Sandringham School wins £10k Lottery grant to study the men of Gallipoli

Pupils from Sandringham and West Newton school, who are working on a project with Historian Niel Storey (back right) about the (Kings Sandringham Company, part of the 5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment), also in picture is School Headteacher Mrs Alexis Brand ANL-151203-125121009
Pupils from Sandringham and West Newton school, who are working on a project with Historian Niel Storey (back right) about the (Kings Sandringham Company, part of the 5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment), also in picture is School Headteacher Mrs Alexis Brand ANL-151203-125121009
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A village school has secured a £10,000 Lottery grant to study the story of one of the First World War’s most famous battalions.

Pupils from the Sandringham and West Newton Primary School have begun researching the story of the Sandringham Company and the 5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, ahead of the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign later this year.

An exhibition, a book and a documentary are among the plans for the project.

And the school is appealing for anyone with stories about relatives who served with the regiment to come forward.

The project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: Then and Now programme, which offers grants to help communities discover the impact of the conflict on their areas.

Headteacher Alexis Brand said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and look forward to bringing the stories of our local heroes alive, showing how relevant their story is to a new generation and creating a record for future generations.”

The school is working with local military historian Neil Storey and the Sandringham estate on the project.

Yesterday, Mr Storey visited the school to talk to younger pupils about the types of equipment the soldiers would have used 100 years ago.

He also worked with the older children to locate the resting places of many of the men who fell in the campaign via the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s website.

The school is planning to produce a booklet of the information it collects, which will be available at the Sandringham Flower Show in July. There will also be an exhibition at the estate’s visitors centre.

The story of the Sandringham company, which was led by royal estate manager Frank Beck, was brought to a much wider audience by the 1999 television drama All The King’s Men, which starred Sir David Jason.

But Mr Storey said the 5th Battalion also recruited men from Lynn and all around Norfolk’s coast to Yarmouth, before moving inland to Holt and Aylsham.

He said: “The impact on the local community was absolutely profound.”

Project leaders are hoping to include interviews with descendants of men who served in the campaign.

And they are particularly keen to hear from anyone who has pictures or mementoes that they would be willing to share with the school.

Anyone who can help with the research should contact the school on 01485 540506.