On Friday 11th November 2016, Larissa Allwork (Impact Fellow) and Mike Noble (Community Liaison Officer) marked Armistice Day by attending Blue Coat Church of England (Aided) Infant and Junior Schools’ Federation, World War One Commemoration event at St. Matthew’s Church, Walsall. The morning commemoration event was performed to a full congregation of teachers, school pupils, parents and other community members.
A group of students led by project leader Jane Mason, have spent the past six months participating in a Heritage Lottery Funded project, researching information about the lives of soldiers linked to Walsall during the 1914-1918 conflict. Students have worked with a historian, composer, dramatist and media presenter to deepen their knowledge and awareness of the unique contribution that was made by people that lived in Walsall during the conflict- including those from Asian and Afro-Caribbean countries.
The commemoration event – which lasted approximately forty five minutes – featured the children presenting drama, films, readings and poetry recitals. ‘Song Somme’ especially composed for the project by Colin King was performed by Blue Coat Junior School Choir. The commemoration also included two minutes of silence for remembering those that died during the 1914-1918 conflict. Mike Noble and the University of Nottingham were also thanked for their involvement in the project. Head of Blue Coat Junior Infant Federation, Peter Prasadam praised the children’s dedication in realising the project: “This wonderful group of children from our school…have been working really hard over the past four months in a special project led by Jane Mason…Enjoy it but learn from it. Remember those lives of soldiers who lived so long ago, who gave so much for our country.”