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Book Written about Stamford School Boys in WW1

Book about Stamford School in WW1"It was no sacrifice, Ma'am," she told Queen Mary. "I did not give them willingly."

These were the words of Amy Beechey in April 1918 upon being presented to King George V and honoured by the King and Queen for the loss of five of her sons in the First World War. Three other sons who also fought returned home, though one was badly wounded.

The story of the Beechey brothers is one of many stories encapsulated in “Boys of Stamford School in the First World War”, which commemorates the tragic loss of 53 Old Boys and Masters of the School in the Great War of 1914-1918. The book tells the story of each of the short lives of these Old Stamfordians, contrasting their upbringing and often colourful school years with the harsh realities of war.

Written by Stamford School history teacher Mrs Alexandra Colley, with support from current and former pupils, each pupil of the school will be given a copy of the book on Remembrance Day.

Will Phelan, Headmaster of Stamford, said ‘‘The boys who fell in the Great War walked in the same halls as current boys do now. Personalising the magnitude of the loss is vital in recognising the effect the war had on the nature of the School community and on the town of Stamford.”

Author of the book, Alexandra Colley, said “This compendium serves as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by so many young men in the Great War. The fact that so much tragedy could be borne by one school in a small Lincolnshire town is a poignant illustration of the monumental impact the war had on the nation. Learning something of the motivations of the men who went to fight and of their experiences on the frontline was tremendously insightful.”

Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the book should email foundation@ses.lincs.sch.uk. Alternatively, copies are held at Stamford Town Library.