A True Story of rememberance.

Discussion in '1940' started by RCG, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Recently while sorting out a pile of magazines, I found a copy of the local parish news letter dated November 2010, on the front cover were pictures of the local war memorials and the words. We will remember them . See page 27. So turned to page 27 and read the Article. Although being a local I had not seen this article or had heard of the author, or the person in the story, Although it was first published in the same newsletter in 2000.

    Being very moved by this story I searched the internet to see if I could find the story but found only a reference to the person in the story.
    As I felt that this story deserves a wider audience, I contacted the author Mr Peter Jackson, whom has kindly gave me his blessing to post his story here.

    They are more than a name on a wall.
  2. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    A True story of Remembrance. By P. Jackson.

    Three desperate figures standing by the well in the yard, gazing along the row of cottages at Craymere Beck, Briston Norfolk, watched by two young lads indecisive as what to do, stay in yard or go into their house and tell mother? Their inquisitive nature overcame their desire to run, the old lady and gentleman and a small lad, were obviously no threat to them, they watched as the shabby trio enquired from house to house, as to the possibility of being able to shelter in one of the sheds or outhouses in and around the yard and properties. They had tried to find shelter from where their belongings had been dumped without charity, by the side of the road at the junction of the lane, called the factory turn, to no avail, without hope they returned to their property.

    It was the belief of most of the local parishioners, that to give aid to this family, the same fate would befall them also. Most of them rented property, their only crime I can assume was that they had become in arrears with the rent. This of course would become due each Michaelmas, the 19th Sept and not the better time of the year to find oneself without shelter. It was the early thirties and the young lad Frederick was about 12 years old, though difficult to judge an age at this time.
    However their return to their belongings did not go unnoticed and giving them respectable time to themselves; Mr Alfred Barwick, my uncle, who rented a small holding nearby, also a large piece of common land adjacent, approached but not wanting to belittle them, asked what was the trouble, though well informed as most villagers would be, listened as Jack related the story.

    Alfred a veteran of the first world war in which he had lost a leg, was not going to be told what he may or not do, village gossip or otherwise, told Jack that he may put his belongings on the common and stay as long as he wish. There on the common were two rubbish tips, from here they found cast off materials, the Gorse broom and bracken in plenty and soon had a reasonable shelter for the time being.
    Going by each day to school, we would often see the old lady standing by the roadside, at times Frederick would be sitting on the grass, I often wondered why he was not at school. I can’t remember seeing him there. Being dressed as he was, us lads we wore hand me downs, but at least they were altered to a reasonable fit. He may have been in an older class, however I cannot see the authority getting very excited by his lack of attendance.

    Jack and Tinifa found means of keeping themselves in food as well as shelter, I doubt that he would have poached game, the risk was great and words the old man related much later indicated he was not in favour of going to prison. The parish had means of giving them parish relief, the sum of about 10 new pence a week, and also help with shelter, but I believe earlier threats made for any assistance hampered, any such forthcoming.
    We were a little apprehensive in passing on our way to school, the old lady’s appearance causing concern , having once called there singing carols, and rightly so being rapidly shown the road , I very much doubt she would have done us any harm.
    One day it was recalled to me , a lady of some means saw this little lad going through the space in the hedge to the settlement and on making enquiries into their situation, became a benefactor by the means of a purpose built wooden bungalow of some description. This must have made life without a doubt, at least tolerable.

    Frederick now about sixteen or seventeen years had gone into Holt (about 5 mls away) for whatever reason. He obviously walked, as I doubt he had a cycle. However at that time a cycle lamp was reported missing, this ragamuffin lad, had been seen and the finger pointed at him, in those days if the policeman said “you done that”, then you the chief suspect would be up before the Magistrate.
    Frederick standing before the bench pleading innocent, the magistrate seeing the lads plight, obviously understanding the situation and as the penalty would be three years in the Red House, a borstal institution remarked “The best place for you my lad is in the army.” Now this was the last place Frederick wanted to be, humble as his home was, fearful as he was of the courts, and with their blessing, arrived at the Royal Norfolk’s Barracks and became a volunteer. He came back to Briston someone said, “and what a remarkable change, smart and looking well.”

    In 1939, the start of World War 2, the services of Frederick and his comrades were needed. They landed in France taking up defensive positions with the expeditionary force. Various skirmishes taking place May 1940, at the time his battalion was in the area Floret De Marchienna. On 11th May they crossed into Belgium and came under heavy air attack.
    Moving about the country as directed, his company, to stem the advancing enemy. Taking up positions on the Bethune Estares canal, near Le Paradis. On the 25th, the German army trying to cross the canal, there were heavy casualties on both sides. On the night of the 25th, the 2nd Bn preparing for the onslaught that must come very soon, by morning they were under heavy fire from the tanks and mortar fire.
    Frederick is presumed to have been killed 26th May 1940 aged 20 years.

    A life given for a country that refused him food and shelter.
    CWGC :: Casualty Details
    Frederick Edward John Craske Private no 5773186.
    2nd Bn Royal Norfolk Regiment. 26th May 1940 aged 20
    Column 44 Dunkirk Memorial.
    Son of Jack and Tinifa Craske The Common Briston Norfolk.
    Anne-Marie1 likes this.
  3. Lofty1

    Lofty1 Senior Member

    Thanks for posting that RCG, very upsetting, regards lofty
  4. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Thanks for posting

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  6. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    We will remember Frederick Craske, and will be remembered by many more thanks to your posting. Joe Brown
  7. La-de-da-Gunner Graham

    La-de-da-Gunner Graham Senior Member

    :poppy: Frederick Craske Remembered with honour.

  8. brucebeacon

    brucebeacon New Member

    I am the Grandson of the mentioned Alfred Barwick in this moving true story . Was nice to learn something about him as I only remember meeting him once when I was still in childhood. My mum would have been circa 10 yrs old when Frederick with his parents began their hard existence on Brixton common. Alfred had 13 children. There is but one still alive and lives on coast North Norfolk. He never married.
  9. 509thPIB

    509thPIB Well-Known Member

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