Wednesday 9 July 2014

Armed Forces Day and Eat like a Tommy!

On the 27th June Great Wyrley High School hosted 'Eat like a Tommy Day'-an event that was intended to mark the centenary of the First World War and give the students of Great Wyrley a small glimpse of what the food was like for an ordinary soldier.  The catering staff did a fantastic job of the food-it was delicious!
Each dish had a special reference to an aspect or key theme of the First World War and they were largely based on dishes that soldiers would have been served either at home during that era or when they were in the reserve trenches.  It was homely and wholesome food!
The date chosen to run Eat like a Tommy Day coincided with Armed Forces Day (28th June) and so to mark the occasion students that are part of a cadet force were invited to come dressed in their uniforms.  
Connor Smith Y9

Nathan Ankritt and Louis Fellows Y8

Jacob Parker Y7

Megan Gwilt Y9

Milly Owens Y7
Each student that came dressed in their cadet uniform was given 40 vivos! Well done!

Great Wyrley High School has Poppies!

A while back I posted about the lack of poppies, wondering when or if they would sprout! Well-ta da!-here they are-
If you would like to see the poppies they are in the
quad area.  We have planted them to create a visual
commemoration for those that sacrificed their lives
during the First World War.

Thursday 12 June 2014

The Men who Fought in War. By Lauren Williams

A man went to war
hoping for some fame,
some fortune,
to have medals under his belt.
The man went to win the war.
All he thought
while he fought
was about the fame.
But then one night
The explosion went off
and killed the man who fought in war.
And when he died
the fame didn't matter anymore
as he died
he thought about his family-
thought hard
and wished his family could hear his message:
'Darlings, I am lost-
but keep cheering on the men who
are still fighting.
Let's win this war!
But remember, the fame doesn't matter anymore.
Remember that, my dears'.
Let's remember this:
that fame doesn't matter,
friends and family do.
Let's remember the men
who fought for US
so we could have freedom-
so the next generations could live on.
They died selflessly,
those men.
I'm not asking for you
to die for King and Country,
I'm asking you-
Let's remember them.
The men who fought in war.
Let's wear our Poppies with pride.
Let's look at these Poppies
and think of them
as the souls of the men
who fought in war and
died for us.
Let's wear them
next to our hearts
where they belong.
The men who fought in war.
By Lauren Williams (Year 7)

Sunday 8 June 2014

Great Wyrley's visit to the National Memorial Arboretum-by Ryan Gardner & Lalita Bhatia

We went to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas to commemorate those who lost their lives in the war. Around 29 of Year 9s and 10s visited because it’s been a century since First World War began. We walked around the Arboretum and visited many memorials of names of endless soldiers who died in the many wars we’ve had.
The memorials were trees or plaques but one in particular was of a numerous posts where soldiers were tied to and then shot. This was their punishment for apparently deserting their post and were killed for ‘cowardice’. Many were suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, known as ‘Shell-Shock’ back then, and many not even old enough to be part of the army. This made you feel a big wave of sympathy for the men, no older than us, who thought the army would be a ‘big adventure’ but instead their lives came to a sudden end.

The visit made me understand just how many people die because of warfare and how many different memorials there are.
By Ryan Gardner

Going to the Arboretum made me feel sad because it makes you realise how many people actually died, it actually makes you realise how lucky we are.
By Lalita Bhatia

Monday 12 May 2014

Eat like a Tommy Day

Posters are now up advertising the 'Eat like a Tommy Day' taking place on 27th June at Great Wyrley High School.  We are pleased to be commemorating the centenary in unique ways and this will be a 'taster' of an element of trench life for our students at Great Wyrley.  There will be allsorts of food on offer ranging from curry to stew; fish pie to milk biscuit pudding and a special free treat on offer.
To keep you informed of how the day went there will be a post from one of the student committee members involved in the centenary work.

Where are our Poppies??

At the start of this academic year in autumn a Great Wyrley High School student did a very important job-he sowed some wild poppy seeds in the quad.  We thought it would be a nice idea to have some wild poppies growing on the school site as a commemoration in light of this year's centenary.

But....they have not yet appeared.  I am not much of a gardener and do not know a lot about flowers-any ideas of when they usually start to appear? Is it still too cold? Should they have sprouted already?

As soon as they do appear (if they do!) I will post pictures on here of what should be our own centenary Poppy 'field'.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Did Tommies eat rats????

Whenever we think about Tommies in the trenches of the First World War, we think about mud, trench foot and a questionable diet.  Is it true that Tommies survived on rock hard biscuits and the occasional rat to satisfy their ever-increasing hunger?  Or was their diet a little better than what we think? I have been looking into this recently in anticipation of launching an 'Eat like a Tommy' day at the school I teach at in Walsall, Staffordshire.
Baldrick from Ben Elton's 'Blackadder' memorably described the best food available to the men in the trenches as 'rat-au-van'.  But despite popular belief the average British soldier's diet at the Front was nutritious and plentiful, even if it was perhaps a little repetitive.  Dishes like chips and egg and curry were popularised during the conflict and soldiers could chow done on things like potato pie and mutton broth.
Food available to the men fighting in France and Belgium was very often far superior and in greater quantity than what was available at home.  For example, "a working class family of two adults and at least one child in Britain would eat 3lb 6oz of beef or mutton a week, along with 19lb 8oz of bread and just over 25lb of potatoes between them, each soldier would receive 8lb 12oz and the same weight in bread. He also had 1lb 5oz of bacon and 3lb 8oz of vegetables" Source
As the war went on more and more food was prepared closer to the front lines to cater for the increase in soldiers serving on the Western front.  As thousands of soldiers from India joined the ranks of the British Army curry was prepared and became more widely available to soldiers.  Of course, the usual dishes still reigned supreme-like 'bully' beef and 'Maconochie' and not everyone was a fan of these trench staples.  One soldier regarded 'Maconochie' as a 'war crime' whilst the French referred to 'bully' as 'monkey'.  But, as soldiers were paid in local currency they were able to supplement their rations with local food bought from cafes and restaurants.
As for rats being trapped, roasted and eaten in desperation because the only alternative was rock hard biscuits-it looks like it could be more of a myth than a reality....
Great Wyrley High School in Walsall, Staffordshire are hosting their 'Eat like a Tommy' day on 27th June 2014.  On the menu will be delights such as; beef tea, curried cod, fish pie, potato pie and milk biscuit pudding.