Sheffield schoolchildren take a journey back 100 years

Pupils pictured working with Rebecca Sheldon from Derbyshire Records Office
Pupils pictured working with Rebecca Sheldon from Derbyshire Records Office

Taking a journey back in time have been a class of Sheffield youngsters.

Pupils from Stonelow Junior School spent the last year styuding events from 100 years ago, during World War I.

The project was enabled thanks to an Heritage Lottery First World War Then and Now grant, helped along by Derbyshire Records Office, Dr Nicola Verdon, Dronfield Heritage Barn and Whitworks Adventures in Theatre.

A spokesman for the school said: “We have found out all sorts of things about what life was like in Dronfield and the people that lived here. We shared our discoveries with our community, including Dronfield’s Mayor through a celebration performance and free book. The Major was so enthusiastic about the project that he took a copy of the book for every member of the town council.

“We found out that 1917 was without doubt the grimmest year of the war for most of the country. People had already endured three years of fighting that appeared to have no end. All families had experienced losses of various kinds.

“Elizabeth Mather’s 1917 story captured our imagination. She had an extraordinary and appalling 1917. Not only was her husband away fighting but her brother, John, was in the Sherwood Foresters. His parents received a letter from his commanding officer reporting his death on 23 April 1917. They didn’t get a body to bury like many families.

“And then there was the mystery of her nephew, Ernest Mather, which started on 16 July 1917. His disappearance after work at the Lucas foundry was reported in the Derbyshire Times in July 1917.

Ann Brown, the Dronfield Heritage Trust Archivist, said: “Brilliant presentation, it brought together the local experience of the First World War through the people who experienced it.