Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Essex role in North American War should be studied in schools - Colchester MP.

Sir Bob Russell MP.

Sir Bob Russell MP.

It is as important for children to learn about the North American War when Essex soldiers burnt down the White House as the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo, Sir Bob Russell has said.

The Colchester MP has urged education secretary Michael Gove to include the 19th century war in the history curriculum.

He told the House of Commons that it was soldiers from an east Essex Regiment who destroyed the White House 200 years ago in August 1814.

Sir Bob said that he had been completely unaware of the North American War until last summer, when visited the Canadian International Military Tattoo in Hamilton, Ontario, where a reenactment of the war was performed.

“I think it is totally amiss that this important chapter of British history has been airbrushed from what is taught in schools. He added: “What makes it even more astonishing, in a local context, is that it was our own local regiment – the 1st Battalion of the 44th East Essex Regiment – which actually burnt down the White House on 24th August 1814 and caused the President of the USA to flee. It is a fair bet that men from Colchester would have been there, something which I am hoping to establish.”

Mr Gove, who was questioned on the subject in the House of Commons did not directly answer the question.

He said: “I have always had cause to thank people not just for the superb way in which history is taught in Colchester and across Essex, but for the distinguished contribution that public servants in Essex, both in uniform and out of it, have made to this country.”

He said, before he was interrupted, that it was only appropriate to remember that the war of 1812 to 1814 was a “cousins” war.

But added that “we should extend the hand of amity”, as I do to my American cousins.

“Even as we remember their valour, we should also celebrate the fact that we work together in the brotherhood of man today.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 25 year-old male from Ipswich, who has not been seen for a week.

Police have halted filling in the landfill cell where they believe the body of missing RAF man Corrie McKeague is located.

Firefighters have returned to scene of a straw fire, which has re-ignited just outside a village near Stowmarket.

Police are investigating a spate of break-ins at allotments in Ipswich.

A man who capsized off the coast of Felixstowe owes his life to his life jacket, quick thinking witnesses and the efforts of coastguard and the RNLI.

The popular ITFC family day out will return on Thursday, July 27, at Portman Road.

A music festival has been set up to celebrate the life of a “larger than life character” who died suddenly earlier this year.

A loving Ipswich couple who have been together for more than 60 years celebrated their 90th birthdays today – after the pair were remarkably born on the same day.

Four senior Suffolk County Council officers being paid six-figure salaries have seen their pay rise significantly over the last year – while other staff have had their earnings pegged by the government’s 1% pay cap.

A man has denied causing the death of 72-year-old Suffolk cyclist by careless driving.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24