Herbert John Widdick

Herbert is listed on the War Memorial as one of those who gave his life during the First World War.

Herbert was born on 1st March 1896 at Potter Heigham, Norfolk and was baptised there at St Nicholas Church on 12th April that year. His parents were David Widdick & Priscilla, nee Smith. Herbert was living with his parents at the Church School House, Potter Heigham when he was five. By the time he was 15, in 1911, the family had moved to Bracey’s Buildings, Cess, Martham and he was a farm labourer. In 1917, when he was 21, he married Ellen Dorothy May Gates at East Preston in Sussex where she came from.

Herbert was in the army in 1918 and was Private 14363 in the 9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. He most likely died during The Hundred Days Offensive which was an Allied offensive which ended the First World War but saw so many young men die, including many from the East of England, who were associated with the 9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. The 9th was raised at Norwich in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Third New Army. The Battalion was in continuous action throughout the war and in 1918 saw action at Hill 70 and Cambrai, France which includes the area of Brancourt-le-Grand. On 8th October 1918 the 9th Battalion had the Americans on one side and the Sherwood Foresters on the other, going from Fresnoy-le-Grand to liberate Brancourt-le-Grand. They were near a sunken road and pinned down near a railway station where they suffered heavy losses. Herbert was 22 and died of wounds on that day a little over one month before the Armistice. He was buried in 1918 in Bellicourt British Cemetery, Aisne, France. plot V, row K, grave 7. (Plot V, row K, grave 7) and is commemorated on the War Memorial at St Mary’s.

Battle of Cambrai. Brancourt taken on 8th October 1918. Photograph taken a day later, on 9 October 1918.
Bellicourt British Cemetery
Martham War Memorial

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