Friday, April 27, 2007

A heavy sacrifice

On 23rd April 1918, Alexander Plummer, serving with the 19th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry, was killed in action. He was the youngest of six boys and one of three brothers to be killed during the First World War. His brother Albert Plummer had been killed in action on 2nd July 1916 whilst a third brother, Owen Plummer, had been killed on 5th April the previous year. Alexander has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres memorial. All three brothers are also commemorated on the Chailey war memorial.

Also mourning two sons in April, were James and Margaret Smith of Yew Tree Cottage, Cornwell's Bank, Newick. Their son Frederick James Smith had been killed on 17th April 1917 at Arras and now, on 26th April 1918, another son, George Spencer Smith, was killed in Belgium whilst serving with the 13th Royal Sussex Regiment. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Tragically, James and Margaret also lost two other sons to the Great War: Septimus Sydney Smith at Gallipoli on 19th August 1915 and Edward George Smith on the Somme on 26th July 1916. All four brothers are remembered on the war memorial at Newick.

Thus between them, the Plummer family of Chailey and the Smith family of Newick lost seven sons, holding the unenviable distinction of being the two families from those two villages who made the greatest sacrifices.

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