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Starston archivist completes months of research into the untold stories of fallen servicemen





An archivist from Starston has finished months of research into the untold stories of fallen servicemen whose names are inscribed on a nearby war memorial.

Rosemary Steer’s ‘Book of Remembrance’ details the lives of the soldiers listed on the memorial outside St Mary’s Church, in Pulham St Mary.

It is the seventh and penultimate book for the 66-year-old, having already done the same for the other parishes in her local benefice; Dickleburgh, Rushall, Shimpling, Starston and Thelveton.

Rosemary Steer's Book of Remembrance has been donated to St Mary's Church, where it is on display for visitors to look at. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.
Rosemary Steer's Book of Remembrance has been donated to St Mary's Church, where it is on display for visitors to look at. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.

Her latest instalment was donated to St Mary’s Church during its Armistice Day service last month – with the relatives of several soldiers mentioned in her book in attendance.

“It’s been a labour of love,” said Mrs Steer, who worked as a freelance archivist before retiring 11 years ago.

“I lost three great uncles in the First World War, and my father served in the Second World War, so it is something I have always had a strong feeling about.

“I’m interested in historical research, so I started off with Starston, and then having done one, I thought it seemed daft not to do them all.”

Stories in the latest book include those of Ray Pigg – a soldier with the Royal Norfolk Regiment and one of the 97 to be killed by the SS after they surrendered at Le Paradis; and brothers Herbert, Charles and Arthur Goldspink – whose names were only inscribed on the memorial in 2008 after their family realised that they were not commemorated anywhere in the UK.

“Names on war memorials are very variable – it was a case who the people in the village remembered,” said Mrs Steer.

“For soldiers from the First World War, if there was nobody left in the 1920s that remembered you had died, your name would be missed.”

Next year Mrs Steer expects to complete her final Book of Remembrance on soldiers on the memorial at Pulham Market – concluding more than 10 years of research.

Mrs Steer, who lives in Harleston Road, added: “It’s interesting, because you sit in churches and see war memorials all the time, but it’s sometimes about looking beyond the names and to see they were fathers, husbands and sons.

“They were part of our community, so I think it’s important we remember them.”



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