September 26th, 2016

Fallen hero of Somme is remembered in Redditch

Fallen hero of Somme is remembered in Redditch Fallen hero of Somme is remembered in Redditch
Updated: 10:37 am, Jul 08, 2016

A SOLDIER from Feckenham who died in the Battle of the Somme on July 10, 2016, is being remembered by the villagers of today.

The commemoration is all part of a massive project organised by the Feckenham WW1 Group which includes a poppy and barbed wire installation in the local church, a village walk around the homes of those who died and those who returned from the conflict, as well as two concerts in tribute to those who fought.

Group chair Jeff Matthews said: “We’re marking the death of James Crook, who was killed at around 4am when a shell hit his dug out and his family received letters from colleagues in his unit confirming his qualities as a friend.”

James was born at Callow Hill, Feckenham in 1894, the son of William and Sarah (nee Mealin) Crook. William came from Norfolk and was a coachman and groom, before becoming a farmer. James attended Feckenham School (now Feckenham First School) and by 1911 was working as a shop assistant at an ironmongers and garage.

Initially, he enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment before transferring to the Royal Engineers.

By June 1916 his battalion had been sent to locations around the town of Albert on the Somme, and on July 10, the mortars in his unit were providing a smoke screen to help cover the infantry’s advance.

He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, as well as the Feckenham, Feckenham School and Headless Cross war memorials.

To mark his death, a ceramic poppy, one of the 888,246 which surrounded the Tower of London last year, will be placed on the poppy and barbed wire installation in St John the Baptist Church in Feckenham.

The Lottery funded organisation has also scheduled the world premier of the work ‘Suite for the fallen soldier’, by Phil Montford on November 11/12.

For more details, and a copy of the village WW1 walk map, visit www.feckenhamww1.org.uk .

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