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Norfolk school joins forces with Royal British Legion in First World War project

Laura Munro-Oakley, right, and Clare and Eddie Mayell. Pictures: David Bale

Laura Munro-Oakley, right, and Clare and Eddie Mayell. Pictures: David Bale

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Members of a school’s historical society are being encouraged to get involved in a Royal British Legion project to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The note on the wreath signed by the school's historical society. Pictures: David BaleThe note on the wreath signed by the school's historical society. Pictures: David Bale

Youngsters at Sheringham High School were shown silent films of the battlefields and newsreel future of the return to the sites by veterans and war widows 10 years after the war.

That is being recreated this year in the RBL Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90) between August 5 and 9, when members of the Sheringham branch of the legion will join thousands on a pilgrimage of remembrance to the battlefields.

It will culminate in a parade and ceremony in Ypres, Belgium as part of the war centenary commemorations in August.

The original RBL pilgrimage in 1928 saw 11,000 people visit the battlefields before marching to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Menin Gate Memorial.

Members of the school's historical society with Clare and Eddie Mayell and Laura Munro-Oakley. Pictures: David BaleMembers of the school's historical society with Clare and Eddie Mayell and Laura Munro-Oakley. Pictures: David Bale

Legion members Eddie and Clare Mayell will represent the Sheringham branch and the community at the event, as standard bearer and wreath layer, respectively.

They will tour some of the battlefields and cemeteries visited by those on the 1928 pilgrimage, before marching to the Menin Gate on August 8, bearing their branch standard and wreath.

The couple have been spreading the message in the north Norfolk town and visited the school to talk about the project and get the society to sign the wreath.

Mr Mayell said: “I have already visited the scouts and the RNLI for educational talks about the event and they signed the wreath, which we will lay at the Menin Gate. It would be great for the town to show solidarity towards this prestigious event that could quite easily be forgotten about.”

Ben Phillips, the school’s head of history, said: “The First World War is part of the curriculum for years 8 and 9. We made a battlefield tour to Ypres recently. We focus on war and the impact of war in GCSEs and A-levels.”

Laura Munro-Oakley, from the school’s historical society, said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to spread the message to our society and to get involved in what is essentially a community activity.”

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