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Ex-servicemen raise glass to Greene King brewers who lost their lives in World War 1

PUBLISHED: 17:30 07 November 2018

Matt Starbuck, third from right, with brewers at Greene King Picture: TOM OFFORD/GREENE KING

Matt Starbuck, third from right, with brewers at Greene King Picture: TOM OFFORD/GREENE KING

Tom Offord/Greene King

Former servicemen now working as brewers at Greene King have raised a glass to 21 of their predecessors who lost their lives in World War 1.

A total of 90 staff at the Bury St Edmunds brewery, including engineers, brewers, draymen and company directors, were drafted to serve in the war, which ended 100 years ago on November 11.

After the war, the firm purchased 26 acres of land on the town’s outskirts at Nowton and built playing fields in their honour, naming them Victory Grounds.

To mark the anniversary, the firm has teamed up with the Royal British Legion to support its Thank You campaign and has brewed the official beer for the charity. Flanders Fields

The modern-day ex-servicemen raised a pint with boss Matt Starbuck, who said that like many longstanding firms Greene King was hugely affected by the war, and was “proud” to mark the anniversary.

“Many employees, several from the same family were conscripted, with the business supporting their family members left at home. At the same time, equipment to maintain business operations was often hard to come by. Our archive records tell us ingenuity was certainly a must,” he said.

“Lorries used as drays were hard to come by and so one of the directors, Harold Lake, purchased an old Daimler, had the roof taken off and created a makeshift dray. It was never very effective by all accounts.”

“We are proud to be working in partnership with The Royal British Legion this year and to mark this important anniversary with what we do best by brewing our Flanders Fields charitable beer in honour of all those who sacrificed their lives for our country.”

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