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.

Hundreds of men from the Norfolk Territorials fought and lost their lives at the Second Battle of Gaza and although many of them are buried in fields abroad, their names appear on many Norfolk town and village war memorials.

As part of the project, students from Sheringham Woodfields, St Michael’s Church of England Academy-King’s Lynn and the Belfry CEVA Primary School in Overstrand worked with the Project Historian Neil Storey to research soldiers from their school’s locality. The students’ work created in response to the project will be on display in some of the participating venues. Also included will be a  Roll of Honour for the 367 men of the 1/4th and 1/5th Battalions, the Norfolk Regiment who lost their lives in Gaza on 19 April 1917.

The Battle of Gaza exhibition is currently on display at The Belfry Centre for Music & Arts, Overstrand where it can be viewed until Monday 5th June. The centre is open between 10am-4pm Monday-Friday and between 10am-1pm on Saturdays.

In addition to the touring exhibition panels, visitors to The Belfry Centre for Music & Arts, will also be able to view two exhibition films, participate in a postcard writing activity and see the work of students from Sheringham and Overstrand.

A writing station created in response to Rupert Brooke’s poem ‘The Great Lover’ and work from KS2 students at The Belfry CEVA Primary School on display in Overstrand

The Battle of Gaza touring exhibition panels can be viewed at the following venues:

The Belfry Centre for Music and Arts

Tuesday 16 May-Monday 05 June 2017

Cromer Library

Wednesday 07 June-Thursday 22 June 2017

Sheringham Library

Saturday 24 June-Thursday 06 July 2017

King’s Lynn Library

Saturday 08 July-Thursday 27 July 2017

King’s Lynn Roman Catholic Church

Saturday 29 July-Thursday 10 August

Stories of Lynn, King’s Lynn Town Hall

Saturday 12 August-Tuesday 29 August

As part of the Finding the Fallen: The Battle of Gaza tour, visitors will also be able to participate in a number of free, drop-in activities with the project historian Neil Storey. Further details below.

The Battle of Gaza: Hands on History Events

Meet Military Historian Neil Storey and handle WWI objects and uniforms. Explore the stories and experiences of Norfolk soldiers fighting a very distant war.

These sessions are suitable for all ages and no booking is required

Tuesday 20 June | Cromer Library | 1pm-4pm

Thursday 29 June | Sheringham Library | 10am-1pm

Tuesday 25 July | King’s Lynn Library | 2.30-4.30pm * This sessions follows on from a lunchtime talk on the Battle of Gaza, 1-2pm

The Forum team also let us know that:

Finding the Fallen: The Battle of Gaza forms part of The Forum’s three year project ‘Norfolk in the First World War: Somme to Armistice’. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project remembers the men who fought and lost their lives in battle and the women who were either on active service or remaining strong on the Norfolk home-front.  

The Norfolk in the First World War touring exhibitions are available for schools, community groups and venues to hire free of charge. Those interested in hiring the first two exhibitions on the Battle of the Somme or The Battle of Gaza are invited to get in touch with Lizzie Figura-Drane, The Forum’s Heritage Assistant on heritage.assistant@theforumnorwich.co.uk

Reepham Remembers

Ron Luton-Brown from Reepham has recently been in touch about some of the research he’s undertaken into two local men who fell on the same date during Battle of Gaza.

The first is Frederick Eke who was born in the spring of 1896, one of the younger children of Edward and Emily Eke from Whitwell Street. He was just 20 when he died and a Private in the 1/5th Battalion Norfolks service number 240792.

He is commemorated on the Jerusalem War Memorial

The War Memorial in Jerusalem. Image from @CWGC

 

The other Reepham boy who fell in Gaza was Edwin ‘Ted’ Harden who was born in the January Quarter of 1897 to Edwin and Louisa Harden.  It is believed his father died in the Boer War and  that Luisa subsequently remarried. Ted was the middle of three sons and again just 20 at his death.

Edwin ‘Ted’ Harden

He too is commemorated on the Jerusalem War Memorial.

Sadly for Luisa is would appear that her second husband, Jesse Hall, also died during World War One.

Reepham Church exterior from @PictureNorfolk

Both Ted and Frederick will be remembered in Reepham on 19th April – exactly 100 years after their deaths.  They will be prominently featured in the church Memorial Book and this can be viewed in chancel of St Michael’s which is open every day.

Interior of St Michael’s Church Reepham from @PictureNorfolk

 

The Battles of Gaza are being commemorated in Norwich with an exhibition at the Forum. This is open daily until May 4th.