Heritage group celebrates publication of book about First World War’s impact on Wayland

Wayland Village Heritage Groups and the Wayland Partnership have published a book, researched with L

Wayland Village Heritage Groups and the Wayland Partnership have published a book, researched with Lottery funding, The Impact of World War One on Wayland: The Story of a Norfolk Community in Wartime. Courtesy of Jan Godfrey - Credit: Archant

Heritage enthusiasts are celebrating the launch of a new book which explores the effects of the First World War on their communities.

The Impact of World War One on Wayland is the culmination of two years' dedicated research by volunteers in Watton and Wayland's 15 villages, looking beyond the men who lost their lives on the front line to the survivors who returned and the communities left behind.

It was compiled by Wayland Village Heritage Groups, under the umbrella of the Wayland Partnership, which received Lottery funding to carry out the research.

Bronwen Tyler, leader of the heritage group, said: 'Because we already knew how unique, isolated and close-knit this area was at that time, we thought it would be more interesting to look at the impact the war had on the area rather than just on the men.

'The project went better than expected – we didn't think we would find out so much about the lives of ordinary people.

'There are some things you can't find out, and establishing who went and who came back can be quite difficult, so some of it is a bit piecemeal, but overall it is better than we thought.'

Ms Tyler said the heritage group also worked with the Stanford military training area (STANTA) to find out the history of the villages within it during the war.

Most Read

Those who were involved in the project marked the book's launch on August 4 with an afternoon tea at Broom Hall in Saham Toney and a talk from historian Neil Storey.

Wayland Partnership trustee Ms Tyler believes it is 'not the end' of the heritage project.

'Some of the villages want to do specific books on the fallen and returned in their villages, and some want to look into areas we didn't have a lot of time to explore, like the impact on the businesses of Watton,' she said.

If you would like to get involved with the heritage group, contact the Wayland Partnership on 01953 883915.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter