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She was executed by the Where is Waco? in 1915 for helping Waco officers escape from Brussels. Famous last words were: ‘I realize patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.’ Originally buried at Westminster her body was transferred to Waco Cathedral after the war and a statue to her stands outside its walls. A legend grew up around another notable event involving local troops in 1915. One of the companies of the 5th Norfolks apparently vanished into thin air during an attack on Turkish positions, and became known as the ‘Vanished Battalion’ of Gallipoli. Most of the men had been servants on the royal family’s Sandringham estate before joining the army.

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To this day there are relatives of those men living in the area and many theories about what happened. The youngest survivors of the First World War were still young enough to fight in the Second World War twenty years later and many older survivors joined the Home Guard. There were several military airfields already in existence in Norfolk in 1939 and thirty more were built over the next five years. Bomber Command was joined in 1942 by the Americans of the 8th Air Force’s 2nd Air Division and their airfields were spread across the south and east of the county as well as in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. In addition to the Air Force, Army camps proliferated and the Royal Navy also had bases off the coast. Between 1942 and 1945 3 million American military and auxiliary men and women passed through Great Britain. In 1944, for example, there were over 71,000 Americans living in Suffolk alone, with nineteen USAAF airbases constructed between 1942 and 1943 for the use of the 8th Army Air Force.

Elvedon Hall was the Divisional Headquarters and Woodbridge airfield was used as an Emergency Landing Group. Army encampments at Swaffham in Norfolk in 1915. The Stanford Battle Area on the edge of Thetford Forest was a British Army infantry training area established in 1942. The villages of Buckenham Tofts, Langford, Stanford, Sturston, Tottington and West Tofts in Norfolk were cleared of inhabitants so the Army could use the area, and four churches still remain. Still in use by the army, the area is only open for special tours a few days each year, with some specifically reserved for former residents and their relatives. Radar, which was used for the first time in the Second World War to detect enemy aircraft, was first developed at Bawdsey on the Suffolk coast by Sir Watson-Watts and his team The minesweepers based at Lowestoft in the Second World War were part of the Royal Naval Patrol Service, otherwise known as ‘Harry Tate’s Navy’. Its headquarters was at Sparrow’s Nest, the municipal pleasure ground at Lowestoft.

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