Poole Grammar School History Research Group

“It was a sobering experience, yet one that left us enthused to continue the project” Thomas  Spiers, Poole Grammar School student.

Poole, the First World War and its Legacy is a project to build a website and alongside this a major aim is to engage the community to learn and discover more about their First World War heritage.

Throughout the project we want to work with local schools, community groups, church groups and the general public. We want to encourage research, explore local stories, promote the website and allow people to make a connection with this aspect of their heritage.

Poole Grammar School are one of the first schools to become involved with the project.  The History Research Group have visited Poole History Centre at Poole Museum on two occasions to experience hands on research using primary and secondary sources.

Here is an account of their visit from student Thomas Spiers:

The history research group at Poole Grammar School recently went on a visit to Poole History Centre to further investigate the war dead of 1914-18 that attended the school.  This being original research, we went open to the possibilities that the archive might present: we had little idea of how our work would proceed.  That said, with the help of several sources, including the internet genealogy database ancestry.com and the complete collection of the East Dorset Herald throughout the war, most were able to locate their subject and identify a line of enquiry.  However, the most rewarding part of the trip was the surprise of unexpected evidence and other records, such as photographs, which really brought home the personal ramifications of the research.  It was a sobering experience, yet one that left us enthused to continue the project.

Feedback from the students has been positive, showing that they value the chance to undertake original research.  For example, when asked- did you enjoy the session? One student responded “Very much, I found out more than I anticipated.”

This research into the lives of past Grammar School boys who went to war will be included on the new website.  Learning about boys from the same school who fought and died will potentially have an impact on today’s students.  This will ensure that the First World War remains within their collective consciousness.

Please contact us if you are a school, community group or individual interested in joining the project, researching Poole ancestors or memorials or just curious to find out more about the project: localhistory@poole.gov.uk / 01202 262621


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