Students write letters to unknown soldier

Pendle Vale College students at Nelson Library with the Mayor of Pendle showing one of their soldier letters.
Pendle Vale College students at Nelson Library with the Mayor of Pendle showing one of their soldier letters.
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Lots of students at Pendle Vale College have come up with letters to an unknown soldier who died and is a key memorial.

They are on show at Nelson Library and the students went along there on Tuesday and were joined by the Mayor of Pendle, Coun. Graham Roach, and representatives from the Nelson and District Branch of the Royal British Legion and the library itself.

And even the Mayor revealed he had written his own letter for the unknown soldier.

At the library on Tuesday there were scores of the students’ letters on show. They are Year 9 pupils aged 13 and 14 and have come up with respect to the man they have written to.

Their visit was launched by Mr John Atkinson, who is key Pendle Vale English teacher. He welcomed the guests including the Mayor. And he said: “Today, we remember. We remember those who were taken from us, those who fought in foreign fields for the freedoms we enjoy today and – especially – those who didn’t come back.

“But we also celebrate. We celebrate the victory of freedom over Fascism .... of right over wrong .... of good over evil.”

And there was a minute’s silence in respect of war victims.

Assistant headteacher Mr Matthew Hardwick congratulated students for coming up with letters, and Royal British Legion’s Mr Michael Sutcliff also praised them and said: “Your unknown soldier is truly unknown to as an unknown soldier because we don’t know who he is.”

And the Mayor said: “I looked at your letters when I came in here and found it quite moving.” He pointed out that round here there had been victims in the First and Second World Wars, but revealed that the latest tragedy was the death of Nelson soldier Lance Corporal Michael Foley who was killed in March, 2012, in Afghanistan.

And he added: “I would like to say thanks to the staff of your college and the Royal British Legion.” And he was impressed with the students’ letters.

One of the students wrote: “I want you to read this letter and know we all care for you.” Another said: “Dear Unknown Soldier. I am writing to you because it marks the 100th anniversary of WW1, this is when you fought in the war and, Unfortunately, you died.”

And the Mayor’s letter to the victim included: “The unsung heroes, our comrades all gone, their bodies lie side by side or unfound where we lived and died as friends. The cathedral silence is broken by the twilight chorus of beating wings as birds come to woodlands roosts.” And much more.