North East Connected


The first of more than 3,000 poppies were placed on the new Remembrance Wall at Acklam Grange School in a poignant reminder of the bravery of the, mainly, young men from Middlesbrough who lost their lives in WW1.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, Middlesbrough-born long-jumper Chris Tomlinson and charity leader Andy Preston will join stakeholders, teachers and students at the poignant ceremony.  Four students who gave up their free time to research the people and stories behind the town’s war dead will be among the first to place poppies.

The Wall, which was funded by the Heritage Fund, pays tribute to the 3,137 people from the town who lost their lives in the conflict.  In the lead up to Remembrance Day the local community also have the opportunity to place poppies.

This follows on from poignant memorials at the school in 2014 through to 2017, where handmade poppies were planted to represent each of the lives lost during the First World War.

The Acklam Grange Remembrance project, created by Mr Guy Whatmore and Mr Jonathan Lowes, also involves the pupils of the school, along with its feeder schools and local organisations, including Middlesbrough Football Club and MFC Foundation, being allocated an individual to pay special commemoration to.

Mr Jonathan Lowes Achievement Leader at Acklam Grange School said: “Guy Whatmore and I designed the project to bring everyone together, now and for generations to come, so we can pay respect to those who died and are named on the wall who allow us the lives we do today.  It’s been a fantastic process.  It’s taken around 18 months with great funding from the Heritage Fund and other partners involved.  We’ve had students working on it tirelessly and five history researchers who have been brilliant.   We’ve seen the students come into school this morning, standing and taking time to at look it. We are extremely proud.”

Andy Preston, who supported the project, said: “This isn’t my project, it’s a couple of teachers, Mr Lowes and Mr Whatmore, who have done all the hard work, but they asked me to raise awareness of it and help bring the project to life.  It’s an incredible project with great support from the Mayor and other notable people who really want to get the project the attention it really deserves.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It is deeply humbling to see students and staff at Acklam Grange honour the memory of more than 3,000 soldiers from Middlesbrough who lost their lives in World War One. It is vital we wear our poppies with pride and remember the sacrifice they and many millions made so that we can live our lives free from tyranny.

“It is a testament to students and staff that this symbol of remembrance may be adopted as a national war memorial by the British Legion. I think it’s fantastic that students and staff at Acklam Grange have been able to give this to the local community.”

Contact Caroline Walker on 01325 363 436


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