July 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Poignant songs, stories and performances about the First World War drew an estimated 3,500 people to a BBC roadshow marking the centenary of the conflict’s outbreak.
The BBC World War One At Home Live Event made only its second of 25 stops around the country when it came to The Forum in Norwich on Saturday.
Visitors brought objects ranging from tattered black and white photos to a deactivated bomb and a watch which saved someone’s life when it stopped a bullet.
For many, the chance to discover more about what relatives did during the war was the main reason for coming.
Patricia Sutterby, from King’s Lynn, brought pictures of her grandfather Samuel Bone. She said he had not talked to her about the war, and she wanted to find out what medals he got.
The 68 year old said: “My mother said he was a King’s Lynn fisherman and he went into the Royal Navy when the war started. He did not come home until she was about three years old and she did know him. She ran away from him when he first came back.”
Norma Carroll, from Norwich, also brought pictures of her grandfather, Frank Slinn, who rarely talked about the war unless prompted.
She said: “As far as I know from my parents, he tried to get in in 1914 when he was 14 and he got brought home by his mum. He was working for an engineering company and his mum got his boss to get him back.”
She said he was in the Royal Flying Corps, and she wanted to find out whether family anecdotes were true.
Kylie Maritza, 25, from Aldridge in the West Midlands, said she was impressed by the number of people who came to the event, and added: “I like the atmosphere. It’s a nice remembrance of the whole thing.”
Shaun Peel, regional broadcast co-ordinator for BBC East TV, said highlights for him included a “haunting” performance of first world war songs by 16-year-old King’s Lynn musician Soham De.
The event came to an poignant end when James House, who was visiting with his fiancée the day before he was due to deploy on HMS Illustrious, played the Last Post.
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