Text by Sean Smart, Head of History
We started the research in 2012 with the then Year 7 scholarship group. I had looked at the School War memorial often and wondered who the men were. I asked around and no one knew anything about them. Over the Easter break I took a few notes, researched some of the names and started to uncover a few details. I thought then it would be a good project for the scholars in that they would learn some research skills, some modern history and enjoy/learn from the experience.
It turned out to be a very popular project with the class researching in their own time and we quickly uncovered details on most of them. We got stuck on a few so with help from the local papers and the Western Front Association we advertised for help from anyone who might know the families. Eventually some families came forward but before that a number of researchers came forward and were happy to share their research and skills and we traced everyone on the Memorial. Then we started to uncover people who weren’t on the memorial and that was amazing.
The boys were amazed that we uncovered a young General (General Philip Howell) on the memorial who little had been known of and to learn of others like Captain Elton who wasn’t on the memorial but was highly decorated and killed in 1917. After this the memorial was cleaned and renovated and a new plaque was added. A scroll too was made and erected in the Irving Room which lists everyone we discovered with a basic biography on them all. However, since then we have uncovered a few more! We also learned that at least one survived the war and shouldn’t be on the memorial.
So we started with around 41 names on the memorial and have ended up with a list of 81 men.
For further information about the project visit the school’s website.