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Authority record

Mervin M. Shank; fl 1941-1945; USAAF airman; Barsham, Suffolk

  • GB/153/NM/10071
  • Person
  • fl 1941-1945

Sgt Mervin M. Shank was born in 1922 and joined the United States Army Air Corps (later USAAF) in 1942. He was eventually assigned to Lt Stalie Reid's crew in the 791st Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group.

He was one of three crew members (of Stalie Reid's crew no. 88) to successfully bail out of the B-24 they were flying (serial number 252445). Lt Stalie Reid and six other crew members died in the crash-landing, in a field opposite Barsham village school, following damage sustained by a German Messerschmitt during the 'Night of the Intruders' incident, 22 April 1944.

Hopton-on-Sea Parish Council; 1894-; Hopton, Suffolk

  • GB/153/NM/1018
  • Corporate body
  • 1894-

Parish councils were formed under the Local Government Act 1894. They took over the civic and social welfare duties of existing groups hitherto based around ecclesiastical parishes (notably the overseers of the poor). Records of parish charities managing commons under distribution of land as a consequence of the Enclosure Acts can often be found in parish council records.
They are elected bodies, usually on a four year cycle. The number of councillors varies according to the population of the parish.
Parish Councils tend to be responsible for the provision of such facilities as village halls, recreation grounds and children's play areas. They have a legal right to be consulted and to comment on all planning applications in their areas.

Stephen Ernest Brewster Daniels; 1917-2005; author; Gorleston, Norfolk

  • GB/153/NM/10208
  • Person
  • 1917-2005

Born Great Yarmouth, July 1917 died Great Yarmouth Hospital, November 2005
Stephen was the second child and first son of George and Rebecca (née Brewster) Daniels. George Daniels came from Ipswich and opened a branch shop of the family business, Smith and Daniels Ltd, Cutlers and Tool Merchants, situated in the Market Place Great Yarmouth, where a Woolworths store later stood. Rebecca was the thirteenth child of George and Adeline Brewster. Her father was a builder and the family lived in Alma Street, Great Yarmouth. George Brewster was a staunch churchman, who served at St. George's Chapel for many years in one capacity or another.
Stephen, his sister, Barbara, and younger brother, Dennis, grew up at 100 Beccles Road (now 171) in Gorleston close to the Gorleston bypass. The house was on the edge of farmland in those days. He attended Carlton House School, Edward Worlledge Junior School and Duncan House School in Great Yarmouth. When he left school at fifteen, Stephen was apprenticed to a local boat builder at Lowestoft and then worked at Herbert Woods at Potter Heigham. He had a lifelong passion for boats. From a teenager, he sailed his own dinghy out of Great Yarmouth harbour and was, for some years, honorary secretary and crew member of the Elizabeth Simpson, the Gorleston Volunteer Lifeboat.
In 1939, Stephen set up a new boat building yard in Limehouse, which produced over 20 small naval craft and made masts and spars for RAF stations and merchant ships. Boat building was a reserved occupation and vital to the war effort. In 1942, he designed and brought into production a 26-foot ship's lifeboat; also working with Lloyds on the design of reversible life-rafts for merchant ships, supervising the building of prototypes, and working out mass production methods. During the blitz, he served with the Home Guard on anti-looting patrols at London Docks.
In 1942, Stephen married Winsome Wright, also from Gorleston, and their first child, Valerie, was born in 1943. Two more daughters, Diane and Andrea, were born in 1944 and 1946. Towards the end of the war, Stephen returned to Herbert Woods to work on air-borne lifeboats. Unfortunately, he succumbed to severe dermatitis brought on by working with wood, and his career in boat building was brought to an abrupt end. He then worked for the family business, Smith and Daniels Ltd, eventually moving to Ipswich where his young family grew up and his son, Richard, was born in 1952. In their mid fifties, Stephen and Winsome moved to the Orkney Islands to assist their daughter, Diane, and her husband in a farming venture. They remained there for more than a decade, finally returning to the Great Yarmouth area where Stephen took up maritime research and writing.
He served as Chairman of the Friends of the Maritime Museum and was instrumental in helping to set up the Time and Tide Museum. He was an Honorary Freeman of Great Yarmouth and was keen to see the town put firmly on the map. Stephen was also actively involved with the Friends of the Elizabeth Simpson, the Maritime Festival, the Model Boat Exhibition and the Museum of the Broads.

Books by S.B. Daniels:
Rescue from the Skies: The Story of the Airborne Lifeboats (HMSO, 1994)
The Gorleston Volunteer Lifeboat: Elizabeth Simpson (North Walsham, 1989)
Mincarlo LT412: the story of a Lowestoft sidewinder (Hoveton, 1999).
Some particulars of Yarmouth fishing vessels: YH 1-YH 2459, listed in order of YH port registration numbers (Great Yarmouth, 1999).

David Willard Grundey; 1928-?; photographer; Suffolk

  • GB/153/NM/10467
  • Person
  • 1928-?

David Willard Grundey (b 1928) worked as a draftsman in East Suffolk folllowing a career in the army. Part of his work included developing photographs in a dark room and he became a keen amateur photographer.

Stanislav Krejcir; 1917-1995; Czechoslovakia, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and Bahamas, Bungay, Suffolk

  • GB/153/NM/10474
  • Person
  • 1917-1995

Stanislav Krejcir born in Czechoslovakia in 1917 and trained as an architect and structural engineer at Brno and Prague universities. Came to England in 1940 and again in 1948 where he worked as a draughtsman for Norfolk County Council Education department. In 1953, he was naturalised, changed his name to William Kent and became an ARIBA. Worked for Yarmouth Education Committee and the Public Works Departments of Kenya and Aden. He was Deputy Director of Public Works in the Bahamas before setting up his own practice in Bungay where he freelanced for the Nigerian Government. Made a FRIBA and died in 1995.

Beryl Benstead; 1899-1992; teacher; King's Lynn and Norwich, Norfolk, and Lowestoft, Suffolk

  • GB/153/NM/10485
  • Person
  • 1899-1992

Beryl Benstead was born in King's Lynn on 30 December 1899, attended the teacher-training college in Norwich, taught in Surrey and Kent before returning to East Anglia. She ended her career as head-mistress of the Harris Girls School in Lowestoft. She lived in Pakefield near Lowestoft and died on 14 December 1992. She travelled abroad extensively, including Germany in the inter-war years, often with her younger sister, Rita, but also holidayed in the UK, including a time hop-picking in Kent in 1940.

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