The Dedication Service of Newtown Linford Primary School’s War Memorial Stone
We held our dedication service on Tuesday 10th November which was led by Revd. Peter Hooper and we were highly honoured that our Memorial was unveiled by Lady Gretton who, as Lord-Lieutenant, is the official representative of Her Majesty The Queen for the County and City of Leicester.
We were also very fortunate to have Mr D Snartt, Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, the Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood and Col.R Martin OBE DL, President of Leicestershire and Rutland County Royal British Legion in attendance. Mr David Snartt has been a significant part of our school life for many years. He grew up living next to the school, attended the school and was on our Governing Body for many years, holding the position of Chair and Vice Chair of Governors.
It was a very thought provoking service as children read out poems they had written about the war, read most of the prayers and placed a wreath on the stone. All our Y5/6 children also played on their brass instruments Abide with Me. Every child was part of the service along with a number of local residents and family members of children at our school and it ended with children giving out thank you gifts to our special guests and those who have been instrumental in enabling us to have our war memorial. After the service we shared refreshments and raised money for The British Legion by selling cakes. On display here was children’s work which showed what the memorial meant to them, poetry they had written and research they had carried out about Lady Gretton, the Cenotaph, The British Legion and the poppy. The work produced about Lady Gretton was also presented to her.
The start of the journey to having our own war memorial began over a year ago with our award winning entry in the Scarecrow Festival telling the War Story of ‘Stanley Smith.’ Our scarecrows showed his marriage, time in the trenches and also him being nursed by Edith Cavell. The children also included as part of the display a significant amount of written work which showed their level of interest and how important remembrance was to them. We were very proud to have won the Group Entry and also the People’s Choice within the competition and over the weekend our school was a focal point within the village as our scarecrows and the children’s work was discussed time and time again.
The messages written by the children on poppies and by people who visited our display over the weekend were made into a memorial and laid on the grave of Private Joseph Spence on Remembrance Day last year. Here we met Mr Terry Spence, his grandson and we have enjoyed keeping in touch with him. We very pleased he was also able to join us at our Dedication Service.
At Christmas our oldest children acted out the Christmas Truce and also shared with us poetry they had written during their English unit of work studying war poetry.
It was at this point Mrs French one of our Teaching Assistants started working hard with Mr Rowlinson to enable us to have our own War Memorial. Without their hard work and dedication we wouldn’t have our stone today and to them we are truly grateful. Donations received from the Parish Council, a local resident and also Friends of Newtown Linford Primary School enabled this memorial to be funded within our school. Old Cliff Quarry also chose and donated the beautiful piece of stone.
War Memorial Programme 2015