Chorley youngster finds his own piece of history

Schoolboy Wiiliam Taylor finds the war grave of his great, great grandfather
Schoolboy Wiiliam Taylor finds the war grave of his great, great grandfather
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Schoolboy William Taylor went on a history trip with his classmates – and found the war grave of his great, great grandfather.

The 13-year-old was among a group of 59 year nines from Holy Cross Catholic High School in Chorley on a trip to the battlefield of the First World War in France and Belgium.

Although his grandfather John Calvert had done some research on Private George Bamber, William couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the name on a memorial.

He said: “My grandad had done research and said my great, great grandfather’s memorial should be in Tyne Cot cemetery.”

“I couldn’t believe it when I found it.

“It was a massive shock. I thought his name would be really high up but I could touch it.

“I put my hand on it and it was hard to think it was one of my ancestors who had fought and died in the First World War and his name was there.”

Mr Calvert had written a poem to Private Bamber, who was his grandad, and William left that as a tribute at the memorial.

The teenager added: “All we know was that George Bamber was in the Second Battalion of the Border Regiment and fought at Ypres and died when he was around 34 or 35.

“It means a lot to have seen his memorial and the war graves of others.”

The school group, under the stewardship of history teacher Matt Murray, also visited the grave of Valentine Joe Strudrick, the youngest person to die in the war, aged just 15, and lay wreaths 
at the site of the Chorley Pals memorial.

He said: “I believe in making history come to life and show the students where it actually happened and that’s why we organised this trip, especially at such a poignant time, in the 100th year anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.”

Mr Murray added: “The year nines had been learning about the First World War in classes and we had encouraged them to carry out family research.

“One of our teaching assistants, James Knott, also found one of his relatives.

“It was very moving.”

The students laid wreaths at Serre Road cemetery where the Chorley Pals went over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

They also took a teddy bear to leave there.