You are here:

Bream Primary School, Gloucestershire 2013

A primary school class working on their research of the local war memorial © War Memorials Trust, 2013
Bream war memorial cenotaph, Gloucestershire © War Memorials Trust, 2013
Pupils researching the names on their local war memorial © War Memorials Trust, 2013
  • County name: Gloucestershire
  • Group/School name: Bream Primary School
  • Age group: 5 - 11
  • Group type: Primary School

War Memorials Trust first visited Bream Primary School in November 2012 to assist with the school’s commemoration of Remembrance Day. An account of this visit can be found in the Trust’s primary school learning showcase. Following this visit the Trust’s Learning Officer was delighted to be contacted again by the staff at the school and to return to the school for another visit in November 2013. The new Year 5 class had been learning about the Second World War during the first part of the term and War Memorials Trust’s Learning Officer worked with pupils on lessons about how the World Wars are remembered, the importance of Remembrance and the people from their village who had fought in them.

The day started with an introductory session, during which the pupils explained what they had been learning about during their Second World War topic and what they already understood about war memorials. The class then used a timeline to find out how long ago the two World Wars took place and when many of the UK’s war memorials were created. They also had a go at guessing how many war memorials there are in the UK and were surprised at the answer! They also used pictures from War Memorials Trust’s Gallery of war memorials to look for clues about when the war memorials were created, who created them and why, and what they commemorate.

Moving on from this, the remainder of the day focused on researching the names that are listed on the school’s local war memorial. Bream’s war memorial ( is a cenotaph and is situated in a prominent position in the village so that it overlooks the surrounding countryside. On the front face of the memorial are inscribed the words ‘To our glorious dead’ above which is a panel listing names of the fallen, with a wreath carved in relief above the names and a cross located on the top of the panel. Similar panels listing further names are located on the other sides of the memorial; the dead from the First and Second World Wars are listed. The war memorial is surrounded by gates and set in the grassed area at the roadside.

Unfortunately a visit to the memorial was not possible on the day, so pupils used a list of the names on the memorial and chose the ones they wanted to research. War Memorials Trust’s Learning Officer then taught pupils to use the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s database of war casualties to find out information about who those people were. Staff at the school also had a thorough knowledge of the local area and its history, and were able to add to the children’s research using local stories and information. This sort of knowledge is so valuable when teaching young people about war memorials and particularly about their place in the community and the people they commemorate – often local information provides the ‘missing pieces’ that more official information doesn’t contain, and for young people finding out a fact that helps relate the name or the war memorial to things in their local area with which they are familiar can really help them understand the impact of war locally and so the importance of the war memorial. Pupils were particularly interested to find out the ages of the men and women named on the memorial and what they did during the war, especially having learned about some key jobs during their earlier studies of the Second World War.  

At the end of the visit pupils were keen to share what they had found out about the people commemorated on the memorial with the rest of their class so they developed a good awareness of what their local war memorial stands for by hearing information about a number of the people named on it. The visit took place just before Remembrance Day and the Trust hopes that its visit helped the pupils understand the events of 11th November better.

An update to our privacy policy

This site uses cookies to help us keep the site relevant and to make your experience better. To comply with recent EU legislation we need to ask for your consent in using these cookies on your computer. For a full list of exactly how we use cookies on this site please read our Cookie Policy.

Please note: By NOT accepting cookies you will experience some reduction in functionality of this site. By continuing to use our site we will assume an implied consent.

I accept

This notice should appear only the first time you visit the site.