Hundreds visit moving commemoration exhibition to mark end of £30,000 Wymondham’s Great War Project

Wymondham at war exhibition in the Forum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams Wymondham at war exhibition in the Forum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Monday, July 14, 2014
6:00 AM

Hundreds of schoolchildren delved into the history of a south Norfolk town as part of a £30,000 project to explore its connection with the First World War.

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10-year-old Imogen Lee, from Wicklewood Primary School, wrote a moving poem entitled The Ghost on the Battlefield.

“Here I am on a serene day, sitting where the children play.

Sky larks fly overhead, chirping joyously on the breeze led,

For all that is left is memories and dust,

And for who in god we’ll always trust,

The young men will never grow old and their stories lie left untold.

A time gone by, so many souls lost,

A war so brutal at everyone’s cost.

We fought for a cause on these foreign shores.

Where once was mud and splintered bone,

Now there’s colours of a different tone,

The true colours of sacrifice,

We’ve all paid the price.

Blood crimson, painted across the field,

We struck victory and did not yield.

A riot of velvet petals and colour, a sight like no other.

And my lines remain unsaid,

As I am already dead.”

For the last year, youngsters from the 12 schools in Wymondham Cluster have been creating documentaries, putting on plays and penning poems as part of the lottery-funded Wymondham’s Great War Project.

On Sunday the results of their work were displayed at the Forum in Norwich.

Belona Greenwood, artist director for the project, said: “It was absolutely wonderful and really moving. Even the youngest children were able to respond and they really looked at the impact locally.

“They really grasped it and were able to understand it, how you might wave someone off on a bus and never see them again. It was very poignant.”

Wymondham at war exhibition in the Forum, Norwich. Photo: Steve AdamsWymondham at war exhibition in the Forum, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Letters, diary extracts and photographs from townspeople helped the young history detectives, aged from four to 18, create their work, while professional musicians, animators and film-makers stepped in to lend a hand.

Pupils from Robert Kett Junior School masterminded a 26-minute documentary with film-maker Sally-Anne Lomas, while Ashleigh and Browick Road Infant Schools worked with animator Matthew Harrison to create their inventive offering.

Youngsters from Spooner Row presented a dance piece, with Wymondham College and Wymondham High Academy joining forces to put on a play.

The performances had also been shown at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club in Wymondham, on Friarscroft Lane, last week.

Students presenting a play for at the Forum for Wymondham's Great War Project. Photo: Moyses GomezStudents presenting a play for at the Forum for Wymondham's Great War Project. Photo: Moyses Gomez

At the event, an enlisting station, period dress and artefacts from the war allowed youngsters to come close to a first-hand experience of the war.

A memorial service remembering the 142 Wymondham men who were lost was held, with visitors leaving touching messages to their friends and family.

The project will be on display at the Forum until Saturday, July 19.

For more information on the project, visit www.wymondhamsgreatwar.blogspot.co.uk

Do you have a Wymondham story for us? Contact reporter Lauren Cope on Lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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