Schools urged to dig deep for Great War anniversary

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Primary pupils in West Lothian are set to turn detective to uncover the real life stories of war heroes named on their local war memorial.

P6 and P7 pupils will get the chance to talk to relatives of war heroes, present their findings to veterans from across Scotland, add their research to a national online archive.

The winners will get a tour and overnight stay on board an original Royal Navy war ship and floating war museum in London.

The Scottish Primary School War Memorial competition will see hundreds of schools investigating stories of fallen servicemen and tracing their families in their local area. Pupils and schools who take part will go on a journey back in time as they discover facts about their local community and research stories of war veterans from as far back as World War One.

The Royal British Legion Scotland, the country’s biggest veterans’ charity, called on primary schools in West Lothian and across Scotland to enter its ‘Voices of Veterans’ campaign to commemorate the start of World War One in the countdown to the centenary in 2014.

Kevin Gray, chief executive of the Royal British Legion Scotland, said, “The competition is about getting young people to engage with their history and learn about their war memorial heritage.

‘‘It’s a unique opportunity for children to develop a wide range of skills, from their understanding of history to research, literacy, IT, as well as the expressive arts.

“Through visits to memorials and working with other organisations, pupils also get the chance to develop strong community links.’’

Pupils will be able to submit their research to an online archive of war memorials. Full details, a teachers’ pack and the terms and conditions can be found on the Royal British Legion’s website www.rblscotland.com/schools