Students to talk at nation’s Festival of Remembrance

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A group of students have helped to cast new light on the role of Asian soldiers in the First World War.

The pupils from Marsden Heights Community College, Nelson, will now be invited to speak about their project at the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in November.

Working with The Participation Works NW (PWNW), Brierfield Action in the Community and the Royal British Legion for the past two years, the group researched their families’ connections to the First World War.

Lynne Blackburn, youth and community worker for PWNW, said: “I feel so honoured and proud to have been a part of this amazing project and to see how far the group have come.

“They have experienced and learned so much about the First World War, their ancestors and others who sacrificed so much.”

The background to the project was shaped by the assumption that many young Asian people did not understand the role their ancestors played in contributing to victory in the First World War, its historical significance and how it has enabled them and their families to live their lives in the western world.

Lynne added: “The young people also did not understand their own history of India/Pakistan and the formation of Pakistan and the relevance of the Indian Army fighting with the British Empire.

“The project has helped to raise awareness of the First World War within the community. The students researched and collected personal stories linked to our towns, and learned about the impact it had on their culture, families and community.”