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. 

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A Family WW1 Event at the Millennium Library

Sister Poppy Day

Nursing in World War One – a story, craft and heritage event for the whole family.

Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library

16th August 11am-2pm.

It has been a little while since we’ve told you about a World War One event at the Millennium Library but we think that this one makes the wait worthwhile.

Author Brenda Gostling and illustrator Mik Richardson will be in the library reading their wonderful picture book ‘Sister Poppy at the Front,’ and after this there will be the chance to make a poppy for our Poppy Project and to colour in a specially created picture featuring Sister Poppy.

Sister Poppy at the Front is based on research that Brenda has undertaken into her family’s history during WW1 as well as drawing on first hand nursing accounts from the Front and to bring this historical aspect to the fore we are pleased that representatives from the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum will also be in the library with some items from their own unique collections.

This event is a drop in session and is suitable for all ages. Copies of the book will be on sale during the day and Brenda and Mik will happily sign copies for you.

Sister Poppy is shown as a hare in this book and she is also part of the 2018 GoGoHares trail and can be found in Norwich Cathedral grounds – why not take a break from your hare hunting and join us in the library?

 

World War One Commemoration Events in Hemblington

Here at the Norfolkinworldwar1 blog we’ve been contacted by the parish team and Friends of Hemblington Church about their forthcoming events.  They also have opportunities for others to share research and stories…

The parish team and The Friends of All Saints Church will be commemorating the ending of the First World War at Hemblington church, with an exhibition over several weeks in August, September and November.

We are aware that many organisations nationally are planning to hold exhibitions and in order to make this an event to commemorate local people who fought and died in the conflict, we will be exhibiting information about the people listed on the memorial in the church, as well as a display about the Battle of The Somme, which claimed the lives of many Norfolk men.

Earlier in the summer local children will have made a collage illustrating their understanding of war – and peace – which will form a part of the exhibition. We should therefore like to invite local groups to join us on the afternoon of Saturday, 15th September, both as guests for afternoon tea and also to participate if they so wish.

If you or any people in your society:
 have memories or stories of family members involved in the war, either at the front or supporting the war effort at home
 have family heirlooms/souvenirs from the time (perhaps postcards, letters, medals)
 might be willing to read a poem or prose reading about the First World War and / or the Armistice

we should love to hear from them. Personal reminiscences are so important and throw a light on how people coped during and after the war, though we do understand that they are likely to be three or even four generations removed now.

If you or your members would like to learn more about this event, please get in touch with Catherine (01603) 270 360 or Lynda (01603) 713 597 or Sue (01603) 715 804 or email hemblington@gmail.com

 

The Hemblington team have lots of events planned and it all sounds great. If you can’t help or visit Hemblington but you have your own events you’d like to share please do just drop us a line at norfolkinworldwar1@gmail.com.

First World War Women of Norfolk: On Active Service – an exhibition in Norwich

First World War Women of Norfolk: On Active Service Exhibition

Girl Land workers in the snow at Thetford , Norfolk
19 January 1918

The Forum, Norwich, is launching a new exhibition celebrating the remarkable effort made by women across Norfolk on active service during the First World War.

Running from Saturday 4 November to Sunday 19 November in The Forum Gallery and the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, the free exhibition brings their stories to life. Continue reading

Norfolk Regiment in Ypres – a talk from a historian

Join us at the Millennium Library on 6th November to hear about the Norfolk Regiment in the Ypres salients during World War One.

Author and battle field guide Steve Smith will be taking us through the lows, and deeper lows, experienced by the Norfolk Regiment in this area during the whole war – including the 3rd Battle of Ypres/Passchendaele.

Tickets to this talk are free and can be booked by visiting our Eventbrite page here , or by calling 01603 774703.

The Assembly Memorial Chairs exhibition in Norwich

The team at St Peter Mancroft Church in the centre of Norwich have been in touch to let us know about the wonderful World War One exhibition they will be holding from October 25th onward:

We will be hosting an art installation entitled ‘Assembly – Memorial Chairs’  by Derbyshire artist Val Carman, which will be on display in the church from 10am-3.30pm Monday to Saturday from 25 October – 23 November 2017.  This period is particularly poignant given that the centenary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele is on 10 November 2017.

The installation consists of five chairs from Passchendaele’s St Audomarus Church – each representing the casualties of one year of the war 1914-1918 which will be shown by small lead numbers on each chair.

Next to the chairs there will be a book with the names of the fallen printed on the left hand side. The blank pages left on the right hand side are for visitors to write their own testimony or personal story.  Any story or local references to WW1 can be added to the book – photocopies of images and letters are also welcome.

The Revd Canon Ian Bentley, interim vicar of St Peter Mancroft said:   “The simplicity of this exhibition is very moving and we are honoured to have the installation in Norfolk during the centenary of Passchendaele to act as a focus for remembrance season.  To mark the centenary of WW1 many parishes in Norfolk will have carried out research on the names on their war memorials.  I encourage you all to visit, look for names in the book that you recognise and make sure that Norfolk stories from WW1 are recorded in this lasting memorial.”

‘Assembly’ will visit 15 significant sites during its journey and in 2018 the book and the chairs will be returned to Ypres and so we are very proud and excited that St Peter Mancroft forms part of this tour.

The team planning this wonderful exhibition are launching the exhibition with the following event:

  • A preview viewing, with talk from the artist, in the evening of 24th October

 

As we get more details we will share them but if you are in the city during this time the exhibition sounds unmissable – if you’d like any more information then please contact Geoff Woolsey-Brown 07752 025296 / 01603 617301 or visit https://assemblymemorialchairs.wordpress.com/