Honour for ‘lost’ heroes

Lost names of fallen Soham heroes could soon be remembered with pride as the town prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War.

Soham town councillor Glenn Woodbridge is calling for the names of six young soldiers, who died in the final two years of the conflict, to be added to the town’s war memorial in Red Lion Square.

As part of his research for a special commemorative event later this year, Cllr Woodbridge found the fallen soldiers were not among the 128 names currently honoured on the memorial.

“These things only come to light when you start looking into them,” said Cllr Woodbridge. “We have been doing our own research and hopefully something good will come of it.”

“It would be nice to see if we can find any living relatives of the men and to get their permission and when the names go on we will hold a service with the families, Royal British Legion and council members.”

One of the six names missing is that of 38-year-old Private William Roote of the Army Service Corps, who died in October, 1917, and is buried in Soham cemetery alongside his brother, Frank.

The other missing names are those of 19-year-old Robert Easter, a private in the Suffolk Regiment who was killed in July 1917; Royal West Surrey Regiment private E Chapman, 29, who died in March 1918; Royal Engineers pioneer George King, 33, of the Cherry Tree in Fordham Road who was killed in March 1917; South Staffordshire Regiment private 23-year-old John Shaw, killed in August 1918 and Stanley Aspland, 27, a second lieutenant in Machine Gun Corps, who died in October, 1918.