In 2015 and 2016 had the pleasure of contributing £8,000 towards a very exciting and imaginative project initiated and implemented by William Alvey School in Sleaford. The links and detailed description below have been provided by the school’s inspirational headteacher, Stephen Tapley.
Project 72 was a community-based project aimed at tracking down the names of the 72 children who attended William Alvey School and then went on to fight and tragically die for their country in WWI. Their names were originally written on a special scroll that the local paper, the 'Sleaford Gazette', report was unveiled at William Alvey School on May 24th 1922 (Empire Day). Over the ensuing years the scroll was lost. The current Alvey children cross referenced Church and Civic monuments with our old school registers. They found most of the 72 names and then with the help of David Mackie, famous artist and sculptor, they went on to design and build a permanent memorial at the front of the school. The project now forms part of a larger art trail, 'When in Sleaford' which was put together by ArtsNK and funded by a grant from the Mukherjee Brothers Trust (£8000) and the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant (£2000). Other contributors towards our school's involvement included the British Legion (£50), and Lincolnshire Diocese of Education (£2000). Thank you. We organised a number of fundraising activities ourselves including a film night, chocolate tombola, golden arrow archery competition and a one stop-pop up owl shop. Thank you to all our Parents and Friends for your support.
As you walk past the school, it would be great if in future years, you look at the memorial plaque and remember those local boys who lost their lives in the service of their country. In August 2019, our Project 72 plaque and scroll, which now hangs in St Denys’ Church, were listed on the Imperial War Museum Memorial Register:
The plaque was produced as part of a community arts project between ArtsNK and David Mackie. We had the privilege of sitting in on the panel who chose the artist for the ‘When in Sleaford’ Trail.
Since the establishment of the memorial, along with the help of John Dale and Sleaford Museum, we have put together a profile for each of the 72 ‘lost boys’. We have photographs, letters home from the front and medal records.
The Town Trail has turned into a real tourist attraction in Sleaford. There is a map and set of stickers that go with the walk and they are often used in advertising materials and information booklets about the town.