Pupil’s willow work brings veterans back to life in S6

A legacy with a difference has now taken up residence at Bradfield Dungworth Primary School thanks to the work of year three, four and five pupils.

They have created two life size sculptures of World War Two veterans as part of a far reaching community history project to learn more about the area’s involvement in the 1939 to 1945 period.

The two eerie figures have been crafted under the guidance of celebrated willow artist Caroline Gregson.

The school has been learning about the area’s involvement in World War Two as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund-backed project that was launched in 2018.

The pupils started out by sketching pictures of veterans – the best drawings were then incorporated into the final design.

The Dungworth and Bradfield area was a hive of military activity from 1939 to 1945 with over 5,000 troops billeted in the area as defence forces against German attack.

The study is working to uncover the roles of Dale Dyke and the other nearby dams in the area. They were key strategic points and had high wires constructed around their circumference in a bid to stop low level bombing as planes headed for the armament factories in the East End of the city and other areas.

Local people have been contributing to the project by giving their own accounts of life in the war and sharing photos and artefacts from the period.

Project manager Richard Godley said: “Educating future generations on the history of this area is central to our project. The pupils were eager to learn and the end result is quite stunning. Their creation is set to be a lasting legacy for our project.”

Dungworth and Bradfield District Heritage Group were awarded £50,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the work as well as support from Bradfield Parish Council.

The project is funding the training of volunteers in researching military records, creating an exhibition and publicity materials.

It is also creating a book from the findings of the research, delivering community focused events at local venues and more.

If you would like to get involved in the project, please contact Richard Godley on 07854 646742 or email: Dungworthheritagegroup@gmail.com

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