Join The Forum in Norwich, and the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library for a day of World War One themed events this Armistice Day.
Following on from The Forum’s Battle of Gaza exhibition in April, there are more chances to view the pop-up exhibition panels as they start their tour of the county – find out more about the exhibition and where to see it below.
The Battle of Gaza touring exhibition marks the centenary of the Second Battle of Gaza on 19 April 1917, in which hundreds of men serving in the Norfolk Regiment fought. It tells the story of how the Territorial Force soldiers were recruited and of their journey from Gallipoli to Gaza. It also demonstrates how the campaign in the Middle East impacted on the Norfolk Regiment.
While we’ve covered lots of different campaigns & aspects of WW1 here on the blog there are a few we’ve not yet looked at in much detail, two of these being the War in the Air and our transatlantic allies.
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the USA joining the First World War and while they are better known for their World War Two airborne missions there are still some surprising airborne connections.
As 2017 is also the 75th anniversary of the USAAF arriving in Norfolk during WW2 we will also be commemorating this throughout the year, and our first event will take place in this season of events as a taster of what is to come!
Tuesday 14th March, 7pm
USAAF75: 2nd Air Division Stories.
Nathaniel Sikand-Youngs and the Memorial Library’s American Scholars present stories of the American men and women of the 2nd Air Division, Eighth US Army Air Force, who were stationed in East Anglia during the Second World War.
The stories bring together information discovered in the 2nd Air Division Digital Archive, a unique collection of over 30,000 images of original photographs, letters, memoirs and other documents.
Thursday 16th March, 7pm
WW1 Aviation ~ the US Air Arm and German Amerika programmes
Local author and aviation historian Ian MacLachlan will be at the Millennium Library talking about the US Air Arm and the German Amerika programme 1917-18 (an effort by Germany to double aircraft output to support the push in March 1918 to beat the Allies before the American entry into the war made a difference).
Monday 20th March, 7pm
Too Proud To Fight ~ how we remember the American entry into World War 1
Dr Graham Cross (Cambridge and Manchester Metropolitan Universities) will be at the Millennium Library talking about America’s entry into World War One in April 1917.
In his talk, Dr Graham Cross, explores the factors driving American intervention in the war, but also explores how we remember that pivotal decision. British narratives recognise the American contribution, but often also focus on the lateness of entry and the ‘Associate’ status of American belligerence in stark contrast to the later ‘Special Relationship’ between the two nations. The story of how British hopes and expectations, both at the time and since, colour our understanding of the American entry into World War I is both fascinating and timely in this centenary year for American participation in the war.
Thursday 23rd March, 7pm
Zeppelins Over Norfolk
All of these talks will be free but please do book – either through Eventbrite or by contacting the Memorial Library directly on 01603 774747 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Gresham’s School in Norfolk has recently been awarded £10,000 through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) ‘First World War : Then & Now’ programme to create a dedicated website as part of its commemorations for the Centenary of the First World War. This award will enable the School to provide an interactive website devoted to the 110 pupils and three staff who lost their lives, with profiles and supporting documentary evidence, plus a database of information on the 500 from the School who served. They will also be able to carry out essential conservation work on important sources, such as the roll of honour and photograph albums, to make sure they are available for future generations.
The School Archive is a fantastic resource for historians of all ages to study the conflict, including letters from the front and obituaries published in the Gresham Magazine, as well as photograph albums, a vellum roll of honour, home front accounts, and biographical material donated by family members. Thanks to a project developed with Charterhouse, Year 9 pupils are fortunate in being able to use the collection to enrich their WWI history lessons, and Gresham’s would like to extend this opportunity to pupils in other schools. The new website will provide digitally recorded materials which will give access to schoolchildren, historians, people researching their family histories, and the local community to study the conflict and its impact on the School. Pupils will be involved in researching information for the website and members of the public will be invited to contribute their own family photographs and documents to add to our knowledge.
In conjunction with Holt Library, Norfolk Record Office and the Norfolk Regimental Museum, Gresham’s will be taking part in a family history day on 5th May. This will be a great opportunity for local people to use online and written records to find out about their WWI military ancestors with help from professionals. There will also be an opportunity to visit the School Archives and to see some of our WWI collection in the afternoon.
Liz Larby, Gresham’s School Archivist
August 4th – The Day We Went to War
To commemorate 100 years since the out break of war the Millennium Library, Regimental Museum and Norfolk Record Office have teamed up with The Forum Trust, Gressenhall Museum, historian Neil Storey and many other partners to plan an incredible day of events at The Forum.
Events and activities will include:
- the chance to ‘take the King’s shilling’ at our recruiting office
- the chance to explore the all new Military History family history course
- an exhibition of authentic posters from 1914
- crafts and activities for children, plus the chance to meet one of the Gressenhall horses
- an expert on hand to look at your family memorabilia
- The chance to leave your thoughts or tributes to family members who served on our Poppy Wall
Throughout the day The Fusion Screen will show the Norwich Roll of Honour, in memory of the 3,500 Norwich people who lost their lives in World War One. The names will be displayed on the screen throughout the day and into the evening, and the space will provide an opportunity to remember those lost, and for quiet reflection.
The event will be officially started at 10am by the Town Crier and activities will continue through the day culminating in a free talk from historian Neil Storey at 6pm (details of this talk here).