Category Archives: World War 1

West Deeping Remembers 1914 – 1918: Woodland Trust donation

IMG_20171111_0001This donation is really thanks to Joyce Stevenson, who gave last month’s interesting talk on the Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest. She generously waived any speaker’s fee and suggested instead this double commemoration, on behalf of West Deeping Heritage Group.

Find out more about the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood at Normanton le Heath, north-west Leicestershire.

Restored and re-sited – a memorial to West Deeping’s First World War servicemen is back on display

Colin Blagove writes:

The World War 1 Service List in St Andrew’s Church has recently been restored as it has suffered from staining by water contamination over a number of years. The War Memorials Trust provided a grant for the restoration work. The memorial has now been re-hung in its new location in the Nave on the south wall adjacent to other memorials which commemorate men from West Deeping who lost their lives in the World Wars.

We would be interested in your feedback on the conservation work; we hope you agree that it’s a great improvement.

A re-dedication service will be held in the New Year. Further details to follow.

This memorial to the men of West Deeping who served in and survived  the First World War has been hanging in West Deeping Church since the 1920s.  It was an invaluable source of information for The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918 project 3 years ago in 2014, and provides the names of most of the men who will feature in a book to be published next year – West Deeping Remembers the First World War.

The  restoration project has prompted us to find out more about its history, and the information we discovered when we took the frame apart was particularly interesting and the most helpful in establishing exactly when the scroll was created and put up in the church. See the World War 1 page (recently updated,) for more information.

West Deeping remembers Joseph Anstee

IMG_6299 (3)This morning, July 1st 2016, a dozen of us gathered in the porch of St Andrew’s Church at West Deeping.

At 7.30 a.m., Brian Marsden, a staunch supporter of the Royal British Legion, Langtoft, Deepings and Districts Branch, blew 3 short blasts on his ARP whistle.  This was the signal for ‘zero hour’ for the British troops lined up along the trenches in Picardie in Northern France, exactly 100 years ago.

We remembered all those 19,240 killed and 35,493 wounded on July 1st 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme  but West Deeping particularly remembered one of its own soldiers who fought and died on the first day on the Somme, July 1st 1916.

West Deeping Mill2nd Lieut. Joseph Anstee  was the younger son of William Anstee, the miller at West Deeping Mill, just next to the church. He had grown up in the village and judging by frequent mentions in the local newspapers seems to have been talented as a singer and pianist. He was often complimented for his flower decorations in the church and was involved with activities at the village Reading Room. He was in his early 20s when he signed up for a short military training with the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps in Berkhamsted and in October 1915 he was commissioned to the 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. It is possible he went to France soon afterwards as the Army had an urgent need for troops after their losses at the Battle of Loos


2nd Lieutenant Joseph Anstee 2nd Lincolnshire 1890 – 1916

The 2nd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment was part of the 8th Division when the British Army attacked the German front near Albert, in Picardie, Northern France. Together with the 2nd Royal Berkshires, they were at the centre of the line, leading the attack on the village of Ovillers-la-Boisselle.

 Joe,  a 26 year-old subaltern, would have been the one responsible for getting his men out of their trench and forming them up to set off across ‘no man’s land’ towards the German front line, 800 yards away. Charging into the full weight of an artillery barrage, the attack halted before it even got half way.

It’s most likely that 2nd Lieutenant Anstee died in the first hour of the first day of the battle that was to last another 140 days.

 “One of the cheeriest and best boys”

Joe’s parents, William and Mary Anstee read about their youngest son’s death in a letter from his commanding officer who had the eye-witness account of comrade Lieutenant Hubbard. “2nd Lieutenant Anstee was hit with shrapnel half-way across during the assault. I bandaged him up, and whilst awaiting him to be taken back behind the line he was hit again in the chest and died almost instantaneously. We were moved out of the trenches into another area that afternoon, so were unable to collect our dead and wounded… I can’t express what his loss is to us. He was a splendid officer and loved by all, and one of the cheeriest and best boys I have ever met, and can well understand what a terrible loss he is to you, as he is to us.”

One of 72,194 men who have no known grave, he is commemorated at Thiepval (Face C of Pier 1). If you go almost to the end of the King Street Cemetery in West Deeping, you will find an Anstee family memorial not far from the right hand fence. Joseph’s parents are buried here but the inscription on the gravestone also commemorates ‘Lt J Anstee Killed in action in France July 1st 1916 Aged 26′.

A Remembrance Cross was placed by the grave this morning.

If there are any Anstee descendants reading this, we would be most interested to hear from them.

Researching local WW1 servicemen for West Deeping Heritage Group’s next talk

Wednesday 25th November   “We will remember them”

  • At West Deeping Village Hall
  • Refreshments from 7 p.m. for a 7.30 start
  • Admission £2.50 on the door.

Revd Martin Brebner talks about his research on the Roll of Honour for the Uffington Group of parishes, which includes Barholm, Braceborough, Greatford, Tallington, Uffington and West Deeping.  He went far beyond the memorials in local churches (even to the battlefields) in the quest for photographs, service records and commonwealth war graves.

Martin has prepared a series of information sheets on those who lost their lives which will be displayed at the talk.

Also on display – in folders – will be the Poster Gallery previously shown at “The Deepings Remember” exhibition in November 2014. This includes several West Deeping people, some of whom died, others who survived. 

Deepings Poster Gallery

The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918 Poster Gallery



Wade relative sets the record straight for Deepings WW1 Roll of Honour

Now the list of names, regiments and dates is online, relatives from all over the world can check to see whether members of their family are listed in the Deepings Roll of Honour. They can also put the record straight if the details are incorrect or if a photograph has been wrongly identified!

A photograph of Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, Francis Rowland Wade (1899 to 1982) from Market Deeping, has just been added.  We had a picture which we thought was Richard Wade, but we are most grateful to the relative who corrected us.

Francis’ grandson, William Wade has been in contact with Liz Parkinson of Deepings Heritage to send photographs and a newspaper cutting. Richard and Francis were the sons of Richard Wade, a well-known and respected solicitor in Market Deeping during the First World War period. Owner of Wade Park and the house which became The Deepings Library, Richard Wade senior was one of the prominent townspeople who supported Lord Kesteven’s army recruitment drive.

Any amendments or queries about the Deepings Roll of Honour can be forwarded by leaving a Comment on this post.

Another name and family story for the Deepings Roll of Honour

Bob Atkin of St Neots, Cambridgeshire, happened to visit the Peterborough Evening Telegraph website recently and found the publicity for the launch of the commemorative book The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918. He immediately got  in touch with The Deepings Commemoration Group – not only to order a copy of the book but also to add another name to the Deepings Roll of Honour.

His grandfather Thomas Atkin was a milkman in peacetime, but during the First World War he was a Sapper with the Royal Engineers, service number 289740. He lived at Horsegate, in the cottage directly opposite The Walnut Tree public house, with his wife Nettie.

P1 Roll of HonourResearchers have done extensive research over many months and have more than 400 names on the Deepings Roll of Honour for those who served. We know there are still more names to be discovered; it will be an ongoing job to update the spreadsheet of details, and to revise the Roll of Honour.  This is the first of what we expect will be several additions: Thomas Atkins’ name and regiment now appear on the first page of the online version.

The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918 – book stock going down fast!

Bernard Roffe, formerly of West Deeping, whose uncle Richard Roffe died on the Western front in 1917.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Bernard Roffe, formerly of West Deeping, whose uncle Richard Roffe died on the Western front in 1917. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Following the launch of The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918, commemorating an exhibition last November and incorporating the Deepings Roll of Honour, stocks of this limited-edition book have gone down fast.

Relatives of some of the Deepings people who served in the First World War, along with local organisations, schools, churches and others who contributed to the project were invited to the launch at the Deepings Community Centre to receive their copy of the book.  The room was packed, but press photographers captured the event for the Stamford Mercury (Friday 5th June page 6) and the Lincolnshire Free Press (Tuesday 2nd June page 10).

Copies of the book are available for sale at £10 from Deeping St James Post Office and the Community Centre in Douglas Road, Market Deeping. An accompanying DVD costs £1.

Logo HLFHI_2747

The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918

Front cover image for publicityThe Deepings First World War Commemoration Group invites you to a free event to launch a book and DVD commemorating the November 2014 exhibition and to celebrate the completion of the Heritage Lottery Fund project.

Invited guests from 11 a.m.

Open to the public from 12 to 1.30 p.m.

Saturday 23rd May  2015


at the Deepings Community Centre, Douglas Road, Market Deeping PE6 8PA





The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918

If you haven’t already visited the exhibition The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918 – today is the last day!

The Deepings Community Centre in Douglas Road, Market Deeping will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Sunday 9th November.

Mr and Mrs Roffe with their daughter Maureen Plant visit  "The Deepings Remember 1914-1918"  exhibition

Mr and Mrs Roffe with their daughter Maureen Plant visit “The Deepings Remember 1914-1918” exhibition

One of the visitors to a preview on Friday was 89 year-old Bernard Roffe, former resident of West Deeping and nephew of Richard Roffe, who died in 1917 at the Battle of the Dunes at Nieuport in Belgium.

The Deepings Roll of Honour poster gallery features 50 men (and some women) who served in WW1 – not only those who died, but many who came back and are familiar names in the area.  Many of their 21st century descendants have already visited the exhibition, so too have people who have come more recently to the Deepings and are interested in finding out how to go about researching their own families in the First World War era and to learn about the heritage of our communities.

Other areas of the exhibition include The Home Front, recreating a typical room-setting of 100 years ago; a Recruiting Room, with an Army Sergeant to persuade visitors to “join the Colours”; Memorabilia and Artefacts kindly lent by several local residents; and a roomful of World War 1 models made and displayed by the Spalding and Fenland Model Club. A display of work by students at the Deepings Academy includes one piece that has moved several readers to tears!

Refreshments today will be served in The Officer’s Mess (the Lionel Beck Room!) by Deeping St James Women’s Institute.

Visitors’ comments yesterday lead us to believe this is the best World War 1 exhibition ever!


The strange coincidences … WW1

SarajevoWednesday 1st October is the date of our next talk, “The Strange Coincidences that were the catalyst for the Great War”.

Professor Philip Robinson explores the human story behind the tragedy of 28 June 1914 when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie were murdered by a 19 year-old Bosnian Serb in Sarajevo. A local connection might surprise you!

Philip Robinson has spent most of his working life teaching in higher education including a period at the Science University of Malaysia in Penang. Now retired from the post of Vice Chancellor of the University of Chichester, he has a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Oxford. Philip has a special interest in Local and in Military History, especially naval history, and the First and Second World Wars. He has lived in Emsworth, Hampshire since 1996.

7.30 p.m. West Deeping Village Hall, King Street (opposite The Red Lion)

Admission £2.50 (on the door).  Refreshments from 7pm

Recipe book cover PS: People who came to the September talk will remember the cakes – home-made using recipes from Deeping People and Recipes 1913.  This time there will be Coconut Pyramids and Castle Cakes!

The recipe book is published by the Deepings First World War Commemoration Group and for sale (£5).