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Henham and Ugley Primary School

Henham war memorial, Essex
  • County name: Essex
  • Group/School name: Henham and Ugley Primary School
  • Age group: 5 - 11
  • Group type:

War Memorials Trust was contacted by Henham and Ugley Primary School, Essex, early in 2014 because the school was keen for its pupils to know more about the war memorials in the village. The memorials and the people named on them had been researched and the information put onto the village’s website, and the visit involved the whole school working with the Trust’s Learning Officer in different ways to find out more about the memorial and those it commemorated.

The visit took place in October 2014, shortly after the World War I Centenary commemorations had started and in preparation for Remembrance Day. The day started with the Learning Officer delivering a whole school assembly about war memorials. This provided all pupils with a general introduction to the subject and set the scene for the rest of the day. The assembly covered what war memorials are for and some of the different forms that they can take – from traditional monuments to more unusual ones such as buildings.

The rest of the day involved working with the schools Year 4, 5, and 6 classes. The Year 4 and 5 pupils were taken to visit the village’s war memorial. There are several memorials in the village. The one the children were taken to is a small granite column with a marble plaque fixed to it. The plaque lists 15 names of those who died in World War I and a further name of a local man who died in World War II. This stands in the centre of the village. Additionally there are two plaques in the local church listing those who died in both wars and several rolls of honour listing all who enlisted. There are also several CWGC burials in the churchyard.

During the visit pupils completed WMT’s 'Looking at a war memorial' resource sheet and were told some facts about its unveiling, in 1921, and about the men named on it. Of the 15 men who were killed in World War I, only 2 were older than 25 and most were under 20. The children were also interested to learn where some of them had lived in the village – many addresses were places they were familiar with which helped them appreciate the personal significance of the memorial to villagers at the time.

The afternoon of the visit was spent with Year 6 pupils who were taught how to research the names of the people the war memorial commemorates. Using the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and the comprehensive information provided on the village website they learned how to use different sources and combine the information to answer questions they had developed about the people named on the memorial.

Following the visit we received feedback from the school which said that the children had enjoyed the visit and were’ completely engaged in the work set.’ It was wonderful to work with such enthusiastic pupils and we are glad that the visit helped them understand more about their local war memorial.

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