The story of a local soldier’s experience in the trenches of France during the First World War helped students to gain an understanding of the sacrifices made.
In 2018 students Lewis Gavin and Jack Meredith travelled to France on a Government-sponsored trip to learn more of the wartime history. They saw for themselves the sites of battles, as well as museums and cemeteries.
Teacher of History Mr Nash who travelled with them explained, “Jack and Lewis discovered a local link amongst those who fought during the war. A fallen soldier named Charles Payne grew up close to Hunt Lane. Carrying out research in France, they were able to locate his name on the Thiepval war memorial near Amiens. Visiting the cemetery, we were able to lay a cross in remembrance.”
“This year we were able to develop the story further. We made contact Charles’ grandson, Vic Whittaker, and his wife who still live locally. They visited the school and shared with students’ personal mementoes and family photographs. In interactive lessons using an outstanding artefact collection, students heard Charles’ story, and imagined the experience of mem and women in Oldham who lived through the war.”
Retired history teacher Jason King again brought his extensive collection of items from the WW1 period into school. Students in Year 8 found out about army recruitment and training, life in the trenches for all armies involved, and life on the home front.
Over recent years, The Radclyffe School has developed a tradition of marking remembrance, helping all our students to be aware of the history of the First World War. On November 11th, the school fell silent for two minutes during our Act of Remembrance. Poppies combined with images of soldiers and thoughts about war and peace, helping students and staff to focus their recollection of the sacrifice and suffering of war.