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Wymondham Heritage Museum to host special exhibition on the ‘friendly invasion’

PUBLISHED: 15:40 21 June 2012

A ward at Morley Hospital during the second world war. One of the images going on display at Wymondham Heritage Museum.

A ward at Morley Hospital during the second world war. One of the images going on display at Wymondham Heritage Museum.

Archant

Wymondham Heritage Museum is set to host a special exhibition of photographs and memorabilia to mark the 70th anniversary of the ‘Friendly invasion’ in Norfolk.

On July 6, the American Connections project will be launched to mark the anniversary of the Americans’ arrival during the second world war.

The heritage museum exhibition tells the story of the Americans around Wymondham between 1942 and 1945 and their bases at Hethel, Deopham and Old Buckenham.

It looks at the impact of all those ‘new faces’ on Wymondham and Morley, highlighting the links between D Day and Wymondham station and the hospital at Morley.

The villages of Morley, near Wymondham, and Redgrave, near Diss, have their own connections as both were home to American Army hospitals. They catered for the personnel of the 15 heavy bomber bases in Norfolk and north Suffolk, a fighter group and affiliated ground troops.

In September 1943, the 77th Station Hospital took over new buildings on the golf course in the grounds of Morley Hall, a country house built in 1841/42.

The next month the newly arrived 231st Station Hospital occupied a site in the grounds of Redgrave Hall, a former deer park and Tudor mansion rebuilt in 1770.

In March 1944, the 231st moved to Morley and Redgrave Park became the 65th general hospital which catered for severely wounded men needing long-term care. The new drug penicillin was trailed at the Morley and Redgrave hospitals.

The heritage museum at the Bridewell in Wymondham is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

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