Martham – War Memorial (Herbert Sims)

Herbert Ernest Sims is listed on the war memorial in Martham and he was the son of James (born in 1851) and Alice Sims (born in 1852) who lived at Gibbet Vale in Martham. Herbert was born in 1889 and at the 1911 census he was 22 and was living with his parents and his brother Edgar who was 20, having been born in 1891. Both the brothers worked as market gardeners and had been born in Ormesby, with two older siblings, James and Julia who had moved out of the family home.

He joined the 6th battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and went with a multi-national military force to fight the Bulgarians as part of the Salonika Campaign. Noel Drury, a member of the same battalion as Herbert wrote about the conditions:

“Our overcoats are frozen hard, and when some of the men tried to beat theirs to make them pliable to lie down in they split like matchwood. The men can hardly hold their rifles as their hands freeze to the cold metal.”

Corporal Herbert Sims died on 17 November 1916, at the age of 29. He is buried at Struma military cemetery in Greece, another British soldier left a long way from home.