Thanks to the generosity of the Belfairs Academy and Ross Williams we had two really productive days at the Belfairs Academy. There was fabric, chicken wire, clay, paint, pva and poppies everywhere. Stories were shared about remarkable histories and lots of coffee was consumed!
Belfairs pupil, Robert Snell, turned up with a wonderful haul of medals and photographs about his great grandfather PVT HD Toplis who died in the Great War 2nd December 1917 almost a hundred years ago.
PVT Toplis served with the 19th London Regiment and is buried in France in the Etaples Commonwealth War Grave Military Cemetery, near Boulogne.
The 19th Battalion, London Regiment was a Volunteer unit of the British Army in existence from 1860 to 1961 under various titles. A detachment served in the Second Boer War and two full battalions fought in World War I, receiving the surrender of Jerusalem and crossing the Jordan among other exploits.
Robert and his friend Shane did PVT Toplis proud making some fabulous poppies and then getting stuck in with painting and gluing.
Thanks so much to Robert's Mum who allowed him to bring in all the medals and photographs for us to see.
To everyone who came along, thanks for your time it was lovely to meet you.