Children at Invicta Primary School gathered this afternoon to remember the 15 people who died when the school was bombed during World War II.
Year 2 children joined White Watch from East Greenwich Fire Station for the short ceremony, 79 years to the day after the then Invicta Road School – which was being used as a fire station – was destroyed by a parachute mine which fell into trees opposite the school before exploding. Twelve firefighters and three others died.
Among those at today’s ceremony were members of the family of Harry Dixon, one of the firefighters who died that night.
Local historian Steve Hunnisett led the ceremony, which came as the Year 2 children spent a day learning all about World War II. Steve was also on hand to talk to the children about the war, showing them shrapnel, an air-raid whistle, a gas mask and other items; while the firefighters also took questions from the children.
The plaque was installed at the school in 2017 by Firemen Remembered, an independent organisation devoted to raising awareness of the work of the fire services during World War II. It is on a Victorian wall at the back of the playground, the only remaining part of the original school. The replacement 1950s buildings were demolished in 2016 when the current school opened on the site of the old playground.
You might have heard about the award-winning food on offer to pupils at Charlton Manor primary school – from this Saturday, you can sample it yourself. From 16 November, the school’s head Tim Baker and its chef Flavio Hernandez are opening the doors of their Sweet Pickings café for breakfast from 9am and lunch from 11am to 2.30pm. Breakfast is just £3 (£1 for children), lunch is £3.50 (£1.50 children).
Children In Need funds the club’s Play Plus project, which allows parents and children under five with special educational needs to take part in music and art activities.
Felstead joined in with storytelling and sensory play to launch the Power of Play campaign, which aims to help children in every community in the UK have somewhere safe to play so they can develop their skills.
She said: “I had such a fantastic time at the project. It was brilliant to meet with the project workers, the parents and their children and to see how much they enjoyed the play activities was incredibly special.”
The Power of Play campaign is being held with Asda, where customers will be able to pick up free “play passes” which children will be able to ‘’trade in” with an adult for 30 minutes of play. Each of the play passes offers a different play activity, and will help children to learn a variety of life skills, such as teamwork, patience and resilience, that will aid their development.
Steph Brett-Lee, Asda’s senior director of community and corporate affairs, said: “At Asda we are so pleased that our Power of Play campaign with BBC Children in Need will help to provide even more play opportunities, just like this one, across the UK.
“It’s fantastic to see how the money raised helps support groups like the Big Red Bus Club to fund their Play Plus project which gives children a place where they can enjoy inclusive play activities and make new friends. It’s clear to see how much that this is valued and enjoyed by the children and their parents.”