following extract is taken from the parish magazine of February 1915 and comes
from James Kerrison who was serving in the First World War.
a few lines to you all in Hethersett; hoping these will find you all in good
health as it leaves me at present. We are having a trying time just at the
present. Everywhere is so wet and muddy and there is nowhere to sleep only out
in the wet when we are in the trenches.
I am sending you this letter in answer to a parcel which I received on the 21st
December –a pair of socks, four packets of Woodbines and a Christmas card
from the friends of Hethersett, and I am asking you to thank the people who
sent them, which I thought you sent if not I thought you would know. Give my
best respects to yourself and your wife, Mrs Sharman and to George and Walter
and all those on the farm. Hoping you and all in Hethersett will have a Happy
Christmas and a prosperous new year. I am your obedient servant doing his
country’s duty as a soldier and a man.
number of years ago Radio Norfolk featured Hethersett on its Village Voice
programme. Hilda Hagg, who at the time was 85, talked of her school days
in Norwich and the fact that she had lived in Hethersett for 41 years and ran
the Kinkajou Cafe (previously on the main A11 - now demolished) during the war
when it was visited by Polish, Czech and American troops. The Medical Service
was stationed at Old Hall and soldiers were billeted in the village.
reminiscences of the village in the Second World War included the following:
"People walked out from
Norwich to eat at the cafe where egg and chips cost 9d, egg chips, bread and
butter and tea 1s 1d and no meals more than 2s (10p in today's money).
Soldiers would come in for 50 cups of tea and then order 50 meals. Eventually
the Kinkajou had to change from a restaurant to a transport cafe in order to
get food during times of rationing.
"The foreign soldiers
were lovely. The Czechs would come in. If one of them was missing they would
be crying. Then somebody would come in they thought was dead and they would be
singing and celebrating. I had letters from them all after the war."
The following is an extract
from a letter home from Roy Jonasson an American airman with the USAF 389th
Bombardment Group stationed at Hethel airfield during the Second World War.
pedalled to a little town six miles away by the name of Hethersett, a
beautiful little English village. It was about 5.50 p.m as I approached and
coming down the narrow, winding road I could hear the church chimes in the
distance. When I got round the bend in the road I could see the little English
church sitting on the side of the hill. It was one of the most beautiful
sights have ever seen. The church on the hill and the sheep grazing in
the green meadow. There was a cemetery just outside the church, at one side,
and we saw the most beautiful sunset. I decided to go into the church. I found
it somewhat similar to our church. The most interesting thing I noticed was
that the people were there for a reason, to give thanks. They let me know that
I was welcome but that was all. They do not gather after church, they all
walked out solemnly. I liked it so well that I shall go there again when I
have the chance.
(The above was
featured in the brochure for the Hethersett Revealed weekend being held in
The following is an extract from
the Parish Magazine of July 1915.
small stir and excitement was caused in the parish on the morning of June 18th
when news arrived that Pte R.W. Mapes of whom nothing had been heard since
September 19th last had arrived safely back in England and was returning home
that afternoon. Mapes was wounded in the retreat from Mons and after a number
of exciting adventures was placed in a hospital from which he escaped after a
few days with six comrades.
fortunate in finding friends who gave them a hiding place and refreshment and
with whom he was obliged to remain for seven months. After several attempts to
escape, which involved great risk, he finally got away and reached England on
June 15th. We heartily congratulate him not only on his success but also on
his pluck and determination and at the same time rejoice with his mother and
relatives that their long and tense anxiety has come to such a happy ending.
Apparently Pte Mapes' escape was made possible with help from Edith Cavell. He
was the uncle of Roger Mapes who is well known in the village.
is taken from "Merely Cricket" - A Brief History of
Hethersett Cricket Club by A.J.R. Harris
all we can record of that season of 1914 is that "some of
the matches were never played," and that the one played
against YMCA on the 1st August was the last played by Hethersett
(as with many another village club in effect) for several years.
For three days later, war was declared. Within four months,
nearly 50 of Hethersett's young men were already serving in the
Forces. And that figure would be increased by more than half
within a few more months. Cricket became merely a subject to
dream and talk about, as some relief from pressing employments
of a far less rational nature.
the tradition and its spirit survived. So much so that when
early in the Spring of 1919, the parish of Hethersett set about
the task of "getting back to normal" the revival of
cricket was regarded as being some minor contribution to that
Jackson contacted the site in 2006 with a number of reminiscences of his
family which included mention of the First World War.
found your site whilst researching my family who originated on my father's
side from Hethersett, I hope I can open up a new family name to those that I
find mentioned on your site.
father, Edward Horace Jackson, was born in Hethersett in August 1914. He was
son of the Blacksmith at the Smithy in Norwich Road, Horace Arthur Jackson,
who had also been born in Hethersett in December 1886 son of John Jackson and
Ellen. John Jackson was, as far as I can make out, a Coachbuilder and also had
sons William (c1891), John (c1885), Alfred (who died in the First World War)
and daughters Nellie, Edith (c 1882) and May (c 1890).
iron bands around Kett's Oak, which we always used to see as we passed on the
old A11, driving to visit my grandparents when I was a child, were replaced by
my grandfather (HAJ) before he left Hethersett to live in Norwich. During the
First World War he served as a blacksmith with the army in France and survived
to return. I am not certain when he moved to live in Sandringham Road,
Norwich, but he was definitely there in 1926 as his will is dated from that
address and my father (EHJ) was then attending the City of Norwich School. My
grandparents moved to live with my parents in Benson, Oxfordshire, in the
early 1970s where they eventually died within a week of one another in 1980.
Jackson (father of HAJ) also had a brother in Hethersett, Robert Jackson,
known as "Bobbo". As far as I can make out he was born about 1863
and became a general labourer. All we know about their parents is that the
mother was called Sarah.