Lost Generation. Schools Competition. The Chadwell Heath Foundation School Christie Gardens, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Essex, RM6-4RS (020)82525151. Our Project…. For our contribution to the Channel 4 Lost Generation endeavour, we decided to adopt a memorial in our local area.
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The Chadwell Heath Foundation School
Christie Gardens, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Essex, RM6-4RS
It was these posters that got the British men to join up to serve for their King and Country…
Commemorated by a small wooden cross in future times…
St. John the Evangelist Church, Seven Kings,
Ilford, Essex, IG2 7BB
wall, alter and communion rail.
The two tablets are located
either side of the arch.
To the Glory of God
who gave us the victory
and in grateful remembrance
of the courage and self-
sacrifice of those connected
with this church who served
their KING and COUNTRY
“Through God we shall
do valiantly, for it
is He that shall
tread down our
The names of those who
died for us are inscribed
on the tablet on the
north side if this wall.
The faces circled in yellow are those whose names appear on the memorial.
However, these letters would not have reached their recipients as they were originally written.
This was because the Defence of the Realm Act (1914) enabled the government to censor what the soldiers wrote home in order that the public remain unaware of the terrible conditions of the front line, so they would be successful in the continuation of recruitment of troops.
I’m not too tired or worn out yet. It’s awful here; it’s hard work and a totally different lifestyle to at home. We have settled into a daily routine. We are using a tactic called ‘Over the Top.’ This is where we are sent over the top of the trench and charge towards the German trenches. This is the scariest part of our day and if you’re lucky enough to survive you have to do it all over again tomorrow. We have to get up early; no more late mornings. We fright for hours on end fighting the Germans.
Here you have to keep your wits about you. I am fearful for my life and hope that I will be returning home soon. I never used to be scared at work and complained about how boring life was; I would rather be at home now.
The officers are more concerned about their own safety than ours. We only ever see junior officers; never anyone higher. The food here is barely edible and there’s very little choice, but if you’re hungry you’ll eat it. It’s nothing like your cooking, which I long to taste. Everyday we face the Germans who are constantly trying to shoot and kill us.
I miss you and hope to be returning home soon. Have you heard from father yet?
Your dear son, Lawrence
It is terrifying here; there are gunshots echoing in the trenches all the time. We are fighting for survival, never mind against the Germans; it’s every soldier for himself.
We are all feeling the physical and emotional strain that the war is causing us. We are very weak and are struggling to survive on our inadequate diet of small meals and the conditions we serve in.
Since the beginning of the war, many members of our battalion have died. I hope to be able to come home soon, but the only people allowed home are the ones who are injured and incapable of fighting.
The food here is nothing like you cook at home. Truth be told: it’s much worst. I should be able to see you soon. I love and miss you all dearly. Give my love to Gina.
Love You Lots, Gwyn xxx
My dear sister Maggie,
Has anyone heard from Winifred? I cannot stand being here and I long to be back home. It has been so long that I have forgotten the feeling of our cosy living room and the smell of the lovely food that always seemed to be cooking. I don’t know how the food here can be classified as anything with a resemblance to food.
I have lost all my pals. I’ve not yet been sent ‘Over the Top,’ but the prospect is absolutely petrifying.
I have contracted deep wounds from flying shrapnel and bruises from our sleeping arrangements. There are rats in our trenches so disease and infection run wild here. Each day we have to deal with the loss of at least one fellow soldier in our trench. There are hardly any of the original crowd left. I hope that I will be returning home alive and well. We are dying from malnourishment.
Please send my love to all our friends and family at home. I dream of coming home one day… I can but dream…
With All My Love, Robert xxx
It is a well known fact that those living in the trenches had to live in appalling conditions. Low spirits were trampled with wet, muddy conditions. Soldiers could rarely sleep well, in the cold dug-outs, sharing their blankets with the rats, which were rumoured to be the size of cats.
Each day began with the morning hate; cross-fire across No-Man’s-Land, that echoed for several minutes. Lunch was a standard meal of tinned meat with stale bread. Men were supplied with rum to keep them warm in the Winter, from the cold, wet conditions. They were unable to drink the chloride-treated liquid, transported from miles away.
Each season brought a bout of disease upon the open-topped trenches, which were often flooded. Vicious diseases such as trenchfoot, pneumonia, dysentery and bronchitis ran rife around the front line. Soldiers didn’t wash for weeks, so they were infested with lice, boils and bunions.
Fully grown men were reduced to levels where they cried and screamed like young children, suffering from depression. Hopes wavered and collapsed of the men ever seen their families and friends again while they began to question their reasons for joining up.
Some English soldiers began to feel terrible, when they had to unleash their weapons on the German soldiers, knowing that they were just as innocent as they themselves were. Whilst others, tried to maintain their feelings of loyalty, patriotism and nationalism for their “King and Country.” Soldiers knew that being sent ‘Over-the-top’ was suicide. Those lucky enough to stay behind watched their pals die on No-Man’s Land and later, watch their rotting flesh being eaten by the rats.
Emotions were only worsened by delayed discharge. Front line duty was only meant to consist of two weeks, when soldiers would be sent to work in support and reserve for four days each and then rest. Soldiers were kept on the front line, in some cases for months on end.
It is a distressing thought: trying to imagine one of the boys in the trenches, up to his waist in water, living with massive rats…
For this, we must NEVER forget what they sacrificed and what they were fighting for, because…
They died for us
H J ARNOLD Aged 19
E W BAKER
W F C BAKER Aged 35
S COOK Aged 24
J V DRAKE
H W EVANS Aged 19
A H FABIAN Aged 19
E FUGLER Aged 20
E C GALPIN Aged 21
H A HARSANT Aged 20
G JOY Aged 23
F W MACHESTER Aged 22
J S MILLAGE Aged 55
L J MILLAGE Aged 21
R F MOORE Aged 28
W H MOORE Aged 27
J C MURCH Aged 29
J H B NORTON
C W OGILVIE
A V PAUL Aged 28
E E PENTON
H A PETTY
F C POSTLETHWAITE Aged 21
A PRYOR Aged 22
R A ROBINSON
A L ROLFE
R F SAUNDERS Aged 21
C B SMITH Aged 22
F A SMITH
L G STENNING Aged 21
S N STENNING Aged 26
W C THOROGOOD Aged 21
W F TURNER Aged 18
F G TWIGDEN Aged 34
G T UNDERHAY Aged 28
G WHALEY Aged 19
E D WILES Aged 22
Rest in Peace, Heroes of Britain
In order to begin our project, the first task we had to overcome was choosing to adopt a memorial or a Tommy. We decided as a three that we would be able to bring out our best abilities in adopting a war memorial. We then decided to investigate the church memorial at St. John’s Seven Kings as it was easier to access than nearby memorials and we also thought it would produce a better result, as archives were easier to access.
As our first steps, we contacted people within the church who would be able to help us. Mr L. P. Amann gave us background information and access to the football photograph, which centred out project. Mrs J. and Mr R. Keenan then extended our knowledge as to the photograph and other World War One knowledge.
So as to gain records to our fallen men, we took to the internet. After two lessons of solid research into finding records, we eventually stumbled upon the CWGC, which allowed us to search their database of casualties freely and accessibly.
We also went to the Western Front Association, where we contacted three members, who each helped us along our way to completing our project with their own contacts and previous research. By using the 1837 census that has recently been posted on the internet, we were able to gain further knowledge of a few men who were untraceable. And when we found historical facts that puzzled us, we went to First World War.com, who were able to point us in the right direction, helping us to understand the events.
Of course, we met problems on the way, such as the damaged photograph, limited access to records and restricted information, but it is all part of historical research; if everything were simple and easy to research, then there would be no need for the activity, deeming it pointless.
We hope you have enjoyed our project and that you have found it honouring and grateful to our fallen heroes.
Sara James, Rebecca Smith and Zeenat Pelaria, Year 9, CHFS
We would like to send many thanks to the following organisations/ people for all their help. Without them, our project would never be what it is.