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..”

War Letters: August 16th, 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 Bombardier Sydney W. Smith, Palestine, to Mr Beales.
August 16th, 1917.

“… Although for the past few months I have had to adopt the roving habits of the Bedouin, and have wandered about the Sinai Peninsula and Southern Palestine, yet I am glad to say the Magazine has eventually reached me; but upon perusing it, although glad to learn of those who have won honours, I am sorry for those who have fallen in battle, especially my old workmate, Walter Copland.

Having spent a considerable time in the desert we are well climatised, but the heat at times is very trying , both to men and horses… Lucky is the man who has the fortune to bivouac for the night near one of the few oases there are in this district, for they then have the opportunity of getting figs, grapes, pomegranates, prickly pears and dates, as these fruits are now in season…”

 

“England Expects”

Within months of the outbreak of the First World War, it became very clear that recruiting enough volunteers was going to be a challenge. The Parliamentary Recruitment Committee was set up at the start of the War to boost numbers of volunteers, and it was chaired by the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith. The committee commissioned artists to create striking and emotive recruitment posters, and also organised rallies and other public events.

This First World War propaganda poster from Norfolk Library & Information Service’s collection is currently on display at Norwich Castle Museum, as part of the Nelson and Norfolk exhibition. It shows the gallant figure of Nelson standing in front of a scene of naval warfare, echoing depictions of the burning of L’Orient, the French ship destroyed by Nelson’s units at the Battle of the Nile.

Horatio Nelson’s reputation as a great war hero began during his lifetime (1758 – 1805) and still persists to this day. One of his greatest victories was at the Battle of the Nile in 1798, when he sailed his ships between the shore and the unprepared French fleet who were expecting an attack from the opposite direction. He was wounded several times in combat, losing the sight in one eye in Corsica and most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife. His most heroic hour came shortly before his death in 1805, when he inspired his men to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar with the famous signal “England expects that every man will do his duty.”

“England Expects” is used in this recruitment poster to inspire patriotic courageousness and self-sacrifice among British men, one hundred and ten years after Nelson’s heroic demise. The line “Are you doing your duty today?” questioned whether men in 1915 were answering their country’s call as Nelson’s men had, and provoked guilt in those that were not.

Nelson and Norfolk features many other objects from Norfolk Library & Information Service’s heritage collection. The exhibition runs until 1st October 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

War Letters: August 13th, 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 William Cracknell, Birmingham, to Mr Rix.
August 13th, 1917

“… I am in hospital. I got wounded on the 31st July. I had a bullet go through my leg, but it did not touch the bone, but it leaves my leg a bit numb after I have been on it a little time. Getting back to the dressing-station I got a piece of shrapnel in the jaw. I had it x-rayed on Sunday… it will be a week or two before I shall be able to eat solid food. I don’t mind that as I think I am lucky to get off as lightly as I have…”

Images from the archives

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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 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 A.H. Cornwell, R.A.M.C., Egypt, to Mr Beales.
August, 1917.

“… there is plenty of work to do here looking after the patients. We have two fine homes just outside our place for soldiers, where we can go and read, and write our letters, and play all sorts of games when we are off duty. There are some fine sights to see out here, but I would rather see the sights of good old Norwich again. I went and saw the pyramids and the Sphinx last Sunday week, and I thought it a grand sight…”

Images from the archives

Ypres, the remains of the Cloth Hall, taken after the First World War in 1919, by Mary Olive Edis

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Olive Edis took up photography in 1900 and in 1905 opened a studio in Church Street, Sheringham. During her career she photographed a wide cross section of society, from local fishermen and their families to royalty and other influential people. She was a pioneer in several ways and in 1912 she became one of the first people to use autochromes, the first commercially available colour photographic process. In 1918 she was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum as the only official woman photographer to record the work of women in the armed forces in Flanders and France. This image forms part of the photographic collections of Cromer Museum.