Romsey Remembering

Romsey Remembering

Romsey Remembering

A two year project undertaken by The Romsey School culminated in the screening of an hour long documentary at the Romsey Town Hall. The Film was attended by a number of local dignitaries including the Mayor. The audience were impressed by the professional feel of the documentary and moved by the stories uncovered by the pupils with help from local historians Victoria Burbridge, Phoebe Merrick and Pete Chapman.

Keith Turk travelled over 60 miles to the screening, his great uncle Victor Mares was killed at the age of 19 in Passchendaele and appears on both the Romsey War Memorial and the Menin Gate in Belgium.

Such was the interest in the project that History teacher Dan Lea and Year 11 pupils Sam Kemp, Dan Windibank and Maisie Lake were invited into the BBC South Today studios to be interviewed by Sally Taylor. They explained how they had made the documentary, including building a trench in Sam’s garden and the impact that the individual stories had made.

Dan Lea was full of praise for the pupils and explained that ‘All the pupils involved in this project have been amazing and the fact the BBC took time to discuss the documentary is a wonderful acknowledgment of their hard work.’

Pupils had initially set out to research the names of WW1 soldiers listed on the Romsey War Memorial. Detailed research of the names on the Memorial uncovered a number of moving stories, and really brought to life the names carved into the stone.

It was clear that having loved one’s names on the memorial was very important to their families, in fact pupils discovered that not everyone on the memorial was actually from Romsey; one man appeared there because his Sister was in service close-by. This made the pupils realise that the story they wanted to tell was about the men on the memorial and the experience of Romsey during World War One.

The project is now set to enter a new phase in which a piece of artwork will be produced which will contain the names of people who died in WW1 as chosen by pupils and staff at the school. Everyone will be invited to put forward a name and a reason for their choice.