The Norfolk Regiment was the county infantry regiment. However, men from other areas could join the Norfolk Regiment and men from Norfolk found themselves in regiments from around the country, particularly during the rapid growth of the British army during the First World War.
During the First World War the Regiment had two regular battalions, three service (or Kitchener) battalions and two territorial battalions on active service abroad. The 1st Battalion crossed to France with the British Expeditionary Force in early August 1914. It served on the Western Front, and was joined by the 7th, 8th and 9th (Service) Battalions in 1915. The 2nd Battalion served in Mesopotamia, while the 1/4th and 1/5th Territorial Battalions fought in Gallipoli and the Middle East. There were also a number of battalions used for training and home service, such as coastal defence.
The Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum looks after a wealth of objects relating to the Regiment. Many of these objects are on display in Norwich Castle Museum, including army uniform, kit, personal letters and diaries that reflect the daily lives of soldiers in wartime and peace. Gallantry and service medals are also on display, along with details about the men who won them.
Behind the scenes a small team of staff and volunteers care for the collection, and have a wide range of knowledge and expertise. In our archive we hold a large number of First World War documents including official war diaries, battalion orders and recommendations for awards, as well as more personal material such as letters, diaries and photographs.
As part of the First World War centenary commemorations, the RNRM will be providing family history research sessions at Norwich Castle Study Centre for those wishing to find out more about the soldiers who served with the Regiment in the First World War.
Please contact us on 01603 493625 for more information and to book a place.