Leicester Schoolchildren Remember Passchendaele
150 pupils plus teachers met in anticipation at Leicester’s YMCA theatre. 100 years ago, hundreds of soldiers had slept in the hall as they passed through the city. The pupils watched a moving performance. A young man lay awake late at night on his way to basic training. He spoke about his hopes and fears for his uncertain future at the Front.
The group then split and walked to different sites around the city:
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At the site of the former Regiment Barracks, the pupils took part in parade drills. A drill sergeant directed his ‘troops’ to march, stand at ease and come to attention.
Leicester Regiment Museum at Newalke House Museum
The classes met a soldier on leave from the Passchendaele. They were fascinated by his Lee Enfield rifle. They also visited the reconstructed trenches at the Museum.
St George's Chapel at Leicester Cathedral
The chapel is dedicated to the Leicester Regiment. The classes saw a silver crucifix cross rescued from the burning Cathedral at Ypres. On the wall of the chapel were plaques commemorating the dead.
Leicester Town Hall
By 1917, men were being conscripted into the army. The pupils met a Recruitment Sergeant from the Leicester Regiment. He 'persuaded' the pupils to sign up on the dotted line!
New Walk Museum
The pupils handled familiar objects to find out more about every day in life in Leicester.
The former Liberal Club on Bishop Street
The pupils learned more about the conditions in the trenches. John Coster explained how the war was reported in Britain. The pupils compared these to modern conflict reporting.
All involved had a fantastic experience. Everyone understood more about how the First World War affected the people of Leicester.
Also of interest...
Find out about our Heritage Schools programme, helping school children across the country learn about their local heritage and its significance.
Help us to list and repair war memorials from the First World War and to record the legacy of our lost Home Front.