Poppy Project


To mark the centenary of the Armistice in 2018 we are asking local people to create poppies, one for each of the Norfolk men who lost their lives in the First World War. The 15,500 poppies will be displayed in libraries around the county.

As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, there’s nothing we like better than a good crafting session. Have a go yourself, with friends, or get your local Knit and Knatter/WI group/Brownie Pack involved. Poppies can be made from any material you like – these beautiful flowers were made by some creative visitors to Heritage Sunday this weekend.

Find out how to get involved in the project here, and get in touch if you would like to contribute. We look forward to seeing your creativity in action!


What Happened to the 5th Norfolks?

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If you missed Steve Smith’s fascinating talk about the “disappearing” battalion of the Norfolk Regiment, you can download or stream it for free online via the Norfolk Heritage Centre Podcast!

Learn more about this history mystery by listening to the latest episode, featuring local historian and battlefield guide Steve Smith debunking the myths surrounding the 5th Norfolks disappearance on 12th August 1915 (clue: it wasn’t aliens).

Find out how to listen and download the podcast here. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and tell your friends!


The Wood Norton War Memorial


Wood Norton War Memorial, All Saints Church

As part of the Wood Norton Heritage Project, work began in June 2015 on researching the war memorial in All Saints Church and the men whose names appear on it.  The memorial, For God, King and Country, was made by Hughes, Bolckow & Co. Ltd, battleship breakers in Blyth, Northumberland.  An advertisement taken from The Bystander in February 1917 offers the memorial at a total cost of £6 10s 0d, as a fitting and enduring Memorial to the Patriotism of Britain’s Sons.  The memorial is made from teak and copper materials salvaged from H.M.S. Britannia, and takes the form of a triptych, with a shelf at the bottom of the central panel upon which flowers or a commemorative wreath can be placed.  The names of the servicemen are inscribed on the left and right hand panels under the heading Roll of Honour.  The central panel bears a copper cross under the heading Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, and the names of the servicemen who died are here inscribed, each name bearing a gold asterisk which corresponds with the words The Heroic Dead at the bottom of the panel.

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Old Boys! The school salutes you!

Old Boys! The school salutes you!


City of Norwich (CNS) School Magazine – Midsummer 1917

From the records held at the Norfolk Record Office (ACC 2003/15 Box 31)

For school leavers August is a time of excitement and anticipation of what is to follow as the close-knit school community is left behind and the wider world beckons. The school magazine traditionally ends its year by reflecting on past glories and wishing its leavers well for the future.  However, the future was uncertain for those leaving school as war raged on.

Since the outbreak of war each magazine was a mixture of school news, miscellaneous features and articles relating to the war. From the outset news about and from its old boys was a dominant feature.  The summer 1917 edition began on an appropriate note.

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Images from the archives

30129075885849Norwich, Blackfriars War Exhibition stand in 1919, showing field equipment, shell cases and the nose of a ‘Sopwith Snipe Machine’ plane! From the collections of Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell. This is just one of several hundred newly digitised original photographs, posters and notices connected with the First World War in Norfolk. The material is held in the collections of the Norfolk Heritage Centre, Norfolk Record Office and Norfolk Museums Service. Over the course of the next few years the images will be posted on Picture Norfolk (the online picture archive run by Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service).

War Letters: August 21st, 1917

These are extracts from letters sent by local men, printed in the Carrow Works Magazine during the First World War. The magazine was published quarterly for Colman’s staff. More than 900 workers at Colman’s Carrow Road works signed up during the conflict. 

From Private J. Swift, in a hospital in Yorkshire, to Mr Beales.
August 21st, 1917.

“… I am getting much better, but it will take some time yet before I am able to have my bed, but I must be thankful I can turn from one side to another without the assistance of a nurse. I had fifteen wounds in my back. I went under one operation in France, and two since I have been here. Think all the metal is out now. Kindly remember me to teachers and scholars of the First-Day School. It has come awfully hard to me to lie in bed five weeks. I hope it will not be another five weeks, but the doctors are quite pleased with my progress..”