Denver teenager needs YOU for help with his WWI exhibition

Discover Downham Heritage Centre
Discover Downham Heritage Centre

A teen from Denver is calling on those with relatives who served at Passchendaele to get in touch with him regarding a centenary display.

Adam Hutchinson, 15, wants to speak to those whose family members fought in the First World War campaign and who were from Downham and the surrounding area for a temporary commemorative exhibit.

Adam, who has previously volunteered at the Discover Downham Heritage Centre, is hoping to create a display about the campaign there using stories from local people.

He said when he returned to the centre to discuss doing additional volunteering the topic “just came up”.

“As it’s the centenary of Passchendaele, we thought it might be nice to do something about the people whose names are on the war memorials around Downham,” he added.

Part of the reason he decided to take on the project has come from his own personal experiences with the subject.

Adam added: “My interest in the First World War was partly inspired by my visit to the Somme and Ypres battlefields with my school last September.

“We visited trenches, craters, memorials and cemeteries – it was a very moving experience.”

Adam’s own great grandfather was a private with the 12th Royal Fusiliers and wrote home about his experiences on the first night of the battle.

Private Leonard Hutchinson, from Wisbech, was awarded a military medal for his bravery on the very first night of Passchendaele when he and a corporal were tasked with delivering a message to a neighbouring battalion.

Anyone with relatives in the local area who died or survived Passchendaele can email their stories to: learning@discoverdownham.org.uk.

Adam would like to hear from people as soon as possible in the hope of being able to create the display as close to the centenary as possible.