Young historians are uncovering stories behind local war heroes

Community Memory Day at St George's Church Hall, Cullercoats, (left to right) Marden High School pupils Imogen Belshaw and Hannah Yeoman with wartime memorabilia.'REF 0711149392
Community Memory Day at St George's Church Hall, Cullercoats, (left to right) Marden High School pupils Imogen Belshaw and Hannah Yeoman with wartime memorabilia.'REF 0711149392

Young history detectives are appealing for help uncovering the real-life stories behind the names on a war memorial.

The group of 12 and 13-year-olds from Marden High School, in North Shields, are delving into the past to discover more about the men immortalised on the First World War plaque in the grounds of St George’s Church, Cullercoats. Their research is part of a special project funded by a £9,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

It is running parallel to the official Tynemouth World War 1 Commemoration Project which is allowing the pupils to access local information.

Last Friday the young people held a Community Memory Day in the church hall and asked local people to share their stories with them.

Marden High headteacher Jonathan Morris said: “This is a really worthwhile project and all the pupils taking part have a love of history and very inquisitive minds.

“When we look at World War One there are people who served from virtually every street in Cullercoats and sadly most streets suffered bereavements.

“Our young history detectives have taken this group to their hearts and they want to understand more about them.

“Each of them was someone’s son, brother, friend, neighbour or sweetheart and each one has a story to tell.

“Working closely with Father Adrian at St George’s and with local people will enable the pupils to complete this very special Who Do You Think You Are? project into the lives of these young men.”

Once complete their work will be used on an interpretation board along the seafront and at the war memorial in the church.

The school has been working in partnership with the church, the 5th Whitley Bay Scout Group and Tynemouth World War 1 project.