More information about the Fallen, and the impact of the World Wars on local people, is to be found on this website in the Centenary Chronicles, Numbers 1, 20, and 24.
The War Memorial commemorating The Fallen of Birch and Layer Breton stands on a small green in front of St Peter's Church, Birch, opposite Birch School. The original memorial, in the form of a cross, was constructed from roof timbers taken from the former Layer Breton Church. By spring 2002, after nearly 85 years, the old cross was suffering badly from the effects of the weather, some rot and death watch beetle, and had to be removed. A fine replacement has been made and this was erected in August 2002. The considerable task of carving the inscription and all the names of the fallen on the new memorial was undertaken by Mr Tony Blyth of Layer Breton, and the joinery by Mr Tommy Wayman of Birch. The names on the old memorial, reproduced on the new one, are as follows:
1914 - 1919
|1939 - 1945|
The War Memorial commemorating The Fallen of Layer Marney is to be found in the village's Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, which is adjacent to Layer Marney Tower. The memorial, in the form of a wall plaque, bears the following names:
1914 - 1919
E C Mansfield
S S Harrington
H C Pettican
|E W Playle
G W Bell
|1939 - 1945|
There are two War Memorials commemorating The Fallen of Layer de la Haye. One is the Cross, originally erected in 1921 and replaced in 1997, which stands on the small green opposite the end of Malting Green Road. The other is in the South aisle of the church. They both bear the following names, but in slightly different orders:
1914 - 1918
|1939 - 1945|
Footnote: The names of Robert Baker, Arthur Cansdale and Bertie Curtis also appears on the Birch and Layer Breton memorial.
The January 1919 issue of the Birch, Layer Breton, and Layer Marney Parish Magazine, carried the following article about parishioners who served in the Great War. It gives a picture of just how many members of a small rural community were caught up in this devastating conflict which changed for ever the course of history and the life of our villages.
Served in Army, Navy, Air Force, Nursing Service - 160
Killed in Action or died on Service - 27
Wounded or Gassed - 37
Prisoners of War - 3
Invalided or Discharged - 14
Awarded Military Honours - 12
Received Commissions - 3
|Killed in Action or Died on Service|
|(The last 7 were the husbands of Parishioners living in the Parish.)|
|Wounded or Gassed|
|Charles Pooley (4 times)
Leonard Polley (4 times)
Arthur Pepper (3 times)
William Fisher (3 times)
Harry Taylor (twice)
Ernest Taylor (twice)
Charles Humphrey (twice)
Walter Andrews (twice)
William Martin (wounded and blinded)
|Prisoners of War|
|William Martin||Charles Pooley||Samuel Sheppard|
|Invalided or Discharged|
Charles Taylor (Birch St.)
Charles Taylor (Layer Breton)
Distinguished Conduct Medal - Sergt-Major A Worsley.
Distinguished Service Medal - Basil Hutton, RN.
Military Cross - Sergt-Major J Williams.
Sergt A Manning, Pte Walter Partner, Pte Alfred Mead (Birch Green),
Sapper Albert Chaplin, Pte Arthur Taylor.
Royal Red Cross, 1st Class - Miss Mary Bishop, Miss Kathleen Smith.
Royal Red Cross, 1st Class with Bar - Miss K E Luard.
Order of the Nile - Lt-Col Trant B Luard.
Mentioned in Despatches
Colonel Frank Luard (twice), Miss K E Luard (twice), Miss Kathleen Smith.
John Gill, Basil Stowe, Sydney Sheldrick.
As will be seen above we have two more Military Medals to record:
Sapper A Chaplin, RE, for gallant conduct in bridge making during the final advance; and Pte Arthur Taylor, 9th Essex, for bravery in the Field, of which details are not yet known. We offer our warm congratulations to them both. Arthur Taylor has probably been in France longer than anyone in this Parish, except Miss K E Luard. Birch Green has now three Military Medals.
Footnote: The Luards mentioned above were relatives of Rectors of Birch, The Revd Bixby Garnham Luard, MA, who was Rector from 1908 to 1919, and and Edwin Percy Luard, MA, who was Rector from 1919 to 1947. Luard Way, off Mill Lane (Birch Green), is named after Edwin Luard.
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Page updated: 17 AUG 2014