On Friday, as part of the School’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the WW1 Armistice, Toby Batchelor (Head of History), organised a fantastic ‘Pop Up’ Museum in the Hub. It was a wonderful and fitting example of what a huge impression the two world wars and current conflicts have had on the whole school community.
The museum showcased an incredibly impressive number of invaluable personal artefacts and photos belonging to staff and pupils’ grandparents and even great grandparents – both male and female.
Pupils, parents and staff visited at various stages throughout the day and were amazed at the vast array of items ranging from medals, uniforms and weapons (including a sword of the Vice Admiral of the Fleet) from WW1 through to the present day to a rare copy of an SAS diary, personal letters and drawings from both world wars.
Shells and fuses recovered from the Somme battlefields were also on display, along with 1907 bayonets, hand grenades and an old spitfire flying jacket from a great grandparent who was held as a prisoner of war at the famous Stalag Luft III camp.
There was an interactive display from the Old Cranleighan Society archives; music composed in the trenches and played to troops during WW1 and the film, ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ by Peter Jackson, were also playing in the background.
It was particularly special to see how many children wrote accounts of their own personal family stories from WW1 and WW11, demonstrating how much the wars have touched so many of us and left their mark, just as it continues to in the many conflict zones around the world today.
Toby Batchelor says ‘A very big thank you to all our parents, pupils and staff for making such an overwhelming contribution to our ‘Pop Up’ Museum. The array of artefacts, photos and personal memories on display certainly helped the children to understand the enormous sacrifices made during the wars and the impact on their own families.’
Please do follow the vimeo link below if you were unable to visit, or would like to see it again: