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Family history revealed by the bells, and the Newham Recorder

Lance Corporal Joshua Fardon is one of the  men commemorated on the Memorial Bells. He was killed in action at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 when he was just 19 - he had joined up when he was 16.

His great-niece, who lives near the church in Plaistow, only found out about his existence when her grandfather died in 2005. She had been researching family history, and when she saw an item in the Newham Recorder that mentioned a chance to see the Memorial Bells at an event on 12 September 2015 - Heritage Open Day - she went along. 

Nobody in her family had mentioned the bells, and she was amazed and moved to see her long-lost great uncle's name there. 

As a small child Linda went to the Memorial church every Remembrance Sunday, but didn't know why.

Linda's grandfather Frank was the oldest boy in the family and Joshua was the youngest. Frank was shot in the shoulder on the Somme and could never fully lift his arm, but the injury probably saved his life. He married Maud, whose brother was in the same regiment as him and was in military hospital at the same time. Maud was from a Baptist family in Essex She got baptised at the Memorial Church and, Linda remembers, used to go to a regular meeting there - probably the popular women's meeting. So it is likely to be her who put forward her brother-in-law's name for the Memorial Bells. 

The Newham Recorder journalist who had written about the bells was delighted with the outcome of the story, and interviewed Linda about it - read the great article here: 

www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/remembering_sacrifice_of_forgotten_canning_town_soldier_1_4283104

Posted Wednesday 8th June 2016 by Philippa King

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