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Pupils pay tribute to town's war dead

PUBLISHED: 03:00 03 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:50 03 March 2010

STUDENTS at Holywells High School in Ipswich are preparing to pay their own tributes to those who died in two world wars.

A group of pupils will be heading out to France and Belgium later this month, to visit the battlefields of World War One, and the cemeteries where the war heroes are buried.

STUDENTS at Holywells High School in Ipswich are preparing to pay their own tributes to those who died in two world wars.

A group of pupils will be heading out to France and Belgium later this month, to visit the battlefields of World War One, and the cemeteries where the war heroes are buried.

Youngsters are also studying the history of World War Two – and the school wants to work together with the local community to create a memorial to the civilians killed by bombs which fell on Ipswich during the conflict.

"We want to turn this into a major project and involve as many people as possible," said Dan Dyson, the school's head of history.

Mr Dyson said pupils in year nine had been doing a lot of work on the First World War, and the trip to France stemmed from this.

Altogether, 37 pupils and five members of staff will be making the journey. They will be staying at Arras, which has strong links with Ipswich, and visiting Ypres and the museum at Flanders Fields.

Pupils have been doing project work on the theme of remembrance, and were asked to come up with designs for memorials to people from Ipswich who were killed in the bombings during World War Two.

Mr Dyson said there had been so much enthusiasm that they were now hoping to create a permanent memorial that could be sited somewhere in the Ravenswood area of town.

"There were 53 people killed by bombings in Ipswich during the Second World War, and we would like to honour them," he said.

Mr Dyson said the area surrounding the school had been targeted by bombings during the war, because of its nearness to the old airfield and the docks. The pupils are looking to create a memorial to civilians rather than service personnel and youngsters have come up with some suggested designs.

The Ipswich branch of the Royal British Legion is already organising a major appeal to extend the war memorial at Christchurch Park and honour the service personnel who died in World War Two.

Pupils have been studying old newspaper cuttings and diaries about the war in Ipswich, and members of the school archaeology club are visiting the Suffolk Records Office to look in the archives.

The school is planning to launch the initiative with an exhibition later this month, which will be open to parents and friends of the school, and is asking people to send in their memories of their personal experiences during the war. "We are also hoping to make a website and maybe even a book," said Mr Dyson.

If you have any wartime memories that could help with the project, please write to: Dan Dyson, Holywells High School, Lindbergh Road, Ipswich, IP3 9PZ.


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