Book of Remembrance and Memorial

Staff, pupils and visitors to the school may have noticed that the old school war memorial has been recreated by Mr Shand and displayed in the school Hall.  In addition, there are two other important items from the school’s history that are linked to the war.  The first is a wooden lectern, which has been restored by Mr Shand.  Its original purpose was not to give the headteacher something to lean against during assemblies, but to display a Book of Remembrance, which is the other item of war memorabilia from the school’s history.

War Memorial
The memorial in its original location in the old school hall

It says at the beginning of the book that it commemorates the names and service of Heatonians and Old Heatonians who, in the World War 1939-1945, gave their lives in the defence of their country and in the cause of freedom.

Programme Cover 200The book of remembrance was created in 1950 by Mr Loughton, an art teacher at the school, and in it he has written out the names of every boy from the school that lost his life in the war, either as a serviceman or, sadly, as a child affected by enemy bombing.

Between them, the book and the war memorial trace a thread through history to people just like ourselves, who faced the devastation of war and made the ultimate sacrifice.

In this book, you will find names such as William Allan, who was in the Royal Air Force and was missing in action in an attack on Catania, Sicily, December 8th 1941.  At the most, he could have been only twenty-two years old.

James Clapperton, who was in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, was killed in North Africa on 26th July 1944.  No mention is given of his burial, although there are others buried far from home, such as Leslie Gospel, from the 49th Squadron Royal Air Force who was killed in air operations over France on August 16th 1943 and was buried at Cheronvilliers, France.  Others were buried as far afield as Italy, Burma and South Africa and some were killed at sea, and presumably laid to rest there.

Some made it home to be buried locally, such as Edward Hopper, from the Royal Air Force, who died in Wheatley Hospital for Head Injuries at Oxford on May 16th, 1946, after the war had ended, and was laid to rest at the West Road Crematorium, here in Newcastle.

Not all of the names in the book are those of servicemen.  One sad entry is for Richard Robinson, who was only a schoolboy, killed by an enemy anti-personnel device in Northumberland, where he had been evacuated. He lies in Jesmond Old Cemetery.  From the details in the book, I think he must have been only fourteen years old.

We spend most of our time in school looking forward – indeed our motto is ‘create your future,’ and as teachers we are always exhorting our pupils to look ahead and work as hard as they can now to secure the future that they want. 

Sometimes, though, it is important to look back to the past, not just to learn the lessons from it but also to remember those who gave up their futures, and to show our respect to them, to recognise that their sacrifice enables us to create our futures in a society that is relatively free, democratic and tolerant.   This is best summed up on the memorial itself, which says they gave their todays so we could have our tomorrows.

This book used to be on display in the old hall of the school, on the lectern in front of the war memorial, and each day, the pages were turned to show a new set of names for pupils at the school to read.  You can all look at it now on the school website, as we have scanned in all of the pages, and put in online for you to look at. 

We would be interested to hear of any family connections to the names on the memorial.

Please follow the link to view an electronic version of the book. The book has over 90 pages within it and will take a few seconds to load.

 

Back

Contact Details

Jesmond Park Academy
Jesmond Park West
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE7 7DP

Tel: +44(0)191 2818486
Fax: +44(0)191 2810381

SatNav:
Use postcode NE7 7HN, the main entrance is on Newton Road

Job Opportunities:
Current Vacancies and application forms