Students in Attleborough create poignant First World War memorial in the heart of town

Mayor Karen Pettitt, headmaster Neil McShane, teacher Rowena Tyrer and some of the youngsters involv

Mayor Karen Pettitt, headmaster Neil McShane, teacher Rowena Tyrer and some of the youngsters involved with the Attleborough war memorial. Photo: Carmina McConnell - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of soldiers' names will be kept in the heart of Attleborough after students came up with a creative way to commemorate the First World War centenary.

Pupils from Attleborough Academy Norfolk made the poppy out of 500 pebbles - with some painted black to mark soldiers who didn't return and red for those who did.

With help from historians, they then wrote the names of all the soldiers from Attleborough who fought in the war onto each pebble.

The idea for the poignant memorial came from eight-year-old Imogen Tyrer, after her mother Rowena, a teacher at the academy, asked for help with the project.

Imogen, a pupil at Attleborough Junior School, said she was inpsired by her history lessons.

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'I thought we could do something that involved the war and that was very big. I find it fascinating how things have happened in history and how they are passed down to people today.

'I am really happy that the poppy has been made from just an idea.'

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Mrs Tyrer said that most of the names were still well-known in the town.

'I recognise the majority of names from children at school, which is amazing.

'Some of the children back then who signed up lied about their ages, so they wouldn't have been much older than the pupils we teach, so it's really about connecting past and present,' she added.

The project quickly became a community effort - with the local Ridgeons, Monarch Lanscaping, Travis Perkins, teachers past and present and the town council stepping in to help.

Town mayor Karen Pettitt said: 'This is such a wonderful idea and it really makes you think.

'Once again it shows what a great community spirit Attleborough has. I was very pleased to be able to help with the finishing touches of installing it.'

Mrs Pettitt encouraged anyone with photos or memorabilia of Attleborough's involvement with the war to come forward and help with plans for a display.

The memorial will be officially unveiled on Sunday, August 3 at 3pm, followed by tea and cakes over at Town Hall.

If you have any photos, contact the town clerk on 01953 456194.

Do you have an Attleborough story for us? Contact reporter Lauren Cope on

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