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Hollingworth Primary School, Greater Manchester

War Memorial Trust's Learning Officer and yr 6 pupils from Hollingworth Primary visitng the Hollingworth war memoral c. S Featherston, 2018
Yr 6 pupils from Hollingworth Primary School carrying out condition survey at Hollingworth war memorial c. interference-art, 2018
Yr 6 pupild from Hollingworth Primary School researching the names of those commemorated on Hollingworth war memorial c. S Featherston, 2018
  • County name: Greater Manchester
  • Group/School name: Hollingworth Primary School
  • Age group: 5 - 11
  • Group type: Year 6

In December 2017, WMT’s Learning Officer was delighted to be contacted by a member of the Friends of Hollingworth.  The group had submitted a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for a project titled ‘Lest we forget’ which focused on the village war memorial.  The project involved cleaning and repairs to the memorial, the collation of research which had been carried out on the 89 men from Hollingworth who died during World War I (40 of whom are commemorated on the memorial) and an art project with the local primary school.  Friends of Hollingworth asked our Learning Officer to work with the school for a whole day, principally with the year 6 class who they wanted to visit the memorial before embarking on Arts Award project linked to the 89 men of Hollingworth. 

The visit took place on a sunny day in May after year 6 had completed SATs week.  The day begin with an assembly for key stage 2 which focused on World War I and memorials.  Pupils were asked to share what they knew about World War I and were then given some key facts about the war and what happened afterwards including the creation of war memorials across the UK.  Pupils were asked to consider why people wanted to create war memorials.  They were then shown a range of memorials within the local area as well as two located in Manchester Victoria Station.  The assembly concluded with an image of Hollingworth war memorial and pupils were asked to stop to take a moment to reflect and remember the men from Hollingworth who commemorated on the memorial the next time they walk past it.

The rest of the day was spent with year 6 and provided a good introduction to their Arts Award project ‘A Local Hero Hollingworth: Lest we forget”.  Pupils were asked to think back to the assembly and share what they know about war memorials.  They were able to share a lot of information and also had a few new facts highlighted to them as well.  Pupils were shown some inscriptions from war memorials and asked to use these to consider why so many war memorials were created following World War I.  Pupils raised points including the wishes of the community to remember those who died, that many of the fallen were buried elsewhere and the desire for future generations to remember the sacrifice made by so many.

After the follow up to the assembly the year 6 class visited Hollingworth war memorial (www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/253678).  Here they took a moment to describe the shape of the memorial and were able to identify that it was a Latin cross on an octagonal plinth with a three stepped base.  Pupils were then given the opportunity to look round the 8 sides of the memorial and look carefully at the inscriptions to see what they could find out.  Pupils identified the inscription and names from World War I, those from World War II including the names of three civilians, the recognition that the memorial as funded by public subscription and a single name from the Iraq war.  The story of the three civilians and how they had died was shared with pupils. 

Pupils were then split into groups of Building Surveyors, Conservators and Landscape Surveyors to carry out a condition survey of the memorial.  Pupils were very thorough and looked very closely at the memorial.  They pointed out that one or two letters from the names and inscriptions are missing and were pleased to find out that this was soon to be rectified as part of the works being carried out.  Photos were also taken by pupils to highlight anything which concerned them. 

 

The first task after visiting the memorial was to upload the condition survey to War Memorials Online.  The pupils gave an overall condition level of Fair due to the missing letters and some uneven paving stones surrounding the memorial.  The Conservators agreed that the condition of the stone was Good as this had recently been cleaned to remove the dirt and moss which had built up.

The afternoon was spent researching some of the men named on the memorial which pupils had selected during their visit earlier in the day.  The pupils used the Commonwealth War Graves Commission ‘Find War Dead’ database to find out information about their chosen name such as the date they died, their age, rank, regiment and relatives.  Pupils were then able to use a website which was set up by the Friends of Hollingworth, which has information about the 89 of Hollingworth and a map with a poppy trail on which shows where each of the men lived, to confirm they had the correct information and also to find out more.  Pupils really enjoyed exploring this as it also allowed them to look at where they live now and see if any of the men lived on the same road. 

The day finished with pupils sharing some of the particularly interesting facts which they found out including:

  • James Daniels' father was the caretaker of the Hollingworth School when it first opened in 1909
  • George Louis Delaunay was killed on 1st July 1916 and is commemorated on Theipval Memorial at the Somme, France.  This suggested that Delauney was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  Sadly it took 8 months for the news of his death to reach his parents.

It was a delight to visit and work with pupils at Hollingworth Primary School.  The year 6 pupils worked superbly showing real care when carrying out the condition survey and huge amounts of interest when researching.  It is hoped that what was learnt today provides an excellent introduction to the Arts Award project that they are continuing with over the course of the summer term.  We look forward to hearing about and see the finished work from the project.

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