Ceramic poppies to remember 73 fallen pupils

Poppies at AKS
Poppies at AKS
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The stunning poppy memorial at the Tower of London has been replicated by a school which lost a third of its pupils in the First World War.

Arnold King Edward School (AKS) has unveiled 73 handmade ceramic poppies, modelled on those in the capital which have attracted millions of visitors, one to commemorate each of the school pupils of the former King Edward VII and Arnold schools killed in the First World War.

The St Annes independent school, which merged the two former schools to create AKS, lost 73 pupils in the four-year conflict – 33 per cent were killed against a fatality rate of 13 per cent of men from all backgrounds who served in the Army.

Now Year Nine pupils have honoured those lost by creating each a remembrance poppy, made with clay and set on metal rods, to be displayed in the school grounds off Clifton Drive South.

Laura Heap, head of art, said: “Since our school has a very proud heritage and currently has a Combined Cadet Force we were keen to do something to mark the loss from our own school.”

Two heroes from the school were awarded the Victoria Cross for their efforts - the highest and most prestigious armed forces award for gallantry.

Hardy Falconer Parsons, of King Edward VII School, died from severe burns and wounds, aged just 20, as he held back his bombing post under enemy fire near Epehy, France, in August 1917.

And John Schofield of Arnold School was 26 when he led a party of nine to capture 20 prisoners in the face of 100 enemies firing on them, in April 1918 at Givenchy, France.

His gallantry forced the enemy to surrender, meaning a total of 123 prisoners were caught that day, but he was killed just minutes later.