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Wymondham school children honour town’s local hero

PUBLISHED: 17:17 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:17 11 December 2017

Ruth Royle, chair of governors, and Mrs Alison Clarke, headteacher, with pupils from Robert Kett Primary School. Picture: Terence R Burchell

Ruth Royle, chair of governors, and Mrs Alison Clarke, headteacher, with pupils from Robert Kett Primary School. Picture: Terence R Burchell

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Pupils from Robert Kett Primary School have honoured their town’s hero with a flower laying ceremony.

The plaque at Becket's Chapel that honours the Kett brothers. Picture: Terence R BurchellThe plaque at Becket's Chapel that honours the Kett brothers. Picture: Terence R Burchell

Children from the school have marked Robert Kett’s death annually since 1999, when a major community event was organised to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Kett’s execution.

The flower laying took place at Becket’s chapel, the second oldest building in Wymondham, where pupils were joined by historian Adrian Hoare, who reminded the children of Robert Kett’s story and the purpose of the remembrance ceremony.

Robert Kett was a respected farmer and tanner in Wymondham, and he and his brother were both executed in 1549 after leading an uprising against social injustices.

The rebellion was in protest of exploitative land enclosures and after several weeks of struggle, the rebels successfully captured and held Norwich. Ultimately, however, the King’s armies were able to quash the uprising and around 3,000 rioters were killed.

Robert and William Kett were captured and hanged from Norwich Castle and the west tower of Wymondham Abbey respectively.

The brothers were considered traitors and their bodies were left to hang on public display. Over the centuries though, the brothers actions came to be viewed quite differently, and in modern times, Robert and William Ketts are viewed as courageous champions of social justice and reforms.

Alison Clarke, head teacher at Robert Kett Primary School, said the ceremony is an important tradition for the school, its children and the town as a whole.

She said: “This ceremony helps us to bring alive for each new generation of Wymondham children these important events which took place so many years ago.

“For the last 18 years we have come here to remember Kett’s Rebellion, establishing a school tradition and a special place in Wymondham’s history. We are very proud to play our part in keeping the memory of the Ketts alive in our town.”

Becket’s Chapel, now Wymondham Arts Centre, is an apt venue to honour the execution of the Ketts brothers, as they both had associations with the former guild. The building bears a plaque honouring the brothers’ heroic deeds, which was erected during the 450th anniversary celebrations in 1999.

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