Staff from the Forum Norwich have been in touch with more details about their current WW1 Project.
A call for stories – the role of Norfolk Women in the First World War
Do you have female ancestors from Norfolk who were involved in the First World War? If so, The Forum, Norwich would love to hear from you as part of their next First World War project.
As part of the Norfolk in the First World War: Somme to Armistice Exhibition which will run at The Forum and Norfolk and Norwich Millennium from 01-13 November 2018 there will be a display on the legacies of Norfolk women in the First World War. This will include a Roll of Honour for 25 Norfolk women in uniformed service who died during or as a result of the First World War and exhibits on the role of women in industry and social reform.
The exhibition will include stories of Norfolk postmistresses and women who worked on the land, in munitions and factories. It will also explore women’s peace activism, suffragettes, non-conformists, the role of women in fundraising, the formation of the Women’s Institute and how court records can demonstrate the impact of the war on life at home.
If you have stories, photographs, letters or objects to share please get in touch with The Forum’s Heritage Assistant, Lizzie Figura-Drane via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 01603 727971.
Information and stories of local women will help add to the research for The Forum’s community project ‘Norfolk in the First World War: Somme to Armistice’. The project runs until November 2018 with National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
We’ve recently been contacted by Ray from Mattishall who has shared a fascinating story about a local man who has faded from memory since the First World War, despite is high profile at the time.
This was not to be his final curtain: Frank Henry Norman Wrighton
Frank Henry Norman Wrighton
1879 – 1917
Friday, November 2nd 1917 – My journey looking for First World War casualties had brought me to the picturesque seaside town of Torquay, Devon, many miles from the battle fields of the Western Front. A thin and wasted 38-year-old man had finally succumbed to an affliction he had acquired during his military service. Katherine Peacock, the Matron of St Barnabas Nursing Home for the Incurables, was recorded as being present. No records have been found to confirm there was any effort to return his remains to his home village of Mattishall Burgh, Norfolk although on his death certificate an address of 45 Warwick Road, Warwick Gardens, London was written, a large building where he or his wife could have been renting a room, whilst working in the capital. There was a war on and any transportation of a corpse would have involved considerable expense which from all accounts show there was little funds available. Four days later on November 6th he was taken the short trip to Torquay cemetery and after a simple service lowered into a common grave, a grave we now know he shares with four other men. His death was not the result of battle wounds but a condition brought on and worsened during his short military service. His death certificate, records him as ‘FRANK HENRY WRIGHTON’, age 38, an Actor. A simple note on his service records reads “He was well till a year ago, then had Pleurisy and Pneumonia, following wet exposure”. TB was also found in his Sputum.
I had been researching this man for a few years and on discovering this I was left quite emotional. There was no record of him on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, even though the army had been paying and caring for him since his discharge. How had this man just been forgotten? I had got to know him well, my research had found he had been such a character, or being an actor, multiple characters! He was very patriotic, had a great spirit of determination and given a lot so ending up forgotten, in a common grave did not do him justice. Continue reading
Here at the Norfolkinworldwar1 blog we’ve been contacted by the parish team and Friends of Hemblington Church about their forthcoming events. They also have opportunities for others to share research and stories…
The parish team and The Friends of All Saints Church will be commemorating the ending of the First World War at Hemblington church, with an exhibition over several weeks in August, September and November.
We are aware that many organisations nationally are planning to hold exhibitions and in order to make this an event to commemorate local people who fought and died in the conflict, we will be exhibiting information about the people listed on the memorial in the church, as well as a display about the Battle of The Somme, which claimed the lives of many Norfolk men.
Earlier in the summer local children will have made a collage illustrating their understanding of war – and peace – which will form a part of the exhibition. We should therefore like to invite local groups to join us on the afternoon of Saturday, 15th September, both as guests for afternoon tea and also to participate if they so wish.
If you or any people in your society:
have memories or stories of family members involved in the war, either at the front or supporting the war effort at home
have family heirlooms/souvenirs from the time (perhaps postcards, letters, medals)
might be willing to read a poem or prose reading about the First World War and / or the Armistice
we should love to hear from them. Personal reminiscences are so important and throw a light on how people coped during and after the war, though we do understand that they are likely to be three or even four generations removed now.
If you or your members would like to learn more about this event, please get in touch with Catherine (01603) 270 360 or Lynda (01603) 713 597 or Sue (01603) 715 804 or email email@example.com
The Hemblington team have lots of events planned and it all sounds great. If you can’t help or visit Hemblington but you have your own events you’d like to share please do just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.