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Mytholmroyd Cub Pack

Mytholmroyd Cubs looking at Men of Mytholmroyd District war memorial during night time visit © War Memorials Trust, 2018
Mytholmroyd Cubs looking at Men of Mytholmroyd District war memorial during night time visit 2 © War Memorials Trust, 2018
Mytholmroyd Cubs being shown the maquette which was used to carve the new head on Mytholmroyd war memorial © War Memorials Trust, 2018
  • County name: West Yorkshire
  • Group/School name: Mytholmroyd Cubs
  • Age group: 7 - 10
  • Group type: Cubs

In the lead up to Remembrance Day 2018, War Memorials Trust’s Learning Officer visited one of the primary schools in Mytholmroyd.  Through this, the opportunity arose to visit the local cub pack as well.  The session with the cubs included a torchlight visit to the local war memorial so that they could find out what war memorials are.  A local resident who was involved in the works which were carried out to the war memorial in 2009 also attended the session along with a former WMT Conservation Officer.  Both were able to add another level of detail when exploring local war memorials and could comment on the stone which the memorial is made from.

The session began with a quick introduction before heading straight to Men of Mytholmroyd Urban District war memorial.  The cubs were asked to look carefully at the war memorial and find clues which could help them to explain what war memorials are.  They were asked to consider clues which would contribute to explaining what war memorials look like and also when and why they were created.  The main clues identified by the cubs were the solider stood on top of the war memorial and the dates of the two World Wars.

Back at the scout hut the cubs used the clues they found to help explain what war memorials are.  Through discussion the cubs were able to understand that war memorials can be any object which commemorates those who fought, died or were otherwise affected by war.  War memorials tended to be created by local communities through public subscription and there were never any rules about what they had to look like.  Other war memorials form the local area were then shown to highlight the variety of types.

The number of war memorials in the UK and when most were created was then discussed.  The story of two local soldiers Private Ernest G Hopkinson and Private John Helliwell, who both lived in Mytholmroyd, were then shared.  They are named on the war memorial which was erected in the Methodist Chapel and can now be found in St Michael’s Church.  Private Hopkinson was buried in France and Private Helliwell was buried in Greece.  This helped the cubs to understand that the bodies of the fallen during the First World War were not repatriated and that this was one of the reasons why war memorials, like the one in Mytholmroyd, were created in the years that followed.

Jade Smith, alocal resident involved in the war memorial project, was then able to talk to the cubs about the works that have taken place over the last few years and also highlight that war memorials do face problems from vandalism.  The head of the soldier on Mytholmroyd war memorial was broken off and thrown into the nearby river, shortly before Remembrance Day 2000.  This resulted in a stylised head being created and replacing the original in time for Remembrance Day.  When works were carried out in 2009 this also provided an opportunity to replace the stylised head with one that was much closer to the original design.  Jade was able to show the cubs the maquette that was created prior to the new stone head being carved.  She also revealed that she was the person who removed the stylised head with a saw before the new head was fixed in place.

Many of the cubs were due to attend the Remembrance Day service on Sunday and therefore this visit was very timely.  It enabled the cubs to have a more developed understanding of the importance of war memorials as well as the significance of Remembrance Day this year.  The torchlight visit to the war memorial was a new experience but one which was very interesting and was certainly enjoyed by the cubs.

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