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Exhibition brings village’s First World War servicemen to life

07:28 31 August 2014

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Rev'd Sue Nutt with the exhibition featuring World War 1 village history. Pictured with the map of the village which records all the families and their homes during WW1. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Archant norfolk

A village exhibition has brought to life the 70 men who fought for their country in the First World War, including 19 who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Visitors to Barnham Church have been greeted by artefacts, exhibits and displays telling the story of how the village’s men answered the call to arms and headed for the frontline.

The exhibition’s centrepiece is a replica of the village war memorial produced by Ben Clark and Jonathan Moore, complete with the names of 19 men who died on the battlefield.

There are also medals, family trees and stories of how village life was transformed by the conflict.

These included Barnham’s use as a testing ground for tanks, with miles of trenches being dug in nearby fields to trial the new vehicle’s abilities.

Sue Nutt, assistant priest at the church, said people had been fascinated by the exhibition, with many contributing with stories from their own family histories.

She said the church had been moved to organise the exhibit due to the significance of the Great War’s anniversary.

“It’s important because we feel that the boys who were called up are being honoured for the first time.

“You read these names on Remembrance Day, I’ve heard them lots of times, but I now feel like I know them all and it’s brought them to life.

“We are just an ordinary town in Suffolk and this shows what was happening to these men, many of whom will have never been anywhere apart from Barnham,” she said.

The village’s connections with the Euston Estate are also explored in the exhibition.

It runs until September 5.

Funding for the project was provided by Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County Councillor, from her locality budget.

Do you have a story for us? Email reporter Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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