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War Memorials Trust visit to Dumfries and Galloway schools

Supporting image for showcase 'War Memorials Trust visit to Dumfries and Galloway schools'
Supporting image for showcase 'War Memorials Trust visit to Dumfries and Galloway schools'
Supporting image for showcase 'War Memorials Trust visit to Dumfries and Galloway schools'
  • County name: Dumfries and Galloway
  • Group/School name: Dumfries and Galloway schools
  • Age group: 11 - 18
  • Group type: Secondary School

War Memorials Trust works to protect and conserve all war memorials in the UK, and the charity’s Learning Programme also covers the whole of the UK. However, with one Learning Officer who is based in London, it is not often we have the opportunity to work with schools in Scotland. The Trust’s Learning Officer was therefore pleased to be invited to Dumfries and Galloway by the Gretna, Springfield and Eastriggs First World War Commemoration Project, chaired by local Councillor Archie Dryburgh, in June 2014. The purpose of the visit was to help educate local school pupils about their local war memorials and the people from their area that fought in the First World War, to tie in with the area’s First World War centenary commemorations. It was also a wonderful opportunity to build links between the Trust and the local area as we approach the start of the First World War centenary.

The three day visit started in Lockerbie, where the Trust’s Learning Officer delivered a talk to pupils from Lockerbie Academy and Lockerbie Primary Schools. The talk explained to pupils information such as:

 

  • What war memorials are
  • Why we have war memorials
  • The history of the UK’s war memorials, when they were created and why they were so important to communities
  • Why war memorials are still important and what young people today can do to help look after them
  • Information about their local war memorials and some of the people named on them.

 

One particularly interesting local story that the talk outlined was that of the three Trodden brothers, whose names appear on the Annan war memorial and who were all killed during the First World War. The pupils heard about the brothers and what happened to them, and tried to consider the impact this would have had on their family and local community. Understanding that this was just one of thousands of families affected by the war helped to highlight the scale of the First World War and its impact.

The second and third days of the visit saw similar talks being given in Langholm, Moffat, Annan and Gretna. At each one other local schools brought their pupils to participate in the talk, meaning that over the three days War Memorials Trust was able to work with approximately 600 pupils. While it is great to work with so many young people, unfortunately we could not get to every school in the area in the time we had. To ensure these schools did not lose out, the talks that were delivered were filmed and this footage is being edited into a short film to be used by other schools in the area so that they too can learn about their local war memorials and the fascinating history behind them. A sample of the film can be seen in the link below.

 

www.annandale.tv/stories/4683-local-school-children-learn-about-war-memorials

 

As well as delivering these talks, while in Dumfries and Galloway the Trust’s Learning Officer had the opportunity to visit some of the local war memorials in person to see some interesting examples and collect information about and photographs of them. The Trust is extremely grateful to members of the Gretna, Springfield and Eastriggs First World War Commemoration Project Committee for facilitating this and for arranging the whole visit.

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