The Maltonian Web

War Memorial Unveiling
6 November 2015

Headteacher Rob Williams spoke to me in 2014, the centenary of the start of the first world war, about the possibility of a memorial to the former Malton Grammar School students who fell in the two world wars. The foyer area at East Wing was also being enclosed at the time, and he felt it would be appropriate to have a memorial plaque placed on the wall inside this new area, next to where these old students would have entered their school.

The old Maltonian magazines had a page in every edition with such a list, and from this I created this circular memorial in sycamore. A poppy is carved in the centre, and an MGS badge was carved and attached at the bottom.

The memorial was installed and unveiled at a small ceremony on the Friday before Remembrance Sunday

Order of Ceremony

Welcome and thanks:

Head Girl and Boy – Maddie Turner and Barney Plews

Opening Address:

Headteacher – Mr Rob Williams

The Unveiling:

Representing former students and staff – Mr Shaun Brosnan
(Scarborough Royal Naval Association and Royal British Legion)

The Dedication, Blessing and Prayer:

Canon John Manchester

In attendance: Beverley and Stephen Fearnley, Jane Richardson, Tracey Beever, Jo Leeson, Jon Steel, Senior students, Key stage 3 leaders

Opening Address by Rob Williams

Many of you will know that I have a keen personal and professional interest in history, including the history of the school. It was in discussion with Steve Fearnley, that it became apparent that for some reason, as yet unexplained, the school had a war memorial in respect of the former students killed during the First World War but no memorial for those old boys who died during the Second World War.

The original school memorial is situated at the far eastern end of the East Wing. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is a dark, bronze plaque which is becoming more difficult to read.

It seemed very appropriate therefore, that in this 70th anniversary year of the ending of the second world war, to recognise the sacrifice of those men and to pursue the installation of a new memorial that would incorporate all the former students who gave their lives in both world wars.

The decision to site the memorial in our new East Wing Reception area was clear – as this was the school building in 1914 and 1939 that all those men would have known – these were the corridors that they trod; the classrooms in which they learnt; and, I hope, the place that gave each of them some happy memories, in lives that were unfortunately cut too short.

It is our place now to remember and to honour the sacrifice that each of these men made in the protection of the liberty and freedoms that we continue to hold precious today.

As Headteacher, it is my hope that the unveiling of this memorial will be followed up by an educational project to research each of these men and to produce display boards and a website based resource so that future students can better understand the lives and the issues that lie behind the names on this plaque.  The better education of future generation is the most powerful and fitting legacy for the losses of the past.