A community event being held at the school in Biddick Lane, Washington on Armistice Day –Wednesday 11 November– beginning at 6pm will also help launch a book written by pupils about the conflict called ‘ A Hero in My Eyes.’
The book is the result of year-long academic project involving Year Nine pupils funded with £5000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to research and write a book about local people who fought and died in the conflict.
Initially working with Sunderland Museums Service and Durham Records Office with the support of Sunderland City Council’s Cultural Heritage team, students (now in Year Ten) researched individual soldiers’ stories and how the war impacted on families and local communities.
Research outside the classroom included a tour of local monuments, war memorials and Remembrance plaques which was used to compile cycle guides/routes taking in these sites which also feature in the book.
‘A Hero in My Eyes’ will be launched and available free at the event, with special guest the County Vice-Chair of the Royal British Legion and Poppy Appeal Organiser for Washington and Felling, Malcolm Pickering.
Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, said: “Everyone at the school and in the local community can be very proud of this book, written by young people to increase their own knowledge and ours of the sacrifice made by previous generations during the First World War.
“The launch of the book at this community event and exhibition, is another part of the commemorative programme for the First World War being held across the city.
“Events and activities such as these help connect the local community with their heritage, and educate people as to how the war affected our city and the region.”
Headteacher at St Robert of Newminster Catholic School and Sixth Form College, Dean Juric added: “We are grateful that the Heritage Lottery Fund grant has enabled our students to connect with their local heritage and explore the ways in which our region was shaped by the Great War.
”The students have been successful in accurately capturing the stories of many heroes from our area who fought in the war and these have been eloquently portrayed within our book entitled ‘A Hero in My Eyes’.
”The event we are hosting on Remembrance Day will allow the heritage of our region, as well as the stories of these brave men and women, to be shared with our wider school community.”