Pupils At Edge Grove Pay Their Respects On Remembrance Day

19th November 2014

Edge Grove opened its own newly created Remembrance Garden on Tuesday 11 November 2014 within the school’s beautiful 28 acre grounds to mark the centenary anniversary of the First World War. Dedicated to past Edge Grove pupils who lost their lives in the war, the garden will be used as an area for quiet reflection for Edge Grove pupils, staff and teachers alike.

The school held a small and intimate dedication ceremony to mark its official opening. The garden was declared open by Puddy Pratt who is the wife of the former Edge Grove Headmaster Jimmy Pratt and has been resident at the school since 1946. The school’s Chaplain, Reverend James Fletcher also dedicated the garden during the ceremony.

As part of the ceremony, a historic memorial plaque dedicated to a resident of Aldenham, Thomas William Childs, who died in action in September 1917, was also donated to the school and will hold a special place in its Remembrance garden. The plaque was one of several “Holland-Hibbert” plaques mounted on houses in Letchmore Heath, Battlers Green and Patchetts Green to commemorate those who fought and died in the Great War. It was found abandoned in a pathway off Rendlesham Avenue in Radlett about five years ago.

Edge Grove’s Headmaster, Ben Evans, spoke of the new development “We are very privileged to have fantastic grounds at Edge Grove which has made this development possible and opening the Remembrance Garden is very much testament to our commitment of the importance of outdoor learning for our pupils as well as a mark of our respect for those brave individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty. Holding the memorial plaque to Thomas William Childs as a permanent fixture in the garden is also a great honour for our school.”

The Edge Grove school chamber choir also performed at the event and the school welcomed back some other former Head teachers of the school who also attended the dedication.

According to the 1911 census, Thomas, aged 17, was living with his family at the Old School Cottages, Battlers Green in the Parish of Aldenham. Thomas was a farm hand and the oldest of eight children born to William, a garden labourer, and Mary, a housewife. On 31 March 1916 he left for war with The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) and died in action on 20 September 1917. His obituary was printed in the Herts Advertiser January 15 1918.

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