Our picture shows children and teachers from Colerne Primary School with their visiting Goldies from Box, Bath and Chippenham – photographed by Sam Farr.
Primary schools across Southern England in Wiltshire, Somerset, Bristol, Swindon and Gloucestershire are invited to take part in a First World War intergenerational project supported by a £25,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant launched this Monday – April 28 – in Wiltshire
World War One – our heritage in songs and memories’ is a project run by the Goldies Charity that brings music and singing to older people across the South West. Sir Cliff Richard is Goldies patron and the founder is Bath-based music man Grenville Jones who leads the project.
Schools are encouraged to put on commemorative days, open their doors to their local elderly people and to sing along to the tunes that bought communities together during the First World War at home and in the trenches. The project illustrates that singing brought the nation together 100 years ago and can still be used for that purpose today.
Rob Parsons, a Trustee of the Goldies Charity and Head Teacher at Colerne Primary School in Wiltshire. He dressed in 1914 clothes for the launch. He said;
“It is so important for primary children today to have a greater understanding of 1914 and the First World War. Children are naturally inquisitive; always exploring, asking questions and making connections to gain a greater understanding of their lives and the world around them.
“War is a difficult concept to understand for old and young alike but one thing is clear – it significantly impacts upon our lives, our families, communities and the subsequent future world in which we are to live. The First World War had just that significant impact on so many.
Grenville Jones added:
“We have commissioned an easy to sing medley of First World War songs by Alwyn Humphreys for schools to sing. Singing together brought communities together 100 years ago at home and in the trenches. The school projects do not have to be music led
“It is important to record, for future generations, the photos, songs, medals and memories that link us with a past that must not be forgotten.”
Explaining the importance of HLF’s support for the project, Nerys Watts, Head of HLF in the South West, 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 over £47million in projects – large and small – that are marking this global Centenary. Our support means that local people like those involved in ‘World War One – Our Heritage in Songs and Memories’ will be able to explore the songs, memories, artefacts that make up the continuing legacy of the conflict and help young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has changed the world they live in today.”
Schools can access information on www.golden-oldies.org.uk or contact Grenville on 01761 472468.