New book explores discovery of Diss’ forgotten soldiers
A social historian’s new book will chart the lives of 54 men who were missing from Diss’ First World War memorial.
Helen Kennett, a former Harleston resident, has been researching the missing names since 1996.
The book, as yet untitled and to be released this month, will give a picture of these individuals, how they lost their lives and their rediscovery.
“I find it totally fascinating,” explained the 67-year old. “I’m very excited to be writing a book.
“I became involved in research into a group of servicemen associated with Diss Baptist Church. Their photos were going to form part of an exhibition at Diss Museum.
“It transpired that some of them were not recorded on the memorial at St Mary’s Church.”
The most important part of this history was the part the men of Diss played in the terrible conflict
Mrs Kennett discovered that many names were missing from the memorial. Using old copies of the Diss Express, she formed a record of life in the area.
Along with Basil Abbott of Diss Museum, and others, it was decided that the names should be added to the present town memorial. The expanded memorial was unveiled on Remembrance Sunday in 2014.
“The most important part of this history was the part the men of Diss played in the terrible conflict,” said Mrs Kennett.
“I believe the forgotten names need a book to record their lives and how their names were finally placed in public view to remind Diss of their ultimate sacrifice.”