire in battle on land.

The medal was established on 25th March 1916, but back-dated to 1914. It was awarded to the
other ranks and was equivalent to the Military Cross, which was awarded to commissioned
officers. The Military Medal ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal, which was also
awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army. Over 115,000 Military Medals were
awarded for actions during the First World War. Additionally, over 5,700 bars were awarded, as
well as 180 second bars. In 1993, the Military Medal was
discontinued. Since then, the Military Cross has been
awarded to personnel of all ranks.

The Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) is a military decoration

of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a
square-cross medal on two crossed swords. The
decoration was awarded during the First and Second
World Wars. The Croix de Guerre was also commonly
bestowed on foreign military forces allied to France.

A blue plaque was unveiled by the Mayor, Councillor

Malcolm Bird, on the house where Harry Cator and his wife
lived during the First World War at 5 Beaconsfield Road in
Great Yarmouth, on Monday 14th November 2016.

The Government is providing £310,000 to lay

commemorative paving stones for Victoria Cross recipients
from the First World War. Unfortunately, the stones will be
awarded to the local council in which the Victoria Cross
recipient was born and therefore, Great Yarmouth will not
receive one.

Jem Mace
by Paul P. Davies

Jem (James) Mace was born on 8th April 1831 at

Beeston, Norfolk, the fifth of eight children born to
William Mace, a blacksmith, and Ann Mace. He
became a world boxing champion. Although
nicknamed The Gypsy, he denied Romany ethnicity.
His uncle, Barney Mace, had married the teenage
daughter of a well-known Romany family, whom he
met at Norwich Fair. Their eldest son, Pooley Mace,
a half-Romany, became the close friend and lifelong
companion of his cousin, Jem.

A middleweight, Mace succeeded in out-boxing

heavier opponents thanks to his dancing style, clever
defensive tactics and powerful, accurate punching.
He pioneered the left jab and worked on the art of
feinting and slipping punches. He was a defensive
master, but could also knock men cold with a single
blow. Jem Mace brought a more scientific style of
fighting to the ring than did most of his predecessors.
He was five feet eight and a half inches tall and his
fighting weight was 11 stone 5 pounds; 160 pounds.
He often fought boxers much heavier than himself.

Mace began fighting at 14 years of age in 1845, taking on lads from surrounding villages. He was
a skilful violinist and started his working life as an apprentice cabinetmaker and as a busker.
While busking outside a public house on Marine Drive in Great Yarmouth, he was set upon by
four drunken fishermen, one of whom broke his
violin. Mace knocked out two of the men and the
other two fled. A spectator gave Mace a guinea
B E N D I G O and suggested that he became a prizefighter
of Nottingham (bare-knuckle fighter), thus starting his career.
will positively
on Monday next, November 5th. Before the age of 21 years, in 1850, he fought
the Norwich Champion, John Pratt, losing after
*********************************** 69 rounds, taking just over two hours. Mace
JEM MACE! JEM MACE! finished the fight with two broken hands. A
An immense BONFIRE will be lit at rematch was made, but Pratt forfeited the fight
MACE’S BENEFIT for £25. However, they did meet in the same
An immense quantity of fireworks will be let off. year and Mace whipped Pratt in 10 rounds
lasting 30 minutes. A year later he beat the
********************** Suffolk Champion at Harleston and the
JEM MACE! JEM MACE! Lincolnshire Bull Dog, and won ten pounds.
Has arrived and his STOCK at the
St. Helena Gardens The prize ring was brutal in the extreme. Men
Jem will be glad to see his friends at seven
tomorrow. He will take the chair at the Masonic
smashed each other’s faces to a pulp with bare
meeting. fists, pickled to make them iron-hard. While
boxing has always included punching,
Birmingham Journal 3rd November 1860 historically, it also included grappling techniques
like throws, arm locks, and chokes as well as
Bendigo: William Abednego Thompson was an kicks. Punching, scratching, kicking, throwing,
English bare-knuckle boxer. Born in Nottingham
in 1811, Thompson was one of a set of triplets
stomping, and strangling were all acceptable.
named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Prizefighting was illegal and usually took place in
after the young men in the Book of Daniel. isolated places away from the eyes of the police.

Crowds of up to 10,000 would walk long THE FORTHCOMING GREAT PRIZE FIGHT
distances to see a fight. They were On Tuesday there was a great gathering of patrons of the
called ‘fancies’, from which the term prize ring at Alec Keene’s, the Three Tuns, Moor Street,
‘fan’ comes from. Prize-fighting was Soho, to witness the arrangements for depositing a portion
patronized by the highest in the land, of the £5,000 stakes in the forthcoming fight for the
championship between Jem Mace and Joe Coburn. The
but for some reason lacked middle
final deposit will be made on Tuesday next. It has been
class appeal. Huge sums were settled that the fight shall take place on
gambled on fights, which included Tuesday the 4th October and that, if by the 22nd inst. the
wagers made by royalty. place of the fighting has not been decided upon, the men or
their deputies are to toss for the choice of some place in
In London, many of the prize-fights of Ireland, within 10 miles and over 20 miles of Dublin. At
the 18th century were organized on present the betting is not very brisk, but odds are given in
private estates. No gentlemen or favour of Mace.
middle class people took part as Tiverton Gazette 29th September 1864

The prizefighters were always from the working class, and occasionally some were women.
Women were often times more vicious than the men. They would often strip each other naked,
scratching and hitting until they
were completely covered in blood.
JEM MACE’S GREAT NATIONAL CIRCUS Many of the fights were organized
The largest troupe in the world as a way to settle disputes
TWO GRAND PERFORMANCES between two people. These
in the magnificent waterproof pavilion, manufactured by techniques were banned during the
Messrs. Griffin and Co., of Birmingham. several rule changes, which turned
FOR ONE DAY ONLY classical pugilism, or bare knuckle
boxing, into the modern sport of
NOTICE: The proprietor of this Monster Establishment begs
leave to assure the Nobility, Clergy, Gentry and the Public in
boxing with John Graham
general, that he has secured the most extensive and best Chambers, a British boxing official,
talented company that money and influence can produce. drawing up the Marquess of
The great CLOWNS are the best of the present day. Queensberry Rules in 1867.
will positively appear at each performance and give a Mace defeated Slasher Slack in
delineation of the noble Art of Self Defence assisted by a Norwich in his first professional
well-known Member of the P.B.A. fight in 1855 in nine rounds and
The whole of Mr. Mace’s world renowned TROPHIES nineteen minutes, winning five
consisting of gold and silver goblets, cups, belts, including the
pounds. His success brought him
GOLD WYNDHAM TROPHY, value 500 guineas, recently
presented by W. F. Wyndham, Esq., of Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk,
to the attention of Nat Langham, an
in all valued at 2,000 guineas, will be shown and explained at English middleweight bare-knuckle
each exhibition. prizefighter, who hired him to man
SENSATION FEAT EXTRAORDINARY his touring boxing booth, taking on
Precisely at seven o’clock in the evening, the two FEMALE all-comers for two pounds a week,
BLONDINS will ascend a rope fifty feet from the ground developing his skills.
outside the tent. During this wonderful exhibition, they will
perform a feat never witnessed before, viz: each lady running In 1861, Mace agreed to fight Sam
from the opposite ends of the rope and meeting in the centre, Hurst, considered the British
one of them will vault over the other. Remember that this feat
boxing champion by virtue of his
can be seen by all, free of charge.
NOTICE: There will be no procession, so as to give the horses
victory over the title claimant, Tom
sufficient rest to go through their arduous task at each Paddock. Hurst, a noted wrestler,
exhibition, but the outweighed Mace by about 100
SPLENDID BAND CARRIAGE, pounds. Mace eluded Hurst’s
containing the band, will parade the town and announce each rushes and in the eighth round,
performance. knocked him unconscious. Mace
Doors open at two and half-past seven o’clock. was now the middleweight boxing
PRICES OF ADMISSION: Boxes 2s; Pit 1s; Promenade 6d. champion of England.
All schools and children will be admitted to the morning
performance at the nominal charge of 1d each.

Including the retired Champion of the World,
the renowned
who is engaged, at enormous expense, to give a
splendid and scientific exhibition of boxing at both
afternoon and evening performances in conjunction
with the ex-champion, Pooley. Mace’s belts and
trophies (value £4,000) will also be exhibited to the
Western Morning News 5th May 1885 As champion, Mace toured the country in a
circus before facing Tom King, the
heavyweight champion of England, in 1862.
Mace had taken notes on King’s style, an unusual practice in those days. On a cold, rainy
January day, Mace struggled for 22 rounds with the larger King, who outweighed him by about 25
pounds. King’s punches closed Mace’s left eye and almost closed his right. In the 30th round,
Mace back-heeled King, who fell on his head. In the 43rd, a left to the throat and a throw to the
ground ended it for King. Mace fought over half the fight with a broken arm.

GRAND FISTIC TOURNAMENT In the rematch, King beat Mace to win the
at heavyweight championship. When King refused to
THE GREAT CLYDE STREET BAZAAR fight Mace again, Mace picked a fight with him on the
on street. When King retired, Mace was again
SATURDAY EVENING, MARCH 4TH considered the champion, re-enforced by his defeat of
and MONDAY AFTERNOON AND Joe Goss at Purfleet in Essex in 1866. On his return
EVENING to his base in Liverpool, more than 10,000 turned out
at three and a half-past seven o’clock to greet him at Lime Street Station and carried him
through the streets on their shoulders.
Champion of England and the most In 1869, as he was hounded by police, he moved to
scientific boxer ever known the United States, where prize-fighting was still
JOE GOSS flourishing and where he was just as popular as he
Champion of the middleweight was in England. In New Orleans he beat Tom Allen in
NAT LANGHAM 1870 to win the world heavyweight title. In 1870 and
the only conqueror of TOM SAYERS 1871, he fought the American heavyweight champion,
JERRY NOON: the undefeated Joe Coburn. However, police stopped the first bout,
WOLF: Mace’s Big Black held in Port Ryeson, Canada, before a winner was
determined. In the second fight, in Bay St. Louis,
and others, will positively Mississippi, the two fought to a draw.
In between fights, THE PRIZE RING
Glasgow Morning Journal 4th March 1864 he toured with the **********
c e le b r at e d Result of the Mill between Mace
American boxer, and Coburn
John C. Heenan, giving exhibitions of glove boxing. Following ************
an attempt on his life in Mississippi, he returned to England. The Ring Pitched near
However, by 1876, he was back in America, this time as a Bay St. Louis, Miss.
glove boxer and, in a historic early clash under the ************
Queensbury Rules, he defeated Bill Davis at Virginia City, FIGHTING IN THE RAIN
Nevada. From 1877 to 1882, Mace lived in Australia, where
Mace breaks his Hand early in
his long series of exhibitions paved the way for the worldwide the Struggle
acceptance of glove boxing. With the help of his protégés, he
schooled a generation of Australian boxers.
In 1882, he toured New Zealand. In JEM MACE IN ENGLAND
1883, he was back in the United States Jem Mace, the famous pugilist, arrived in Liverpool on
of America as manager of the New Thursday in the Arizona, from America. Mace brings with
Zealander, Herbert Slade. In 1890, at him a Maori chief, named Herbert Slade, whom he has
the age of 58 years, he fought in an been training for the last twelve months. It is stated that
exhibition with the Birmingham fighter, Slade has the longest reach of any pugilist in America and
Charlie Mitchell. In 1896, Mace that none of the boxing men there care to face him. They
are to give exhibitions of boxing and sparring in London,
returned to New York to fight Mike
Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Donovan and was acclaimed by World
Heavyweight Champion James J. Belfast Evening Telegraph 5th May 1883
Corbett as the man to whom we owe
the changes that have elevated the

As Mace rose to become a champion fighter, he supplemented his income with exhibition work in
the popular Victorian travelling circuses, even becoming a circus proprietor himself for a short
time. Most notably, he toured Lancashire with Pablo Fanque’s Circus Royal in 1861. Fanque
was England's first black circus proprietor and later immortalised in the Beatles song, Being for
the Benefit of Mr. Kite.

Mace’s brilliant ring-craft ensured that he was in demand Jem Mace

as a coach and was constantly taking part in exhibition
bouts. Mace continued as a purely exhibition boxer and
his last recorded entry into the ring was in 1909, when he
was 78 years of age.

Nearing the end of his life, Mace spent time at a gypsy

settlement on an abandoned farm, where a boxing booth
was in operation.

In his later years Mace gave after-dinner speeches,

always bemoaning the lack of good English
heavyweights. He was an astute businessman, who
owned goldmines, circuses, racehorses, hotels and
public houses, among other ventures around the world.

Mace was also a professional runner. For example, he

ran a half mile race for £20 against Robert Jackson at
Royal Park, Woodhouse Moor, Leeds. In 1862, he won a
race at Hackney Wick and won £70.

Known as the father of boxing, Mace was loved

JEM MACE IN THE RING equally by the working classes and the
Jem Mace, the old champion pugilist, now 74 aristocracy. Apparently, he was on first name
years old, last night sparred at the benefit terms with Lord Lonsdale and the Prince of
organised on his behalf with Woolf Bendoff, Wales, the future King Edward VII. He was an
who some years ago, backed by Barney
acquaintance of Charles Dickens, and became a
Barnato, fought in South Africa for the biggest
stake on record, £4,500 a-side. The smiling friend of Wyatt Earp. Even within the constraints
white-haired old gentleman led off with a lusty of 19th century transport and communications,
left and then skipped nimbly out of punishment Jem’s fame and notoriety went before him and he
upon a pair of feet that once were the pioneers fought in America, Canada, Australia, New
of leg work in the prize-ring. Zealand and South Africa.

Sheffield Evening Telegraph 5th April 1905 Mace married three times, twice bigamously. He
also kept two teenage mistresses. He was a
seducer of dozens of women and he fathered 14
children by five different mothers.
During his life he made and gambled away a considerable fortune. It is estimated he earned
£750,000 in his lifetime, today’s equivalent of £20 million. He died on 30th November 1910, as a
penniless busker in Jarrow, Durham and was buried in an unmarked grave at Anfield Cemetery in
Liverpool. In 2002, the Merseyside Former Boxers’ Association arranged a memorial headstone
by his grave.

Mace was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame, New York in 1954. It is no exaggeration to say
Mace was the Muhammad Ali of his age; the first global sporting superstar.

In 1914, Bandsman Blake, from Great Yarmouth,

received Mace’s old belt, which was presented to
Mace by his Australian admirers. It had been
redeemed from a pawnbroker’s safe. Blake had won
the British Heavyweight Championship by beating
Bombardier Billy Wells.

On 18th October 2016, the Society placed a blue

plaque on Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, near the
spot where Jem Mace commenced his career.

Poolman, Jeremy, Gypsy Jem Mace, Andre Deutsch,
2008, ISBN: 9780233002255

Mace’s gravestone, erected 2002

John Berney Crome (1794 - 1842) known as Young Crome
Landscape Artist
Paul P. Davies

John Berney Crome was born in Norwich, Norfolk. He

was the eldest son (of two) of eight children of John
Crome, a distinguished landscape artist and founder of
the Norwich Society (school) of Artists. John Berney
Crome attended Norwich Grammar School until he was
18 years of age, where a friend and fellow pupil
was George Vincent, a future artist of the Norwich
School. At the same time, with ambitions of becoming
an artist, he accompanied his father on sketching
expeditions. By the age of 12 years, he was painting in
oils and at 16 years was sketching landscapes in water
colour. A year later he was selling his paintings. It is
said that he inherited the charm of his father and was
popular. He was an articulate and a good speaker.

John Berney Crome

Later, Crome assisted his father in teaching,

and was appointed landscape painter to
the Duke of Sussex. He became a member
of the Norwich Society of Artists and
exhibited many of his pictures there between
1806 and 1830. He was appointed Vice
President of the Society in 1818 and
subsequently President on several
occasions, firstly, in 1819, at the age of 25

On the death of his father in April 1821, Yarmouth Bridge 1837 by John Berney Crome
Crome continued his father's art teaching Norfolk Museum Service
practice and occupied the family house in
Gildengate Street, Norwich, to which he added a studio. Now, he was probably the leading figure
in the Norwich art world. In 1822, the Norwich Mercury, reviewing one of his paintings, felt that he
promised to surpass the talents of his father. This
promised was never fulfilled. In conjunction
with John Sell Cotman, Crome took a lively
interest in the re-opening of the Norwich Society
of Artists in 1828, which had closed in 1825 after
the demolition of its old premises.

John Berney Crome had many works exhibited at

the Royal Academy, the British Institution and the
Society of British Artists in London. He made
many trips to the continent, drawing and painting
in France, Holland, Belgium and Italy. From the
mid-1820s, he painted interminable moonlight
scenes. His most famous painting is the
Yarmouth Water Frolic, thought to have been
started by his father. This painting is now in
Moonlight over Breydon 1842
Kenwood House in London.
by John Berney Crome
Norfolk Museum Service
Because of his extravagant habits, Crome was made
bankrupt in 1831, when the contents of his father's
house were sold, and many of his father’s paintings and
his own works were disposed of. He moved to Great
Yarmouth in 1835, where he continued to teach
drawing. He had health problems and, perhaps, a drink
problem. According to C. J. Palmer, Crome was
enormously stout. He died in September 1842 at his
home, 19 King Street, Great Yarmouth (as Palmer
states, the north-west corner of Row 81). After his
death, the Norwich Society of Artists collapsed.

Crome was twice married, leaving a widow, but no Norwich Mercury 24th January 1835
children. His widow was destitute and a public
subscription to support her was launched.
John Berney worked in oils, water colours and
pencil, painting coastal and rural scenes, both at
home and abroad. His work shows the influence
of his father, and he painted many moonlight
effects. Many of his works can be found at
the Castle Museum in Norwich.

The Norwich Society of Artists was started in

1803 by John Berney Crome’s father, John
Crome (Old Crome) (1768-1821) and his friend
Robert Ladbrooke (1770-1842), as a club where
local painters could meet to exchange ideas. Its
members included: Henry Bright, Old and Young
Crome, Joseph Stannard, James Stark, George
Vincent, John Sell Colman, Thomas Lound, etc.
The Norwich School's unique achievement was
the production of a large body of landscape oils
and watercolours, painted largely in the open air
by a comparatively small group of self-taught
working-class artists.

Norfolk News 4th May 1861 On 12th February, a blue plaque was unveiled on
19 King Street, the house where John Berney
Crome died, by the Mayor of Great Yarmouth,
Councillor Malcolm Bird.

The great gale at Yarmouth on Ash Wednesday 1842 by John Berney Crome
Norfolk Museum Service

Yarmouth Water Frolic by John Berney Crome

Norfolk Museum Service

Hemingway, Andrew, The Norwich School of Painters, Phaidon, Oxford, 1975
Palmer, C. J., Perlustration of Great Yarmouth v II p55, (1875)

John William Nightingale (1850 - 1911)
Entrepreneur and Impresario,
Hotelier, Refreshment Contractor and Philanthropist
Colin Tooke

Samuel Nightingale bought Shadingfield Lodge for his family

home in 1873. The Prince of Wales had stayed at the house the
previous year, when he had visited the town for the first time in
his capacity as Honorary Colonel of the Norfolk Artillery Militia.
The Nightingale family accommodated the prince in 1879 when
he next visited the town to review the Regiment and for his six
subsequent visits. In the 1880s, Samuel was a magistrate and a
councillor for the St. Nicholas Ward and, by 1887, he was the
head brewer and a partner at Lacon’s Brewery.

Samuel’s son, John William Nightingale, left Great Yarmouth

when a young man to work in London, where he gained
considerable experience in the catering trade with the firm of
Bertram and Roberts. He worked at the Crystal Palace,
Alexandra Palace and the Westminster Aquarium, and for four
years he was the licensee of the Olive Branch public house in
Edgware Road.

John returned to Great Yarmouth in 1882 and, with a partner Mr. Pullen, he took on the lease of
the refreshment department of the recently refurbished Royal Aquarium. Two years later, they
became lessees of the whole building and were also lessees of the Marine Palace in Margate and
the Aquarium in Scarborough. On 16th August 1884, Nightingale began to serve ‘six-penny fish
diners’ at the Aquarium, following an idea he copied from the huge International Fisheries
Exhibition, held in London from May to October 1883. The concept of these fish diners had been
introduced at the exhibition to promote fish sales by Baroness Couttes, owner of the Columbia
fishing fleet.

In July 1887, the partnership with Pullen was dissolved and Nightingale now became fully
responsible for the Royal Aquarium. In April 1897, he became the proprietor instead of the lessee
and later that month notable persons in the town honoured him with a diner, in recognition of the
great part he was then playing in the growth of the attractions and the general well-being of the
town. He was described as being an indispensable part of Yarmouth life, both on the civic and
pleasure side. By 1899, he was a councillor, holding a seat on the Regent Ward.

Nightingale became involved in many major entertainment businesses and large hotels in the
town. At different times he had owned the Victoria, Royal and Queen’s hotels as well as the
Theatre Royal and the Assembly Rooms. He was Managing Director of the New Britannia Pier
Company and the Revolving Tower Company. At the Royal Aquarium he ran both the
refreshment side of the business and the theatre. As an impresario, he was associated with
some of the most famous artists of the day and brought leading actors and actresses to the town
to perform at both the Theatre Royal and the Royal Aquarium. His energy and foresight made
him one of the most important and influential figures in the development of Great Yarmouth as a
seaside resort in the years around the turn of the 20th century. His ability to organise large diners
led to him being invited each November to the Mansion House, London, for the Lord Mayor’s Ball.
Nightingale had few equals and his fame was known all over the country.

It was entirely due to the efforts of John Nightingale that the huge Bass outings, described as the
largest outings in the world came to Great Yarmouth five times between 1893 and 1909. On each
occasion, up to 15 trains brought up to 10,000 brewery workers and their families from Burton on
Trent on a day excursion to the seaside. Nightingale arranged a wide ranging programme of
entertainment and events to cover the day, as well as providing the catering facilities for
breakfast, lunch and tea.
John Nightingale was a contemporary of George Gilbert, the founder of the Hippodrome circus,
and they were great benefactors to the less well-off inhabitants of the town. As well as providing
hundreds of pair of shoes for children, they provided large quantities of coal for the many poor
families in the town.

After a prolonged illness, John William Nightingale died at his home, 67 Marine Parade, on 26th
June 1911, aged 61 years. He left a widow, a son and a daughter. The funeral took place on 1st
July and he was buried in the Gorleston Cemetery. The local paper described him as a man who
has left an indelible mark upon the modern history of Great Yarmouth and, if ever the term Prince
of Business was deserved by any man it was by Mr J W Nightingale, whose achievements have
been on great and spacious lines.

His son, Walter Hogarth Nightingale who, in 1915, was Vice Commodore, Honorary Secretary
and Treasurer of the Great Yarmouth Yacht Club, succeeded him as owner of the Royal
Aquarium, Theatre Royal and the Queen’s Hotel. Walter eventually sold the entertainment
venues, but continued to run the Queen’s Hotel until his death on 13th August 1936, aged 61

John William Nightingale was associated with the following buildings in the town.

Royal Aquarium

The building opened as an aquarium and concert hall in 1876, but was not a financial success.
The Prince of Wales was entertained there in 1881 and 1882, but later that year it closed. After
being sold to four local businessmen, it was almost rebuilt at a cost of £10,000. It reopened in
July 1883 as the Royal Aquarium (following its earlier royal patronage), and was now a genuine
theatre and large catering establishment. The main hall could accommodate 1,000 diners and
the minor hall 400. Some of the original fish tanks from the old aquarium were retained in the
corridors. John Nightingale leased the refreshment side of the business in 1882, and two years
later became one of the lessees of the whole building. The Prince of Wales attended the theatre
again in 1885 and 1887 and, in 1897, Nightingale became the sole proprietor.

The auditorium in the Royal Aquarium in 1969 before major alterations divided it into smaller units.
In this space Nightingale was able to dine 1,000 people in one sitting. With the seats removed a
circus ring could easily be installed, with extra seating placed on the stage, which was the largest
stage of any theatre in the provinces.

Shadingfield Lodge

The house was built as a summer villa by James Cuddon in 1867. In 1872, when it was known
that the Prince of Wales was to visit the town in his role as Honorary Colonel of the 2nd Norfolk
Prince of Wales Own Artillery Militia, Cuddon offered the house to the prince for the duration of
his stay. On his departure, the prince expressed his entire satisfaction at the arrangements made
for his accommodation. The following year
the property was bought by Samuel
Nightingale as the family home and it
continued to provide accommodation for the
Prince of Wales on his seven subsequent
visits to the town. The royal party only stayed
in the town for two or three days on each visit,
and it is likely that the Nightingale family
moved out to one of their hotels on these
occasions. The Prince, an enthusiastic
theatregoer, attended performances at the
Theatre Royal and Royal Aquarium, arranged
by John Nightingale. Shadingfield Lodge
remained in the Nightingale family for several

Theatre Royal The Prince of Wales, seated third from left, with
the officers of Norfolk Artillery Militia outside the
When the theatre was built in 1778 at a cost of Shadingfield Lodge in 1895.
£1,000, the money was raised by eleven £100
subscriptions, for The prince stayed here as a guest of the Nightingale
family seven times when he visited the town
which the backers
to review the Regiment.
were rewarded
with silver tickets,
allowing them free access to the theatre at any time. The Prince of
Wales attended the theatre on 16th June 1879, when he was
entertained by a special performance given by the London Gaiety
Company. He was accompanied by the officers of the Regiment and
their colonel, Lord Suffield. By 1889, the theatre had become run
down and closed. It was then bought for £1,200 by John Nightingale,
who bought back the original silver tickets. It took Nightingale three
years to renovate the building with new entrances and exits, new
dressing rooms and seating. It was completely redecorated and an
engine was installed to provide electricity. Four shops were added on
the Regent Road frontage of the building and it reopened in May
1892, now a first-class theatre.
Assembly Rooms
Built in 1863, the building was originally used as a Public Assembly
and Ballroom and was often hired for balls by the officers of the
Norfolk Artillery Militia. In 1879, it was leased to them as a Mess
House and John Nightingale was appointed the caterer for all
functions and regimental diners, many of which were attended by the
Prince of Wales. In 1883, the building was purchased on behalf of
the Regiment by Lord Suffield, their colonel. The building had links
1897 poster for with Freemasonry for many years. The Prince of Wales was a Grand
Nightingale’s new Theatre Master; Lord Suffield and many officers of the Regiment were also
Royal. His theatrical connected with Masonry. In 1891, the Lodge of United Friends
contacts enabled him to moved over from the Victoria Hotel with the help of Bro. John
bring many top London Nightingale who, it appears, was free to use the building when the
companies to the town. officers were absent, which was for the most of the year.
The Regiment was dissolved under the Army reorganisation of 1908 and, in 1910, the building
was conveyed to Nightingale. The regimental silver and the furniture had been sold by auction,
but Nightingale’s purchase of the building included the custody of the 102 Coats of Arms of the
officers of the Regiment, which decorated the Mess Room. Throughout the Regiment’s 56 year
history, every officer had been required to provide a shield of his Coat of Arms. For over 30 years
John Nightingale had a connection with the Assembly Rooms. In 1918, the Great Yarmouth
Masonic Association was formed to buy the Assembly Rooms as a Masonic Lodge. The Coats of
Arms are still in position in the Lodge.

Victoria Hotel

Built by the Victoria Building Company in 1841, this was part of a prestigious development
designed to bring ‘upper class’ people to the town. The hotel was modernised in 1895 by the
addition of hot water apparatus and later bought by John Nightingale. In the 1950s it became the
Carlton Hotel.

Royal Hotel

The Royal Hotel was opened in 1840, the first seaside hotel in the town. It was partly rebuilt in
1877 and was later bought by Nightingale. It was here, in 1897, when the Norfolk Artillery Militia
went to Sheerness for six weeks training; the officers who did not go with the Regiment lived here
and were looked after by Nightingale.

Queen’s Hotel

The Queen’s Hotel was built in 1884 by the brewers Steward & Patteson to replace an older
hotel, having the same name, on the corner of Apsley Road and Regent Road. Nightingale, the
leading hotelier in the town, bought it in 1897. This hotel remained in the Nightingale family for
many years.

Britannia Pier

The original pier was built in 1858 but, after suffering damage caused by two ships colliding with
the wooden structure, was demolished in 1900. John Nightingale formed a company, The New
Britannia Pier Company, of which he was Managing Director, to rebuild the pier, opening it in
1901. An elaborate pavilion was built at the end of the new pier, opening in 1902. This pavilion
was destroyed by fire in 1909 and Nightingale resigned as MD. It was said that the destruction of
the pavilion hastened his death two years later.

Revolving Tower

The Warwick Revolving Tower was built to the north of the Britannia Pier in 1897. It was sold in
May 1902 to a newly created company, the Great Yarmouth Revolving Tower Company, for
£2,032; the Managing Director of this company, and major shareholder, was John Nightingale.
The tower, one of only five built in this country, was demolished in 1941.

On 12th February, a blue plaque to John William Photo by Derek Leak

Nightingale was unveiled by the Mayor, Councillor
Malcolm Bird, on the
New Beach Hotel,
formerly the Queen’s
Hotel, on Marine
Parade, Great
Yarmouth in
recognition of the huge
impact Nightingale
made on the town as a
premier seaside resort.

Tobias Lewis (artist), Mendel Lewis (picture and antiques dealer) and the
Jewish Community in Great Yarmouth
Malcolm Ferrow and Paul P. Davies

As an antiques dealer and valuer, Malcom Ferrow has occasionally come across watercolours
and some oil paintings by T. Lewis and bearing an early 20th century date. The paintings were
mostly marine subjects, some of Great Yarmouth Harbour and some landscapes. The artist had
more than average ability and the paintings are confidently executed with an impression stroke.
However, he does not appear in any of the books on East Anglian artists. Tobias Lewis’ work is
unlike that of other local painters, such as Harrison, Batchelder, Mayes etc. These, Malcolm
Ferrow would find in and around Great Yarmouth in private hands or at auctions. This is
surprising as Tobias Lewis was born in Great Yarmouth on 2nd December 1883 at 58a King
Street. His father was Mendel Lewis, a picture dealer, who had been born in Russia and his
mother was Miriam (née Moses) who had been born in Prussia (now Germany). Mendel
appeared to belong to the active, but small Jewish community in Great Yarmouth. Unusually, his
parents took seven weeks to register Tobias’ birth.
At the 1881 census, we find Mendel Lewis and
his wife and first child at 9 Great Garden Street,
Whitechapel, London, when he describes himself
as a traveller. A traveller suggests that he had
just arrived in England and that he was not in
employment. His wife is named as Mary Ann, a
reasonable mistake for Miriam, which was her
name, especially when told to the enumerator in a
foreign accent. Their surname, Lewis, does not
sound Russian, so presumably they Anglicised
their name at some point, from perhaps
Lewinsky. In the late 1880s, Whitechapel was
known to be one of the most desolate areas of
Whitechapel in the 1880s
the East End of London and housed many Jewish
immigrants. Newly arrived Jews knew neither the
place nor the language, but were desperate for
work. They could not work for gentiles because they could not communicate and, more
pertinently, because they would not work on the Sabbath (sundown on Friday to sundown on
Saturday). They had no alternative but to turn to Jewish sweaters, small masters (often tailors)
who shared the immigrants' language, culture and religion, but who could and did impose any
conditions they wished on their workers. It was probably because of the conditions in
Whitechapel that Mendel Lewis moved to Great Yarmouth sometime in the next ten years.
The 1891 census shows that the Lewis family were now
living at 130 King Street. Mendel, now a picture dealer,
was 44 years of age and Miriam was 42 years of age.
Tobias Lewis was seven years of age. He had three
sisters, two of whom were born in London and one in Great
Yarmouth. A brother was born in Great Yarmouth. By
1901, now living at 20 King Street, three more children had
been born to the family. Mendel Lewis now described
himself as an antiques dealer. From these returns, by
studying the children’s place of birth, we can calculate that
the family moved from London to Great Yarmouth between
1883 and 1885.
Why a Jew chose to leave Russia and to live in England is
easily understood, but why he chose Great Yarmouth is a
mystery, as its Jewish community was very small and on
the verge of extinction. At the end of the 19th century there 130 King Street in the middle ground

were an estimated 5,500,000 Jews living in Russia. Under a law
introduced in 1791 by Catherine the Great, all Russian Jews were
forced to live in, what became known as, the Pale of Jewish
Settlement. This law was re-configured several times.
Exceptions were made for
r i c h bu s i ne ss p eo p l e ,
students and for certain
professions. After the
assassinat ion of Czar
Alexander II on 13th March
1881, there was a wave of
pogroms in Russia against
Jewish Chronicle 4th September
the Jewish community. This
led to a large increase in
Jews leaving Russia. Of
these, more than 90 per cent settled in the United States. A
progrom is a Russian word meaning an attack, accompanied by
destruction, looting of property, murder, and rape, perpetrated by
one section of the population against another. Particularly, the
word is used to describe the attacks carried out by the Christian
population against the Jews
in Russia between 1881
and 1921, while the civil and
military authorities remained
neutral and occasionally
provided their secret or
open support. The Jews of
Russia were the victims of
three large-scale waves of
pogroms, each of which
surpassed the preceding
one in scope and savagery.
These occurred between
the years 1881 and 1884,
1903 and 1906, and 1917
and 1921. Trapped
between Central Europe
and the rest of Russia,
unwanted by neighbouring
countries, deprived of their
rights and subjected to
countless depredations, the
Row 108 and the Masonic Hall
Jews fared poorly in the
former synagogue 1884 Pale. Many eked a living at
subsistence level, worrying
about whether the next crop would yield enough to avert
hunger for another season. Although a certain number
among them managed to accumulate some wealth, czarist
policy prevented the vast majority of them from improving
their lot. Deplored and rejected by Gentile society, Jews Jewish Chronicle 14th September
naturally insulated themselves within their communities 1888.
A minyan is a quorum of ten Jewish
and around their synagogues, always in fear. They
adults required for certain religious
especially dreaded forced military conscription, which often obligations
saw thousands of young men carried off to distant wars Selichot are special prayers for
with little or no warning. However, in the period between forgiveness, said on fast days and
1881 and the Russian Revolution the pograms were also during the period preceding
especially violent. A typical pogrom lasted from one to Yom Kippur
several days. With astonishing brutality, peasants and even
city folk would riot against their Jewish neighbours with little
fear of punishment, looting and burning their synagogues and
businesses. When the police finally intervened little or no
effort was made to apprehend the attackers and bring them to
justice. Between 1880 and 1914, no fewer than two million
Jews made their way, mainly without passports, to the United
States of America, Canada, the Argentine, France and South
Africa. One hundred thousand travelled by the weekly
steamers from Rotterdam, Libau, Hamburg and Bremen to the
English ports of Hull, Grimsby and London. It seems that
Mendel Lewis was fortunate and forward thinking in leaving
Russia before the program of 1881.
Jewish Chronicle
10th October 1890 The establishment of the Jews in Great Yarmouth, as
elsewhere in the Eastern Counties, must date back to the 18th
Chazan: chief singer of the liturgy
Barmitzvah: Jewish coming-of-age century. The pioneer settler here was a silversmith named
ceremony Simon Hart, who arrived at the beginning of the reign of
Sedrah: part of the Torah George III. It was he who, in 1801, when he had been resident
Shochet: slaughterer for kosher for some 40 years, rented a plot of land for use as a burial-
consumption ground. It is situated in what was called The Deans (now
Blackfriars Road), and there are in it some 16 tombstones: one
of the earliest being that which marks the resting-place of the
pious founder (1803). In 1838, the land was conveyed to Isaac Mordecai, Isaac Mayers, and
Schreiner Woolf, all silversmiths. It is to be presumed that
a place of worship existed at the time of the purchase of
the cemetery, being situated apparently in Row 108; the
site was subsequently occupied by a Masonic Hall.1

The synagogue was situated in Row 42 (Synagogue or

Jews’ Row), near the Market Place and was the smallest
synagogue in England. It had been built in 1847. In the
appeal for funds, published in the Jewish Chronicle and
The Voice of Jacob, the promoters of the synagogue,
Messrs. D. L. Cohen, J. Mayers and M. Mitchell, stated that
the Old Synagogue in
Row 42 was in a
dilapidated state and had
been demolished.
According to the Norwich
Mercury, the Magistrates
had cautioned Mayers
Jewish Chronicle, 17th July 1891 and Cohen for Sunday
trading in 1841. Among
the list of donors towards
the building fund were the Mayor, Baron Rothschild, M.P.
(financier), Sir Moses Montefiore (a British financier and
banker, activist, philanthropist and Sheriff of London), Sir
Isaac. L. Goldsmid (financier, Britain’s first Jewish
baronet), and F. H. Goldsmid, Esq.

The date of this earlier structure is unknown.2 The

congregation survived until about 1877, when the number
of Jewish residents became so reduced as to necessitate
the closing of the building. When the synagogue was
closed, the chief Jewish resident was Michael Mitchell, who Jewish Chronicle, 5th September 1890
died in 1890. He had originally designed the synagogue.3
The ritual was Ashkenazi Orthodox. The new building, which was finished in 1847, was
rectangular and built with red brick. High above the doorway were two stones containing Hebrew
inscriptions with a stone depicting that the building was built in 1847. It was approached through
a small courtyard. Inside the walls were washed in blue and a ladies’ gallery had been erected.
The seats and reading desk were made of match-boarding. A plain deal cupboard served as an
Ark. In the centre of the building a chandelier hung from the ceiling and a few burners were
placed on the walls. The synagogue seated 60 people and the cost of maintaining it was placed
at a modest £80 a year. At this time there were about ten Jewish families in Great Yarmouth and
the synagogue would have been supported by five or six individuals and there were promises of
support from two or three more.

In 1892, the synagogue and an adjoining cottage in Row 42 in Great Yarmouth had been sold for
£150 and it was converted into a Mission Hall for St. Nicholas’ Church. The synagogue had long
been used as a store-house for nets and other fishing gear.4 In 1896, the mission hall was
deemed to be too small and the mission moved to the hall formerly held by the Blue Ribbon Army
(a Christian temperance society) in Howard Street North. This hall was named St. Stephens.5

In about 1881, Mr. A. Goldstone settled in Great Yarmouth and he was untiring in his desire to
form a new congregation. In 1891, Abraham Goldstone, aged 30 years, was a tailor and had
been born in Poland (Russia). Perhaps, his original name was Goldstein. His wife was also born
there, as had his first-born son. Six further children were born in Great Yarmouth, three of whom
became journalists. His 50 year-old father, Symon, and his 18 year-old brother, both also from
Poland, were living with the family at 134 King Street. Symon was living off his own means. By
1911, Abraham’s 75 year-old mother-in-law had joined the family, who were now living at 130
King Street. She was born in Plockz, Poland. Abraham died in 1923. He had been made
bankrupt in 1899.

However, Abraham Goldstone received little support from the small number of Jewish inhabitants;
it was required to have at least ten Jews committed to form a congregation. The Jewish
Chronicle for 1886 relates that Mendel Lewis and Goldstone hoped to reinstate the synagogue in
Great Yarmouth. Goldstone had held prayer meetings in his house for the previous ten years.

In December 1898, another Jew and his

family settled in the town. This man, Mr. L.
Harrison, had worked in Norwich and
Dunedin in New Zealand. He and
Goldstone set to work in a determined
manner to repossess the old synagogue
and appoint a teacher, Mr. S. Pearlstein
from Exeter.

When the synagogue was reopened in

1899, a large congregation attended,
Jewish Chronicle 4th August 1899
Goldstone is now living in the Lewis’ old house
which included several magistrates. It was
consecrated by Dr. Adler, the Chief Rabbi
of the British Empire. In his address, he
said: that at no time was the number of Jews in Great Yarmouth considerable, but they were
animated by no small measure of religious zeal. Now, they must prove by their demeanour, by
devout piety, by abstaining from idle tales, frivolous conduct and everything that tended to
irreverence. Let there be no divisions, disunion of hearts and ill-will among the members of this
small Jewish community. He that was guilty of enriching himself by taking advantage of his
customer’s ignorance by means of false weight or a false measure by charging a usurious
(extortionate) rate of interest or by misrepresentation was an unworthy descendant and not a true
son of Abraham. He continued: that the purchase of the synagogue and the adjoining residence
was wise as it excluded the possibility of the building ever again being used for anything but a
synagogue. The Rabbi concluded by giving thanks to the victories achieved by the British Army
and for Divine Providence for the forces in South Africa.6
The cost of the purchase, including repairs was £350, to which the Jewish residents, most of
whom were working men, had contributed £50.

The editorial of the Jewish Chronicle on the re-

establishment of the Yarmouth Synagogue in 1899
praised the enthusiasm and religious zeal of a handful of
people, who had acquired possession of their old
synagogue, and had engaged a minster. It continued:
they have chosen an opportune moment for inaugurating
their labours, in the unprecedented number of Jewish
visitors who have been attracted to Yarmouth this year
have thus had an opportunity of attending public worship
as well as eating Kosher meat. So freely have they
availed themselves of this opportunity, that the
synagogue has been filled on Friday night and Sabbath mornings. It also commented: that it was
sad to hear of a Minister of a Jewish Congregation receiving only a pound a week in addition to a
free residence, for performing the duties of reader, teacher and shochet (slaughterer for kosher
consumption). An appeal was made to attract workers in the congested parts of East London to
exchange their crowded neighbourhood for the health-giving breezes of Great Yarmouth, but
without any appreciable result.

In 1896, a 12 year-old boy named Brady was charged at Great Yarmouth Police Court with
stealing money from Mendel Lewis. Mendel Lewis was offered a Bible to take the oath, but he
declined to swear upon the book, stating that he required the Old Testament alone. The
Magistrate’s Clerk said: that the Bible contains the Pentateuch and the Five Books of Moses, and
hundreds of thousands of Jews have sworn in that way without objection. Mendel Lewis retorted:
Not a single one in London. As there was no other book available the case was struck out. The
Norfolk Daily Standard described the dismissal of the charge as a sample of Justice’s justice, and
urged that a rate-paying and honest Hebrew might have been treated with courtesy and
consideration.7 The Board of Jewish Deputies communicated with the Magistrates’ Clerk at
Yarmouth and as a result a Hebrew Bible was purchased.8

A letter from Mendel Lewis to the Jewish Chronicle in April 1899 stated that he had been resident
in Great Yarmouth for 20 years.9 We also learn from the Chronicle that a child of Mendel Lewis
had died and that Mendel’s uncle was Israel Solomons.10 We come across Israel Solomons
again in a 1923 probate note, when he died on 11th July 1923 at London County Council Mental
Hospital in Dartford, Kent and the administration of the will was given to Miriam Lewis, the wife of
Mendel Lewis. He left £247. Solomons was living with the Lewis family before he was admitted
to hospital.

In 1905, Mr. M. J. Falkenberg of Wilna, a pioneer of the Yarmouth herring trade, attended the
synagogue. He expressed dissatisfaction with its surroundings and its position and promised to
subscribe £50 personally and to collect another £50 among his friends, if the congregation would
obtain a suitable site and build on it a synagogue and schoolroom.11 A week later, the Chronicle
reported that at a special meeting of the congregation, Falkenberg was thanked for offering £100
towards building a new synagogue and a schoolroom. Falkenberg promised that he would do all
he could among the fish trade, Jewish and Christian alike, to raise the necessary funds. It was
resolved to approach the Town Council with a view to procuring a suitable site. There are no
more references to this matter, so presumably the plan was withdrawn.12

By 1909, the Jewish community in Great Yarmouth were arguing amongst themselves and two
factions were at war; one led by Goldstone, who thought that he owned the building. The
synagogue was said to be filthy, worshippers were frequently locked out, there were no rules and
no books.13 Perhaps, this is why the Lewis family moved to London, although they appear in the
1911 census return, still at 20 King Street, and Mendel is still an antique dealer. Now the family
were able to employ a general servant. We learn from this census that 20 King Street had ten
rooms, excluding the landing, scullery, lobby, closet, bathroom, warehouse, office and shop.

20 King Street in the middle ground

However, we find Mendel Lewis at 50 Great Russell Street in London as an antique dealer in the
London Directory of 1916. His daughter was living here as an antique dealer in 1911.

Mendel Lewis died on 24th February 1924, aged 69 years, at 74 Sutherland Avenue, Maida
Vale.14 During his time in Great Yarmouth, Mendel Lewis moved several times, according to the
Poll Books: in 1885 and 1888 he was living at 58a King Street; 1890 at 130 King Street; 1896,
1897 at 22 Regent Street; 1902, 1911 at 20 King Street; and in 1913 he is listed at 20 King Street
and also at 12 St. George’s Road.

By 1914, the Jewish community had once more faded away. There were three Jewish families
living in Great Yarmouth, who were now members of the Norwich Congregation.2

In 1936, William Bloom died at Great Yarmouth. He was the last member of the original Jewish
congregation.15 In 1970, the Jewish Chronicle noted that the Great Yarmouth Jewish Cemetery
had not been used for many years and that no Jewish residents of the town are recorded today.16

This cemetery was closed in 1854 following the passing of the Burial Act. A Jewish section to the
Kitchener Road, Great Yarmouth Old Cemetery, which was opened in 1855, has burials dating
from 1858 to 1936. There are approximately 40 burials recorded, although few headstones
survive. There is also a Jewish section in Great Yarmouth Cemetery, Ormesby Road, Caister-on-
Sea. Burials here date from 1929. There have been about a dozen burials in this section (150
plots were reserved).

We know little of the artist Tobias Lewis’ early life from his birth in Great Yarmouth in 1883 but, in
1903, Tobias Lewis held the post of pupil art teacher at the Yarmouth School of Science and Art.

At the college in 1904, there were 141 students registered and from these students 155 works of
art were submitted for examination. Tobias Lewis was awarded a prize for his drawing of a figure
from an antique piece. He also won an art scholarship, from the Great Yarmouth Board of
Education, valued at £30 a year for three years, which could be taken at any school of art after his
work had been examined in competition with other students from the United Kingdom. In the
competition he sat for 18 examinations and was successful in 16, obtaining 11 first classes and
five second classes. As a result, Tobias Lewis next studied at the Polytechnic in Regent Street,
London,17 now part of the University of Westminster. In July 1905, Tobias Lewis entered a
competition for art students. The entries came from art schools all over the country. Their work
was exhibited at the Imperial Institute in South Kensington, London. Nearly 17,000 exhibits were
entered for the competition from students ranging in age from 16 to 40 years. Tobias Lewis was
awarded one of the nine gold medals that were presented. The examiners stated that: the work is
marked by a very delicate treatment of light and shade and is the very best of its kind that they
have seen for many years.18
Tobias Lewis next won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art and at the Royal
Academy School, where he won the prestigious J. M. W. Turner prize. The prize winning picture
was purchased by the Great Yarmouth Corporation. In 1912, he gained the Landseer
scholarship. At his death in 1879, Charles
Landseer, ex-Keeper at the Royal
Academy, bequeathed £10,000 to fund
scholarships for students of painting and
sculpture. A scholarship of £40 was given
for the best work done in the examination
for passing into the Second Term of
Studentship. In 1903, the terms of the
Landseer Scholarships were altered to be
tenable for two years.

The 1911 census shows him living with his

sister and two brothers at 50 Great Russell
Street in Bloomsbury, London, opposite
the British Museum. His sister is
described as a dealer in antiques, Tobias
A Breezy Day by Tobias Lewis c1910 oil on paper on as a painter artist, and his two brothers,
wood - Courtesy of Norfolk Museum Service one as a journalist and the other as a toy
manufacturers’ agent. Mendel and Miriam
Lewis moved to this address around 1916
according to the London directories.
Mendel and Miriam later moved to 74
Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale, London.

The next mention of Tobias Lewis is

working at the Brighton School of Art as an
art master. In June 1915, he enlisted at
the Hotel Cecil in the Strand, London in
the Royal Fusiliers (London Regiment).
He would have spent a comparatively
abbreviated period of training at Clipstone
Camp in Nottinghamshire and then at
Tidworth, Wiltshire. He landed at
Boulogne, France on 25th November 1915
with the 23rd Royal Fusiliers, the same
Carting Hay at Caister on Sea Norfolk by Tobias Lewis time as another Norfolk artist, Frank
c1910 Southgate in the 24th Royal Fusiliers.19
He rose to the rank of
Lance Corporal, but
was sadly killed on 5th
October 1916 and is
buried at Euston Road
Cemetery, Colincamps
in the Somme district
of Northern France, 12
miles north of Albert.
His name is carved in
the wall just at the
entrance to the Royal
Academy, along with
other student Royal
Academicians who
died in the Great War.
Gorleston by Tobias Lewis c1910

The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo Jewish History notes that: Tobias Lewis remained in his post
despite heavy enemy shelling, enabling his comrades to escape to safety, and saving many lives
at the cost of his own and, of what promised to be, an illustrious painting career. His brother,
Henry, a rifleman of the 1st Battalion the London Regiment (The Rangers) died of his wounds on
15th February 1915 aged 25 years. He enlisted in London and was living in the Kings Cross
area. He was buried in Poperinghe Old Military Cemetery, which is 7 miles west of Ypres.20
Henry Lewis’ name appears on the Great Yarmouth First World War Memorial, but Tobias Lewis’
name does not.

In his book, Broadland Scribblings, Arthur Patterson writes that: Lewis’ work showed a vast
strength and rugged beauty. His work showing the Entry of Smacks into Yarmouth Harbour in a
Gale in the Yarmouth Tolhouse is worth looking at (presumably lost when the Tolhouse was
bombed in the Second World War). His Shepherd and Dog is a fine picture. He was a charming
fellow and I liked him almost as a son.21

So, where are Tobias Lewis’ paintings now?

The Norfolk Museum Service holds two of
them. Firstly, a spirited painting of the Great
Yarmouth Harbour and secondly, a portrait of
the Rev’d. Forbes Phillips, the former Vicar of
Gorleston. There are three known paintings in
private hands. Tom Nightingale, in 2015, on
the Great War Forum message board states:
We bought a Tobias Lewis watercolour and
another about 20 years ago at auction in Diss
in Norfolk. Over a period of about six months
that saleroom auctioned off a small quantity of Gorleston Pier by Tobias Lewis
his paintings, watercolours and sketches, I was
told that they came out of the garden shed of
one of his relatives in Norfolk. We have one of
the oil paintings (a harvest scene) and we did
have, what I thought was a self-portrait painted
while he was a student at the Royal Academy,
but we have parted with that. The auctioneer
actually purchased a very fine large painting for
himself and it used to hang in Diss Auction
Rooms. It was a full length portrait of Tobias's
sister, wearing a Norwich Shawl, probably
painted on the beach in Great Yarmouth. When
the auctioneer retired about ten years ago he Norfolk Marshes by Tobias Lewis
took his painting with him.

Hopefully, through this article,

more of Lewis’ works will come
to light.
Rev’d. Forbes
Phillips by Tobias Our thanks to Stephen Vogt for
his help with this article.
Oil on canvas

Courtesy of
Norfolk Museum

In February 1915, we referred to the death of Hyman Lewis, one of four brothers all of whom have answered the
country’s call and it is with deep regret we now have to announce the passing of Tobias Lewis, the oldest, who
early in the month fell somewhere in France. Thus, ends the young life of the greatest promise. Had he lived he
would have made a great name in art, and Yarmouth, his birthplace, loses by his death, a painter of whom it
must have been proud.
Former students of the local School of Art will remember him and the work that spoke of his genius and they will
recollect, too, his great success at the Regent Street Polytechnic he had in 1905 when in a national competition
of Schools of Art, his large studies for the decoration of an entrance hall won him the gold medal and an
appreciative mention in the Builder, in which one of those studies, the Gates of Life, was illustrated. The Studio,
in referring to these works, spoke of him as another of the promising group at Regent Street and his work as
revealing a genuine feeling for decoration on an artistic scheme.
In the same year, he further distinguished himself by winning, among other honours, a Royal Exhibition
scholarship, value £65 per annum tenable for two years, at the Royal College of Art. The greatest success of all
that year, however, was the winning of the Robert Mitchell Trophy with a silver medal, which carried with it the
coveted honour of having his name inscribed on a marble slab placed in the vestibule of the polytechnic. The
prize is awarded for the best achievement of the year and quoting from the reference appearing in a
contemporary article to recognise the distinction, which belonged to Mr. Lewis in securing it, it must be
understand that it is open to engineers, architects, electricians, art students and others, so that the trophy is not
easily won, but marks out its recipient as a student of high degree and real acumen.
We next hear of Mr. Lewis at the Royal Academy School, where, amongst other honours, he secured the
Landseer Scholarship in painting, value of £40 per annum, tenable for two years and, in addition, one of the chief
prizes, which are awarded biennially, viz the Turner Gold Medal and the Turner Scholarship of £50.
The last mentioned success was won with the big picture, which is hanging in the Tolhouse. Shortly after leaving
the Royal Academy School we find him exhibiting a portrait at the Royal Academy itself, a unique distinction for
so young an artist. And at our own exhibition at the Tolhouse, he exhibited many of his pictures, including a
replica of the Gates of Life, and a Breezy Morning, which has recently been reproduced in colour. Then came
the summer of 1914, which saw him sketching in the vicinity of his birthplace and, although his art appealed so
much to him, duty called and he willingly responded.
He has now made the supreme sacrifice. To his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Mendel Lewis we tender our

Above: Obituary for Tobias Lewis

References: Yarmouth Mercury October 1916
Roth, C., The Rise of Provincial Jewry, 1950
Newman, A., Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain, a paper read in 1975
Levine, H., Great Yarmouth
Jewish Chronicle, 15th April 1892
Davies Paul P., The Parish Church of St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, 2007
Norwich Mercury, 28th October 1899
Jewish Chronicle, 30th October 1896
Jewish Chronicle, 25th December 1896
Jewish Chronicle, 28th April 1899
Jewish Chronicle, 5th May 1899
Jewish Chronicle, 30th June 1905
Jewish Chronicle, 7th July 1905
Jewish Chronicle, 17th September 1909
Jewish Chronicle, 29th February 1924
Jewish Chronicle, 31st January 1936
Jewish Chronicle, 24th April 1970
Norfolk Chronicle, 23rd January 1904,
Norwich Mercury, 29th July 1905
Great War Forum
Patterson, Arthur, Broadland Scribblings, P. Soman and Son, Norwich 1892

Sixth Society Church Crawl
Fritton, Haddiscoe, Hales, Heckingham, Lound and Raveningham Churches
Paul P. Davies

Twenty-seven members of the society embarked on the crawl on 4th July 2017. This year the
crawl was oversubscribed and several members were disappointed.

We started at Lound Church, the so-called Golden Church. Booth Lynes, the rector in the early
years of the 20th century, commissioned and paid for a ritualist makeover. A movement, called
the Oxford Movement, after the protagonists, who were mainly based at Oxford University, was
created in 1830. Their desire was to return the Church of England to Roman Catholic ways by
introducing roods, images, colour, liturgy etc. into churches. The rector employed Sir Ninian
Comper (1864-1960), one of the last of the great Gothic Revival architects. He designed and
installed a pre-Reformation interior in Lound Church between 1912 and 1914.

Comper attended the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford.

He moved to London, where he was articled to Charles
Kempe, whose stained glass we have seen many times
on our church crawls.
Comper’s four main features in the church are the organ
case, the font cover, the rood screen and a modern wall
painting of St. Christopher. Comper returned later to
design the First World War Memorial.

The organ case is decorated in pale green and gold with

two trumpeting cherubs, with an inscription from Psalm
At Lound Church. 150: …..praise him with stringed instruments and
Courtesy of Michael Wadsworth organs.
The font is early 15th century with the usual lions round the shaft. Around the bowl is a winged
lion, a symbol St. Mark, which alternates with angels in panels holding shields. The shields were
painted by Comper. Along the font's base is a Latin inscription: pray for the soul of Sir John
Bertelot the rector, who caused this font to be. Praying for the souls of the dead was taboo after
the Reformation, as it was considered that entry to heaven was based solely on the person’s life
on earth. The font cover, some 12 feet high, has pierced vine leaves with crocketed pinnacles
and is gilded. This cover unites the organ case and the rood screen into one space.

Comper designed the rood screen in a 16th century style. It has decorated linen fold panels at
the base with bands of pierced work above and lion heads with fish tails. There are crowned
letters, G and M, for George and Mary, the king and queen, at the time of the erection of the
screen. Their shields are on the gates of the screen.
Above are painted several lamb and flags, a symbol of St. John the Baptist,
to whom the church is dedicated. Two cherubims flank the rood group.
Under the cross are dragons of evil on each side. A pelican in piety is at the
To the right of the screen is the Lady Chapel altar reredos (similar to the one
at Ranworth Church). The Virgin Mary is flanked by St. Elizabeth with her
son, St. John the Baptist. Next is St. Mary Salome with St. John.
She witnessed the Crucifixion and was among the women who were at
Christ’s tomb on the day of the Resurrection. She is one of the Three Marys
mentioned in the Bible; the absent one being Mary Magdalen.
The last Comper work is a wall painting of St. Christopher taking a sack of
corn to the water mill, while a Suffolk Punch stands outside it. At the bottom
left, Comper drives past in a Rolls Royce. When the painting was restored The font and organ
in 1964, a jet Britannia was added flying across the sky. at Lound
An interesting ledger stone lies near the font.
It commemorates Daniel Nave, who died in
1775. His epitaph reads: Adieu vain world
I’ve known enough of thee, and now am
careless what say it of me. Thy smiles I court
not, nor their frowns I fear, my cares are past,
my head lay quiet there. What faults in me
thou saw take care to shun, there’s work
enough in thee for to be done.

At the east end is Comper's altar with its riddle

posts. Comper raised the altar in keeping with
the Oxford Movement. Comper is noted for re-
introducing riddle posts. The word ‘riddle’ is The roodscreen at Lound Church
derived from the French rideau, simply
meaning a curtain. The curtains hid the altar in the early Roman Church. We
see baldachinos (a canopy) over some altars. The riddle posts are merely the
relics of the four baldachino pillars. The curtain behind the altar was made of
Spanish silk, dyed to Comper’s favourite colour, dusky deep pink, now known
as Comper pink. It was embroidered by the Sisters of Bethany and shows
Christ, St. John the Baptist and St. John the evangelist.

The chancel side windows were designed by Henry Holliday, one of the finest of
the late 19th century stained glass artists. We saw his work at Fressingfield
Church on one of the earlier church crawls. Holliday is considered to be a
member of the Pre-Raphaelite school of art. In 1861, Holiday accepted the job
of the stained glass window designer for Powell's, after Burne-Jones had left to
work for William Morris. During his time there, he fulfilled over 300
commissions, mostly for customers in the United States of America. Holliday
left in 1891 to set up his own glass works in Hampstead, producing stained
glass, mosaics and enamels. The windows in Lound Church were installed in
1893. One shows Christ with Martha and Mary, which relates to the raising of
St. Christopher, Lazarus from the dead. The other window shows Christ’s presentation in the
Lound Church temple 40 days after his birth to complete Mary's ritual purification after
childbirth. Leviticus chapter 12: verses 1-4, states that this event should take
place 40 days after the birth of a male child, hence the
Presentation of Christ is celebrated 40 days after Christmas.
The festival is called Candlemas because this was also the
day that all the Church's candles for the year were blessed.

Before we left Lound Church with its round Norman tower,

we visited one of the few graves left in the area to a victim of
the Suspension Bridge disaster of 1845. She was Harriot,
the beloved wife of George Bussey, aged 26 years. Her
epitaph reads: In the midst of life we are in death. May ye be
prepared to meet your God. Time swept by the
overwhelming tide, my faithful partner from my side, and you
of yours may be, as unexpected as me. Harriot Bussey had
been born in Belton and had married in 1843. They lived at Lady Chapel altar reredos,
8 George Street in Great Yarmouth. Her husband, George, Lound Church
a shoemaker, did not remarry.

St. Edmund Church at Fritton is a Norman church with an apse. These are rare, although we
shall see two others on our crawl. The church is over 900 years old and the apse is Saxon. The
tower has Roman tiles in its base. The stone cross on the gable at the east end of the nave is a
12th century Rosa Crux, which originally crowned the summer chapel of the Bishop of Norwich at
Thorpe. When the palace was sold in 1929, the cross came to Fritton Church.
The low chancel is off-centre in one corner behind
a screen. This was probably a wayside chapel. A
nave, eleven feet wide was added, and, later in
1350, the nave was extended ten feet on the
south side, which resulted in the juxtaposition
between the nave and the chancel.

There are remnants of wall paintings and scrolls,

indicating that the interior was decorated
throughout. Opposite the south doorway is a
large wall painting of St. Christopher, one of the
earliest in East Anglia.
Fritton Church with its off-set chancel
Unusually, there is a step down into the chancel.
In the sanctuary, in 1967, a sequence of wall paintings depicting the martyrdom of St. Edmund
was uncovered in the eastern end of the apse. In the centre, there is a panel of Victorian glass
depicting St. Edmund with the wolf that found his head. This east window was uncovered in
1855. It has a Saxon splay with Norman decoration. In a corner, there is a Norman column

Two side 15th central windows show Saints

Nicholas and Benedict.

The side chancel windows were fitted with stained

glass in 1855. These depict eight East Anglian
Saints. The pews in the chancel date from the
13th century.

The organ was built in 1774 by James Jones. It

was donated to the church and installed by W.C.
Mack, an organ builder of Great Yarmouth.
The chancel of Fritton Church: Saxon/Norman
window and wall paintings
A three-decker Jacobean pulpit is squeezed into
the south-east corner of the nave.

Francis Turner, a surgeon from Great Yarmouth, and his wife are buried in the nave.

St. Mary’s Church at Haddiscoe stands proudly on

a hill. It is documented that there was a Knights’
Templar house here. Before the draining of the
marshes it is said that some of the Crusaders
sailed from here.

The base of the tower is Saxon, the upper parts

being Norman with the chequerboard top added in
the 15th century. Due to the thickness of the walls
the diameter inside is only eight feet. There are
two Norman doorways, the better one being on the
south, which is protected by a 15th century porch.
This has the typical zigzags and scallops resting Haddiscoe Church
on decorated capitals. Above it is one of Norfolk's
best Norman sculptures depicting a priest in eucharistic vestments sitting on a throne.

On the nave wall is a plaque commemorating Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown R.A., who died in
1955 in Haddiscoe. He was one of the leading British landscape artists of the 20th century.
Above the plaque is a memorial window to Mia Arnesby Brown, his wife, who died 24 years
before her husband. She was a painter of flowers and children. The window is dated 1931. The

window is by Martin Travers, one of the most influential British
stained glass artists in the second quarter of the twentieth
century. The window denotes St. John the Baptist with Mary
and Christ and Haddiscoe Church.

Above the arcade in the

nave there are surviving
wall paintings including the
head of St. Christopher with
the Christ child on his
shoulder. In the aisle there
are ledger stones of the
16th and 17th centuries
and one is in Dutch. This is
the grave of Bele, who died
in 1625, the wife of Pier the
son of Peter the Dykegaaf
(master of the dykes). The
Dutch were active here
draining the marshes. Mia Arnesby Brown memorial
window at Haddiscoe
In the churchyard, by the
south porch, is the grave of
William Salter, the Great
Yarmouth stage-coach
Norman door and sculpture, driver, who died in 1776
Haddiscoe Church aged 59 years, when his
stage coach upset on the
hill alongside this church. There was a memorial stone to him
alongside the road, perhaps a warning to other stage coach
drivers. This has now been removed to inside the church to
save it from further deterioration. The epitaph reads: Here lies
Will Salter, honest man, deny it, envy if you can, true to his
business and his trust, always punctual always just, his horses,
could they speak, would tell,
they loved their good old master
well, his uphill work is chiefly
done, his stage is ended, race is
run, one journey is remaining Dutch ledger stone at
still, to climb up Sion’s holy hill, Haddiscoe Church
and now his faults are forgiven,
Elija like drive up to heaven, take the
rewards of all his pains, and leave to
other hands the reins.

Lunch was taken at Raveningham

Gardens café. It was followed by a
visit to St. Andrew’s Church in the
grounds of Raveningham Hall. The
Bacon family gained the
Raveningham estate by marriage in
1735. The church was built in the
13th and 14th centuries. However, it
has a round Norman tower with an
elaborate castellated top. The entire
Margaret Castyll died 1483. building is rendered in cement.
Brass at Raveningham Church Major Edward Hodge

At the end of the nave is a
huge memorial to Major
Edward Hodge of the 7th
Hussars, who was killed at
Genappe in the battle of
Waterloo. It is ten feet tall
and is surmounted by an
urn. He was killed during
an unsuccessful charge
against French lancers in
Busts of the Bacon family at the narrow streets
Raveningham Church of Genappe on 17th June
1815. Following his death,
his widow received a pension of £100 per annum from the British
government. There is a memorial tablet to Hodge and his fellow
officer, Lieutenant Arthur Myers, in the Church of St. Joseph, at
Waterloo. Hodge married the younger daughter of Sir Edmund
Bacon. Their son, Sir Edward Cooper Hodge, later commanded a
regiment at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854.
Major Hodge monument
At the west end of the chancel is a well-preserved brass to
Margaret Castyll, who died in 1483. She was the wife of one of
Richard III’s squires. She clasps her hands in prayer. At her feet is a dog, a dragon and bells.
The Castell or Castyll family owned the manor for almost 500 years throughout in the medieval

In the chancel is a 14th century recess, which was probably a tomb. It is cusped and crocketted
with foliage. This pattern is reflected in the Early English style arcading decoration of the rest of
the chancel in the series of arches that frame memorials to the Bacon family. It was installed in
1820. Between the arches of the arcades are busts of the Bacon ancestors. The Bacon family is
the premier baronetcy of England, as it is the oldest still in existence. It was created in 1611 for
Nicholas Bacon, the Member of Parliament for Beverley and
Suffolk and the eldest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, a
prominent Elizabethan politician, who was the Lord Keeper
of the Great Seal of England.

St. Margaret’s Church at Hales is isolated from the village by

a mile. This church has been in the hands of the Churches
Conservation Trust
since 1968. With
the tower, nave
and eastern apse,
this church is
N o r f o lk ’s be st
example of a 12th
century Norman
church. This Hales Church
church is unusual
because so much of its original Norman fabric survives.
The blank Norman arcading on the apse is rare and it
once went all the way around it. Later lancet windows
were punched through it.

The church has two exceptional Norman doors with

arches of wheels, zigzags and bobbins, each separated
by bands of decoration. They rest on capitals.
Norman door at Hales Church Associated with the arches are mass dials.
St. Gregory’s Church at Heckingham is another
redundant church owned by the Churches
Conservation Trust. It sits on an overgrown
mound. It is another good example of a small,
rural Norman church. Unlike Hales Church,
Heckingham has been altered over the years.
Again we see a rare semi-circular apse and
another fine Norman door. The octagonal
Norman tower was extended in the late medieval
period. The east window shows the Annunciation
and is dated 1910.

Norman door at Heckingham Church The simple font is late Norman, square on
octagonal pillar capitals, most unlike the fonts we
had seen earlier in the day with their lions and
engraved sides. A ledger stone of the 17th
century commemorates Mary Crow. We are told
that: her time was short, the longer is her rest,
God calls them soonest whom he loves best.

The tour was most sociable, educational and

enjoyable. Another crawl was requested for
next year.

Below: The participants of the church crawl.

Courtesy of Derek Leak

The Seventh Cemetery Crawl 20th August 2016
Paul P. Davies

Nearly 40 members joined in this year’s crawl. Over the years we have visited more than 70
graves of historic interest. These people represented a cross-section of Great Yarmouth life.
Amongst them are many people, both adults and children, who were drowned, either in the sea or
in the rivers. There are eminent Victorians and Edwardians, who had a great influence on the
town through their public service and through their commercial activities. Some gravestones
reflect the naval and army heritage of Great Yarmouth. Disasters are represented, as are the
many young people from the town, who forfeited their lives in the defence of the country.

We began the crawl at Arthur Jary’s grave. He died in 1956 and was
87 years of age. From 1937 to 1946 he was a Liberal member of Great
Yarmouth Town Council, and sat on various committees. The
effectiveness of his work behind the scenes could be judged by the
council houses on the North Denes (considered to be the best that
Great Yarmouth Council had built), which embodied many of the
suggestions he had made in committee.

Arthur Jary was the only son of William Jary, who for 27 years was the
port missionary for the British Sailors’ Society. He left school at the
age of 12 years and was apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner to
Messrs. Corke and Beech. They occupied the premises where Arthur
Jary later started his own business. His business moved from Rampart Arthur Jary
Road to Northgate Street in 1918.

Arthur Jary was closely associated with the Great Yarmouth Methodist Temple. He joined their
choir when he was 17 years of age. He was a chorister there for 60 years and the choirmaster
for 28 years. He trained the Sunday School children for their concerts and was a trustee of the
church. Some of his earliest memories were of the school attached to the old Methodist chapel,
which stood on the site of the Temple, where Arthur Patterson was a pupil teacher. The string
orchestra, which used to play for the services at the old Methodist Chapel, made a big impression
on the young Arthur Jary. From these early days, his interest in music developed. As a young
man he played the euphonium in the Great Yarmouth Temperance Band and was a member of
Mr. W. M. Chapman’s Military Band for eight years. The Temperance Band was in great demand
for fetes and festivals and Chapman’s Band played at Gorleston for over 30 years on the site of
the future swimming pool.

Arthur Jary’s sons Leonard and Walter continued the undertaking business. The firm, after four
generations of the Jary family, have branches at Great Yarmouth, Caister-on-Sea, Gorleston,
Acle, Bradwell and Oulton Broad.

The grave of Frederick Johnson lies nearby. He died

on 12th December 1891 at 44 years of age. He was
the son of John William Johnson, the founder of
Messrs. Johnson and Son and the grandson of John
Johnson, the Waterloo veteran, whose grave is close
by. John William Johnson, the founder, is buried in
the Johnson vault in Gorleston Old Cemetery.
Frederick Johnson had caught a chill on the Sunday
prior to his death. After the service at the King Street
Congregational Church, where he was a member of
the choir, he hurried home and took to his bed. His
condition was not considered to be grave until six
days later when he lost consciousness and his spirit Frederick Johnson’s grave
passed away on the same evening.

Frederick Johnson was the Secretary of the Great Yarmouth branch of the Royal Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Children and he placed it on a sound and flourishing basis. He was also
the President of the St. James’ Church Young Men’s Social Club.

On Sunday, the day after his death, the Dead March in Saul was played on the organ at the
morning service at the Middlegate Congregational Church and at the evening service at the King
Street Congregational Church out of respect to Frederick Johnson. The entire congregations at
both churches remained standing until the last chords of the music died away.

About 150-180 female employees of the deceased’s firm and most of the male employees were
present at the cemetery. They lined the path to the grave.

The next grave visited was that of George Shirley, who

drowned on 3rd December 1863. He was 44 years of
age. He was married with several children and lived
on North Quay, Great Yarmouth. On 3rd December
1863, a fearful gale struck the coast. At least 25 lives
and ten vessels were lost. The Great Yarmouth
Independent reported: a large number of the smacks
were caught in the gale off Winterton. Many of the
survivors said that they had never experienced more
terrible weather. The wind, at times, swept in with a
force of a hurricane and hurled the sea in heaps on
them. The scenes witnessed on the beach and quays,
with wives vainly seeking their husbands and, mothers
George Shirley’s grave
their sons, have been most painful to see.
The fishing smacks were driven in all directions, some of them to Holland. Scarcely a boat
remained unscathed with their decks swept clean of everything. It was thought that the gale
might prove more disastrous than the gale of May 1860.
It was known soon after the gale that the following vessels were lost: the barque, Allen, of
Sunderland laden with coal, the brig, Luna, of Sunderland laden with coal, Scipio of North Shields
laden with coal, the brigantine, Spectulant, of Gaffe, Sweden, the smacks, Seven Brothers and
Fear Not of Great Yarmouth and the sloop, Joseph, of Ostend. The following smacks from Great
Yarmouth were also lost: Whim (two drowned), Swallow (two drowned), Velocity (three drowned),
Fortitude (one drowned), Catherine (two drowned), Ross (two drowned), Pelican (one drowned),
Dido (one drowned), Olive Branch (three drowned) and Vulture (five drowned).

Many smacks limped into Great Yarmouth with tales of men lost overboard. Two weeks later 13
smacks were still missing. They were crewed by 80 men and boys, who mostly lived in Great
Yarmouth. Four steam tugs had been dispatched from Great Yarmouth to search for any
survivors. The Mayor of Great Yarmouth requested help from the Admiralty and they sent the
steamer, HMS Medusa, from Sheerness, and
gunboats attached as tenders to HMS Pembroke and
HMS Cornwallis from Harwich and Hull respectively.
None of the boats were found, apart from a quantity
of wreckage in the North Sea.

We moved on to the grave of Thomas Saul, who died

in 1905 at the age of 87 years. He was born in 1817
at Stalham, Norfolk. At an early age, he was
apprenticed to a blacksmith and then joined his
father, William, in his wood-sawing business.

In 1839, Thomas Saul, with his elder brother, worked

Thomas and Elizabeth Saul in the saw-yard of J. Lacey and Sons of Curtain
Road, London. He moved to Norwich in 1840 and

Saul’s Wharf, Southtown

was employed at the wood business of James

Porter and Son. With hard work and perseverance,
Thomas Saul improved his position and was able to
erect saw-mills in Norwich (City Saw Mills). A few
years later he took Charles Frazer into partnership
and, in 1859, saw-mills were established in Saw-
Mill Lane, Cobholm, Great Yarmouth. These mills
sawed, planed and moulded wood. At the end of
1863, the partnership was dissolved with Charles
Frazer taking control of the Norwich business and
Thomas Saul the Great Yarmouth undertaking with
his son, T. J. Saul as the manager. Father and son
concentrated on flooring and mouldings, which
were of such quality that their work was in demand
throughout the Eastern Counties and London. The
business developed rapidly and they began directly
importing timber instead of obtaining supplies from
Hull, Grimsby and London. They also expanded
into Lowestoft.
Thomas Saul represented Gorleston and Advertisement 1863
Southtown as a Liberal on Great Yarmouth Town
Council for 25 years. For many years Thomas Saul sat on the School Board and in 1881 he was
appointed a magistrate. Fourteen years later his son, T. J. Saul, was appointed to the
magistrates’ bench. This brought about the uncommon sight of father and son adjudicating at
one and the same time. Thomas Saul took a keen interest in Great Yarmouth Hospital and sat
on its management committee for many years. He was a deacon at the Park Baptist Church and
a director of the Free Press Company.
John Frederick Long’s grave was next visited. He was born in Row 17 in 1846. When he was
three years of age his father died of cholera. His mother was left to raise five children on parish
relief, supplemented by her wage as a charwoman
and the money brought in by her oldest 14 year-
old son, who was working as an errand boy. His
sisters, Ellen and Phoebe, later emigrated to
America. John Long's children taught him to write.
In 1872, John Long, now a cab proprietor, took out
a mortgage of £40 on a piece of freehold land in
Cobholm, Great Yarmouth. In 1879, he borrowed
£500 to buy more land. This became
Humberstone Farm on the southern edge of
Breydon Water. Later, he also ran an extensive
dairy farm at Ottley’s Farm in Beccles Road,
Bradwell. Some of John Long's land was John Long’s grave
purchased to build the swing railway bridge over
Breydon during the 1890s.
The proceeds from the sale enabled him to buy the
pleasure boat, Waterfly. The Waterfly was a 25
horse-power screw steamer and carried 280
passengers. She had two saloons, a smoke room
and a refreshment bar. She plied between Great
Yarmouth and Norwich and, on Sundays, between
Great Yarmouth and St. Olaves. In August 1897,
she took 3,935 passengers on these trips. After the
First World War, during which pleasure trips
ceased, the Waterfly was used as a barge to tow
boxes between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft by
Messrs. Wenn, the local boxmakers. She ended Waterfly at St. Olaves
her days in the mud on Breydon, where her Courtesy of Peter Allard
remains lie today.
On the 100th anniversary of his death, we moved to the grave of
Private Horace Milton Buddery of the 2nd/6th Battalion, the
Manchester Regiment. He was killed in action by an artillery shell
at Nieuwpoort, Belgium on 18th August 1917. The shell hit the
ground two yards in front of his trench, killing him instantaneously.
His family stated that, as it was quiet on the Front, an inquisitive
Horace Buddery looked over the trench
parapet and was killed. He was 29 years of
age. He had been in France for only a few
weeks. From June to November 1917 the XV
Corps, which included Horace Buddery’s
regiment, held the front line from near
Antwerp to the sea in Belgium.
Advertisement 1910
An officer of his battalion wrote: Buddery was
a splendid soldier, efficient especially with the Lewis gun, good humoured,
cheerful, always steady and dependable. A downright good man.

Horace Buddery lived at 19 Anson Road, Southtown, Great Yarmouth and

was the youngest son of the Inspector of Weights and Measures for Great
Horace Buddery
Yarmouth. After passing his examinations two years previously, he was
appointed to succeed his father. He was a member of the Methodist Church worshipping at the
Temple and singing in the choir. The Great Yarmouth Mercury wrote: it seems such a short time
ago that Horace Buddery joined the colours and he had only been in
France for a few weeks. His letters were so cheerful and so full of
confidence that he would soon come home again that one never
associated him with death, despite the dangers he faced so
uncomplainingly. It seems difficult to realise that we shall never again
look into his face and read the goodwill of his big and generous heart in
the open and direct gaze of his revealing eyes. Horace Buddery had a
clean sweet soul and deceit was impossible to him. Now he lies quiet in
the British Cemetery behind the lines; somewhere in France.

Horace Buddery is commemorated at Ramscappelle Road Military

Cemetery in Belgium and the following inscription was added by his
family to his memorial stone: He died the holiest death that man may die,
fighting for God, for right and liberty, and such death is immortality.

Horace Buddery’s father, Robert Joseph Buddery, is also

Horace Buddery’s grave
at Ramscappelle Road
commemorated on the gravestone. He was the Inspector of Weights and
Military Cemetery, Measures and Inspector of Petroleum and Explosives for Great
Belgium Yarmouth for 40 years. He died at his home in Anson Road, Southtown,
Great Yarmouth in 1914 after a few weeks of illness at 66 years of age.
Next visited was a herring businessman. John Samuel Johnson died in
1932 at the age of 86 years. He was one of the last of the old breed of
fishing boat owners and a link with the past. In his youth, Great
Yarmouth was little more than a small fishing town, where catches were
landed on the beach, steam drifters were unknown and much of what
are now busy thoroughfares were sand dunes. For the last of his 29
years he had spent some of his time at Potter
Heigham, where he resided in one of the
bungalows fronting the river. Three weeks before
his death he became ill at Potter Heigham and was
brought back to his home in Great Yarmouth by
John Johnson was born at Horsey, Norfolk, where
his grandparents were the founders of the Primitive
Methodist Church. As a boy, he moved to Great
Yarmouth with his parents, where his father
became a boat owner and fish curer.
John Johnson John Johnson’s grave
His father remarried after his wife died and the
relationships between John Johnson and his stepmother were strained. In
his early teens John Johnson ran away to sea and joined a fishing vessel. He did not stay very
long with this vessel and he returned home to sail in his father’s drifter Regina and also to assist
in his curing shed in West Street. This shed had been built from wreckage found on the beach
and sand dunes. Life on a drifter had a great appeal to the young Johnson and by the time he
was 18 years of age he was a skipper. However, the Board of Trade did not permit so young a
mariner to be in charge of a boat. Therefore, a man called Pout George was signed on as
skipper with Johnson as mate. When the vessel was out at sea the positions were reversed. For
several years John Johnson continued to skipper the Regina and he landed his catch on the
beach by means of the boatmen’s ferry companies.
Later, John Johnson branched out on his own and built the Start, from which he fished for many
years. Among the other boats he built was the War Cry. All through his life he was a Salvationist
and regularly attended their Sunday services and this vessel was named after their newspaper.
Johnson was one of the first boat owners to haul her nets using a steam engine. Another of his
boats, the Glenross, was one of the earliest drifters to be powered by steam. However, she
caught fire and sank on a fishing voyage.
In about 1887, John Johnson retired from the sea at a time when his blue fleet of drifters were a
familiar sight in the port. He then founded a curing and export business on Admiralty Road (J. S.
Johnson and Sons). After the First World War, he took little part in the business.
In 1894, John Johnson owned three fishing vessels namely: Gemini (YH 290, built 1891), Matilda
(YH 349, built 1867) and George and Edward (YH 715, built 1877).
In 1913, he owned the following steam drifters: Pimpernel (YH 390), Triumph (YH 568) and
Santora (YH 837). He also owned Wild Rose, a ketch and Maggie May (YH18), a dandy. His
business was at Donor Place, Camden Road and he lived at 45 Queen’s Road. The funeral
service in John Johnson’s house was conducted by the officer in charge of the Salvation Army in
Great Yarmouth, before the interment in the cemetery.

The next grave visited was that of Louisa Jasper, who met a tragic end. At noon on 28th July
1887, the Dawn of Day, owned by George Larn, put to sea with a pleasure party consisting of four
men and three ladies. Six of the passengers were visitors to Great Yarmouth. George Bammant
and Henry Leech were in charge of the boat. It was a lug-sail vessel and one of the smaller
beach boats, being 18 feet in length with a six feet beam. It was capable of holding 12 people.
Amongst the party was Louisa Jasper, aged 23 years, of 3 Market Road Place, Great Yarmouth,
where she lived with her parents. She was a domestic servant and her father worked as a coal
There was a fresh south-west wind blowing and all went well until the boat
was about a mile and a half out from the beach, just to the north of
Britannia Pier. The boat was running with two reefs in her sail. One of
the passengers in the boat suggested that it was advisable to return to the
beach, as the sea was choppy. The boatman immediately gybed the boat
around to return to the beach, when there was a sudden gust of wind from
the east and a large wave, which caught the boat at the stern causing her
to heel over. Before the sail could be lowered the boat filled with water
and sank throwing all the passengers into the water. Several of the
passengers held onto the upturned boat, but were dashed away by the
heavy seas. The boatmen ordered them to grasp hold of any debris to
act as a buoyancy aid and to swim to the shore. The boatmen was
unable to make the shore and, seeing a small sailing boat coming from
the north, he swam to it. It was the Betty and the crew picked him up Louisa Jasper’s grave
after throwing a rope to him three times. The Betty then sailed on and
rescued two exhausted passengers, one of whom was supporting himself
on a boat seat and the other on the rudder. The two passengers were the Laird brothers from
Peckham, London, who were staying at the Garibaldi Hotel. Another boat sailing through the
Roads, the Frederick, also made its way to the scene. By the time it had arrived at the scene all
they found was one woman, who was floating, apparently kept afloat by her clothes. She was
pulled on board, but it was doubtful whether she was alive. They rowed with all speed to the
beach and she was taken to the Great Yarmouth Hospital where attempts at resuscitation were
made, but to no avail. The body was subsequently moved to the mortuary at the workhouse,
where she was identified as Louisa Jasper. Five other people on the boat were drowned. They
were: Elizabeth Barthorpe, a cook working for Dr. Hill at Fulham, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hurst of
Finsbury Park, London, who had been lodging at the Jaspers’, Vivian Vincent, aged 19 years of
Peckham, London and Charles Bammant, the boatman.

Later the same day, a letter arrived at the Jasper’s house from Fulham for one of the victims,
Miss Barthorpe (a cook), who had been staying at the house and was a passenger on the Dawn
of the Day. It read: My dear cook, I was very pleased to hear how much you are enjoying
yourself and I hope you will do so all the rest of the time, but do not get drowned over it.

At the inquest, the coroner noted that the number of boats taking thousands of passengers for a
sail from the beach during the summer months had increased in recent years. It was astonishing
to him that a by-law, passed in 1873 by the council, had not been put into effect on the beach.
The by-law stated that a boat would not be allowed to go to sea without a licensed boatman on
board and that these boatmen should wear a badge. Also, the boat should be marked with the
number of passengers it was allowed to take. It appeared that Bammant, who had been sailing
the boat, usually was in charge of a rowing skiff taking people out from the beach. The jury
returned a verdict of accidental drowning caused by the incompetence of the man in charge of the
Dawn of Day. They added a rider that the council should enforce the by-law of 1873. If they had
done so this lamentable catastrophe would not have taken place.

In one of its leading articles, the Yarmouth Mercury wrote: the council has
the power to make it certain that all boats on the beach and the river, which
are used for pleasuring purposes, are in the hands of efficient boatman. It
is simply scandalous that the lives of thousands should have been
endangered for 14 years through the council neglecting to put into effect
the by-laws, which they were delegated to administer.

One of the survivors, Edward Laird, died 5 months later in London from

Another drowning was next visited. Stanley Beech, aged six years, was
drowned in the River Yare, just north of the harbour crane in July 1915.
Stanley Beech’s He was the son of Herbert Beech of 14, Row 128, Great Yarmouth, who at
grave the time was serving on a minesweeper in the Dardanelles.
Stanley Beech and another boy called Charles King, also aged six years, had walked to
Southtown Marshes to fish for sticklebacks. On South Quay, Stanley Beech suggested going
down the steps to the river to look for crabs. Charles King stayed on the quay. Stanley Beech
slipped off the steps and fell into the river. As no one was nearby Charles King ran home to get
help. With a police constable in attendance, the river was dragged for the body. George Rainer,
a ship caulker, of Row 111, recovered the body just to the north of the crane and it was
transported to the mortuary. The coroner, at the inquest, stated: that it was quite sad to see the
number of children playing at the edge of the river and it was shocking to see so many of them on
the slender steps leading down to it. Nothing the police or anyone else could do would keep
them away. Mothers ought to prevent their children going there and send them to the beach,
where they could not come to any harm. The coroner continued: he had seen the little imps on
these steps holding on with one hand in order to pick up a small piece of wood. Previously, he
had ordered the Head Constable to tell his men to patrol the area.

A member of the jury asked whether the police still carried canes. The coroner replied: that they
did, but it was rather risky if they used them. However, he felt that a touch of the cane would not
do any harm. A verdict of accidental death was returned.

Stanley Beech’s epitaph reads: Only a little angel gone to its heavenly rest. Only a little lamb safe
on our saviour’s breast.

Thanks to the work of the Friends of the Cemeteries, Cadet John Bales’ grave has been
uncovered. From the Yarmouth Independent we learn that: Yarmouth people will long remember
the funeral of Cadet John Bales with the demonstration of respect and sympathy being so
universal. The hearts of thousands who saw the long procession were overshadowed by the
thought of the brave young life so prematurely brought to an end. There was an immense crowd
near 15 Crown Road, the home to which his body has been brought. The route through King
Street, Regent Road and the Market Place was lined with spectators three and four deep, while
on Church Plain was the greatest throng of all, every window was occupied and some climbed the
trees to get better views.

At John Bales’ home, there was a roll of drums and the cortege moved slowly forward while a
firing party with reversed arms comprising one officer and 40 other ranks from the Royal Garrison
Artillery headed the funeral procession. The flag and flower covered coffin was born on a gun
carriage drawn by four horses. There followed eight Royal Irish Constabulary auxiliaries, who
had escorted the body from Ireland and now acted as bearers. After the gun carriage, there were
three carriages filled with flowers, the mourning family, twelve former officers and Non
Commissioned Officers of the Norfolk Yeomanry, the mayor, the deputy mayor, the officer
commanding the troops in Great Yarmouth, men of the Royal Naval Reserve, Coastguard and
Trinity House, the band of the Norfolk Regiment, councillors, scoutmasters, the police etc. The
horses pulling the coffin were upset by the crowd and the noise and had to be detached and the
coffin was pulled by the men of the bearing party. The bells of St. Nicholas Church tolled