Remembering Tom

Hannah Boase with the Tom Curry trophyHannah Boase with the Tom Curry trophy

At Wanstead Church School's Remembrance assembly, pupils, staff and parents took time to honour the fallen, and in particular, ex-pupil Tom Curry. Departing Head Teacher Mark Hemsley reports.

Tom Curry was a former pupil of both Wanstead Church School and Wanstead High School. A boy who loved sports, but especially rugby, Tom joined the Air Training Corps (ATC) at the age of 14. While with the ATC, he went on a Marine assault course and from then on was set upon joining the Royal Marines. Tom was sadly killed in action in Afghanistan in 2007, aged just 21 years and 12 days.

After his death, Tom's parents donated a trophy to the school in his memory. We have been delighted that, in the centenary year of the Armistice, the award has been refreshed and presented to a current pupil of the school. We decided this year to start awarding the cup on a termly basis so that, each term, we can focus on the qualities of children from across the school; this time we have nominated children from the upper juniors, Years 5 and 6. We took inspiration from Tom himself, who was awarded his Commando medal for showing the qualities of leadership, cheerfulness, determination and unselfishness, and used the same qualities when deciding who to nominate.

Every member of the school staff voted for the pupil they felt most deserving which, this year, went to Hannah Boase in Year 5. Hannah was presented with the trophy in front of her proud parents, staff and fellow pupils during our special Remembrance assembly.

The other children from Year 5 and 6 who were nominated for the award were Joel Poraj, Frances Williams, Lauren Rodriguez, Noah Hunt and Vlada Dedin.

The whole school community was inspired and moved by being reminded of Tom's story and by visiting the Wanstead War Memorial on which his name is proudly inscribed. We look forward to continuing this award next term to someone in the lower juniors and then again to an infant child in the summer. We have also linked the time of the award to significant and notable dates: in the autumn, it will be awarded as close to Remembrance Sunday as possible; in spring, as close to the start of Lent as possible; and in summer, as close to Armed Forces Day as possible.

As I come to the end of my time leading Wanstead Church School, I can reflect on the past seven years with great pride. The school is a central part of our vibrant local community, with a long history of links with both the people and the parish.

I will take with me many happy memories and will be forever grateful for the opportunities it has given to me. I know that I leave the school with a strong and dedicated team of staff who will support its continued success into the next stage of its history.

For more information on Wanstead Church School, visit wansteadchurchsch.co.uk


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