An exciting World War One project

The Great War & The Great Peace

At Rowlands Gill Primary School, we have always valued our local heritage, so we are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund First World War: then and now Grant to help us investigate The Great War and The Great Peace.

About Our Project

At Rowlands Gill Primary we have always valued the history of our locality, so we are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund First World War: then and now grant to help us investigate Rowlands Gill: The Great War and the Great Peace.

During the war years Rowlands Gill was a distinctive and contrasting Edwardian community from the pits rows to the highly desirable Villas developments. Kelly’s Directory of 1914 commented:

ROWL.ANDS GILL is a large and scattered district in the civil and ecclesiastical parish of Winlaton, with a station on the Consett branch of the North-Eastern railway, 21 miles east of Chopwell and 7 miles southwest of Newcastle and Gateshead. The Mission Church of St. Barnabas, situated here, is attached to St. Paul’s, Winlaton. There is also a Primitive Methodist chapel. Here are the extensive collieries and fire brick works of Priestman Collieries Limited.

Our school is a successor to the Public Elementary School (boys, girls and infants) opened in 1896. Average attendance in 1914 was 125 boys, 97 girls & 96 infants. Thanks to the hard work of generations of teachers Rowlands Gill School and has remained a prominent contributor to village life.

During the summer term 2019 our Year 6 children, led by teachers Mrs Brady and Mrs Redshaw will explore the impact of that terrible conflict on local people. The children will focus on a number of exciting issues

  • Initial research indicates over 50 Rowlands Gill men were killed, with many deaths recorded in local newspapers. During a tour of the Edwardian township the children will visit the War Memorial and Roll of Honour in Strathmore Road Methodist Church. Using the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and the 1911 census they will research some of these servicemen and try to reconstruct aspects of their military and civilian lives.

 

  • The historic school log books are held by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and show the close connection of the school to the conflict with teachers joining ‘Kitchener’s Army’, annual Empire Day celebrations and the grim flu epidemic of 1918/9. Notable events are recorded too, such as the bombardment of Hartlepool and the role of teachers in issuing food ration cards. The children will explore these stories in more depth using wartime primary sources.
  • Since we are tackling this work in the summer term 2019 we will look at the events of that notable year including the local and national celebrations for signing the Versailles Peace Treaty – known at the time as The Great Peace. This will include local victory teas also referenced in the Log Books and social issues such as Homes for Heroes.
  • To bring the war years to life the children will visit Heugh Battery Museum, Hartlepool. This was the artillery fort that exchanged fire with three huge German cruisers on 16th December 1914, when 112 civilians were killed, including many children on their way to school. Closer to home, a second visit will take us to Newcastle University to view the Response War Memorial and university buildings that became an emergency wartime hospital: 1st Northern General.

 

Project Blog

Lesson Plans & Teacher Notes

Teacher? Interested in doing your own WW1 project? Whilst these resources are specific to Rowlands Gill they can act as a blueprint for your own area and related research. Let us know how you get on! Rowlands Gill The Great War and the Great Peace Lesson Plan Guide...

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WW1 Memorabilia

We asked the children if they could bring in any WW1 memorabilia their families may have. We were delighted to see the following.

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Day 5 – With Martin Bailey

Today we worked with Martin Bailey, an award-winning teacher specialising in using IT.  Mr Bailey took our theme of Rowlands Gill in World War 1 and showed us how  "app-smashing", using iPads, could bring new perspectives to our work. It was fast, fun and we created...

read more

Day 5 – With Emma Holliday

Today we worked with Artist Emma Holliday (http://www.emmaholliday.co.uk/), on the theme of the Armistice and the demand for peace by grief stricken populations across Europe. Emma chose to explore these themes through the powerful work of Kathe Kollwitz, who lost a...

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Day 4 – Census

Every 10 years the government takes a census of the population. The last one currently available for historians to use was taken in 1911. On Monday afternoon we used this census to get a snapshot of the families living in Lilley and Cowan Terraces, largely mining...

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Day 4 – University Visit

Today, the children visited Newcastle University Library where they got to handle items from the University’s Archives and Special Collections, including material related to the First World War. They found out about the role played by Armstrong College as a military...

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Day 3 – Marching and Drill

On Wednesday afternoon, following their arduous battle training for the trenches, the Rowlands Gill Pals Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry were drilled by Sgt Chapman.  Their parade ground performance was excellent. With a little practice they were ‘right and...

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Day 3 – Trench Life and Sgt Chapman!

A busy if scary morning with Sgt. Chapman training the new Rowlands Gill Pals Battalion. The new troops (with a couple of Conscientious Objectors) however, made light work of various tasks and training exercises. Lots of new information...how to fire a Lee Enfield...

read more

Day 2 – Visit to Heugh Battery Museum

On 4th June 2019 we visited the Heugh Battery Museum in Hartlepool. This is the only First World War Battlefield in Britain. On December 16th 1914, three German battleships shelled the town and killed 112 people, wounding 400 more. The gallant garrison fired back and...

read more

Day 1 – Researching our Soldiers

Edwardian photographs show the miners from Lilley Drift in their flat caps and the bosses in their bowlers. We tried them for size, but decided it was unfair to be judged by your hat ! Following up on our visit to the War Memorial and the Roll of Honour in Strathmore...

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Day 1: A Ramble through Rowlands Gill

How and why did World War 1 begin? Neil organised us into the various European alliances and explained the beginnings of the Great War. Then, it was time to go out of school and explore our village. We pretended to be Edwardian detectives, looking for clues to its...

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A Rowlands Ramble Through Time

Here's a Ramble through old Rowland's Gill. These are but a few snapshots of the village. More is to be discovered on further walks through the village and a search at the archives of Gateshead library. You could also ask your parents/grandparents or carers for their...

read more

A School at War – Logbooks

The events of the First World War make an impact in the log books of Rowlands Gill School. Perhaps the most poignant is Miss Hodgson hurrying on 17th December to Hartlepool to confirm the death of a friend in the German bombardment. Sadly this echoes another local...

read more

Letter to Parents/Carers

At Rowlands Gill Primary School we have always valued our local heritage as a teaching resource, so we are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Heritage Lottery First World War: Then and Now grant to investigate Rowlands Gill during the First World War,...

read more

Project Activities

Visits and Visitors

Day 5 – With Martin Bailey

Today we worked with Martin Bailey, an award-winning teacher specialising in using IT.  Mr Bailey took our theme of Rowlands Gill in World War 1 and showed us how  "app-smashing", using iPads, could bring new perspectives to our work. It was fast, fun and we created...

read more

Day 5 – With Emma Holliday

Today we worked with Artist Emma Holliday (http://www.emmaholliday.co.uk/), on the theme of the Armistice and the demand for peace by grief stricken populations across Europe. Emma chose to explore these themes through the powerful work of Kathe Kollwitz, who lost a...

read more

Day 4 – University Visit

Today, the children visited Newcastle University Library where they got to handle items from the University’s Archives and Special Collections, including material related to the First World War. They found out about the role played by Armstrong College as a military...

read more

Day 3 – Trench Life and Sgt Chapman!

A busy if scary morning with Sgt. Chapman training the new Rowlands Gill Pals Battalion. The new troops (with a couple of Conscientious Objectors) however, made light work of various tasks and training exercises. Lots of new information...how to fire a Lee Enfield...

read more

Day 2 – Visit to Heugh Battery Museum

On 4th June 2019 we visited the Heugh Battery Museum in Hartlepool. This is the only First World War Battlefield in Britain. On December 16th 1914, three German battleships shelled the town and killed 112 people, wounding 400 more. The gallant garrison fired back and...

read more

Project Resources

Check out the links below. They’ll take you to some interesting information resources which will give background to our Air Raid! project.

Lesson Plans & Teacher Notes

Teacher? Interested in doing your own WW1 project? Whilst these resources are specific to Rowlands Gill they can act as a blueprint for your own area and related research. Let us know how you get on! Rowlands Gill The Great War and the Great Peace Lesson Plan Guide...

read more

A Rowlands Ramble Through Time

Here's a Ramble through old Rowland's Gill. These are but a few snapshots of the village. More is to be discovered on further walks through the village and a search at the archives of Gateshead library. You could also ask your parents/grandparents or carers for their...

read more

A School at War – Logbooks

The events of the First World War make an impact in the log books of Rowlands Gill School. Perhaps the most poignant is Miss Hodgson hurrying on 17th December to Hartlepool to confirm the death of a friend in the German bombardment. Sadly this echoes another local...

read more

Letter to Parents/Carers

At Rowlands Gill Primary School we have always valued our local heritage as a teaching resource, so we are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Heritage Lottery First World War: Then and Now grant to investigate Rowlands Gill during the First World War,...

read more

Can You Help?

Parents / Grandparents…Have you got any family memories of Rowlands Gill during World War One?
We’d love to hear from you!

World War One Memories

Image Credits

Kitchener Poster – Eybl, Plakatmuseum Wien/Wikimedia Commons
Response War Memorial – dun_deagh [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]