Finding the Fallen: The Battle of Gaza exhibition panels tour the county

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.

Officers Mess, 1/5th Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment (Territorial Force) Palestine, 1917. Image courtesy of the Purdy Archive.

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‘No Hatred or Bitterness’: Edith Cavell and Norfolk Women in the First World War.

‘No Hatred or Bitterness’: Edith Cavell and Norfolk Women in the First World War.


Edith’s baptism entry. NRO catalogue reference: PD 199/4

Edith Cavell is perhaps Norfolk’s best-known twentieth-century heroine. Born in Swardeston, she was nursing in Brussels when the First World War broke out. After Brussels was occupied, she continued in her post and also helped Allied soldiers to break through enemy lines and escape to Britain. Executed by the Germans on 12 October 1915, her death became an enormous propaganda weapon for the Allies.

Propaganda postcard. From the Norfolk Heritage Centre.

Propaganda postcard. Image courtesy of the Norfolk Heritage Centre.

As this October is the centenary of her death, many heritage organisations are shining a spotlight on Cavell’s life, as well as the role of nurses during World War One. From Monday 5 October The Norfolk Record at the Archive Centre will have a free exhibition entitled ‘No Hatred or Bitterness’: Edith Cavell and Norfolk Women in the First World War.

This exhibition includes original documents that have never been displayed in public before, including letters from both Edith and the soldiers she helped. The exhibition also looks at Edith’s story and how she has been remembered, both at the time and in later years. It delves into the background to her story – the role of other Norfolk nurses, abroad and at home, and at the many roles played by Norfolk women in wartime, even those whose courage took the form of opposing the war. Each, in her own way, was a true Heroine of Norfolk.

Related events will accompany the exhibition. On Thursday 15 October there is a drop in event called ‘Women at War’ at which you can discover the wide range of experience of Norfolk women as nurses during the First World War, from Norfolk to the Mediterranean. Plus, find out how Edith Cavell was portrayed in film. There will also be the opportunity to learn about useful resources for tracing nurse ancestors. There is no need to book for this event, but see our Eventbrite page for more information.

There are also children’s activities taking place in October. On Monday 26 October, during the Autumn half term, children will look at cards and propaganda and choose to either create a propaganda postcard or an embroidered card.

On Tuesday 27 October an activity run jointly with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will reveal the history of Edith Cavell, and teach children how to use a bandage and create their own letters with invisible ink or in code.

Booking for the children’s activities is essential, for more information see our Eventbrite page. 


Photograph of nine girls fund-raising for the Red Cross. NRO catalogue reference: MC 84/206, PH10

A Village at War event

Thornham at War

Friday 20th and Saturday 21st February

thornham sign

Thornham History Society has been in touch with us to let us know about an exhibition they are staging this half term in Thornham Village Hall.

The exhibition will be laid out as a timeline around our large village hall.  It will start with the village before the war (looking at employment and life styles) and move on to enlistment, life in the trenches, life on the Home Front, the Armistice and lastly what we have called “the aftermath”, concentrating on the village’s Red Cross Auxiliary Hospital and on details of the Thornham men who failed to return from the war.

Entry is free and there will be refreshments.

The hall is fully disabled access friendly and there is on site parking freely available adjacent to the hall.

For more details please contact Thornham History Society but do drop in if you are in the area it sounds fascinating.

Photo by permission of the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum.

Photo by permission of the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum.


One week left to visit the Norfolk in the First World War exhibition!

A moving exhibition commemorating the lives of Norfolk people at home and abroad during the First World War is in the Long Gallery at the Norfolk Record Office for one more week!

Visitors to the free exhibition which runs until 31 October can find out through first hand accounts about the effects of rationing, invasion fears and air raids – Norfolk was the first place in Britain to experience a fatal air attack.

Stories of the war’s impact on Norfolk people’s lives, both those serving on the various war fronts in the army and navy and also of those back at home, are told through photographs, letters, diaries and other documents held by the Norfolk Record Office.

And the exhibition looks at the roles of women in The Great War – those taking on jobs traditionally reserved for men such as engineering and working on the land, and others serving in the over sixty wartime hospitals in the county.

Frank Meeres, Project Archivist and exhibition curator, said: “This is very much a ‘people’s exhibition’ – most of the documents in it are donations made by Norfolk people proud of their family heritage.”

Gresham’s School students joined the Norfolk Record Office to learn about using an archive, handling documents and gaining experience finding and interpreting documents. Using their new skills, they wrote the text for two of the exhibition panels – one on rationing in WWI, the other on the Zeppelin raids – and the students chose the items that would be photographed and/or displayed in the cases.

So come along to see this diverse and informative exhibition. The Norfolk Record Office is located at: The Archive Centre, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 2DQ (opposite County Hall)

Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 9am – 5pm
Tuesday: 9.30am – 5pm
Thursday: 9am – 7pm

The Lighter Side of War – An Exhibition

An Exhibition Commemorating World War One

Docking Ripper Hall

Opens 2pm Saturday 2nd August then 10-4 every Friday-Monday 10-4 throughout August


This exciting sounding exhibition being held in Docking is taking the lighter side of war as its main theme with a focus on Great War humour, especially through the ‘comic’ postcards that were available for soldiers to send home from the Front.

To balance this out there will also be displays of material relating to the Zeppelin attacks on the North Norfolk Coast,  to the aircraft factory Boulton and Paul and many other items.

Refreshments with a World War One them will be on sale when the exhibition is open as well as reproduction postcards.

A great number of books will be available for those interested in reading more about the war, postcards and Norfolk.

Entry is £2 for adults and £1 for concessions on the first visit but half price on subsequent visits.

docking event