Sir Arthur Knyvet Wilson, VC, was born in Swaffham in 1842. His mother was Agnes Yonge, daughter of William Yonge, vicar of Swaffham. The family was connected by marriage to the Nelson family.
Arthur joined the navy in 1855 as a cadet aged 13. He was involved in the Crimean War, the China War, the Egyptian Campaign and the Sudan Campaign, where he earned the Victoria Cross. He became First Sea Lord in 1907.
After he retired in 1911 he returned to Swaffham but was called back into service to help lead the navy in the First World War. He died in 1921 in Swaffham and is buried in the churchyard.