Children make hundreds of wreaths for church’s Remembrance display

Children with some of the wreaths at St John's Church in Killingworth.
Children with some of the wreaths at St John's Church in Killingworth.

North Tyneside children have made and laid poppy wreaths for a special display.

A total of 700 children from 11 schools laid wreaths in St John’s Church in Killingworth – one for each of the 293 men linked to the parish in 1914 who fell during the First World War.

The wreaths, which tell their own story, decorate the church ahead of a Civic Service on Thursday, at 6.30pm, where each school, along with Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn, will lay a peace wreath.

Vicar David Gray said: “The pupils have researched and got to know these men and there have been emotional moments as they have brought forward their work to lay it in the church. It is now festooned with individual wreaths made with thousands upon thousands of poppies.”

The church will be open for all on Friday and Saturday from 10am until 4pm.

Bailey Green Primary produced twin wreaths for brothers David and Ernest Reed, whose father David unveiled the church memorial in 1922, plus for cousins George and Thomas Sancaster.

At West Moor, pupils researched Charles Waugh, one of three local stokers who died with 1,263 when the battleship Queen Mary sank in 1916 at the Battle of Jutland.

They also made wreaths for Robert Rutherford, the school’s deputy headmaster, who died on the Somme, and airman William Kinghorn, of the George Stephenson Inn, who was at Rutherford College training to be a teacher when he enlisted.

Burradon Primary’s wreaths include one for George Hunter, brother of a former headmistress, who is also said to have lost her fiancé in the war.

Backworth Park Primary has included Raymond Foster Pratt, trainee surgeon and son of the headmaster at Dudley, whilst Fordley Primary’s wreaths include the two brothers William and Joseph Merryweather and their cousin William, and four men related by marriage.

Amongst Holystone Primary’s wreaths are three for the Varley Adamson brothers, William, Charles and Frederick; two for the Carlyle brothers Matthew and James, and two for the Macmillen brothers, John and Matthew.

All the pupils, including those from Amberley Primary, Grasmere Academy and George Stephenson High, had lessons on the War, Armistice and Memorials led by Time Bandits, the historical re-enactment group.