Norfolk Coast in the Great War focuses on the trials and joys, the achievements and disappointments, the humor and the sadness of everyday life in a region living on the edge of the country at the heart of the Kings vast Empire. Everyone from the folk who went off to fight, to scouts and schoolchildren, had a role to play in this coastline that had, since the time of the Spanish Armada, been considered a likely place for an enemy invasion. There were days of great tension, even terror, such as on the day of the first bombardment of the coast by the German Navy, and the day of Zeppelin attacks and dog fights out to sea when the flimsy planes of a fledgling RAF took on the Red Baron and his comrades.
This unique study is based largely on original archive material, much of it never before published in book form. It is accompanied by many rare and fascinating photographs that show the day-to-day life of the people who lived in the many settlements on the coast and just inland. In addition, this book also gives an itinerary for a walk along the 46 mile stretch of the coast from Hunstanton to Cromer, taking in many of the places discussed and giving views that are exactly the same as they were 100 years ago.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Norwich on the eve of conflict 14
The impact of Norwich. How was life? Drink. Banking and Insurance. Shopping. A hot summer. Motoring and cycling. Looking good. Jobs, wages and housing. Sports. Trams and inventions. Two kings. The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity.
Chapter 2 War arrives 'like a thief in the night' 36
Will it be war? Should we be involved? It is war! First orders to the Norfolk Coast. Appeal for Specials. The coast prepares. Cripples Brigade. Will we be invaded? First shots in anger: Battle of the Bight. Three British ships sunk in ninety minutes. Captain Fox's revenge. Gorleston attacked. Put those lights out! Spies everywhere. The Lusitania. First Christmas - why is it not all over? Recruitment. Sport. The Press. Planes, boats, submarines and mines.
Chapter 3 Kings Lynn. Castle Rising. Sandringham. Dersingham. Snettisham. Heacham 73
Zeppelins - threat or passing fad? First raids. Propaganda. Anti-Zeppelin measures. E class submarines. Life at home - crime and punishment. Electric Theatre. Kings Lynn, cordite and conkers. Chaim Weizmann. Four brothers. Pal's Battalions. The Sandringhams - the company that disappeared. Local schools. Some local soldiers and sailors.
Chapter 4 Hunstanton. Holme. Brancaster. The Burnhams. Holkham 96
Bayntun Hippisley and his Hut. Lovat Scouts. Arthur Coke and Jack, the Airedale Terrier. John Emerson's story. Some local soldiers and sailors.
Chapter 5 Wells-next-the-Sea. Stiffkey. Blakeney. Cley next the Sea. Salrhouse. Holt. Weybourne 110
HMS Rogue and Percy Green. Women working. All three sons gone. Coastal defences. Pillbox trail. The extraordinary life and terrible death of the Rector of Stiffkey. Rupert Brooke. Greshams School, Holt. Some local soldiers and sailors.
Chapter 6 Sheringham. Beeston Regis. The Runtons 132
Poppyland. The Lifeboats. Rescue of SS Uller. Henry Ramey Upcher. Olive Edis. Two Beestons. The other side of the Channel. The Armistice and German reparations. Some local soldiers and sailors.
Chapter 7 Cromer. Mundesley. North Walsham Happisburgh. Sea Palling. Caistor-on-Sea 146
Henry Blogg and the Louisa Heartwell. The Pyrin and Fernebo rescues. How was life in Cromer? Cigarettes, food, motor cars and entertainments. In Court. War Tribunal. The Royal Cromer Golf Club. Some local soldiers and sailors.
Chapter 8 Great Yarmouth, Gorleston-on-Sea and coastal settlements to the south. Harwich 168
Rowdy holiday-makers. Crime. Zeppelins. Attack by ships. Harwich. Fishing smacks. Submarines. Two pilots. Seaplanes and John Porte. Loddon. The Cheshire Yeomanry. Some local soldiers and sailors.
Chapter 9 Out at sea 195
Fishing Smacks versus the U-Boat. Thomas Crisp VC. The Sagitta. Captain Charles Fryatt. The Falaba rescue. The particular problems with British mines.
Appendix 1 The Norfolk Coast Path - A Walk along the Norfolk Coast from Hunstanton to Cromer 203
Forty-six miles along the wild and magnificent North Norfolk Coast in seven sections. Ideas for study.
Appendix 2 Useful sites and addresses 212
Appendix 3 The Norfolk Regiment 214