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School remembers the sacrifices of First World War

Published on 06/11/18

Students at Jane Austen College have marked the centenary of the 1918 armistice with a series of events commemorating those who fought in the First World War.

Norfolk historian Steven Smith, who accompanied a group of Jane Austen students on a trip to the battlefields of France and Belgium earlier in the year, visited the school to give a talk about Norfolk’s part in the Great War on Tuesday, November 6.

He explained how the county’s strategically important position on the east coast saw it come under fire early in the war, suffering the first German naval bombardment at Gorleston in 1914 and the first zeppelin raids at Great Yarmouth, Sheringham, and King’s Lynn in 1915.

The Norfolk regiments saw action in battles from the Somme to the Middle East, and the county’s soldiers took part in the famous football match against the Germans during 1914’s Christmas Day truce.

Smith emphasised the crucial role played by women on the home front as they took on jobs from police officers to train drivers and farmers, while some worked in the war zones as ambulance drivers and nurses.

As part of Jane Austen’s week of remembrance pupils have been creating a poppy-filled display in the school library, and raising money for the Royal British Legion through poppy sales.

The fundraising continues on Friday, November 9 with a non-uniform day and cake sale.

Librarian Robert Welton said: “Our students have found this a very thought-provoking and interesting week, and we’re honoured to be raising money to support those who have fought for our freedom.”