Stockton Sixth Form College has been awarded £7,000 of National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to fund a unique project to enable young people aged 11-18 to research the lives of 69 former Stockton Secondary School boys who lost their lives during the First World War.
The research will be conducted in collaboration with The Grangefield Academy, where the commemorative plaque detailing the names of the Fallen resides.
Over the next twelve months up to 30 young people will participate in a range of research activities locally and farther afield, including a Battlefield Tour of Northern France.
The research will be recorded as a film which will be screened as part of Stockton Borough Council’s commemoration of the centenary of the end of the War in November 2018 and will be available to view free of charge online. Students will present their findings at schools, community centres and residential care homes in order that the funds awarded benefit the wider community.
Commenting on the funding award, principal of The Grangefield Academy, Nikki Gibb, said:
“At the time of the First World War, The Grangefield Academy was known as Grangefield Secondary School and was the old grammar school for Stockton. As part of the Northern Education Trust since 2014, the school’s history is still in the making as we commemorate the sacrifices made over 100 years ago by 70 former pupils.
“It is fitting that in this special First World War centenary year which will see many events taking place throughout the UK to mark the end of the conflict, that our students can be involved in this exciting research project into the every-day lives of these brave Stocktonians. The opportunity to visit battlefield sites and war graves will not only remain with them throughout their lives, but will provide the kind of experience many would not be able to share without this project.”
Chief Executive of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Neil Schneider, said:
“This is a great project which fits perfectly with our on-going plans to remember and learn about residents from Stockton-on-Tees who fought in the First World War, so I’m delighted Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded funding for it.”
CEO & Principal at Tees Valley Collaborative Trust, Joanna Bailey said:
“We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for agreeing to fund this project. It will give young people in our community the chance to learn about heroes who lived on their own doorstep, to better understand the sacrifices made by those young men and their families and to share their stories with the local community when the film of the project is screened in November 2018.
“This project highlights our ongoing work within our Collaborative Trust in the community with our local schools, allowing pupils to link up with the college to gain new skills and experiences.”