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News and Events at Sheffield Springs Academy

Remembering the Fallen

~Sheffield Springs students go back in time to trace WW1 family heroes~

Students from Sheffield Springs Academy took a trip back in time to trace their WW1 relatives, making a special overseas pilgrimage to pay tribute to them.

And as a lasting legacy, the academy, with the support of the West and South Yorkshire Royal British Legion, has now created a permanent memorial at its Hurlfield Road site to ensure Sheffield’s fallen heroes are never forgotten.

The academy’s Year 9 and 10 students turned detective when studying the horrors of the First World War in history, with Tyler Doman, Aaron Stokes, Samuel Longstone actually tracing relatives who had fought and died in the Sheffield version of the famous ‘pals’ battalions – groups of friends and in some cases, relatives, from the same towns and cities who trained, fought and died together. In Sam’s case he dug up the information of a great great uncle Gordon’s dump cemetery.

A trip to France and Belgium in April then gave the students the opportunity to visit the infamous battlefields of the Somme and Flanders Field, the Vimy Ridge trenches and Vimy memorial. The students also attended the ‘Last Post’ service at Menin Gate, Ypres and the Serre Memorial, sited on land bought by Sheffield City Council, where they laid a wreath in remembrance of the 517 dead and 75 injured from Sheffield, most of whom fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. 

Now the academy has created a dedicated memorial to the ‘Sheffield Pals,’ planting poppy seeds provided by the Royal British Legion, along with a plaque with the words: Sheffield Springs Academy remembers those who gave their lives in the first World War 1914-1918, “At the going down of the sun and in the morning – we will remember them.” This last line is from Laurence Binyon’s famous poem, The Fallen, studied by the students. 

And on Monday (16th June), Christine Spencer, County Chairman for West & South Yorkshire Royal British Legion and members Veteran Mr D Gillott and Normandy Veteran Mr B Hartley, just back from taking part in the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, visited the academy to take part in a special plaque unveiling and poppy planting ceremony.   

Students reflected fondly on the meeting, seeming surprised, touched and a little humbled at the stories the men told and the importance of their past actions to the present day. 

Sheffield Springs Academy Principal Russell Heritage commented:

“We must never forget the events of the First World War. This project has helped give our students an insight into what life was like for soldiers in the trenches and the true horrors of war. Our new memorial will also help remind all students and staff at the academy of the sacrifices made by the people of Sheffield during this terrible conflict.”

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