Pupils from The High School of Glasgow (HSOG) have been awarded a £500 prize for their winning entry into the 2021-2022 Western Front Association (WFA) Malcolm Doolin Memorial Award for local research into the Great War.
Malcolm Doolin was a Western Front Association (WFA) member and educational consultant who had a passionate interest in the Great War and the award in his name aims to encourage research by school children into the First World War in their local area. The High School is one of three UK schools to be awarded this top prize.
The second year pupils produced videos to uncover the tragic tales of former pupils of The High School of Glasgow in the Great War, including Andrew Bonar Law (a former pupil, the namesake of Law House and a former British Prime Minister from 1922 to 1923) who lost two sons, James and Charlie, in the Great War.
Pupils used the HSOG Book of Service and Remembrance (1921), war diaries from the National Archives, ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk and Ancestory.co.uk as their sources of information to inform their video entries.
The judging panel for the competition was looking for entries that were original, communicated their research through a publication, display or performance and showed partnership working, either with local schools, museums, churches or the Western Front Association branch in their area. The competition aimed to award two prizes of £500 each and runner up prizes of £50.
Eve Wilson, WFA Trustee and chair of the judging panel, said: “We were delighted to see the entries from schools this year. We had a range of projects exploring different aspects of how the Great War affected local people from different parts of the UK.
“Entries included a video, art work and models, a special book and PowerPoint presentations. The quality of entries this year was so good that we decided to award three awards of £500 rather than two as had been envisaged.
“We were particularly encouraged to see that local WFA branches supported schools in their area to help put submissions together.”
The schools awarded £500 for their work were: The High School of Glasgow, St Wilfrid’s Church of England Primary School, Grappenhall, Cheshire and St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School, Radcliffe, Greater Manchester.
Chris Mackay, head of history at The School of Glasgow Senior School, said: “We are incredibly proud of the hard work put in by S2 to produce winning entries. Their decision to use video as the medium to tell the story of some of our brave Former Pupils was clever and helped to portray this emotive topic in an engaging way.
“Video is fast becoming one of the favoured ways of communicating so not only did the children uncover more about the history of former pupils, they did so in a way that is grounded in the here and now.
“Many thanks go to Ken Nisbet from the WFA for his support and for coming in to the school to present the award to pupils at a special assembly. The prize money will be used to recognise the role of Mary McArthur, a former pupil of The High School for Girls.
“Between 1914-18 she was heavily involved with the National Federation of Women Workers who campaigned for equal pay and better conditions, representing thousands of women who worked in the munitions industry.”