War Memorial Cottages

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The ravages of war on humans taking part in such conflicts has over the years resulted in the provision of those left scarred as a consequence. This has left two legacies to conflict in this category in Sprowston.

Memorial Cottages – Oaktree Drive – off Mousehold Lane.

It seems surprising, unlike those built commemorating the Second World War, the First World War cottages are unlisted despite their obvious historic value. The Norfolk Regiment raised 32,375 fighting men of which 5,576 were killed and many thousands wounded returned to find the Land Fit for Heroes was not a reality. There was little work and many men suffered from ill health and frequently poor housing. With the Regiment’s and the public’s support money was raised to construct some housing as a memorial to the fallen. The support was outstanding; it became clear there were funds for more permanent homes rather than the temporary wooden buildings originally envisaged. It was fitting the architect should be Cecil Upcher, himself a volunteer with the Norfolk's, despite being invalided home he returned to the active duty, serving until the armistice. With the land obtained the building began in July 1920 and was completed in November 1921 other cottages were added in 1923 making a total of 12. As was the befitting, King George the Fifth took a keen interest in this project funded by the Army, Gentry and the general public subscription and visited the site to inspect the works then nearing completion. Today they still fulfil the same role as when built, 95 years ago.

The Memorial Bungalows – Mousehold Lane.

The regiment which had now become the Royal Norfolk Regiment turned up once again to the architect Cecil Upcher the architect responsible for the cottages built after World War I to fulfil the same role in World War II. This time it was only to construct a total of six bungalows rather than houses since this conflict had been on a different scale. The land was provided once again by the generosity of the public via the Norwich Home Guard. Constructed between 1948 and 1950 the uniqueness of construction of the six terraced bungalows built in an arc were given listed building status in 2006. As with their World War I counterparts the bungalows now administered by the Haig Trust still providing accommodation for those disabled whilst serving in our armed services.