Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Falklands war veteran delves into history of Sudbury headteacher for TV documentary

PUBLISHED: 19:00 13 March 2017

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston at Ormiston Sudbury Academy interviewing David Grocott for the BBC programme

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston at Ormiston Sudbury Academy interviewing David Grocott for the BBC programme

Archant

The tragic story of a former Sudbury headmaster who lost his life in the Battle of the Somme during the First World War is to be retold as part of a TV documentary which will be shown this weekend.

The wallet of Captain Robert Smylie is in the Imperial War MuseumThe wallet of Captain Robert Smylie is in the Imperial War Museum

The programme will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Imperial War Museum and will focus on a number of artefacts from the museum’s collection including the wallet of Captain Robert Smylie, who was headteacher at the old Sudbury Grammar School.

For the documentary, Falklands War veteran Simon Weston visited the school which has since become Ormiston Sudbury Academy – part of the Ormiston Academies Trust.

Mr Weston suffered horrific burn injuries during the 1982 Falklands conflict and endured years of reconstructive surgery including more than 70 major operations and surgical procedures. He become known and admired throughout the country for his subsequent recovery and extensive charity work.

Mr Weston visited the Sudbury academy with a BBC film crew to interview director of humanities David Grocott, about Cpt Robert Smylie. Cpt Smylie joined the army in 1914 aged 40, leaving his wife and three children in Sudbury.

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston at Ormiston Sudbury Academy being filmed for the BBC2 documentaryFalklands War veteran Simon Weston at Ormiston Sudbury Academy being filmed for the BBC2 documentary

He was killed on the 14th day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 while leading his men in an attack against German lines.

Remarkably the bullet that took his life pierced his wallet containing images of his family – the same wallet that has subsequently been on display in the Imperial War Museum and formed a highlight of the BBC documentary.

“It’s an incredibly touching artefact of loss, duty and wasted life,” Mr Grocott said. “Mr Weston was charming and extremely inspiring. Our students loved having the opportunity to talk to him about his personal experience and the incredible story of our former headmaster.”

The academy’s principal, Caroline Wilson, said: “He (Mr Weston) was tremendously kind and warm and spoke with our students at length about my predecessor - and his own experiences. I think it’s a visit and an experience that will last in our students’ memories for a lifetime.”

Ormiston Sudbury Academy principal Caroline Wilson with Falklands conflict veteran Simon WestonOrmiston Sudbury Academy principal Caroline Wilson with Falklands conflict veteran Simon Weston

The BBC documentary entitled Britain at War: Imperial War Museums at 100 will be screened at 7.30pm on BBC2 on Saturday, March 18.

Highways chiefs in Suffolk have confirmed that plans are afoot to improve roads around Martlesham’s retail parks.

Patients have hit out at “scandalous” parking charges at our region’s hospitals after it was revealed they made millions of pounds from their car parks.

The count-down to the weekend has begun we re-live Saturday night in our Yates picture gallery.

Watch our video tour of The Old Rectory, a £1.35m home set on 1.6 acres of land for sale in Tattingstone.

Foodbanks across the region are preparing for a “record-breaking” holiday season – with volunteers warning Universal Credit has sparked a leap in demand from people living below the breadline.

Babies and toddlers have undergone a terrifying transformation into ghosts, ghouls and miniature monsters as they “dress to impress” for the Halloween season.

Supermarkets in the UK should not import food produced unethically by workers subjected to slave-like conditions, Ipswich’s MP has said during a parliamentary debate.

A family-friendly pumpkin patch and maize maze has opened in Suffolk to raise money for good causes.

Pension changes could have a ‘catastrophic’ effect on policing Suffolk, risking almost 100 jobs and curbing recruitment, according to the chief constable.

Opposition councillors at Suffolk County Council have raised fresh questions over the council’s ‘Greenest County’ claim, after it has emerged its new energy deal relies 100% on nuclear power.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24