The Workshops: Redbridge Museum, London
Watch a short video about the National Memory – Local Stories workshops at Redbridge Museum, London (4:13)
The Participants from Wanstead High School
Wanstead High School is an 11-18 comprehensive school in the London Borough of Redbridge with strong traditions rooted in the local community. The fourteen participants were all from year nine. They were selected for the enthusiasm they had shown in their History or Art lessons, and to ensure that as a group they represented the diversity of the school’s students. Prior to the project, all Year 9 students learnt about the causes of the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 and visited Belgium to see first-hand some of the First World War battlefields.
The Workshops at the Museum
The main collection resources for the workshops at Redbridge Museum were a remarkable collection of documents, photographs and medals relating to the wartime experience of Cyril Page. Private Page lived in Wanstead, and joined the army in August 1917, aged 18. His battalion was engaged in the final Allied offensive, which ended the War. The collection offers a powerful record of a family’s personal loss, and provided workshop participants with an opportunity to learn about the First World War from this personal and local perspective.
Participants also had access to images from the Primary Collection and Archive of the National Portrait Gallery that relate to the War, and made use of these in the creative work of producing their film.
The participants’ film was further influenced by a guided walk around Wanstead, to understand the area as it would have been during the First World War, and photograph locations relevant to Private Page’s story. The students also took photographs during a tour of Central London locations that would have been part of Private Page’s wartime experience.