Pupils remember the First World War soldiers who never came home

A Derbyshire school came up with a moving way to remember the young men who went to fight in the First World War and never came back.

Shortly before pupils and staff at Shirebrook Academy near Mansfield paused to observe the two minutes’ silence on Remembrance Day, teachers handed out postcards bearing the names of seven local soldiers who lost their lives in the 1914 to 1918 war.

The teachers, dressed in army uniforms, were all from the humanities department.

The postcards were addressed to the soldiers’ families waiting at home for news and gave the names and ages of each serviceman.

They included Private George Hewitt, a 22-year-old Shirebrook man who died in 1916 and whose name is among those commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

The event was organised by Helen Newton, Shirebrook’s head of humanities. She was inspired by tributes held at UK railway stations on July 1 this year, when volunteers in First World War uniform gave pieces of paper to commuters to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

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