I am working with Stewart’s Melville College in Edinburgh on a very exciting WW1 project. I have been visiting the school to develop various literacy projects over the last year as their Patron of Reading. Projects to do with rugby, football and the RAF.
But this is the best project we’ve come up with so far. It’s called We Will Remember Them.
It started in the school tower. One of the history teachers has an archive of objects and documents to do it the school’s history. There is a lot of material about the school’s pupils who went on to fight in WW1. He was telling us about those pupils and how the names of many of them are on the school’s war memorial (above).
The idea developed quickly from there. It was impossible to resist. All those stories about boys who had walked the corridors of the school exactly 100 years ago and had gone on to fight and often die for their country.
This is what we are going to do:
* draw up 20 short pen portraits of those pupils from 100 years ago
* challenge today’s pupils – and teachers – to write a short story about one of those characters
* help the pupils to edit their stories
* publish the best stories in a book together, all proceeds going to an appropriate charity
We launch the We Will Remember Them writing competition just after Armistice Day 2014.