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The lessons of war... pupils hear tales from the trenches

Stamford Queen Eleanor School's BBC Reporters Team. From left back, Libby Skellett, Year 9, Fergus Barrett, Year 10 and Alice Greaves-Robson, Year 9, front, Olivia Wilson, Jamie Kennerley-Bradshaw, Jaydon Latimer, Isobel Middleton and Amy Fraser, all Year 8 pupils

Stamford Queen Eleanor School's BBC Reporters Team. From left back, Libby Skellett, Year 9, Fergus Barrett, Year 10 and Alice Greaves-Robson, Year 9, front, Olivia Wilson, Jamie Kennerley-Bradshaw, Jaydon Latimer, Isobel Middleton and Amy Fraser, all Year 8 pupils

Pupils from Stamford Queen Eleanor School visited the last in a series of roadshows designed to collate information on the First World War. A team made up of volunteers from Stamford-based group Art Pop-Up, the Stamford branch of the Royal British Legion and Stamford Town Council ran six roadshows during February.

The aim of the roadshows was to collate memories and tales of how the First World War impacted Stamford, as well as artefacts, for a series of events to mark the centenary of the war.

The last of the roadshows was held at Stamford Town Hall on Friday last week and a team of BBC Schools Reporters from Stamford Queen Eleanor School in Green Lane went along to meet people displaying their artefacts and sharing their family stories. They have picked out a selection that caught their imagination:

Kate Riley from Stamford brought along her grandfather’s medals and certificates, which were obviously a great source of pride for her.

Amongst the items she had was a hand- annotated map of Belgium and part of France which her grandfather had actually used while on campaign. Kate also brought her grandmother’s diary from the period in which she had noted down her worries for her fiancé away at war and the impact the War’s outbreak was having on Stamford.

Another interesting item was the life-saving tobacco tin.

The family of a soldier called Herbert Stanton brought along a tobacco tin which Mr Stanton had stored in his left breast pocket.

He was shot but the impact was absorbed by his tin, the bullet was deflected and emerged from his hip!

Alongside the incredible tin was an army medical report confirming Mr Stanton had been shot and, something that we might find useful in our French lessons, he kept a list of French phrases in his tin to help him converse with French soldiers and local people.

Elizabeth Young brought along her grandfather’s medals. One medal ribbon bears an oak leaf which indicates a mention in despatches for outstanding bravery.

To make this even more special the medal was accompanied with the actual despatch form signed by Winston Churchill.

Andrew Baker and his son Sam actually recover First World War artefacts from where they were discarded 96 years ago in France.

They search old battle sites using metal detectors and return with a wide variety of objects from shovels to artillery cases.

All of these items displayed helped us to form a picture of what life was like during the First World War both for soldiers serving abroad but also the family and friends left behind.

We recorded interviews with many people there and will be presenting a special assembly at school.

 

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