Road to Ypres

A touring exhibition of the war photography of pioneering Norfolk photographer Olive Edis, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Road to Ypres tells the story of Edis’ commission by the Imperial War Museum to document the work of the women’s services overseas and is the first ever exhibition solely dedicated to Edis’ work during the First World War.

Olive Edis was one of the most important photographers of the early 20th century. At the height of her career she photographed the full spectrum of British society, from local fishermen and their families to prime ministers, royalty, scientists and artists. She lived and worked in North Norfolk, and had studios in Cromer and Sheringham, as well as London and Surrey.

The Road to Ypres: The War Photography of Olive Edis explores the unique collection of photographs taken by Edis during her month long tour of war-torn Europe in March 1919. She was the first British woman to be commissioned as an official war photographer, and one of only five British photographers ever commissioned to cover the First World War.

The exhibition brings together photographs from Cromer’s Olive Edis collection, some of which have never been displayed before, as well as rarely-seen photographs from the Imperial War Museum’s collection of her work. Extracts from Edis’ war diary bring the photographs to life and tell the story in the photographer’s own words.

A touchscreen offers access to a wider selection of work from Cromer’s Olive Edis collection, including autochromes and evocative portraits of North Norfolk fishermen, as well as audio recordings from Edis’ war journal.

For further information or to book this touring exhibition contact Alanna Baker, Exhibitions and Events,

You can see the exhibition at these venues:

King's Lynn Town Hall
2 September – 3 December 2017
King’s Lynn Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn, PE30 5DQ. Tel: 01553 777775

The Belfry Centre for the Arts
9 December 2017 – 7 January 2018
The Belfry Centre for the Arts, 23A Cromer Road, Overstrand, NR27 0NT. Tel: 01263 579196

Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library
10 January – 31 January 2018
Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1AW. Tel: 0344 800 8020

Sheringham Museum
6 June – 23 September 2018
Sheringham Museum, Lifeboat Plain, Sheringham, NR26 8BG. Tel: 01263 824482

A fully illustrated book Fishermen & Kings: The Photography of Olive Edis by Alistair Murphy and Elizabeth Elmore, includes a biography and 140 full-colour images, including a selection of Edis’ war photographs. It is available from the gift shop at Cromer Museum and some tour venues for £9.99.