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Samuel Prentice of Botesdale, Suffolk Co., England

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Samuel Prentice of Botesdale, Suffolk Co., England
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Summer 2005 and Revised 16 Apr 2005

Update of 16 Apr 2005: This article has now been replaced by our Fall 2000 article on James Henry Prentice of England and Canada .

1. Samuel Prentice was b. c. 1859, Banham, Suffolk Co., England. He appears in the 1901 Botesdale census with his wife, Mary Ann, b. c. 1857, Banham, and children:

  1. Robert George Pentice, b. c. 1888, Rickinghall, Suffolk
  2. Samuel John Prentice, b. c. 1891, Rickinghall, Suffolk
  3. James Walter Prentice, b. c. 1893, Rickinghall, Suffolk
  4. Frances Florence Prentice, b. c. 1895, Botesdale, Suffolk
  5. Arthur Victor Prentice, b. c. 1897, Botesdale, Suffolk. . . . . . . . [2]
  6. Alfred Leonard Prentice, b. c. 1899, Botesdale, Suffolk

2. Arthur Victor Prentice, b. c. 1897, Botesdale, Suffolk. He appears in WW I military death records as a Private, Suffolk Regiment, 8th Bn., who d. at age 19 on 2 Jul 1916. He is identified as the son of Mary Ann Prentice, of Botesdale, Diss, Suffolk, and the late J. S. Prentice. His memorial can be found at Pier and Face 1 C and 2 A, Thiepval Memorial. A Google search discloses the following information:

    HISTORY: The Thiepval Memorial commemorates almost 73,000 soldiers who died on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and 20th March 1918 who have no known grave. From 21st March, casualties who are missing in this area are commemorated on the nearby Pozières Memorial. A high proportion of the names at Thiepval are soldiers who died on 1st July 1916 – the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Located at one of the key sites on the Somme battlefield, it was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was unveiled in 1932 by the Prince of Wales. Thiepval remains one of the most impressive memorials on the Western Front and can be seen for miles around; it is the largest of all the memorials to the missing on the British sector of the Western Front, being 150 feet high with base 123 by 140 feet.

    Almost every regiment and corps of the British army are found here, and in addition soldiers from the Royal Naval Division and South African Brigade. Perhaps every rank from Private to Lieutenant Colonel is recorded, and the youngest soldier to die on the Somme (Pte Reginald Giles, Gloucestershire Regt, age 14) is commemorated on the memorial.

    The London Regiment has the greatest number of names, with 4,340 listed. Next is the Nothumberland Fusiliers with 2,931 names and Royal Fusiliers with 2,502; reflecting the large size of these regiments during the Great War.

    The names are listed on huge panels, mounted on sixteen piers, in regimental order and then within each regiment by rank and then name. However, the register contained in bronze lockers by the main steps is in surname order.

    The introduction to the register, published in the 1930s, says of those commemorated here: " A few will be found and identified as the woods are cleared, or when the remaining tracts of devastated land are brought under the plough. Many more are already buried in the larger British cemeteries of the Somme, but as unidentified. To the great majority this memorial stands for grave and headstone, and this register for as proud a record as that for any grave."

    Indeed, when the memorial was first built it commemorated 73,077 soldiers and sailors. The remains of several hundred have been found since, and indeed names added to the memorial on the Addenda Panels. The new total is just below 73,000.

    The Thiepval Memorial is well signposted from many locations on the Somme battlefield, but the best way to reach it from Bapaume (the way most people come into the area) is to follow the D929 in the direction of Albert. Stay on this until the village of Pozières. Here turn right on the D73 following signs for Thiepval itself. In the village turn left at the main crossroads, and then left again at the church. This is the approach road which will take you straight to the memorial car park.

If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

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