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Photo gallery: Can you help heroes’ names live on forever?

13:30 06 June 2014

Bungay Museum is getting ready to hold a First World War exhibition.  They have a large collection of photographs and would like readers to help with any information regarding the pictures.

Christopher Reeve with some of the pictures.

Bungay Museum is getting ready to hold a First World War exhibition. They have a large collection of photographs and would like readers to help with any information regarding the pictures. Christopher Reeve with some of the pictures.

© Archant 2014

An appeal has been launched to help name a group of forgotten heroes as part of an exhibition to mark the centenary of the First World War in Bungay.

A collection of photographs showing men from the town in their new Army uniforms after enlisting for service has been given to Bungay Museum and now help is needed to put names to the faces and gather as much information about them as possible.

The exhibition will be centred around the local men who went away to fight, along with information about the roles of the women and children left behind.

Museum curator Chris Reeve said: “Twenty-six of the photos have got the names written on the back but there are six more photos which we don’t have names for.

“They are mainly studio photos so we think they have probably been kitted out and photographed before being sent overseas to fight.”

The photographs were given to the museum in 2009 by Dr Bill Westgate of Berkhamsted.

The postcard-sized photos include the Rev Packer, a former vicar of Bungay, and his son along with a group shot of soldiers at a training camp in Lowestoft.

Mr Reeve said: “We don’t know much about how he came to have the collection but he wanted them to be in Bungay because they are of local significance.

“We were extremely pleased to receive them because they are so rare and we are hoping they will produce a great deal of information from readers.”

The exhibition is planned to run from August to November at St Mary’s Church in Bungay and is being held in connection with the Friends of the church. The photos without names simply say “Bungay boys” or “Clarke the studio” on the back.

Mr Reeve said: “Some of the photos were taken at Clarke’s photography studio in Bungay, but some were taken elsewhere in Suffolk or even further afield so presumably when they went on to join other battalions they had photographs there too.

“We’ve got lots of information about the 101 people who were killed whose names are on the war memorial but if we can name some of these faces and find out more about those who survived it will make a really strong exhibition.”

Organisers are also keen to hear from local residents who have any certificates, soldier’s possessions or other items relating to the First World War which could be used in the exhibition.

Anyone with information about any of the photos or names listed can call Mr Reeve on 01986 893155, email kitkat46@btinternet.com or write to Bungay Museum, Broad Street, Bungay. We have added numbers to the pictures for ease of identification.

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