Hunstanton’s John to display First World War collection

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Hunstanton Civic Society member John Smith dipped into his collection of over 1,000 First World War cigarette cards to illustrate his talk on the war at last week’s meeting of the group.

In addition to the ones shown on the screen, many more were on display around the town hall, along with postcards and posters. The illustrations depicted the horrors of war as well as the patriotic fervour stirred up by an intensive recruiting campaign for volunteers.

There was also humour and social comment on certain aspects of the war, such as the emancipation of women as they took over roles in the workplace formerly associated with men.

John has accumulated an enormous collection of ephemera and memorabilia on the war and will be staging exhibitions both locally and in France during the next four years.

His first exhibition will be next May Bank Holiday, organised by the Docking Heritage Group.

He is also working closely with local archivist Tony Armstrong, who has compiled dossiers on more than 500 Hunstanton servicemen who survived the war or were killed in action.

Tony is now extending his research into the Docking area and John will be mounting an exhibition in Docking’s large village hall this August, concentrating on the social impact of the Great War.