Armistice: Legacy of the First World War in Norfolk Exhibition – Call for Information

Does your  family have memories of life in Norfolk during the First World War? Share your memories with us at the  Royal Norfolk Show!

Welcome to our first exhibition blog entry. In anticipation to the opening the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum’s new exhibition Armistice: Legacy of the First World War in Norfolk on October 20th in Norwich Castle we want to provide you with exclusive behind the scenes sneak peeks at the exhibition preparations. Every week we will showcase a different object, introducing you to some of the incredible stories which will feature in the exhibition.

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Billeting outside of the Carrow Works Clubhouse.

 

Although the exhibition will commemorate the First World War’s armistice centenary, its main aim will be to celebrate people’s resilience and the emergence of a more understanding society. We will highlight the success of the Suffragette movement and the construction of Homes for Heroes. The exhibition will be unique in its focus on the experience of the First World War specific to Norfolk, with objects for the exhibition having been selected based on their local connection to the county.

The Armistice exhibition will be divided into seven key sections: air, sea, town and industry, country and agriculture, at home and children, soldiers in the county – hospitals, and peace. Each section will be populated with a rich array of objects gathered from museums around the county. Some of the key objects will include an original torpedo and Paddy Hartley’s Papaver Rhoeas poppies.

The exhibition space will be populated by large number of textiles and costumes on open display. There will be something to do for all age groups including family-friendly activities, a home front nursery area with wooden toys and a sailor dress up station.

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Lakenham War Hospital. During the First World War there were over sixty War and Auxiliary hospitals in Norfolk.

Now we need your help. As the Armistice exhibition focuses on local history, we thought it would be a good opportunity to ask you, members of the public, about your family’s stories about life in Norfolk during the First World War. We believe there is a hidden history of the hardships faced by returning soldiers and their families. We want to expose how the war changed the life of ex-servicemen and their families and how they dealt with the often trying circumstances.

If you would like to contribute your family’s memories you can reach us by e-mailing regimental.museum@norfolk.gov.uk. If you are attending the Royal Norfolk Show next week, we will have a stall set up adjacent to the SSAFA – the Armed Forces Charity vehicle, so come by and say hello. We would love to hear from you.

 

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Images from the Archives

Norwich, St Andrew’s Hall, First World War Exhibition 1919, City Volunteers uniforms on display – the notice behind the display includes an appeal for more men to join the Home Guard. The original glass negative image forms part of the Bridewell Museum’s holdings. This is just one of several hundred newly published original photographs, posters and notices connected with the First World War in Norfolk, which can be viewed at http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk.

Images from the Archives

30129075944232Nurses and patients outside Eye Ward C12, Wandsworth Hospital. This is from a collection of photographs in two albums relating to a Royal Norfolk Regiment officer, Henry Merceron Burton (1899-1972) who is pictured here second from right. The albums record aspects of his family life at Orchard Dene House, Henley on Thames and his military life and travels with the Norfolk Regiment between 1919 and 1924. Locations include: Thetford, Oxford, Wandsworth Eye Hospital, France, Mosul, Bagdad, Iraq, Lucknow, Waziristan, Bareilly, Hinaidi and Ramgarh. It is part of Norfolk Heritage Centre holdings and other images from the album can be viewed alongside several hundred other newly published original photographs, posters and notices connected with the First World War in Norfolk, at http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk.

Images from the Archives

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This image (from the Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell) shows employees of Trevor, Page & Company with two examples of the aeroplane propellors they made during the First World War. Usually the firm produced and sold furniture, were upholsterer’s and also did house removals. Mr Richard Bowers, the company’s director is seated on the third row 11th from the right. This image is just one of several hundred newly published original photographs, posters and notices connected with the First World War in Norfolk, which can be viewed at http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk

Images from the archives – Norwich Stray Dogs Defence of the Realm Regulations 1917

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The order forbids dog shows, competitions and exhibtions, enforces the wearing of collars and the treatment of strays. This item is one of several hundred original posters, notices and documents relating to the First World War locally. It is held in the Norfolk Heritage Centre’s collections of ephemera – now available at http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk (search term: ‘world war 1’)

Images from the archives – women and young men chopping roots for animal feed

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First World War – Women’s Land Army members using a patent turnip chopping machine in the fields for winter animal feed

This image forms part of Gressenhall Museum’s photographic collections and is one of several thousand newly published images of Norfolk’s history at http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk.

Call for Volunteers!

Female Poppy Collectors Neil Storey Archive

Exploring the legacies of Norfolk Women in the First World War- a call for volunteers from The Forum Trust

Following the First World War Women of Norfolk on Active Service project in November 2017, The Forum Trust have contacted us about another project our readers might be interested in:

The Forum, Norwich is inviting volunteers to participate in the next phase of an exciting research project revealing the legacies of Norfolk women involved in the First World War. Volunteers will help research content for an exhibition to commemorate the Armistice which will be held at The Forum and Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library in November 2018. Their contribution may be through written work, a spoken presentation or participation in a project film.

Volunteers will be supported by the Project Historian Neil Storey and they will receive training and support with how to research the legacies of Norfolk women involved in the First World War. This may include stories of Norfolk women in uniformed services who died during the First World War, women who worked on the land, women at work, women’s right to vote or the role of women on Armistice Day. Heritage skills training offered to volunteers will include an introduction to the collections of the Norfolk Heritage Centre and the Norfolk Record Office and how to use online sources for family history and military ancestry research. They will also receive training in public speaking and media engagement.

If you have an interest in heritage, previous experience of using primary sources for historical research and are willing to promote your project work in the public arena, then this could be the opportunity for you.

This volunteering opportunity is from April-November 2018 but the main research period will be from 12 April-20 August 2018.

Volunteer Information Evening
Thursday 8 March 2018, 7pm-8.30pm
The Forum Auditorium

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with the Norfolk in the First World War project The Forum warmly invites you to come along to the ‘First World War Women of Norfolk: Legacies’ Talk and Information Evening. This event is FREE but tickets must be booked in advance by visiting Eventbrite.
Volunteers have until Monday 26 March 2018 to register their interest in taking part and can find out further information about the project by visiting theforumnorwich.co.uk/learning/volunteer

Image credit: Neil Storey Archive