Orford: Year of research unveiled for war exhibition

The exhibition in Orford Town Hall to commemorate Orford and its surrounding villages' role in the F

The exhibition in Orford Town Hall to commemorate Orford and its surrounding villages' role in the First World War. Clare Hawes (as Connie Berrett) and Harvey Salmon (as Sq Leader Douglas Holder). - Credit: Archant

An exhibition chronicling village life during the First World War is up and running.

The exhibition in Orford Town Hall to commemorate Orford and its surrounding villages' role in the F

The exhibition in Orford Town Hall to commemorate Orford and its surrounding villages' role in the First World War. - Credit: Archant

Archives, photographs and the absorbing personal accounts of wartime in Orford and its surrounding villages went on display yesterday.

The Heritage Lottery funded project takes place at Orford Town Hall from 10.30am-5pm today and tomorrow.

It is the culmination a year’s research by volunteers who dug into the archives at the Suffolk Record Office, Imperial War Museum, British Library and Suffolk Regiment Museum, as well as individual sources of information.

Several fascinating artefacts and stories have been uncovered along the way, including a wooden cross bearing the name of a German prisoner who was held at Orford Ness and died in the influenza pandemic; the tale of a home front heroine dubbed ‘the girl who would drive to hell backwards’ for her gutsy motoring skills; and the account of a Royal Flying Corps’ captain who signalled his return from battle by lighting a flare which accidentally set light to a shed on top of the castle.


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As well as the many stories and displays, there are plans for choral performances and re-enactments by children and actors during the exhibition.

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