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Charlton Manor School Helps to List War Memorial in Royal Greenwich

  • Charlton Manor Primary School in Greenwich helps list Charlton Village War Memorial
  • First school in London to help list local war memorial under Heritage Schools Programme 
  • Historic England pledges to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018 to mark the centenary of the First World War

Charlton Manor Primary School in the Royal Borough of Greenwich has become the first school in London to have successfully helped to list their local war memorial - Charlton Village War Memorial.

Historic England has pledged to protect 2,500 memorials by 2018 to mark the centenary of the First World War. As part of this project, children taking part in Historic England’s Heritage Schools Programme are being invited to put their local war memorials forward for listing.

Year 5 pupils from Charlton Manor Primary School circle the War Memorial
Children from Year 5 at Charlton Manor Primary School hold hands to symbolise the protection of the war memorial through listing © Historic England

Heritage Schools Programme

Charlton Manor Primary School is one of 200 schools around the country involved in the Heritage Schools Programme which aims to encourage pupils to develop an understanding of their local heritage and its significance.

David Evennett, Heritage and First World War Minister said:

"This programme is a fantastic opportunity for children across the country to learn more about the history of their communities during the First World War. Almost every area was touched by the war and it is important that future generations never forget the bravery and sacrifices of their ancestors."

Roger Bowdler, Director of Listing at Historic England said:

“Recommending up to 2,500 more war memorials for listing over the next five years is a major task but one that Historic England is proud to undertake. These memorials, will gain a place on the National Heritage List for England to tell the story of this country’s sacrifices a century ago, and this will help ensure their future safety. It’s brilliant that schools are getting involved: all generations are taking a close interest in the centenary.”

Children from Charlton Manor Primary School with the wreath laid at Charlton Village War Memorial © Historic England
Children from Charlton Manor Primary School with the wreath laid at Charlton Village War Memorial © Historic England

Pupils carry out a condition survey of Charlton Village War Memorial

Year 5 pupils worked with Helen Spencer, Local Heritage Education Manager, from Historic England to carry out a condition survey of Charlton Village War Memorial and write an application to have the memorial considered for listing. The children visited the memorial, took photographs and made detailed notes on its setting and design. They researched its history using newspaper reports provided by Carolyn Ayers, World War I Heritage Project Officer at Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust.

To understand the significance of the memorial, they investigated the stories behind the 230 names inscribed on it, such as the three Tumber brothers who died in 1917. Taylor McGlone of Year 5 commented:

“The soldiers must be remembered as they gave their lives for us so that we could live a good life.”

Ruth Cavender, Learning and Volunteer Officer for War Memorials Trust, said:

"War Memorials Trust was delighted to work with the pupils of Charlton Manor Primary School to help them carry out condition surveys of the war memorial. As tomorrow's custodians it is crucial we engage young people so that they can play their part in ensuring that our war memorials are protected. The centenary of World War I is a wonderful opportunity to inspire young people to understand our war memorials heritage and we hope other schools and youth groups get involved with recording the condition of their local war memorial."

Charlton Village War Memorial listed grade II with the wreath
Charlton Village War Memorial listed grade II with the wreath laid by children from Charlton Manor Primary School in Greenwich © Historic England

Importance of preserving our war memorials

Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, Royal Borough of Greenwich Cabinet member for  Culture, Creative Industries and Community Wellbeing, said:

“War Memorials are a fitting public tribute to those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms still enjoyed by all of us in this country. They provide an opportunity for quiet reflection while also acting as a landmark of civic pride.Together with its partners, the Royal Borough is committed to ensuring that the borough’s War Memorials are renovated and conserved as a lasting tribute.”

Cllr Miranda Williams, Royal Borough of Greenwich Cabinet member for Children’s Services, said:

“I’m so pleased that Charlton Manor pupils have been successful in having the Charlton memorial listed through Historic England’s Heritage Schools programme. It’s great to see the school embracing this opportunity to connect with its local heritage.”

Tracy Stringfellow, Chief Executive of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust, said:

“The listing of the Charlton Memorial is a very welcome development. It will support the ongoing work of the Trust, the local council and other agencies to conserve and value local memorials, while creating new opportunities for the involvement of the local community.”

Another school in the borough, Invicta Primary, has just submitted an application to have their local war memorial, at St John the Evangelist Church, Blackheath listed.

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