Lottery cash for ‘Chatteris Remembers’ project

'Chatteris Remembers' - Willow Stephenson and Billy Munns, both aged 10 at the war memorial on Market Hill.
'Chatteris Remembers' - Willow Stephenson and Billy Munns, both aged 10 at the war memorial on Market Hill.
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Kingsfield Primary School has been awarded almost £35,000 of Lottery funding for a historical project to remember the lives of Chatteris war veterans.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £34,700 for the ‘Chatteris Remembers’ project which will involve children and their families researching, recording and remembering the lives of residents who fought and served in the First World War.

The project aims to involve children and volunteers in researching and recording the stories behind the 146 names recorded on the Town’s War Memorial with a particular focus on those with a connection to the school’s predecessor, King Edward’s School.

The stories of the soldiers will be brought to life through performances of drama, song, music, poetry and dance by the children at a range of community events throughout the year, from now until August 2014. An exhibition will be displayed in Chatteris Museum during Summer 2014.

The school used the words of Sir William Clarke at the Chatteris Memorial Dedication Service in 1920 to express their hopes for the project: “We hope that this memorial will be a permanent and enduring one and that it will appeal to generations yet to come. What will it mean to a stranger, standing here 100 years hence? Will he read the names carved on the stone and be rescued from dumb forgetfulness and in raising his eyes to the cross correctly interpret it as the sacrifice made?”

A year 5 child at Kingsfield Primary School said: “I would like to find out where the soldiers were born and lived and all other facts about them. My last name appears several times on the war memorial. Many other people in my school would like this because their names are there too.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “HLF are delighted to support Kingsfield Primary School with this project, which will coincide with the commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War. By researching the names on the war memorial, the children will be able to bring to life the soldiers’ stories and engage with the role that local people played in this landmark event.”

The school is interested to hear from family members or from anyone with stories, photographs, letters or other information regarding World War I soldiers from Chatteris, whether they lived or died during the Great War. Anyone with information should email chatterisremembers@gmail.com or contact Kingsfield Primary School on 01354-692323.