Exhibition reveals Thornham at War

Thornham at War Exhibition at the Village Hall, Thornham History Society Member David Brooks, with some of the exhibits on display. ANL-150221-174418009
Thornham at War Exhibition at the Village Hall, Thornham History Society Member David Brooks, with some of the exhibits on display. ANL-150221-174418009
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A West Norfolk village uncovered more of its rich history when hundreds of people turned out for its second annual heritage exhibition.

More than 370 people travelled from across the borough and Fens for the two-day Thornham at War event organised by Thornham History Society.

Following the success of the group’s debut exhibition on the history of Thornham last year, the society wanted to hold another – but this time focusing on the First World War.

The exhibition, held at Thornham Village Hall last Friday and Saturday, presented a picture of life in the village before the onset of the Great War and looked at the impact it had when it began in 1914.

It featured aspects of the Home Front, life in the trenches and the aftermath of the war, with research on Thornham’s fallen heroes and artefacts and materials on show for the first time.

Researcher and writer David Brooks, who led the society’s work for the exhibition, said the event was a resounding success.

He said it seemed to have a broader appeal than last year’s event and attracted a more diverse mix of people, from those mainly interested in the history of the village to those who were more focused on the war aspect.

It also welcomed people of all ages, including young families.

“It was very gratifying to see parents pointing out items in the display cases and explaining to children all about World War One,” said Mr Brooks.

“It was also gratifying to see all sorts of reactions from people to the material on display.”

One visitor who had always believed her great uncle died in Belgium discovered, from service records of the village’s fallen, that he actually died in France.

The society also gained insights into some of its artefacts, such as the names of people in photographs.

Mr Brooks said: “For a small village, there is a fair amount of history here.

“The society started a year or so ago to find out more about its heritage and events like this are another step along the way.”