On 25th September Katy de la Riviere, Sedbergh School’s Archivist, visited Cargilfield Prep School to talk to Year 7 and Year 8 pupils about preparing to commemorate WW1, and how to research war records in particular.

Sedbergh School has recently completed a project to research each of the 257 casualties who died in WW1. During this project it was found that Francis Renton, a former Cargilfield School pupil, studied at Sedbergh School before joining the Border Regiment and serving his country.

The prep school pupils learnt about the process of researching WW1 casualties and how this research project helped to unearth information about Renton’s school and military career. 

Katy de la Riviere said: “The topic obviously caught the imagination of pupils who quizzed me for 20 minutes about what life was like in the trenches and back in Britain during the war.

Many thoughtful issues were raised by pupils such as the question of why young people went to fight when they had so much of their life ahead of them. The pupil who raised this question suggested that perhaps it would be fairer for older people to fight in conflicts, which gave everyone in the room a question to ponder.”

After the talk pupils had the chance to handle a WW1 ceremonial sword belonging to Old Sedberghian casualty Gordon Chadwick Osborne.

The headmaster of Cargilfield School, Rob Taylor, has pledged to visit the grave of Francis Renton with his family next summer to commemorate the historic link between Cargilfield Prep School and Sedbergh School.

Follow Sedbergh: