Sunderland children create space to reflect on First World War loss for city

Mayor of  Sunderland Coun Lynda Scanlan with Hill View Junior School pupils in the Space for Reflection.
Mayor of Sunderland Coun Lynda Scanlan with Hill View Junior School pupils in the Space for Reflection.

Pupils from five Sunderland schools came together to create visual reminders of the First World War.

The youngsters have been working with a creative organisation to produce banners, poppies and artwork based on their thoughts and impressions of the First World War, which are now on display at Sunderland Winter Gardens until the end of November.

Mayor of  Sunderland Coun Lynda Scanlan and her consort Mikey Horswill, with pupils involved in the Space for Reflection project.

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Lynda Scanlan and her consort Mikey Horswill, with pupils involved in the Space for Reflection project.

The ’Space for Reflection’ was launched by Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Lynda Scanlan, following presentations from all those involved including music, poetry and readings.

Funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project is part of their First World War: Then and Now programme.

Students from Broadway Juniors, Hillview Juniors, Wessington Primary, Hetton Lyons and Grange Park Primary, learned about soldiers from Sunderland who served in the conflict.

These include George Maling who received this country’s highest military honour, the Victoria Cross, in recognition of his bravery, and Claude Ridley who was awarded the Military Cross for his action against Zeppelin raids and the Distinguished Service Order for special missions behind enemy lines.

Our children have done all their memories proud

Coun John Kelly

Read more: Armistice 100: Sunderland’s Roll of Honour

Their research was helped by a First World War education and resource pack, created as part of this project, as well as the Sunderland in the First World War website, which was developed as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project launched in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, said: “It’s so important for us all to remember the bravery of all those who served in the war, and the sacrifice of the loved ones and families they left behind when they went off to fight never sure if they would ever return.

“Our children have done all their memories proud, producing some amazing artwork and written material commemorating those dark days and the bravery and resilience of all those who lived, and died, during the First World War.

Hill View Junior youngster, Poppy Tomlinson, with her poem.

Hill View Junior youngster, Poppy Tomlinson, with her poem.

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“I hope everyone will visit the Winter Gardens at Sunderland Museum to experience the ‘Space for Reflection’ which the young people have created, as we commemorate the centenary of the Armistice and remember all those from our city, our country and our commonwealth and international allies who have served in wars and conflicts over the generations around the world.”

Some of the exhibits from the Space for Reflection.

Some of the exhibits from the Space for Reflection.

Space for Reflection handmade poppies.

Space for Reflection handmade poppies.

Pupils, from left, Darcie Ferguson, Eve Mason-Hill and Jay Ferry, with Mayor of  Sunderland Lynda Scanlan, Craig Richardson and Mikey Horswill.

Pupils, from left, Darcie Ferguson, Eve Mason-Hill and Jay Ferry, with Mayor of Sunderland Lynda Scanlan, Craig Richardson and Mikey Horswill.