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Life was once again breathed into the names of those listed on Redcar’s Celtic Cross War Memorial as part of a remembrance service dating back more than 100 years.

Public services students at Redcar and Cleveland College were given an insight into the real lives of those who died in the First and Second World Wars.

“Sharing the little details about individuals’ lives feels important,” said historian and former teacher of Sir William Turner’s Sixth Form, Peter Chester. “Each name you see was a real person, with family, friends and a story behind them.”

The names on the war memorial that now stands outside the college on Corporation Road were all “Old Boys” of Sir William Turner’s School in Redcar.  The youngest was John Duncan Stubbs, top of his class and the eldest of three children, killed at just 15 when the ship he was serving on was torpedoed.

Some 350 Old Boys from the school fought in the First World War, 48 died on active service and their names are on the Celtic Cross.

During the Second World War, 650 Old Boys served in the armed forces, 55 lost their lives, their names are on a bronze plaque now kept in the college.

With roots linking back to the school, Redcar and Cleveland College continues the tradition of the remembrance service which dates back to 1922, alongside Old Boys of the school and the Sir William Turner Foundation.

On Friday (November 10, 2023) former students and staff of Sir William Turner’s School gathered at Redcar and Cleveland College for the annual service.

Joined by Redcar MP Jacob Young, members of the community along with staff and students from the college, the memorial service was followed by an honour guard, led by the Redcar and Cleveland branch of the Royal British Legion, the Last Post and the laying of wreaths.

Laying a wreath Redcar and Cleveland College public services student Alana said: “It is important to remember the people that fought for us and all we have now.”

A sergeant with Cleveland Army Cadets Redcar detachment, the 17-year-old said: “The service today gives you more of a look into the personal lives of those who lost their lives, such as how old they were, what they did and their family members, rather than just a name.”

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