Our Remembrance Project - #BringOurOHBoysHome
Our 2018 Remembrance Project
In October 2018, to mark 100 years since the end of WW1, HCJS launched its #BringourOHboyshome Remembrance Project.
The thinking behind our project is detailed in a previous blog post: https://www.herefordcs.com/blog/article/making-remembrance-memorable-our-junior-school-children.
So, how did it all turn out?
Here is the story of the project:
- Pupils between them decorated 435 rocks – each one bearing a poppy motif and the name of one of the 435 Old Herefordians who fought in World War 1.
- After an assembly lead by Father Matthew, pupils and members of staff took the rocks home to be distributed around the county. On the reverse of the rocks were instructions to post photos on social media and to return the rocks to the Junior School.
- A media campaign was simultaneously launched to tell the county of our project and to urge the residents of Herefordshire to help us ‘Bring our boys home’.
- Meanwhile, in lessons and assemblies, the children learnt something of the 435 Old Herefordians who fought, including of course the 75 who fell.
- More than 200 rocks made their way back to school, and placed at the feet of a soldier silhouette. Others, much like our fallen, did not return.
Rocks were found by the children and members of the public across counties and countries far and wide - from the top of the Worcestershire Beacon to a café on the Somme in France.
The children and indeed our whole school community enjoyed taking part in the project. It allowed us to grow in our appreciation of how it must have been for those who waved their children off to war and waited at home for their return.
Here is what two of our Junior School parents had to say about the project:
“The children loved hiding the stones and also finding others all over Herefordshire that had been hidden. It was a great way to introduce the importance of remembrance to them in a gentle way and made them ask lots of questions about the events that took place. Great project. Also loved the way that the whole school was involved”.
“It was an excellent initiative. We had multiple discussions, the impact wars have on people’s lives, and about current conflicts that are active at the moment in other parts of the world that affect boys and girls of her age. We talked about accepting other people’s views and opinions and that violence and aggression is not the best way to resolve any problems. We discussed that not all soldiers come back... and this was quite difficult for my daughter to understand at first. At first she wanted to keep the rock safe at home, but then after multiple trips when we attempted to choose a nice spot she then wanted the soldier to be found!”
We also took much enjoyment from reading the letters and notes that we received from members of the public that had come across a rock. It became apparent that whilst the rocks represented soldiers from Herefordshire, the meaning behind the project struck a chord with people far and wide.
It was also wonderful to see that our project had been featured within the front cover of the British Legion’s Live On magazine.
…and in the programme for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, which took place in the Royal Albert Hall on 10th November.
The project culminated in our Junior School Act of Remembrance in November. The rocks featured as the focal point, which made the service all the more poignant.
Many thanks to all of those - at HCJS and beyond - who played a part in bringing our OH boys home.
Chris Wright, Head of the Junior School, December 2018.