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Remembrance Day assembly


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#1 jamest

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 07:56 AM

I would greatly appreciate some advice as to how to give a school assembly on remembrance day in an Asian school. I am teaching at a high school in Beijing and am keen to give the presentation an Asian tone as well. If any body has experience of this and it worked well (or what I should not do!) I would greatly appreciate any feedback. The assembly is in over two weeks but I will need to start preparing next week so if anybody could reply by then that would be great……..any general ideas for a remembrance day assembly would also be well appreciated.



#2 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 05:41 PM

I went to Belgium in March. I have attached a couple of my photographs of the gravestones of two men from the Chinese Labour Corp who died on the Western Front in the clear up of the battle fields after the end of the war. Might be one way to show their contribution to the war.

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#3 jamest

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 02:35 AM

I went to Belgium in March. I have attached a couple of my photographs of the gravestones of two men from the Chinese Labour Corp who died on the Western Front in the clear up of the battle fields after the end of the war. Might be one way to show their contribution to the war.

IMG_0084.jpg
IMG_0085.jpg





Great Carl, well appreciated and will bring a lot more relevance to the assembly presentation.

#4 Chris Garratt

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 10:36 AM

Hi there,

I've used some info from this site: MOD We Were There to research the role of ethnic minority servicemen in war. There are lists of medals awarded etc.

Hope this helps
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#5 Joel Thorpe

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 03:57 PM

If I can find them I also have a picture from the French graveyard that shows Islamic (presumably Algerian) graves and also ones from the further flung S.E. Asia colonies. The real shameful thing is that they are all tucked away in a corner.

There are also a few Indian war graves at Tiepval as the "Empire" sent troops for "Mother Britain".

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#6 jamest

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 12:14 AM

Dear Chris and Joel,

Thank you very much for this. It is interesting to see the number of foreign war graves there are in European cemetries. These will add a alot more relevance to my assembly. I will also look up information on that site.

James

#7 Lesley Ann

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 09:35 AM

my powerpoint I use links with war over the last century
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#8 Rachel Thornhill

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:30 PM

A great powerpoint Lesley Ann - I sat looking through it feeling the tears well up - the Iraq soldiers in particular

#9 jamest

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 02:30 PM

Thank you very much also for this Lesley, I agree with Rachel, very powerful images

#10 Russel Tarr

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 04:42 PM

I got back from holiday in Alsace just today - I visited a 2nd World War cemetery in Colmar, which has a very high proportion of graves of muslim soldiers, with distinctive headstones. I took a photo, let me know if you want a copy.

They are grouped on the edge (although they must account for 30% of the total casualties), whereas the Christian graves are placed in the center. Interestingly too, the Jewish gravestones are dotted randomly(?) within the "Christian" area rather than having their own dedicated section. Does anyone have any idea why this might be the case? Sorry if I'm being completely ignorant!

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#11 Simon Ross

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 09:06 PM

http://w3.westernfro...gottenhands.htm

A clear summary of the role and conditions of Chinese labourers

http://www.greatward...Laborers_01.htm

contemporary newspaper reports about the Chinese Labourers, includes this line:

"Personally, I attribute no profundity of thought to them, for they are as children."

#12 jamest

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 01:52 AM

Thank you very much for this Russel and Simon....sorry for my slow reply. A copy of the muslim graves photo would be great Russel. I'm afraid I can't explain the mystery of the grave positioning.

James

#13 Simon Ross

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 10:19 AM

Was in town yesterday and have now got my first poppy for the week. (I normally get through about 3 as I can never work out how to pin them properly!!)

I've just looked at Lesley Ann's very interesting powerpoint. It does make me think about what it is that we are remembering on the 11th. I was struck in particular by the very moving pictures of the young men who have died in Iraq. No one can question the way in which they loyally did what their country asked them to do. However, many in Britain do question the war that they fight in. I'm sure that we are trying to remember more than simply that these things happened, we are trying to have some kind of value based response. So what is it?

Do we remember:

- The sacrifice made by British soldiers to fight for their country, regardless of the right and wrongs of the conflict (therefore including WW1 and 2 but also Iraq, Northern Ireland, Suez, the Boer war).

- The sacrifice made by British soldiers to fight for their country in wars that we judge to by right (which could vary from none to all).

- The horrors and suffering endured by British people during wars.

- The horrors and suffering of all wars and the way they impact on all people, thus we would consider also the German soldiers in the First and Second World War, the Argentinians in the Falklands, and the civilian populations.

- Something else all together.

I hope nobody takes offence at this post. My purpose is not to denigrate Remembrance Day but to start a debate about what it means, and what it means to people with a variety of backgrounds and views. I would suggest that this kind of questioning, discussion based approach might well be more fruitful in helping our students to understand, and choose to support or otherwise, Remembrance Day.

#14 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 04:12 PM

Simon you are absolutely right to raise these questions. I have been involved in some very heated political discussions this week with my department about the wearing of white poppies ( I wanted to wear one, others thought it inappropriate). I won't go into details here on a public forum, but I would definitely support the need to question what Remembrance Day is about. I have thought very hard this weekend about the assembly that I am giving and I have decided to do the following:

a roll call of the names of students and teachers from the school who died during WW1 followed by 'In Flanders Fields' and that is it.

I think the impact of that simple assembly will allow everyone in the room to take something personal from it, without me having to say anything.

Edited by Dan Lyndon, 05 November 2006 - 04:13 PM.

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#15 Simon Ross

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 04:58 PM

Wow, I didn't even know about the white poppy campaign. Just had a little look at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ory/poppy.shtml

Will you read all the verses of 'Flanders Field'?

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.




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