Red, White and Blue day marked the Battle of the Somme centenary

Red, White and Blue Day
Red, White and Blue Day

Youngsters from St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Horsham have taken part in Red, White and Blue Day.

Red, White and Blue Day is an annual fundraising campaign in aid of the three national service charities, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

To raise money to support the work of these charities pupils come in to school dressed in red, white and blue on October 14 and in the case of St Mary’s pupils, take part in lots of fun activities!

This year marked the centenary of The Battle of the Somme.

In the lead up to Red, White and Blue Day each class took part in a competition organised by Red, White and Blue Day, the Conscription Competition.

Each year group learnt about conscription and as part of the competition each child wrote a postcard to an imaginary eighteen year old brother fighting in the war.

They had to include three things he might like to hear about from home and design a relevant picture for the front of the postcard. Our entries have been sent off, wish us luck!

Prior to the big day the children had a visitor in assembly on Friday, October 7.

The children welcomed Lauryn and Diane, also known as The Poppy Lady who organises the town’s Remembrance Service in the Carfax each year, from the Royal British Legion, Horsham.

Diane talked about the importance of the beautiful, tiny, red flower, the poppy, that we all wear in the lead up to November 11 and how the money raised by the Poppy Appeal helps those who need support.

Diane also shared her own experiences of being a military child, which the children loved to listen to.

On Thursday, October 13 St Mary’s was preparing for another exciting assembly. This time we welcomed Andy Robertshaw, one of the UK’s leading military historians, and the organiser of Red, White and Blue Day, Patty Wallis.

Andy had the whole school all in the palm of his hand as he talked to us about ration packs from World War One, World War Two and those used today.

It was so interesting. We couldn’t believe that oat biscuits and boiled sweets were in every pack! Andy then spent the rest of the morning visiting each class where the children got to see a real military kit.

Patty spoke to the children about how important Red, White and Blue was and thanked us for taking part.

Then it was Friday, October 14, Red, White and Blue Day was here! The school hall was decked out in red, white and blue bunting and Union Flags.

Every child, and member of staff, was wearing red, white and blue. The day started with an assembly taken by a selection of high achieving History students from Tanbridge House School.

They then stayed with us for the morning going to a range of classes to carry out different activities about the importance of the poppy, what life was like in the trenches and another important event of 1916, The Battle of Jutland.

Throughout the morning, some of our wonderful parents offered their time to come in to each class to help our children understand what ‘Make Do and Mend’ means by helping them sew up a holey sock.

That’s 211 holes sewn up! This was just one of the many activities planned for the children to help them learn about World War One and The Battle of Somme, together with understanding what life was like during this time.

During the course of the day the children made red, white and blue poppies with thank you prayers attached. These were then used to create the Red, White and Blue Logo.

In the lead up to this day the children learnt seven World War One songs, which Year 5 and Year 6 sung on the Bandstand in the Carfax on the afternoon of Friday October 14, whilst Year 4 performed them to the residents of Lavinia House, all children were armed with Union Flags! At the end of the school day Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 sung all the songs they had learnt around the Red, White and Blue Day logo made of poppies to the parents. All in all the children had a fun filled, informative day.

Contributed by St Mary’s C of E Primary School

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