For All in Peril

Posted on November 8, 2014

I have had the pleasure of working with the budding artists in Primary 7 at Victoria Primary School this week on The Last Post project to make a fitting memorial for their community event on 11th November.

Together with musician Jed Milroy and singer Lucy Metcalf we have taught the children and the Newhaven Community Choir to sing The Last Post for former pupils James L. Gordon and Garn Wood who died serving on the HMS Monmouth on November 1st 1914.

lowresvicprimaAs Newhaven village has strong links with the sea we are also remembering ‘All in  Peril’ on the sea during the First World War including the crew of the SMS Blucher who lost their ship and over 750 men at the Battle of Doggerbank. Some 250 survivors were rescued by the British Navy and many were brought ashore at Victoria Quay in Leith before being treated in local hospitals and marched up to Edinburgh Castle. Having lived on the East Coast of Yorkshire I wrote and told the children a story of the bombardment of Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough and then a second story of the return of the Blucher and their resulting 6 hrs of battle on January 24th 1915. Both stories were written in the first person, in diary form and the children then had to imagine living in Newhaven 100 years ago and to each decide whether and how they would help the German survivors who were brought ashore. They wrote their answer on a strip of blue paper and sealed it in a small black box. These boxes will be added to their sea scape memorial to be displayed in the School as part of the community commemoration service on 11th November at 10.50 am. The choir will sing at The Peacock Inn at 7pm that evening.

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