Images from the Archives

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Letheringsett, Glavenside House, soldiers and Red Cross nurses during the First World War.

This image forms part of Gressenhall Museum’s photographic collections and 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 http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk/ (the online picture archive run by Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service).

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The Armistice Exhibition Preview at the Royal Norfolk Show

Thank you to all that came to see us at the Royal Norfolk Show last week. We really appreciated the opportunity to introduce you to our upcoming exhibition, Armistice: Legacy of the Great War in Norfolk, as well as hear your memories of First World War veterans.

At our stall we showcased one of the most unique sources in our collection, the Royal Norfolk Regiment Casualty and Sickness book. The book, originally intended as a recruitment ledger, records casualty and sickness details for more than fifteen thousand soldiers of the 1st and 2nd regular battalions, and the 7th, 8th and 9th service battalions of the Royal Norfolk Regiment. The original large hardback volume was compiled by clerks in the Regimental Depot Orderly Room in Britannia Barracks and includes entries running from August 1914 through to the early months of 1919.

The entries are all handwritten in ink, each entry record listing the individual soldier’s number, rank, name, and battalion or battalions they served in, as well as details of casualty, sickness, including details of hospitalisation. Some of the entries contain additional details such as or prisoner of war status and the place of burial immediately after death in battle. A lot of this information would not appear in routine Army Records Office printouts, making the ledger an interesting and unique source. This type of record of World War I casualties is exclusive to the Royal Norfolk Regiment as no other regiments seem to have such a kept such a record.

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Sarah and Kate using the Casualty Book to answer a family history query on Twitter.

Currently public access to the Casualty Book is limited to a photocopied version held in the Shirehall Study Centre and can be seen by arranging a study visit with the Regimental Museum. However, recognizing the value that the ledger, our volunteer team is in the process of creating an interactive, digitized version of the ledger, which will include an online searchable database, linking the entries to other sources held at the Regimental Museum such as the War Diaries. We hope to have the online data base up and running by the end of this year.

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Nigel Amies and his 1914 drum.

We would also like to extend a big thank you to SSAFA, Armed Forces Charity for lending us a space in their tent, and to Nigel Amies, a freelance historical educator, who did a great job engaging the public with his original restored World War drum from 1914.

 

Images from the archives – Norwich Stray Dogs Defence of the Realm Regulations 1917

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The order forbids dog shows, competitions and exhibtions, enforces the wearing of collars and the treatment of strays. This item is one of several hundred original posters, notices and documents relating to the First World War locally. It is held in the Norfolk Heritage Centre’s collections of ephemera – now available at http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk (search term: ‘world war 1’)

Images from the archives – the Recreation Ground at King’s Lynn being used as a military camp

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This image forms part of King’s Lynn Library’s Local Studies collections. It was added to the Lynn and Norfolk Photographic Survey Record in the early 20th century and was taken by H.C. Allinson. This is just one of several hundred newly published original photographs, posters and notices connected with the First World War in Norfolk, which can be viewed at http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk.

Images from the archives – the children, women and men of St. Nicholas Works at Thetford

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Shell casings and other products can be seen at the front of the group. This image taken by Boughton’s studios comes from the Percy Trett Collection, at the Time and Tide Museum

Charles Burrell & Sons of Thetford were makers of steam traction engines, agricultural machinery, steam trucks and steam tram engines, but during the First World War they produced munitions and gun mountings for the Admiralty. This is just one of several hundred newly published original photographs, posters and notices connected with the First World War in Norfolk and available on http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk.

Images from the archives – German prisoners working on the Waveney

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German prisoners of war working on channel cutting on the River Waveney – from Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell

This comes from a collection related to Hobrough & Son’s firm of river contractors and engineers, established by James Hobrough in 1854. The firm’s headquarters was an inn at Bishop’s Bridge for many years and later they also built a dockyard at Thorpe St Andrew. James Samuel Hobrough (born 1864) took up photography in 1893 and documented much of the firms work until the 1920s. This large collection of images forms part of the Bridewell Museum’s holdings and many can be viewed at http://www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk  (search term: Hobrough)

Book highlights

Were you hoping for some World War One themed books (or book tokens) for Christmas and are disappointed that Santa didn’t bring them?

Never fear we’ve been adding lots to Norfolk Libraries over the past few months and here are just a selection of the new items you can borrow:

 

After the Final Whistle by Stephen Cooper

As Britain’s Empire went to war in August 1914, rugby players were the first to volunteer. They led from the front and paid a disproportionate price. In 1919, a grateful Mother Country hosted a rugby tournament: sevens teams at eight venues, playing 17 matches to declare a first ‘world champion’. There had never been an international team tournament like it. For the first time teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Britain and France were assembled in one place. Rugby held the first ever ‘World Cup’. It was a moment of triumph, a celebration of military victory, of Commonwealth and Allied unity, and of rugby values, moral and physical. In 2015 the tournament returns to England as the world remembers the Centenary of the Great War. This is the story of rugby’s journey through the First World War to its first World Cup, and how those values endure today.final

 

A Broken World by Sebastian Faulks

A Broken World’ presents a cacophony of voices from and about the Great War in a way never before collected together, allowing memories of its landscape and moments in specific places to come to the fore. Sebastian Faulks and Hope Wolf have explored archives and autobiographical records to select true-life stories and experiences from diaries, letters, postcards, memoirs and other remembrances of this terrible conflict and its aftermath.broken

Prisoners of the British by Michael Foley

Much of what has been written about the treatment of prisoners of war held by the British suggest that they have often been treated in a more caring and compassionate way than the prisoners of other countries. During the First World War, Germans held in Britain were treated leniently while there were claims of British prisoners being mistreated in Germany. Was the British sense of fair play present in the prison camps and did this sense of respect include the press and public who often called for harsher treatment of Germans in captivity? Were those seen as enemy aliens living in Britain given similar fair treatment? Were they sent to internment camps because they were a threat to the country or for their own protection to save them from the British public intent on inflicting violence on them? Prisoners of the British: Internees and Prisoners of War during the First World War examines the truth of these views while also looking at the number of camps set up in the country and the public and press perception of the men held here.

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When the Office Went to War: war letters from men of the Great Western Railway by Clare Horrie & Kathryn Petersen

During the course of the First World War, staff of the Great Western Railway’s Audit Office sent letters and photographs back to their employer in Paddington, which were in turn collated into monthly ‘newsletters’ by those who stayed at home to keep Britain moving. Today these newsletters give a unique insight into the Great War – these soldiers were writing to inform and entertain their colleagues rather than to comfort a worrying parent or to confess their love to a distant partner – and bring a distinct band of individuals to life.office

 

Shepard’s War by James Campbell

Ernest Howard Shepard was born in London in 1879 into an artistic and literary family. He studied art from an early age and was successful in making a career out of it, particularly as a political cartoonist for Punch and a prolific book illustrator. Shepard is most widely known for his illustrations of the Winnie-the-Pooh series by A.A. Milne and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, and these drawings have become classics in their own right, iconic in the minds of children and adults everywhere. ‘Shepard’s War’ is an intimate, illustrated narrative of the First World War seen through the mainly unpublished work of E.H. Shepard, who served as a frontline officer from 1915 to the end of the war.Shepard’s War: E H Shepard, the man who drew Winnie-the-Pooh – compiled by James Campbell.eh

 

1916: A Global History by Keith Jeffrey

The mud-filled, blood-soaked trenches of the Low Countries and North-Eastern Europe were essential battlegrounds during the First World War, but the war reached many other corners of the globe, and events elsewhere significantly affected its course. Covering the twelve months of 1916, eminent historian Keith Jeffery uses twelve moments from a range of locations and shows how they reverberated around the world. As well as discussing better-known battles such as Gallipoli, Verdun and the Somme, Jeffery examines Dublin, for the Easter Rising, East Africa, the Italian front, Central Asia and Russia, where the killing of Rasputin exposed the internal political weakness of the country’s empire. And, in charting a wide range of wartime experience, he studies the ‘intelligence war’, naval engagements at Jutland and elsewhere, as well as the political consequences that ensued from the momentous US presidential election.1916

 

The First Blitz: bombing London in the First World War by Ian Castle

This comprehensive volume tells the story of the first aerial campaign in history, as the famed Zeppelins, and then the Gotha and the massive Staaken bombers waged war against the civilian population of London in the first ever ‘Blitz’.1st

 

Fritz and Tommy – across the barbed wire by Peter Doyle and Robin Shaffer

It was a war that shaped the modern world, fought on five continents, claiming the lives of ten million people. Two great nations met each other on the field of battle for the first time. But were they so very different? For the first time, and drawing widely on archive material in the form of original letters and diaries, Peter Doyle and Robin Schäfer bring together the two sides, ‘Fritz’ and ‘Tommy’, to examine cultural and military nuances that have until now been left untouched: their approaches to war, their lives at the front, their greatest fears and their hopes for the future. The soldiers on both sides went to war with high ideals; they experienced horror and misery, but also comradeship/Kameradschaft. And with increasing alienation from the people at home, they drew closer together, ‘the Hun’ transformed into ‘good old Jerry’ by the war’s end. This unique collaboration is a refreshing yet touching examination of how little truly divided the men on either side of no-man’s land during the First World War.fritz

 

From Gaza to Jerusalem by Stuart Hadaway

The 1917 Palestine campaign saw Britain’s Army rise from defeat to achieve stunning victory. After two failed attacks on Gaza using tactics employed on the Western Front, a new commander was appointed. General Allenby reinvigorated the Army and led it to stunning success in the Third Battle of Gaza. This offensive would see an innovative use of cavalry and all-arms co-operation push the Ottoman defenders all the way back to Jerusalem. This work brings the campaign to life in a broader and deeper sense, analysing the ‘war fighting’ and logistical aspects while also telling the stories of the men who lived and fought in the harsh desert conditions.gaza

 

The Great War: ten contested questions by Hazel Flynn

As we mark the centenary of the Great War, critical questions remain in contention; how the conflict really began, what roles the generals played in the carnage, what happened the conscientious objectors and how the medical profession rose to the challenge of so many wounded. This book, based on Radio National’s weekend long broadcast, draws on the work of the world’s leading thinkers and historians to challenge and extend our understanding of the war that profoundly changed the world.ten

 

Women’s Century: an illustrated history of the Women’s Institute by Val Horsler

In a century that has seen the role of women in both domestic and public life change irrevocably, the role of the Women’s Institute in effecting change has often gone unappreciated. This title celebrates the WI’s centenary in 2015, calling attention to the indispensable role it has played in the development of women’s rights.women

Edith Cavell: Nurse, Martyr, Heroine by Diana Souhami

Edith Cavell was born on 4th December 1865, daughter of the vicar of Swardeston in Norfolk, and shot in Brussels on 12th October 1915 by the Germans for sheltering British and French soldiers and helping them escape over the Belgian border.

Following a traditional village childhood in 19th-century England, Edith worked as a governess in the UK and abroad, before training as a nurse in London in 1895. To Edith, nursing was a duty, a vocation, but above all a service. By 1907, she had travelled most of Europe and become matron of her own hospital in Belgium, where, under her leadership, a ramshackle hospital with few staff and little organization became a model nursing school.

When war broke out, Edith helped soldiers to escape the war by giving them jobs in her hospital, finding clothing and organizing safe passage into Holland. In all, she assisted over two hundred men. When her secret work was discovered, Edith was put on trial and sentenced to death by firing squad. She uttered only 130 words in her defence. A devout Christian, the evening before her death, she asked to be remembered as a nurse, not a hero or a martyr, and prayed to be fit for heaven.

When news of Edith’s death reached Britain, army recruitment doubled. After the war, Edith’s body was returned to the UK by train and every station through which the coffin passed was crowded with mourners.

Diana Souhami brings one of the Great War’s finest heroes to life in this biography of a hardworking, courageous and independent woman.cavell

 

Voices from the front: an oral history of the Great War by Peter Hart

Every man who served in the Great War is now deceased, but they have left behind them an enormous collection of oral history, which captures the authentic voices of the front line soldiers. In this book, oral historian Peter Hart brings together accounts from across the conflict, from soldiers, sailors, and airmen, from officers and privates alike.

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