In the lead up to Remembrance Day 2017 we ran our Lest We Forget workshops for local primary school children, inviting the children in to experience life as a pupil at Great Stony School during the World Wars and to commemorate remembrance day.
The idea between the workshops was to continue our collaborative artwork from last year when we made the LEST WE FORGET letters. This year the artwork was inspired by John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
The children were greeted by our own Sonia Cakebread playing the part of the Great Stony headmistress and given an introduction to the school. Suddenly interrupted by an
air raid siren, they were quickly guided to a safe place and in darkness listened to the sound of bomber planes flying overhead, whilst searchlights flashed across the sky.
Filled with the sounds and emotions from their experience the children put their feelings and energy into creating outstanding pieces of artwork. Using paints and craft paper the children created Blitz scenes, depicting the colours that filled the sky from the fires that blazed. Then in honour of local Ongar soldiers who lost their lives during WWI the children moulded poppies from clay, painted them and attached them to a cross that bore the name of the soldiers as an act of remembrance.
During the day the children also completed a quiz on the history
of Great Stony School and on aspects of WWII
including rationing and the evacuees. There was some wonderful discussion and great displays of empathy with how hard and life must have been at this time.
Thank you so much to all the schools who participated – we hope they enjoyed themselves as much as we did. Zinc would also like to thank Hobbycraft Epping Forest for their kind donation of materials for the workshops.