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Exhibition shares students’ learning about First World War

An exhibition called ‘Finding the Fallen: The Battle of the Somme’ is on display in the StartUp Lounge at City College Norwich until 16 December.

The display features research and photographs by Supported Learning students from City College Norwich and Year 2 students from Norwich High School for Girls.

The work forms part of The Forum’s 3- year ‘Norfolk in the First World War: Somme to Armistice’ project honouring Norfolk’s First World War heroes, which has been supported by £90,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The exhibition displays the students’ photographs from research of soldiers from the local area who fought at the Battle of the Somme.

Working with local military historian, Neil Storey, the students researched their local war memorial at Earlham Cemetery and uncovered the real lives and experiences behind the engraved names.

Students also learnt about conditions on the frontline and how life was changed back at home by examining first-hand accounts, letters, costumes and handling original objects.

City College Norwich student Lee Blake, 16, said: "I didn't really know a lot about World War One before this project.  I learnt a lot about the Battle of the Somme, the soldiers, what sort of uniforms they wore, what sort of ages they were."

Matthew Saint, 17, added: “We discussed the war with PowerPoint presentations at first, and then we took pictures of information that we had found out. After that we went to a graveyard and took pictures of the graves of those who died in the war. Then we printed them off and edited them.  It’s important to know what happened so people can honour those who died.”

Supported Learning Lecturer Tracy Ready said: “One of the graves we photographed was someone who was killed aged 16, he shouldn’t have even been in the war, so that resonated with the students. This project has helped the students to improve their research skills and their listening skills. They were fascinated by all of the things that were brought in by military historian Neil Storey.  The group have gained a greater understanding of what it was like to be a soldier in the trenches.  It’s been a valuable experience and the students were thrilled to have their names included in the exhibition.”

Pictured: (L-R) City College Norwich students Lee Blake, Matthew Saint and Shane Harvey.