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St John’s school’s war memorial is unveiled at its new site

Students at St John’s school have been joined by members of the Marlborough British Legion and the Marlborough Royal Naval Association at a ceremony to commemorate the unveiling of the war memorial which has been moved into the new buildings.

The memorial lists the seventeen ex-pupils of the old Marlborough Grammar School who died in the First World War.  In the 1960s, the memorial had been moved to the St John’s school’s war memorial is unveiled at its new site

Students at St John’s school have been joined by members of the Marlborough British Legion and the Marlborough Royal Naval Association at a ceremony to commemorate the unveiling of the war memorial which has been moved into the new buildings.

The memorial lists the seventeen ex-pupils of the old Marlborough Grammar School who died in the First World War.  In the 1960s, the memorial had been moved to the new Grammar School building, which later became the St John’s Stedman site.   

The memorial was taken down before the Stedman building was demolished last year. It is now in a prominent position in the new school’s atrium.  Many of the names it records are from local families – family names that are familiar to today’s St John’s students.

The ceremony came at the end of two days of events and activities organised by Mark Streeton and Peter Baldrey from the history department at St John’s.  Year 9 students took part in activities designed to bring the First World War period to life, including a meeting with a First World War re-enactor and a suffragette.

The head teacher, Dr Hazlewood, welcomed the guests and explained to students, staff and guests that the memorial is a very important part of the school’s connection with the past.  He pointed out that about a hundred years ago boys of a similar age to those at the ceremony would be preparing for a war in which many of them would die.

“We must never forget the sacrifices made for us in the past, and still being made for us today, to make the world a better place”, Dr Hazlewood said before unveiling the memorial.

World War One re-enactor Steve Williams explained that it is almost exactly 95 years since the British army took part in the Battle of the Somme.  He told students how the young men of Marlborough would have marched away from the town smiling, ready to fight for their country, but that for so many it ended in tragedy for them and their families . He then read out the names on the memorial.

History teacher Peter Baldrey told the students about the research he has done on the memorial’s names.  He was able to tell students about the young men, some only nineteen, who had lived in Marlborough High Street, in Burbage, and in other nearby villages.

Later this month, a group of Year 9 students will be heading off on a trip to visit World War One battlefields. They will also see cemeteries and war memorials which include some of those named on the school’s own memorial.

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  • IMG 8472
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  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters
  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-
  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07