Homes for heroes: The bungalows built as a testament to Norfolk's sacrifice

Opening ceremony of the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich 1951

The Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich. These homes were built in honour of the Royal Norfolk Regiment soldiers that died during the conflict and housed surviving veterans disabled during the Second World War. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and miss the hidden history all around us.

Many of us sit in Norwich traffic or walk through the city, perhaps not realising that portals to the past are but a few feet away.

One such place is a secluded spot nestled near Mousehold Heath where a slice of Norfolk history is remembered. 

Sir Edmund Bacon inspecting the guard of honour at the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich

The Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Edmund Bacon inspecting the guard of honour before the opening ceremony of the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

Built between 1948-1950, the Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane were constructed to house Royal Norfolk Regiment soldiers that had been disabled in combat and in memory of their 2,025 comrades who died during the Second World War. 

Royal Norfolk Regiment Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane in Norwich during construction

Men at work on the foundations of the Royal Norfolk Regiment Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane in Norwich during construction. In the background are the Memorial Cottages built after the First World War. Dated: December 29, 1949. Accessed through Local Recall at localrecall.co.uk. - Credit: Archant Library

The bungalows were made possible by community fundraising efforts and the Norwich Home Guard that presented the land at a cost of £4,000 to the Royal Norfolk Regiment Memorial Trust.

They sit next to the Memorial Cottages which were built after the First World War to honour the 'Norfolks' who never returned from that terrible conflict. 

Royal Norfolk Regiment Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane in Norwich during construction in 1950

Progress underway during construction of the Royal Norfolk Regiment Second World War Memorial Bungalows for disabled veterans on Mousehold Lane in Norwich. Dated: June 24, 1950. Accessed through Local Recall at localrecall.co.uk. - Credit: Archant Library

Cecil Upcher was the architect behind both sets of memorial buildings. Himself a First World War veteran, he served with the 9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment but returned to his architecture practice after being wounded in 1915 and succumbing to shell shock in 1916. 

The six terraced bungalows were built in a quarter circle terrace and a Vernacular Baroque style with curving Dutch gables. 

The Memorial Bungalows were opened in July 1951 by H.M. Lieutenant for Norfolk, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Edmund Bacon. 

Norwich -- BuildingsOpening ceremony of the six new War Memorial Cottages on Mousehold Lane. Nor

The Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Edmund Bacon (walking, on the left, dark uniform) passing by honoured guests during the opening ceremony of the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

Sir Edmund Bacon gives a speech at the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich in 1951.

Sir Edmund Bacon gives a speech at the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich during the opening ceremony. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

Sir Edmund Bacon placing a flag at the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich.

Sir Edmund Bacon placing a flag during the opening ceremony of the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

Most Read

"We are proud to know that we have a regiment bearing the county name, which has always throughout its long history borne a high reputation in days of peace and claimed great honour and achievement in time of war," said Sir Edmund.

Official guests included the Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Norwich, the Earl and Lady of Leicester, various military officials alongside representatives from the Home Guard and British Legion.

Sir Edmund Bacon speaks to guests at the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich 1951

Sir Edmund Bacon speaks to honoured guests at the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich opening ceremony. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

Lord Mayor of Norwich Eric Hinde lays a wreath at the Second World War Memorial bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich in 1951

Lord Mayor of Norwich Eric Hinde lays a wreath during the opening ceremony of the six new War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich, in memory of the 2025 officers and men of the Royal Norfolk Regiment who died in the Second World War. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

Opening ceremony of the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich 1951

The opening ceremony of the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich. These homes were built in honour of the Royal Norfolk Regiment soldiers that died during the conflict and they housed surviving veterans disabled during the Second World War. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

The Sprowston Parish Church choir led the singing with the combined Regimental and 4th Battallion bands performing the music to accompany them. 

Please enjoy reliving the opening of this hidden Norwich war memorial by browsing these old pictures of the event from our archive. 

Sir Edmund Bacon lays a wreath at the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich 1951.

The Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Edmund Bacon lays a wreath during the opening ceremony of the Second World War Memorial Bungalows on Mousehold Lane, Norwich. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

Guard of honour at Second World War Memorial Bungalows in Norwich 1951

The Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Edmund Bacon inspected the guard of honour when opening the Second World War Memorial Bungalows for disabled veterans and in honour of the fallen Norfolk Regiment sacrifices in WWII on Mousehold Lane, Norwich. Dated: July 7, 1951. - Credit: Archant Library

Revisit local news coverage of events like this and search the EDP archives with Local Recall. Explore 150 years of history from your PC, laptop or voice-activated device at localrecall.co.uk.  

       


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus