In a special day to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, all boys in the Prep School had a full timetable of activities to learn about the conflict and reflect upon the sacrifice of Old Bedfordians and people from across the world.
Red was the dominant colour for the day as boys wore red as a symbol of remembrance, and red poppies were in abundance as 481 were created by the boys; one poppy for each of the Old Bedfordians killed in WW1, which, soberingly, is more than the number of boys in the Prep School today. More stunning poppies were also created in Art as boys sculpted remembrance poppies in clay. The Art studios were also busy with boys from Y5 to Y8 all working together to create a unique mosaic to commemorate Arthur Tisdall, an Old Bedfordian who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his rescue of his wounded comrades in Gallipoli in a tremendous act of bravery. The finished mosaic will be added to the archway to the Tisdall’s building, which is named in his honour.
In English, boys examined war posters, evacuee letters and British and German soldiers’ diaries. In History, sessions focused on forces recruitment, trench life and the rations that the soldiers ate, and boys were able to sample some of the soldiers’ staples including corned beef, which proved a surprise hit! In Drama, the boys recreated the thoughts of those who fought in the Great War through role plays. All boys also saw a fantastic performance of “Your Country Needs You!” by the Quantum Theatre Company.
The action continued in the playground as the boys discovered how soldiers quickly created shelters using sandbags to protect them from enemy fire, and the simple way that they set up drums and flags for drumhead services.
The day, although full of activity, proved a thought-provoking and enriching experience for the boys.
We have also produced a booklet and short film featuring stories of fallen Old Bedfordians who are related to pupils in the school today. You can see their stories via the link below.