Lives of old pupils to be researched

A local heritage group is spearheading a new project to tell the stories of wartime casualties from a Morpeth school.

Morpeth Antiquarian Society has secured £8,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to research the lives and deaths of 60 former pupils and staff from King Edward VI Grammar School (KEVI) whose names are recorded on the school’s own memorial.

The Educated To Die: Researching Morpeth Grammar School’s War Memorial project has been funded through the HLF’s First World War: Then and Now programme and will see pupils work alongside the antiquarians to tell the stories of the men connected with the school who lost their lives in the conflict.

The project aims to show the real people behind the names, helping to educate the youngsters about the war and to reflect on its significance.

Society member Maurice Teasdale said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and it will be exciting to see students and older members of the community working together and getting involved in this project.”

KEVI Student Voice, Leadership and Enrichment Co-ordinator Victoria Najafi said: “This is a very worthwhile project to mark the centenary of the First World War and we are looking forward to working with members of Morpeth Antiquarian Society.

“The project will enrich school life and will be a lasting legacy for the school and the wider community.”

Work on the project will start in September and is expected to run for just over a year.

Head of the HLF in the North East, Ivor Crowther, said: “The impact of the First World War was far-reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £56million in projects large and small that are marking this global centenary.

“With our small-grants programme, we are enabling even more communities, like those involved in Educated to Die: Researching Morpeth Grammar School’s War Memorial, to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”