Norman Foord's wartime diary

Photo:Norman Foord ca.1938

Norman Foord ca.1938

Image reproduced with permission from Norman Foord

Photo:Norman Foord in 2005

Norman Foord in 2005

Photo by Sue Craig

Photo:Norman Foord and Maurice Funnel - reunited

Norman Foord and Maurice Funnel - reunited

Photo by Sue Craig

The diary in 2005

By Sue Craig

Norman Foord's wartime diary was written by him when he was a ten year old school boy during the Second World War. It is a fascinating glimpse into the experience of a child in World War II, juxtaposing world events with Norman's everyday life.

Norman gave a photocopy of his diary to his old School (Whitehawk Primary) to display in their permanent exhibition in the air-raid shelter (known as The Trenches), which was opened up to the public as part of the 2005 Brighton Festival.

On May 6th 2005, Whitehawk Primary School held a special WWII Commemoration day for the 60th Anniversary of VE day (Victory in Europe) and Norman attended - but little did he know he was in for a very big surprise.

All the teachers and the children dressed up in 1940s clothes and even carried replica cardboard gas masks. East Brighton Bygones group (see details below) were guests of honour on this auspicious occasion, having donated a plaque to the Parents, Teachers and Friends of Whitehawk Primary School, to commemorate those who had lost their lives in the conflict. The plaque was officially unveiled by Pat Drake, the Right Worshipful Mayor of Brighton. To mark this solemn occasion, the children laid wreaths they had previously made in their art class, next to the plaque which is on the wall below the entrance to the school.

After the ceremony, Sue Craig (a member of the EBB and also a volunteer on My Brighton and Hove), took Maurice Funnel to see Norman's diary in its pride of place in the exhibition tent. As Maurice had been a childhood friend of Norman's and is mentioned in the diary (Jan. 9th 1941), it was of special interest to him. While they were in the tent Norman Foord arrived and the two met again after a gap of 64 years and so history had come full circle.

East Brighton Bygones
New members always welcome!
2pm - Second Wednesday of every month
The Valley Social Centre, Whitehawk Way

Added to the site on 02-07-05 
This page was added on 22/03/2006.

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