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Remembrance set in stone: Birchwood students' poignant poppy tribute to Stortford's fallen




Birchwood School, Bishops Stortford. Pupils have created 308 poppy stones each with the name of a local soldier that lost his life in WW1 or WW2. Head of History Will Morton and pupils with the stones. Pic: Vikki Lince
Birchwood School, Bishops Stortford. Pupils have created 308 poppy stones each with the name of a local soldier that lost his life in WW1 or WW2. Head of History Will Morton and pupils with the stones. Pic: Vikki Lince

Bishop's Stortford servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice in the two world wars have been honoured by students and staff at Birchwood High School.

Birchwood School, Bishops Stortford. Pupils have created 308 poppy stones each with the name of a local soldier that lost his life in WW1 or WW2. Pic: Vikki Lince
Birchwood School, Bishops Stortford. Pupils have created 308 poppy stones each with the name of a local soldier that lost his life in WW1 or WW2. Pic: Vikki Lince

They have given up their lunchtimes to adorn ‘Remembrance rocks’ with a poppy motif and the name of all those commemorated on the town’s war memorial in Castle Gardens.

The rocks went on display in the piazza at the Parsonage Lane secondary in the run-up to Remembrance Day and are available to buy with a suggested donation of £2.50 to the Royal British Legion.

The project has been organised by Will Morton, the school’s head of history and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme co-ordinator.

He said: “We wanted to remember each of the individual Stortfordian soldiers who died in the First World War and set ourselves the target of painting poppies on rocks for each of the 208… remembered on the town’s war memorial.

Birchwood School, Bishops Stortford. Pupils have created 308 poppy stones each with the name of a local soldier that lost his life in WW1 or WW2. Pic: Vikki Lince
Birchwood School, Bishops Stortford. Pupils have created 308 poppy stones each with the name of a local soldier that lost his life in WW1 or WW2. Pic: Vikki Lince

“Each stone has had a poppy hand-painted onto it and we’ve then written and remembered the name of each one of the soldiers. The idea was inspired by a combination of the ‘Shrouds of The Somme’ project and the ‘Stansted Stones’ on Facebook.”

In their eagerness to complete their task, the students and staff realised they had begun adding the names of Second World War soldiers to the stones too.

Mr Morton said: “Rather than leaving the project unfinished, we have created Remembrance rocks for the remainder of the town’s fallen, as commemorated on the town war memorial.”

Last week, Stortford Second World War veteran Cyril Banks, who was a crew member on the first Royal Navy minesweeper to clear a path to Normandy in 1944 for the D-Day landings, visited the school to see the stones and talk to students.



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