On Monday, Year Eight visited Woodhorn Colliery and archives to see the ‘Poppies Weeping Window’ installation from the Tower of London. We learned all about the significance of the poppies, each representing one British life lost during the First World War. As part of the day, the pupils were shown archived materials relating to a man named George who lived in Morpeth. We viewed the conscription form which showed he’d signed up to be a soldier at the age of 20 in October 1915 (almost exactly 100 years ago) and his medical forms which were completed at the time. We also saw a photograph of him whilst training and a post card he sent back from the trenches. The final artefact was a telegraph informing his mother of his death after a gun shot wound. It was very moving but the pupils used what they’d learned to complete their own conscription forms, (using a quill!) medical forms, and post cards from the trenches.
Once we’d toured the site and learned more about mining, we visited the museum. After lunch, we were able to complete ‘post cards to the past’ giving our responses to how we’d found the poppy installation and giving messages of respect and remembrance to those who’d lost their lives. The day finished with an opportunity for the pupils to make their own poppies which we’ve brought back to school and are looking forward to displaying on 11 November 2015 in Fellside.
Below are some reflections written by pupils who attended the visit:
I enjoyed looking at the poppy display as it looked really appealing and was cleverly constructed. I also enjoyed learning about the kind of people that went down the mine and how the lifts worked to get them down there. I would like to have been even more involved in the tour! I liked making the poppies and doing the workshop. Jess H
Today’s trip made me think about the past and the sacrifice young and old people made to defend our country. I also loved the interactive activities and creative tasks as they taught me facts and information about World War 1. Jessica D T
Today at Woodhorn, we did many interesting and exciting activities. I especially liked making poppies and learning about the miners and their lives at work. I think we should learn even more about the war! It was really good. Josh S
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