On the outbreak of World War One in 1914 the male staff at the royal residence of Sandringham enlist in the army and are formed into a company under the command of the elderly estate manager and veteran soldier Frank Beck. They served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli and participated in the attack on Anafarta on 12 August 1915. On that day, a large part of the Norfolks (including Captain Beck and many of the Sandringham Company) were reported missing in action. For many years nothing was known of their fate.
Queen Alexandra took a particular interest in establishing what had happened to the men, many of whom had been her employees. After the Armistice a mass grave was discovered with evidence suggesting that the Sandringham Company had been captured and executed; this information was kept from Queen Alexandra – and presumably the men’s families – as it was felt she would be too distressed at the news.
As far as that summary goes the story is true except that Frank Beck was instrumental in the formation of the Sandringham Company of Volunteers (‘E’ Company, 5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, Territorial Force) as a Volunteer Force unit in 1906 not at the beginning of the war.
Fran Needham was the makeup supervisor.