Founder's Day Exhibition
On Saturday 2nd July 2016, Alleyn's new First World War Commemoration Website was launched on the School's Founder's Day. This website, part of Alleyn's WW1 Commemoration Project, saw detailed biographies of the Alleyn's alumni who fought in the war published online for the first time, along with pictures, personal items and letters. The website also included a wide selection of the current work on the war being undertaken by pupils today in Year 9 Art, English and History.
To showcase the site, and the work taking place throughout the school, an exhibition was set up during the School's Founder's Day celebrations. This exhibition aimed to provide insight into the project and the wide variety of ways in which the war has been commemorated at Alleyn's. It focused on the life of the School in 1914-1919, the contributions of Alleyn's staff and alumni to the war effort, the current work of pupils and the display of the website itself.
The details of the exhibition and the success of the display can be read about in full detail below.
The Life of the School in 1914-1919
One of the main areas that the Alleyn's WW1 Project looked to explore was the the life of the School during the war and the contribution made by the Alleyn's community during this time.
To achieve this, the Founder's Day Exhibition provided visitors with snapshots of life during the war through the Governors' Minutes between 1914 and 1919, as well as directing people to the Edward Alleyn Magazine, which had recently been digitised on the commemorative website.
This section of the exhibition gave visitors a fascinating insight into how life carried on at Alleyn's during the war, providing small and interesting details on how quickly war could change everyday life at the School. Visitors were intrigued to learn of the huge impact the war had at the School - even in areas such as the selection of school subjects, as demonstrated by a EAM article that noted a number of Alleyn's pupils opting to study Latin over German in wartime.
These unique facts can be found throughout the Governors' Minutes as well as the EAM, and a small collection of the sources used in the exhibition can be viewed in the gallery to the left.
Click on the images to the right enlarge them.
The Contribution of Alleyn's Staff and Alumni to the War Effort
To commemorate those who fought in the First World War, a biography was provided on the new commemorative website for each man involved in the conflict.
Each and every soldier who fought in the war had a unique story, and to highlight just how unique each AOB's wartime story could be, the exhibition selected a handful of individual stories for display. One of these men was Christopher Douglas Elphick, whose remains were found back in 2009, 92 years after he originally went Missing in Action. Details of Christopher's wartime service, as well as his reburial, were included in the exhibition, much to the fascination of visitors that day.
By allowing individuals the opportunity to learn about the war through their association with the School, students, alumni, parents and the wider Alleyn's community have the chance to feel more connected to the past as they honour and remember those involved in the conflict.
The Current Work of Pupils
A main point of interest for many pupils and parents was the exhibition of the work on the First World War taking place in Year 9 Art, English and History, as well as in extra curricular activities. The exhibition allowed for this original and thoughtful work to be showcased through the new website, displaying English projects, poetry, art and demonstrating how students had used archive sources, such as service records, to research the war. The exhibition also afforded an opportunity to display the recently completed work of Year 9 Art students whose construction of a magnificent tree that contained the names of all those who died in the war was regarded by many as they sampled a slice of 'Trench Cake', made by our School Archivist, Nicola Waddington. Parents and alumni alike were most impressed by the potential learning opportunities offered by the project through commemoration.
The recipe for 'Trench Cake' can be found here.
See the links on the left-hand side of the page to view more about the work currently taking place in School today.
The creation of Alleyn’s First World War website is an opportunity to include the alumni, parents and the wider Alleyn’s community in commemoration and learning. The website invites people to contribute their own information and help to build a visible and lasting record of commemoration.
The learning experienced by the pupils is internal to them, but the school has and will showcase its work via exhibitions and the new WW1 website, as demonstrated above.
Exhibition Feedback from visitors
‘A really interesting exhibition, I learned a lot.’
‘What a wonderful exhibition! To bring the World War alive through the eyes of the school years and memorabilia is both poignant and unique. Most enjoyable – as was the cake!’
‘Excellent exhibition. Well-thought out subject matter for the pupils.’
‘An emotive, informative exhibition. I look forward to studying the website in detail. Well done to all involved.’
‘Thank you for putting this exhibition together. It has put the great sacrifice and immense bravery of those people that fought into new and thought provoking perspective.’