During the first World War young men from Santon Downham were called up . Albert Carter who was a warrener enlisted at Newmarket on the 5th. of June 1916. He was 22years old. He served in the Royal Horse Artillery and was sent to France.
Fredrick Crowther a gamekeeper from Santon Downham enlisted in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. He was badly wounded in Salonika.
Later he was sent to France where he met Rev.Ambrose Williams from Santon Downham in rather strange circumstances on the battle field. All three survived the war and returned home. Three other men from the village were not as fortunate. A memorial to Sidney Claxton, Hector Lockwood and John Wells who all died in the war is in St. Mary the Virgin. It was during this time that a rail track was built through the village to transport timber by locomotive. The men who were stationed in Santon Downham consisted of the British Pioneer Corp and Canadian troops who were lumberjacks responsible for timber production. Fred Crowther remembers their activities in the village.
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He tells a story of how a huge Oak tree near the Rhododendrons at the entrance to the village was cut down, and how a competition was set up to move the gigantic tree trunk.
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Fred also recalls that German prisoners were brought to the village each day to do labouring jobs.
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