Field Dressings by Stretcher Bearer – a new book

Field Dressings by Stretcher Bearer

We have recently been contacted by the Ellis family to let us know about a new World War One book that they are officially launching today.

Called Field Dressings by Stretcher Bearer this is a book of poetry written by Alick Lewis Ellis between 1916 and 1919 while he was serving in France, little is currently known about his war service apart from what can be learned through his poetry.

Alick’s was born in Terrington St. Clement here in Norfolk and was one of 10 children, for several generations the family had been shopkeepers, butchers and grocers and it is thought that the children attended the local school.

The census of 1911 shows that Alick had gone in to the family trade but in Kent rather than in Norfolk. In 1915 he volunteered for Territorial Army service with the 3rd London Field Ambulance.

The family were unaware of Alick’s poetry until they were contacted by the Herts at War Society in 1917.

You can read more about Alick’s life, war and poetry on the dedicated website http://www.fielddressings.co.uk/ where you can also buy copies of the book.

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Unveiling the finished art work

You may remember that just a few days ago we shared the wonderful project being run by the Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community – well they’ve now sent us the pictures of their final art work and we think it is wonderful.

Do remember to send us details of any WW1 projects you are working on so that we can share them with our readers.

 

 

Commemorating the Great War in Norwich

As the 100th Anniversary of the 1918 Armistice approaches we are being told of more commemoration events being held here in the city.

The Castle Museum is holding an exhibition called “Armistice: Legacy of the Great War in Norfolk” which opens on Saturday 20th October and runs until 6th January 2019.  The new Castle brochure which can be picked up in the Norwich Forum and at Tourist Information Offices (as well as many other county locations) is full of event listings supporting this exhibition – and regular blog readers may spot some familiar names and themes!

In addition to this wonderful exhibition, The Forum in Norwich is also holding a building wide, free exhibition between the 1st and 13th November.  Continue reading

New beginnings post war

1918 was a year that was full of fighting and death – either on the battle fields or from ‘flu – and while it is important to mark the end of the fighting with the signing of the Armistice on 11th November it is also good to remember that December 1918 saw the culmination of another struggle when (some) women and all men aged over 21 gained the right to vote in UK elections.

While the campaign for women’s votes had been put on hold during the war we can’t say the same for projects looking in to the Suffrage and Suffragette movements and we’ve just been told about an exciting day of events looking at just this issue taking place on Saturday 13th October:

‘Suffragette Stories: Exploring the Legacy’

‘Suffragette Stories: Exploring the Legacy’ is a free evening of talks open to all on Saturday, 13th October, 5-7.30pm in the Auditorium of the Forum in Norwich.

It marks the date that the ‘Votes for Women’ banner was first raised at the Free Trade Hall in 1905 by Annie Kenny. Talks and discussion will throw light on the struggle against inequality of little known activists like the Kenney sisters, celebrate the achievement of voting rights for women (over the age of thirty), and consider the uneven progress of gender relations since.

Join us to hear from leading historians Krista Cowman and Lyndsey Jenkins as well as UEA Archive’s very own Writer in Residence, Fiona Sinclair, who will be reporting on the activities of ‘Suffragette Stories’ HLF project so far. Listen, reflect, and take part in the questions and discussion afterwards. All welcome!

Tickets to this event are free and can be booked here.

 

World War One events and projects around the county

Twitter has been putting us in touch with so many people around the county (and indeed the country and the world) and we love hearing all about other projects taking place to commemorate the end of World War One. 

This update from the Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community is wonderful.

Sprowston is hosting several events in the town to commemorate WW1, and has asked local community groups, schools etc to be a part of this with the main events happening during November 2018. Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community and Dementia Cafe wanted to be a part of this exciting project. So we decided to produce a large piece of art work measuring 4’x3’, which would take the form of a landscape. At this point we really had no idea how this would work in actual life. During our August group we started to paint the canvas, to begin with it looked a bit daunting until a volunteer started to paint blue sky.

Then one of our ladies who is living with dementia is an artist and was happy to take the lead by initially trying to as she said “get rid of the white”. Others soon joined in, some were reluctant at first to get hold of the paint brushes, but the enthusiasm soon followed. As you can see from the pictures, soon the volunteer supervision became minimal. The ages that day ranged from 5 years old (Lexie, our youngest volunteer) up to 90, sometimes we had to make adjustments so that everyone could have a go! We even had a group of teenagers visiting us that day from the Sprowston Youth Engagement Group who were eager to have a go.

The next step is to make it appear 3D, for this we are going to make and attach poppies, knitted, felt or paper to the work, and in front of it, and we will be doing this during our September 20th café. We are hoping once again that everyone will be involved with either making poppies or by attaching them to the work.

Once finished we are hoping that it will be displayed as part of an exhibition of other works/projects during the November commemorations. We will then need to find a more permanent home for this unique piece of art that many people have gained so much from during its making.

We asked the group for some more information about themselves and we are ever more in awe of what they have achieved:

Our monthly dementia café has been running now for approximately two and a half years, we offer peer support and professional advice for those in the area who are experiencing memory problems, and their families/carers. At our café we try to offer a variety of activities such as low impact exercises, games, books, and plenty of volunteers on hand to help. We have also had visits from speakers, singers, and ponies! The carers are given the opportunity for discussion in a separate room if they wish. About 18 months ago Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community was founded by eight volunteers made up of Dementia Champions, Town Councillors, Hayley (our professional lead), church leaders and other interested people. As a group we are trying to raise awareness of dementia in the area, and to make Sprowston a safer more supportive community, we are now recognised by both the Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK as such, and we are a member of Broadland Dementia Action Alliance. More information can be found on our website and Facebook page Sprowston Dementia Friendly Community.

Here at the Norfolk in World War One team we can’t wait to see the finished project and thank everyone involved for sharing this story with us. 

A well read war

As a volunteer I have been helping research aspects of World War One that are to be included in the forthcoming Armistice: Legacy of the Great War in Norfolk exhibition and I have been drawn down all sorts of fascinating research paths.

As ever when I get interested in something I research far more information than is practical to share in a limited physical space but the Norfolkinww1 blog allows me to share this in longer form.

My main areas of research have been into agriculture, Conscientious Objectors and popular books and I have become fascinated by all three areas – much to my surprise with the agricultural research as I have the least green fingers around.

This piece will share some of my research into books and authors publishing during World War One. Continue reading

A Hellesdon War Memorial Mystery

Our project to create a poppy for every name listed on the county’s war memorials has sparked a lot of interest and has also thrown up some interesting queries…

We’ve recently been talking on Twitter with Linda, a lady who has undertaken to create a poppy for all of the men listed on the Hellesdon War Memorial. More than this Linda is also researching the war history of all 15 men remembered there.

A recent image of Hellesdon War Memorial

Linda has made the fifteen poppies, and researched in to fourteen of the men but there is a real mystery surrounding the last man…

The soldier concerned is recorded on the memorial as William H Piercy but I can find no record of him in any records.

I have however found a William John Piercy who’s next of kin were living at Lower Hellesdon. 

I have been doing the research as part of the Hellesdon Community History Group and I’m stuck – could you forward this query on to anyone that can help guide me in the right direct to resolve this quandary.   

I think it is a transcription/typo error which I have had personal experience of within my own family.

We’ve done a little sleuthing by playing around with various spellings of the name and the initials on the Commonwealth War Graves website and found three possible men that could possibly be the man listed at Hellesdon.

Gunner W R Piercy #74009 whose parents are listed as living on Dereham Rd, Norwich

W J Piercy #43703 whose parents are listed as living in Eccles.

William Piercy #G/16306 but with no further details.

And this is where we call on your expertise – can anyone help Linda, as she says

His name would have been submitted to a “committee” for approval and I wonder where this would be and this record would have more information to help confirm his parents/date of birth etc. 

As ever if you can help with this query please leave a comment here / email norfolkinworldwar1@gmail.com or Tweet us @Norfolkinww1