Peace and War: Norfolk 1900-1914. An Illustrated Talk

Peace and War: Norfolk 1900-1914

6 – 7.30pm. Monday 4th August 2014.

A free illustrated talk by historian Neil Storey

The Curve at the Forum

forum ww1 logo

Norfolk based social and military historian Neil Storey will be giving an illustrated talk about life in Norfolk in the years leading up to the First World War and then the first few months of the conflict when there was still hope it would all be over by Christmas.

After the talk which will last about an hour there will be time for questions from the audience.

This is a free event but space is limited in The Curve at The Forum so please do reserve your place by calling 01603 774707 and leaving a message or by emailing Sarah on  Tickets will also be available to collect from the Sound and Vision Desk at the Millennium Library from Wednesday 23rd July.



Neil Storey will also be in the Forum, Norwich as part of the daytime “August 4th: The Day We Went to War” event where he will be available to interpret family military photographs and memorabilia, something he has done at ‘Who do you think you are live’ at Olympia for the past four years.

August 4th – The Day We Went to War

forum ww1 logo


August 4th – The Day We Went to War

To commemorate 100 years since the out break of war the Millennium Library, Regimental Museum and Norfolk Record Office have teamed up with The Forum Trust, Gressenhall Museum, historian Neil Storey and many other partners to plan an incredible day of events at The Forum.

Events and activities will include:

  • the chance to ‘take the King’s shilling’ at our recruiting office
  • the chance to explore the all new Military History family history course
  • an exhibition of authentic posters from 1914
  • crafts and activities for children, plus the chance to meet one of the Gressenhall horses
  • an expert on hand to look at your family memorabilia
  • The chance to leave your thoughts or tributes to family members who served on our Poppy Wall

Throughout the day The Fusion Screen will show the Norwich Roll of Honour, in memory of the 3,500 Norwich people who lost their lives in World War One.  The names will be displayed on the screen throughout the day and into the evening, and the space will provide an opportunity to remember those lost, and for quiet reflection.

The event will be officially started at 10am by the Town Crier and activities will continue through the day culminating in a free talk from historian Neil Storey at 6pm (details of this talk here).



World War 1 at Sheringham Library

Here are the details of  displays about WW1 that can be seen at Sheringham Library.

The first marks the first bomb “dropped in anger” on a civilian target during a
 - L4 airship raid  on 19th January 1915 at about 8.30pm, hitting a house in Wymondham Street, Sheringham.
ww1 bombed house SheringhamWW1 bomb casing

ww1 blue plaque Sheringham

There is a blue plaque on the site and the remains of the bomb casing is held in the Sheringham Museum. We have details about the course of the raid and photos of the house.

A Norfolk StoryAnother display documents the life of a local Norfolk man, Frederick Chandler who served in the Norfolk Regiment and was awarded the DCM for gallantry, discharged on 1917 as no longer fit for service.

Photos and messages from the Royal Family, details of his Displaymedals etc have been of great interest. The information was passed to us by  a family visiting Sheringham, who thought we would like the details of their grandfather’s experience and requested we did further research for them. I contacted the Norfolk Regimental museum who verified information about his medals.

Finally a display using posters & props, which is promoting books on the WW1 theme for customers to borrow.

WW1 Book Display

Jane Parker – Sheringham Library

Letters from a Family and Yarmouth Strikes Back

Over the past few months we’ve posted and tweeted a lot about the  films young people in Norwich and Great Yarmouth have been  creating as part of the Society of Chief Librarian’s World War One  project.

Norwich film still

Whilst a couple of staff members were treated to a sneak peek of the films a few weeks ago we can now confirm that both films  - the Norwich Letters from a Family and the Yarmouth animation Yarmouth Strikes Back – will be screened in the Fusion Gallery at the Forum in Norwich for all to see.

The films will be showing on a loop on the big screen at the following times:

Monday 21st  - Friday 25th July between 10.00 and 4.30

Monday 28th July – Saturday 2nd August between 10.00 and 4.30

There is no entry charge to the gallery and after seeing the films please do pop into the Millennium Library where there will be an exhibition of the work the young people completed around the films as they worked towards their Bronze Arts Award.

WW1 film porject poster

Lights Out Norwich Event



Candlelit Event at the Norwich War Memorial



A few weeks ago we blogged about a nationwide initiative to mark exactly 100 years since war was declared in 1914. We now have details of the Norwich events:

Between 10.30pm and 11.00pm there will a ‘Lights Out’ candlelit event in front of the War Memorial in the city and then after this between 11.00pm and midnight St Peter Mancroft Church will be open to all who would like to spend some time reflecting in a candle lit environment.

To find out more about how Norwich is marking the centenary of the start of World War One then do check the listings on the Visit Norwich website and we’ll be posting details very soon of the big event planned in the Forum during the day on August 4th.


War Diary July 1914

War Norfolk
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia  

One month after the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand all attempts at diplomacy break down and war is declared between the two nations.

Holiday Mood  

Following on from the good weather Norfolk’s resorts are preparing for the “Great Holiday Week” and a three day Bank Holiday starting on 3rd August,

Norfolk’s War

Last Friday I was invited to give a presentation about this website and the holdings at Norfolk Heritage Centre that can help with WW1 research at a conference called ‘Norfolk’s War’.

Keith Simpson MP hosting 'Norfolk's War'

Keith Simpson MP hosting ‘Norfolk’s War’

The day, organised by Keith Simpson MP for Mid Norfolk and eminent military historian, with support from the Forum Trust fell in to two distinct halves – the morning focusing on national commemorations and fund-raising, followed by a talk by local historian Neil Storey setting the scene for the afternoon’s presentations given by myself, Liz Budd of Norfolk Record Office and Kate Thaxton of the Regimental Museum about local sources for research.

The keynote address was given by Dr Andrew Murrison MP, a government minister at the Ministry of Defence. He gave the audience an insight into the commemorations planned at a national level, whilst reminding us that the government is keen that commemoration of the First World War is done at a community level.

Having said that, Dr. Murrison told the audience about some big ‘set piece’ events that are planned, starting on 4th August with a service at Glasgow Cathedral at the end of the Commonwealth Games. Commemorations will also take place that day at St. Symphnorien in Belgium where the first and last British casualties of the war are buried. A service will also take place that night at Westminster Abbey, starting at 10pm. Senior members of the royal family will attend each of these events which will be televised.

Over the four years of commemorations there are events planned for April 2015 to commemorate Gallipoli. 2016 will see events to mark the Battles of Jutland and the Somme, whilst 2017 will commemorate Passchendale. Amiens and the road to Armistice will be remembered in 2018. Commemorations will continue on a smaller scale to 2020.

Dr. Murrison also spoke about the educational programme that has started. The programme, jointly funded by the DCLG and the Department for Education will see children and teachers from maintained schools visiting battlefields in Flanders. On their return to the UK, it is anticipated that the young people who have taken part in the visits will become ambassadors for the commemorations, sharing their experiences and what they have learnt not only with their peers but also with their parents.

Programmes supported at a national level such as the 1418Now Cultural Programme (we blogged about their fantastic ‘Letter to an Unknown Soldier’ project earlier this year) and the Centenary Poppy Fund were highlighted, along with the HLF Centenary Fund, which has already issued grants of c. £50 million to over 700 projects (including Wymondham’s wonderful commemoration event). Money is being invested in sprucing up War Memorials and £35 million has been granted to rejuvenate the Imperial War Museum in London, which the cabinet of 1917 decided should be founded as the National War Museum. It re-opens on the 19th July this year.

However, Dr. Murrison stressed emphatically that it is the smaller projects going on at a local level that will give the country’s  WW1 commemorations their richness.

He concluded by stating that key to our commemorations must be ensuring that future generations understand the enormity of the First World War and ensuring such a thing can never happen again.