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Ore Village Primary Academy and Guestling Bradshaw Church of England Primary School, East Sussex

KS2 pupils from Guestling Bradshaw CofE Primary School and Ore Village Primary Academy looking at war memorial images © Guestling Bradshaw CofE Primary School, 2018
KS2 pupils from Guestling Bradshaw CofE Primary School and Ore Village Primary Academy looking at and discussing war memorial inscriptions with WMT Learning Officer © Guestling Bradshaw CofE Primary School, 2018
KS2 pupils from Guestling Bradshaw CofE Primary School and Ore Village Primary Academy carrying out condition survey at Ore war memorial © H Spencer, 2018
  • County name: East Sussex
  • Group/School name: Ore Village Primary Academy and Guestling Bradshaw Church of England Primary School
  • Age group: 5 - 11
  • Group type: Key Stage 2

This learning visit was carried out in collaboration with Historic England’s Heritage Schools Programme.  The Local Heritage Education Manager for London and the South East delivered a training session for schools in Hastings and the surrounding area.  From this session, a number of schools are set to embark on projects about how World War I affected the local area.  Two of the schools, Guestling Bradshaw Church of England Primary School and Ore Village Primary Academy, decided to work collaboratively with the ultimate aim of listing Ore war memorial which is located outside Christ Church in the village.  Our Learning Officer and the Local Heritage Education Manager spent a day and a half with a small group of Key Stage 2 pupils from both schools looking at the impact of the Great War on the local area as well as the history and current condition of the war memorial.

The first afternoon was divided into two sessions.  The Local Heritage Education Manager gave the pupils an understanding of World War I: which countries were involved, what happened during the war and what happened when the war ended in 1918.  One activity involved pupils being given an image or photograph which showed an event which had taken place during or shortly after the war. They had to find the caption which matched their image and then order them so that they had created a timeline.  WMT’s Learning Officer then gave the pupils an introduction to what war memorials are using local examples, when they were created and why so many were created following World War I.  The afternoon ended with pupils considering the problems which may face memorials ahead of their visit to the memorial the next day.

The second day began with the Local Heritage Education Manager explaining what Listing is and highlighting some of the buildings, monuments and sites listed in Ore.  For the Listing application, information about the history of Ore war memorial was needed.  Pupils used an article about the unveiling of the memorial from February 1921 to find out the majority of this information.   Pupils were then given the name of someone from Ore who had been killed on active service during World War I to research.  Pupils used information taken from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the 1911 census and military records to build up a picture of who the person was before the war and what happened to them.  One pupil commented that she felt like she was on the programme Who Do You Think You Are when carrying out the research.

The second session of the day was spent at Ore war memorial, where pupils carried out a condition survey.  Despite the wet weather, the pupils really took their time with the condition survey making sure  they recorded anything which caused them concern.  The pupils who were given the role of photographers made sure that each concern was photographed.  The pupils then carried out the Listing survey in order to ensure they had all the information about the memorial including the type, the material, the number of names and the inscriptions which they would need to complete the Listing application.

At the start of the afternoon the pupils uploaded their condition survey to War Memorials Online.  Although the memorial had a record on the website there was no photo or condition survey.  Pupils were delighted to be able to add one of the photographs they had taken and upload the results of their survey to record that the memorial is in a fair condition.  Pupils decided on this condition level because:

  • one or two of the stones have small cracks
  • parts of the mortar between the stones is missing
  • the hedge surrounding the memorial needs cutting back
  • rust on the low metal fence surrounding the memorial
  • parts of the letters in the names and dedication were missing

The information for the Listing application was then collated.  The last part of the afternoon was spent sharing the information they had found about the person they had been researching and looking at some World War I artefacts.

It was a real pleasure to work with the pupils from both schools.  They showed a huge amount of enthusiasm and interest in their local heritage and also were very thorough when considering the condition level of the war memorial.  I do hope that they are successful with their application to list Ore war memorial.

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