To coincide with the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme Alleyn’s School in Dulwich has launched its commemorative World War One website http://ww1.alleyns.org.uk
The site explores the individual stories of boys from Alleyn’s who fought in the First World War and remembers both those who survived as well as those who died.
It can be tempting to see WW1 as one single event or as one continuous trench across France. The School’s work on the stories of individuals showed how boys from one area of South East London joined Airforce, Navy and Army regiments all over the UK and indeed the world. Some boys fought for the Australian and Canadian armies while others joined the local Cyclist Corps. Each boy had totally different experiences of the same war.
The website was accompanied by an onsite exhibition which was held on 2nd July 2016, with additional remembrance for the eleven Alleyn’s Old Boys who were killed on the first day of the Somme on 1st July 1916 being:
- Rifleman SIDNEY FRANCIS BENNETT
- 2nd Lt PERCY GEORGE BOSWELL
- Rifleman HERBERT H. COOPER
- Rifleman GILBERT COLLINGWOOD DICKINS
- Rifleman AUGUSTUS S. DYSON
- Pte JAMES BLACK KIRKHOPE
- Pte LEONARD C. SHINKFIELD
- Pte HERBERT P. STANCLIFF
- Lce Corp LEONARD J. TYLER
- Pte STANLEY JAMES WATTS
- Pte SIDNEY C. WHITLOCK
A key feature of the Alleyn’s WW1 commemoration was the learning opportunities available to current pupils in studying the war through the eyes of boys from the same school one century ago. Year 9 History classes undertook research into the boys who went to war via their Army Service and Pension Records, while Year 9 English studied the war poets and 6 pupils created a commemorative tree in Art that presented a sample of the names of the 1900 Alleyn’s boys who fought on a tree made from broken art easels.
All of this work is presented on the site ww1.alleyns.org.uk