Pupils from Mildenhall Academy have been taking part in a project to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
And for one a special celebration of the anniversary today proved an exciting opportunity.
Lucy King celebrated her 13th birthday at the anniversary ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral and presented a bouquet of flowers to Camilla Parker-Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, who was attending along with Prince Charles.
Some 20 Mildenhall students have been taking part in the Waterloo 200 project, suported by TV presenter Dan Snow, which will enable young people to learn more about this pivotal moment in European history.
The Mildenhall students set up an after-school Waterloo Club and have been researching the story behind a young captain who fought and died during the battle.
Their research is part of an e-book which will be used as a teaching tool and available to schools nationally.
Students from Years 8, 9 and 10 also visited the battlefield itself last month.
They researched the story of Captain Thomas Gage Craufurd who was part of the Gage family which owned Hengrave Hall.
Thomas died defending the Hougoumont Farm, a crucial landmark in the Battle of Waterloo on June 18 1815 in which British and Prussian forces under the Duke of Wellington halted Napeolean’s Army in Belgium. The battle claimed the lives of 65,000 men.
Thomas’s brother Alexander, who also fought at Waterloo, survived the conflict but discovered his brother’s body at the farm after the battle,
The Mildenhall students created a virtual museum about their soldier and selected relevent items for a the display. Using the theme of brotherhood they chose items including a letter between brothers who fought at Waterloo and a picture of two entwined rings to emphasis the poignancy of Thomas’s story. On a ligher note they completed their e-display with a picture of a chamber pot with ‘Boney’s’ head on it. Their display, along with others, can be seen through the National Army Museum’s website.
Yesterday pupils went to London to take part in a special commemorative service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
The e-book will be made available to all schools in the country in order to encourage more to join.
Richard Kerridge, humanities faculty leader, said: “We’re always looking for ways to bring history to life for our students. Being able to focus on real battle artefacts and track down local soldiers who fought make this a very engaging and innovative way to learn. ”