Storey, ever popular speaker and noted local
historian, made what has become his annual visit to
the History Group at a full Martham Village Hall early
in March. Neil is seen above, with Darren Stride who
came as a guest in wartime Royal Artillery uniform.
aid of a remarkable set of photographs Neil gave us
his typically personalised view of the first few
months of The Great War as it impacted on the people
of Norfolk. In many ways it was a time of euphoria and
great expectations as crowds lined the streets to
cheer columns of new recruits marching through our
towns and villages. We saw office workers parading in
their working clothes gradually morphing into soldiers
as uniforms and equipment dribbled through.
cavalry and horse-drawn gun carriages, together with
bicycle-mounted infantry, pointed to how unprepared we
were for modern warfare.
troops, led by The Norfolk Regiment, played a major
role in various fields as the war developed, losing
men at a rather more than average rate. We will hear
more of how the war proceeded and how it impacted on
women and the home front later when Neil returns
during the four year memorial of that fateful time.
as ever, we learned something new. Most of us were
aware of Great Yarmouth’s experience as the first part
of the UK to be bombed and to suffer death through
attacks from the air. But we learned that the first
enemy item to hit the soil of England from the air was
actually the metal case of a flare thrown from a
German Zeppelin to light its bombing raid route. Where
did it land? In Martham, of course!