The Heacham War Memorials

Church Memorial
in Detail
Page 2
  Return to
  Eddie Gosling
Memorial Artist
Page 3

Stella of Heacham-On-Line would like to thank
Andrew England for his major contribution to this feature.
Old photos provided by Andrew England. 
More recent photos by Stella.
The Public Hall Memorial photo was taken by Doreen Reed.


Heacham is perhaps unusual in that it has three war memorials.

The first is located outside the church, in a niche between the two church gates on the western perimeter of the churchyard. It is the focus of remembrance each year on Armistice Sunday. The memorial was designed by the young architect  Louis de Soissons, who later was to design, amongst many, Welwyn Garden City. On stone tablets are recorded, with their respective units, the names of the 43 men who fell in the Great War. Because some of the names were badly weathered the parish council recently arranged for the tablets to be replaced. The names of the fallen from the second war were subsequently added on two limestone tablets.


The Heacham War Memorial unveiled (1921?)

The Heacham War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday 2006


The second memorial,
consisting of a brass plaque
with a stone surround,
is located inside the church on the north wall
(pictured left).
On two pedestals at the base of the memorial
are two lions, one sleeping, the other awake.
This memorial was also designed by
Louis de Soissons.
The brass tablet now records the names
of the fallen from both wars.

The Memorial Inside Church of St Mary the Virgin


The third memorial is in the Public Hall, alongside the Social Club. This memorial was unveiled in late 1920 and is particularly interesting in that it was painted by Eddie Gosling (pictured below), a village man with no arms who undertook the task using his feet! The memorial lists on its centre panel the 43 men from the village who fell but on the flanking panels includes those that served and safely returned; 13 in the navy, 232 in the army, 5 in Queen Mary’s W.A.A.C., 9 in the Royal Air Force and 2 in the W.R.A.F. The memorial is ornamented with a flag and a coat of arms but also a ‘war trophy’ designed by de Soissons.


Watch out for further regular additions to this feature
on Heacham’s history in the Great War.

Andrew England is compiling information on Heacham during the Great War.
It is anticipated that a book will be written on our village in this dark period
of its history.

Andrew would like to hear from anyone who feels that they might be able to help with this fascinating project. Information is required on the 43 men that fell, on the men and women who served and safely returned, and on what happened in the village during that time. If you have photographs, letters or diaries, indeed anything relating to Heacham in the First World War, then Andrew would be very keen to hear from you. Any information will be acknowledged in the book and returned as quickly as possible.

Please contact him here: [email protected]
or telephone him on 01485 525557


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