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St Luke's Primary School, London

Head boy and girl of St Luke's Primary School with newly installed war memorial plaque c. St Luke's Primary School, 2018
St Simon's Church war memorial being installed in St Luke's Primary School, Kilburn c. Taylor Pearce, 2018
St Simon's Church war memorial plaque, Kilburn rehomed in local primary school c. Taylor Pearce,  2018
  • County name: London
  • Group/School name: St Luke's Primary School
  • Age group: 5 - 11
  • Group type: Teams Reception to 6

In 2001 a war memorial plaque was given to War Memorials Trust after it had been rescued from a skip by the Royal British Legion, Kilburn.  Very little was known about the memorial apart from that it had originally been in a church as the inscription read “This tablet and the window in the North side of the sanctuary are dedicated to the glory of God and in memory of the following from this Church and Parish”.  Seventeen years after the memorial was handed over, the Trust were delighted to find a new home and custodian for the plaque.  Many hours of research were carried out by WMT’s volunteers before the story of the memorial became clear.  St Luke’s Primary School in Kilburn has close links to the church of the same name which is the successor church of St Simon’s Church where it is strongly believed the war memorial plaque (www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/124525) originally came from.  The memorial was installed in St. Luke’s Primary School in February 2018 as it was considered to be an important educational tool to teach young people about those who lost their lives in the local area during World War I.  To commence this learning and share the history of the memorial with staff and pupils our Learning Officer visited the school in March 2018 for a whole day.

 

They day began with a whole school assembly where pupils were alerted to the fact that their school was now the home of a war memorial.  Many pupils had seen the new addition when they returned from half term but were unsure what the plaque was and why it had a new home in their school.  While explaining it was a war memorial and what a war memorial is the pupils were shown a variety of war memorials within the local area.  They were particularly interested in the vets nearby which opened in 1932 in memory of the animals who lost their lives in the First World War (www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/167219).

 

After the assembly, our Learning Officer carried out sessions with pupils from Team Reception up to Team 5.  Pupils in Teams Reception were asked to consider what other special objects there were in school and then were told the story of how the war memorial came to be in their school.  The pupils then went to look at the memorial itself so they could describe it and count the number of people commemorated.  

 

Teams 1 and 2 were engaged in a few activities to consolidate what they had learnt in the assembly.  They then learnt about the history of the memorial and were asked to consider if they thought it was a good or a bad thing to throw the war memorial into a skip and why.  The session was rounded off by looking at the memorial itself in detail and highlighting on a map where some of the men who are named on the memorial lived before they went away to war.  The pupils were really interested in the memorial and asked lots of questions including ‘why aren’t there any women named on the war memorial?”.

 

Teams 3, 4 and 5 were initially asked to share what they had learnt from the assembly earlier in the day with a number of key questions displayed to prompt their discussions. They then carried out a mapping activating which asked them to plot the addresses of some of the men named on the plaque on a map of the local area.  This highlighted that many of the men lived on the roads near to the school and some pupils identified that today they live on the same streets creating a link with fallen of 100 years ago.  As the session ended pupils were asked, given the amount of time and work that went into finding out where the war memorial plaque came from, did they felt it was important for war memorials to be on display so they can be seen or is it okay for them to stay in storage forever. 

 

The visit to St Luke’s Primary School was a very enjoyable one. It raised awareness of the importance of war memorials with those who we would like to see become the custodians of the future by helping pupils form a personal connection with the war memorial in their school and those named on it.

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