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Remembering the World Wars

Tuesday, 25 November, 2014 -- Helen Wilson

To commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, Eltham College has organised a number of special events.  In June 2014 the entire Year 9 group visited the WW1 Battlefields and laid wreaths at the graves of OEs Eric Claxton and Arthur Carnegie (see previous issue of Plane Talking for a full report).  A major exhibition in the school Library shows not only what happened to all 34 OEs who died in WW1 but also displays letters and artefacts from that time.  The pupils in Years 6 and 9 have made a special study of the fallen from the Great War, using full access to Ancestry.co.uk, of which free use was negotiated by OE Peter Wootton (1969). Peter has also been showing the pupils how to use the website.  The school magazines from the 1914-18 period have been available online for pupils, parents and OEs.

A poppy was purchased from the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red instalment at the Tower of London by Eltham College in memory of the 34 OEs who died in WWI.  The poppy will be on permanent display in the school for future generations to see.


Further related activities have included talks in Chapel by Archivist Mark Stickings and the major exhibition in the Gerald Moore Gallery – Not Warriors, Just Men – which juxtaposes battlefront scenes from the Western Front in 1914 and Afghanistan in 2013.  The focus this year has been more on the Great War, while also continuing to remember the sacrifices of OEs in the Second World War.


At our Remembrance Day service on Tuesday 11 November, the OEs were well represented, including Leonard Lovelock who left Eltham College in 1939 and personally knew several of the names on the WWII memorial.  OE David Norris (1958) laid a wreath along with Headmaster Guy Sanderson and Head Prefect Aran Tawana.  After the service the OEs visited the Gerald Moore Gallery to see the exhibition there.  OEs are always welcome at our Remembrance Day service – if you would like to join us next year, please contact Helen in the Development Office.