Home Coming

About the project

North Primary School were awarded Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for the project Home Coming. Made possible by National Lottery players through HLF’s First World War then and now programme. Home Coming researched the lives of former pupils and staff from North Primary School, who returned to Colchester after serving in the First World War, exploring the social impact the war had on their returning to civilian life.

Image: Log entry made by the Head Master John Harper of North Street School, identifying that by 1915, 256 former pupils were serving in Her Majesty’s Forces. Reproduced by courtesy of Essex Record Office and Colchester Borough Council, document reference E/ML 86/2

The Year 5 / 6 teachers and pupils worked with Project Manager Laura Davison and Historian Claire Driver to research and identify former pupils and staff.  We researched their war service, census records, NUT records and photographs exploring the social impact the war had on their returning to civilian life in Colchester.  The project has investigated what became of these men, their families and the social conditions of the time. 

Artist Commission

The pupils commissioned sculptor Ian Etheridge to design and create the artwork in response to the research.  Ian worked with the pupils who drew their responses to the project.

Home Coming culminated on the centenary of the end of the First World War, also the 124th anniversary of North Primary School opening, sharing the heritage at local commemorations.

Commenting on the award, Alan Garnett, Headteacher said:
I am delighted that the National Lottery is able once again to support us. The first two projects have rightly gained national recognition. Home Coming is going to be just as inspiring and will complete our understanding of the stories of the people from our school community who fought and tragically died; and those that fought and survived to return to re-build their lives in Colchester after 1918.