Exhibition marks Battle of the Somme

John Needham with some of his collection including Norfolk Yeomanry and Norfolk Regiment unifroms, a

John Needham with some of his collection including Norfolk Yeomanry and Norfolk Regiment unifroms, at a First World War exhibition to mark the Battle of the Somme's centenary, at North Walsham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

It was fought over five brutal months with the loss of more than a million dead and wounded on all sides.

Alex, left, and Jamie Staddon, with their grandfather, Derrick Eagle's models of the three Battle of

Alex, left, and Jamie Staddon, with their grandfather, Derrick Eagle's models of the three Battle of Britain aircraft at a First World War exhibition to mark the Battle of the Somme's centenary, at North Walsham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A century on The Battle of the Somme was the focus of a special First World War exhibition in North Walsham.

Young and old participated in the event which featured poetry readings by North Walsham High School pupils, an exhibition of artefacts and displays by local organisations.

Fought between July 1 and November 18 1916, the some saw Allied forces fighting the German Army in a brutal battle of attrition across a 15-mile front.

The first day was bloodiest day in the history of the British army with 19,240 soldiers losing their lives.

Band members in Derrick Eagle's display of Beating the Retreat with massed bands at a First World Wa

Band members in Derrick Eagle's display of Beating the Retreat with massed bands at a First World War exhibition to mark the Battle of the Somme's centenary, at North Walsham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016


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Among the poignant mementoes at the exhibition were a collection of First World War medals belonging to the Gotts family from Bacton. Marshall Fred Gotts was just 19 when he was killed on the Western Front in September 1916.

The exhibition at the The Atrium was organised by the Royal British Legion (RBL) and Arts North Norfolk, supported by North Walsham Town Council.

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It was the third of five annual commemorations in the town marking the centenary of the 1914-1918 conflict.

A display of First World War militaria owned by former Royal Military Police officer John Needham included uniforms worn by the Norfolk Yeomanry and Norfolk Regiment up to 1914.

Derrick Eagle, from Norwich, was displaying some of his vast collection of 1,200 toy military musicians.

Amassed over more than 60 years, it was inspired after Mr Eagle, 74, saw the Household Cavalry Musical Ride perform at the Royal Norfolk Show.

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