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    Press release

    Events Commemorate Norfolk's Fallen Soldiers

    Press release - 4 Apr 2017

    Two special events will commemorate Norfolk’s fallen soldiers on the centenary of the Second Battle of Gaza this April

    To mark the centenary of the Second Battle of Gaza (19 April 1917), The Forum in Norwich is hosting two special events to commemorate local soldiers who served in The Norfolk Regiment.

    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.

    On Wednesday 19 April, 100 years since the battle, join historians Neil Storey and Dr Paul Knight for two talks on the Norfolk Regiment’s involvement in the Second Battle of Gaza and the wider campaigns against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

    The event starts at 6pm at The Forum and there will be an opportunity to visit an exhibition on the Battle of Gaza before the talks begin. Tickets for the evening are free, but must be booked in advance via ww1battleofgazatalk.eventbrite.co.uk. Refreshments will be provided.

    On Saturday 29 April, a family friendly hands-on history event on The Battle of Gaza is being held at The Forum from 10am – 4pm. Visitors can meet Military Historian, Neil Storey, handle WWI objects and uniforms, and hear the stories and experiences of the Norfolk soldiers who fought in the battle. This event is free and no booking is required.

    Sarah Power, Learning & Events Manager at The Forum said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Paul Knight, Major in the Army Reserve and the British Army's First World War project officer for the North West of England. He served two tours in Iraq and is the author of The British Army in Mesopotamia, 1914-1918. Dr Knight will be joining the project’s own historian, Neil Storey, to deliver two talks covering both the narratives of the soldiers and the strategies of the Battles in Gaza throughout 1917.

    Neil is also running the WWI family day on Saturday 29 April and visitors can get closer to the soldiers’ experiences by handling objects, costumes and memorabilia. In addition to the talks, the Gaza exhibition will allow visitors to commemorate family losses during the First World War or to sit and reflect 100 years on.”

    These events form part of the ‘Finding the Fallen: The Battle of Gaza’ project organised by The Forum thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project includes an exhibition inside the Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library and a special immersive experience in The Forum’s Gallery which opens to the public on Tuesday 18 April – Thursday 4 May, 10am – 4pm.

    Visitors can discover how the Territorial Force soldiers were recruited and how the campaign in the Middle East impacted on the Norfolk Regiment. Visitors can see the work of students from King’s Lynn and North Norfolk who researched soldiers from their school’s locality and commemorate the fallen and write a postcard in their memory.

    Following this, the exhibition and an accompanying film will go on tour to schools and community venues around the county. As part of the project, a comprehensive programme to support schools to teach First World War studies is being created by The Forum and will include touring exhibitions, a dedicated website, films, a learning pack and inset sessions for teachers. There will also be plenty of hands-on resources including costumes, objects and documents for schools across Norfolk to hire.

    For further information and images please contact: Lizzie Figura-Drane, Heritage Assistant at The Forum on 01603 727971 / email: heritage.assistant@theforumnorwich.co.uk

    Notes to editors

    About the project:

    The Forum has received £90,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to deliver its three year project, ‘Norfolk in the First World War: Somme to Armistice’. The project remembers the men who fought and lost their lives in battle and the women who were either on active war service or remaining strong on the Norfolk home-front. The project focuses on the following strands:

    • The Battle of the Somme in 2016
    • The Battle of Gaza in April in 2017
    • First World War Women on active service in November 2017
    • First World War Women’s Legacy in November 2018
    • The 100th anniversary of Armistice Day in November 2018

    The Forum’s project shares the stories of our local heroes - both men and women – so their names, life experiences and sacrifices are acknowledged and remembered by new generations. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will commemorate the lives of the fallen and those who returned via dedicated school and learning programmes, adult volunteer-led projects, public talks, events and exhibitions.

    About The Forum:

    • The Forum, in the centre of Norwich, is one of the UK’s most successful Millennium projects.
    • It’s a public building, open seven days a week, all year round (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
    • Everyone is welcome. Most of the public events, exhibitions and activities which take place at The Forum are free.
    • The Forum Trust is the independent, self-financing, charitable organisation which manages The Forum building.
    • It is responsible for The Forum’s continued development, growth and innovation.
    • The Trust works with many partners to ensure The Forum plays a valuable role in the community.
    • Details about the charitable ‘project purpose’ which under-pins The Forum are on the website  www.theforumnorwich.co.uk

    About the Heritage Lottery Fund:

    Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported