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Former head of the British Army commemorates WW1 at Wymondham Heritage Museum opening

General Lord Richard Dannatt opens the Wymondham Heritage Museum for its 2014 season with chairman of the committee Pip Woodward.

General Lord Richard Dannatt opens the Wymondham Heritage Museum for its 2014 season with chairman of the committee Pip Woodward.

Archant

A former head of the British Army has helped Wymondham commemorate its local connections to the First World War.

General Lord Richard Dannatt was joined by relatives of Wymondham soldiers on Friday to declare the town’s Heritage Museum and new centenary exhibition open for its 2014 season.

Letters, diaries and photographs from personal collections will be used to illustrate the experiences of the Wymondham men who fought in the war.

John Lock remembers his father, also John, serving in the Gallipoli Campaign.

Thetford-born Mr Lock left school aged only 12 and joined the Territorial Fourth Battalion Norfolk Regiment. He served in the campaign between 1915 and 1916.

When Mr Lock returned to Wymondham in 1917, he married his childhood sweetheart and worked on the railways for 39 years.

His son said: “The exhibition brings back lots of memories. I was the youngest member of the family and we used to ask dad about his war stories and there would be tears rolling down my cheeks.

“It’s so sad that they are all gone.”

General Lord Dannatt said that the centenary gives people the time to reflect.

“It was an absolute tragedy on an international and a personal level. It’s really good that a community is making a big effort to tell the stories of the war,” he said.

Museum volunteers designed panels to provide information on men who served in the war, those who never came home, the Wymondham war memorial and local people working at the Red Cross Hospital.

The exhibition also includes a model of a First World War soldier with full uniform and equipment.

Joe Mooney, County Councillor for Wymondham, said: “I would like to say well done to all the volunteers at the Heritage Museum for all the hard work that they put in to putting on the exhibition.”

Pip Woodward, chairman of the Wymondham Heritage Museum Committee, said: “Many museums are marking the centenary, and we are displaying information on what happened to the people of Wymondham.”

Is your community marking the First World War? Contact Lauren Cope at Lauren.cope@archant.co.uk.

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