Learning through Gallipoli

In 2015/16 Islington Museum received funding from the Gallipoli Centenary Education Project to tell the stories of those men who travelled from Islington to Mudros to fight in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Five local primaries, Ashmount, Copenhagen, Drayton Park, Newington Green and Tufnell Park, worked with musicians Jonathan Rees and Firat Derat to explore the campaign from a variety of cultural perspectives. Pupils investigated the Finsbury Rifles’ war diary, learning about their costly campaign and imagining what daily life would have been like for them at Gallipoli.  They also looked at primary sources from both the Ottoman and Allied Forces to explore different experiences of the campaign and its aftermath.

Pupils learnt four songs about the Gallipoli campaign in both English and Turkish.  They also recorded readings of key primary sources, to which they composed an emotive soundscape. This sound background was combined with archival images of the campaign and artwork created as part of separate project. The resulting video is a musical and artistic meditation on the realities of the Gallipoli campaign, its local links and its human cost. A unique resource to explore Islington’s First World War from a truly world perspective.

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In 2015 Islington Museum also worked with Richard Cloudesely Secondary School and Samuel Rhodes Secondary School to produce two printed banners exploring the Finsbury Rifles Campaign. Pupils used mark making techniques to create the peninsula. They then used archival images of the campaign to create stencils, which they screen printed on to the map.




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Finally on the 8th November 2015 four children from Tufnell Park Primary School joined the Gallipoli Association to take part in the Cenotaph march on Remembrance Sunday.

The four children – Amy, Charlie, Natalie and Ruby – said, ‘It was an opportunity to take part in an experience of a lifetime. It helped us realise and feel the importance of remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.’ 

The children brought a wreath which joined the carpet of red beneath the Cenotaph. On the wreath were the words, ‘It is an honour to stand in the presence of our Lord, as we give thanks to the brave souls who sacrificed their lives to make our world a better place. May they rest in peace. Let the memory of Gallipoli live on through generations.’  

You can find lots more fantastic resources about Gallipoli at www.gallipoli100education.org.uk, @GallipoliEd  and http://www.gallipoli-association.org.

The Streets They Left Behind – the animation

In 2014/15 Islington Museum received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create an educational resource to complement The Streets They Left Behind (STLB Mapping Project).

The map 

The STLB is an interactive map commemorating all those with Finsbury and Islington connections who died in the First World War. The project focused on the streets where these men and women lived and worked before they left for war. Each casualty is represented by a poppy on the interactive map at their last known address. Local war memorials and schools are also highlighted on the map. 

During the project we discovered many powerful, heart-breaking stories about the devastating impact of the First World War on those who lived in Finsbury and Islington.


Animation resource

There were stories of great bravery, tragic loss and remarkable fortitude. We decided to create an educational resource to help share some of these stories and support schools, educational settings and individuals to access the STLB map.

In Spring Term 2015 Islington Museum worked with artist Amanda Wayne and pupils from St John Evangelist Roman Catholic Primary School to create a stop frame animation introducing users to the STLB map. Pupils from Mars and Jupiter classes investigated some of the themes and stories within the map, before focusing on six stories to tell through animation.

Stories include

  • Recruitment in Islington
  • Victor Hember, the tragic story of a family searching for their son after the battle of the Somme
  • Alfred Smith, a remarkable hero who gave his life to save others during a bombing raid on London
  • Captain Frederick Parslow, one of our local Victoria Cross recipients
  • Clara Shead, a brave women caught up in one of the tragedies of the war
  • War widows

Mars and Jupiter learnt how to create stop frame animations, from story-boarding, to creating their own props and photographing frames, very, very slowly! The final editing was completed by Amanda.

Please watch our animation before looking at the STLB resource. We hope it will inspire you to research, uncover and commemorate the remarkable lives of our local men and women who died in the war.

Using the STLB map:

Local schools have used the map in a number of different ways to explore the impact of the First World War in Islington.

  • Ashmount and Drayton Park Primary Schools used the data for a whole school remembrance project. Each class did a workshop with the museum looking at the resource, focusing on individual stories. Each class then chose a different person from the resource who lived near the school to remember.
  • Samuel Rhodes Primary Unit created their own ‘Tower of London’ poppy memorial in their school corridor. Each pupil made a poppy for a different person from the resource.
  • Samuel Rhodes Senior School pupils used the resource to identify six men who had lived close to their school and died on the Western Front. They then researched these individuals, before finding their graves when they visited France and Belgium on the Battlefields Tour.
  • St John Evangelist Primary School chose to focus on two soldiers from the resource who lived near the school. They based their topic of WWI around these soldier’s lives. They researched their early life in Islington using census records and other archival material, before using geography to explore their military careers and the impact of the First World War on their lives and family.

If you’d like to find out more about these project or replicate them within your school do get in touch.


“Thank you for this resource. Even though the children have heard figures about how many people died in the war, the visual impact of this on a local scale really struck a chord with them” (local teacher)

“What an amazing resource!! I’ve been engrossed all morning checking the areas I live in to find out who and what has happened. I’ve found my next door neighbour fought and died in the First World War” (local teacher)

“Only just looked at this email how amazing – will 100% be sharing in the morning with 4J” (local teacher)

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