WW1 Course and new study group


Have you been inspired by our blogs about the war in Gallipoli and also been bitten by the study bug?  We might have the solution for you…

The Monash University in Australia is starting a new online, open- to-all course on 12th October called World War One: A History in 100 Stories which will “change the way you see World War 1 as you explore stories of hope, suffering and loss from newly released historical archives.”

The details from the website continue:

25 April 2015 marked the Centenary of the Gallipoli Landings.

The Gallipoli Campaign was Australia and New Zealand’s first major military engagement of World War 1. The Anzacs went on to fight in Palestine, Egypt and the Western Front and suffered one of the highest casualty rates of any allied army.

Often confronting, always challenging, this course involves a critical examination of a conflict that changed the world.

This free online course is part of the 100 Stories Project at Monash University, commemorating the Anzac centenary and exploring the cost of war. The course will coincide with Remembrance Day on 11th November, and suggests new and more inclusive ways of remembering.

Go on a journey across the battlefields of Gallipoli and the Western Front on which the war was fought and into the homes of the ordinary people who suffered it.

The 100 stories distil the experience of the Great War. Amongst the cast of the 100 stories are not just soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses, but parents who lost their sons, wives who struggled with shell-shocked husbands, children who never knew their fathers. The themes these stories explore – grief and suffering, hope, anguish and loss – are universal. They are told in a language everyone can understand and are based on archives only just opened to historians.

Hear from leading historians in the field, and together debate the meanings of the stories.

Each week we’ll examine a different topic, including the physical and psychological wounds of war – shell shock, disability and trauma; women’s mobilisation both at home and in the field; and what we’ve called ‘the other Anzac’: indigenous soldiers too often ignored in our history. We’ll examine grief and mourning; protest and repatriation, the politics of war and its intensely personal dimensions.

Learn how to research your own stories.

We’ll introduce you to the new digital archives that are changing the way we remember the War, and explain how to use them.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a better understanding of one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th Century, and the skills to embark on independent research of your own.

What we’d like to do at the Millennium Library is bring together people from Norfolk who have signed up to this course so that you can talk about the course, use library equipment to research stories more and also offer you the opportunity to meet fellow students face to face because we know that however much fun on line study is sometimes you do just want to talk with other people on the course.

As there are still a few weeks to go until the course starts for now if you are interested in both the course and a study group at the library (we’ll provide tea/coffee/biscuits/wifi and books!) please leave a comment below or email Sarah.Salmon@norfolk.gov.uk and we can work out how to go from here.

There are more free history courses focusing on WW1 starting this autumn and I am sure that our library study group could be expanded to cover these too!


Further afield

Before moving to Norfolk I lived in Kent and I spent  some time back there recently, specifically in Folkestone – from where so many soldiers departed for the Front during the war.




The last part of the route taken by the soldiers on their way to the harbour was renamed The Road of Remembrance after the war and at present is festooned with beautiful knitted poppies.

road poppies


At the top of the hill a new memorial was dedicated on 4th August 2014 and is a stylish arch to mark where most of the soldiers would have walked.




It is a moving memorial to the soldiers (including my own great-grandfather) who departed for the front from Folkestone.

Life in Folkestone in 1914 is coming to life wonderfully in the BBC Radio 4 serial “Home Front” and I am certainly enjoying catching up with the omnibus episode each week.

After undertaking some family history research thanks to colleagues at the Norfolk Record Office the series is really helping me to understand what life was like for my direct ancestors.



(photos in this post taken from The Folkestone Herald, The Daily Telegraph and Step Short)

World War One at Home – On Tour

BBC WW1 logo

An interactive World War One themed Day

Saturday 31st May. 10.00-5.00

The Forum, Norwich


We’re very pleased to announce that on May 31st the BBC are bringing their World War One at Home roadshow to Norwich.

Throughout the day the BBC, The Imperial War Museum and local partners will be making the First World War come to life before your eyes.

Entertainment will include theatre, music, information on how to use the Imperial War Museums resources and much much more – all for free.

Full details of the event will be listed on the Forum Norwich webpage as they are still being arranged but we hope to see some of you at the event!